Other Literary Works by Justin Eggen
- Outside the Wire: a U.S. Marine’s Collection of Combat Poems & Short Stories Volume I (2017)
- Outside the Wire: a U.S. Marine’s Collection of Combat Poems & Short Stories Volume II (2018)
- The Art of Warrior Poetry (2019)
- The Sun Rises in Helmand (2019)
- From Now, Until Death… I Shall (2020)
- War & Select Poems (2020)
This book is dedicated to my Grandparents, who showed me the beauty across the East Coast (13 colonies) with their many summer road trips in my youth. To my grandfather, who taught me the rich history of our nation’s birth, and to my grandmother, who, without any thought, steadily reinforced my imagination and creativity. This story might not have ever been created if those days never occurred.
The Et Omnia Trilogy
Copyright © “Adahy” 2021 by Justin Eggen Submitted to U.S. Copyright Office
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Text, Text Illustrations, and Maps: Justin Eggen @justinthomaseggen
Cover Art: Benjamin Thimell @corned_beef_trash.jpg
Hardcover ISBN: 9798709832312
First Edition: June 2021 ©
Language Disclaimer: The 17th,18th, and 19th centuries were congested with highfalutin language, in which I actively tried to stay away from bogging down the dialogue, but I tried to keep it as true as I could and keep the flow of my story.
Cover Art Flag Disclaimer: The Colonial flag and the UK flag in the cover art are not accurate to the timeline, as the colonial flag was not implemented until 1777, and the Union Jack was not adopted until 1801.
Map Disclaimer: As for the ‘Battle Maps,’ I did not draw out several battles, mainly the ones that were highly intricate. These battles are large in scale and have elaborate character actions. Even with the ‘Battle Maps’ I did draw up, they do not accurately portray the events as well as the text, even though I tried my best. This was my first time attempting any form of action mapping. I hope you enjoy.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.
-Table of Contents-
- The King’s Highway……………………………..16
- Solitude & Violence…………………………….. 27
- “Adahy” ………………………………………… 33
- A Meeting Unknown……………………………. 41
In the beginning, there was an eruption at the heart of the vast void, creating two entities; before this, there was nothing. These two fundamental entities amalgamated for eternity, becoming the foundation for creation. Their names, as recorded by the first humans, Allacritus Lux and Nox Tinibrus, together formed ‘Et Omnia’ or everything and all.
In 1773, King George III and Parliament sought reparations to absolve their debt from recent wars through multiple attempts of direct taxation within the thirteen colonies.
Sentiments among the nearly two million occupants affected are that reorganization of government would give the tyrant King unlimited power from across the sea and throughout all British ruled land.
In the 200 years since the colony’s creation, not once has such bold actions befell them; the catalyst sparked.
The King’s Highway
Four full moons have passed since Adahy’s mother met eternal rest from yellow fever. With only a few days of acquiring it from a winter trading trip, her body began to fail. The remedies from the Shaman were of no use combating the fever, black vomit, and violent convulsions. In her last moments, she weakly grabbed Adahy’s hand, forced a smile through the suffering,
“It’s going to be alright, my son. I will be painless.” She said softly, letting out a tear from her pallid eyes.
The pain of her death is immeasurable. She was the only person in his life that he knew unconditionally loved him. Her memory captures his thoughts every moment on the long and arduous journey to Boston. Adahy carried his pain well in his mind but was clearly visible through his lamented green eyes.
Adahy stood six feet one inch from the ground and vigorously built. Deerskin sewn shoes shielded his feet, laced up just above his ankle. Light brown trousers covered his legs as an inner layer all the way to his waist. His black outer leggings are thigh high and tied off above the knee by black and brown finger woven garters. The faded black tricorn hat was once his father’s, along with the gold talisman that rested securely around his neck and the musket resting in his lap. His square jaw and strong chin resting underneath the high cheekbones carried a slight stubble, while his countenance was that of perpetual rancor.
Summer came quickly and was becoming a swelter under the scorching Carolina sun. The King’s Highway route to Boston was a long trek on horseback and even longer when the weight of death is on your soul. Adahy has been traveling a fortnight on the road with his loyal horse, Raven. A rare horse in these parts that was gifted by his mother’s brother, Wohali, a member of the tribal war counsel, when Adahy was 16. For the last several years, she has been Adahy’s trusted companion. Even she seemed not to enjoy the sweltering air.
The saddlebags behind Adahy are filled with supplies meant for a journey with no return. Several pistols, ammunition, paper cartridges, extra horns of powder, and a haversack are all stored on one side. Also tightly concealed is a bow and quiver filled with many sharp arrows. In the opposite saddlebags are deer jerky rations, bread, a greatcoat, a tomahawk, and encampment tools. A thin wool blanket rolled into a larger one sits across the tops of both bags, providing Adahy a proper backrest along the journey.
There are three muskets that he carries, each serving its purpose. The blunderbuss with the shorter barrel flared at the tip stayed on his back, fastened securely. The second was a British Brown Bess which is holstered in Raven’s leather left side carrier. The French musket that was passed down from his father sits across his lap; it is a Charleville model 1728. The air becomes staler with each step, and by midday, the shade from the overhanging trees on the King’s Highway is a much-welcomed relief.
On his chest overtop his long sleeve shirt, he carries one flintlock dragoon in a custom leather holster and two flying-talon blades sheathed on his ribs. These weapons are fastened to a leather weaved chest carrier. The chest rig itself covered from shoulder to shoulder and down to his waist. A three-inch-wide waistbelt was woven through the bottom section of the carrier and was buckled on his left side. Two shoulder straps wrapped around his shoulders tightly, keeping the chest rig stable and secured to his body. The leather woven chest rig is designed so Adahy could exchange his pistols and knives to any setup that made him more efficient in combat. After his mother passed, the tribal war counsel outfitted him with custom saddlebags, the fitted chest carrier, and a custom front left saddle holster for muskets, among other resourceful tools. Adahy enjoyed the leather chest carrier as it was easily concealable by his greatcoat and could be worn with everyday clothing comfortably.
With each step in the stale air Adahy’s mind goes back to those last moments ‘It’s going to be alright my son’. The words echo in his mind with each of Raven’s strides. The birds whistle around but cannot seem to break his constant stare. Nightfall soon arrives to claim the day. Adahy rides a bit into the darkness reaching a lodging tavern along the road. He guides Raven to the hitching post, unsaddles, and ties up the horse.
“You are the perfect traveling companion, Raven,” He says, petting the side of the horse’s long face before ritually placing his forehead on the horse, “You never disagree with getting off the road.”
He unstraps the greatcoat and puts it on, buttoning the collar high, loosely hiding half his face. Adahy then takes the saddlebags off Raven and throws them over his shoulder. Taking all his tools with him, he heads into the tavern with the wooden sign out front reading ‘Santee River Tavern’. Inside there is one drunken man in the corner unconscious, and the barkeep seems to have just woken up to the sound of their arrival. He stands up straight, clearing his throat,
“Good evening; highway travels deserve good food and uninterrupted sleep.” The tall, largely built older man says while pouring Adahy a drink. “Would you be staying the night?”
“Yes, I believe I will.”
“Five pence per night,” the barkeep says smoothly.
“Proper rate innkeeper,” He replies respectively, “I will stay three nights and give my horse clean water each morn.” Adahy finishes placing five shillings on the bar top.
“Very good, sir. Right away.” The barkeep grabs a key off the wall under the number three hook. “Room three is yours until you leave.”
Currency never fails to instill excitement and enthusiasm in the colonies. It has been almost ten years since King George III has imposed his unique taxes on the colonies, and it would seem to have the opposite effect as intended. It wasn’t the first time they were taxed, but it was the first time they’ve begun seeing the British trying to enforce it. It was all the talk in taverns along Adahy’s route. A rising anti-British sentiment was growing, and Adahy saw that clearly the further he traveled north.
The old barkeep comes around from the backside of the bar and heads outside to fetch new water for Raven’s trough. Adahy opens the left side of his greatcoat, withdrawing a nine-inch clay pipe and pouch of crisp tobacco. He pulls a generous pinch of tobacco from the pouch, firmly packing the pipe bowl with his thumb. Adahy notices a candle nearby and grabs it from the candelabra, then uses the glowing flame to ignite his freshly packed pipe.
“Shall I take your things to the room, sir?” He asks Adahy upon reentering the tavern.
“No, that will not be necessary.” Adahy replies. As he looks around the tavern, he notices it hasn’t seen proper business in several months.
“I am fortunate for your business and choosing my establishment for your lodging.” The old barkeep says ardently, “Although, our tavern has met a downturn these last few years. It’s a nice sight, fresh faces.”
“Many Redcoats travel through these parts?” Adahy asserts sharply after a long draw from the pipe, releasing smoke with his words.
The old man takes a serious tone, undoubtedly upset and unsure of the patron’s true intentions, says slowly, “Unfortunately…, yes.”
