Okay, so there was some stuff I wanted to add, and I'm not too happy with this chapter overall (I wanted it to be a little more epic), but if I put in the stuff I wanted to, this would be two chapters...and something tells me people might not like that much. :ghehe:
Enjoy, and don't forget, I always like to leave secrets for you guys to find.
~The Elder Council~
“Zane, it’s time.” Brailen said.
The teen gave his mother and sister a hug. When he turned around, the two guards approached with iron cuffs.
“There’s no need right now,” he said, stopping them. “Allow the boy some dignity.”
He gestured to follow, and the guards walked on either side of the lad. Sarah kissed Sam before he left, and he promised her it would be okay. They were headed for the House of Council; it served both political and judicial issues. The building was located on a neutral piece of land, which was mostly a sign of promise that no matter would be handled with bias.
There was trouble between the districts, however. While they all maintained a level of respect for Elder Damien and the Wolfe district, there were no guarantees it would hold much persuasion. Zane knew enough about the tension to know that people from the Birk district camping in the two neighboring ones wasn’t good for it. What he caused that night would affect this trial in ways he was just now realizing.
There were catacombs built underneath the four districts, with most of them underneath the Wolfe. The Elders from each one used their own access tunnel, ambassadors and such were escorted in to the main chamber via a number of appropriate passageways, but criminals for trial were brought through the graveyard entrance. It wasn’t far either.
This was mostly to remind those that break the law about what they’re actions could result in. Many infamous people were buried here, and most of them were executed merely because they were unstable and posed a threat. In fact, Zane knew he fit that category; he knew there was the possibility that he could be tried and hung.
The entrance was right in the middle; a large, stone structure that rose up with a single door among its many decorative carvings. Even on this bright, sunny day, it still looked ominous as always. Inside were stairs that lead down a rocky path; torches had already been lit in advance to light the way. The air here was musty and there were cracks in the steps which made for uneasy footing. The walls were stone and supported the tunnel, arching at the top, but several places showed them to be fading.
After the narrow path turned several times and went down some more, it finally dumped into a small room with a few guards stationed near a small portcullis.
“From this point on, you’re in custody.” Brailen said, motioning the guards to put the boy in restraints. “Please understand.” He was trying his best to be formal; it was his way of separating personal feelings from his duty.
“Son, everything will be fine.” Sam said, but those words were as much for his comfort too.
Zane held his arms out to receive the shackles. “Thanks for being here…dad.”
The gate opened, and they stepped through into a large chamber with several tiers of walkways and platforms. The area was well lit, showing the domed room which they were at the bottom of. It was almost like a theater, but near the top was where it was the thinnest instead. Four stone chairs looked out over it, and they were spaced apart with columns in between. It reminded Zane of the architecture he saw before in the hall his father took him to.
A man stood on one of landings halfway down from there, and was dressed in a blue robe which indicated he was in charge of giving announcement during the council.
“This is the trial of Zane Wolfe,” the man spoke in a voice that carried itself in such a vast chamber. “The crimes presented are as follows: practicing arts while not under the supervision of an instructor, unleashing a beast which destroyed a third of the Birk district, killing six people, and threatening the town as a whole.” He took a moment and turned slightly towards the upper area as the Elders began to step out. “Representing the Wolfe district: Elder Damien. Representing the Bern district: Elder Aaron. Representing the Birk district: Elder Magnus. Representing the Ren district: Elder Bjorn.” Again he paused while the four seated themselves. “This hearing is now in session…”
Damien never liked formalities, so he quickly spoke up to get things moving along. “The law states that you should be executed. Do you realize this?”
Zane was shaken, but he was about to answer anyway when Brailen stopped him. “Don’t talk, just listen,” he whispered. “He’s only pointing that out.”
“It’s been some time since anything of this magnitude has taken place inside the town. Longer still since such a calamity has been brought about by one of our own.” He continued.
“This must be dealt with in a manner that will allow the people to rest at ease,” Elder Aaron chimed in. He was the oldest of them, and his voice had more of a crackle to it. “I was against the idea of letting this child walk the streets at all. After that night, it would take away a sense of security to see him strolling about like nothing happened.”
