Crystal Throne

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2010



Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to any real
person alive or dead is coincidental and unintentional.


     The lessons had progressed quite well.  Scott was able to speak in
rudimentary phrases with Thomas.  He felt a great desire to fall back on
his English, but Thomas would have none of it, explaining that his
knowledge of English was almost as bad from disuse as Scott's newly
acquired Tuathan.  For a time they tried to talk with Rood in the next
cell, but his voice had grown weaker and weaker until finally he no longer
responded to their calls.  Scott feared the worst, but Thomas was
optimistic.  "He is only saving is strength," the old man would say.

     One day the door was opened earlier than usual.  It was not their
regular meal time.  A tall, thin woman entered accompanied by several
guards.  She had pure, white skin, much paler than any of the high born
elves Scott had seen.  Her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows were also a
translucent white and appeared almost to be made of spun glass.  The woman
wore a flowing white robe trimmed in green brocade.  As the guards stood
back she came to Scott and looked at his shoulder.  She reached out a
blue-white hand and he flinched as she pulled the crusty bandages from his
wound.  It was superficially healed, but still was quite painful.  Scott
had partially regained feeling in his hand and arm, but it didn't seem to
want to move as freely as before.

     The woman made some unusual movements with her hands, touching her
temples and then her shoulders.  She then placed the palm of her left hand
on the wound, and the palm of her right hand on the back of his shoulder.
Scott felt a wrenching pull and then a tingling sensation in his shoulder
blade.  The woman then turned to the guards.  "This is all but healed on
its own.  I have done little.  Where is the other you wish me to see?"  She
stood and followed the men from the cell.  The door closed and locked
behind them.

     "That was a healer," Thomas whispered to his cellmate.  "How do you
feel now?"

     Scott tried flexing his hand and moving his arm.  Aside from being a
little stiff, the pain was all but gone and movement seemed to be restored.
"That was fantastic.  How did she do that?" he asked.

     "It is the way with them," Thomas answered.  "But why would they call
a healer in now?  What purpose can they have?"  He stood and went to the
cell door.  "They are in Rood's cell," he called back to Scott.  "She must
be helping him.  But why?"

     "Listen," Scott said, joining him at the door.  "Can you hear them?"

     The voice in the next cell was that of the woman, but it was too low
to make out the actual words.  After a few minutes, the group left the
cell.  "See that he gets regular feedings," the woman said to the guards as
they headed past Thomas and Scott's door.  "Be sure it is healthy food and
he will live.  Another day and he would not."  With that the group was

     "She has saved his life," Thomas said joyfully.

     "Yes," Scott agreed cautiously, "but why?"

          * * *

     The next day a new prisoner was brought into the dungeon and thrown
into a cell directly across the small corridor from Scott and Thomas.  He
was a small man in a green jerkin.  He peered across the hall trying to see
the other inmates of his prison.  "Be wary of him," Thomas cautioned Scott.
"It could be a plant by the guard to try and find out something from us."

     "But we don't know anything," Scott replied.

     "We know Robin must be somewhere in the land," Thomas reminded him.

     "Who be you, stranger?" Thomas finally called to the newcomer.

     "I am Clive of the eastern forest," came the response.  "And you, old

     "I be Thomas and this my friend is Pregar."

     "What did you do?" Scott called, trying his mastery of the new

     "They say I stole horses, but it is not true.  You have a strange
accent, Pregar.  From where come you?"

     "He is from the southern water lands," Thomas quickly answered.
"Their tongue is different there.  He does not speak our language well."
This ruse seemed to be accepted unquestioningly.

     The time slowly passed, with only the guards coming to bring
occasional bowls of food.  Slowly but surely, Rood began to get his
strength back and was soon joining in their conversations.  And then in the
middle of the night, Scott was awakened by Thomas.

     "Something is happening," he said.  "Both Clive and Rood heard a large
party heading in this direction."

     "Can you see anything?" Scott asked as the old man looked through the

     "No," he called back.  "It's too dark for me to see.  Only those
damned elfin eyes can see in this."

