Fantasy Fiction posted July 5, 2021 Chapters:  ...8 9 -10- 11... 


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Defeat on the Island of Gorr

A chapter in the book The Chronicals Of Bethica: The Rise

The Chronicles Of Bethica

by amahra


The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.



Background
Defeated by the Ogres on the mysterious Island of Gorr, survival looks bleak for Gangus and fellow warriors plus two.
Chapter Eight
The Island of Gorr (Part 2)

Gangus woke in what seemed an abyss of darkness; the atmosphere, desolate and cold, seemed far more sinister than the mere absence of light.

Blood bubbled from the corners of his swollen lips with every breath he exhaled; one eye puffed shut, resembling a little purple ball--throbbed.
Pain, good, he thought. I am not in the afterlife.

Gangus strained to remember the last scene before blacking out. Oh, yes--his good eye blinked in recollection: The stones--its blades hacking, the screams, his men falling--Celio, knocking him to the ground, protecting him, slicing the belly of an Ogrekin--its guts spilling to the earth.

However, surviving made Gangus feel like a coward--as if he'd been a captain who'd jumped ship and left his mates to rot at the bottom of the sea. He lay quietly, shivering and soaked in his grief.

"Lord Gangus!" A weak, but clear whisper shattered the dark silence.

"I am here. Who is there?"

"Celio, My Lord."

Gangus, too thrilled to answer right away, closed his good eye and wanted to thank the gods but was too angry at them.

"My Lord, are you still there? Are you not well?"

Gangus could hear the fear in his voice. "I believe I will live, my friend. What of you?"

Celio, who had lost an ear and barely escaped the full force of the sharp stones, had several deep slashes across his chest, arms, thighs, and back. From the pain, he knew the wounds were badly infected.

"Celio?"

"I will live as well, My Lord."

"Are there others with you...or perhaps they escaped?" Gangus held his breath momentarily. Celio's long silence needed no answer. Gangus felt as if his heart had sunk into his stomach.

"None are here, sir. I...I doubt if any escaped," he stammered. "Besides I..."

A hacking cough cut through the dark.

"Mercy, that cough sounds really bad, Celio. We must find a way out of here and get you back to the ship."

"But...I didn't cough, sir."

"What?"

"I'm afraid that was me," a strange voice said. "I did not mean to introduce myself in such a crude manner. I am Lord El' Tedar. Though, I no longer look to be the Lord of anything anymore."

"Glad to make your acquaintance, Lord Tedar," Gangus greeted. "Are there others with you?"

"No. It's been just me until the two of you came. Thank the gods I don't have to talk to myself anymore. And in case you're wondering why you two are alive--those beasts like to keep a few for sport."

"Sport?" Gangus asked.

"And dinner," Tedar concluded.

"Whoa!" Celio blurted. His voice sounded stronger.

"Which are we?" Gangus asked. "Do you know?"

"Depends," Tedar answered.

"Depends on what?" Celio snapped. "If you know something...tell us."

"I intend to..." Lord Tedar coughed deeply. "Just give me a moment," he said with a bit of choking in his voice.

"You sound every bit of a man well-aged. Or are you just ill?" Gangus reasoned.

"Both." He coughed again, more deeply.

"How long have you been here?"

"I was not young when captured and have been here twelve years. I no longer count the years, though. It's useless to count; especially when you know you're never leaving. I'm from the Qu'Venar race and fear those who loved me have forgotten me by now."

"You said something about the three of us being dinner," Celio blurted.

"Oh, no not me. I'm too useful to these beasts. You see, they like to be entertained. I'm forced to perform my arcane arts for the chieftain. First I refused, but they'd tortured other captives in front of me...giving me a taste of what I'd get. So I took the coward way out. I'm--so ashamed."

"Nonsense," Gangus said. "We all do what we must to stay alive."

"Arcane arts?" Celio asked.

Lord El' Tedar chuckled softly then coughed. "I gather there's no magic where you're from?"

"No," Gangus told him. "We're from Volaria, but since we've entered this realm, magic doesn't seem all that strange to us anymore."

"Why didn't you use your magic to escape?" Celio asked him.

"This sickness has kept me much too weak to perform such a powerful spell as that."

"I see," Gangus answered. He felt bad for the old Lord and hoped, somehow, the three of them might escape.

*****

Hours passed--the darkness lifted, leaving the three captives quite visible to one another.

Outside, hundreds of feet away, the sun lingered over the blood-stained soil where Gangus's men were slain. A few feet from there, a deep groan came from a thick bush. The leaves rustled and a bush cane bent when Olatunji sat up and leaned on it. He crawled out from the bush still dazed. He had several long deep cuts across his chest, back--a short one across his forehead, and a small chunk of his scalp was gone.

