Dark clouds had gathered quickly that morning, conspiring against the city below. Rain poured down as if in attempt to cave in the rooftops of the surrounding buildings and dampen their core. A growing crowd heckled the man as he was dragged by two guards through the muddy streets of Falador. The prisoner, weakened from his state of starvation, was unmistakably handsome, even in his current circumstance. Lean muscles of his arms and chest outlined a ripped tunic that tightly covered a firm torso. Auburn hair draped from his hanging head, concealing all facial features. The guards supported his weight, taking slow, synchronized steps.
Hearing a comment concerning his parents, the prisoner glanced, searching for the voice. “Yer mum ‘n dad were snivelling dogs, they were,” proclaimed an intoxicated beggar. A quick jerk of the prisoners head, and their eyes met, the prisoners icy blues bore into the glazed over eyes. His counterpart became pale, seemingly sobered up, and promptly broke the connection. Snapping back to reality, the convict hung his head low once more.
Voices of the civilians, like the rain itself, could be heard from all sides, howling with enough emotion to make any onlooker join their tirade. Vile words and phrases smothered the prisoner of the city, as if to replace the very air that he breathed. Listening to the depraved crowd caused his stomach to knot tightly, as though he would vomit. Attempting to escape the cursed phrases, he focused on his restraints. His hands were tied behind his back with a sinewy bond. A similar knot restrained his ankles so he would be unable to run away once he reached his destination. The prisoner noticed that mud was quickly accumulating on his dragging boots and his legs were becoming heavier with each step taken by the guards. Accumulating weight did not deter the guards. It seemed as though they could walk through the stone wall that surrounded the city without breaking pace. Unsure of his fate, the prisoner attempted to question the guards; his voice fell silent over roars of the crowd. Suddenly, there was a cheer; the prisoner was being dragged towards the wooden stand that housed the guillotine, not the usual rock pit where captives were forced to work.
The guillotine, constructed of shrewdly cut poplar planks, stood tall in the cold rain. The convict noticed the handiwork of the guillotine as he approached, confused as to why it was made of poplar, rather than stronger wood. Why would they rush the creation of this..? Does this mean the king knows about us? The large blade of the wicked device remained suspended in the air, awaiting the chance to pounce upon unsuspecting prey. A burly man positioned himself near the guillotine; a grim black hood concealing his features. This man was the executioner, a minion of the blade. He shuffled towards the guillotine with a large watermelon in his arms, placing it in the area that had too often been home to the head of a prisoner. The burly man stepped away, holding the rope that would trigger the releasing mechanism. A swift tug of the rope and a holding claw released, the blade plummeting along waxed guides of the machine. It struck the large, green fruit below. Rather than slicing the watermelon clean in half, exposing its pink entrails, the cutting edge stuck half-way into the fruit. Obviously the blade hadn’t been sharpened as usual, showing that the king wanted to cause this man all the pain in the world. The crowd roared with satisfaction as they saw the sight. Pleased with the response, the guards towed the convict up the steps of the stand, home of the guillotine. The restrained man was forced to his knees as if to bow before the heinous machine. A priest stepped forward out of the unbridled crowd; piercing blue eyes locking onto a matching pair, and slowly climbed the stairs. Shuffling over to where the offender knelt, he dropped to one knee. The messenger of god whispered an incoherent phrase into the ear of the prisoner, smiling brightly he winked. The priest quickly stepped back and stood alongside the guards, a smug smile still present on his face.
Quietly, a lean man dressed in elegantly red-trimmed black robes stepped onto the wooden stand. Similar to royalty, he carried himself as though the blood that coursed through his veins would cure any illness. He looked out at the crowd, calmly raising a slender hand in the air. The simple movement silenced the crowd. All unpleasant words they wished to speak were swallowed. The only sound to be heard for what seemed like an eternity was rain pelting against the earth, forever shaping the land. The droning reverberation was suddenly interrupted by the strong words of the gracefully dressed figure. “Durahm Rovier, son of none, you are to be sentenced to death by orders of the king of Falador.”
The man of rich black and red motioned to the executioner, smiling from ear to ear. The would-be slayer of men kicked Durahm in the back, forcing him to rest his neck on the worn outline carved into the wooden base of the guillotine. Taking hold of the frayed rope that held the deadly blade in position, the executioner looked at the elegantly clad man. Signalled by a nod of the head, the slayer knew what had to be done. He pulled the rope, and the blade fell, stopping half-way from its destination. The crowd that had gathered seemed to gasp simultaneously. The executioner gazed at the blade with a puzzled look, attempting to push it down with his full body weight. The blade didn’t move an inch, held airborne by a higher power.
Durahm lifted his head and chuckled. The ropes binding his hands and legs split, falling to the ground as if they were cut by an invisible knife. Durahm rose to his feet, and the two guards that had dragged him through the streets attempted to jump on him. Leaping into the air it seemed they would land directly on their target, but they did not reach Durahm. They had pounced, only to be caught mid-air by a magical force. The executioner tried the same, but was unable to even move his legs. Durahm swiftly turned to the crowd, matching their staring eyes with his own. “It seems as though my punishment shall be postponed on account of rain.”
Bowing cockily to the horde of open-mouthed townsfolk, he muttered a phrase under his breath, and burst into a fiery inferno. Both flame and captive vanished, leaving an insignia burned into the wooden floor. Instantly, the guillotine fell to its resting place with a dull thud, beheading no man. Floating only a moment longer, the guards crashed to the floor of the stand. Another dull thud sounded as the priest fell to the floor, his legs succumbing to the weight they carried. A cold emotionless stare on his face confirmed he was dead. The entire crowd was dumbfounded by the display of magic. A bone chilling scream emitted from the mouth of the man with the elegant black attire. “Alert the king! The prisoner has escaped!”