Part 69

A Chance to Kill 


Alleia slipped out the bed and wrapped a sheet around her slender figure, it was mid-afternoon and the sun pooled through the locked windows. She stood watching the people mull around in the courtyard beyond, once more feeling a captive in her former home. Her thoughts a jumbled web of confusion, she regretted leaving Hera with Kol, yet she had been so keen to be reunited with her Son’s Father, she had failed to consider any danger. This last twist in events caused her to fear who she could trust. Fendor had betrayed her Father with the aid of Grave, then Fendor had turned against Grave once his usefulness had come to an end. Alleia wondered how deep Fendor’s plans were set, how many layers there were to his betrayal and what his end goal ultimately was…

Everything was overwhelming, even Kane appeared to know more than he would say and her delight to be with him was overshadowed with doubt. She could no longer trust him, trust anyone…

Kane was actually sound asleep, sprawled in the sun, his breathing heavy and rhythmic. Their son,  Seizon-sha, laid upon his chest, the babe had fallen to sleep first. Tears stung her eyes, was it not for her troubled thoughts, this scene would be idyllic.

A notion to escape came into mind, to flee with her son to Hera and get aid. Glancing around Alleia noticed Kane’s discarded clothes, scattered across the floor with her own. Among the garments a blade, a knife she had seen him with before… She softly padded over the floorboards and gathered up the weapon, it felt heavy in her hand, so clumsy, she wasn’t used to being armed. It slid free easier than she anticipated, wicked and sharp.

Returning to the bed she held the edge of the blade against Kane’s throat, he didn’t move, his breathing never changed, still heavily slumbering. Alleia could quite simply cut his throat as he slept, gather her babe and run. Her eyes glanced over to her beloved Seizon-sha, could she really murder his father as they slept together. The scars which still healed were evidence of what Kane had been through himself, had he been part of this deeper conspiracy, would he have really suffered so, just to have killed Davenport, kill Pepe. Was this all part of Fendor’s plan? Was Kane so loyal to his General that he withstood torture?

Her head swan with all these questions, tears fell freely down her cheeks, frustrated, confused. The knife trembled in her inexperienced grip, nerves stole her courage.

“I wouldn’t blame you if you did.” Kane opened his eyes.

Alleia shrieked…



Anne Harrison 12.04.17

Part 66



“You are brooding.” Fendor ceased his relentless scheming when he realised his companion was not listening, just starring absently out the window, silently regarding the bloodstains that remained on the sandy arena floor.

“I’m just tired.” Kane replied, lifting his glass to his lips yet again without taking a drink.

“Don’t tell me you’ve actually falling for her, you know she will have to die.”

“Then why shouldn’t I be able to enjoy her?” He pushed the glass away. “At least until I have to kill her.”

Fendor laughed then… “And they say I’m cold hearted!”


“Fine, go, enjoy the woman!” Fendor chuckled, claiming the discarded drink.

“I’m taking the baby with me.” Kane stood, regarding the crib set up in the room. The babe was sound asleep after a wet nurse had settled him down following a feed.

“No. He stays where he is… Don’t!”

Yet Kane had already scooped his child up carefully, awkwardly, his inexperience evident. Completely ignoring Fendor.

“Why? Kane are you fucking stupid…”

“This way she will trust me.” He replied, “and she will continue to trust me until I crush her throat.” His coldness stopped Fendor short, instead he stepped aside, allowing Kane to take his son to Alleia…




Alleia was asleep, curled tightly in the far corner of the room. Her hair had stuck to her face where tears had dried upon her cheeks. Kane knelt by her side and softly brushed her hair free, he considered killing her at that moment while she slept, regarding the size of his hand and how delicate she appeared, so slender and petite. Hardly any strength would be required to snap her neck.

The baby gurgled, causing her to stir… “Kane?” She blinked… “How did you find him? Find me? What are you doing here?” She sat up reaching out for her son.

“Don’t ask me anything.”

“Why Kane?”

“Because I don’t want to lie to you.” He gathered her in his arms and simply kissed her so softly…

“You’re frightening me.” Alleia leaned into his embrace.

“You should be frightened of me.”

“And that only makes me want you more.” She whispered…



Anne Harrison 07.04.17


Part 64

When Nothing Would Ever be the Same Again… 


The timing had to be perfect… Had to be exact…

Pepe was dead, but he had outlived his usefulness. Within the arena Kane embraced his family with relief. Grave had retrieved his sword, Kaxa approached her lover. Novana watched with Indigo off to the side and Kol arrived following Alleia into the arena smiling. These were significant players in an intense game of warfare that lingered over the realm.