“What is your name, barkeep?” Adahy asks, taking another drag from the pipe, keeping the ember hot.
“Daniel Mullan. I own this establishment.” He states directly, as he pours himself an ale and continues speaking,
“At first, they were infrequent, and then with time, they began badgering our guests after stopping in weekly from Georgetown and Charleston, stealing as they please.” He looks around his empty tavern, “As you can see, they are effective in their work.”
“That I can plainly see, yes.” Adahy says, scanning the empty tavern, finishing his drink, “What else?”
“Well, sir. They claim men’s wives at will and burn properties for disputing their actions.” He says, lowering his head.
Typical British foot soldier. Always resorting to destruction when others disagree with their malicious actions they claimed are justified by the crown. Terrible wretches, Adahy thought to himself.
“Has an attempt been made to cease their conduct?” Adahy asks directly.
“No, for they are the King’s men, and a firestorm will erupt if we retaliate with violence. This isn’t Boston. I’ve often conjured plans in my mind but never acted on my wishes…” He says anxiously and continues, “what do you suggest we do, stranger?”
“Redcoats won’t listen even after a beating,” Adahy says plainly. “There is only one solution, old man. That is death, only not a death that will bring you trouble.”
Daniel Mullan’s face is petrified at Adahy’s directness but knows his words hold validity. He clearly has thought about this solution once or twice before and realizes the confrontation is imminent.
“How?” He asks. “If they are killed here, I will be hung in the streets of Georgetown as a traitor.”
“Give me the night barkeep. I will have your answer in the morn. For now, may I have a refill?”
Adahy stops the barkeep from pouring, “I will require your indefinite discretion, and you will be questioned upon the execution of this plan.” Adahy says bluntly.
“Young sir, the crown and King do not hold my loyalty…the colonies do, the continental cause does. Rest assured, young man, my family and I are no King’s men… haven’t been for nearly 100 years.” He replies surely, continuing to pour the whiskey.
“We shall see,” Adahy replies before downing the remainder of the whiskey and heading upstairs into room three with his gear.
Early on the third day, Daniel Mullan received information claiming the belligerent redcoats had left Georgetown and would be here by midday. The plan was formally established between Adahy and the barkeep in the days and nights prior. Daniel was to entertain the soldiers happily until they left, inebriated. Adahy was set to ambush the soldiers far enough away from the tavern, making it seem they were killed by vexed natives. Adahy loaned his trust to the barkeep, and if this operation were successful, the barkeep would keep it. Everything is in place at the tavern when the redcoats arrive. Adahy and their plan are in motion.
Walking the road from Georgetown is a vigorous journey, and the twelve British light infantry soldiers stop at the tavern, as expected. But it’s a smaller-sized element than anticipated. Within hours the redcoats are drunk, being hostile and combative with the barkeep and patrons. The soldiers even commit the wife of a patron to the garrison barracks the next day, promising their return. After harassing the barkeep and not paying their tab, they stumble outside under the dark new moon sky.
The air is dank on the King’s Highway this late, with frogs loudly croaking in the shadows. Halfway to the garrison, four furlongs south, the drunken redcoats find themselves chanting their national anthem, happily singing out of tune.
“God save great George our king,
Long live our noble king,
God save the king.
Send him victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the ki-”
An arrow sliced through the neck of the tallest redcoat in the rear of the group, releasing a steady outflow of blood, replacing his singing with choking and gurgling.
A second arrow immediately follows the first, striking a redcoat in the chest. In the stillness of the night, you can hear the arrowhead piercing his air-filled lung. Gasping with their last breaths, the two initially struck immediately fall to their knees, quickly bleeding out. The rest of the drunken soldiers begin aimlessly firing their muskets into the dark wilderness on the flanks of the road. Flashes erupt from the locks, and trees split from the British shots. Another arrow cuts the muggy night air.
A third soldier releases a quick wheeze before dropping in the road. A fierce precision arrow penetrates between his clavicle bones, snapping his spinal cord on the way out. The remaining nine soldiers begin to huddle around the fallen, two attempts to treat the wounded. In a drunken stupor, the frantic and overwhelmed redcoats fail to distinguish the origins of this massacre, still firing randomly into the darkness. The musket firing and smoke blended with the pitch blackness and horrifying screams make for a hellish sight. From a new position, multiple arrows begin raining misery onto the redcoats repeatedly.
*Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt, Thwipt*
Within a matter of moments, the firing has stopped, and the silence is quickly rejoined by croaking frogs and the newly faint echoes of dying men.
From the outer perimeter of the garrison, the struggling gunfire is heard by a pair of roving foot patrols. The two garrison guards begin running toward the sound of the drowning musket fire. Immediately after the guards begin their sprint, it falls quiet in the wilderness, excluding the frogs. A few minutes go by, and the two guards come across the dead.
A mutilated pile of twelve British light infantry soldiers with a collection of arrows in each lay gruesomely in the road. One of the guards immediately vomits on the road. A combination of seldom sprinting and the defiled dead. The guard unclenched says,
“Bear witness to slaughter, greenhorn.”
“This is the work of savages! It had to be a column; with their blasted arrows! Tormenting us from the shadows!” he says deliriously, dropping to the ground on his knees.
“Why scalp them? The red savages in these parts don’t hold a reputation for scalps,” the calm soldier says speculatively.
“Disgraced war trophies, awful bloody things, we need to leave now! Who knows how many more there are near?” Fear controls his thoughts and is heard in his voice.
“We need to report this immediately,” says the collected guard. “Get back on your feet, and let’s return.”
The two guards sprint back to the garrison as quickly as they could. Upon arrival, they reveal what they heard and witnessed in detail to their superior officers. A caravan is sent within minutes to ensure the legitimacy of the guard’s story and to collect bodies, if necessary. Just before dawn, the caravan of fifty British infantry regulars and horse-drawn wagons returned. With it followed dreadful news, carrying twelve scalped Englishmen, confirming the two guards’ story.
The Major at the garrison issues foot patrols doubled around the perimeter, no parties smaller than twenty will travel the King’s Highway between Georgetown and Charleston, and local establishments are to be warned of the attack and heeded caution while traveling after dark. Local taverns and brothels are off-limits until the savage culprits are caught and brought to justice. Tracking parties are sent into the wilderness immediately surrounding the garrison and location of the murder to find anything that will lead them to the killers. The atmosphere around the entire garrison is apprehensive yet fervently hostile.
Creeping over the horizon, the sun breaks the plane supplying light into the world. Dawn was Adahy’s favorite time as the crisp cool air from the black nights prior, and the aroma of the fresh sun on the world clashed in a beautiful battle each morn. It was perfect. Adahy sits atop Raven, walking her to the entrance of the Santee River Tavern. He unsaddles the black mare then ties her reigns to the hitching post. Adahy presses his forehead against the horse’s head for a brief moment collects his thoughts then walks inside.
The old barkeep was already awake, rummaging through some wooden crates behind the counter. There was no drunken fool unconscious in the corner this morn, and the small wooden doors over the windows have been opened, letting in the beautiful early sun. The old barkeep speaks from behind the counter, still occupied,
“Weary traveler, may I offer you some crisp steaming coffee?”
“Many redcoats travel through these parts?” Adahy asks in a mirrored tone as the first day he arrived.
The man recognizing the voice, lifts his head smiling, and comes around the bar, “Adahy, young man! I must shake your hand. The garrison redcoats are restricted to local establishments indefinitely due to some trouble with some Indians, said they scalped em.” The barkeep says aptly.
“It’s a temporary fix, old man. Once they realize there are not any real natives taking advantage of their drunken soldiers, they will soon be back tormenting the local people.”
“I know…” Daniel says to Adahy quietly, “I will use this peaceful time to contact my friends in the northeast and try to persuade them to come here and work if ever arise more issues pertaining to the garrison redcoats. A growing sentiment echoes in the shadows of taverns and meetinghouses.”
“I’ll take you up on that coffee if you don’t mind.” Says Adahy, trying to change the subject away from the redcoats.
“Right away. Would you like some forced eggs as well?” Daniel asks Adahy as he grabs the kettle for the coffee.
“No, thank you, coffee is fine.” Replies Adahy.
The old barkeep rounds behind the counter and begins boiling the water over the fire. In what seemed like seconds, the distinct bean aroma fills the tavern quickly and is a welcoming scent to the journeying young man. Upon its completion, Daniel pours Adahy and himself two steaming mugs. Together they enjoy the silence and the piping black sludge coffee.
Forty minutes pass, and Adahy stands up,
“Well, old man, I’m off. Time to continue my path. This is the best coffee I have had in an exceptionally long time. Thank you, and your hospitality has been generous.”
“Aye, well, it was my pleasure. If you don’t mind, where are you headed?” The old barkeep asks as he takes the last sip from the coffee.
“Boston, by way of the king’s highway,” Adahy says, stretching his back.
