Rowen's War

BY : Gslinger
Category: Fantasy & Science Fiction > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1408
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication

Rowen’s War

 

Chapter 1   A New Path

 I have been traveling on this desolate dirt road heading toward the cold north for well over week now, because my previous mercenary employment in the south was terminated. The result of peace being declared between the combatants. Now I was forced by the basic need to survive, as well as fill my poor dwindling purse by selling my mercenary sword skills to those in the far Northern domains, where fighting was still ongoing. It meant also that I needed to accustom myself to much colder climate sooner rather than later. Hopefully employment, at least would include food and shelter from the fiercer elements for both my horse and me, between any possible skirmishes. The North’s cold definitely required me when I had the coins to replace my existing black leather armor with something much heavier and a lot warmer.

Traveling during the day in bright sunlight was not so bad but at night the temperature fell well below freezing.  Even though it was early autumn a strong howling wind seemed to blow constantly out of the north. This cold wind made it difficult to sleep through the night. Forcing Shadow and I to get even closer to the flames of the camp fire we built just to keep from freezing. Even when I put more wood on the campfire, it did little good, the wind and cold air made it almost impossible to sleep through the night.

A dim cloudy sun was sinking rapidly to the horizon. Already there was a sharp chill in air. It was time to start looking for a suitable camp site for the night. This time I planned to be very meticulous about the site I selected. First of all it had to be somewhat protected and out of the cold wind, yet still provide water and forage for my horse. Also this perfect campsite must offer a degree of concealment from any   wandering band of thieves, brigands, or other fey marauders who were rumored to roam this region. Rumors suggested they all were known to attack a lone rider if they came upon him.  Yes, I needed to keep a sharp eye out for this perfect camp. Yet, daylight seemed to be fading all too fast as my horse trotted along the dirt road at a steady pace.  The likelihood of finding the perfect camp out of the cold wind was almost nil, so once again I supposed I’d just end up making do with what I could actually find. A notion that left me little to be I ecstatic about.

Shadow soon grew spirited and impatient to run after our boring slow steady pace that day, so I gave him his head and allowed him to take a nice gallop down the dirt road, but after fifteen or twenty minute he came to an unexpected startling halt that almost dislodged me from the saddle as he dipped his head to drink from a tiny sparkling stream that ran in a shallow ditch alongside the dirt road. Then I noticed that the flowing water turned abruptly back away from the road then disappeared down into along a narrow, stony, shallow ravine.  Opposite the ravine were a number of enormous gray, twisted, misshapen pine trees that stood like great ancient deformed guardians on the forward edge of a dark gloomy primordial pinewood. The deeper and further you went under these huge sinister dark trees you discovered that they grew so thick and close together that not even a sliver of sunlight managed to get through their dense canopy. Only the narrow rocky path that ran alongside the tiny fast meandering stream caught the sun, which oddly gave the little trail an inviting golden glow before it disappeared abruptly into the dimly lit woodland beyond. Was it possible that this golden path might lead to a perfect camp site free of the wind for the night and meet all our necessary requirements?  Could Shadow and I, be so lucky?

Ooooo

As we headed carefully down the meandering stony path next to the softly babbling stream, time seems stand still as if we were entering an eerily mysterious place that wasn’t totally in this world. The sound of trickling water was the only sound, not even a bird or the rustling of a squirrel could be heard in thick canopy above. I couldn’t help but wonder, who originally made this curious narrow, trifling trail on the precise edge of the pinewoods? Was it a timeworn animal track, an old human trail created by hunters, ‘or Gods forbid’ a ritual unworldly footpath made by those malevolent, non-human others?

Mercenaries, always a bit superstitious feared to mention the others by their true name least they appear suddenly and strike without mercy. The others', hated humans and fought like virtual demons…. or that’s what my fellow mercenaries who fought them said.  Never having fought them, I had no desire to do so right then, so I carefully avoided evoking their cursed name.