Closer… Kol stepped towards his sister… Patience… They all needed to be in range…

Indigo spiked first, her witch-like instincts alert and cautious… Too late…


A heavy barrage of arrows fell into the arena, their target was Grave, the huge man had three bolts buried deep in his back before he realised they were under attack. Kaxa screamed and ran towards him, getting caught in the crossfire herself. Four more arrows hit the giant before he fell. Kaxa was already dead.

Novana screamed and dashed forwards yet Indigo pulled her away quickly before she endangered herself and her unborn. Kol had his legs taken out from under him, skilled marksmen targeted his legs alone, bringing him down heavily into the sand.

Kane covered Alleia and the babe, arrows loosened over their heads, the baby wailing in sudden distress from the screaming and chaos…

In a matter of moments, Grave and Kaxa laid dead near Pepe’s body. Kol thrashed wildly in agony and everyone else was instantly surrounded by guards. Loyal guards in Royal uniform.

General Fendor stepped out of the shadows and approached the carnage, straightening his own uniform and slicking his hair back casually.

“Well then… This changes everything now, doesn’t it?” He smirked.


Anne Harrison 06.04.17


Part 62

Conflict of Interests


“Are you quite sure you are fit enough for this?” Indigo watched the hands of the clock inch closer to midday, before turning to regard the injuries which still healed slowly with concern. He sat with his head in his hands, he did not look up and did not reply. Indigo sighed, so tempted to provide magical strength, but could not. An instant disqualification would mean his execution.

Grave approached, narrowed his eyes with a stern jaw, he scrutinized the lash marks on Kane’s back, still angry, still sore. The barbarian thrust his own sword into the sand by Kane’s feet. “It’s heavy, but it will serve you well.” He said, slapping Kane on the shoulder as though there were no wounds. Kane did not flinch, but he looked up then and took the hilt in both bands.

“Thank you, I don’t know what happened to my sword.” He spoke rather quietly, calmly and reserved.

Across the arena from him, Pepe paced in chain-mail, swinging a well balanced looking sword with rough chops through the air. He kept licking his top lip nervously, sweat causing his face to glisten.

At that point the clock struck twelve…


“I don’t want to watch them fight.” Alleia said softly to Kol. They both stood outside the arena, both painfully aware at what was at risk by this duel, far more than a love lost and broken marriage, the whole of The Northern Clan Territories and a significant force in any forthcoming conflict was being decided between two opponents.

“They do not know you are here.” Kol replied, having collected The Princess from Hera’s sanctuary on his sister’s request. His words were little comfort as she paced nervously in the sand, her son sound asleep in her arms.

“I only care for one.” She replied, clutching the old uniform jacket tighter around her bare shoulders, despite the heat of the noon day sun Alleia trembled with nerves.

Within the arena the tall clock tower struck twelve, indicating the start of the duel… Alleia flinched with each strike of the bell, squeezing her eyes shut, praying to her Gods for success…



Anne Harrison 05.04.17


Part 61

The Calm Before the Storm


Six people gathered around the table, before them coffee was brought and served. Only Pepe refused a hot drink, demanding alcohol, even though it was just past dawn. His demand was refused, so he rejected refreshments.

Circumstances were tense before Indigo arrived with Kane, now a heavy silence fell across the table as their lands stood on the pinnacle of conflict and this gathering might prove to be the trigger point or resolution.

“You realise my Father can not accept your claim to his throne.” Indigo broke the silence, her words were not unexpected. Jago had every right to inherit the crown from his Grandfather and the lands it governed.

“I see he didn’t have the balls to attend himself and sent a little girl instead.” Pepe sneered. His bitter words caused stunned expressions across the table, Pepe was supposed to be a Royalist, a devout loyal subject to King and Country.

“You knew of Fendor’s plan? To assassinate my Great-Grandfather?” Indigo narrowed her eyes. Her words were actually speculation, her family still unsure of the traitor, yet her investigation had lead her to this conclusion and the fact that Fendor had support within the court.

Pepe just smirked.

“Fendor approached us seeking allies.” Grave spoke up, spilling the truth. “We saw countless refugees make the difficult journey through the wastelands, neglecting the Capital City and heading South seeking sanctuary. The corruption within the Royal household near destroyed the people and the land. Fendor was a revolutionary, initially, he saw how great the North could be once more, but this he could not do alone.”