“What is a young man of your talent doing headed to Boston? Seems you would be a perfect fit for the underground continental cause in Philadelphia.” Daniel Mullan says to him convincingly.
Adahy knowing this man is trustworthy and having a good feeling from day one about him, opens up and tells Daniel Mullan his mission,
“Before my mother died, she instructed me to find Major Thomas Young. He is my fathers’ brother, and he could help me learn more of my father and that side of my family.” Adahy says plainly and continues,
“Mother died of yellow fever, and according to her, my father was on the run for years by privateers, bounty hunters, and mercenaries all hired by King George II. They eventually caught up to him and killed him. She rarely spoke his name.”
“Thomas Young was one of the most notorious officers during the French & Indian War.” Daniel Mullan says in awe at the young man’s story.
“That is the man I need to find,” Adahy replies smoothly to the old barkeep.
“On your way, if you find yourself in Philadelphia, stop by ‘Tun Tavern’ my cousin owns the place; I believe his son Robert runs it now. And my younger, well younger than me, Cousin Wilfred owns ‘Mug Tavern’ outside Boston in the town Brookline… if you ever need good ale and a place to relax, these are the places to be.” Daniel says happily and continues, “Well, sir, I do believe you will find who you are looking for. Thomas Young is a prominent leader in the city, and he is doing great things for the underground continental cause without disruption.”
Adahy listens to his words and remembers the names of the taverns in case he needs to utilize the resources later in life. It was always good to keep contacts of trustworthy people and locations; Adahy learned this at an early age.
“It has been a busy few days, but I am glad to put your redcoat worries at ease. It does people no good to be bullied, harmed, or killed by your King and his men… I am always happy to help in that area when I can.” Adahy says directly to Daniel Mullan.
“Aye, thank you, your actions will spread through the colonies fast. Drink the rest of this coffee before you embark; you’ll need it.” The old barkeep fills the mug to the brim as Adahy sits back down, withdrawing his clay pipe and tobacco pouch.
By midday, the sun was at full brilliance with no clouds in the blue sky, a truly riveting sight. Adahy had left the Santee River tavern over an hour ago but still couldn’t get over that damn coffee. Before leaving, he had Mr. Mullan fill up one of his spare canteens with as much as it could carry. With his left hand, he grabs the gold talisman and clutches it tightly, thinking of his mother. The sentiments fade from missing his mother to the mission and her wish for him. The road was long indeed, but the resilience of Adahy was great. He was steadfast and youthfully determined.
Solitude & Violence
Adahy thrived in solitude and is accustomed to violence. It was a familiar place for him, for he was raised to be self-reliant. He seldom enjoyed the company of others, and when he did, he didn’t show it often; Daniel Mullan was an exception. Being twenty-two years of age, Adahy had a great many things to learn, but he was raised educated with vast knowledge on many aspects of life that the tribal elders were willing to share throughout his time with the tribe. Taking a man’s life was something to be coveted where Adahy came from, an intimate commitment to yourself. It was something to be expected on life’s journey as a tribal warrior. Still, Adahy easily allowed the dead spirits to occupy his mind at times; he was still young and not yet a master of his emotions.
His uncle Wohali always advocated “knowledge is infinite”, constantly pushing Adahy’s intellect. Wohali was Adahy’s favorite uncle out of his mother’s three brothers. After his pilgrimage when Adahy was 12, Wohali made it his duty to train him in the ways of the warrior, working Adahy day and night for the last decade. These skills included but were not limited to bow shooting, knife fighting, tomahawk abilities, covertness, and the ability to blend, hunting, fishing, survivability, and most importantly, how to sustain himself while alone mentally. Adahy had spent the better part of his life training, and he knew nothing but solitude and violence; his heart was from his mother, where his compassion and empathy still held respectable space within himself.
It was his mother who kept Adahy attached to the tribe, as he always felt like an outsider. Wohali always kept his eye on him throughout his childhood, and when his mother passed, Wohali was exemplary in funeral duties, reinforcing the message from Aryana only meant for Adahy’s ears. “Go to Boston and find a man named Major Thomas Young, he is your father’s blood brother.” The words echoed in Adahy’s mind as Raven’s hooves impacted the dirt road.
The news about this newly revealed blood uncle in Boston was a shock. His mother, Aryana, had kept this secret her entire life from him. Adahy’s initial thoughts were those of betrayal, but he eventually convinced himself she kept it from him for a reason, or at the very least, that’s what Adahy chose to believe. After his father died, she detached herself from any aspect of his life and the life they shared apart from Adahy, whom she loved dearly. She would tell Adahy about her adventure from leaving Nassau with infant Adahy and traveling the seas to La Florida all the way to the tribe. It was a lengthy story he often heard throughout his life. Major Thomas Young was someone who was withheld from Adahy, and he intended to rectify that.
In early 1773, Adahy and Raven had traveled from the north Georgia hills to the coast, found the King’s Highway, and endured the long journey in high spirits. The route to the sea was one Adahy had taken with his mother on trading trips as a boy but never ventured north. With Raven, the route was an easy month-long trip when he took his time, and he was never rushing but kept a good pace.
After leaving the ‘Santee River Tavern’ getting past the Georgetown checkpoint and through the actual city was easier than he thought it was going to be. During the dark hours of the night, anyone can go seemingly unnoticed in plain sight. With the greatcoat buttoned to his nose covering his face, leaving only his eyes exposed, he traveled with Raven up the colonial coast in the summer days.
Once past Georgetown, Adahy applied the same nightfall tactic: travel through the city at night and travel the king’s highway in the light hours.
For the sake of his sanity, Adahy never repeated his actions at the ‘Santee River Tavern’ on his journey to Boston. He felt justified in his actions against the twelve doomed souls that night on the highway. ‘Was it justified?’ He regularly reflected on his way to Boston, but it was a thought he often suppressed. Suppressing thoughts was a frequent tool within Adahy’s mental haversack that he utilized often. The thoughts of his father he suppressed for no other reason than because of the unknown of who he was and what he did. The fact that his mother never spoke of his father bothered Adahy to the core, but having immeasurable respect for her, he respected her wishes to keep it secret.
The king’s highway was a rough route to venture. It was filled with highwaymen, bandits, drunkards, soldiers, and undesirables; it was a journey not meant for thin-skinned souls. The killing of redcoats, however poorly justified, leaves Adahy questioning his honor continuously. Although he thirsts for justice for the oppressed and fights for what he believes is the right decision, yet he still lets the killings weigh on his mind from Georgetown to Virginia, a long journey. Retrospective looms over Adahy when the silence is heavy; when Adahy listens to the wind blend with the nothingness, the thoughts become dark and heady. Something consumed him while in combat; something flowed through him, a form of vehement-focused rage coursing between his flesh. Adahy thrived in violence, not without its price. His mind cracked and crashed on a constant basis between thriving within brutal conflict and settling down within quiet and clarity. Adahy searched for clarity of oneself through violence. It was the only time he felt like he understood himself.
In Alexandria, right off the Potomac, he traded a bundle of jerky for a satchel of rich Virginian tobacco. It was enough for multiple refills of his personal pouch. He had expended the last bit of his New Bern tobacco in Williamsburg one wet rainy night, and he has been without it a few days. Pipe smoking was a daily ritual among most tribal members, it was considered a mechanism for reaching peace within oneself. It calmed him, and rarely before sleep, Adahy would blend the tobacco with hemp-seed-hops to see the universe in his dreams.
Adahy had spent many nights as a young man with his uncle Wohali and the tribal leaders as they allowed him to smoke the hemp-seed-hops and hallucinate, trying to meet the source of existence. Each time the spirits of light and dark would befall the elders and Adahy during these seldom moments. Good versus evil and light versus dark were frequent battles saw within the smoke of the elders. Adahy often would remember those tales, however distant the memories were. These were the times he felt a true sense of belonging, other than around his mother. The memories are fleeting, and the cold night air grounds Adahy back reality.
“This looks like a good place to stay for the night.” He says to the beautiful black horse putting his feet on the ground.
Adahy hitched Raven to a thick branch of the tree on the perimeter of the small clearing he intended to stay. He collected firewood in a pile and proceeded to create a fire for the night using his flint and steel. Once the tent was up, he went and collected bundles of branches and created a security perimeter around his new site. Adahy learned at a young age that good sleep requires security. Although a musket and pistols keep you safe, he knows it is best to set up preventative measures. With these measures in place, approaching in silence is nullified, allowing Adahy proper time to defend, if necessary.
The tent was a simple wool canvas draped on a rope line between trees and anchored with four wooden spikes. It was enough to keep Adahy dry in the twilight rain. With only three days away from Boston, he was nervous about his actual plan to try and find his uncle. Adahy didn’t know really where to start his search in the large city of Boston, so he figured going to an active brothel or tavern and simply asking about Thomas Young would hopefully be enough to get information. It is a bold plan, but Adahy sees this as the most subtle way to gain knowledge of his uncle.