“I agree,” Bjorn said, stroking his white beard. “Safety is the first priority. If you were any older, I’d wonder why you weren’t already hanging from a rope. The question at hand is what to actually do about this.”
“I for one am not going to rule for the death of a seventeen year old boy.” Damien said, mostly just to terminate such talk.
“Then what would you suggest? A spanking?!” Bjorn asked, raising his voice slightly.
Sam was starting to get nervous, but he put a hand on his son’s shoulder to let him know he wasn’t alone in this.
“If the boy isn’t under close surveillance, he poses a threat at all times,” Aaron stated. “We either execute him now, or lock him up till he’s older and do it then. It’s too risky to try and train him after seeing what he can do.”
“In light of certain evidence, however, I believe that careful training would be worth the risk,” Bjorn said. “Of course, I cannot see this boy being allowed to remain here. Banishment is the only course of action that would fit the crime.”
“You would see him banished? So his uncontrolled power could merely be unleashed on others?” Elder Magnus finally spoke. “I would quicker send him to the headsman’s axe than put anyone else in danger.”
“That isn’t an option.” Damien said, putting his foot down on the matter.
“Are you sure that your feelings for this child are not interfering?” Aaron asked. “He is your kin, after all. Would you make the same decision if this boy was a complete stranger?”
“Of course I would! Would you send someone his age to his death for something he couldn’t control?!”
“He did control it, though.” Bjorn said. “As I recall from your own account, he was purposefully directing his will towards a stray animal…without supervision.”
“Do you really think that an instructor’s presence would have changed anything?” Magnus asked, and so far he was the calmest of the four.
“Most likely not,” Aaron said. “That doesn’t change the fact that his actions resulted in destruction and death.”
“What would you tell the husbands and children of the two women that died? How about the four and five year olds that were crushed when a house collapsed in the street on top of them? What about the man who was killed just after moving his family to safety? What would you have us tell them after they watched him die?” Bjorn spoke up, trying to control the anger leaking through his voice.
Zane was thinking about that now. At this point he was ready to give his life to bring some justice to the lives of others. Sam was willing to give his life if it meant his son would at least be spared.
“You don’t think I know that?!” Magnus said, standing up from his seat, now getting riled. “Those people were under my protection…mine!...”
“I think it best,” Damien started, raising his voice to cut him off at first, “If we thought over the options a bit more.”
Magnus returned to his seat. Indeed he felt the weight of this matter, but he didn’t see how killing an innocent boy would relieve the suffering of others.
“He must at least be banished,” Aaron said, breaking a short moment of silence. “We certainly cannot have him here. Either that or lock him up for good. That wouldn’t be much better than killing him though.”
“I agree, though imprisoning him would be worse in some respects.” Damien was pushing for his solution, but it couldn’t be rushed.
“Obviously we won’t agree to execution,” Bjorn said. “Imprisonment isn’t a solution either. So that leaves banishment, but still doesn’t solve the problem of this boy being a threat. Not only to us, but anyone he comes in contact with. After that display, it’s hard to tell what he’s truly capable of.”
Elder Magnus leaned over to whisper to the others. There was a pause in the trial while they discussed something among themselves.
“We cannot let the boy stay. It’s too much of a risk.” Aaron said, remaining firm on that position.
“Neither can we let him go,” Bjorn stated.
“Death and prison are out of the question, of course,” Magnus had to add.
“I do have a solution, if it will be heard.” Damien said, glancing at the boy far below them.
“Well, let’s hear it,” Bjorn said.
“Another option on the table would be welcomed,” Aaron said, taking a sip of some wine he had in a goblet. “I’ll be damned if we’re getting anywhere so far.”
Magnus looked at the Elder Wolfe and gave a hint of a nod, indicating that he agreed it was time to present it.
“We put him on the ships.”
Bjorn and Aaron blew up in a flurry of words at this. There was enough commotion between the two to drown out one’s own thoughts. They were furious over this proposal. If it had been brought up earlier it would have simply been laughed at, but now they had to take it seriously and that caused a disturbance.
“Do you have a better idea?” Damien asked, but he wasn’t heard. So he signaled to the announcer below to sound his horn. The blast quickly restored order and the Elder repeated himself. “I said, do you have a better idea?”
The two looked down rather sheepishly then admitted they did not.