     They soon heard voices and footsteps outside.  The rattle of keys and
the clank of a door opening greeted their ears, but it was one of the
adjoining cells.  "Is someone being put in or taken out?" Scott asked.

     "Sounds like taken out," Thomas replied.  "I knew that Clive was a
spy.  They probably came to get him to find out what information he has."

     Silence soon returned to the prison.  "Rood, Rood did you see what
happened?" Thomas called into the darkness.

     A different voice responded.  "They took your friend Rood with them.
Did you not see?"  Clive asked.

     "I can't see in this darkness," Thomas answered.

     "Then you are the human of whom I have heard stories," Clive said.
"What about our friend Pregar?"

     "He was not looking," Thomas lied to cover Scott.

     "Well, an ugly woman came with several men and unchained your friend.
They led him away without a word."

     "Ugly woman?" Thomas asked.  "Describe her."

     "She was short with raven hair, and very round of figure."

     "What color did she wear?" Thomas questioned further.

     "The same blue as the guards."

     "Melusine," the old man breathed.

     "Melusine?  But Robin told me she died!" Scott whispered in

     "Robin told you?" the voice called from across the hall.  "How do you
know of this Robin?"

     "Forget thee their ears?" Thomas said softly in English.

     "I did," Scott admitted guiltily.

     "Who is this Melusine?" Clive asked again from across the hall.

     "A very evil woman," Thomas told him.  "We thought she was killed.
Apparently they found a very strong healer for her.  I only wish I knew
what they plan to do with Rood."

     "What about that changeling magic that Robin told me of," Scott said
in English.

     "They know of it now," Thomas answered him.  "There'll be none such
opportunity again."

          * * *

     "My lord," Melcot was reporting to Robin.  "They hold your companion
along with the captain and old master and another one whose identity we
know not in the dungeon of the white tower."  Although a member of the high
born, Melcot had more of a golden hugh to his skin than most of the others
of his race.  His hair color too was more of a yellow than Robin's paler
almost white blond.  These color traits made him almost look like a fairy
from the western kingdoms, except for his obvious height difference.  But
in a blue tunic he was able to pass as an effective spy.

     "Is there any way to free them?" Robin asked him.

     "None that we can see but to fight, my lord," the palace guard
replied.  "We are few in number.  Most of the palace staff has been forced
into internment camps in the foothills to the east and west.  The blue
guard keep the bridge up lest our people should win their freedom.  And
those of us that have managed to go underground in the palace are not in
good standing as it is.  If we but had an army . . ."

     "I fear that will not help us," Robin mused.  "What of the council?"
he asked.

     "The council is no more than a puppet or figurehead for the throne.
They take orders directly from Bailor.  He banished Mensen and Hyller,
removing their chairs from the council, something that the law would not
allow," the old merchant told him.

     "Then if we need an army, I see no hope but to go to these internment
camps and raise one," Robin replied.

     "Let that be my task, lord," the palace guard asked him.  "Rood was my
friend.  I would give my life to free him."

     "Have you a way to get out of the palace?" Robin asked him.

     "I will find a way, lord," the man replied and turned to leave.

     A short time later, Rowana, the merchant girl who had rescued Robin,
left the palace in the company of her new husband to pick up another load
of straw for the animals.  Her husband looked different to the one guard
who had witnessed the earlier altercation, but then that was the day
before.  Perhaps his eyes had deceived him.

          * * *

     "Now, fasten those chains firmly," the woman ordered.  "And under no
circumstances are you to release him.  I care not how his looks may
change."  The guards attached the manacles to Rood's hands and drew the
chains tight.  They likewise attached shackles to his ankles and fastened
them to chains from the walls on opposite sides of the room.  Rood was
pulled into a spread eagle position in the center of the empty room.  "You
may leave us," she commanded.

