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Fantasy A War of Kings

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by spycoder9, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Jedi_padawan_leigh

    Jedi_padawan_leigh Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2003
    OOC: Part 2/2 written with Spy

    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Tower by the Sea, Delmaristead


    "I'll prepare your bath," Paege hurried off to the wash basin. "I can't get warm water soon enough, milady - I mean, Gwenn."

    "Don't worry, I’m used te cool water" She said to Paege as she followed the blonde maiden to the basin. It was true enough. One didn't work on the docks if you weren’t able to brave the elements, combatting errant waves, cold sea spray and icy coastal winds on a daily basis. When she was a child she used to love jumping into the bracing seas and spending hours exploring the wet and windy caves and the coves of the coast. There was something invigorating about the waters of the isles and an energising freshness to the cool air that danced across the lands. "It will be fine as is" She added with a reassuring nod.

    "However you like it," The girl helped Gwenn in taking her worn clothing off. "I always like my water warm, so warm it scalds my skin. Perhaps that's not too healthy though." She giggled again, then stopped abruptly. "Milady. . ." She whispered, temporarily forgetting herself.

    Gwenn listened as Paege giggled, but stopped abruptly, almost as if she felt she was doing something wrong. She quickly climbed into the tub, submerging herself in the cool water, bringing her knees up to her chest to protect her modesty as best she could before starting to douse her hair with water. Working her fingers through it to loosen out the wayward knots, she noticed that it had started to grow out a little. No wonder it got such a mess... Glancing at Paege for a moment, she cleared her throat a little. "Forgive me askin' but does me father host these gatherin's often?" She asked as she poured more water on top of her head.

    "He does. . ." The girl seemed uncertain, "Sometimes. . .though they've become more lavish as the war gets closer." She was murmuring then. "Milady. . .do you mind me asking. . .what happened to your back?"

    Gwenn blinked and flinched inwardly, suddenly realizing that her scarred back was in full view to the pretty blonde maiden. Letting out a sigh she stared down into the water that lapped around her knees. "I used te serve tha Moorecroft house. I was a servant, workin' on tha docks. Not all families treat those who serve em well..." She looked at Paege for a brief moment, her grey eyes speaking volumes as trailed off and glanced back down at the water, watching as drips fell from her hair and hit the water below, forming little rings that spread out from the centre before disappearing "Most ov us got beat or whipped, but i think tha overseers took a shine te punishin' me" She exhaled sharply "Though lashes are nothin' to what some ov me fella workers suffered..."

    Her face hardened some as she pictured the lifeless body of Old Tarkwin floating face first by the jetty. Bile rose in the back of her throat as she remembered being made to watch his final agonizing moments as the water flooded his lungs and not being able to do a damn thing about it. She may have escaped the cruelty, but how many others lives were being made a misery right now by the Moorecroft masters? Add to that the food shortages and the threat of war... it was a bad time to be a citizen of Breezecroft.

    "I worry fer those I left behind" Gwenn confessed, a tone of guilt evident in her voice. She had come to Delmaristead on the encouragement of Lukas and the others, but deep inside she had vowed to try and make a difference, to try and convince those with plenty to help those with little, to support their countrymen through the war and the perils that came with it. But she was just one person and she was worried that her words would fall on deaf ears...

    "Oh. . ." The girl was silent for once. "I can't begin to imagine. The maester might have a salve, or something. . ." She was deathly quiet for a moment. Paege made a muffled noise, a little sob. "I apologize, milady." Her voice was broken and torn.

    Gwenn's brow furrowed in concern as she witnessed Paege's reaction. The young girl's sudden silence was disconcerting, and when the blonde maiden let out a little sob the bastard woman suddenly felt really bad. Paege apologized to her, her voice broken and torn, and Gwenn shook her head "Nah, I should be sayin' sorry, I did not mean te upset yeh" She said with an apologetic tone in her voice, "Don't fret" She added gently, trying to reassure the fretful maid.

    "No, no," She sniffled, "You did no harm. . .it just looks so painful. . ." Paege ran her finger down one of the scars gingerly. "I'll find you a salve. The maester likes me, and you're the king's daughter. I'll get one that numbs it. You won't even be able to tell it was there. . ." The girl spoke on as she began to gently scrub Gwenn's fingers with a wet cloth.

