Justice, it's a kind of…

Focus: David Edding's series, set after the "Seeress of Kell" book. Slight AU setup. Character studies for, Eriond and Asharak

Summary: Because mercy was a trait he'd never owned, never earned, though he'd pled for it. Once and only once had he fallen, and for that transgression it seemed as if Fate was intent to make him pay again and again. For one Sin he'd live life after life. Never his own, though he strove to reclaim what had been his, he was ever denied. Call it chance, luck, fate, or Necessity, there was someone or something pulling the strings of his living Hell, for no matter how he fought to break the route he was driven back to these alien paths.

Intro: Mercy, I beg

It was something you never forgot. The feel of the blade, three sided, each edge venom soaked. A venom slicked each edge, more potent than the serpent that had inspired the weapon's name. You never forgot it, where it was, how to get to it. Those who did were dead, fallen by their own inexcusable fallacy. Death's forum was ever the same, the venom and the egress, by way of broken skin, the route was forged of carelessness.

Adder's Sting: Beloved of Dashagi, sacred to the Murgo, a man of the dominating race, wielding that blade, would go far. Truly a man, a warrior, could go far wielding death's guarantee. Upon receiving his he'd smiled, surely, wildly, so much so his scars had burned.

They burned now, though this face, this life, he had no scars. Burned coldly, bereft of blood, bereft of fire, they smolder even as denials slipped past his lips. Still, he remembered having such scars, and though they weren't there per say the thought was all that mattered, wasn't it? Perhaps, the sentimentally inclined races of the West certainly thought it.

Still, there was a kind of justice in this moment. An inverted irony that was poetically cruel. This was a burning without fire. Lies took place of truth. All in all it was a suitable punishment for one as him. For many lifetimes ago (how many he scarcely knew, he'd hardly kept count in this winding road of punishment) he'd transgressed. The one time, the sole time he'd dared to reveal himself, to show his hand and act without the stealth of his order he'd paid by flame. For truth he'd burned, with flames of unnatural bent has scoured the life from his body, stripped flesh from his bones…

So cold, he shook, shook and burned from what he'd once thought of as "blessedly numb". Face surly pallid, borrowed face twisting into an expression of bafflement. The creek of a horseman's bow going taunt, the arrow nocked and set before his eyes stilled his tongue. He stopped his evasions, knowing that even the most frantic of babbling wouldn't save him.

Bereft of horse, saber, it seemed this Algar would be content shooting him with a short bow. Ever a traditionalist, this dark haired, intractable Aloran girl, he smiled despite himself.

"What are you?" She spat, shaking, her tone, not her hands.

Those calloused hands were rock steady, despite all his prayers to the contrary.

So, hands spread, smiling wide, invisible scars all aflame he laughed.

"What they make me. It changes from week to week."

She didn't understand, and to her bafflement he laughed harder.