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News: Citoyen priority warning: Not reporting counter-revolutionary activities is conspiracy to commit counter-revolution under the Anticivil Activities Act. Penalties go up to and include permanent Ecclesiastical explusion.

Author Topic: Eldraseatown  (Read 9160 times)

Offline Myroria

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« on: July 29, 2014, 06:19:21 PM »
"What ever happened to that family? The outlanders?" I asked my brother. It was 1976 - thirty years ago this day - and I was sitting on that hill across from the old Henley house, watching the flames pour out of it with the black smoke blotting out the sun. It was about five o'clock, and in October that meant it was dusk - though the unrelenting smoke made it appear to be closer to eleven or twelve. Besides the fire though, it was a beautiful night. October has always been my favorite time of the year because in my neck of the woods the biting winter nights haven't arrived yet but the sweltering humidity of summer has been gone for a few weeks already.

"You've asked me that at least twice a year since you were six," my brother said. That was ten years ago - when I was six - and that was the year that the Henley husband and wife had more or less disappeared without a trace. There were always rumors, of course, as there are when any outlanders disappear like that, but it seemed that the entire town - excepting me - forgot about the whole incident only a month or two after it happened.

I always knew that my brother knew more about why exactly the Henleys disappeared than he let on. The last night anyone saw Robert Henley - the husband - my brother, fifteen at this point and nine years my senior, had been out until two in the morning. Fa, who always would light up something fierce whenever my brother stayed out late, gave him no more than a slap on the wrist the next morning which only added to my suspicions. Even though I was only six, Fa and Ma always said I was a smart boy and would be a good detective one day - though now I have little interest in that sort of stuff. But the Henley case always bothered me. My brother sighed.

"Do you really want to know?" Now my brother was twenty-five, not fifteen, but I could see wrinkles in his eyes like he was a much older man. Again, he sighed, reaching inside his coat pocket for a cigarette. He looked at the fire as if he saw something in the flames no one else had ever seen - something no one else could ever see.

"You know, for an outlander," he began, "everyone always seemed to love Emily Henley." I nodded. I remember the first time I met Emily - a young expat from Prydainia, she and her husband had moved to Myroria, of all places, the year before I was born. I was five the first time I met her, about nine months before her disappearance. I went with Fa and Ma to the grocery store and we bumped into her in the baked goods section. They greeted her the way they'd greet any Myrorian - the way they'd greet an old friend.

She put her hand inside a box of sugar cookies in her shopping cart and handed me one. Even at five I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen - short and somewhat plump, she had long, long brown hair that fell almost to the small of her back. She smelled like lavender and compost - a gardener, I think.

"She'd go to every town meeting - at first that sure annoyed people," my brother continued with a melancholy chuckle. "But they came to appreciate her. She and her husband paid themselves to have that cleaning company come in all the way from Novrith and polish that statue of Nelvil I. Every outlander, you know, who moves out here, or even has some cottage they visit in the summer - they all want to show how much they care. They want to spend all this money to 'improve rural infrastructure' or 'stock libraries' or whatever - but as soon as someone asks for them to actually get a shovel and dig a trench, or get down on their hands and knees and help lay stones for a fence - they have excuses. Not Mrs. Henley. When me and Ravos were rebuilding that part of his barn's roof that collapsed, sure enough she came tearing down that road, driving Bob Henley's pickup truck, six or eight guys from Nevonport sitting in the back. She was a good woman. She wasn't no Myrorian, but she was a good woman."

My brother paused to take a drag from his cigarette. I was feeling a little impatient - I just wanted him to get on with the story of what happened to the poor woman and her husband. "So what happened to her?" I asked. I knew as soon as the words left my mouth it was the wrong thing to say.

"If you'd let me speak," my brother said, hurt, "I'd get to that." I wanted to apologize but I knew saying anything would only make things worse. We sat in silence for a few minutes as the town's fire engine drove down the road and stopped in front of the Henley house. Finally I heard him sigh again.

"She'd hired me the summer before she disappeared to help her around the house." He pointed at the side of the house, the heat from the fire making waves appear above the driveway. "I must have spent two days in the middle of June retarring that damned driveway for her." My brother laughed and took another drag off his cigarette. By now the firemen were hooking a hose up to the engine and beginning to spray water all over the house. It looked about ready to collapse.

"I remember always seeing Marayn Vraerith. Have you met him? He sells fish at the market over in Nevonport. Anyway he'd always be over delivering some cod or lobster or whatever she would be having for dinner that night. I've never seen anyone eat as much fish as that woman. I was fifteen, and of course I thought they were having an affair. I had been helping her for about a month and a half when they went upstairs. About half an hour later old Bob came home and the screaming started. Marayn left out the back door while Emily and Bob stood in the kitchen, yelling and yelping something fierce. Finally she told me to leave and - " My brother paused and took another drag.

"And that was the last time I saw her." He sighed again - I never understood that sigh then but after my wife died I knew it was the sigh of a man who experienced only the most intense loss.

