As Celat

*Journal entry stolen from Celat by Gya, directly following the events of The Hunters:*

“…nobles breed and those below them are expected to support their gluttony. I know because I was a body below, buckling under the weight. Until I realized they needed me more than I needed them. Enough time passed and I realized that I didn’t need them at all.

I had always suspected that the noble class, be they politician, wealthy entrepreneur, royalty, banker, industrialist, merchant, treated the lower classes unfairly. I had seen the abuse firsthand. But it runs deeper than that. The band of disrespect nobles have for those under them is actually black hole of rotting cruelty that demands to be fed, fed a never ending supply of human misery. Nobles merely decide who to cast into the abyss.

Those who suffer under the nobles’ harsh rule look for others to strike out against. Children. Women. Men. But mostly it’s animals. In all my years as a Ranger of Enpelison, I have learned one thing if nothing else. Humans abuse ones lower than them. Cruelty is an accepted part of human society, and one is considered weak if one does not abuse their lesser peers, or if one shows compassion toward beasts and other flora or fauna.

I offer a counterpoint of violence to this logic and show that compassion at its very core is inherently violent. Who does not fight harder than from a place of protection? Love? Hope? Peace? I have fought and repelled conquerors and men and women fighting from places of great cruelty and evil. They have failed. One and all.

It is this very reason why the noble class seek such cruelty and wealth and power over others. Even other nobles. They fear usurpation. They fear it because they are vile and tyrannical. I destroyed a child trafficking ring where nobles treated human beings like holes to be bought, sold, passed, and murdered for pleasure and barter- simply to grease the wheels of corrupt transactions dealing in sums of land, coins, and power. Considering how much blue blood I’ve spilled in the last three weeks, one would think a few names would come to light as the Crown of Enpelison investigates the site of an invasion. But nothing. Not a single name. Just a list of “philanthropists” and “family men and women” that were brutally murdered by a rouge agent of the state. If I destroyed one, I know there are more and I know there are bigger ones. I shudder to think. No, I am nauseous with terror to even consider it, truth be told.

If the public knew what I knew and saw what I saw that night at the fort, the Crown of Enpelison would be broken and bloodied before nightfall and the people would demand a new ruler.

In a world such as Melias, justice does not arrive promptly. It is lazy, often taking decades to arrive properly. This is unacceptable. I, Celat, am the catalyst and reaper of pain, and I have learned time and time again that regardless of consequence. There is no justice except for that which I take.”

*end of entry*

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Novella – Oppidan Inquisition

Wretched things happen in the real world that I cannot control. Instead, I use them in my work and twist them against the forces I am too vulnerable to face alone, but not only for me. Every twisted ideal, each abominable act of violence. When a new fiend develops a vile new way to violate an innocent soul I develop a way to strike back for the vulnerable innocent because they can’t. That being said. The new novella I am creating is called Oppidan Inquisition, and it centers around Celat.

Celat, a Hero of Melias, and quite possibly the most gifted Ranger on the planet, starts this legend by tracking a band of poachers through a dense forest along an overgrown trail. It starts standard, sure. Celat is no fan of poachers or animal abusers in general, if you read The Hunters, which is the first novella I ever featured him in.

From the wilderness, we track Celat and the band of foes to a town, changing the Ranger’s approach completely. Well known and now even wanted in some parts of his homeland after his exploits detailed in The Hunters, he must forego his telltale armor, equipment and weaponry and rely more on subterfuge, sabotage, and wits. Like usual, Celat’s relentless and curious nature pulls a thread that unravels a momentous adventure, one that he could never had expected.

Without spoiling their plots, I will say that both The Hunters and Oppidan Inquisition visit two subjects that are very abhorrent to me. Human trafficking and animal genocide. Celat does two things. He provides revenge and violence to a group of individuals that are completely helpless. Children and most animals are helpless in the cross hairs of predatory humans. Celat preys upon the predatory human, inflicting fear upon the fearless.

Empathy is another aspect of Celat’s personality that may not be at the forefront. As violent and vengeful as he can be, he does everything that he can to protect and help others. Be they an ant or ice bear (the polar bear of Melias), be they beggar or King. If there is an innocent soul being abused, Celat is often lying in wait, ready to ambush their tormentor.

I want to bring these horrific subjects to light not to sell books or for shock value but because these things are happening. Right now. As I am typing now in my past, and as you are reading now in your present. Be aware of what is happening to the most vulnerable around you.

Just by doing a simple Google search, I was able to find numerous sites where one can donate money, goods, or time toward helping people and animals in need. People who have been victimized again and again. Animals who have no reason to trust humans again. These wounded souls need help, and it is up to those who are Good to do it.

What side are you on?

