Missing In Action (LOR Outlaws Freebuild)
His eyes creaked open like a pair of rusted hinges on a decrepit farmhouse window shutter. Everything was so bright. 'Why is everything so damn bright?' he thought as he sat motionless leaned against a brutally cold stone wall. His head was pounding like the rhythmic marches of an approaching army. 'An approaching army...' he pondered this thought for a second until it struck him.
Boethius leaped to his feet but immediately lost his footing and had to grab onto the nearby weapon racks for support. His side ached in pain as he leaned from side-to-side like a boat trapped in bad seas as he tried to gain some well needed footing. As he stumbled around the room trying to find an exit he kicked over a series of empty bottles, with only a deep red, translucent, stained set of bottoms indicating that they had once held wine. But no more. Now they just clanged with such vicious, vile, noise that Boethius cupped his ears, as if he would in some way catch all the wine that was ailing his splitting head.
He staggered out of the room and into a dark hallway, lit only by a few wall mounted lanterns that burned dimly and through sets of foggy glass panes. The hallway rested at the feet of moldy, crumbling stairs. Boethius looked down the hallway and saw nothing except another doorway. The smell of his own wine fragrance was overpowered by bludgeoning blows of swamp water dripping from every crack, mildew swept walls, hints of blood and sweat, and the unmistakable stench of corpses.
He looked up the stairs where light was infiltrating beneath a heavy wooden door that kept its attacker at bay, but could not hold back a symphony of grotesque sounds. Screams for mercy blasted in high pitches like trumpets while gurgling cries for help kept the tempo. Clangs of sword and axes added an element of texture, but the baseline of battle cries and shouting could not be ignored. It all made Boethius' head feel worse.
He knew somewhere out there his friends were likely fighting, marching towards their own deaths, or already dead laying a blood filled ditch. And here he was, swinging from side-to-side in the bowels of some castle. He couldn't even remember how he got there.
Suddenly he heard the door at the end of the hallway swing open with a jolt, and two men in chainmail embroidered with the sigil of a dragon came running towards him, their armor metallically swishing, and their spears poised for attack. Boethius had no idea what they were after him for. He reached up to grip his sword, ready to swing. But the men paid no attention to him and shouted in conversation as they approached him with a jog.
"Hey laddie!? What you doin' down 'ere? The battle is upstairs! Maldrake has called for every amble bodied man to fill the courtyard!"
Boethius stood motionless in uncertainty. He looked down at his side, bandaged up and aching. He had to make the decision now; was he to fight for the Queen again, or was he to run with his tail between his legs? He looked up towards the stairs, and back down the hallway at the men. He mustered his voice to speak but was interrupted before he could even speak.
"Ey! Looks like he already took one to the side." Said one the men.
"Ay, you're right." Replied the second, looking at Boethius again. They must have thought he was in great physical pain as he kept balanced leaning against this wall. He was of course, but his head was the problem more so than his side. Boethius shook his head in unfounded guilt.
"Ey, well if you follow this hallway outward," The first man said, motioning towards the door with his spear, "You'll soon find your way to a tunnel that'll lead you further into the mountains, where the auxiliaries are being kept, I think." He looked to the other and raised and eyebrow under his helm. "You don't think they've already..."
"Couldn't have. Rogell said we'd wait..."
They both looked at each other, then quickly at Boethius. Boethius starred back, unwavering.
"Ey, head down the tunnel like I said. There should be some men waiting there."
Boethius nodded, and the men sprinted past him, and up the stairs. As they climbed one said to the other in whisper that was not as soft as intended, "Poor guy. He'll drop dead before he reaches their encampment. And if he does make it, they'll be long gone." The other quickly replied, "At least he'll have a few swamp rats to keep him company."
Boethius shrugged off their doubts and made his way down the hallway to the door.
He was not ready just yet to collapse in a helpless pile. He needed to find a soft bed and warm sheets first.
Boethius has been MIA for far too long, so I thought I'd bring him back for some needed face time. Plus, I need to get his story up to date! I mean. Maldrake was still kicking when this took place!
This is for my LCC/LOR ( (Formerly Lands Of Classic Castle) Lands of Roawia ) character, Boethius the Exiled. The full story can be viewed here.