"I went home and told Fa what had happened. He hugged me and told me to go upstairs. I didn't see him again for the rest of the night. When I told Ma at dinner what had happened, and asked Fa what he was doing, she said he had some errands to take care of. Now, you know Ma - she never says 'errands', she says 'things', or 'stuff'. 'Errands' are something else. Something serious." My brother paused again for a few minutes, this time trying to keep his composure. The fire was dying down now, but it was clear there wasn't much water left in the engine and regardless the whole structure was sagging and creaking loudly.

"At ten o'clock I climbed out my bedroom window and ran as fast as I could to the Henley house. I came - that way." my brother pointed to the right, the opposite direction from which the fire engine had arrived. I saw Fa, and Neloth, and Dreynos, and a few other guys I couldn't make out, standing in a circle around old Bob Henley. I don't think any of them saw me, because I ducked behind that tree on the edge of that copse over there - " my brother pointed again - "and listened. There was a lot of yelling, and Bob was saying over and over again 'I didn't do it, I didn't do it.'" He sat in silence again, but just for a minute this time. By now the firemen were out of water and there were no hydrants to be found. Thankfully, the building collapsed and the fire seemed like it was on its last legs anyway so there was no danger of it spreading. My brother teared up once the old house was a pile on the ground.

"So I saw Neloth raise his hand and fire that old revolver of his - he always talked about how it was his dad's sidearm in the Great War. Bob fell onto his knees and then Neloth stepped forward and fired again - right at his goddamned head." By now my brother was crying. I put my arm around his shoulder but knew better than to interrupt.

"So I stood behind that tree and watched - it must have been at least an hour and a half - while they all dug a grave and threw Bob and Emily in there. They filled it in and sat there for another hour, just smoking and talking. I couldn't make anything out, on account of my crying." He breathed deeply. "And then I went home." Just like the men who shot Bob, we sat there in silence while the fire died completely and the firemen got back into their engine and drove away, the Henley house now a pile of burnt rubble on the ground.

"The sheriff came around asking questions but nothing ever came of it. So," my brother said after another long silence, "that's what happened to the Henleys."

"I assure you -- I will be quite content to be a mere mortal again, dedicated to my own amusements."

Offline Myroria

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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 07:00:30 PM »

We hereby ACCUSE the noble ERVIS INDIOTROVTH, of House Indiotrovth, of orchestrating the FOUL MURDER of the esteemed and honorable gentleman Julyn Quarrovth, of House Quarrovth, in his own domicile, on the day of July 13, 1929. House Quarrovth will only find this blood, spilled in broad daylight, paid for and avenged upon the spilling of the blood of Ervis Indiotrovth, and so:

Great House Quarrovth, its honorable Councilors assembled, hereby pronounce Ervis Indiotrovth a murderer, briber, and general miscreant and mark him for death. Upon the confirmation of this honorable demand, the Clerk of the Council of Great Houses Assembled will formally mark Ervis Indiotrovth's desk in the Council Chamber with a black banner, and will mark his domicile in Novrith, County Novrith with a similar one.

Great House Quarrovth, at considerable expense, will hire an honorable warrior to avenge this terrible misdeed. Only an assassin hired by House Quarrovth with a writ signed and affirmed by an honorable judge of County Novrith will be allowed to touch Ervis Indiotrovth in any manner. Any murder of said councilor by a perpetrator without the expressed written consent of House Quarrovth will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of Myrorian law.

If, on the day of March 11, 1930 Ervis Indiotrovth remains alive, Great House Quarrovth will publicly forgo any continuing comment on this matter and will pronounce this noble spared. A white banner will mark his desk in the Council Chamber, as well as his domicile in Novrith, County Novrith, for three months. Until March 11, 1930, Ervis Indiotrovth will remained marked for death.

This proclamation has been made by the entire Ruling Council of Great House Quarrovth assembled, including every elected Representative Noble from:

House Quarrovth, of Great House Quarrovth
House Quarrith, sworn in Holy Fealty to House Quarrovth, and of Great House Quarrovth
House Quarroth, sworn in Holy Fealty to House Quarrovth, and of Great House Quarrovth
House Trovrith, sworn in Holy Fealty to House Quarrovth, and of Great House Quarrovth
House Prilrovth, sworn in Holy Fealty to House Quarrovth, and of Great House Quarrovth
House Hlarrith, sworn in Holy Fealty to Houses Prilrovth, Trovrith, and Quarrovth, and of Great House Quarrovth
House Adaretrith, sworn in Holy Fealty to House Quarrith and Trovrith, and of Great House Quarrovth
House Moomintrith, in a Matrimonial Coalition with House Quarrovth, sworn in Holy Fealty to House Moomintroth, and of Great House Moomintroth.
House Andranirovth, in a Matrimonial Coalition with House Quarrovth, and sworn to no one.

This is an authorized document of Great House Quarrovth, printed on September 11, 1929.

God save Nelvil II Moomintroth, king now and for many more years!

God save Fendryn Quarrovth, head of this honorable House!

God save Myroria and her people!

« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 07:16:26 PM by Myroria »
"I assure you -- I will be quite content to be a mere mortal again, dedicated to my own amusements."