TITLE: The Chimes Toll A Firestorm
AUTHOR: Lord of Kavaka
CHARACTERS: Richard/Kahlan/Cara/Zedd/Original Characters
TIMELINE: Post-TEARS; takes place three days after the end of IN THE WINDS.
STORY TYPE: Romance/Angst/Adventure/Drama
SPOILERS: Anything from Season 1 & 2, and the books.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own them, and I make no profit.
SUMMARY: Sequel to IN THE WINDS. Now that they are married, will Richard and Kahlan finally find happiness, or will an invasion by an evil foe, plus an insidious plot by a Sister of the Dark, ruin everything?
Prologue – Freedom and Purpose
They cried in joy and delight, soaring through the sky, feeling the wind and the freedom that came with it. For so long they had been trapped in their prison, long forgotten and little cared for. But now, they were free. Mother had said the words and the walls of their captivity had melted away. By the will of mother, they sought out father, the man she loved, and healed him, taking away the vile taint that the magic of the Underworld had scarred him with. The mark was removed, and he lived. And their mother was pleased.
Euphoria overcame them as they broke through the final chains that bound them. Soaring and flying about, they kissed mother with each of their elements and darted out, seeking the fresh air and the joys that came from no longer being held. Today was a new day, a day in which they would finally begin to do what they had been made for, what was their destiny to do.
Fire, air, water were their elements. And they were thrilled to no end to find abundant supplies of all. This world would feel them; know their presence, just as their creators had always intended.
They flew out, separating, each going to do their assigned tasks. Nothing would impede or hinder their work; nothing could stop them. They were relentless and single-minded. No amount of persuasion could divert them from their task. Their destiny.
They had finally tasted freedom, and they were not going to give it up.
Despite the warmth of the water in the pool, a shiver ran up her spine. Cynthia looked over her shoulder, and sighed with vexation when she realized she had allowed her imagination to run away with her.
She stood naked and alone in the large pool, cleaning herself in the warm waters. She was puzzled and confused to what Sister Bree had planned for her. It had been horrible seeing the Emperor unleash his rage on the poor women. Something had happened in regards to this Lord Rahl that had greatly upset him, and he took Bree in such ways that Cynthia shuddered with horror at witnessing them. The Sister had saved her from such things by interceding when the Emperor had grabbed her hair and declared that it was time for him to take her.
But then, afterwards, she had been sent to this large bath to clean. She ducked her head underneath the water, worried that the Emperor would come and take her. She'd seen how he enjoyed having his way with Sister Bree while in this pool. He'd push her against the edge and take her from behind. But as time passed, and he did not appear, Cynthia began to relax.
She waded deeper into the pool and thought about this woman they said she looked so much a like… this Kahlan Amnell. Whoever she was, she was a very important woman, and strong of spirit. With how Bree had been coaching her in how to behave and speak, Cynthia wondered how anyone could even mistake her for such a woman. Cynthia was nothing like this Kahlan Amnell, the Mother Confessor—whatever that was. Bree had tried to explain what a confessor was, but Cynthia still did not understand. There were no such women in the Old World.
The Old World was a place of men and their laws. Of the Imperial Order, and the will of the Creator, or at least that is what the Brotherhood pontificated. If no one obeyed them, then they were executed as heretics and nonbelievers. When the soldiers had come to her town, and her husband had refused to hand her over, they grabbed him and proclaimed him a heretic. Then they proceeded to rape her, forcing her love to watch. When they had finished with her, they strung her husband up and hanged him. They took her away, adding her to the many women in the trains of slave tents. She never saw her home ever again.
Those days that followed had been brutal. Each night men would come to the tents and rape the women. The guards called them the army's whores, but they were not whores, they were captives and slaves, taken for the amusement of the men. Then, one day, the one of the Emperor's men saw her, and she no longer had to spend her nights in the tents, no longer had to spread her legs. She served as the wine girl at the Emperor's table. And when he was not eating, she cleaned and assisted the cooks.
Then, after one meal, the wizard Neville's eye caught sight of her and he took her back to his chambers, forcing her to take him in her mouth, and then commanding her to spread her legs for him. She had been confused and perplexed as he kept muttering the name "Kahlan" as he took her. At the time Cynthia did not know what the future held for her. She had been afraid that this was to be her lot in life, serving this vile wizard, who enjoyed the feel of her flesh. But at least she only had to spread her legs for him, and not anyone else. It was an easier existence than spending the nights in the tents.
