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Zander

The Porch That Is Sacred

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Zander sits off to the side of the steps that lead up to the Temple. Memories cloud his mind and contempt sits upon his face.

 

"Stupid... Foolish... I'm going to gut them..." He rocks back and forth on his heels as he sits staring blankly forward.

 

"Kill them... Kill them... Kill everyone..." As he mumbles the tone of his voice fluctuates from anger to rage to fear until finally he is left with pure sorrow across his lips. The gibberish continues to flow with seemingly no logical conclusion to come.

 

"The children will die... vengeance!" Zander's eyes seem to fill with a joyous thought as his jaw drops and tightens.

 

"I will kill them all for him. I will bring her the vengeance she demands and I won't have to wait for them to come for us. He has been gone too long. He won't be back..." Zander stands and stretches. "Now which way to the nearest pointy eared piece of dog shit?" Zander looks around the wooded area with a smile on his face for the first time in months but his eyes don't hide his sorrow.

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"About five feet, if you include me," the priestess tilted her head, leaning on the railing of the Temple porch. It wasn't too hard to exit the building unnoticed with all his noise.

 

"I'm hoping you don't though - include me, that is. I heard about Atticus..." Vany'a sighs a bit, shaking her head. "...I'm so sorry, Zander. I know those words are probably meaningless from the lips of an elf but... I'd give anything to forsake my blood right now. Seeing the atrocities my kind have committed... If there's anything I can do..." her words sort of trailed off. She just wasn't sure what to say to the man.

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Zander stares at the elf.

 

"Vany'a..." He ponders for a brief moment before continuing "No, I suppose you don't belong in the well yet."

 

"I am relatively sure Ivan will continue to like you. If you know or learn anything about Atticus's killer then you have an even better chance of surviving the coming bloodbath." Zander turns his eyes back to the woods.

 

"Vany'a, if you actually desire to help you can get us any form of information on the attackers. If you don't..." Zander grins to himself "Well, I would keep that to yourself and stay out of our path over the next few months.

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The elf returned his gaze, it wasn't hard to tell what he was thinking. She could feel her hand growing tense in case she needed to reach for a dissipate component. Fighting Zander wasn't something she wanted to do. Despite the fact that the man would easily overpower her, she also considered him somewhat of an ally.

 

Hearing his words, the elf tilted her head and griped a bit. "Oh stop that. I know you were a lot closer to Atticus than I was, but I've always gotten along just fine with all of you. I have nothing to do with any of this Evenandran bull-shit and if any of you take the blade to me because people that happen to share my race did something terrible then you're blinder than Olov's left side," she sounded almost motherly. "What will you do, cut down Nalowen as well in her innocence? Or perhaps Ithvendish, or Twig? You're all too smart to go cutting down the people of this town because of what happened." Vany'a shook her head disapprovingly.

 

"I will in fact do what I can to help you. If that means gathering information than so be it. I know what you're going through Zander... Gaius, remember?" She shook her head. "...I understand wanting to take your revenge. But hurting me or anyone else won't do you a damn lick of good unless your sword is pointed in the right direction." She locked eyes with the human. "Trust me - if I get the opportunity, I'll deliver anyone responsible for this to you... alive."

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Zander clears his throat slightly and his voice comes out calm and quiet.

 

"You assume too much. I don't seek vengeance for myself. I seek it for my goddess and Atticus. All I want is their blood. You know next to nothing about me and you make that very clear if you think I won't slit any persons throat if it suits my needs or desires. I like killing. My faith in my goddess has allowed me to accept it and use it. You claim to understand but you can't truly. Losing my family is not new to me. I have lost comrades in battle and watched as the sparks of my dearest friends were ripped from them while they still held hope in their eyes." Zander looks to the sky.

 

"My point isn't to degrade the loss of Gaius or to state that you don't know sadness. My point is that you are misguided if you think that is what guides me now. What drives me now is a thirst. I want to satisfy that thirst and I doubt it will take me long to do so. I am merely afraid that we will hurt an innocent on our path."

 

He leans against a large tree near the porch and begins spinning a small blade in his hand. "I suppose I am coming across as an aggressor. For that I apologize. I hope whatever attempts you do make on Atticus's part are fruitful. I can't imagine there is much public knowledge of the Evanendrans having assassins."

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The elf felt a chill go up her back as Zander spoke. She shook her head slightly, as she often did when thinking. When she finally found a response, it was simple. "Very well then," she nodded to the man, accepting what he told her.

 

 

"I will do my best to find information for you. I know a man who can cast ancient magics beyond our capabilities. I have done him a number of... favors. I will try and contact him - he may be able to give more insight as to what has happened here, and the best way to strike back. It is said that the Godbeast and the Elemental once travelled the lands of Novitas together - whatever ails her will draw his eye."

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"If the "Godbeast", as you call him, is interested in the death of those that attacked us then he might find a large sack of loot on his altar. I imagine that his race of follower's love of coin and magic was an inherited trait. I can't imagine a bribe will do much but if he is already interested I would be grateful enough to praise him at his own altar."

 

Zander snickers to himself. "It is humorous to me that one of the first people I speak with after months of only talking to the Companions is an elf. I mean no disrespect but the irony is pretty thick. I assume the Godbeast hasn't left you with nothing to do these last few months. What has held your interest while we have been hunting our prey?"

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Vany'a chuckled a bit. "We will see where his interests lie. I am a firm believer that the Dragon and the Sept are more tightly aligned than most would think - I am sure he will not ignore the Elemental's pain."

 

 

"As for irony - I find it almost fitting. This is Pinedale, after all. But as I said, I am not Evanendran. Was once, no longer. I barely remember the place - thanks to Xicris and another dark fae," she tapped her temple. "Memory is such a fragile thing. But regardless, things that have held my interest might hold yours, was there less on your plate already. Rituals, finding and slaughtering the father of all bagmen," she smirked a bit. "You know. The usual."

 

 

The elf craned her back and stretched a bit. "But listen... I've business to tend to, as I'm sure you do. Just do me a favor and if you do decide to kill me, wait a few nights mkay? It'd be a shame to spend two years collecting ritual components just to be murdered the night before I finally manage to complete the damned thing. There's stew in the Temple," she said offhandedly as she headed back inside. "Dont' forget to feed your stomach while you hunger for greater things."

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Zander turns to Vany'a, "No worries, killing you is not something I would enjoy."

 

He calls after her as she walks away. "If your serious about the Father of All Bagmen you should call on us if needed. I would find shear joy in killing such a beast. I will let Atticus know you were among those that wished to help when I next speak to my goddess. May she see you to the end of your path quickly and safely."

 

After she has walked away and is out of sight he leans away from the tree. "A meal sounds like a reasonable idea. Tonight we hunt bigger game."

 

Zander walks into the woods behind the Temple and whistles to himself as he goes.

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