I Gave You All

“ … How can you say that your truth is better than ours?
Shoulder to shoulder, now brother, we carry no arms …”

— I Gave You All, Mumford and Sons

Through the fog of fellis laced sleep, Kelthero barely registered the clanking of metal and groan of wood as the door to his holding cell being opened. Neither did the voices seem to stir him, though at this point he was stubbornly ignoring them. He was still tired and his body still ached dully and simply wanted to be left alone. But whoever was in his cell wasn’t going to let him rest and a hand grips his shoulder to shake him roughly awake.

“Get up, Kel!” a rough voice commands not far from his head, a familiar voice, and the voice of his older brother. Ilenki is here? Why? Kelthero asks himself, his mind muddled as he stubbornly clings to sleep and continues to ignore his brother’s request. He never liked Ilenki, brother or not. Too much of his father’s pet and they couldn’t be more opposite in personality. It didn’t surprise Kelthero at all that Ilenki was down here, charged with the task of waking him. It wouldn’t surprise him either if his brother were taking some sick delight out of seeing him like his and about to face punishment for last night’s embarrassment.

Another rough shake and Kelthero brushes it off again, silently amusing him self in irritating his brother. But it would seem Ilenki isn’t in the mood for his younger brother’s games and suddenly Kelthero finds himself being dragged upright, aching head being jarred against the wall and forced to open his eyes and balance himself unless he wishes to disgrace himself further and land face first on the straw lined floor. Stifling a string of curses, Kelthero glares at his older brother, a hand coming up to rub at the tender spot at the back of his head. After inspecting his fingers and seeing no signs of blood, he smirks up at the smug looking Ilenki. “Ilentho send you down here?” he sneers, rising stiffly from the bed and brushing at his rumbled clothes. Well, at least he’ll be feeling as miserable as he looks.

Ilenki only gives his younger brother a disgusted look and a smirk. “No. Father has already taken care of everything.” That revelation startles Kelthero and for a moment, he becomes more alert, casting his brother a wary glance as he shuffles over to the basin and splashes a bit of cold water on his face. Frowning, Kelthero shakes his hands dry, purposely flicking some of the water in Ilenki’s direction, causing his brother to flinch. Kelthero snorts. “Great. I’m sure Ilentho did that from the kindness of his heart.” He sarcastically drawls out, only to sober up once he realizes the closed and serious expression on his brother’s face. “What?” Kelthero asks, sounding impatient. He hates it when Ilenki plays this game – hinting at things, never giving straight answers. With his aching head and muddled thoughts, Kelthero’s temper is short and his brother’s attitude is quickly beginning to irritate him.

“You’ve no idea what you’ve done, have you? No idea what you’re in for.” Ilenki seems both surprised and disappointed in him, though probably more of the latter. His expression then closes again and he only scowls at his younger brother, a look that Kelthero is all too happy to shoot back. “Care to enlighten me?” he asks, only to smirk when Ilenki answers him with silence. Why did he even bother? Ilenki then gives Kelthero an impatient look and motions with his head for him to hurry it up already. Rolling his eyes, Kelthero gives one last brushing with his hands to his clothing with little results and he grudgingly follows Ilenki out into the narrow underground tunnel.

When they come out into the common grounds, Kelthero blinks a little in surprise. It’s far earlier in the morning then he thought and only a few residents and visitors alike are up and about. Most are traders, Crafters and visiting holders packing up their belongings for an early trek back home. It doesn’t take long for Kelthero to spot his family, their meager belongings long since packed on their lone burden beast and the small cart. The sight of that didn’t put Kelthero on edge. It was his mother and sister’s tearful expression that set worrying thoughts into his mind. Why are they so upset? He thinks to himself, quickly side-glancing to his brother, though Ilenki remains as blank as before. While that would have irritated him even more, now it only increases his worry. Something is wrong.

It isn’t until they’re closer to the cart that Kelthero realizes that neither his mother nor his younger sister are meeting his look. He tries to give them a smile, to reassure them, but their gazes slide away and his mother, Kenali, stifles a sad sigh. Now Kelthero’s worry increases to the point where it’s easily readable on his face. He stops, turning slowly to face his older brother, giving him a leveled and serious look. “No more games, Ilenki. What’s going on?” But it isn’t his brother that answers him. It’s his father.

