Saturday, September 24, 2016

New Chapter! (14 Royal Blood)

A much anticipated chapter (even by me) and one that was one year in the making.
I had a fun time writing this, I hope you guys will have a fun time reading!

It's a bit long so have yourself a sit down and if it's getting wintery where you live (it is for sure here XD), get yourself some tea and blankets. I always find reading long stuff better that way.

Without anything else....Enjoy! :D

Recap: Menetos, the King's most trusted guard, has emerged from the King's Chamber bloodied and with little hope that any of the Royal line has survived. Thorin and his company having just been attacked by secret Bloodhelm guards, feel as if they can trust very little of the guard; if any at all. Thorin has to make a decision involving the Elven King, who is due to arrive soon.Tensions rise as his own home becomes a threat, and all is not as it seems. 

I had fun making this cover. :D 

Royal Blood


It only took me a second to find myself as I strode towards him, saying a soundless word before clasping his head and bringing his weary forehead to mine.

His breath rasped out though his chest, “They are everywhere Thorin.”

My stomach clenched.

Menetos whispered into my ear as he brought me into a strong hug, “The Bloodhelm has sold out almost every dwarven warrior on the royal guard. We are standing on the edge of a precipice. They are waiting for the command for the final shove. ”

All I could manage out was a muttered curse, “Mahal...”

He released me and my peripherals took in all the armed guards surrounding us. Even the warriors who followed Norian could be Bloodhelm. Perhaps even Norian himself...

I turned to look back at Dwalin and Mayfi, who were both behind me. Mayfi couldn't possibly have turned. And certainly not Dwalin; loyal Dwalin.

Not possible.

I watched as Norian’s men tended to Menetos’s wounds and had him sit. His iron grip would not be removed from his huge axe no matter how much they prodded him to relax.

Menetos glanced at me with weary grey eyes.

Dwalin placed his hand on my shoulder. I couldn't help but wince at the touch after what Menetos had told me.

I turned, “Aye?”

The taller dwarf gestured his head towards Menetos, “Who’s he?” he rumbled.

Mayfi swung her hand to her hip, “Menetos. The guard King Thror calls his foremost and best, and trusts his life with.”

Her piercing gaze flicked to me, “And he just told the Prince that no one can be trusted.” she took a breath, “Am I right?”

I hated it, but I nodded.

Ever since I had been a dwarven lad, Menetos’s word had be nothing but truth. Our entire family trusted him, even to the point of death. He would not lie to us.

Dwalin cursed under his breath, but said no more.

I didn’t know quite what to do, so I just stood there, waiting for Menetos’s healers to step away from the trusted warrior.

My mind whirling, I began to think of all possible outcomes.

Then it dawned on me.

I pulled Dwalin and Mayfi aside and whispered, “The Elven King is due to arrive in a few hours.”

“Yes, we know!” Mayfi frowned, “Any more mind-boggling secrets you are willing to share?”

I gave her a look which seemed to make her shut up before elaborating, “The Bloodhelm are smart, they know he is coming.” I paused, “They are going to wait to kill us after the King leaves.”

“That would be logical.” Dwalin muttered, “Unfortunately.”

“To throw them off the scent.” I elaborated, “Make them think everything is alright, so there is no reason that the elves should intervene and ruin their taking over party.”

I took a breath and lowered my voice further, “I say we attack first.”

The two looked at me with contemplative expressions.

“How do we know if we are attacking friend or foe?” Dwalin asked.

“We’ll know as soon as the fight starts. Dwarves will take sides...if there are enough of us to have sides at all.” Mayfi bit her lip.

“We’ll have a brief moment of surprise.” I glanced around, “That is all. If none of us make it, the Elven King will know for sure that something is amiss when no sons of Erebor show.”

There was a pause. The crackling of torches and the low murmur of voices were all that could be heard.

“Speak to Menetos.” Mayfi fingered a braid behind her ear, “His aged wisdom may help.”

Accordingly, I pulled Menetos away and we spoke to him.

“I can tell you who you can trust.” was what he started with, “Dwalin, Mayfi, Norian, and all the dwarves that swore fealty to their King.” he leaned back against the wall and cradled his side, his grip still firm on the axe.

“That is all I can guarantee.” he finished.

I turned to Mayfi, “Tell Norian to summon all those who swore fealty to the King who are in Erebor.”

She walked away towards the Captain of the Guard.

Dwalin looked at me as we both leaned up against the wall, surrounded by guards and patrols roaming the grand halls, “How is Menetos so sure?”

I glanced at him, “I don’t know.”

“You have to be sure Thorin.” he said, blatantly using my name, “You’re waging your life on this. It’s not like climbing a tree and accidentally falling.”

“I know-”

“Then tell me how much you trust Menetos, because if any of those he mentioned turn against you-”

“My Grandfather trusts him with his life.” I interrupted, “I have to respect at least that.”

Dwalin only gave me a look of unsureness, “But you are not your grandfather.”

He said nothing more, leaving me with a pit in my stomach.

Mayfi returned with Norian, whose face had gone pale, “I’ve been informed of the situation... Unfortunately...oh how to say this...”

