By Damien Knight
(Story poem from Koraki Saros Kanosis to his imprisoned daughter.)
I am sorry my child for your pain
For the suffering you lived
The raging guilt drives me insane
If I heeded my head
Yet I headed my heart instead
If I had not done so carelessly
Dear sweet Lidie my angel
You would be here in my house with me’=
I only ask you forgive this old crow
How sorry I am you never will know
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I love when things are complicated.”
Koraki to Anika
Arajuan did not have the luxury to stop. A tight schedule meant he had to push on. He could still smell her blood on him, feel her heartbeat against him. His own heart pounded against his ribcage. He knew this feeling, a roar in his chest from a time before he was Arajuan. She was the lady of shadows; how could he do this to her?
Arajuan had to shake this off, aloof, wicked, heartless. This is war, the price of war is death. He would laugh but it was not funny. The men followed him, orcs were the core group, from the same tribe Tsuke and Tuk hailed. The others were victims of towns he decimated. He relished in their fear when new towns he conquered saw his necromantic arts. It was a delight when they knew they bound their fate to him.
The war drums played as they marched. Socrates landed on his shoulder. He knew his master better than anyone; they were bonded as brothers. Socrates sensed Arajuan’s troubled heart.
“The girl, was she the wyrmling?” Socrates asked