“Where is Fendor? Why does he not speak for himself and defend his traitorous actions?” Indigo enquired.

“He fell victim to the bottle, guilt and stress plagued his mind. His only escape was drink. He’s currently under guard while he sobers up.”

“This is ridiculous!” Pepe fumed interrupting the exchange. “Lets keep things simple shall we? The King was a corrupt bastard who had prolonged his life and his reign through magical properties. Fendor sought an end to his destruction and his life. Fendor should be ruler, not this brute! The barbarians were just brought in as muscle, not to take over!” He huffed… “I want my land back, I want my wife and the babe and I want Fendor to assume command.”

Kane tensed by Indigo’s side and she placed a hand on his arm to still his temper at the dandy’s words.

“You are in a position to demand NOTHING!” Grave was fast loosing his patience, slamming his fist on the table. “You’re a vile little coward of a man, who made underhanded bargains to secure your own comfort.” His tone raised in fury.

“How dare you… you… you..” Pepe stood, but was interrupted by Kane…

“…I dare…” He slid papers across the table as evidence, signed and sealed by Pepe with the Montoto wax seal, which placed command of The Northern Clan Territories under the leadership of Master Davenport.

Pepe shrugged…

“Davenport is dead, by Clan law what he commanded reverts to his killer as his property.”

“You?! You killed Davenport? You.. You.. should be dead… Not Davenport!” Pepe licked sweat from his top lip. “This is utter nonsense.”

“The Princess Alleia has requested a divorce.” Indigo spoke up. “Which would prevent you from any claim to her or her son.” She glanced at Kane.

“I challenge you, by combat, for the rights to your land and your wife… The babe…” Kane smiled, “He’s already mine.”

Grave laughed, a deep belly rolling howling laughter as Pepe near fainted at the words… “You can’t challenge me, you have not right!” His voice broke, a pitiful plea.

“He has every right.” Novana replied having glanced through the papers. “You see your new pretty estate falls within his boarders, so he can challenge you for all you own, including your wife… So you can either scoot away as a coward or fight with honor. Which will it be?”


Anne Harrison 05.04.17







Part 59

Peace and Magic


Alleia found life with Hera and Brynn out in the woods idyllic, she was able to relax and recover from her ordeal in the tower, eating lovely fresh foods, gaining a healthy weight being able to focus on her newborn feeling safe and peaceful. She knew her extended family were aware of her location and yet she was far removed from the politics and the threat of war. For once she had found some measure of happiness, dedicating herself to her newborn.

Occasionally she would find Kane in her dreams, yet in reality she believed him to be dead, aware that Pepe was a deeply jealous man and would not allow her lover to live. There was cause for concern regarding Pepe, technically she was still married to him and he had vowed to take her son away. This haunted her peace of mind, yet she also knew he was lazy, perhaps too lazy to venture beyond the safety of his new lavish coastal home to seek out the babe.

At least that was her hope…


The search for the missing Princess from the tower stretched out into weeks, Fendor had since replaced her in the stone room, where the weeks of solitude confinement had forced his body to sober up, yet he had instead fallen into a deep depression. Guilt haunted his thoughts and his dreams, he was never free from his troubled mind. Without the escaping bliss of alcohol he was trapped more in his mind than any lock or key.

Grave, with the two Southern Sisters, Kaxa and Novana, had the Capital City firmly under command. They re-named the City ‘Seiiki’ and finally, after long long years under the Kings crushing command, Seiiki started to flourish. The threat of war still lingered over the whole land, yet no one had made any move to act, but there were bristlings of activities evident, an increase of troops along the borders and, following Fendor’s arrest, some of his loyal guards fled the city.

Curiously the forces that Master Davenport had sent on Lord Pepe Montoto’s command had been recalled back to the Northern Clan territories. Grave considered this an interesting move for Davenport and suspected some internal conflict among the clans, he selected a few spies to venture forth and follow the retreating army and report.

The absence of Princess Alleia was correctly contributed to magic and this troubled Novana as the child she carried was interwoven in fate with Alleia’s own babe. However before they had the opportunity to investigate this magical intervention. Lord Pepe Montoto turned up spontaneously to lay claim to Alleia and her son.