After many nights with Neville between her legs, Cynthia was relieved when she was handed over to the Emperor's whore. The woman was smaller than her, with a lithe slender body and a beautiful face, framed by light brown hair. Her green eyes looked over Cynthia and a cruel smile formed on her face. She was taken before the Emperor, and he declared that no man was to touch her, not even Neville. Cynthia had been so relieved that she had failed to notice how the Emperor had leered at her naked body.
Sister Bree, the Emperor's whore, took her aside and told her about the Lord Rahl. That was when Cynthia had learned of this Kahlan Amnell, and her physical resemblance to her. For months she trained with Sister Bree, learning about the Mother Confessor and her mannerisms and patterns of speech. It was not long until everyone, including the Emperor, agreed that Cynthia spoke and moved exactly like this Kahlan. Then… that night came where the Emperor threatened to take her. But Bree had stepped in and taken the beating instead.
Now, Cynthia was in the warm pool, cleaning herself. According to Bree, it was approaching the time in which she was to use what she had learned and gain the Lord Rahl's favor. She ran her hand along her chest, rubbing the soap in, wondering what sort of man this Richard Rahl was, and would he really be gullible enough to believe that she, Cynthia, was Kahlan Amnell, the woman he loved.
The door opened, and Cynthia took in a sharp breath, afraid it was going to be the Emperor. But it was only Sister Bree, dressed in silky red robes, with a matching veil held back, resting down the back of her head. The Emperor's whore folded her hands together above her waist and looked down on her with her commanding green eyes.
"It is time, Cynthia," she said.
Cynthia nodded and slowly waded out of the pool. Bree helped her dry, and then the Sister produced some dark garments. Cynthia looked through them and furrowed her brow.
"What are these?" she asked.
Bree smirked. "Good! When you talk now you sound exactly like her," the Sister said. "There is no hesitation or break. Excellent." She paused, and smiled again. "As to your question, these are the Mother Confessor's traveling clothes. One of our spies was able to steal them. Try them on."
Cynthia narrowed her eyes, examining the clothes. They looked about her size, but it felt odd to put on someone else's clothing. She first pulled the corset on and laced it up with Bree's help. She blushed, noticing how it pushed her breasts together, accentuating her womanly form. She pulled on the bodice and slipped her legs through the skirt, wondering why a woman of such high station would be wearing an outfit that showed so much of her legs. The high black boots were a little snug, but the fit well enough. And the jacket, with an attached hood, fit perfectly.
After finishing, Bree stepped back and nodded in approval. "Perfect," she proclaimed smiling. "The Lord Rahl will believe you are the Mother Confessor."
Cynthia folded her arms across her breasts, and took a deep breath. "Do I really have to sleep with him?" she questioned, a little worried that he would be a fierce and brutal lover like Neville had been to her… like the Emperor was to Bree.
Bree raised an eyebrow. "Of course," she said. "From what our spies have told us, the Lord Rahl and Mother Confessor married not but three days ago." The Sister stepped forward and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "Just imagine him as your husband… because that is what he will be for all intensive purposes. And believe me, from what we've learned about the Mother Confessor, she can hardly keep her hands off him. You must be both eager and attentive to him in the bed, he will expect nothing less from the woman who loves him."
Cynthia tucked a strand of her dark hair behind an ear and nodded. Her husband was dead, but soon she would have a new one… one that the Imperial Order also wanted dead. Cynthia was unsure about being used for such wicked purposes, but in the end it did not matter. Her love had been taken from her and she wanted to join him in the Underworld, if she would have to submit to this Master of D'Hara and allow him inside her, then she would.
"Ready?" Bree asked.
Cynthia nodded. "Yes, I am ready."
Bree stepped up before her. "All right… then let me hear you say his name," she said. "I want to hear the love in your voice… telling him that you love him… say it as you would when I leave him with you."
Cynthia took a deep breath, feeling her breasts press together as the corset held them up. "I love you, Richard," she said, putting as much love into her voice as possible. "I love you so much… please, don't leave me… don't leave me."
A thin cruel smile formed on the lips of the Sister of the Dark. "You will do well, Cynthia…," her green eyes sparkled with mischief, and she gave a mocking bow of her head. "I mean… Mother Confessor."