Help, Hide or Kill

heart

Coriander: Barbarian Kiss 6

Coriander knew should run. Isn’t that what you did after an enemy, who tried to kill you, fell? Or passed out? Or fainted? You ran. Or killed him. Could Coriander kill him? He would never do it with magick[1] but there are plenty of ways to kill a human, even a huge human, without tainting the Goddess’s blessing. He knew many methods. Coriander suddenly felt ill with the all the ways to destroy life at his grasp. In fact, the number of options surprised him. Soon, as he started to consider how many actual options he had, he no longer felt ill. His mind, separated from the gory truth, became very clinical and removed. He simply organized the ways to kill into categories of lesser to greater effort. Efficient killing. He looked down at the fallen man and felt power. Not Power, mind you, a weirder more perverse kind. Life and death. Luckily, very luckily, Coriander’s next thought was shame.

The clinical do’s of coup de grâce, which it may/may not have been but it seems a nicer word, left Coriander sick again. No. He would not take a life because he could. Yes this man had possibly tried to kill him, but now Coriander was free to run. He hadn’t been hunting Coriander specifically. He wouldn’t, most likely, come and find him should he ever heal. No. If he killed him it would not be self-preservation, it would be murder. Coriander had met murderers he would not be that this easily.

So run. Running was easy. Even without the help of Magick Coriander was a good runner. He ran all the time through the fields and woods by his home. He ran daily while training ay Magoge. He also ran the halls mostly to miss the glares from First Teacher and Teacher Onion[2]. He could easily get to safety. He could probably even get to the rocky terrain, explore it and get back to safety again. He could probably stay there and make sure the huge man was all right and then get to safety.

Should he make sure the man was all right? Is that what a hero would do? Coriander laughed aloud. He didn’t want to be a hero. He wanted peace. A tranquil life. Farming like his Father. He had met may heroes and many more wanna-be heroes at Magoge. They were very full of themselves. Coriander did not like them or their energy[3]. If Coriander was ever to be a hero he would do it like the everyday soldiers he had met. They were kind men and women doing a job incredibly well. They didn’t have medals, they didn’t need them. They also didn’t like to be singled-out the way “heroes” did. A real soldier knew he was part of a team. A unit. Saying a soldier stood out was an insult. Dedicated to dedication of the mission! What then should he do?

If this man was looking for witches would he be headed to Krokos? Must he, as a soldier, defend his unit? His tribe? His fellow Magi? Coriander had now circled three times back to killing the injured man. His head hurt from all the leaping what-if’s in his mind. Coriander decided if he was a soldier, he needed more information to react properly to the situation at hand. Yes the man had a knife to his throat, but had he wanted to, Coriander was positive, the man could have killed the boy easily. The huge man wanted information too. Perhaps they could share information and then Coriander could decide his next course of action. Coriander just hoped the information wouldn’t lead to this almost-giant following him to Magoge and killing everything in sight. Also, the man had asked Coriander for help. Coriander hoped he was the kind of human that helped someone in need. He looked at the man again…..

Coriander decided to tie up the man’s legs. It seemed fair.

Coriander knelt down to his mouth and listened. His breath was weak. Coriander shook him gently and asked, “who are you? What do you need? Are you here to hurt witches?”

Coriander disliked saying the word. It didn’t mean what he meant it to mean. And he had no idea what this man meant by the word, It could mean enemy. It could mean savior. Coriander said louder, “why do you need one blessed by She?”

The huge man shook. As if every fiber of his being was needed to say the single word he spoke, “…love.”

Well if that didn’t turn Coriander from enemy to savior nothing would! Love was at stake. Someone he loved needed a witch, or Mage[4]. Love hung in the balance! Coriander knew it, just knew, he had stumbled upon a quest! A mission only he could take care of! Perhaps She, Herself, had made Coriander look to that rocky terrain and gave him the idea to walk towards it! He was Blessed after all! This was some sacred task by the Goddess!

Or perhaps the huge man’s idea of love was the slaughter of innocent blood? How could Coriander really know? He tied up the man’s ankles and knees. He would help this quest of love but he wouldn’t be an idiot about it!

After the man was bound, and not too gently, Coriander looked to the man’s wounds. He felt a pang of guilt. Every basic healing class had said to stop bleeding first. Coriander had gone straight to rope. He let the idea go. It wouldn’t help him now. What was done was done. He couldn’t help the man if he stopped to untie him or regretted it.

He took his water and poured it over the still bleeding would on the man’s ribs. He uttered sacred words and the wound closed. Coriander touched the ribs, none felt broken but the man did wince. His head was covered black and blues. His eye swollen shut. One arm, the one that hadn’t carried the knife was oddly bent, perhaps pulled from the socket. On and on Coriander could see tons of wounds he had no skill at healing. He also knew, there would be other wounds he did not possess the ability to perceive.

Coriander decided to look at the man magickally. He knew how to see auras and Power surging through anything. It was an easy spell but usually frowned upon. It was intrusive and rude. Coriander scoffed propriety and did what he could to save a life. He looked at the man in the magickal spectrum. The man was hurt, obviously…he was tainted by bane!

Not so much evil, as if the man had performed magick, but enough for Coriander to know some evil something or other had hurt this man, or tried to. He couldn’t see any permanent Magickal damage. And then Coriander looked magickally at the man’s heart. It was missing. Something, something horrible, had removed this man heart chakra. The love this man needed wasn’t some amazing quest, it was the literal kind: My heart is gone.

