In Castle Ughrok
The condemned knew it was nearly time. Men, women, children, any age. The condition was that children under four had to be accompanied by an adult.
In Castle Uhgrok the Cillian King Hektrith had been dead for years at least a century, but the records were burnt by Bastim the Traitor who was burnt at the stake, in a falsetto screaming cacophony that pleased the young pretender no less than the court jester. But the King had retained his throne, a skeleton in his insect-eaten finery, his bones secure without intervention, sceptre installed in his right hand (what was left of it), his exuberant crown held above his skull, fixed to the wall above the throne, where he presided all these years, dead dead dead, but still ruling despite those waiting in the line.
There was a walkway to the King’s throne, a long slab of the lias rock from further afield, just one piece two metres wide, one deep, twenty in length, and how it could have been transported from so far afield to this granite-land was the stuff of legend.
That was the bridge to the moth-eaten remnants of the King, who reigned eternal it seemed, seated with the same cruel and ruthless, unyielding authority of countenance as of his prime years when he’d maintained harem-upon-harem, loved and committed cruel acts in approximate proportions. He may have been dead, but his presence was there, perhaps more so than when he was extant.
Either side, the stonework fell away steeply into respective shoots, and the one on the left as you approached dropped you outside the castle and you fell to your death upon spikes some hundred metres below. That was for those whose crimes were deemed lesser than treason.
On the right side, you fell down a slope exactly the same but ended up in a fire pit, watched by the audience comprising the inhabitants whose attendance was mandatory, lest they end up in that howling, screaming barbeque themselves.
The condemned were taken to the place, to be led towards King Hektrith, whose entirely static skeletal remains would draw them along the walkway and cast judgement and send them right or left.
Jonas was first. Jonas who’d liased with the Gulkans of Jeshuia, sold secrets worth the whole castle for a few caddens and a whore for the night.
He made for a pitiful sight, grovelling all the way as his warders forced him along, muttering promises of wealth buried in the forest, myriad and pathetic ploys to save his hide in such a hopeless station.
He was forced to walk to the King. And once a few metres on that walkway, was drawn as if by magnetism. He seemed possessed, just walking without volition.
If you really looked, you could see a slight flicker of light in the King’s eye sockets, but that was all. But there was some life in him, in death.
Jonas walked along like a zombie. When he reached the midpoint, there was a slight bony rattle, and he fell down into the fire pit, where he’d seen so many others burn in writhing agony, yet had failed to learn his lesson.
Last edited by Ed Dazere; 09-28-2018 at 09:32 AM..