Saturday, June 03, 2017

The Coward Iōnnēs Elias

  From afar, one could see the body tumbling down the face of Skumbras Mount. Arse over tit, the figure bounced off rocky projections of the scarp, until it rolled to a halt before a horse-drawn wagon parked at the base of the mount.
  A bald head leaned out of the wagon and peered at the bloody corpse on the ground. It was Buzas Putras, whose skull was obviously smashed in by a spiked weapon before his tumble down Skumbras Mount.
  From the wagon, Iōnnēs Elias lifted his head to survey the structure atop the mountain. He knew full well what was going on.
  The celebration hall up there was holding a wake for Little Xander, last defender of Revre Sbodiza, the fortress that Iōnnēs Elias himself had aggressively taken over as Liege Insistent of the new dominion.
  Little Xander had long been a loyal protector of the fortress, regardless of who held the reins of power. But he was held in high disdain by Iōnnēs Elias, Buzas Putras, and others of the new regime, only because he was the last vestige of the old regime, those that had trickled away in a Brain/Brawn Drain,
  This view was held all out of spite, ignoring Xander’s fealty and accrued wisdom. So much so, that they actually made life so miserable for him, telling him, “You are no longer wanted,” knowing this would literally break his heart.
  Which is exactly what happened when Xander was ousted. He had stood at the gates staring up at his beloved fortress when his heart gave out. He was dead before he hit the ground.
  And so here we are, at Little Xander’s wake, where friends of the village come to pay respects.


  Of course, Iōnnēs Elias did not have the courage to show his face at the memorial for the man who defended his very fortress. He sent Buzas Putras as emissary to hypocritically offer hollow hosannas in front of the crowd, trying to save face for the new regime. Most there saw this ingratiation for what it was, but for one Young Suramokas, it was beyond the pale.
  He dispatched Putras and watched him plummet down the mount as the cowardly liege gazed up at him from the safety of his wagon.
  Suramokas stared down into the eyes of Iōnnēs Elias and bellowed:
  “Iōnnēs Elias, thou son of a whore, hast not even the manly fortitude to show his face at a remembrance for the fallen who so loyally served thou.
  ”We who have gathered in tribute upon the mount, look down upon thou, most literally, as ye cower in pusillanimity in your rickety wagon.
  “Hark! Thine complete cowardice is on full display before the townsfolk. They have seen it, and thou cannot refute it.”

  Nothing could possibly rebut this damning statement. And so, fortress Revre Sbodiza, unable to counter the exposed reality, disintegrated into useless, grey dust.