He had become conscious just in time to stop his bleeding using torn pieces of his garment; he had sprinkled medicinal herbs into his wounds from a pouch on a string that hung around his neck.

Olatunji looked around where he had seen his comrades fall and saw nothing but long smears of blood upon the dark soil as if bodies had been dragged off. He wasn't among them because when Celio screamed run for your lives--he did, but collapsed in the thickness of a bush.

As vicious as the attack was, Olatunji hoped that like him, Lord Gangus and some of his comrades had escaped or been captured and were still alive. He stood--took a few steps but grabbed onto a tree when he wobbled. After Olatunji's body steadied and his head cleared, he set out tracking the bloody drag marks and huge footprints.

After covering a lot of ground and being down to his last Kaggo nut, Olatunji grew tired and weak, but continued to search for hours; suddenly, several Ogrekins appeared from a distance. Olatunji ducked behind a giant tree; he observed the Ogrekins taking what he perceived to be prisoners to a gray stone building; none appeared to be his comrades. Once they were out of sight, he stealthily made his way to the same entrance. Inside, he discovered a staircase leading downward.

Olatunji quietly walked down the spiraling stone steps into a dark place that reeked of stench. As he stood at the bottom of the stairs, he quietly called out to Gangus. He called out several more times--raising his voice a little each time and was startled when he finally got a distant response.

However, the cries he heard were in tongues he didn't understand. He continued following the cries, hoping it wasn't a trap. The stench thickened in his nostrils and he began to gag. As Olatunji moved closer to the cries, he stopped and vomited after spotting numerous human body parts in countless barrels. Some barrels were for heads only and some for eyes, feet, tongues, and hands.

He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and continued creeping along, watching and listening for the presence of Ogrekins. He carefully rounded a corner; the cries grew louder, closer, but still none in Volarian. He encountered a locked door with a ring of keys hanging above it. He looked around him quickly then grabbed the keys and inserted several before the right one turned completely, but the second the door opened, the cries stopped; when the captives saw he wasn't an Ogrekin, they started yelling again.

As Olatunji passed the cages, their hands reached beyond the bars--their eyes pleading as they yelled to him in their native languages. He assumed they were begging to be let free. He stared at every face, hoping to see his Lord and other comrades. Their scrawny, worn and bloody fingers desperately tried to touch him. One with longer arms grabbed his garment and yanked him to the bars of their confinement; then many hands were pulling--tearing pieces of his clothing and grabbing hold of his hair.

Olatunji gritted his teeth and struggled against their iron grips. He managed to pull a blade from his waist and slashed the hands that held him. He broke away and fell to the floor; a few sucked their hands and fingers where he'd wounded them as blood streamed down the wooden bars of their cage. He hurried past them--his blade extended, watching for long arms.

As he passed another pair of cages, he neither saw hands extended, nor heard cries for help. His eyes scanned the faces of the captives--beats of his heart pounding within his chest; he saw people without hands, feet, and eyes. Some made inaudible noises with painful expressions and stared off.

"Holy gods. What have I stumbled into?" Olatunji said to himself. He rounded another corner and saw another door with a ring of keys right above it. He inserted the right key, pushed the heavy door open, and light rushed in. There were seven cages but only three were occupied with spaces far in between them.

Gangus, eyes closed, lay in a fetal position--still racked with pain. The old Lord coughed deeply, looked up then cleared his throat.

"Who are you?" Tedar asked.

Celio sat up and turned his face towards the opened door. His eyes widened and quickly filled at the sight of his dark comrade. "Olatunji, how did you...did you just walk in?"
Gangus, hearing this, shot up to a sitting position. "Merciful gods, man, you're alive! Are there others?"

Olatunji's eyes brightened when he saw his Lord and comrade. "I don't know. It's just me and there's no time to talk."

He rushed towards Gangus's cage. The cage was made of thick wood, and Olatunji hacked away at the bars with his sword. Then, with all of his strength, he pulled the whittled wood apart with his bare hands until they splintered and broke. After Gangus's release, Olatunji released Celio.

"Let's get the hades out of here," Olatunji said, turning and leading the way back out.

"Wait! I want you to release my new friend. He's back there," Gangus said, pointing to Lord El' Tedar's cage.

Olatunji didn't hesitate but went back and hacked away at the cage and broke in. They were surprised when the old Lord didn't rise. Gangus told him, "You're free, come with us." But he gestured with his finger for Gangus to come closer. He told Gangus about a magic staff that was taken from him when he was captured. He said the Chieftain kept it near him always. "The wretched beast doesn't know its power and thinks it's a walking stick," Tedar said with a choked voice.

It became clear to Gangus that the old Lord was dying. He pointed out to Gangus a flat stone tablet that he had hidden under his straw bed; it contained instructions and the command words for the staff which were written in his dried blood. Gangus pulled the stone from under the straw and begged the old one to come with them. He revealed Brehira's healing gifts.