Finally Bjorn spoke up, “You can’t be serious. Having him sail with the merchants would jeopardize everything. What if something happens while he’s aboard, what then?!”
“How do we know it won’t end in disaster?!” Aaron said, but his elevated voice was causing him to choke a bit, so he calmed himself. “What guarantee is there that he won’t do even more damage?”
“Foreign trade is what keeps this town alive,” Bjorn added. “If the journey isn’t successful it could severely impact the wellbeing of everyone relying upon it.”
“Magnus, you can’t seriously agree to such a thing,” Aaron said. “The cargo might be ours, but those men and their ships are under your authority. If anything happens, it’s you who will be blamed.”
“I agree, it’s a great risk,” he answered. “However, the boy is more than aware of the threat he poses. With the guidance of the others and under the watchful eye of one of my officers, I highly doubt things will go astray.”
“You doubt things will go astray?” Elder Bjorn said. “That’s hardly reassuring.”
“Nothing is assured, you know that.” Magnus shot back.
“Enough!” Damien said, pounding his cane into the stone floor. “This is going nowhere. A legitimate solution has been presented. Will it be accepted as feasible or not? If so, then what are the terms?”
“How would this even help the situation?” Aaron asked. “Even if all goes well, in five years he’d just be back here and we’d be having this conversation again.”
Zane was torn by the direction this had taken. He didn’t want to leave his home, his family, but at the same time it was better than the other options.
Sam leaned over and whispered to him. “They’ll have this conversation again, but Aaron won’t be here to see it.” It was his way of taking a stab at the Elder’s age, and it made the teen chuckle a little, which was suppressed.
“Actually, I already have a plan for that,” Damien replied. “The boy would receive training, and by the time he returned, he’d have control over his abilities.”
“Training?!” Bjorn said. “We won’t let him train as it is, and you think it would be safer out there than it is here? It isn’t just the lives of the people in this town. It’s also the lives of others, which is why banishment isn’t an option.”
“While that may be true, you cannot deny it would be better done away from the town under the management of a beast master.” Magnus stated. “Also, keep in mind that there’s something to gain from this.”
“I’m well aware of that,” Bjorn replied. “Now the question is whether or not it’s worth the risk. To be honest, I don’t understand why you’re going along with this, Magnus.”
“No, the question is if it’s better than the alternatives.” Damien pointed out.
“True, this does seem to be more favorable.” Aaron admitted.
“The safest bet is still execution, though.” Bjorn said. “At least no one else would be in danger. Seeing as how that and prison is off the table, I must agree this is preferred over banishment, and also has some potential advantages for the future.”
“We’re here to make a decision, one that we all stand behind. Do we, or do we not concur on this solution?” Damien asked.
He looked at Bjorn and Aaron with a stern face; he knew Magnus was with him on this, but the other two were still sketchy.
“All in favor,” Magnus said, raising his hand.
It took a moment, and then Aaron lifted his. All three looked at Bjorn, who then grudgingly joined to make it a unanimous vote.
“Then it is settled. Zane will join the merchant fleet.” Damien concluded.
“Who will train him, though?” Bjorn asked. “Only a Wolfe may train a Wolfe, or have you forgotten?”
“Don’t worry, I have someone in mind.” Magnus said.
Whew, that was a lot of talking. ^_^ Darn it, wish there was a way to reward the first person to find this...I guess I could +rep. ^_^
Nice chapter Didn't see any big mistakes, so great job:D This is getting pretty interesting.
I certainly do hope it's getting interesting. The first three chapters were supposed to hook the reader so that I could tell the story properly without having anyone fall asleep for a while. Things get more intense later on, but for now I have to build up to it in order for it to be epic enough.
so who will train him, a new character ? mwuhahaha
I'm in this, my name is Aaron :3 yes I'm an elder! but I'm an arsehole...oh well I'm still in it
It was tense, its obvious you ain't going to kill him off because he is the main character but it still kept me 0n the edge of my seat the whole time >.< it was really awesome! (and if he was sentenced to death that would have been a twist I would never have saw coming)
Read the first two paragraphs or so, and from what I read, you still seem to have an ability to draw readers in. Your English is great and the flow of the story and the narrative is good. You're in my consideration this month as well!