He scratched his beard, “The only ‘sworn’ are in Erebor’s jail.”

I frowned, “What for?”

Norian turned to me, “For...recently trying to kill you outside Erebor’s gates, my Prince.”

I grimaced, “So we can not even trust our own fealty sworn?”

“What are their names?” Menetos asked.

“Bregon and Orik sir.” Norian read off a parchment, “They swore fealty a moon ago-”

“They can be trusted I assure you, bring them up.” Menetos commanded.

Norian glanced at me asking for confirmation. I looked back at Dwalin and Mayfi.

“If either of those filthy mongrels dare set a hand on you, I’ll blow them to Mahal’s feet where he can stamp on them until they are but ash.” Dwalin grinned, hefting his axe.

Mayfi looked up at him, “And I’ll shoot their toes off on their way up.”

Feeling at least moderately safe, I turned to Norian, “Bring them.”

Two more allies would be better...if they turned out to be such.

Bregon was a stout, hardy dwarf with black hair and coal bead. Orik was older, sporting a greying red beard and short hair.

Both were forced to their knees in front of me, and they dared not raise their eyes to meet mine.

Dressed in tattered and bloodied warrior's garb, both looked miserable and winced whenever Norian would come close. I crossed my arms over my chest as I looked at them.

I had to stop myself from feeling angry. These two had abandoned their guard in order to issue an attack on Erebor; and they had sworn fealty no less! Something filled the pit in my stomach, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to call it.

Menetos came up to them, and I gave him a critical glance. He slammed the end of his large axe on the ground next to Bregon, which echoed through the chamber and caused both prisoners to flinch.

“Your Prince Thorin, in his good graces, has deemed you live.” his voice lowered to an uncharacteristic snarl, “Make good on it.”

He stepped away and motioned me towards them. Apparently I was to speak.

Sighing, I strode forward a step, feeling Dwalin move with me.

I looked down on them and asked the question that had been burning in my mind, “Why did you see fit to turn against your own kin, endanger Durin’s line, and engage in treason against the guard!” I had not meant to yell.

Orik tensed up, “Liege, we beg forgiveness-”

“Why?” I repeated, “Forgiveness is nothing until you show me why I should even consider it.”

Orik swallowed and staring at the ground said, “They were going to kill mine wife and son if I did not. I swear on Mahal’s breath.”

I took a deep breath and turned to Bregon, “And you?”

The dwarf shifted, “My betrothed was held up to the bow.” he gulped, “One can be forced to do unspeakable things...even to their own kin on the precept of saving another.”

“Is this how most of the Bloodhelm are recruited?” Norian stepped up.

“The ones who have family.” Bregon nodded, “Others are promised positions or much wealth.”

I glanced around at Menetos, Mayfi, Dwalin, and Norian, who all looked contemplative.

Dwalin placed a hand on my shoulder after a moment, “I’ve seen conviction before Thorin. These two do not lie.”

“I know.” I mumbled, having already made up my mind. If I had been given the choice of letting Frerin or Dis die, or join a rouge group, I would have gladly chosen the latter.

Mayfi glanced between them and me, “We don’t have much time to get to the Throne room-”

“They come with us.” I stated.

She smirked, “Six’s the company.”

I summoned Norian to get the two uncuffed and given weapons. They both insisted on apologizing profusely as his men did so.

Bregon was given a two-handed sword, and Orik received a double-bladed axe.

As not to arouse suspicion we commanded the guards in the room to follow, well knowing that some of them were Bloodhelm; if not all.

Consequently, our group of six stayed close together, never leaving a weapon sheathed. The cool steel of my weapon in my hand made me feel safer as Norian guided us towards the throne room.

The long halls were filled with guards, smoke, and a smell of stone. Green and gold walls guided our way, seeming familiar. However the way the light bounced off of them made them look fierce.

I kept my senses on alert, careful to watch the guards around me. Scenarios whirled through my head of all the threats behind every pillar. Our footsteps and the murmurings of guards were the only noises allowed.

I noticed as Bregon moved to my side- hardly a hair-breath away- his face stone as he marched next to me.

I examined him, then sensed he had something to say, “What is it?”

He stiffened then whispered, “Something has changed...Orik noticed it as well.”

I gave him a raised brow as Norian led us across a crossway that connected the forges to the mines, “What?”

He breathed in and out once, “I think the Head is here. Those last guards we passed...they were giving some sort of hand signal. Bloodhelm only give it when he is around.”

Of course. Who ever was in charge of trying to bring down the King would be here for the killing blow.

I took a breath, “Anything else?”

“I wish I could tell more my Prince.”

“Thank you.”

He retreated back towards the end of the line and I was left to my thoughts and Norian’s shoulder armor glinting in the torch light. We passed under an overhang and the air changed as the chamber narrowed.

This was the hall that lead to the King’s Throne room, and I began to steel myself for either harsh resistance, or nothing at all. It had been months since I had been in the throne room anyway. Going in always had awed me, no matter the circumstance.

The guards next to Norian fell behind him as the chamber narrowed still, and behind me everyone fell in. I became aware of the silence as all talking had dropped off.

