J.F. Posthumus

J.F. Posthumus

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Virginia, United States
A computer tech and artist that thrives on writing fantasy to escape the harshness of reality.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Xantos shows his bad side...

Another Teaser Tuesday snippet. A bit longer than usual, but well worth it, I think. Up till now, Xantos has shown his "nice" side... sooooo... here's the true side of Xantos. :) ENJOY!!!!

oh, and it's not quite as gory or graphic as some we've written.... ;)

backstory for those just dropping in:  Iliana is a retriever of all-things non-living.  Magical and not, she finds it and returns it to whoever has the highest bid.  After being hired to rescue Dante from a crazy docelfar witch, she becomes the target of assassins.  She immediatly suspects Xantos, someone who's famous for pulling such acts.  So, visiting him in nothing but her extra-large nightshirt, she discovers it's not him.  So, after a little magic and having Xantos show up unannounced, they head off towards Xantos's gardens.  This is what happens next.


Her musings kept herself from worrying about everything that had happened prior and what was sure to come when she returned to her home. Or, in the very least, her home world.

Xantos kept a slow pace, allowing her to be overwhelmed by the beauty of the architecture, paintings, and statues that lined the hallways and corridors. All were beautiful and breathtaking.

As they turned a corner, she noticed another being with snow-white skin and hair dressed like a warrior moving towards them. She couldn’t suppress a shiver as evil rolled off him like the air from an opened freezer. Perhaps it was the glee mingled in it that caused her to glance sharply at Xantos, imminently thankful for his presence and the robe.

Even were it not for the fact the newcomer’s eyes were the same glowing orange as Xantos and had pointed ears, Iliana would have known he was a docelfar. Xantos, however, didn’t seem to share the other elf’s delight. Instead, his expression darkened and she felt the same sense of evil wavering around her host as she did from the warrior.

Somehow, she got the idea that being here wasn’t such a bright idea, anymore.

A slightly smaller male, dressed in similar garb, stepped in from behind the first. Both men bowed to Xantos.

“Captain, Sergeant... report.” Xantos acknowledged and commanded.

“My eminence,” the shorter male replied. “The village stands no more. No one will question the wisdom of giving you the proper tithing from profits... especially those who have reaped a life from your generosity.”

Iliana took a step back, her eyes widening in shock. She shivered again, pulling the cloak tighter about her. Dearest gods. Xantos ordered such an attack? Alright, she’d happily admit he was an evil son-of-a-bitch. All for money. Why was she not surprised? Even if she was disgusted.

“Yes... it is so very disheartening when I choose a village to grow something, and even though I only require thirty percent of all profits, and the rest go to the people... they still feel they have the right to expect the rest,” said Xantos.

The captain smiled wolfishly. “None shall be foolish enough to attempt such blasphemy... not after tales of our deeds have spread.”

The whole village, though? She wondered. Did that also include the children and innocents? The women? Wasn’t there an unwritten law that said women and children were to be left alive?

Iliana slid back another step. There had to be a way to sneak out of here. Her room, she decided, had plenty of mirrors. She’d go to Alex; he wouldn’t turn her away.

“Perhaps you plan to spend the remainder of your days going to every tavern within a three day ride, spreading the tales yourself?” Xantos said with a pleasant tone. “You did not, after all, leave any survivors. This is contrary to my orders... and to my doctrine.”

The dark, bitter tang of anger wafted to Iliana from Xantos and she wondered if the pair could sense it as well as she could. She doubted it, since she could just barely notice it. Still, Iliana took another couple tiny steps away from the trio, she didn’t really want to be in the middle of what was to come. She’d rather be another dimension away.

“Your doctrine of not slaying anyone who does not attack.” the sergeant offered. “Children, women, any males who do not offer resistance while we weed out the guilty.”


“Well... the men became...” the captain began.

“The men followed your orders; which were, as stated, contrary to mine. I was observing you,” declared Xantos. His voice had not waived from the calm, pleasant tone.

Iliana glanced at Xantos. Okay, so he wasn’t a totally heartless bastard. Xantos had a code of honor... sort of.

“Still; this way of thinking that you present intrigues me, captain.” Xantos continued. “After all... I have never killed indiscriminately... only acting upon an urge to kill... no regard for what usefulness a being may represent; save the satisfaction of ending a nuisance or imbecile.”

“My...my eminence...” the captain said, and he looked decidedly sweaty to Iliana.

“I must try this... to discover if I have been foolishly following a useless code. That would be to my benefit; would you not agree?” Xantos said, looking from the captain to the sergeant.

Despite Iliana’s overly curious nature, she slid back yet another few steps. Maybe if Xantos was too preoccupied with the pair, she could sneak away?

“Of course... of course!” The captain agreed eagerly, obviously trying to please Xantos. Xantos made a minute nod towards the sergeant. The sergeant moved swiftly to block Iliana from making further progress.

Damn it. Why did she always end up involved these stupid power games? She doubted Xantos would use her, but did he have to insist on keeping her there to witness his next move?

“I am so glad we agree!” Xantos nearly cried. His left hand flew up, fingers splayed and palm towards the ceiling.

The captain cramped up in pain, and started to scream. Green fire flew from every orafice for two horrific heartbeats, and then the captain was consumed in an explosion of green light.

“My apologies for impeding you from exiting this ugly scene,” Xantos said as he brushed a fine soot from the front of his lavish robes. “But there are many dangers to be found along this hallway, and I did not want you to fall prey to them while trying to avoid the role of witness.”

Despite the sergeant, Iliana stumbled backwards, her eyes wide as fear and shock swept across her features. Okay, if Xantos thought she’d sleep after this, he was insane. She kept her back to the wall, with Xantos in full sight. The only weapon she had at hand was her magic, and she suddenly doubted she’d be powerful enough to counter anything this docelfar did.

“I... I...” she stuttered before drawing a deep breath, and immediately regretting it due to the pungent odor of burned flesh. “Perhaps the beauty of your garden will supplant the ugliness of this scene? If you still wish to take me there. If not, I completely understand.”

Not bloody well likely, she added silently, but she sure as hell wasn’t going to tell Xantos that.

“I was thinking that the garden’s beauty would help suppress the memory of this.” Xantos said with a patronly smile. He looked to the sergeant. “Captain, you will gather your crew and inform them of the change of command. See the lord of arms for your rank insignia. I shall talk with you and yours after the afternoon meal.”