“…And you rip it from my hands
And you swear it's all gone…”

— I Gave You All, Mumford and Sons

“We’re going home.” Ilentho explains, his tone as cold as the look on his face. The cotholder pauses then, adjusting a strap on the burden beast as Kelthero simply turns to stare at his father. Home? That’s it? Puzzled, Kelthero senses that there is more to it but can’t seem to grasp it. Shaking his head, he goes to his usual task of helping secure the cart when he finds his hands roughly shoved aside and Ilentho’s tall and narrow frame coming in between him and his family’s cart. Kelthero glances up, the look of annoyance that he was preparing to use suddenly slipping to one of confusion. His father is looking at him with distain, as if staring some less then satisfactory specimen of fish. That look has Kelthero taking an involuntary step backwards, glancing between him and his older brother and the rest of his family, as if he could find answers there. But there are none.

“Not you.” Ilentho’s next words hit Kelthero hard and his eyes widen in shock and clear surprise. He’s barely even begun to form a reply when he’s cut off by an impatient gesture from Ilentho. The cotholder, his own father, then turns away from him with no further explanation. Shock is quickly replaced with anger and Kelthero’s hands clench into fists as his jaw tenses, though he waits a moment before speaking to reign in his temper and barely manages. “Why not? Is this your idea of punishment? Leaving me here to walk home myself? This is what you do to family, Ilentho? Your own son?” Ilentho suddenly rounds on Kelthero and instinctively he tenses, waiting but the blow never comes. Instead, he looms over him, furious though his tone comes out as cold and level as before. “I’ve no need for trouble or bad blood. As of last night, I have only one son. It’s been witnessed and acknowledged. You’re not to come back, not to follow us. You’re on your own.” This has Kelthero reeling back from Ilentho in disbelief and hurt. Ilenki moves past him, expressionless as he sets the burden beast into a slow plodding pace. His mother begins to cry silently, though she offers no words of solace to him as she turns to follow the cart, obedient as ever, Kaliena held close though his sister turns to glance back at him with a frightened and confused look.

“…And you rip out all I have
Just to say that you've won…”

— I Gave You All, Mumford and Sons

“Mother, you can’t let him do this!” Kelthero calls out, ignoring the fact that a small group of people have gathered, no doubt having sensed the tension and now watch the scene unfold. But he’s panicking now, realizing that the consequences of his actions have spread much, much farther then he had ever thought possible. He begins to follow, only to be shoved back by Ilentho, his “father” tensed with the effort to hold back his full temper in public. “The decision has been made. You’re not of my blood! I disown you and I won’t say it again: do not follow us back!” He almost shouts at his former son. There’s an awkward, tense moment as both of them stare at each other and it’s Kelthero who breaks away first. There’s one last warning look from Ilentho and then he is briskly walks away, turning his back to the bewildered Kelthero, who now stands rooted to the spot in disbelief. This can’t be happening! Yet it unfolds all the same as he watches his family move past the Hold’s entrance. Suddenly, he’s aware of the gathered crowd, noticing the pitying looks from some, the judgmental ones of others. With the realization of his all too public disowning from his family, Kelthero does the only thing he can think of: run.

Without a second though, he’s off, pushing past the meager crowd and running without thought of where he’s going. Somehow he winds up on one of the resort Holds forested paths, usually full of patients or visitors but mercifully empty at this time of day. Normally he’d be taken aback by the tranquility and beauty Torince Hold can offer but not this morning, not as he blindly runs in panic. Winded, he steps off the paths and finds a large tree to collapse against, breath ragged as he tries to calm himself. I can’t go home. The realization hits him and hits him hard. With a groan, he raises his hands up to cover his face, feeling overwhelmed and alone, confused and scared. What will I do now? Where can I go? These thoughts and more swirl through his head, though he can only numbly lean back against the tree, suddenly too exhausted to move. How will he survive? He wipes the back of his hand against his eyes, wiping away the sudden tears before steadying himself. He’s fifteen now. To old to cry, even in his current state, no matter what happened. Fifteen but still so young and now with no one to turn to, no family to speak of and a bad reputation to start – Ilentho’s punishment is complete and total.

“…Well now you've won”
— I Gave You All, Mumford and Sons

Kelthero is too tired, aching now from his injuries and his panicked flight across the Hold, his mind racing and confused. Emotionally spent and exhausted, he settles more comfortably against the tree, hidden away and succumbs to uneasy sleep. He won’t wake up until much later in the afternoon and it won’t be until even past the dinner hour until he leaves his hiding spot with enough courage to consider approaching the Stewart and asking (or begging) for residency. I’ve lost everything. What choice do I have? Is one of his last thoughts as he steps back onto the path, hesitating for a moment as he makes his decision. He could run now, slip out of the Hold and try his hand as a wanderer or he could own up to his mistakes for once. Kelthero stands there, in the middle of the deserted path. Two ways out and then his mind has settled and with a deep breath, he turns back to the Hold proper, to face his toughest decision yet.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License