    Gwenn simply nodded gently as Paege set to work on her fingers. The young woman had a good and gentle heart, but a fragile one it seemed. "Thank yeh Paege..." She said softly as she reached up and wrung out her dark blonde hair. A soft chuckle left her lips as she worked "Best not be in here too long, else i'll most like look like a pickled prune in tha' pretty dress" she said with a light-hearted tone, hoping to put Paege at ease again.

    "Oh don't worry about that," Paege admired her work on Gwenn's fingernails. They know longer held dirt and grime, but shone pink. "I've bathed Raven many a time, as much as she hated it. Of course, you're a bit dirtier than her. . ."

    The young woman proceeded to scrub Gwenn's skin. Rather rough, but her talent showed. Paege ran water and soap through the young woman's hair, massaging her scalp with her fingertips. "We'll need a little rouge on your cheeks maybe, and a little charcoal around the tips of your eyes. Ooh, you're going to look beautiful."

    Gwenn wasn't overly fond of the thought of being made up, but she supposed that she could handle a little bit here and there as Paege had suggested. Some of the high born women on Breezecroft wore so much on their faces they looked like they had wandered away from a mummers troupe, others wore it like a mask, none of their true selves visible through the copious amounts of power.and blush. "I might be in a dress an' wearin' rogue, but am still me..." She said inwardly to herself as a gush of water fell over her head, rinsing the soap away

    Once Gwenn's hair had been rinsed and cleaned, the young servant helped her from the basin and to a chair. It was chilly because of the breeze and the bath, but Edith wrapped her in a soft cloth. It was golden and light blue, the colors of House Delmari, and covered her almost completely. Edith set about laying out her clothes, while Paege helped Gwenn to the balcony with a, "Don't be shy, no one can see you up here." There the sunlight shone freely on her bare skin, and while Paege helped, it was mainly dried from the sun itself. Paege dabbed some perfume on Gwenn's neck, on her arms, at the small of her back, and on her feet. It was a strong smell, almost overpowering, but it faded away over time, and the salty wind brought back its scent. Gwenn was led back into the room, where she was stood in front of her vanity. She could see every piece of her body, including the crossing scars on her back.

    Edeth brought the clothes forward. First undergarments, which were fresh, but slightly oversized. Gwenn had never had large thighs or bust."You may not like this part. . ." Paege said with a nervous giggle. In her hands was a corset, one of the key pieces to a maiden's formal wear. They pulled the piece over Gwenn's head easily, though once it was on, Edith made a guttural noise. Before Gwenn could even begin to ask what had been said, the corset was pulled tight around her bodice. She was a thin woman to begin with, thanks to her many years on the docks, but Edith and Paege pulled at it until Gwenn could barely find breathe. Once it had been tied on, Edith gave her a quick grin.

    Gwenn gasped as the corset was pulled tight. She couldn’t disguise the grimace that flashed across her face as Edeth went about finishing lacing up the back. “Why deh women wear these damn things?” She thought to herself as she tried to breathe normally against the restrictive garment. The scent of the perfume whirled around her and she couldn’t help but feel a little flustered at the fuss around her as Paige approached her with the fine blue dress and helped her into it. The material felt soft and cool, but also a little strange as it glided against her skin. She looked down her body at the blue fabric, before she was led away to have her wayward hair tidied up.

    Paige worked a comb through her dark blonde hair, brushing out the damp tangles that had started to form. Thankfully Paige was a bit gentler with the comb then the herbalist had been back on Breezecroft. The maid then went about styling her hair, but thankfully abstained from anything too flamboyant and decided on a simple but elegant style “To enhance her features” The kind-hearted girl had said as she worked.

    The next half hour went by in a haze as the finishing touches were added. Paege looked approvingly at her handy-work, smiling as she reached for a small circular mirrored glass and holding it up so that the older woman could see her reflection. The woman who stared back at Gwenn in the glass was almost unrecognisable from the woman that hauled crates on the Breezecroft docks just a few weeks ago. The bastard woman blinked and drew in a breath. No, the storm grey eyes that stared back at her were still the same “I am still me” She repeated the words in her head a couple of times before her gaze shifted onto the two young maids, nodding her head towards the girls. She gave them a nod of thanks, but there was a look of nervousness that broke through onto her face, despite the woman’s best efforts to suppress it. It was hard not feel overwhelmed by it all. Paege pushed a strand of her blonde hair behind her ear.

    “Would you like some time to yourself, Milady?”

    Gwenn blinked and nodded her head slightly. Ever since the revelation on Breezecroft the bastard woman felt like he had been picked up by a hurricane, swept up in the chaos, her feet barely touching the ground. A little time to wrap her thoughts around things would indeed be helpful…“Thank yeh Edeth, Paege.” She said appreciatively. “I just need some time te meself’” She paused for a moment, hoping the girls would not be offended by her request for solitude.

