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Absolution

Absolution

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A two-person role play between Skittles and myself In a kingdom, a man cursed with death-bringing hides from human faces in a cave and a thieving woman runs from the king's guards. When they find one another, their futures will change completely.

610 readers have visited Absolution since Stars & Satellites created it.

Introduction

Cold fear gripped him as he watched the witch, her golden eyes blazing, her sharp teeth gleaming in the dim light. The bodies of his men lay around him, throats torn open and blank eyes staring up at the darkening sky. Small flakes of snow flitted through the air and landed on the dead men's faces, melting from the warmth of their chilling skin. Soon they would be too cold and they would be buried.
“You are the greatest of the fools,” the witch spat, her bloodied hands propped on her sharp hips, long, claw-like fingernails dark with gore.
Aeden only stared at her, unable to speak and defend himself and any honor he could have. Even if his tongue was silver, his brain was clouded with crippling horror at what he had found before him. Twenty of his best men, dead at his feet, throats open, faces ripped apart by the witch's claws. His friends, his only family, gone...and he had not been there to keep them safe, to die with them.
“Where were you when your men decided to torment a poor woman in a little cottage?” the witch demanded, her head cocked to the side, golden hair tumbling down her shoulders to sway with the wind that blew the snow into Aeden's eyes.
He couldn't answer. He knew this woman—this animalistic creature flaunting the likeness of a beautiful girl—would not listen to him, anyway. His alibi would not work with this witch, or any dark thing that slunk through the wilderness the king had ordered them to explore.
When Aeden did not respond, the witch glided toward him, sharp hips swaying, head tilted to the side in an oddly flirtatious way. Her lips, red from the blood of his men and full, were quirked upward as she studied him with her piercing gaze. Aeden blinked, frowning, as the small woman strutted up to him.
The witch was beautiful, he would admit, but he could see her fangs gleaming in her smile, and saw the blood under her nails as her hands moved up to his face to touch it. “For you, for the leader of men, the punishment will be more severe,” she hissed, capturing both sides of his face and pulling his head down so he was gazing into her deep, gold eyes. Her fingernails dug into his cheeks and her eyes hardened, her teeth bared into a sick snarl. “You were absent, with men under your command, when you should have been watching. You were not, and because of that your men are dead. It is your fault. For your sins and lack of leadership, you shall not die; no, it would be too easy that way.” The witch laughed and shook her blond head. “Because you were not here, your men saw a beautiful woman, alone, and treated her like an animal.”
At this, Aeden found his words. With a grimace of pain, he snarled through clenched teeth, “What you did was like an animal. They treated you correctly.”
The witch cried out in fury and sliced his face, then grabbed it again and held tightly. “You shall never love a woman,” she growled, fingernails imbedded in his flesh, blood running down his chin. “No human shall look upon your face again, for they shall die if they do!”
Aeden blinked, but before he could retort his forehead began to burn like fire, as though a brand were being pushed to his head, into his skull. He would have cried out, if the pain wasn't so fierce, so thick and hot and searing. His breath was torn from him and he was left silently gasping as the witch backed away, trembling with rage.
Black rimmed Aeden's vision as he fell to his knees, and the pain only stopped once he fell forward and was engulfed in darkness.