After Adahy set up camp and ensured the perimeter was secured, he sat on the ground close to the fire to get warm. After a few minutes, he stands and takes the saddlebags off Raven and rests his muskets barrel-up against a large rock. In his haversack, he takes out a body-sized linen sheet and begins placing his pistols and knives on it. He also removes some linen rags and oil for cleaning. Hours pass as Adahy diligently cleans his arsenal.
Adahy’s mindset is ready for what comes, finding his blood uncle or not; he knows his path is just beginning. His mother, Aryana, always said he was destined for more, destined to go on and achieve great things. Since a child, he was taught to be in the moment and focus on the present state of life. His uncle Wohali steadily tried to shape Adahy’s mind to be fortified and tough. “The body will break, but the mind must not” he always preached to Adahy. His uncle Wohali made sure Adahy was raised tough and raised to be self-reliant.
The stars in the sky have moved almost across the entire black canvas when Adahy is finished with his weapons. The plan for Boston is clear, and he knows what he needs to do. He packs the weapons away as they were before, leaving the Dragoon on his chest while the blunderbuss and Charleville are close to his side. He pulls out his small pouch of hemp-seed-hops and his tobacco, then mixes a deep bowl in his pipe. The end of the pipe is ignited with a piece of wick from Adahy’s wick ball he specifically uses for pipe smoking. The smokey fumes are inhaled and disperse a calming sensation throughout his body. A few more puffs, and his eyelids become heavy as he drifts into a deep sleep. The wary half-native slept with both hands on his seasoned tomahawk.
The fire has been extinguished for a few hours from the twilight rain, and the cold seems to be compounding with the darkness. Silence sweeps the area, and Adahy awakens from the chilly air, shivering to the core.
“Fuck. It’s cold” His words slice the ice-cold air as the chill creeps down his spine, reminding him it was time to move.
After a moment, he exhales into his hands, rubbing them together, trying to warm himself up. Removing his wool blanket, he gets up and leaves the tent, bundling his greatcoat to his chin. The air was fresh off the coast in the form of a slight breeze, seemingly bringing the morning chill. He slept with all his clothing on, a precaution while traveling on the King’s Highway. The night sky is now early morning, becoming a new day filled with noises eradicating the silence. The sun was beginning its climb as the deep darkness is easing off, and the cold air is cutting to the core. Steadily shivering, Adahy begins packing away his gear.
The moon is low on the horizon as the sun begins to illuminate the shadows. Rustling trees catch the dawn breeze off the sea as the sky begins to warm itself. Adahy finishes packing his belongings when Raven starts clapping her hooves against the floor, indicating her desire to move.
“I know, I know… you want to go. Don’t worry; soon enough, we will be on the move.” Adahy says, connecting his head to her head.
As he mounts Raven, he clicks his teeth, and she slowly begins to head out. On the move, he adjusts his weaponry for riding and reaches for his tobacco pipe and pouch. The nine-inch clay pipe was something he created with his uncle Wohali when he was just a boy. It had resonated tobacco and hemp-seed-hops from years past, and Adahy wouldn’t want it any other way. He firmly packs the Virginian tobacco in the pipe bowl as Raven slowly strides on the trail getting back toward the main highway.
“Well, girl, I’ve prepared myself to puff some smoke, but I’ve gotten no fire,” Adahy says, laughing at himself, knowing he packed away his flint and steel.
“I’ll save this one for the next stop. How does that sound?” The horse neighs, and Adahy pets her neck before putting his pipe and tobacco pouch away in the greatcoat inner picket.
The crisp morning air is clean as he takes a deep inhale, knowing that his plan might not work, but it’s all he can really do at this point. The directions were little, but they were clear. “Go to Boston and find a man named Major Thomas Young, he is your father’s blood brother.” The words continuously echoed throughout Adahy’s mind. Time passes the day as trees rustle in the wind with Raven hooves impacting the ground blending with singing birds in the breeze.
The idea that Adahy’s mother had known about his blood uncle since before Adahy’s birth and never once revealed his existence troubled Adahy to no end, but Adahy always had a way of forgiving his mother for even the slightest infraction. She was his hero. She never spoke of his father or what happened to him before Adahy was born. He knew that it deeply affected her, so he never bothered to ask. On her deathbed, she told her son,
“I should’ve spent more time telling you who he was… I am sorry I didn’t tell you more Adahy… your father called it the ‘Aureum Pentagonum’. Forgive me.”
Her words populated his mind like a bad fever. Solitude on the road was the only thing keeping his mind occupied away from those thoughts, and he wasn’t doing a great job at keeping them out. Eventually, Boston was only a few day’s ride away. Adahy needed a drink and to finally get to savor the tobacco he packed earlier.
Nassau in the fall was beautiful when there isn’t a thunderstorm rumbling overhead, but even then, she appreciated the grim beauty. Aryana was a young woman just shy of twenty years of age who was a Native American from the north Georgia hills. A stunning beauty in her own right, she had gorgeous green eyes with long lashes attached, sitting atop high cheekbones with thick brown hair flowing to her lower back.
“Aryana, come now the rain is near.” The man says concerningly.
She investigates the sky above and looks back to the dark blue ocean as the thunder crashes in the argumentative clouds. Not wanting to leave the shore, she replies,
“Soon.” Her voice is relaxed.
“Soon? We need to get in the cottage. This storm is going to tear this island in half!” he shouts. The wind picks up, and the dark clouds consume the light sky.
“Soon.” She repeats.
“Aryana, you’re foolish!” He condemns her and walks inland toward the row of shore cottages.
The lightning pierces the ocean, immediately followed by deep crashes of thunder in the clouds as the rain begins. The chaos of the storm is soothing the woman’s soul standing in the sand. She looks to her right and sees something odd down shore. A man is landing a small rowboat on the beach a ways away, struggling to drag it through the sand. Intrigued, Aryana makes her way through the storm to the man’s location.
Moments later, she has stopped a few yards away from him, and he notices her from the corner of his eye.
“Enjoying the struggle, are we?” The man says through the rain, still pulling the rowboat through the sand.
“Actually, yes.” She answers slyly.
He chuckles, “Well then, don’t allow my interruption. Carry on”
The man had blonde hair under his black tricorn hat. His broad shoulders and large frame showcased his strength as he pulled in the 150-pound wooden rowboat further inshore. Aryana watched as he planted his feet and pulled it past the tide line, finally falling to his backside, letting out an exhausted sigh.
“Stranger, may I ask why you are rowing in the rain?” Aryana asks the exhausted man.
“Well, stranger, it wasn’t raining when I launched off the northeast island, just there.” He says, lifting his arm through the rain, pointing at a smaller outer island northeast of Nassau.
“You’ve seemed to avoid my inquiry...”
The man lifts his head and looks up at her in the rain, dismayed at her statement but impressed by the beautiful and dynamic female, he laughs saying,
“Well, aren’t you determined to know my business?”
“Not your business, but why go rowing when there is a storm on the horizon unless rowing is your business… in which case I’d say you’re succeeding.” She says aptly with a slight smile.
Revealing his commanding figure, the man stands up at six-foot-three inches, entranced by the beautiful woman he can barely let out the words,
“Why am I rowing in the rain? Indeed, that does require answering. But to me, the more important question at hand is why such a thing of beauty as yourself is standing on the beaches of Nassau in a disastrous storm, lurking over a man rowing ashore?”
She smiles, “Indeed, that does require answering…”
The man steps close to the woman, so close the heavy raindrops falling on him break apart, ricocheting on her. The feeling between the two was immediately magnetic. Within a second, the storm seems to break, if only for a moment, and she looks up, and they lock eyes.
“I’m compelled to confess that I am being tracked by men who wish to see my end.” He says calmly.
Unsure of his revealing comment, she says, “Well, let’s see to it that they fail their task.”
She turns toward the building inland in the direction in which she came just as the storm begins to pick back up. The heavy rains and howling wind blend perfectly with the booming crashes of the shore waves. She looks back at the man and motions him to follow her; he does.
The wooden door on the brick building is flung open from the wind, allowing rain to douse the entry. The woman with a hooded cloak walks in, followed by the burly blonde-haired, seemingly exhausted man.
“Good to see your return. I see you found some treasure in the sand.” The man says tartly. Clearly, he was not pleased by her newfound companion.
“Treasure? That is yet to be determined.” She replies, looking back at the soaking wet man.
She releases the knot of her hooded cloak and hangs it on the coat rack. The man follows her into the entry closing the door behind him.
“I’ve yet to know anyone’s name.” The wet man says directly.
“Who is this man?” The other man says to Aryana in their foreign tongue, completely disregarding the blonde man’s statement.
She looks at the Native American man and looks at the blonde man,
“He was rowing between the islands in the storm and needed somewhere to stay. I offered him shelter and food. He is harmless.” She says, trying to ease her older brother.
