It was about ten years after my "Initiation". Hundreds of times my mistress had proven to me, just how much of a hold she had over me.
Lyssiniss was very unhappy with Mijranda, who had been looking after me from when I was born.
Mijranda was a calm, quiet woman whose heart of gold had often saved me from desperation and madness. When my mistress' abuse seemed to much to bear, she would take any chance to just hold me tight and rock me no matter how I cried or screamed and raged. Her grip never wavered until I had calmed down to sleep.
Anyway we were really close - maybe that was why Lyssiniss finally decided to have her removed.
She ordered me to the chapel late one evening.
"I've got a gift for you," she said in a gentle tone of voice that chilled my bones. Over the years I had learned to anticipate only the worst whenever she was talking like that. "Come over here, Iíve got something I want to give to you."
The last thing I wanted, was to know what it was, but as always, my legs just did the job and wandered over to the sanctuary where she stood.
It was a gruesome sight. There was a male La'Thaij, past his middle age shackled to the altar. He was naked. He had been tortured. His head was shaven. On his scalp I could see a very elaborate tattoo. On his left lower arm he wore an ornamental wrist-guard which came up to his elbow - there was something really strange about it.
"This is Scirionn, your predecessor. He's been my N'aij-Paz for the last 40 years. Now he is past his prime and starts making mistakes. He didn't fulfill his last Commission. You are going to take his place. My counsellors advised against it since you are far from being fully grown but I have decided."
She raised a large, slightly curved sword and brought it down on Scirionn's left arm, just above the elbow, just above the weird wrist-guard. It hit with a sickening crunch. His arm was severed. Blood spurted from the stump. I was covered in it. Scirionn screamed. I cowered to the floor, wanted to crawl away but Lyssiniss stopped me.
"Pick it up." She mentioned to the severed limb which still lay on the altar.
As I did so, Scirionn's scream slowly faded. Hid chopped off lower arm felt heavy. The wrist-guard was hot in my hand. It appeared to move.
It opened !! and what was left of Scirionn's arm fell to the floor. Confused and frightened as I was I bent down to pick it up.
"Leave this - the rats can have it. And the rest of him." She looked at me intently. "Put it on and we shall see weather you are old enough - do not disappoint me!"
My hands shook as I placed the wrist-guard around my left arm. It shut firmly - shrinking in the process. There was severe pain as though it was acid eating my skin. Lyssiniss smiled.
"I knew it - you are ready. now let me show you how it works."
She sent for Mijranda, who was quick to arrive. Her face paled at the sight of the bloodstained me and she had to grab something not to fall over when she saw the altar with the remains of Scirionn.
"My dearest Mijranda," Lyssiniss crooned. "You have served me in those last thirty-three years - not always to my satisfaction, but I stayed patient. Now my patience is past its limits. Let me introduce you to my newly assigned N'aij-Paz." She nodded in my direction.
"You shall have the honour to initiate him to his duties."
Mijranda started trembling. Never before had I seen her this frightened.
"You cannot - please, Mistress, he is too young - please, not me, anyone else but spare him - let it be anyone else."
"Quiet," Lyssiniss barked. "Scijarad Li-Khaij'sa, in the name of the Lord of Darkness, with the power of the Taroc'Paz, kill her, kill Mijranda Set'Irijak."
Mijranda just stood there, looking at me. Her skin the colour of ashes, hands trembling. I found myself moving towards her. I didn't want to. I fought it like I never before had fought. My head started throbbing, my body shook, but still, it didn't help. After what seemed ages I stood right in front of her.
"Go ahead my darling," she whispered. "Do not worry about me, I know your heart and the guilt is not on you."
Suddenly the wrist-guard changed. A dark-red blade about one foot long shot out of it. I thrust the blade into her belly. There was virtually no blood as the life seemed to be sucked from her body. The wrist-guard felt warm and content as Mijranda collapsed.
"This is the power of the Taroc'Paz. Itís the Blade of Vengeance of the High Priestess of Seth. I have created you to be my tool of Justice. From now on until you fail me for old age, you will serve me by eliminating those who have fallen from faith. Yours is the power of death. You are N'aij-Paz, the Bearer of Death."
to be continued
copyright by scerijne