A new section of the story is ready to be read and voted on! You can find it below the break or, if you want to read the story in its current entirety, you can go HERE.
One Year Later…
Roseline Devereaux knelt before the massive alter to Pourrait and Pucella, the dual gods of Capatia. Beside her knelt Clotilde Pierrat, the shamed priestess that had been her constant companion since the Garin incident. The two priestesses were in intense prayer and had been for many hours. It had been a year since the incident and they were none closer to locating the two responsible.
They’d led other priestesses and paladins in what had felt like a never-ending search to locate the two accursed defilers to every corner of Capatia. They had yet to find even a single word of their location.
Many thought the wizard Garin Chevalier had teleported himself far past their empire’s borders. They said that Garin’s reputation as a bumbling oaf must have long been a false front, that in truth the youth must have been a highly skilled wizard as well as some fiend given over to dark and perverse teachings. She, however, still doubted these assumptions. The priestess had long been associated with the Chevalier family and couldn’t believe it.
None of that really mattered. What was important is that they’d failed to find either of them. As long as both of them evaded the justice of the gods their search would never end. So now they prayed to their gods for the power to finally find them both and bring them to the justice their high crimes against Capatian society required.
What choice did they have? The Garin incident hadn’t just revealed the Low Capatian woman, Emilee Notleigh, as an abomination that had defiled a priestess of the faith. No, the incident had been far more than that. The incident, and the way the magic of the vile game they had played had tainted all present and caused the men to do such unthinkable things to the women there and had then caused a massive house war that had not only lasted far longer than anyone would have thought but been far bloodier as well. The noble houses whose members had been shamed by the incident still cried out for vengeance and if the two priestesses couldn’t deliver soon some of that bloody-mindedness might be pointed at them.
Both priestesses felt the moment their prayers were answered and all thoughts running through Roseline’s head ceased.
They silenced their muttered prayers and looked up at the altar they knelt before. As they looked up they saw a metal icon of their gods atop it the altar. The sign of Pourrait, god of power and vigor, was a half circle with a pillar in its middle. It supported the sign of Pucella, goddess of dignity and influence, whose symbol was the top half of the circle filled with a sun and moon. The metal icon glowed as they looked up at it and they felt the power of both the gods flowing into the temple.
A moment later there was a blinding light. They averted their eyes, blinking as their slight slowly returned to them. When they looked back up the icon and the altar was gone. Instead, a glowing portal was open before them, strange bright light and divine energy flowing from it. A perfectly carved marble stair ascended up before them into the light, an armored figure slowly ascending towards them.
Step by step the imposing figure drew nearer. It was a woman, tall and strong and more beautiful than either had ever seen. She wore gleaming full plate mail and in one hand held a large, elegant blade that burned with golden fire, while in her other hand she held a long spear, a banner with the symbols of the duel gods fluttering from just below its deadly tip.
The armor and weapons radiated magical power, but that was paled in comparison to the woman who held them. Her face was inhumanly beautiful, her features like that of all High Capatians only divinely perfected. Her long red hair blew in the same strange breeze that made her banner flutter. Yet her face was nothing compared to the glowing yellow halo that surrounded her head which was but a shadow of glory when compared to the two massive white feathered wings the sprouted from her back.
Both priestesses bowed their heads reverentially, averting their eyes as the angelic Avatar of the dual gods neared. Their prayers had been answered in a manner far more spectacular than they had ever hoped for.
“Rise,” the Avatar said, her voice full of beauty and power.
As the two priestesses looked up and rose to their feet they saw that the portal was gone. The Avatar stood before them, still terrifyingly beautiful and powerful yet more… real. A moment ago she had been a thing of the heavens, of pure divine power. The power still resided in her but she seemed to be as flesh and blood as they were.
“I am Ophiel, Avatar of the Dual Gods. They have heard your prayers and sent me to help you bring the two blasphemers to justice.” As she spoke the flames on her sword died but both priestesses could feel the holy fire could easily be summoned again. “You shall prepare for our quest at once. We need supplies and transportation, for our journey shall be long and I sense strange powers at play in Capatia. I foretell that we will face many threats before we find those we seek, but I promise you Garin Chevalier and Emilee Notleigh will meet the justice of Capatian society and that of the dual gods!”
* * *
The two cloaked figures watched as the caravan pulled away from the crossroads. They stood in silence, one of the figure’s arms wrapped protectively around the other’s waist, till the carts and riders had disappeared out of sight down the road leading into the dense forest.
“It’s done,” the figure holding the other said. His voice was firm and sad and he pulled his partner in closer as he said the words. “It was the only choice we had. The child will be… safe. No one will know it’s ours. It will grow up not having to fear the way we have this last year, far away from Capatia and those that hunt us.”
The woman he held pulled away and turned without speaking and began to walk away from the crossroads in the opposite direction the caravan had gone. The man stood for a few more moments, staring out at the now empty road then turned to follow the woman.
As Garin began walking after Emilee he reached up to adjust his hat, his hand groping at empty air. A year later and he still wasn’t used to the item’s absence. He still had it, hidden in a chest in the small cabin the two lived together in. But he knew, even here in the great forest just beyond the borders of Capatia, it was not safe to wear where others could see. They were hunted and had been lucky to remain hidden for this long.
Neither of them spoke during the long walk to their secluded cabin on the other side of the small village near the crossroads. Emilee didn’t even look at him during the journey. He gave her the space he knew she needed until they were safely in their home.
Once inside the privacy of their small home he grabbed her shoulders and gently turned her so that she had to look him in the eyes. “I know how hard this was for you,” he told her. “It was hard for me too. But we agreed long ago this was what had to be done. The child will be safe. Even if we are found we will not know where they are or even what name they go by. They are safe,” he repeated again.
Emilee looked away for a moment then looked back at the man she’d grown so close to over the last year. “I know. I know what we did was the best thing. For them, for us. But… I miss them and it pains me knowing I’ll never see what kind of person they grow into. I just… I need some time to be alone.” She leaned in and kissed him gently on the cheek then pulled away. “Why not work on that book of yours? You’ve been so attentive to my needs above all else for so long that you’ve never been able to properly begin it. I just… need to lie down, to think and really accept what we’ve done for our child. You sit. You write.”
He watched her leave the small room that served as their living room, dining room, and study, closing the door to the even smaller bedroom behind her. She needs time, he thought. After a year of hiding together, of caring for her and spending nearly every moment of his life with her Garin felt he knew Emilee better than anyone he’d ever known. And he loved her more dearly than he thought he’d ever love a woman. And she loved him.
But gods what a strange journey we took to reach this point, he thought.
Soon he was sitting at the simple wooden table that served as his study he grabbed the book he’d thought so much about filling. It had a lock on it that prevented anyone other than him from opening it, but the lock had no keyhole. It was magic that opened it.
Once open he dipped a quill in his inkwell and prepared to continue filling the pages past the short description of the game they knew was being referred to as “The Garin Incident” back in Capatia. He was still unsure what the book really was. A journal? A testament to what had really happened meant to tell their side of their tale should those pursuing them ever find them? Maybe. Or maybe it was simply a reason for him to remember the things that had happened that had connected him and Emilee so closely. Memories flooded through his mind and he started to write them down, thinking mainly on those first moments they shared together after escaping…
We are going to see a flashback to right after Garin and Emilee teleported away. What do we see? (Choose up to 5 options from this poll)
What happens when we next see the two priestesses and their Avatar? (Choose up to 3 options from this poll)
The noblewoman Emilee fucked and her husband are going to be important to the story. How are we re-introduced to them? (Choose up to 5 options from this poll)