Her brother scoffs and walks directly in front of the blonde man and speaks very directly in English,
“Are you a King’s man or a free soul?”
“I’d like to think I am a free soul, but we all serve someone, or something do we not? I believe in me, so I serve myself…” he pauses and looks at the woman. “But I sense that changing. My name is John Young, and I was once a lieutenant in the Royal Navy until I denied King George II an item in which I carry… I am no king’s man.” John said peacefully but bluntly.
Aryana is truly taken aback by his statement, validating what he said on the beach.
“I am Aryana, and this is my brother Wohali. We are in Nassau for trade, departing from the north Georgia hills; we make this voyage every few years.”
John removes his tricorn, and water falls from the depressions on top of his hat as he places it over his heart and half bows.
“It is an honor to formally meet you, ma’am, although you never answered my question as to why you walked down the beach to watch me come ashore?” He smiles.
“The storm told me to wait. I did until I saw you in your rowboat, and it seemed I found what I was waiting for.” She smiles back.
“Eh.” Her brother sighs, turning back around, “Sounds like nonsense to me. But then again, everything since we were children from you was nonsense.” Wohali says, extending his right hand toward the man,
“Welcome, John Young.”
A few days later, the sky was removed of all dark clouds with thunderous clashes allowing the sun to provoke the land and sea with its light. Nassau, the Crown colony of the Bahamas under these conditions, was truly a magnificent wonder, and John couldn’t take his eyes of Aryana as they walked for hours. The two of them uncovering more about one another and digging deeper, completely consumed within each other. The romance blossomed the moment they met eyes in the storm nights ago, and they have been inseparable since. They’ve been walking around the island each day, absorbing as much of each other as they could before her imminent return.
Tuesday, on the fourth week together, they found themselves just outside the four-gun Fort Montagu in the mid-morning when John stops,
“Aryana, marry me.” He says bluntly, frightened of her response.
She stops walking and turns to John with a still face trying to mask her elation from him but fails. A smile appears and consumes her lower face.
“Of course, John Young!” She jumps into his arms, and they spin happily together.
Setting her down to her feet, he brings his head to her level, putting his lips on hers ever so slightly, just shy of kissing her, and says, “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
They can feel each other’s words before connecting their lips fully, and the love emits from their conjoined euphoria.
A half-built wooden cottage was sitting on the western coast of Nassau with a sturdy smaller one-room home on the property for the builder and family. John Young was currently constructing a house on his newly acquired property on the western coast. Since arriving in Nassau in early fall, John has found his forever home with his new wife, Aryana, who has been with child since early winter. She stayed with her husband when the rest of the tribe, including her brother Wohali, sailed back to St. Augustine to begin their trek north back home. The sun was setting over the western horizon as John was working on the house. His focus was lost, and his mind was elsewhere as he ended the day. With dark thoughts clouding his mind, he ceases his woodwork and heads into the small cottage.
“My love, I fear the thoughts that plague my mind will soon catch up to me, and now, not only me…but to us,” John says, taking off his work smock resting it on one of the iron hooks screwed into the wooden wall.
Aryana closes the book she was reading and stands up from the rocking chair in front of the hearth,
“I know John. You mustn’t be concerned about the old, foolish king. He knows not your location nor your last direction, so how could they reach us here?”
“Regrettably, it is only a matter of time,” John replies morosely.
She steps to him, placing her hand on his chest, “You carry the heaviest burden, and only you must see it through.” She says, raising her hand cradling his face. “You are the only one, John Young. The men that are coming, the men that are after you will, not reach you. They will not reach Us.”
Her reassuring words ease his disposition. Placing his right hand over her protruding expecting abdomen, he says,
“No harm will ever come to you or this baby that I will always ensure.”
The fire reflects off the walls creating abundant light throughout the small cottage while the wood crackles against the flames producing a symphony that embraces the lovers in the dusk hour.
After supper, John took one of his horses to the docks south of the property. An unnamed sloop was moored close to the furthest dock, as his dock was still being constructed. It was John’s breakout ship if any problems were to arise. He hitched the horse onshore and took a rowboat to the ship.
Once aboard, he searched for his five pistols, for he feared the musket onshore alone wasn’t enough. John knew the king would find him; It was only a matter of time, regardless of Aryana’s encouraging words. The few haversacks he collected in his travels were filled with cartridge packs of ammunition and powder concealing five pistols in the wooden chest. There were four specific chests John had on the inconspicuous sloop. He had multiple personal weapons and caches of gun powder for the few cannons onboard. He gathered this armament from various sources while on the run. Nassau was intended to be a refit port but blossomed into much more.
It has been eight years since he renounced the crown and fled his captors off the coast of the Kingdom of Kandy. The two men sent to find and kill him were two ruthless and advantageous naval officers that were John’s peers in the years prior, Laurence Carbis and William Davies. John once trusted these men with his life. They were certain of his capture in 1745, but John dis-oriented his pursuers in the ottoman and traded the necessary currency in Algiers for this ship. He managed to narrowly slip past the British naval trade line in the strait of Gibraltar. Disguised as a simple privateer ship, he made his way down the coast of the colonies, ultimately docking in Nassau the winter of 48’.
Once the haversacks are crossed over his shoulders, he secured the pistols in a separate empty linen bag and climbed port side back into the rowboat. The trip back to shore was a quick one; he wasted no time. He tied the rowboat to the dock, unhitched the horse, mounted it, and rode home expeditiously to enjoy the time with his new wife with child.
The lamp candle was still burning when he returned home. The conversation that needed to be had was a tough one, and one John was avoiding for months. When he opened the door, Aryana was lying awake on the bed against the wall, surrounded by flickering illuminations from the fire finishing her book.
“My dear, we must speak of this.”
She puts the book down and stands up, “What, John? Why are you flushed?”
“These men, they’re going to find me alive. But that is not why we must speak.” He says, closing the door behind him. “We must speak about when they do find me and what will happen to you and the baby.”
With a sense of calm, she speaks, “John, IF, these men find you, we will be safe. We will travel to La Florida and travel back to the tribe, where we will forever be safe.”
“I understand, but once they kill me…” he slows down and lowers his head, “They will track you and kill both of you until they have what the king wants. I want you and the baby to travel to Boston and find my brother, Thomas Young. He’s an officer in the Royal Navy stationed in Boston harbor; he will ensure your protection.”
“John. We are not going to Boston. These men are not going to find you, and you’re most certainly not going to die. Stop speaking such non-sense. This fever has you all wound up. Regardless, they have never laid eyes upon what you carry, only that you carry it. They will never find you, John.” She reassures him taking his hand. “Now, put your weapons on the floor and come to bed. Calm your mind and lay with us.”
Her words resonated in John’s mind until he fell asleep. Laurence and William had never laid eyes on the item the king seeks, the item which John carries. A faint sliver of hope emerged from the night’s activities. For the first time in a long time, John Young fell asleep thinking he might survive the king’s murderous obsession.
The quarter moon illuminated the island faintly in the twilight hours of early summer month. The one-room small cottage was turned into a lodging house for the mid-wives as John completed construction of their home and dock at the beginning of summer. Tonight, was unlike any other as the two midwives and an anxious John was in the second-floor bedroom huddled around Aryana assisting her.
Labor was excruciating, and her screams reinforced the notion. She was squeezing John’s hand while the midwives guided the newborn out of the womb. Even John was taken aback by the enduring pain she was demonstrating.
“I can see the head, Mrs. Young!” The spritely midwife says enthusiastically.
Aryana pushes again, and her howls echo into the warm night. The cries from the newborn soon replace Aryana’s screaming. She exerts one last push, and the baby has arrived.
“It’s a healthy boy! Absolutely magnificent,” the older midwife says, genuinely happy for the new family.
They sever the umbilical cord and knot it before wiping, cleaning, and wrapping the baby in a linen cloth, leaving only his face exposed and placing him into the arms of his exhausted mother.
“He’s perfection embodied,” Aryana says, gently kissing the newborn’s soft head.
The room was filled with elation and warmth. John had felt something he hasn’t felt in years, and Aryana finally feels complete.
“What shall we name him, dear?” The new father asks over her shoulder, admiring the beautiful baby boy. Aryana gently speaks,
A Meeting Unknown
The narrow rough road leading into Boston, or the neck of Boston, was silent in the late hours of the night. The greatcoat was buttoned to his nose while the reins rested between the musket and his fingers. His technique was being utilized: moving in the cities at night. It was already cold, and he hated the cold. The greatcoat served multiple purposes since leaving home, but the most important one has been providing Adahy warmth.
Throughout the city, there are pockets of prostitutes, and off-duty soldiers huddled around the entrances of brothels on the back alley streets. The deviants thrive at night and tonight was no different. He knows if there is any information about military officers, it would be at one of these brothels or taverns. Adahy selects a densely populated tavern deep in the city and guides Raven to the hitching post.