     "Now, my handsome buck," Melusine said as she crossed to where he was
held in place.  "We have some old business to conclude.  When last you left
me, you had gained your satisfaction, but I had not gained mine.  We will
correct this error."  Rood slowly smiled, the right side of his mouth
lifting in his crooked, devil-may-care grin.  This seemed to anger the
woman.  "Think not that you will enjoy this," she said venomously.  She
walked to a small cabinet at the end of the room and returned with a sharp
knife.  "I will begin slowly, so you may take what delight you can," she
said as she placed the back of the blade against his thigh.  Slowly, the
woman slipped the knife upward, under his tunic, and then with a rapid
wrenching motion, she pulled it out, slicing the dirty fabric away.  She
continued to play with the knife and his clothing as if she were peeling an
orange, until no more material was left on his exposed body.  "I must say
that I prefer your own body to that of your kingly friend," she remarked as
she gently stroked his stomach with the back side of the blade.  Melusine
then reached down and lifted his sex organ in her hand.  "You will raise
this for me," she commanded.

     Rood was much too worried to perform, despite her commands. "Lady," he
said softly.  "If I could, I would not."

     She reached below his shaft, gripping the soft globes in her hand.
"You will whether you want to or not," she said as she slowly closed her
hand exerting more and more pressure.  As soon as he cried out in pain she
released him.  "Are you hurt?  I wish not to hurt you . . . yet."  Melusine
slowly dropped to her knees before him.  "Let me kiss you and make you feel
better," she said as she drew her face to his crotch.

          * * *

     "But I cannot just wait," Robin protested.  "I must take some action."

     "You have no choice," the old merchant said.  "There is nothing for
you without an army.  When Rowana and Melcot return then perhaps you can
lead them to victory.  For now you must be patient."

     "But my friends lie in a dungeon."  He stood and paced the floor.  He
turned quickly, thinking of the question he had feared to ask.  "Mortan,
what happened to Ellenia?  What punishment gave Bailor to her?  No one has
mentioned her being in a dungeon."

     The old elf was silent for a moment.  "Bailor had strong magic at his
disposal.  No one knows from whence it came.  He seized her after you
disappeared, and dragged her off to the blue tower.  He also had the
lifeless body of his sister taken there.  The rumors that escaped those
walls talked about a magical life transference whereby he would use Ellenia
to bring back Melusine."

     "Life transference?" Robin asked.

     "If it worked, he would take Ellenia's life to revive his dead

     "So if Melusine lives, Ellenia is dead," Robin completed his thought.

     "It matters not," Mortan told him.  "If the life transference worked
not and Melusine was not revived, think you he would let Ellenia live?  She
is dead anyway."

     Robin turned to face the older elf.  What Mortan saw in that young
face frightened him.  He had never seen such determined anger before.  "He
shall pay for his offenses against my friends, my kingdom, my world, and
me!" the young king vowed.  "I now know what action I must take.  Mortan,
attend me," he commanded the old man.

     "What plan you, my lord?"

     "That matters not to you.  Attend me," Robin repeated.

     "It matters a great deal to me," the old man protested.

     Robin turned a look of anger on him.  "I am your true king and liege
lord.  I was crowned and affirmed by the council before your own eyes.  You
know Bailor has illegally taken control of this kingdom.  Either you shall
follow and attend me as your king or you shall be aligned with the traitor.
Make your decision quickly."

     The old elf trembled.  This was indeed the true king, for now Robin
was using the power of his voice.  He was using the command that only the
true king had.  Mortan wanted only to await the return of the army, but he
knew he had no choice.  He must do as his lord commanded.  Kneeling and
bowing his old head he said quietly, "I follow your bidding, my lord."

     "Then come, we have little time."  Robin turned and headed off across
the courtyard to the conference area of the red tower.  Mortan had to grab
his walking staff and hobble as quickly as possible to keep up with the big
strides of the young king.

