Witchcraft. To be accused of such a thing means death. I sat upon the walls of a town with three accused. I watched as those three woman hung off the side of a bridge, and drowned. Only two were true witches. The young blond was not one of them.
As the men let the innocent woman die, I could not bare to see any more.
The girl was unconscious, mumbling in her sleep, twitching in discomfort. She had not risen from her slumber since she was found. The priest had come across her dirty, hungry and weak. She'd been mumbling incoherently.
At about the same time, another girl had been found, wondering helplessly, mumbling things no one could understand. And than the plague struck the village. The people only knew of witchcraft, and accused the girls of it. They were thrown into the same cell, awaiting trial. Still the first girl did not wake, until finally, she felt the presence.
The girl opened her eyes, they were a piercing grey, but the gaze was soft. She sat up and stared out the bars of her cell. Her black hair was matted and she found it rather gross. "You are in a prison…you've been accused of witchcraft, like me." a voice spoke. She averted her gaze to the girl across from her, sharing her cell. Instead of replying she simply nodded. "What do they call you?" the girl asked. Her hair was dark, falling in dirty curtains in front of her blue eyes.
She did not have the chance to answer, for two men were brought inside, put in the cell across from theirs.
"You two, stand fast!" came the voice of a guard.
I turned, "Shit." I mumbled behind my mask. I'd just finished telling Felson that we had to leave. We began fighting, trying to get away as quick as possible. More guards came, firing cross bows at us. I blocked them with my sword, but I could only keep that up for so long. I dropped my sword. "Fine." I said, putting my hands up in surrender.
"Come with me." a gruff voice said, trying to grab hold of my friend, but he simply shook him off. He turned and punched the guard in the face.
"Drop it!" said the other guard, pointing a sword at him, ordering him to drop his weapon.
"Remove the hood and the mask." ordered a guard to me, and I did as I was asked. "Arrest these deserters." he sneered.
We were lead to the dungeons, but a monk called out before the door was even opened. "Wait!" I turned to see the man walking towards us. "Let me see that." he requested, and he was handed the sword. He studied the crest only for a moment. "This is yours?" he asked, staring at me. Felson nodded. "Follow me."
"I hope we're on our way to dinner." Felson mumbled as the priest lead us to a set of large doors.
"What do you want with us?" I asked, rolling my eyes at my friend.
The priest turned to us at the doors, "That is not for me to say." and he let us in. Men in white robes were speaking over a bed in Latin when we entered. "Pardon me, Your Eminence." the priest said softly.
"What is it, Debelzaq?" an elder man asked, somewhat irritated.
"This is the knight's sword." he replied. I stared at all of them, wondering what they were planning.
"Come closer." the old man ordered, as the robed figures made way. When I got sight of him, I was somewhat disgruntled by what I saw, but stayed collected. "Tell me your name." he spoke.
"I am Behmen of Bleiburk."
"Behmen." he mulled. "Yes. And your comrade, Felson. Your names are known to me. Your victories have become legend." he coughed. As he spoke I took in everything that surrounded him, and he noticed. "Yes, I am stricken. The plague is everywhere."
Debelzaq turned to me, "It is a curse called up from hell. Brought upon us by the Black Witches."
"The Black Witches?" I asked, my voice somewhat raspy.
His stare was unwavering. "I myself heard the confession."
"The witch must be taken to the Abbey of Severac," the old man breathed. "where the monks possess the last copy of an ancient book of rituals that will destroy the witch's powers, and end the plague." he said, almost out of breath.
"What has this to do with us?" I asked, frustrated.
"Our ranks have been decimated." he began. "You must deliver her. My best knight, Eckhart, has already pledged his services, as has our priest, Debelzaq." he explained. "I ask the same of you. Will you serve the Church once more?"
"I cannot." I said respectfully.
"You swore an oath to God." Debelzaq whispered, astounded by my reply. "Have you been released from this vow?" he asked, stronger.
I furrowed my brow, "My vow is to God. Not the men who murder in His name."
"You know the penalty for desertion." he said harshly.
"I ask you again…" said the old man, gaining my attention once more. "Behmen of Bleiburk. Do you serve God and the Church?"
"I serve the Church no more." respect was back in my voice.
With my declining of his offer, we were sent down to the dungeons, "In there. Both of you." said the keeper, opening a cell for us.
"What do they do with deserters anyway?" Felson asked, nonchalantly. "Hang them? Burn them?"
"Probably both." I answered, staring out of our cell.
"I don't know. If I have any say in the matter, I'd prefer hanging." he commented, walking over to me. I watched as a girl with dark hair crawled around her cell, another sitting against the wall, her eyes closed.
The crawling girl stopped and sat in front of us, than looked up. Her face was innocent, and scared. "Is that one of the witches?" Felson asked.
"That is not what I see." I replied, and she began to crawl around again.
"The priest said they confessed." he pointed out.
"We both know the Church can be most persuasive." I stated, and Felson chuckled in agreement. "I am sorry I put you into this, Felson."
"No. As dungeons go, this one's not so bad." he assured. "We spent nights in much worse places than this. At least I have." He sniffed the air. "What is that smell?"
"That would be you." I informed stepping away from him.
I sat down and tried relaxing, closing my eyes, and was interrupted by Felson chuckling. " 'I serve the Church no more.'" he mocked and laughed. "Did you see the priest's face? Looked like someone pissed in his holy water." he commented and we laughed together.