The Pathos of the Abandoned

Finding mention of animals (particularly dogs and cats) in my Lore has made me quite tearful in the reading. Considering that much goes wrong in the story, animals showcase the desperation here and there. Below are a few excerpts from The Drowned Throne.

  1. THEY WALKED ALL day, dodging deluges and rotten missiles, skirting dogs and rats and unnamed piles of fur and other matter, turning ever away from mean-spirited people.

Only once did they see a cat, the feline mangy and filthy, but well fed on the rat population. For the most part Silas inhabitants ignored them. Where trouble appeared imminent, they simply walked away.

It rained without cease.

2. “On the contrary, father, I sensed something of you there. A trace of goodness, and that made me sad. I also found a trace of ambition, and that made me angry.”

They continued walking. A skeletal dog yapped at their heels, giving up when it elicited no reaction.

Torrullin said, “It wasn’t your fault. I don’t need to hurt you further.”

“I want to know. How else will I understand?”

“Tell me about you and my mother, please. She spoke of you with love always. She explained why she left. I would like to hear you speak of her.”

Taranis opened his heart and mind to the memories. He put aside pain and guilt, spoke to his son with the same love and awe Torrullin heard in his mother’s voice long ago.

“It was in Moor that I met her, the day I arrived …”

Torrullin smiled. Millanu would always begin with the first day she laid eyes on the handsome man on the inn roof.

3. An hour after they set out they came across the first ruined village, blackened and partly razed, the enclosure in tatters. Chickens scratched hopefully among the ruins and a skeletal dog barked pitifully. It was a small place, a family not long ago embarked on the task of starting a new clan.

Saska burst into tears and Lanto breathed a shocked, “Oh no, terrible …”

Torrullin’s mouth set in a grim line. This was direct evidence of Margus’ malicious plans.

Saska emptied her pack of food for the dog as they skirted the village; looking back, she saw the poor creature approach the bounty warily, before wolfing it down in a flash, its tail wagging. She burst into tears again.

Lanto’s mouth also set into a resolute line and he did not look back. They never heard him mutter ‘crazy’ again.

4. Eventually Torrullin said, “We must look to the living now and do what we can tonight, or more will join Mordan in the realms of death. Come, both of you, come away.”

They found the meeting hall half-above and half-below ground. Nature had commenced the reclamation process; birds burst noisily into flight as they came down the stairs into the chamber, and clumps of weeds grew sturdily in the patchy sunlight of the broken roof.

Phet set about clearing away the birds, chasing them out with respect. In one corner, a thin grey cat nursed two tiny kittens, keeping a wary eye on the intruders. This time Lanto scratched in his pack and offered the little mother food and water. She ate as she lay, unwilling to disturb her little ones, and purred when Lanto stroked her.

“What’s the plan?” Saska asked. Her voice echoed in the empty chamber, briefly startling the cat. Lanto calmed her with gentle hands.

Phet returned to perch unobtrusively in a corner. He ignored the feline and, after a brief bristle, she ignored him.

“We have to get into the lion’s den; it is the only way,” Torrullin said. “Luring his soltakin out will bring only a small number, and darklings will probably not take the bait. If we can get inside and let it be known we have penetrated his stronghold, he will pit his might against us to answer the arrogance of our trespass with his own.”

Author: theloreseries

Reader and writer of the extraordinary.

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