"There is no way her powers can reach me here, and I'm too old and weak to travel. If you should ever meet my people, don't tell them of my miserable existence. Tell them I died in luxury due to my arcane gifts." And then he said in a weaker voice, "Promise me."

"I promise," Gangus told him.

With that, Gangus rose and Olatunji led them past the cages of reaching hands and unknown tongues when suddenly they heard a female voice say, "You idiots are not going to leave us here, are you?"

The three men looked down upon their feet and below; looking up through an iron grate in the floor was a pair of blue eyes sparkling up at them. She had a commanding voice, like someone of note. She instructed them on how to get her and her sister out. Gangus looked around and spotted a short iron bar that had a sharp end. He and Olatunji pried up the grate, pulling the young females free. They were beautiful and tall, like amazons, and were partially nude. The men gave up some of their clothing. The older sister threw her golden hair out of her eyes as she covered her nakedness.

"It's a good thing we heard you," Olatunji said smiling.

"What do you want--a trophy? Let's get out of here," the older sister said. Then, she looked around for where the Ogrekins kept their weapons and spotted a locked door. With her great strength, she kicked it in.

Olatunji was taken aback. "Great stars, she's strong," he said.

"And ungrateful," Gangus replied.

There, she saw hundreds of weapons leaning against the wall, on tables, and lined side by side on the floor. She and her sister tossed aside weapons until they gazed upon their own: a sword, a six-foot spear, and matching decorated shields. She handed the sword and a shield to her younger sister. Gangus and the men found their weapons also.

"Nice to make your acquaintance. I'm Gangus, this is Celio and Olatunji."

"I'm Ndornah and this is my younger sister, Melitah."

Ndornah and the men started toward the door. Melitah hung back.

"Wait," Melitah said.

Ndornah stopped and turned to her. "Wait for what?"

"The others--shouldn't we free them as well?"

"Why--what are they to us? We haven't time; now come on while we still can," Ndornah ordered.

"But sister, they can help us fight."

"Those weak starving creatures? I doubt if they can lift a weapon, let alone fight with one," she smirked.

"That may be so, but they deserve to die like men," Melitah said.

Gangus stared at Melitah. He saw Brehira in her--full of wisdom and kindness. He liked her. Olatunji and Celio liked how she thought and both grabbed their swords, ran back, and hacked the wooden cages. Gangus and Ndornah kept watch as Melitah joined in freeing the captives. The ones in cages who were blind and badly mutilated were left behind.

The half-starved men stumbled out of their cages and were led to the weapons room. They were in rags and filthy; they smelled of urine and feces. Their entire rib cage shone through their skin and they could barely hold up the weapons. Gangus understood men and their desperation. He knew a talk was needed but didn't speak their languages. However, there's something universal about a leader raising his sword--pounding his chest, yelling something, and waving men on.

The men grinned, raised their weapons, and each, in their native tongue, yelled back to Gangus; adrenalin appeared to kick in as the men bucked up and gripped their weapons.

Impatient, Ndornah grabbed hold of her sister and hurried toward the door. Then she turned and snapped, "You want us to leave you behind, or are you coming?" She didn't wait for a response. She and Melitah peeked out then ran off.

"Leave
us behind?" Gangus said. "That is one arrogant woman." He and Olatunji exchanged puzzling glances then all three took off behind the women with the released men stumbling behind.

When they finally caught up to the sisters, Gangus took over the lead. He put the stone tablet into a medium-size pouch and handed it to Celio. "No matter what happens, don't lose this," Gangus said sternly. Celio took the pouch and nodded.

As Gangus, the men, and the sisters inched closer to where the Ogrekins were gathered, he heard deep laughter from the Ogrekins and cries from their victims. Ogrekins love to play games with their prey. They would order them to run around then set out to catch and batter them. Once the games were over, the victims were skinned, gutted, and chopped for stew.

Gangus also observed that the warriors that had defeated them were not there, but just a remnant left to protect and entertain the Chieftain.

Hiding back in the thick of a group of bushes, Gangus couldn't take the games any longer. These weren't his men; he had never seen such humanoid creatures, but his heart went out to them. With large cleavers, a few Ogrekins had cornered a creature and were slashing it to pieces as it begged and screamed. Then Gangus noticed the Chieftain, and next to him, Lord El' Tedar's magic staff.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" Ndornah muttered. "Are you going to stand there killing them with your eyes? Aaaahhh!" was her battle cry as she ran into the mix with her spear held high, her sister close on her heels. Melitah hit an Ogrekin right between the eyes with her blade; Ndornah sliced open the belly of another, spilling his guts. Gangus and Olatunji, shocked by the women's courage, looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders then ran out and teamed up on an Ogrekin, slicing into him and severing his head.