Once off the powerful horse, he secured his gear and ensured he was armed for anything. He places his forehead on Raven’s head and sarcastically smiles, saying,
“Cover me, girl.”
The horse neighs, seemingly replying to Adahy. He unbuttons the top button of his greatcoat, opening it up to his chin, and walks toward the tavern entrance. The group of redcoats and women are outside drunkenly frolicking as he slips into the entrance unnoticed.
The interior of the tavern was clouded with pipe smoke, laughter, and constant cheers. The atmosphere couldn’t have been richer. Adahy made his way to an empty spot at the bar top. Before he could get his hand up to order, the barkeep speaks,
“Tea, ale, cider, Madeira? We tend to carry it all.”
“Madeira,” Adahy replies, unbuttoning a second button allowing him to drink smoothly. He has been craving the subtly sweet Portuguese wine since Charleston.
“Aye, sir, coming right up.” He grabs a bottle of the wine and empties the remaining contents into a large mug for Adahy.
“What brings you to Boston, young patron, if you don’t mind the inquiry?”
“I do mind,” Adahy says plainly.
“Well, sir, my apologies.” The barkeep says as he tosses the empty bottle onto the ground.
“But you might know how to help me, or at least point me to the person who can,” Adahy says, resting two schillings on the bar top.
The confused yet interested barkeep stops his cleaning and leans on the bar toward Adahy with his eyes on the coin, “You have my attention.”
Cautiously Adahy speaks, “Where can I find a man named Thomas Young?”
The man shifts slightly and softly speaks, moving his eyes from the coin to Adahy, “Do you mean retired Major, now local committee leader, Thomas Young?”
“Yes, I do,” Adahy says directly, pulling his tobacco pouch and pipe out of the greatcoat side pocket. Adahy was under the assumption his uncle was still actively in the king’s military. The barkeep was a shifty character, and Adahy didn’t like this exchange of information but knew it was a lead.
“The information I have might be worth something more if you’re willing to pay for one question or one would assume.” The barkeep says slyly, trying to get more coin from Adahy.
“This would be true if I were dim. Unfortunately, barkeep, I am not and will not pay you more than I have. You have profited nicely from me in these last moments, don’t let them be your last.” He says sternly to the barkeep lighting his pipe with a candle.
“Right you are. I know of a man who knows him. He lives down the street, and I can get him tonight. Meet me outside in 20 minutes.” The barkeep’s voice cracked while he spoke, then he moved outside, eyeing his coin.
“Very well,” Adahy replies, and with his next breath, pipe firmly wedged in the corner of his mouth, he pulls the long-awaited smoke into his lungs.
The exchange of information was rough, and Adahy knew he couldn’t trust the barkeep. Anyone who asks you to drink Tea first is usually a crown loyalist. Immediately Adahy was cautious of exposing himself to the barkeep and others around, but the tavern patrons were all drunk and it was a late night. It was a risk Adahy was willing to take for no other reason than he had no starting point for locating Thomas Young.
The smoke seems to ignite the inner peace within him, and he finally feels some semblance of nearing the completion of his task. Adahy spends the next several minutes finishing his tobacco bowl and Madeira before walking to the side door avoiding the congested front entrance. Once outside, the chilly night air is prominent, and Adahy rebuttons his greatcoat to the top. Something isn’t right; he notices an object move sharply in his peripherals.
Everything goes black as Adahy falls to the ground.
When the young man finally awakens, the pain is unbearable. The back-right side of his head feels swollen, and he knows immediately before anything he is tied tightly to a wooden post. The muffled wool bag over his head smells like shit and dirt.
“Aye, he’s awake, I see.” One of the fuzzy figures says.
Both figures disrupt the filtered bronzed light coming through the wool bag as he attempts to opens his eyes. One of the men aggressively snags the wool bag off his head just as the other man tosses a bucket of water on his newly exposed face. The water stuns the tied-up young man to the core,
“Fuck!” he shouts and is immediately silenced with a quick thrust to the ribs from the fatter man’s musket buttstock.
“Listen here, you fucking Injin, I don’t know who told you—”
The barn door opens, and from the light comes a gray-bearded older man. His square face carried a prominent scar that started just under his left eye on his cheekbone and ending just at the top of his neck. He notices Adahy tied up and grabs both men by their jacket collars forcefully,
“You fucking imbeciles. This man was merely to be questioned… that is all. Now you have harmed the integrity of our cause and my command.” Humiliation covers their faces as they look toward the floor.
“You may both take your leave. Fucking disgraces, you’re lucky I don’t have you on a transport ship tonight headed to the African coast.”
“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.” They say in unison and leave the barn.
“Fucking savages and they say the natives are the savages, but I’ve yet to see the natives beat a man that’s tied up.” The old, bearded man says with genuine benevolence.
The pain is mainly in the back of his head, causing a severe headache. The rope wraps around his ankles, and his wrists are becoming burned and bloody from his countless movements trying to wiggle free. ‘They must’ve caught up with me from the Santee River Tavern’ he thought. The well-dressed old man grabs a small barrel and sits on it in front of Adahy,
“Let me apologize for those men. Their treatment to you was not my intention nor my wishes, truly I am sorry.” He said genuinely and continued with a half-smile, “Well, you’re either very dumb or very brave. Who sent you, young man? Who is your employer, and why are you inquiring about Thomas Young here in Boston?”
“You better not have touched my horse,” Adahy says fiercely with a murderous undertone.
“The black mare is untouched, still hitched where you left her. Now answer my question. Who sent you, and why are you inquiring about Thomas Young?” The words leave the scarred, gray-bearded man’s mouth with increasing impatience.
“I have no employer, and Thomas Young is my uncle,” Adahy says truthfully.
The man stops moving and sits straight up, fixing his posture, and speaks,
“I assure you; you must be mistaken.”
Adahy looks at the man, slowly realizing the older man he’s speaking with is, in fact, Thomas Young. He was tall before he sat down, he carried himself well, and he had lighter blonde hair like Adahy.
“You are Thomas Young?”
“Indeed, young man. Now, I have no nephew, so give up this ruse and explain yourself.” He says, with his tone becoming darker.
“I am the son of John Young.”
“That is impossible.” His words carry the coldness of ice as he stands up, seemingly covering the room with his energy.
“It is entirely possible because I was born in Nassau in 1751.” Adahy replies, unphased by the man’s demeanor.
“Lieutenant John Young was killed in 1751, so it would be wise of you to stop talking.” The man says now with his face red with anger.
“My Charleville 1728 was my fathers and his fathers before him… your father if you are Thomas Young, brother of John Young, sons of Edward Young. I speak no lies. I am clearly here under truthful intentions.”
The prominent Bostonian stood silent for moments upon hearing his father’s name before speaking,
“How do you know this information?”
“Again, sir, my father is John Young. I do not lie.” Adahy says firmly.
The man walks out of the barn, turns to the prisoner’s weapons, and grabs the Charleville. To his surprise, there is an engraved “E.Y.” on the buttstock plate. ‘Is it possible?’, he questions himself and admires the long-forgotten musket that was once his father's. Moments later, he’s back in the barn with the prisoner.
“What is your name?” He asks the tied-up man.
“Tell me everything you know about John Young, Adahy.” The older man says sternly, grabbing the small barrel and sitting on it in front of Adahy again. Having a gut feeling and no other options, Adahy begins,
“He’s my father, but I only know of him through the brief stories told from my mother and uncle. He died a few full moons after my birth. Apparently, he was a sailor of sorts and loved my mother. That is all I know.” Adahy says firmly, truthfully giving enough information but not exposing too much.
“His attitude resonates in you. It is good to formally meet you, Adahy. I am Thomas Young.” He says to his nephew, being long reminded of his lost brother. The tied-up man sounds, looks, and acts just like Thomas’s younger brother John. Convinced, he walks to him and cuts his wrist and ankle bindings.
“We shall speak tonight in my home. I will see to it that you are given zero restrictions when it comes to traveling within Boston harbor and outlining areas. I want you to go relax, grab some ale and meet me at my home at sundown. I want to know everything about my brother.” Thomas says, helping Adahy up off the ground and walking out of the barn, showing him Raven, his weapons, and gear. “Also, my wife will take a look at your head and wrist wounds tonight. I’m off with haste. See you soon” Thomas walks to his horse, mounts the beautiful steed, and quickly rides away.
Adahy grabs his gear and weapons off the ground and puts everything back to its respective locations in the saddlebags and holsters. He grabs his wrists, rubbing his wounds, getting all the excess rope from out his skin. Within moments he puts his gear back on his body, securing it tightly, and walks out of the barn.
“They didn’t harm you, did they, girl?” Adahy asks the mare, petting her neck as she’s noticeably happy to be back in his presence. He continues talking to Raven, unhitching her from the post,
“I know, it was careless, and I wasn’t paying enough attention. I refuse to allow complacency like that again. We cannot afford it; I’m lucky, Raven…we’re lucky.” Adahy says to the horse and mounts her. “Now, let’s go get some good ale and food.” He clicks his teeth, and Raven starts trotting toward the heart of Boston.