 

 

Flash Fiction – Celat, The Ranger

Time had claimed the slick features of youth, dragging the long lines of grief, anger, sadness, smiles, and laughter into a silvered hairline which melted into a calm, but wooly beard. Age had also claimed Celat’s urge for violence and revenge. Perhaps claim is too final. Soothe would be more accurate.

He still thought of the pigs. Of Elgon. The bodies. The screams. The tastes…odors…

But those thoughts weren’t as sharp now. They were easier to evade, and the act of dredging them up to mind didn’t spark an unquenchable urge for violence. Instead, Celat found new ways to help the wildlife of Enpelison, his homeland, the land he had protected for his entire life.

Stepping from his small hut, Celat inhaled the cold air of the forest’s wet pines. He was the local herbalist, vet, and hunter. Unable to keep up with prey, or train a bow on target any longer, he offered advice on the local fauna and stuck to gathering herbs, roots, buds, and other vegetation to keep his reagents stocked. His hut was several miles off the beaten path- hidden but not impossible to find and an essential stop for most anyone looking to venture deeper into Melias.

He smiled as he watched a herd of deer gently make their way through the pines to a hidden meadow a few dozen yards from where he lived. In the spring, if the timing and weather had been just right that year, the meadow would partially flood into a vernal pool. Being this close to nature…he loved it. Celat helped animals here. People. Himself. Without bloodshed. It was his first, and only, true home.

Locals would stop by looking for remedies, herbs for their own concoctions. Children would often bring Celat creatures they would find injured beside the road or in the forest, wounded by misadventure or cruelty. He would mend these little souls, and then send them back into the wilderness, much to any nearby child’s joy. These people didn’t know him here. Didn’t know what he did, what he was, or what his name meant. He was just a wise old man in a hut.

A drop of water hit the top of Celat’s head from the awning above. It was cold- it had hit a balding spot right at the crown of his skull. He rubbed it with his hand, smiling at this silly little situation. He jumped, startled by an animal’s scream from the road. He exploded into a sprint, his aged body protesting at every hinge. As difficult as it had become, (in his younger days, sprinting might as well have been walking) he had barely lost any of his speed. He rubbed an old medallion at his belt, comforted by its warmth.

Before he approached the noise, he slowed his pace to calm his heartbeat and breathing rate. Electric vein patterns burned bright shadows into his vision as his pounding heart pushed blood into every hidden inch of his body. His movements as breath, he disappeared into the underbrush and inched toward the disturbance, almost right in the middle of it all.

Celat spied three boys torturing a stray cat. The cat was lucky- they had just started their fun. A boy held the creature by the end of its tail (an act which is agony in itself for the feline) which another slapped at its face, laughing as the cat tried to claw his hands. The final boy had a small studded club. Celat had seen enough cruelty in his lifetime to know what was to happen next.

“Hold it still!” The boy with the club yelled, “I wanna good whack at ‘er!” The cat was pregnant. The game was to bust open her womb in the least amount of strikes and make her kittens spill out of her belly. “I wanna see those babies!” The boys screamed and laughed with rabid glee. The boy with the club raised his weapon.

A bolt of pain exploded from his wrist down into his shoulder as three fingers made of living stone bruised and crushed his delicate skin and flesh. The boy shrieked and looked at his friends’ faces, both of which paralyzed in horror, the cat released without thinking. The club wielding boy turned slowly, tears streaming from his cheeks.

Celat towered over the boy, his fingernails dug deep into the child’s skin, drawing a few drops of blood. His face was twisted with anger far beyond any the child had seen in a grown-up. Celat’s eyes wide, his brow furrowed, his mouth relaxed, even, but slightly turning into a scowl. His hood cast his features into shadows, the shine of his eyes almost like a animal’s against the moon.

He uttered, “flee.”

The two boys fled; the club wielder screamed in horror as Celat held him without difficulty. “LET ME GO! LET ME GO, PLEASE! LET ME-“ Celat released the boy as he jerked himself away, causing the boy to fly backwards. The club fell from his hand and slid to Celat’s feet. Sheer instinct shot his foot out, kicking the weapon deep into the woods. The child scrambled to his feet and began to run, looking back once at Celat, who was still standing there, staring to walk toward him.

He doubled his pace, his horror ignited anew. He dared not to turn back again, feeling the heat of Celat’s body bearing down on him, hearing the crash of his boots just inches behind him, his labored breathing. I’m gonna die, the little boy thought, I’m gonna die! I want my momma! Dadda! He turned around and closed his eyes, shrieking, waiting for Celat to finish him off. When he opened his eyes, there was no. Trace. Of his attacker. He had completely disappeared.

Sobbing, the child didn’t question his sudden good fortune and took off for home.

THE END