Once, it seemed long ago now, I sat enjoyed my ale in a very noisy, crowded tavern and found myself sitting across from a group of fierce high-ranking mercenaries of some re-known, I listen to their discussion of previous awful and terrible battles and then suddenly one of them looked over at me grinning back at me as he noted my apparent youth, “Remember youngling, the others are a most fierce foe, often it’s better to run and flee from them in most cases if you can. Listen boy be warned.  If their delicate jeweled sword don’t kill you out right, their magical enchantments will leave you, in mere seconds, thoroughly at their mercy, unmanned, and begging for death.”

 I have never run from a battle in my life no matter my fear of the situation. So it was hard for me to appreciate or believe such a cowardly suggestion. That it truly should be taken seriously, especially, from a high ranking Brother of Sword I had my doubts.  Often older Mercenaries were frequently well-known for their teasing and tormenting their younger counterparts as a form of amusing initiation. But strangely, despite, the mocking grin he wore his eyes told me he was utterly serious. If you’re a true mercenaries as far as my first instructor taught, you never ran from a battle no matter who you fought….only foul cowards ran from a fight.    

 

Ooooo 

 

The tiny stream lead to a small open, wide grassy area or glade that was unbelievably fragrant with wild flowers, fresh green grasses. It was shaded by a canopy of tall still vividly painted leafy trees. In the dim softly filtered light of this inviting glade tiny torch bugs flitted and dance showing off their tiny lights even though the sun had yet to set. At the back of glade rose a high stone escarpment containing a substantial overhang of pale tannish-white rocks. This overhang looked most capable of providing protection from the wind, especially, if a large campfire was set up right in front of its stone face.  It would provide us with all the comfort we would need for night. Surprisingly, for once my campsite demands had been met. We were close to water and the grassy glade would provide forage for Shadow. We’d be out of the cold wind protected by both the trees and the stone escarpment, therefore warmer during the night. And we were certainly far enough off the beaten trail, that it was unlikely any ill-meaning marauders could sneak up on us. What more could I possibly want?

It appeared Shadow had found us our camp site for the night! In thanks, I patted and stroked his proud raven-black curved neck and whispered, “Good boy, Shadow tonight I’ll give you extra oats.” He reply with a loud whinny, as if he both understood my words and my promise.  As I dismount Shadow he quickly nudged my back and chest with his head affectionately before he casually wandered off to begin nibbling on the tasty grass.

I was just about to start setting camp for night, when a loud tormented cry of pain came out of nowhere echoing throughout the glade. Looking around me I saw no one near. But then came another weaker cry,this time, it seemed to come from the direction of the escarpment’s base. Did that mean there was some kind of hollow or small cave that I was unable to see?

Instantly, I drew my sword and headed toward the overhang of white rock that’s when I saw the slender frail body of a woman. She wore not a long fancy dress but rather ornately embroidered soft pale suede tan tunic and matching trousers. The shade of her garments blended in with the white stone around her.  She was wedged tightly close to the base of the rocks as if she endeavored to hide herself. Then I noticed that her lower right leg was bent at very odd unnatural angle obviously broken. Extremely long, thick silvery pale white hair covered her face and upper body like a silken blanket. Another soft whimper of pain reached my ears. I couldn’t understand why such a delicate, frail woman would be out here in the woods alone by herself without a horse in sight? How had she broke her leg?

As I approached even closer, I said in a soft calm voice, “Be still my lady, I will try to help you.”

She gave another low screech of frantic animal pain and then cursed out a series of strange harsh unfamiliar words that I didn’t recognize. I moved even closer to her, all of a sudden from beneath her body she weakly drew a very sharp, slender silvery jeweled short sword that was barely the length of the long dagger I wore on my hip. She weakly thrust the weapon in my direction with a grunt of agony, causing me to pull back quickly so it wouldn’t cut me.  Wondering what to do next, I whispered, “please lady don’t be afraid I promise not to hurt you.” Suddenly, she laughed harshly. This effort made her gasp breathlessly in agony, then giving a faint sigh of distress, she passed out and was still.

