Chapter Ninety-One

March 29, 2013


23rd of Woodmonth


Over the next seven months, Boian and I work to build the homestead on his land, and Briggette and Ulric enjoy one another as they make ready for their second child, due two months from now.  We await word from Boian’s order as to whether they grant permission for him to marry me or not.

Nicodemus comes to visit and consults with Ulric about adding new walls to the castle.  He also tells Briggette that he will be ready to call in his favor once her little “predicament” is complete, indicating her pregnant belly as he speaks.  After a few weeks, another tower is there in the courtyard.

Seven months later to the day, Boian approaches me and says, “Mistress of Secrets, Gizli Biraz, I would like to formally ask for your hand in marriage.”

I smile and look up at him.  I playfully reply, “Well, in that case, I formally accept.”  He tells me that he plans to make an announcement at dinner that evening, and goes off to speak with Briggette.

That evening, I wear my magical dress with the green side out.  I have one of the serving women do something nice with my hair and make-up.  I go down to dinner and am seated at the table with our main group of friends.  After the first course, Boian asks me to come up, and helps me up onto a stool.  “My friends,” he looks around, “and everyone else, I am here to announce the betrothal of myself, Boain, to Gizli Biraz, Mistress of Secrets.”  Everyone lets out an uproarious cheer.

Just at that moment, one of the stewards approaches Ulric and says, “Sir, there’s something of a disturbance in the courtyard.”  On the last word, a sword pierces his skull, and both Boian and Johannes’ arms light up.  The two of them appear to see something in the room, but none of the rest of us do.

Johannes unceremoniously reaches back and throws Stefan to the ground, yelling “protect the boy!”  Gustav throws himself down on top of the child.

Boian looks at me and says, “Get Briggette out of here, NOW!”  I begin to try to drag her from the room, but true to form, she resists.  “Think of the child inside of you and get upstairs now!” Boian screams at her.

“Not without Stefan!”  Her reply is filled with rage.  I remind her that she is neither armed nor armored, but still she fights.  Korvinean fires in the direction the servants of cuoatl are looking, but doesn’t appear to hit anything.  Boian deftly moves across the room and begins to fight something that isn’t there.  I throw a dagger in that direction, but I don’t appear to do any damage.  Tarin rips Stefan from Gustav’s hand and carries him to the staircase and up toward safety.  Briggette follows.

Ulric goes to join the fray.  A man appears in front of him in full plate mail which carries no livery or markings, but is a flat grey.  “Come Heltragen, meet your death!” he says.

Another man in grey armor appears before Boian, hitting him hard in three hits.  Shortly thereafter, a woman appears behind him and slices at him with her sword.  I shadow jump behind her and stab her in the back, wounding her before she disappears again.  Boian turns to me, “Thank you, Gizli.”  Just as the words leave his lips, I see the point of her sword come out through the front of Boian’s chest, and I notice that the blood seems to soak into the blade of her sword.  I stab her twice, but she seems to ignore the damage I do.  She raises her arms and brings her blade down to sever Boian’s head, which goes bouncing across the floor, again with no blood that is not absorbed into the blade.

I am in a state of shock.  I collapse next to his body and pull him onto my lap.  I cry out for St. Cuthbert, but my cries are met with stony silence.  The battle rages on around me, but I am oblivious to its sounds.  I simply sit, holding onto what I can of him, too destroyed to even shed a tear.

“Gizli!  A little help!”  I hear Finn yelling, his panicked voice slicing through my inaction.  Without thinking, I grab Boian’s rapier, and I kip up, stand and turn to stab at her.  Just as I get behind her, I see her make the same series of attacks on Finn, and his head, too, goes bouncing across the floor.  I slice and stab into her, and she drops.  I pick up Finn’s gruisarme and proceed to chop at her head to ensure it comes off completely.  There is one fighter remaining, and I promptly move up behind him and stab him in the back.  Once all of these enemies are dead, I retrieve Boian’s head and bring it back next to his body.  I once again pull his torso up onto my lap and resume simply sitting there.

After some time, Heinrich comes to me and says, “Gizli, we have to move him.”

“No.  Find someone who can fix him.  I’ll wait here.”

“No, Gizli.  He needs to be moved to somewhere more appropriate than the floor of the banquet hall.  He deserves better than that.”  I realize that he is right.  I say nothing, but stand and take Boian’s head into my arms.  I follow Heinrich to the room where Brannick’s body waits for us to find his soul.  Once there, Heinrich lines up their bodies carefully and respectfully.  I take a position on the floor next to Boian’s remains, waiting for the clerics to arrive.

That evening, Briggette tells me to sleep in Stefan’s nursery.  I refuse, and the argument escalates until she decides she must try to knock me out.  She and Brianna argue over how to proceed.  Briggette is worried that my family will come to tempt me in my time of weakness.  I do not care what may come.  Instead, I choose to remain solidly planted on the floor, insomuch as I am able.  I know that if push comes to shove, they will simply pick me up and move me, but I will not go willingly.  I tell Briggette, “You know that if this were Ulric, Cuthbert himself could not move you.  I don’t have your size, but I will not go willingly.”  With that, the tears finally begin to fall.

Downstairs, Nicodemus appears with a staff that holds a glowing blue light.  He tells us that these people are from the Grey Order, and that they do occasionally hire out as mercenaries.  He agrees to transport Briggette and the bodies to somewhere with a powerful cleric.  He comes to me and begins to read something, then places a hand on my shoulder.  I am suddenly filled with a sense of calm collectedness.  “Gizli, would you like to go with us to the Capital where we are going to take Boian’s and Finn’s bodies?” Nicodemus asks me.  I agree, noting that I need to pay for the service.

We join hands in a circle and place a foot on Boian and Finn, and suddenly we are in the secure room in the capital.  We are taken to the high priest and discuss the preparations to be made to their bodies.  Their heads must be sewn back on, and their wounds must be closed and properly packed.  They begin a long ritual which ends with the priest hammering his fist into Boian’s chest and Boian waking up quite confused.  We explain what happened, and I sit with him through the night.  He doesn’t want to believe me, but after some time, he finally understands the timeline.