The three-story brick home on Mills Lane was a magnificent Georgian-style home with large glass pane windows overlooking the mill dam. Adahy arrived after a few hours of drinking ale and eating beef briskets and potatoes. He hitched Raven to the hitching post outside the home next to the two militia-looking men. The man on the left opens the wooden gate allowing Adahy to the steps of the front door. He grabs the door knocker and knocks.
A stunning middle-aged woman answers the door, presumably, Thomas’s wife, a smaller figure, not an inch past five feet in height, with light brown shorter hair. Her attitude was that of genuine hospitality.
“Good evening, Adahy!” She says politely and welcomes him into the home, closing the door as he walks in.
Thomas Young comes from around the stairwell, still in his clothes from earlier, “Adahy! The long-lost unknown son of my deceased brother.” He says, laughing, and continues, “I apologize for my men and how they detained you and for my attitude earlier. Allow me to introduce my wife, Mary Young.”
“Happy to finally meet you, Adahy.” She says with a slight head nod.
“Likewise.” Adahy says respectively and continues, “I did not anticipate locating you would come this easily.”
Thomas chuckles, “Yes, as local committee leader, it is a necessity to investigate any mentioning of my name in Boston.” He says directly and continues, “Come into the study and sit with me.”
Thomas was evidently at ease, calm in character, and not the violent individual the king’s highway made him to be. As Thomas walked into the study, he sat in the rocking chair next to the hearth and motioned for Adahy to follow. Surrounding the fireplace is a large hand-laid brick and stone beautiful mosaic. On top of the mantle, the fire was a very distinct, beautiful old wood-stained box. It was square but elongated a few feet with a lock in the middle and the same initials as Adahy’s Charleville ‘E.Y’. Adahy is immediately intrigued by the long box above the fire and sits down in the chair and turns to Thomas.
“Your father sent me postage from Nassau many years ago claiming he had found something, and that was indeed the reason for the King sending men to hunt him.” Thomas takes a breath,
“The story I received was John killed a handful of superior officers and fled the crown. While he was labeled a traitor and a coward, the king hired a small army of privateers, mercenaries, and select British officers to locate him; the king spared no expense. I heard of the incident months later, and the entire story seemed a bit odd to me. Odd only because I know my brother, and I know he didn’t murder anyone. Years later, I received the postage that confirmed my suspicions. He did, in fact, find something the king long desired and had to flee because the king wanted him removed and the artifact for himself.”
His uncle’s words stop, and the silence resumes. Adahy is trying to absorb all the information his uncle had just revealed to him. Adahy always had known King George II had killed his father; he just didn’t know the motivation behind it. His mother had once told Adahy of his father’s death and how she witnessed it just offshore from their home when Adahy was just a baby.
“What my father found was lost with him?” Adahy asks finally.
“As I said, he never mentioned anything other than he found an artifact in a cave system of severe importance. Do you want to read what he sent me?”
“You still carry it? Is that wise?” Adahy asks, shocked he kept the letter.
“I still carry it because the postage is marked from my father.” Thomas smiles and stands up, walking out of the room.
A million thoughts swirl around Adahy’s mind as he waits for the letter. The flames from the fire dance around the room, flickering illuminations on the walls. His eyes catch the box that is above the fire once more. Adahy withdraws his clay pipe and tobacco pouch. He pinches a wad and packs the clay bowl and pulls out a thin spooled twine from his greatcoat pocket. He unspools a few inches and sticks the tip in the fire sparking the end of the twine and uses that to light his tobacco bowl. The flame burns slowly on the twine allowing for multiple uses on the same flame. Thomas returns with two envelopes in his left hand.
“Take your time,” Thomas says, handing the letter to Adahy.
The paper is old, and Adahy can tell immediately, touching them that it has been preserved properly over the years.
Dear Thomas, 1745
My brother I am alive, and I am in Spain. I have not much time for I fear I am being tracked. Our ever-godly King George II has summoned all his might to locate what I have found. Not but a few years-time has passed since I stumbled into that labyrinth cave system in the Kingdom of Kandy serving his majesty that I believe I found the rarest artifact known to man. For security reasons I shall not reveal what it is... not without confirmation. I must seek out Elmïr N. the author of a book who might hold the information I require. The king deeply desires what I hold and believes it to have supernatural abilities. I must learn more about this relic.
Thomas do not believe what the king says about me and my accused actions. I will write you again. Stay Safe brother.
Your ever-loving younger brother,
Adahy folds the letter back in its creases and slides it back into the envelope.
“Strange.” Says Adahy quietly, almost to himself as the crackling of the wood quietly snaps in the background.
“What is it?” Inquires Thomas upon hearing the word.
“The talisman my father gave me when I was a baby…” He pulls the necklace out from under his shirt and leather chest rig.
“This is the item he found.” The gold talisman glimmers the reflections of dancing flames.
The distinctly shaped golden shard was beautiful. It was triangle looking upon first glances with sharp edges, polished and smooth. It was wide, with the two points at the top going downward to one final point at the bottom. The shard was encased and held to Adahy’s chain by metal wire wrapping the edges to the top securing it.
“How do you know?” Thomas asks, looking at the talisman.
“My mother. She said when I was born, my father placed this necklace on me for protection. She told my father that it carried dark spirits and was unsure of gifting it to me, but he insisted.”
Adahy hangs his head and rubs his temples, letting out a large exhale, “It has to be it. It only makes sense.”
Thomas sits back down and says,
“It seems to be a small piece of gold secured to a chain necklace, and I’ve never seen it once in my lifetime. It must be the item John found and was hunted for. It must.”
Adahy’s mind races trying to make sense of all this information. His mind begins connecting the dots,
“You would think they would still be searching for it,” Adahy says heedfully.
“This may be true, but King George II is dead, and his manic son King George III sits atop the throne. As far as he is concerned, that supernatural, mythological mission died with his father. If that talisman is indeed the artifact in which your father found, it can never fall into the hands of crown loyalists, or even let it be known that you are the son of ‘John Young.’”
“What do I do?” Adahy unselfishly asks.
“You go back to your village with your uncle and mother. You go back and live a long life, find a lover, and grow a family and stay away from whatever it is your father unraveled. Of course, we will visit often, now that we know we have relatives down south.” Thomas says optimistically.
“Wouldn’t that be ideal, but my mother is no longer with us, and her dying wish was ‘Go to Boston and find a man named Major Thomas Young, he is your father’s blood brother.’ And that is what I did. Now I don’t know what she knew before I was born because she rarely spoke of that life, but you have to help me. She knew something about my father, and she kept it to herself.”
“I’m sorry for your loss, I wasn’t aware she had passed. I’m not sure how to help on the issue of your father…” Thomas looks at Mary and back to Adahy, “He has been gone now since just after your birth. The sea took him as his pursuers destroyed his ship with cannon fire.”
Adahy knew the story from his uncle Wohali about his father and the night he saved him and his mother by sacrificing himself to the redcoats who were hunting him. It was a story Adahy never forgot and chose to keep it in the forefront of his most cherished memories. The seldom words about his father from his mother hurt Adahy, but he was strong and knew his mother was heartbroken. He adored and loved his mother more than anything Adahy had ever known, so forgiveness came with ease exchanging with love. Putting his face into his hands as if he has been defeated, Adahy slumps over with his elbows on his knees.
Moments pass, allowing the crackling fire to interrupt the silence. The atmosphere in the room is clear as Mary stands up and exits through the doorway to the library. Adahy, unsure of what comes next, lifts his head out of his hands, glancing around the room, and looks a third time at the elongated locked wooden box before bringing his eyes to the fire. Thomas stands and walks to the fire, sitting down in the chair opposite Adahy. The elder figure leans toward his nephew with his elbows on his knees as the fire reflects on his face showcasing his left facial scar. In a low, more serious tone, Thomas asks,
“In your travels, have you ever heard of the ‘King’s Bane’?”
Elegance in Evil
Agador Ivey did not have time for indulgences, especially if that indulgence didn’t include violence. He was an average-sized young Englishman born in 1745 in western London. The Ivey family was from an offshoot of royalty that Agador utilized to his advantage. Early on, he made his way up the ranks in the shadows as the royals fiercely loyal attack dog. Agador Ivey had a thirst for violence that was fueled by his hatred. He masked his tortured childhood with the violence he imposed on others and thrived on the fear he incited.
The crown served as the reference point for the foundation of Agador’s entire existence. Whatever his majesty requests, he fulfills. Agador was known throughout the royal ranks as a ruthless and bloodthirsty officer who would kill his own blood before betraying the crown, for in Agador’s mind, without the crown, there would be no blood. The crown is the reason we all survive and are alive; to ensure its success throughout time was his life’s mission. The crown allowed Agador an outlet for his dark and evil desires; the King knew this all too well.