Coriander knew he couldn’t heal this man on his own. He wondered if he could make it back to Magoge? He wondered if they would even help this stranger. They’d probably take one look at this threatening looking man, see the bane taint to his soul and kill him. Magoge didn’t pride itself on teaching compassion.

He needed a healer and fast.

Coriander got an idea. A terrible idea. The worst idea.

He found a few large sticks on the ground and made a litter. He would actually use Magick to transport the man, no way could he drag him, but the litter would help keep the man steady and make it easier for Coriander’s spell focus. Coriander sighed, “this is the stupidest thing you’ve done in a while Coriander.” Which, he realized, for Coriander, that was saying something.

He headed back to find the sprite.

 

 

[1] Killing with magick is against the law. A big no-no and yet it seems to happen all the time.

[2] Teacher Onion, named we think for his large pasty appearance, is one adult who thinks poorly of Coriander and, in turn or because of which, Coriander is not too fond of either. Ok, they hate each other.

[3] The Scrolls use the word souls.

[4] We aren’t capitalizing the word witch from any prejudice. Mage is like a title in the Scrolls. When ever the word is written it is emphasized in some way, sometimes underlining, other times circled or other ways of denoting its importance. Witch seems to be a position or job, like healer or soldier. No offense meant to modern Witches or practitioners of the Craft.

A Game of Rhymes

Coriander: Barbarian Kiss 5

Coriander shuddered. Kisses three was one of those twisted nursery rhymes children sing as they skip and years later realize they had been playing to a warning[1]. He had thought adults were just weird or had terrible senses of humor. He now realized on some primal level that those silly/wicked songs had firmly embedded fear and wisdom with their playful tunes. The very mention of kisses three had filled him with more dread than a magickally appearing pool with its own rhyming sprite. Coriander remembered the song easily: Continue reading

Sprite Ain’t Right

spriteCoriander: Barbarian Kiss 4

Coriander jumped back. Or rather, tried to, but the hand, although small, held firmly like a vise. Coriander threw his body back against the rocky edge of the pool. He ignored the piercing razor sharp stones behind him. He was too afraid of what was in front of him. He held out his hands and mumbled a spell of two ready to protect or destroy. ‘Stupid, stupid, stupid,’ he thought. He did know better. He hadn’t even stopped to look for magickal traps or beings, but then again he wondered if perhaps that’s what the magick did. A spell to make the wanderer not worry about spells…. Coriander mentally scolded himself for letting his mind wonder when danger was near. The hand clasped tighter on his ankle. The water bubbled. The creature emerged. And he was darling. Continue reading

Woods would….

magicwoodsCoriander: Barbarian Kiss 3

Coriander slithered out from under the huge warrior. He could have used Air magick, but, as Vushi always taught, thought best to save his magickal energies when a little physical exertion was he needed. On all fours took a long breath. In an odd realization Coriander realized he had been more afraid of the knife than his brain had registered. No out of imminent danger he felt the tension in his shoulders and neck. He had been afraid. ‘Huh?’ he thought.

Continue reading

Need Witch

barbpurpCoriander: Barbarian Kiss 2

Coriander gulped and tried to lean his neck back a bit without looking like he was flinching from the knife. He was in fact flinching from the knife but he didn’t want to anger to man wielding it. He had called Coriander witch. How did he know? Was he too a Mage? Or witch? Coriander silently cursed himself for showing off.

He had been walking from the pool, and sweet possibly wicked little sprite, with confidence. He was happy having survived. Which is the only good outcome form sprites and faeries. Survival. One never wins with them. After having put enough distance behind him Coriander started signing. A silly song too dirty for Magoge but probably not as offensive as he thought it was. Perhaps he had magick still coursing through him. Perhaps he was not paying attention. Perhaps he just felt like it. But for what ever reason, he started throwing rocks around. Not physically, mentally. Sort of like playing rock n shield with Vushi, except this time he simply set rocks sailing over trees and into boulders with his mind. It was probably an odd sight: A boy skipping through an over grown forest, singing filthy lyrics about fat bottomed girl[1] loudly, with smallish rocks swirling all around him and crashing down to the beat. He was a one-man band. And it was completely stupid. Had Vushi been there she would have killed him! One did not display and ‘play’ with magick! It was sacred and serious! Continue reading

Knife to Throat

knifeBarbarian Kiss Chapter 1

Of course,’ Coriander’s first thought was ‘of course there’s a knife at my throat.’ His second thought was wondering why his first thought hadn’t been ‘OH MY GODDESS THERE’S A KNIFE AT MY THROAT!!!!!’ Coriander almost rolled his eyes. Luckily a part of him trained in battle knew rolling his eyes might anger or insult the huge man with the knife. Whether or not you are unimpressed, annoyed, bothered, cynical, or even terrified it is typically best to not piss off a warrior with a knife at your jugular. Coriander wondered if training had actually taught him that or had he picked up that useful bit of knowledge in the many times he seemed to get outclassed in a fight.

Coriander was in fact afraid but fear no longer led him. Coriander was a warrior now and he wouldn’t be top of his herd at Magoge[1] if he paused or tensed up at life threatening situations. And yet he was also a dreamer. His dark eyes searched the world for secrets and imaginings. He loved to wonder at the world and in such he knew the word wondered back. Frequently, well more recently, wondering won out over fear. Continue reading