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Damned if I Know

Jonathan was sound asleep in his small sleeping quarters of the Guild headquarters. There was nothing unusual happening that night, just another long busy day, and Jonathan needed his rest. Though that didn’t explain much why all of sudden a dozen guards burst into the room, bound Jonathan and led him away to the dungeon of Rothian Domain. And so there he stood, pacing back and forth the cramped dungeon cell.
His furrowed brows showed that he was more than upset, and yet pondering this entire situation at the same time. He was in some light stockings that he slept in a tattered plain white night shirt. His hair was bedraggled and his eyes contained bags under them.
“So what did you do that got you in here in such a rush?” His cellmate asked; a wiry man with unsettlingly large eyes that seemed as if any minute they would fall out of their sockets. He was a rather disturbed man all in all.
“Damned if I know!” Jonathan replied frustrated. “Damned if I know,” he repeated to himself in a more subtle tone.
“Jonathan Lesdain?”
He looked up suddenly to see four heavily armed guards, with golden armor and a red eagle painted across their chests. These were four of the twelve King’s Guards. Jonathan had seen them before, but had never actually met them. They were a little overrated he thought as all of the people of Carron spoke of them in hushed awe.
“That is I,” Jonathan replied. “Now why the hell am I in here? What bloody act of crime did I commit?” He said as he raised his voice a little.
“You killed the king, you damn murderer!” One of the guards roared as he gripped his fingers around Jonathan’s neck. “He was a kind man and a worthy leader!”
Jonathan sat in shocked silence, the lack of air not seeming to faze him.
“The king is…dead?”
“You would know,” another of the guards said. “Peter, let him go. He will be dealt a great amount of unimaginable pain.”
The guard named Peter released his grip, and it was then Jonathan realized he hadn’t breathed in some time. He took in a deep breath, remaining calm to the whole situation.
“Was there a reason for your visit or did I just experience it?”
“You’re to come with us.”
“The Confession Room.”
“I’m not much of a religious man, I have no sins to confess anyways.”
“Oh, you will confess, not to a priest, but to the mercy of whatever tool we decide best for you.”
Jonathan frowned, and then his face darkened with dread. The Confession Room, Jonathan realized, was where they took prisoners to torture the truth out of them. Then the door was open and Jonathan was led out, and forced through the dungeons. It was to be a long night.

* * *

Eric was a little uneasy when he found that Jonathan was gone and the hinges were busted off the door to his chambers, but he knew that there was probably a simple explanation and Jonathan was out about town recruiting more members for the cause of freedom. Accompanying him were two new members of their somewhat guild for freedom, Rogue Mevin, a quick and light-footed scout he was a more than helpful member, and then Adder Lightheart, a Paladin from Lythian, with an immaculate build and standing at six and half feet, he was like ten men.
“Where is our lord?” Adder asked.
Another name that was bestowed upon Jonathan ignoring his fit of resistance to it. He is touchy when it comes to title. Eric thought to himself. I wouldn’t mind being known as King Eric.
“It would appear he isn’t here. And as for his whereabouts I’m at a loss with that too.”
“A shame, I am in need to have a talk with him.”
“With what?” Eric asked turning to Adder.
“The armor you’re having me build, I can make it stronger, and with only a small addition of finances, we could be impenetrable.”
Eric was pleased.
“I will arrange the meeting immediately. Also, Rogue, I want the Upper District of town scouted for a certain document.”
Rogue saluted.
“Aye Aye Captain. The Rat Society will be on it immediately.”
Now there’s one title a man is allowed the right to disapprove. The Rat Society was established by Rogue and Geary, two of the five scouts that were members. They made an amazing team, conducting their tasks under a not-so-amazing title. Not that big of a deal though. Eric reminded himself.
“Well,” he said looking at the massive man next to him. “I don’t know what to tell you about Jonathan, but I assure you that you will speak with him as soon as he returns.”
Eric wished that Thomas were there so that he could arrange the meetings; since that was the kind of thing he liked to do. But he had left a week ago to visit Faigh and Gloria.
“Well thank you, Eric.”
“Eric!” Rogue burst through the doors at top speed. “You’re not going to believe what has happened.”
“What is it?”
“Jonathan! He’s going to die. Murdered!”
“Murdered? By whom?”
“The King’s Guards!”
Eric shook his head.
“No he isn’t. Not today. Assemble the Guild!” Eric bellowed. “This is war!”
Eric looked outside to see that it was about noon; he had some time still

* * *

Jonathan sat tied to a chair, bloody and bruised. But his face was blank, showing no concern to the injuries he had acquired while being beaten. He had said nothing, and would say nothing. There was no confession in him, at least not one that was not true. He was disappointed to hear of King Andrew’s death. He was a good king.
“He’s not going to say anything, I say it is time for the execution,” he heard one of the guards say.
“I agree.”
Footsteps came from down the hall towards the dirty and cramped room that had one torch on the wall, and was otherwise pitch black. They came into the room and undid Jonathan’s bindings and then led him in the direction of Final Judgment; where the executions took place. Through narrow chambers and dark corridors, he was led finally through an arched doorway and into the courtyard where this execution was to take place. Jonathan was surprised that it was as dark outside as it was in the castle.
“Place him in position.”
He was dragged over to the raised platform where the executions took place, nervous now as he neared the end. An innocent man being robbed of half of his life, and the chance to save the world of war and madness. He hadn’t accomplished either. They began the usual recite of words that bore the man from life into death, may God have mercy on your soul, and so on and so forth, spoken with great insincerity. When it was done, that meant that was time for the spark of Jonathan’s life to go out. The axe came down and the head toppled off, but Jonathan was surprised to find that it was not his own.
“Damned if I let you die Jonathan.”
It was the voice of Eric.
“Eric? What are you doing here?”
“Saving you…again. This time though I have no idea as to why you’re here.”
Jonathan was unbound and he looked around to find one of the guards dead, and Eric, Thomas, Micah, and Jeffery standing there.
“We couldn’t let you go down yet Jonathan. Not until everything is worked out,” Micah said. “You’re our leader, and we need you still.”
Jonathan smiled.
“I appreciate that. So what’s your plan of getting out of here?”
“Through that archway,” Eric said, pointing to the opening that led into the garden that sat behind the domain.

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The following comments are for "The Calling: Book 3: Chapter 11"
by ArturHawking

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