“Sir, we have a problem.” The young corporal said to the major-general.
“For bloody fucking’s sake, what is the fucking issue now, boy!?” Agador asks.
“There is a situation with your cousin, Sir Alec. He has been found…” He begins to stammer.
“Spit it out!”
“He… he has been… been found stealing from the king’s palace, and his majesty preferred you handled this task personally.”
“I’m on my way.” He replied coldly, moving swiftly to the King’s words.
Sir Alec, a waste of life in Agador’s eyes and someone he was close with as young boys, but those days are closer to dreams than they are memories. Agador gathers his belongings from the room and heads to the palace with haste. He knows it is best to never keep the King waiting.
The King’s throne room was extravagant and ever so grand, desperately trying to mimic the architecture of the French enemy. Within the majestic room were the Crown’s rare relics and artifacts. Of all the King’s items, there is one that the Major-General has always been a skeptic of; the rare golden relic in which the previous King was gifted. Some say it was a false relic meant to subdue the King’s obsession with finding it; others believe it to be the true relic. Either way, the Major-General was always fascinated by all the relics and trophies and respected the history they all carried.
As the Major-General entered the elegant throne room, King George III sat there with a face full of anger and disposition. The doors are opened by two of the palace guards, and Agador enters quickly with a purpose and bows to the King.
“Your Majesty, you requested me.”
“Yes, Major-General Ivey. It seems Sir Alec has once again proved his worthlessness in this world. I was going to hang him in front of the palace for the little people to see; even royalty dies when you even slightly cross the crown…but I differed and told the guards you would personally handle this situation since he is indeed your cousin. You shall be the one who removes him from his petty existence.” The King says smoothly and direct.
“Yes, your majesty. It will be done.” Agador replies with ice in his voice. He bows and exits the room knowing the King wants this done immediately. The pitiless officer knows what he must do, and he has been looking forward to it.
The staircase was dark, wet, and smelled of human shit. When Agador arrives at the lower level of the palace stockade, he finds Sir Alec sleeping in shackles covered in hay within the barred cell.
“You two, fetch some air.” He tells the two sentry guards.
“Yes, sir.” They respond and walk up the stone staircase to the courtyard.
He unlocks the door with one of the keys on his personal keyring, steps inside the cell, and closes the door behind him locking it. The closing cell door wakes Sir Alec.
“What are you doing? Who are you? I swear it won’t happen again!” The man proclaims in a cracking, fearful voice with his eyes barely open.
Agador turns around to face the man lying in the hay, revealing himself.
“Fuck… you frightened me, Agador. I thought you were someone else to do the King’s bidding.” He says, letting out a sigh of relief.
“That’s what I’m here to discuss.” He says, tightening his riding gloves towering over the man in the hay with a look of death on his face.
“We are cousins, Agador! Your father is my blood!” Sir Alec proclaims finally seeing the real Agador people murmured about in the shadows.
“None of that matters Alec, none of that has ever mattered. You are worthless scum, and it is time to finally cease your little life. You will not have a knight’s funeral; you won’t have a legacy to leave behind. You won’t see tomorrow.” Agador says calmly and squats to get closer to Sir Alec in the hay. “You see, it’s going to be the highlight of my day sliding this dagger into your throat watching the empty life leave your body.”
The sharp steel in Agador’s hand is roughly nine inches long, and the fear on Sir Alec’s face is more apparent than ever.
“Agador, please, you don’t have to---”
The sharp edge enters the lower left side of Sir Alec’s neck, and he stops talking, stunned his eyes widen. The sound of the blade tearing apart his throat reverberates through his open mouth.
“I always despised your soft little, pathetic life.”
Agador thrusts the dagger to the opposite side of his neck, slicing his vertebrae in the process, nearly decapitating the man. Blood sprays the immediate area and stains the Major-General’s sleeve. He cleans the blade on Sir Alec’s robes and sheaths the weapon standing up. He composes himself and calmly turns around to the cell door, and with the key, he opens it, letting himself out of the cell. The ruthless man walks up the stone staircase, revealing the dreary overcast day.
“You two, make sure your prisoner finds his way to the river,” Agador commands the two sentry guards.
“Aye, sir!” They respond then head downstairs to the prisoner stockade.
The day has just reached noon, and Agador Ivey had a meeting with a Rear Admiral at the pub. He made his way back to his sleeping quarters to change his coat as Sir Alec’s blood had stained the majority of his left sleeve.
The staunch officer didn’t think twice about Sir Alec and the decision he made. The King made it easy for Agador; any command from his majesty was an order from God, at least that’s how Agador viewed it, and he wasn’t going to sway his beliefs. Within minutes the Major-General was on horseback and traveling to the pub through the damp streets of London.
“As you said earlier, Major-General, the colonies are a tempered bunch, but by no means do they have the ability or mental wherewithal to mount a legitimate revolution against the crown and all its might.” The Rear-Admiral says confidently from across the table.
The pub is one for military officers and is one that dates back a couple of hundred years. The stone walls blend well with the candlelight making a decent atmosphere to discuss business. The front door swings open, bringing in the natural overcast light and a royal guard walking into the pub. Silence fills the area.
“Is there a Major-General Ivey here?” He shouts into the silence.
Agador looks up at the Rear Admiral, “Let us finish this conversation another time.” He stands up, and the entire pub shifts its eyes in his direction.
The royal guard speaks again, “His Majesty has requested your presence immediately.”
“Clearly,” Agador replies, walking out the door. His horse was hitched just outside, and he mounts the stallion and rides toward the palace.
The ride to the palace is a short one. Agador’s steed knows to move fast when carrying the man. He and the horse were synced well together.
The palace gates open as they notice Agador’s arrival. He hitches his horse to the hitching post and heads inside the palace. The palace was grand and welcoming to those who felt its true nature; to those that didn’t, the palace felt like the opposite of royalty. It was cold, distant, and had a feeling of death within the halls. Agador Ivey knew no other life than that of service to the crown.
His life started as a young man fighting for King George II in far-off lands. Over the years, his fiery rage paid off in the business of violence. He surpassed his mentors and, within the shortest amount of time in British history, fulfilled the rank of Major-General. At 26 years of age, he had the King’s ear and was a close confidant and advisor to his majesty. His position near the King was controversial for the courts, but the King insisted as he too enjoyed the benefits of having a faithful guard dog.
The palace doors open, and Agador enters the throne room, “Your Majesty,” he says as he bows his head with grace.
“Yes, Major-General. I was pleased to hear that poor Sir Alec had found his way to the other side…”. A slight smile creases on his face, “good riddance if you ask me. Now, let us talk about why I called you here in the middle of your pub meeting.” The King says, standing up from the throne and walks toward Agador. “There is a problem in the colonies.”
“The colonies themselves are the problem, your majesty,” Agador says with a full chest and a mind clouded with hate.
The King chuckles, “Yes, they are.” His laughter quickly comes to an end, and his voice reaches a sinister tone, “But we have a problem. A band of rebels has been sabotaging shipments from Boston leaving for London as soon as they depart the harbor. It has been a thorn in my side for the last several years. But this time they have crossed the line…” The King stops speaking and raises his fist to his face and puts his head down,
“They have destroyed grain shipment after grain shipment with no repercussions, and it hasn’t affected me until now. Their latest stunt cost me three frigates and 600 men. Now I know that is a drop in the bucket for my empire, but one of those frigates was carrying a bastard son of mine… and his mother.” The King stops talking for a moment and begins again, “Regardless, if he was never going to rule or even have any title, I wanted him. I wanted him in my life. He was my son; before anything else that the courts say about adultery, he is my blood. And now he is gone, he is dead… he was my blood.” So he says as the anger seems to be mounting within him.
“I’ll find them for you, and whatever you want me to do, I’ll do. I am forever at your service, your majesty.” Agador says, bowing again, feeling bad for his long-time friends’ loss.
"Go to the colonies and find this band of rebels that call themselves the ‘King’s Bane’ and show them what a bane really is, Major-General Ivey. You have my full support with whatever you need. I will see you are untethered, unleashed, and able to work freely to resolve this matter expeditiously. You have the King’s Council blessing as well.” The King’s tone is optimistic and fierce as he knows Agador will handle the task.
“Yes, your majesty. I will not fail you. I will take the personal best from the King’s Guard to Boston to ensure this is handled properly.” Agador says calmly. The mention of the King’s Guard brings a rise in the Sovereign’s tone.
“Good. See it ended properly. You have my faith, Major-General.” He says, walking back to his throne and sits down.
The doors open behind Agador, and a few royal advisors enter the room. With them, the King’s Council, a filthy bunch loaded with too much influence and not enough common smarts, Agador despised their existence. They were a group of old men who would corrupt their great King if it were not for the King’s Guard having such a prominent role in his majesty’s life. Agador bows and exits, happy to be away from the council and with a new mission: Ending the ‘King’s Bane’.
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