    Paege nodded in agreement and understanding and Edeth gave a brief nod of her head before both of the young women walked towards the door and left the room. The door closed behind the girls with a soft thud, and Gwenn was now alone in the tower with only her thoughts for company. She sighed softly, as her gaze was drawn back to the Delmari banner that hung above her. Her gaze lingered on the image of the golden anchor a few moments before she wandered towards the balcony and leaned against the rail. The spectacular view stretched out before her and the salty breeze washed over her. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath as she thought about how suddenly her life was changing. She mouthed a small prayer to the gods, asking them to grant her courage.

    TAG: spycoder9

    OOC: Dress Pic
     
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  2. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    8 Days Before the Wedding


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    Evenfall


    Outskirts



    “I know what needs to be done. . .” Ser Caliban flicked his fingers at her. “Go eat some. Enjoy these last few nights of peace with your boy.”



    “You'll be a squire one day, Fleet. If you have as much spunk with a blade as ya do with your words, you’ll be one.”

    It was at this time that Lorain came down from Ser Caliban’s tent.

    “Milady!” The squire rose abruptly and wiped his greasy fingers on his leg. “Fleet. . .he did. . .he did good.” The young man blustered on his words.



    TAG: Ktala, greyjedi125
     
  3. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    OOC: Things are still a bit crazy in RL and my system is being a little odd so posts may be spread out but I am back. Post approved by Spy but done by me.

    IC: Shalavon Distantdreamer

    The Prairies, Day of the Wedding

    Though being at his beloved’s side always steadies Shalavon in an inexpressible manner, as they trudge through the dry landscape, clouds of dust and grit billowing into the air with every step, he cannot shake the sense of foreboding that has gripped him. A soft exclamation of sorrow emerges from the Healer’s throat as he detects three small dark forms upon the ground ahead. Instinct and horror driving him forward, Shalavon soon beholds a distressing sight. Scarlet Wing and her fledglings, Little Talon and Soaring Wing lay dead already semi-dried by the sun’s heat and pecked at by scavengers.

    Noticing her husband fold to his knees, La’kondrite hastens to his side. Compassion swelling in her heart at the cruel scene before them. Glancing to the left of one of the fledglings, she notes a foreign vole carcass. Scurrying to it, she sniffs and inspects it. Her full mouth twisting into a grimace she mutters: ‘Poison. Uncivilised.’

    Growing quiet, La’kondrite returns to her man’s side. Watching Shalavon with concerned green eyes, La’kondrite sees him dig three tiny graves with his slender-fingered hands. Laying each of his avian friends within the fairly small but deep depressions within the earth, Shalavon’s shoulders quiver occasionally as he covers each resting-place with gravel and fresh ferns.

    Once all the carcasses are tended to, Shalavon and La’kondrite silently stand in vigil a few feet apart from the scene of devastation in soundless grief and mute prayer.

    Dashing to a natural modest pool, husband and wife partake in ritual cleansings in acknowledgement that they have handed the dead.

    Shalavon has barely kissed La’kondrite’s shoulder in gentle adoration and solace when he hears the growing sounds of hoofbeats and discordant voices in the distance.

    ‘Hide amongst the river’s lush foliage, Luv.’ Lightly placing a finger to her lips, Shalavon graces La’kondrite with an expression of concern and pleading. Something is dreadfully amiss and he can feel it in his marrow that the intruding strangers are partially the cause.

    Aware that her husband doesn’t issue directives of this tone without cause, La’kondrite swiftly patters to the bank, dresses for modesty, then flees among the greenery.

    Glancing furtively in the direction of his beloved a final time, Shalavon rakes a hand unconsciously through his hair as he sprints ahead.

    Are the strangers linked to the lovely lady and her sweet dove of a daughter? What is their purpose here?

    Ten minutes of running later, Shalavon crests a small hill then beholds the brawny nude form of Hogolar, a Homeling youth on the verge of manhood being back handed so hard his head snaps back as he falls.

    Spurred on at witnessing this mistreatment, Shalavon extends his hands outward in entreaty as he pleads, ‘Peace, Traveller! We mean you no ill. There is no need to brutalise a boy for innocent antics.’

    The sun-haired stranger is well proportioned and sinewy as he glares down at the peasant now kneeling to support the dazed youth. ‘What do you know of innocence, backward savage? Be gone before I have one of my fellows gut you.’