Anne Harrison 04.04.17


Part 58

Midnight Conversations

Kane wrapped a sheet around his waist and perched upon the soft bed, there was only one chair by the table, so the woman took the chair and lit the lamp thereon, while her companion stood guard by the door which led into the complex, his sword now sheathed yet his hand rested easily on the pommel.

Kane blinked against the light, rubbing his eyes…

“What happened to you?” She asked, leaning forward in the chair, her eyes grazed over his scars, stitches, bandages, emaciated frame…

“Davenport happened to me.” As he replied, a petite grey cat slipped in gracefully from the courtyard, padding lightly over to Kane to plop down upon his lap, kneading with a low rumbling purr.

The arrival of the cat served to diffuse the uncomfortable atmosphere  causing a light hearted ripple of soft laughter.

“I don’t wish to sound arrogant, but I believe I know who you are.” Kane spoke, fussing the cat. “I believe you are Jago’s Twins, Indigo and Kol.”

The laughter died away to stunned silence as the twins glanced at each other bewildered.

“How did you come to that conclusion?” She narrowed her eyes as she spoke.

“You were correct in your observation of military, so, when you’re stood in the corner of a room for hours on end, your face half obscured by a helmet, stood to attention with a halberd that’s actually more for show than any practical use. You get used to being ignored, you become invisible. So you watch, listen, learn… You visited The King with your father last year for ‘The Worlds Range Games’ and I was on duty. Simple as that.”

The twins glanced at each other, then smiled.

“How did you end up ruling here?” Kol asked, stepping closer to engage in the conversation.

“I killed Davenport, there really is just so much you can take before you snap.” The cat arched its back and hopped to head-bump Kane on the chin.

“Then if you know who we are, you could hazard a guess as to why we are here?” Indigo’s unusual eyes still appeared to glow in the low lamp light.

“You want to know where the Northern Clan Territories stand if, or when, war breaks out. You want to know if we’re allies or an added threat.” He sighed, “Is Jago going to attempt to claim the throne from his Grandfather’s murderers?” Kane switched the direction of questioning.

“It would be his duty to do so.”

Somewhere out in the courtyard a clock struck the hour and the shrill call of crickets resonated during the lull in the conversation.

“I don’t want war, but I would say that is unavoidable.” Kane was starting to feel more fatigued and reached for a glass of water by the lamp. “Maybe this is not the hour for such deliberation.” He stifled a yawn. “I should like to consider both of you my guests and resume our discussion over breakfast.” Kane escorted the twins to a guest room personally, then returned to his too comfortable bed, discovering the grey cat curled up right in the centre.

So he returned to his slumber on the floor, listening to the crickets and savoring the feel of the breeze on his face…


Anne Harrison 31.03.17

Part 57

Back to Writing Folks… 


Kane honestly could never remember sleeping in a bed so ridiculously soft, in fact he couldn’t sleep, instead he dragged all the covers and blankets onto the floorboards and nestled down with a lovely fur skin under his chin. Then he slept, nightmares stirred at the edges of his mind, but being comfortable, warm and relaxed he ended up in a far deeper sleep.

At that level he shared his mind with Alleia, the connection was stronger the deeper the sleep to the point where he didn’t want to wake up. Finding preference in the dreams of his woman, his child. Though in reality he knew not where they were or even if they were still alive and not some fragment of an exhausted mind.

Slumber was disturbed by a boot nudging his shoulder, it was still dark and he was reluctant to stir. The steel point of a blade was cold against his neck – that got his attention and all remains of peaceful dreams were swiftly vanquished.

“I understand you are in charge here?” A woman said and knelt by his head, the sword was not held by the speaker.

“Apparently so.” He replied, carefully remaining still.

“You are not Lord Pepe Montoto, nor are you Master Davenport. You look military, not a ruler.” The woman had piercing blue/purple eyes which appeared to glow in the dark an illusion of the moonlight he suspected.

“I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to be in my quarters…” He wriggled a bit and got a jab in the throat to remind him to stay still.

The woman glanced around the room, so very basic, he had chosen to forego the lavish quarters that Pepe had favoured in preference to a simple room in the staff block, near the kitchens and with full glass doors that lead out into the courtyard (these were ajar). A bed he didn’t sleep in, a table he never sat at and a trunk of donated clothes, ill fitting and second hand.

With a slight nod she indicated her partner to lift the blade from his neck allowing Kane to sit up – He was sure those eyes glowed – She stood and offered a hand to help him to his feet.

