By Sharcu Isengard
Stripped to his undergarments and stretched out against a vertical post, a former soldier shivers in the cold cellar. A large man drops through a trapdoor at the first sound from his prisoner. Hanging a slate on a rusty nail, Sharcu Isengard turns to face the former soldier. Gazing at the hideous jagged scar running across Sharcus face and at the ruined mouth of his captor, the prisoner shivers again.
Gesturing at the slate, Sharcu gazes coldly at the humiliated soldier. On the slate three words are written in large sharp letters, WHO WAS THERE. As he strides slowly around his bound prisoner, Sharcus breath rasps quietly as some ragged scrap of flesh flaps limply in his mouth.
With short, rapid gasps of breath, the former soldier follows Sharcu with his eyes, and then starts to struggle violently against his bonds. Pulling himself up into a ball, he puts his full weight on the rope around his wrists. Twisting and writhing, lashing out with his feet, the prisoner fails to break free.
Sharcu continues his slow walk around the prisoner, and gestures to the slate a second time. Turning to face the his captive, he pulls a bronze knife from a sheath hidden beneath his sagum. Wielding the knife, Sharcu gazes with contempt at the ragged man. With a quick upward stroke the razor sharp knife slices the gag in two.
A thin line of blood wells up on the former soldiers cheek where the knife scratched him. Suppressing a shudder, he starts to cry out, but is stopped as Sharcu grabs his jaw with one hand. His head is turned, forced to face the slate, and shoved roughly back against the beam.
Releasing his prisoners head, Sharcu wipes his knife clean and sheaths it. Turning over the slate, he reveals four words written on the opposite side, You will die soon. With a glance as hard as retalq, he gives his captive a new measure of fear.
The battered captive groans, When I arrived at your fathers dwelling, we were already cloaked. I do not know who else was there.
Sharcu pulls another slate from beneath his sagum, and hangs it on the nail. It says Who commanded you?
Hoarsely the former soldier says, I was in debt to the moneylender, he told me who to meet, and where, to make some quick money if I wouldnt ask questions.
Sharcu scratches through the last two words on the second slate, and slowly taps the remaining word with a scrap of chalk. Sharcus severe face shows a lack of any human emotion as the tapping beats though the small room.
With a slight gasp, the bound man utters a name, as his head drops with exhaustion.
Sharcu lifts his captives head, and sees defeat in his eyes. Quickly he slits the former soldiers throat, and cuts the ropes binding the body. Uncovering a deep hole dug in the dirt floor of the cellar, Sharcu drops the corpse into it. After filling the hole, and replacing the plank flooring, he climbs upwards into an abandoned shack.
The Honor of the Twenty-Four will be avenged.