    Refusing to be fazed by the stranger’s hollow threats, Shalavon takes a small flask of water from his carryall and places it to the boy’s mouth while stroking his hair and scalp soothingly with the fingers of his free hand.

    Irked at the insolence of these fools that dare impede his progress, the mounted rider cases his horse to rear, casing a hoof to impact Shalavon’s slight chest sending him crashing amid the dirt as distressed whinnies and uncouth language pollute the air as Shalavon struggles against blinding pain to move enough to shelter Hogolar from fresh abuse with the shield of his humble form. Then, as five horsemen bound over him spraying soil and grit in his eyes and up his nose, Shalavon passes out.

    Tag: spycoder9
     
  4. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet
    Camp Evenfall. Eight days before the wedding

    “You'll be a squire one day, Fleet. If you have as much spunk with a blade as ya do with your words, you’ll be one.”

    Hearing these words from Olyvar caused the former urchin to smile outwardly and also offered him an inward sense of encouragement, which he needed in regards to his desired post of ‘squire’. Olyvar was the only real squire he’d ever had a chance to speak with on the subject and as fortune would have it, he did not posses some of the airs Fleet had noticed in some of the other Squires he’d seen. They had leveled gazes of disdain at him for no apparent reason.

    Infact, Olyvar seemed more like one of his pack brothers back in the slums outside the orphanage. He was easy to get along with and possessed a goodly sense of humor, besides being willing to help him altogether. Moreover, there had been something about what Olyvar had said:

    “…If you have as much spunk with a blade as you do with you words, you’ll be one.”

    This was no doubt a clue to what he would need in his new journey.

    Yes, it was decided. Olyvar would go on the ‘good list' as well.

    A sound not far off caught both their ears, and Olyvar was the first one on his feet.

    “Milady!” He exclaimed with some surprise.

    It was Lorain, coming down from Ser Caliban’s tent.

    Fleet rose as well, imitating Olyvar’s officious manner as he smiled up at Lorain.

    “Fleet…he did….he did good.” Olyvar blustered.

    Fleet gave an easy laugh, remembering how Olyvar had tripped, but cut it short, not wanting to be rude. His blue eyes came to rest on Lorain’s form as he searched her expression. Even when she wore her face covering, he’d been able to decipher her wordless meanings pretty accurately. This time it was no different. Fleet wished to gauge how his ‘Mum’ was feeling after meeting with that particular Kildare nobleman. Was she tense? guarded? At ease? or something else altogether?

    He knew she’d share information with him later when they were by themselves, but capturing an initial reaction was always telling just as well.


    Tag: @Ktala, @spycoder9
     
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  5. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Abott Tuckman
    Breezecroft, Docks - Jewel port of the Southern Isles and a Sight for wearied eyes

    Fog. A bad omen if ever there was one. Already the sea had taken its pound of life from them, a pound of trade as well. And so in return, as a superstitious heart is want to turn, so now the sea gave forth full warning. Only was it for he? Or for those that lived here? Either way he wanted to finish his trade and depart with all due haste.

    The ease of landing now that had been stilled also was a staying notion, too easy a landing after a harsh trip often meant you were about to be robbed by your client. An old family inkling that had germinated so well as to be droned into all the kids heads. "I don't like it." he stated to no one and everyone. All was too quiet. Only the thought that if they betrayed him they betrayed the Temptress as well sat with any comfort upon his days rations.

    As soon as he descended upon the harbor proper, where many a land luber had kissed the dock for being so solid, a man of thinning hair and signs of a food surplus stored in a wart stood to greet him. "I prefer no such low-some title, but yes. We bring food for the Isles." he simply stated as he kept a good two steps back from the man. It had the added benefit of making sure that others could likely over them, and if a dagger came to play he might have a second to react.

    TAG: spycoder9
     
  6. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    7 Days Before the Wedding



    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Iron Crag



    Dining Hall


    “Make you legitimate?” The lord grinned. “I took you to be wiser."

    He raised his cup in the air. A plain maid with skin the color of curdled milk poured some more wine into his glass. She kept her eyes on the table below, avoiding both father and son’s looks. When she was finished, she scurried back to the recesses of the room. Lord Rollant took a sip of his wine, and then abruptly spat it out. “What’re you trying to do, wench, poison me?” He poured it carefully out on the floor beside his chair. “Clean this.”

    The girl seemed hesitant.