“I think I like you…” She said with a smile. “…But we have a lot to talk about…”


Anne Harrison 30.03.17

Part 56

Safe Haven


Indigo and her Shadow Order met up with Kol and Dallymare on the outskirts of Deep-Wood Forest, what Indigo didn’t expect was to see her brother with a woman and babe.

“Is that?” She frowned…

“Father’s Aunt, Alleia and her newborn son Seizon-sha!” Kol replied with a sweeping bow. “I was thinking of returning them home, Father and the Council will be revealed to learn she’s alive and well.”

“Kol, Father is preparing for war. Is that such a safe for a newborn?”

“Where else would you suggest? She should be with family, you can not begin to imagine what she has been through…” Kol spoke firmly yet softly, so Alleia didn’t hear his words. Though she was happily cuddling her babe, elated at being free and glowing with pride.

“Maybe not all family is related?” Indigo replied with a half smile.

“Please don’t talk in riddles, we still have a lot of ground to scout and none of this was expected upon our mission.”

“I believe I know somewhere Alleia will be safe in fair company, far away from any threat of war. Where she may raise her child in peace, until all this conflict is resolved…” Indigo went on to explain about their encounter with Hera and all she had told them about the uprising in the Capital City, about the safe haven she had created in the forest, next to nature in peace and harmony.

“Do you really think they will be safe in the woods with a witch?” Kol appeared skeptical but had already resigned himself to the fact that Indigo would win any argument he could attempt against the idea of leaving Alleia with a stranger in the midst of the wilds…

“Do you really think she is healthy enough to travel? All the way back to father, directly after giving birth?” Indigo played her winning hand and Kol was forced to agree with her reasoning.



Anne Harrison 28.03.17


Part 55

Assuming Control


People think barbarians are animals, they live in the wilds off the wastelands in the wilderness, far from the capital along side nature. They are brutal, savage fighters… but they are not animals. Like the Clansmen to the East they have an unspoken code of honour, respect for their women folk, protection for their children and live in harmony with the earth. The city folk considered the skin clad warriors as animals, for their unkempt appearance, lack of uniforms or bodily modifications. Yet the city folk were also used to being subjected by those in uniform, considered inferior and upon the point of starvation cast outside the city walls forced to dwell in slums when they couldn’t afford the Kings outrageous taxes.

The slums were gone now, raised to the ground following the assassination of the King. In the place was erected a barbarian encampment… Thousands of warriors had poured from the wilds, following their leader Grave to the capital.

These men were not animals and some men made animals look civilized … Fendor was such a man, driven to drink through stress and an unbearable guilt he carried for the death of the King. A King he had served all his life until seduced and manipulated by a Southern beauty, Novana. Novana carried his child yet still he raised his fist at her, this added to his guilt which lead to more alcohol, steadily increasing the spiral of self destruction he was trapped in.

Outraged, Grave laid Fendor out with a jaw splitting left hook, sending the drunkard tumbling backwards, unconscious before he’d hit the dusty floorboards. Grave would have killed the man there and then had the two sisters not intervened, Novana and Kaxa stood in his path…

“He is mine to slaughter!” Novana spoke, pure venom dripping with her words, promising bitter vengeance for her mistreatment. “… but not yet, not like this, its too easy…” Reluctantly Grave agreed and the former General Fendor was himself arrested and incarcerated to sober up before trial.

That indicated the end of his short tragic rule, a rule that lasted mere months, from assassin to ruler, father, lover to drunken failure. His decline had been rapid, yet it had been Novana which had kept the kingdom strong in light of his failure. She had orchestrated the rebuilding of the city, It was Novana which had transformed the palace into a hospital, into a school and a shelter. Converting the lavish quarters into useful resources. Remodeling the vast kitchens to feed the hungry, in her command the city had started to slowly flourish.

Yet she handed control over to Grave, desiring to focus on her health needing to recover from her bruises and care for her precious unborn.

That day a deceleration was issued forth, Grave firmly taking command of the Capital City and Kingdom, extending his empire from the wastelands. The former palace guards and city soldiers faced an ultimatum, to  join Fendor in the stinking cellars, or simply join the barbarian troops… Even those who had served with Fendor all their lives could not hold any loyalty to a man who had turned aggression upon a pregnant woman… Grave’s forces increased…

Novana also insisted that Alleia should be freed, aware that both babies would share a future fate together, entwined by the magical stones which had created their existence.

No body expected the high tower to be empty and Alleia gone…



Anne Harrison 27.03.17