Master Of The Planes (Book 3)

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Authors: T.O. Munro
removing the Helm there was always a decision to be made. Which side of the bridge was she choosing?  Focus here, stay in the Domain of the Helm; focus on the council chamber at Laviserve, return there. As the steel plate lifted past her face she was looking into the black depths of Chirard’s beady eyes. 
    The Kinslayer was smiling, a thin snake like tongue flicking across his lips.  Greed consumed him as he waited for her to move just far enough from the Helm’s protection that it and she would be at his mercy.
    “Don’t do it girl,” Thren called.  “It is it not worth it.  I am not worth it.”
    “Release him,” Niarmit commanded.  “Do it now.”
    The merest waft of the Kinslayer’s hand, his eyes never wavering from the great Helm, and Thren fell with crunching force to the ground.  “Have him, whore,” Chirard growled.  “Let me have the Helm.”  She stepped to one side eyeing the distance between them.  Thren was struggling upright, burnt flesh fading into pink health, bruises running a gamut of rainbow colours in a matter of seconds.  It was just as well, for the healing grace of the Goddess did not extend into this sacrilegious corner of existence.
    In an instant she was hurrying towards Thren, three quick strides took her to her ancestor’s side. He was shaking his head in despair even as Chirard ran the other way and seized the Helm. 
    It was not a gift that Niarmit could voluntarily give him, all she had done was allow him to steal that to which he had no right.  The Kinslayer screamed as the touch of the Helm burned his hands, searing through skin to flesh and bone beneath.  Niarmit knew that pain.  She had experienced it briefly, those months ago, when she had tried to seize back the Helm after Chirard’s first theft. The agony had been unendurable, flinging her back before she could tear the stolen artefact from the Kinslayer’s head. But now, as then, Chirard bore the pain as he drew the great Helm down on his head.  Only one other had ever been able to usurp the Helm by force, her father Gregor, and he was not here now to claim it back for her. 
    “What have you done, you fool girl,” Thren cried.
    “Run, while you can.  I have bought you time.”  She pushed him towards the arched opening.  “Santos, take his Majesty away, help him find my father.”
    “You have unleashed a monster,” her ancestor wept.  At his side, the steward struggled to maintain a suitably obsequious stance, while still standing tall enough to support the injured monarch.
    Niarmit turned back to Chirard, settling on the gilded throne.  “Well, well,” he said.  “What have we here? Indeed where is here?”
    She watched his hands knowing he was seeing into Rugan’s council chamber. “Ropes!” He exclaimed.  “Ropes, is that how you meant to trap me, whore’s daughter?  Do you think ropes could confine Chirard the Magnificent.”
    He was laughing and his hands were flexing on the armrests of the throne.  Niarmit knew that the fingers of her own body, the body he controlled, would be mirroring his actions on the arms of the oaken chair in Rugan’s council chamber.  “Now, Hepdida, now would be good,” she muttered to herself, but nothing happened.
    “I shall be free in a trice witch,” he chuckled.  “And look, here is that pretty elf I was about to kill when your fool father unhelmed me.”
    “Oh shit!” Niarmit murmured.  Something had gone wrong.

    “What is going on here?” Tordil repeated the question, glowering round at the assembled company and reserving his sternest glare for Kimbolt.
    “I’m not entirely sure, Captain,” Giseanne admitted.
    “Why is the queen tied to her throne like some slave? Who has committed this affront?”
    “I did.” Kimbolt cursed the fact that their attention had been so focussed on the queen, no-one had seen the elf approach nor been placed to forestall his intervention.  Tordil was incandescent with rage and seemed ready to

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