Some of the creatures that had been used for sport grabbed dead Ogrekins' weapons and slashed the legs and knees of the giants. But the Ogrekins decapitated them one by one then turned and thundered toward Gangus.

Gangus yelled to his newly freed warriors and caught sight of them fleeing in the opposite direction--weapons scattered on the ground, arms flailing, and disappearing into a nearby forest.

The five were on their own. Olatunji impaled one of the giants on his six-foot spear; Celio and Gangus slashed the legs from under another--bringing the giant crashing to the ground. With swords, the three men cut the Ogrekin to pieces.

The chieftain rose from his throne, grabbed a cleaver, and joined the fight. He was huge--over ten feet tall and nearly half as wide. He swung a giant size cleaver that decapitated several of the fighting humanoid creatures before the Domarian sisters finally took him down in a hail of cuts, stabs, and a blade through the eye. Gangus made his way, slipping on Ogrekins' guts, and grabbed the staff. With the staff in one hand and his sword in the other, Gangus aided Celio, Olatunji, and the sisters as all slashed their way through a herd of smelly giants who were big but slow-moving--leaving Ogrekins groaning and fatally wounded.

Gangus and the others stood panting with blood dripping from their weapons and a spread of dead Ogrekins sprawled upon the ground. "Eeeu," Melitah squealed watching one gag on dark bile as he fell to the ground--his dead eyes staring up at her.

Gangus led his party, including the Domarian sisters, back to the ship--careful not to be spotted by Ogrekin warriors.  Brehira and Dinary grabbed Gangus and held him tight. Captain Dordrecht and Judian greeted him with wide smiles which soon faded when thirteen men had not returned with them. Gangus, however, was quick to introduced Ndornah and Melitah and bragged of their skills against the Ogrekins.

"Lord Abrams," Melitah said, "on the Island, my sister and I had no chance to thank you for rescuing us--the urgency being what it was. I say now how grateful we both are." Melitah shot her eyes at Ndornah who never thanked men for anything. However, she obeyed that piercing glare.

"Yes, very grateful, indeed," she lied.

"Oh no," Gangus said. "It is I who's most grateful to you and your sister for aiding us."

"Wonderful," Ndornah schemed. "Then you won't mind taking us to our homeland."

"Ndornah," Melitah widened her eyes at her sister. "Domari is west, they're traveling north. We have no right to..."

"No, no, Melitah" Gangus said. He looked at Dinary and Brehira and knew how much they would hate adding an extra two weeks by going out of their way to take the sisters home. But he owed them his life.
Plus, what would we do for food? he thought.

"Will that be a problem?" Ndornah asked sternly.

"Ah...I'm sure we could...ah..." Gangus stammered.

Brehira interjected. "Having Lord Abrams and Celio back with us is everything, my dear. You and your sister are partly responsible for that. We'd be delighted to take you back to your homeland." Dinary nodded in agreement.

"Melitah and I accept your gratitude and your gracious hospitality." Ndornah cut her eyes at Melitah and smirked.

"Speaking of hospitality," Melitah said with a strained smile. "We'd like to clean ourselves, though I'm afraid we have no fresh clothes."

"Oh, of course, my dear," Brehira said. "Follow me--I'm sure we'll find something to your liking among the women." Brehira, slightly frowning, walked beside the sisters--stealing glances at their tall, curvy stature with legs that went on forever.




Image: by Dantegrafice from Pixabay

Main Characters

Lord Gangus Abram Leader of his clan
Lady Brehira (Bree he ra) His wife
Dinary (Di nary) Youngest Son
Celio (Seal le o) Soldier and close friend
Princess Netrekka (Neh trek kah) Dinary's Lover/wife


Minor Characters
Khimah (Kee ma) Eldest Son
Captain Dulcy P Dordrecht (Door check) Captain of the Cristofur
Judian (Jew-dee-in) Second in Command of the Christofur
Kofius (Ko fee us) The Sail Master
Ndornah (N-door-nah) Domari Warrior and older sister to Melitah
Melitah (Meh-lee-tah) Domari Warrior and younger sister to Ndornah
Diana High Priestess and mother to Ndornah and Melitah 


 




When Lord Gangus Abram is awakened by a mysterious voice in the night and told to seek out the Oracle Naman, he must make a journey across the Endless Ocean to destroy the Nordoxz, an undefeated race of humanoids that are controlled by powerful forces of evil.

Lord Abrams plunges into a perilous trek to obey the gods and settle in Bethica, a land of dragons, cannibals, Fallen Angels, Amazonians, and Dark Lords. He is joined by his wife, Brehira, youngest son Dinary, comrade and friend, Celio, Shapeshifter and Beast Master, Olutunji, and 750 people willing to risk their lives for land and freedom.
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