Aeden woke gasping, shaking from the cold and the thrumming throb in his head. He reached up to touch the feverish skin of his forehead, but when his fingers brushed it, everything burned. Crying out, he threw his hands out and grabbed snow, pressing it to his flaming head.
As he panted, Aeden looked around at the shapes in the snow, bodies covered in white powder. He didn't have the strength or the means to bury his men, but he stood shakily and fell silent, eyes closed. It was only when tears pushed through his lids that he opened them, the drops running down his face and stinging the wounds that would scar and mar his face, a face that would harden with time.
“Rest peacefully,” he whispered, then stepped backward and around, walking away from the bodies and blood. He gathered his weapons and the supplies, pulling on a cloak over his leather armor and wrapping a rough blanket round his shoulders.
He would soon find out what the witch had done to him, at the expense of a farmer and his family. Aeden had stumbled upon their small farm a week after losing his men. His food store had run out, his water-skin was empty, and he was exhausted. He had had barely enough time to call a greeting, the farmer, his wife, and their three sons coming into view, when suddenly they all collapsed.
Aeden had rushed to them, falling to his knees before the man and his wife, to find them dead. After checking their throats and finding no pulse, he buried the family and went to their small farm house. As he stuffed his bags with any food he could find, Aeden noticed a mirror in the hallway. He had not dared look at what the witch had done to him in streams or rivers, but now curiosity bested him.
Moving toward the mirror, the witch's words flitted through his thoughts. No human shall look upon your face again, for they shall die if they do!
When Aedon looked into the mirror, he was horror-struck, taking in the healing gauges, the redness of his eyes and the rough hair that was becoming a shaggy beard. It was his forehead that sent him back-pedaling into the wall. In the red skin of his forehead, the depiction of an eye stared at him solid brown in color and depthless. It was some sort of tattoo, he told himself, shaking his head. It had to be.
But what of the farmer and his family? They had barely glanced at him a moment before collapsing. Could this be what the witch had said? Had she...had she truly cursed him?
Aeden walked back to the mirror and stared at the eye, depression making his chest heavy. Then, as his sadness made his face crumple, he stalked through the house until he found a piece of worn, dark brown cloth. He tied it round his forehead, but as he did so the eye began to burn furiously. When he pulled the cloth away, the pain faded, leaving Aeden feeling hopeless.
Swallowing thickly, he pulled the hood of the cloak over his head, tying the cloth round his wrist, and left the farm house. His packs were full of food and tools, his water-skins heavy with water, but his shoulders slouched as he walked.


In this day, back before the land was settled and the small kingdoms that dotted the wilderness were still great leagues from one another, there was a young man. He was of noble blood and intelligent make, with a quick tongue and a quiet demeanor, and though his father wished of him the life of a lord, he was a soldier. And a great one he was, so great and respected that the king appointed him the highest honor he could bestow upon a man; he became the captain of a troop of men in charge of secret missions for the king. It was a small group of twenty young men, highly trained and hand-picked by the High Constable. The missions he and his men accomplished were great; he was well-known, respected, and loved among the people of many kingdoms.
The young man was Aeden Thorthide, and the world and all it had to offer was at his fingertips, awaiting him. He could have had all he wished, if he truly wanted it that way. And maybe he would have, perhaps, if his opportunities were not torn from him.
King Eornold had called upon Aeden and asked of him a simple task: expand the kingdom; discover new places for farmland, roads, small towns, and mark them; link the kingdoms together.
Aeden believed this would only take a few months. He gathered his men, many of who were married, and set off. It should have taken three months; they were not going to be traveling far. They should not have run into much trouble, any danger, and they hadn't. They were on their way back, only a week of traveling left on foot, and they were pleased with their mission. It had gone well. The kingdoms would have a road connecting them, there were plots for villages and farms to be built, and new land had been discovered.
Aeden had stepped away to feed the men's horses and tighten their lines. He would only be away for a few minutes, and yet in that time his men would discover a little cottage, tucked away in the woods, where a beautiful woman was picking the last of her vegetables from her garden before the snows came. Four of them, unmarried and having been lacking in the pleasures of life for three months, called out to her teasingly. Unbeknownst to them, this beautiful woman was a witch wearing the skin of a human, and by pestering her, they opened up a door they should not have knocked on.
She slaughtered the four men, and when their cries brought the others, she killed them too. Aeden found them, dead, and she cursed him. She placed the blame on the shoulders of their captain, a strong, personable man with a handsome face and a life she would destroy.
When Aeden returned to the kingdom, he had a cloth tied round his head, and his hood pulled over to cover his face. He would never step foot inside the kingdom, or the towns, and he would have no connection with humans. He found a cave, and lived in it like an animal, afraid that someone would see his cursed face and die. No one would know what happened to him and his men; their wives would grieve and the king would mourn the loss of his best men, and Aeden would sit in his cave and become hard and lonely and suffer in the idea that the twenty men under his command were killed because of him, even if it wasn't his fault. For five years, he suffered under the weight of his own thoughts.