I knelt beside her and brushed a long mass of silken white pale hair away from her face and upper body so I could see if she was still breathing. At once I gave out my own shocked expletive of bewilderment for what I took to be a woman was not even human.  When I moved the creatures hair out of the way it revealed a delicate pair of pointed ears, a long graceful neck,  as well as a perfectly flat slender male chest and thus an another evident truth.  This slight slim creature before me was not even a woman but one of those vicious legendary others, a male elf that I had only heard about, in bloody terrifying tales of grisly battles.  Graceful, slender, frail looking, and non-humanly beautiful despite such disarming physical traits, it was said they fought like demons from the darkest pit of hell.

The slight non-human creature in his present condition appeared neither vicious nor terrifying, for he was simply badly wounded with a broken lower right leg that left him unconscious. He certainly was no threat to me in his current state. Yet I was tense and edgy at the mere sight of him for I remembered all the violent cruel stories told of his kind. While still yet another part of me was inexplicably intrigued and fascinated by the strange creature’s exquisite inhuman beauty. I found I wanted to touch him, an odd compulsion under the circumstances that I seemed barely able to resist.  And yes despite all the previous dire warnings of how dangerous it was to make contact with these beings I knew I was going to help him no matter the possible danger. Had this deceptive fragile appearing, unconscious non-human male somehow manage, to find a way to influence me into helping him using some supernatural means? A part of me couldn’t help but wonder if this was, in fact, true. Yet, the thought disturbed me that I might be so easily influenced. Maybe it was simply my imagination? Or was it simply the healer in me, demanding me to do what needs to be done?  

 Suddenly, Shadow galloped up beside me and leaned down and fearlessly licked the unconscious elf’s cheek as if the strange being was merely a sweet delicious treat he wished to sample. Then before I could tell what he was going to do next he did the same thing to me. Then Shadow seemed to give me another oddly intelligent horsy stare as if to encourage me to hurry and help the fallen one.  Next Shadow stamped his hoofs impatiently as if to say hurry up and do something.  I knelt beside unconscious elf and stared at him as a disturbing series of weird confused emotions running through me that included outright dread, alarm, curiosity, and again that upsetting needy attraction. Unable to resist the bizarre impulse any longer I reached out and stroked the soft, fine, long pale hair that fell down the side of his pale face. I let out a breathless gasp for no male should be that exquisite, nor should I respond with such an outright intimate reaction. All my previous sexual companions had always been women, yet the hardness in my pants never before lied about such attractions!

Suddenly, the elf made another low whimper of pain.  His broken right leg needed to be fixed now while he was still mostly unconscious, if he was conscious the pain would be even greater. The elf’s anatomy didn’t appear to be much different from a human's and he showed no sign of blood lose, thus it appeared to be a straightforward break. It shouldn’t be a problem for me as I have learned to handle and heal similar breaks as a mercenary. No well-trained physicians of noble blood went into battle with lowly humble fighters like my usual companions. So necessity demanded that mercenaries learn to heal and fix each other wounds or injuries as best we could.  Fortunately, I seemed to have a certain unnatural gift for healing, which my fellow mates called on quite often. As fate would have it, I was surprisingly successful in saving more from the dark reaper than I actually lost. I was soon known to my fellow mercenaries as, Rowen, Magic Hand, or just Rowen the hand. It was said, I had the lucky touch of the Old Gods. My mercenary brothers routinely sought me out to heal them.

I prepared myself to help this bizarre little elf, but I couldn’t keep from wondering if, in the end, when I was done would he truly appreciate a hated human enemy aiding him? Or would the exotic pretty creature coldly and surely endeavor to murder me as a reward for the affront of actually touching his person? I must remember never to turn my back on him or foolishly trust him… for it could mean my death.   