Shifting a bit of my hair over my shoulders, I readjusted my grip on my weapon.

A creak interrupted the quiet.

I glanced up from where it had come from just in time to see two metal blades slicing down towards us.

“Ambush!” I heard Mayfi yell.

The guards before me pushed Norian forward, and the others behind shoved at the rest just before the metal sheets hit the stone.

I crouched and covered my ears as the resounding ring pierced them, bouncing up the marble walls and tall panels that enclosed me.

My heart pounded in my ears as I slowly stood, hefting my sword. There was no escape, metal and wall enclosed me in every direction. I heard muffled shouting and my breathing became harsher as I realised what had happened.

I had only one torch on the wall to show me light.

This trap had been here ever since Erebor had been built. I had heard of it in Grandfather’s studies. A fail-safe to keep enemies out of the Throne room in case it would ever be stormed. The metal panels were thick and sheathed with diamond; no one could get though unless one was a dragon.

I had one hour of good air.

Beginning to panic, I swallowed to keep it from rising up and searched the panels where it met the stone. Nothing.

“Hopeless you know.”

I turned quickly at the voice which came from behind me. A short dwarf stood in the center of the room, a chain dangling from a trap door from the ceiling. With a smirk behind his sparse beard, he tugged on it, and it was pulled up with clanks and rattles.

I lunged for it, but the dwarf smoothly drew a dagger and pressed the flat edge against my chest, “Ah.”

I took a step back, snarling a bit as I twirled my sword, “Do not back me into a corner.”

He laughed a bit, “Aren’t you going to ask why I’m here or who I am?”

I tilted my head upwards, “I won’t need to know that when you’re dead will I?”

“Prince Thorin.” he examined his dagger and then looked back at me with brown eyes, “You will not be the one leaving here.”

I didn’t move.

He chuckled as he moved towards me, “Ah, so young. What could you have done as a leader? How many years could you have served your kingdom?” he shook his head then glanced back at his dagger, “This is in mirrolack poison. I’ll try to make your death as painless as possible.”

I pointed my sword at him to make him keep his distance, “The Elven King is arriving soon, if I am not there, he will suspect something. My kin are all still alive and they will seek vengeance if you kill me.”

He snarled and suddenly attacked with twin daggers. I frantically blocked and spun away, raising my sword again as he advanced.

“What do you hope to accomplish with me dead?” I yelled as he swung, and I ducked behind my sword, then sliced at him.

He jumped, then landed further away, his breath heaving, “I’ve recently gotten a thirst for blood my dear Prince.”

He ran at me, and I could barely move before his boot hit my jaw, and I toppled over, my sword thrown from my hand. I quickly scrambled to my feet, but not fast enough.

He grabbed my neck and slammed me against a metal plate.

“Royal Blood for that matter.” he muttered into my ear.

I snarled and elbowed him in the ear. He jerked back. I whirled, glancing briefly up at the still open trap door and the guard looking down at the fight.

I spat on the ground and raised my fists as he made his way between me and my sword.

“Oh, I’m sorry, did you want that?” he mocked, pointing with his blade towards my weapon.

I waited.

It paid off as he ran at me, both daggers aimed at my neck. As I anticipated, he plunged them down at my stomach at the last moment, and I caught his wrists.

A shocked expression took his face before I forced him back, digging my fingers into his thumbs which made him drop the poisoned daggers. He struggled, but I had the upper hand as I forced him to back into a wall, which gave me time to scoop up my sword.

I held it up against his neck and he raised his hands, his chest heaving, “How-”

“I know a guard trained assassin when I see one.” was all my reply.

I knew because of Frerin, because of Mayfi, because of Dis. A thought flashed across my mind as to their safety.

I brushed it off, no time for that now.

Quickly turning, I grabbed his daggers and launched one at the visible chain mechanism the guard had used to lower the dwarf into the chamber. My aiming skills paid off as it hit the sensitive lever and the chain unraveled to come down.

I aimed the other dagger at the guard, who quickly scrambled out my line of vision. The chain hit the ground and I turned to the assassin.

He had another dagger in his hand, which I quickly kicked, and sent it spinning over the stone.

He let out a defeated sigh.

“Surrender.” I asked.

“I have no choice my Prince.” he muttered, “Every dagger I have will be anticipated.”

“And how many do you have?” I took a deep breath to calm my pounding heart.

“Many.” he sat down and rubbed his beard, “Bloodhelm equipped me well.”

I nodded, “I’ll remember that. Stay down.”

Grabbing the chain and careful to keep my weapon ready, I climbed up into the trap door.

“Don’t think it will be easy after this!” he yelled up after me, “Bloodhelm has a special lust for royals and their blood!”

The trap area was clear; the guard had left. I pulled the lever back, which made it retract the chain, and waited until it was clear so that I could slip his second dagger into the slot so he would not die.

Then I walked away towards a ladder that lead up, keeping my pace quick.

I hoped none of the company had as much trouble.


Thanks for reading!
Hope you guys all have a wonderful weekend! -Saphira :D


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