The Tower at Barnak
Author: Marc Farrimond © 1998
Jerrard stretched his arms high above his powerful torso and worked out the knots in his muscles. It was a long journey from Chronopia to Gergythia and then two days travel before he has reached his new charge the Tower at Barnak. The large framed man yawned as he stretched and gazed down from the high window in the tower to the courtyard below. Traders from Gergythia were unloading provisions for the Firstborn troops garrisoned at the tower. Barrels of smoked meats and fish, oil and fuel for the coming months and fresh weapons to defend the tower from any horde that may attack. Jerrard smiled and rubbed his broad chin with his hand, a habit that he had never grown out of from childhood. This was an excellent posting and one which he would be able to leave and impression from. For years he had loyally served the One King as a Judge without question or reason to question. But. Around ten years ago he noticed a change in himself. He saw visions on occasion; well perhaps more like waking dreams rather than visions. These troubled him as how was he to judge others when he did not feel he knew his own mind. He sought solace in Carnos, a Chronomancer whom he had called friend for many years. Carnos realized that Jerrard had a very rare and wonderful gift. He consulted members of the order of Chronomancers and within months Jerrard was no longer a Judge, but was an initiate into the order and over the next few years he was trained as an Enlightened. A knock on the door to his small quarters brought Jarrard back to the present.
"Enter!" His voice boomed deep and baritone, with an air of authority. The doorway opened and a small, wiry looking man entered head lowered and eyes downcast.
"Yes Harnos. What is it?"
"The supplies from Gergythia have all been unloaded and accounted for my Lord, and the men are ready for your inspection!" The small man trembled as he spoke. Jarrard had for many years been a Judge after all and a Judge was the law of the One King with no exception. To talk to a Judge was akin to taking to death itself and was not something to be done lightly. Harnos dared not look at the man in front of him such was his reverence.
"Excellent. We shall inspect them at once. Come with me." With two strides the large man was out of the room and making his way down the small winding staircase to the inner garrison on the ground level, Harnos had increase his pace to almost a run just to keep up with Jarrard. Assembled in the large room was the entire complement of the garrison. Twenty men all hand picked for their skill and prowess in battle, many of them veterans of many conflicts. As a man they all stood to attention as Jarrard entered the room, with Harnos in tow close behind. Uniforms were spotless, all the men were clean shaven and recently bathed and weapons hung from freshly waxed scabbards. Jarrard walked slowly up and down the two ranks of men, he looked long and hard at each man in turn before moving on to the next, causing the men to feel more than nervous as the word of the living god moved among them.
Jarrard stood back pleased with the men under his charge. They would do fine and looked eager to prove themselves to him and pledge servitude to the large man. Jarrard spoke to the ensemble troops and his voice filled the room like rolling thunder.
"You have all been chosen for your skill and prowess in battle and the loyalty that you show to the One King. The task ahead will not be an easy road to take, but we will perceiver and shall be triumphant. These walls will become our bastion, our sanctuary, and our haven. We will protect these walls with our very essence and our lives shall be as the stone that makes the foundations of this tower. We serve only the One King and will do his will. I ask you now, one and all. Is any man here in doubt of our task!"
The men remained as silent as the grave, not one of them dared speak least bring the wrath of the Enlightened down upon them like a beast of prey on its quarry. Jarrard walked over to the small window that overlooked to courtyard and stood motionless for a time, his hands clenched behind his back, and the sun glinting of his Truthbringer axes like shafts of enlightenment. Slowly he turned and did something that no man had ever seen one of his standing do before. He smiled. Nodding at Harnos, Jarrard turned once more to the view before him as the small man dismissed the troops. Jarrard would like this task. Yes indeed this was going to a glorious time for him.
First version from 24.03.2008. Last Version from 24.03.2008.