Ooooo 

Lifting him carefully in my arms like a small weightless child, I moved the unconscious elf further back from to the base of the escarpment where he had lain, so that I now had more room to work on him. The new position where I put him was still well out of wind. Next I took away his jeweled sword and the small pack of his possession and concealed them far out of his reach. After collecting the necessary amount of wind-fall wood from nearby, I hurriedly build a substantial camp fire that would last the night to keep us both warm. Conveniently, he remained deeply unconscious the whole time I worked. So I decided not to delay any longer least he wake in even more pain. I quickly went about setting his broken leg. When I folded the right lose suede pant leg carefully above the elf’s knee so it was out of the way, I was dismayed to find the creatures lower leg was broken in two places. There appeared to be more damaged than I first supposed.  And his slender frail body seemed quite stressed from pain and also terribly feverish. He woke with a sharp painful cry as I finished putting the second delicate cracked bone in place.  One of his pale white nonhuman hands with its slim graceful elongated fingers and neatly filed claws reached out and grabbed my wrist tightly as if to stop my further actions. Strange pain-filled pastel green and amber-flecked cat eyes met my gaze with anomalous emotions reflected in them so I was unable to read them. I found his fearless wild-animal scrutiny oddly disturbing as he intently continued to study me. His unsettling dark slit pupils I noted were a weird combination of both serpent and cat. Still I had not even the briefest idea of what he was truly thinking. His fine perfect plump feminine pink mouth opened as if he was going to speak. But then nothing came out of his mouth but a single tortured breath full of exhaustion and pain. Then suddenly he collapsed lifelessly into unconsciousness or deep sleep.

I found I was disappointed I didn’t get to hear him speak for my curiosity about him was most thoroughly peaked. Impatiently, I carefully checked to make sure he was breathing normally and just merely sleeping. At last satisfied he was, I gently pried those tight white slender fingers with their neatly trimmed sharp claws from about my wrist. At such close intimacy with this pale unearthly exotic being I found myself shivering, irrationally.  

My patient’s leg was set but now it needed to be braced and securely bound so it would heal properly. So I walked about the glade in search of two perfectly straight sticks I could use. I paused only briefly to check on Shadow who was happily devouring both flowers and grasses in the close by glade.  While there I unsaddled him and removed my packs, blankets, furs and supplies from his back so he could rest and relax unhampered. I never tether him for I knew he would never run away.  Shadow and I were too close and he’d miss me, as I would him. 

Fortunately, as I conveyed my possessions and supplies back to where I left my strange patient I also happen to come across two ideal piece of wood that with a little knife work would make excellent splits for his leg. Even though the elf was right next to the nicely blazing camp fire, it distressed me to find him shuddering violently from the cold in spite of the fire.  Straightaway, I covered him painstakingly with most of the heavy furs and blankets that I just retrieved. I touched his forehead with the back of my hand only to discover to my further dismay that he was even more feverish than before.  It made me wonder how long his leg had been broken and how it had gotten that way?  Did he have a bad fall or had he been in a fight and badly beaten? It was then I had a disturb thought what if those who hurt him came back seeking to finish the job! Later, I learned this disturbing thought was all too true!

To heal him I likely need more than just simply splinting his leg, he’d also need some special powerful herbal potions for both fever and pain. If he was pursued by some particular nasty adversaries I’d need to know that too. But only he could tell me about such things when he was awake, lucid and willing to talk to me. Even if it was for his own good, he might unwilling to talk to me, as he still considered me his enemy.

Later after brewing a healing tea over the fire that would help his fever I manage to get him to drink some it without too much coaxing for he seem to crave the warmth of the liquid. But he stubbornly remained unresponsive and coldly silent otherwise. He refused to answer any of the questions I put to him. This made wonder did he understand my words? But I think he did. Along with the pained reflected in his non-human green eyes there was too, a noticeable haughty intelligence that gave him away.

I had made splints from the sticks, finally it was time to bind his leg so it would heal properly. The splints I made in combination with the special leather straps I carried in my supply pack would be more than sufficient do the job. Securing them to his leg would be very painful, when I told him he stared back at me studying me even more intently, as if he was judging me and my words, both. Again, I repeated my warning of the pain to come, his only reaction was to nod that he understood me, while he pulled the blankets and furs back exposing his lower leg.  Yet not one word did he utter or cry out even when I slowly started tightening the wooden braces around his leg with the snug straps. Mutely stubborn, the elf must have resigned himself to the amount pain required.  Steely unflinching, he remained emotionless and silent as I worked, never once showing his pain.  But the moment I was done bracing his right leg, he fell unconscious into a deep sleep, again without uttering a single word.