In the same kingdom, a young woman waited for months for her husband to return. She would never know what had happened to him, a dashing and kind David Rowe, and when months had gone by without his return, she came to the realization that he must be dead. And in the grief that followed, her little son she would birth would fall ill, under the circumstances that her grief and the hormones it brought with it harmed the child growing in her womb. He would not last a month.
In her heart burned hatred toward the king, for she blamed the deaths of her husband and child upon him. She had left her family for the man she married, brought into a new kingdom too far away from hers to leave, and so she was trapped. There was no place for her in David's kingdom, no way for her to make a living, but she did not give up. It was not Safirna Thorne's way to give up.
Thievery seemed fit enough for her, as she was lithe and quick, and for more than four years she went about the kingdom, surviving on the money she made selling the stolen goods, until one day she was discovered by four guards. Even as she escaped, she took with her the object of her thievery: a spell book. Through the kingdom she ran, the guards tailing, just far enough away to keep her from being caught. She slipped through back alleys and dodged around buyers in the marketplace, until she was scaling the city's wall into the village. They followed her until she was running out of the village and into the forest, where she discovered a cave and hid within it. She was breathing heavily, loudly, and continued backing into the darkness as the guards came closer and closer to her hiding spot, until they found it and started to climb inside as well. And in the darkness, Safirna did not notice the man standing behind her, watching as she grew closer to him, and before the guards came into view, he grabbed her, hand over mouth, and spun her around. He pushed her to the wall and hid her, his darkly-clothed body blending into the blackness of the cave.
When the guards left, he pulled away and stood before her. Safirna's eyes had not yet adjusted to the darkness, but even through the burning pain, Aeden could see his closest friend's wife. Around his head the cloth was tied, and over the cloth his hood. A candle was lit, and the cave's interior was shown. It was a home, where Aeden had been living for five years, and after Safirna discovered the man whose face she could not see was Aeden, she demanded she stay with him.
Of course, even as he told her no, the answer was obviously yes, as Safirna would never take any other answer. What she would find out, though, was the great need Aeden had for someone like her. In Safirna's blood burned magic, and magic was what Aeden needed if he was to remove this curse from his head. What would follow was a journey both people needed dearly, one that would soothe mourning hearts and mend broken souls, and perhaps discover a way to love.


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The country Geldyn

The country Geldyn by Stars & Satellites

The only settled land on the continent Fesia, with a common language shared among the kingdoms. Though the country is quite young, its settlers are advanced.

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Eor by Stars & Satellites

King Eornold's kingdom, built nestled in at the face of a mountain, is one of the oldest and largest kingdoms on Fesia. It is also where Aeden and David grew up.

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Character Portrait: Aeden

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Character Portrait: Aeden
Aeden

The captain of the team responsible for preforming secret missions for the king. He is cursed; anyone to look upon his face shall die.

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Character Portrait: Aeden
Aeden

The captain of the team responsible for preforming secret missions for the king. He is cursed; anyone to look upon his face shall die.

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Character Portrait: Aeden
Aeden

The captain of the team responsible for preforming secret missions for the king. He is cursed; anyone to look upon his face shall die.


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The country Geldyn

The country Geldyn by Stars & Satellites

The only settled land on the continent Fesia, with a common language shared among the kingdoms. Though the country is quite young, its settlers are advanced.

Eor

Eor by Stars & Satellites

King Eornold's kingdom, built nestled in at the face of a mountain, is one of the oldest and largest kingdoms on Fesia. It is also where Aeden and David grew up.

Eor

King Eornold's kingdom, built nestled in at the face of a mountain, is one of the oldest and largest kingdoms on Fesia. It is also where Aeden and David grew up.

The country Geldyn

The only settled land on the continent Fesia, with a common language shared among the kingdoms. Though the country is quite young, its settlers are advanced.

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