          * * *

     The old, wooden wagon bumped along on the rough trail.  The two blue
guards that were sent to escort it rode just ahead.  "Now would be a time,"
Melcot wind whispered to Rowana.  The girl leaned over as far as she could
reach, trying to keep one eye on the guards riding just ahead.  She firmly
grasped the large wooden peg holding the wheel in place and pulled with all
her might.  It came loose with a jolt, almost tossing her from the wagon.
Melcot had to grab her firmly by the waist lest she fly off onto the dusty
canyon trail.  She quickly hid the peg in the folds of her tunic and sat

     It was only a matter of seconds before the wheel wobbled back and
forth sufficiently to fall completely off of the axle, sending the wagon
down with a crash and grinding to a firm stop.  Rowana and Melcot, braced
for the event, tumbled gently onto the ground while the horses stopped

     "What is the problem?" asked one of the guards as the two of them
turned and quickly came back to the side of the wagon.

     "Is not it obvious?" Melcot said, rising from the dust.  "The wheel
fell off."

     "Repair it," the first guard ordered.

     "So I intend," Melcot replied and walked back to the wagon to survey
the damage.  All he needed to do was lift the body up and slide the wheel
back on the axle, then replace the pin.  He pretended to lift without
success.  "This is too heavy for me.  I cannot move it.  Can you help me?"
he called to the guard.

     "Help him, woman," the guard said to Rowana.

     She looked down at the ground before replying.  "I cannot lift, my
lord.  I am with child."

     "What is this excuse?" the guard asked sarcastically.

     "It is true," the other blue guard told him.  "I heard her confess to
it but yesterday.  That is her binding of but one day," he said, pointing
to Melcot.  "He was forced into it."  The two enjoyed a brief laugh.

     Then the first guard turned to his partner.  "You help him," he

     "Me?  Why should I?" the other responded.

     "Because I am the leader."

     With much grumbling, the second guard dismounted and came over to help
lift the wagon.  While the two of them were working at the task, Rowana
approached the leader.  "My lord," she said catching his attention.  "I am
powerful thirsty.  May I not have a drink of your flask?"

     "Go away," the guard said gruffly.

     "But my lord," she persisted.  "It is so very hot and dry."  She
pulled the neck of her tunic out to relieve some of the heat from her body.
Leaning closer to the guard's horse she fanned the skirt of the material.
As the man looked down he had a perfect view of her breasts beneath the
thin cloth.  "Would you not sit on a rock with me and keep my company while
they work?" she asked, smiling demurely.

     The guard slowly began to smile and climbed down from his mount.
"What rock do you wish to sit on?" he asked as he reached for the water

     She pressed her thin body to him, rubbing her thigh against his leg.
"I look for a hard, firm rock, my lord.  One that will support me," she
replied.  The guard laughed and draped his arm around her, walking toward
the concealing boulders at the side of the trail.  "I can see what got you
in your present circumstances," he said.

     They stepped behind a large rock and he leaned against her pressing
his lips to her face.  "It is so hot, my lord," she sighed seductively.
"Would we not be more comfortable if we remove these sweaty tunics?"  She
reached down to begin lifting her hem.  The guard smiled lecherously and
grabbed the bottom of his garment.  He pulled it up over his head to remove
it.  As soon as his face was hidden by the blue cloth, Rowana pulled the
large, wooden peg from her garment and swung it with all her might.  The
guard dropped like a stone to the ground, his half naked body exposed to
the sun.

     Meanwhile, Melcot was having more trouble holding the wagon up and
trying to get the wheel in place.  He suggested the guard crawl beneath and
push from under the wagon.  He lifted it up as the man crawled under.  Just
as he was about to turn around, Melcot dropped the wagon, pushing down with
his full body weight.  The guard emitted a dull groan as the wood smashed
down on the back of his head.  Looking up Melcot saw Rowana running from
the rocks at the side of the road.  "What about the other?" he asked.

     "He will not follow us for quite some time," she replied, as she
unhitched the horses from the wagon.  Slapping them on the rumps caused
them to bolt down the canyon.  "Follow me," she called and lightly jumped
onto the back of one of the guard's horses.  Melcot following her lead,
mounted the other beast and they rapidly headed down the canyon at a






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