I decided then to let him rest undisturbed for a while until I made a nice thick pot of Rabbit stew with a rich broth.  Later, I’d try to get him to drink some of the warm broth for both its healing energy and warm. Hopefully, it would help him feel better. Especially, if I added some of my special medicinal herbs for pain and fever that I, constantly, carried with me in case I needed them.  Maybe, at last, he might actually speak to me when he was awake, rather than just giving me that obstinately madding silent treatment, which I utterly detested?

An hour later, I poured some of thick brown broth in a large cup then added a measure of the curing herbs to it and gave it a good stir.  Its hot warmth smelled so good my hunger was so great it made me want to drink it myself.  Immediately, I realized that my unique injured patient certainly required it a lot more than me. When he was finished and resting, then I, finally, could eat too.

Surprised to find him still sleeping because I knew he didn’t trust me all that much. His injured leg must be paining him terribly for him to escape so easily and deeply in sleep.  I knelt down beside his make-shift pallets of furs and blanket and found myself staring in stunned fascination. The elf lay in an utterly still repose, totally vulnerable before me in the warm rosy glow of the fire light. The abundant mass of his long white silken hair framed his delicate white porcelain face and his very long closed eye lashes rested motionless against his flushed cheeks. His delicately arched brows and long lashes matched exactly the pale shade of his hair. The bright flames of the fire reflecting off his fair hair made it seem as if he wore a crown of light. His unworldly, unnatural, beauty was breathtaking. Again, I rudely wanted to touch him to prove to myself that he was indeed real.  Instead of taking such a vulgar liberty, I gently placed my hand calmly on shoulder and called to him to wake up. He woke with a start and reached to his waist for his missing sword. A sword that I purposely hide from him. When he failed to find it he flailed about in some distress, momentarily, forcing me to move back least he knock the cup of warm broth from my hand. Then he must have remember where he was because his gaze fell on me frowning and he whispered a word in a tongue I didn’t recognize. He must have notice my distress for he smiled an odd cryptic smile, which told me nothing?    

Then I was shocked to see him gracefully rise slowly to sitting position. Then with a nod he gave a strange chuckle and actually spoke out loud to me, “So human is that food for me, all at once I’m very hungry?”  His long fingered hand reached out to take the wooden cup from me, I gave a startled sigh as I let him grasp it, wondering how he could appear so normal. I found myself staring back at him as he slowly drank the broth, then I could swear his exotic feline eyes glowed an even brighter vivid green as I watched. The sight of his eyes changing proved just the opposite there was nothing truly normal about him.

“Well human I’m relieved to discover you know the correct herbs to use, and therefore haven’t poisoned me that would be most inconvenient in my present state.” He laughed softly in musical voice, his tone seemed both haughty and superior. His manner and attitude not unlike that of royalty! Then all at once I started to feel overly warm. Following that an intoxicating scent seemed to overwhelm me pulling me closer to where he sat. Then next I swear I saw his pale lashes flutter up at me and once more his pink mouth smirked slyly up at me. Instantly, I let out a started cry, for my male organ, as if it had a will of its own, pulsed hard and strong against the inside of my leather pants, which were becoming uncomfortable tight. In alarm, anger, and panic I quickly forced myself to back away from him, horrified by the sudden unnatural effect he exerted on me. I was deeply relieved to discover that the effect faded the further away I got from him.

 He held the empty cup out to me then smirking with amusement ask, “Please might I have another cup of your broth, it’s been actually days since I’ve eaten anything?”

“Yes, Elf you may have more, only you must stop trying to bewitch me. I insist, really it quite horribly rude of you to treat me this way. Especially, since I’m trying my best to help you, now!”     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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