    “Clean it now.” His voice was just a whisper. The girl rushed to the floor, wiping the spill with a rag. “It seems our servants are as defiant as our prisoners. Perhaps we can make them one in the same.” The girl scrubbed harder. Lord Rollant’s smile proved his pleasure.

    “To legitimize you, King Golden Anchor would have to do the honors. And at the moment, it seems he would be pleased to see our line die out as quickly as it came into power.” He brushed a piece of black hair behind his ear. It had been months since he’d cut it. “No, you’re my bastard, and that’s how our lives shall continue. Bastardy suits you.”



    TAG: BartSimpson-SithLord


     
  7. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    (As always, posted with approval from spycoder9)

    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    Four days before her brother’s wedding

    “Another raven, m’lady,” Sophee said from the open door.

    Both Ginnifer and Zooey looked up from the accounts they had been reviewing. Though Zooey’s education in the finer points of administration had been neglected, she knew her numbers and figures well enough to be useful to Ginnifer here. A second pair of eyes to make sure everything balanced and the tenants were staying in good standing was useful to her. With so much uncertainty in the rest of the land, Ginnifer wanted as little as she could get in her own backyard.

    But news from a raven meant only one thing: another headache.

    “Don’t tell me Caliban’s already started a war,” Zooey groaned.

    “We can only pray,” Ginnifer said, motioning Sophee over.

    “So many ravens, m’lady,” Sophee said as she hurried over with a rustle of her skirt, “I canna remember anything like this, ever.”

    “Such seems to be the way of the land now,” Ginnifer said as Sophee put the sealed scroll into her good hand.

    “Can’t anyone send a raven just to say, ‘Everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?’” Zooey asked.

    “I think I’d personally supply the raven just to have the pleasure of getting that—” Ginnifer began.

    Then there was a very long pause during which nothing moved but her eyes.

    “What is it?” Zooey asked with sudden concern.

    Wordlessly, Ginnifer handed the scroll over to her sister. It read as follows:

    My dear sandy vixen,

    As you know, I have endeavored from time to time to keep you apprised of events in Valona, even during the recent disagreements that have besmirched the affairs of the realm, especially when said events are of particular importance.

    There was an unfortunate riot that took place in the capital. The mob’s anger was directed at nobles of this city—including the Reynards. In the confusion, King Fenton has gone missing and is presumed dead. Accordingly, Matheus is to mount the throne and succeed his father, an event that may well have taken place by the time this news reaches you.

    I felt it would be a shame if decisions were made in ignorance of these events.

    Yours obediently,

    O.G.

    Zooey looked up. “Fenton? Dead?” she said.

    Sophee caught her breath as she heard those words.

    “Missing,” Ginnifer said, rising and walking across the room—not because she had a reason to be on the other side, but out of habit or some odd desire to be in motion,“Presumed dead.”

    “But Matheus will be king. If they believed Fenton to be alive, even a little bit, they wouldn’t make him king,” Zooey said.

    “I don’t know,” Ginnifer said. Her mind was trying to sort through what this meant.

    “Information in times of crisis is not as important as what you do with it. In the end, your decisions—and how quickly you make them—will be your advantage or your downfall, Ginnifer. You must think through every possibility.”

    Ginnifer tried to get her mother out of her head so she could do just that—think this through. She went back to the other side of the room, fixing her eyes on the floor as she walked.

    “Ginnifer?” Zooey said.

    “Shhh,” Ginnifer said, waving her gauntleted hand, “Matheus is king. Matheus was to marry Safia. Lawrence is now marrying Safia.”

    “V’hallar,” Zooey breathed, “You don’t think…”

    “I don’t know,” Ginnifer said, “He could. We have to be prepared for it.”

    “With Fenton dead, there’s nothing to stop Matheus from doing whatever he wants,” Zooey said, her face pale, “You wanted to marry Lawrence to Safia to avoid war to appease Mors, but Mors is dead. And now Fenton, who you hoped would see the fact you didn’t provide troops as representing no threat, is dead. But instead of doing the best thing, you may have done the worst thing possible by being party to Desmond breaking off the engagement of Matheus to Safia…”

    Their mother may have slighted Zooey’s critical thinking abilities, but for once she hit the nail on the head. At least in this one scenario, anyways.

    “Zooey, everything has changed,” Ginnifer said, “Everything.”

    TAG: @spycoder9
     
  8. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    OOC: Thank you to spycoder9 for his contributions to this post!

    IC: The Queen, Emilia Reynard
    Palace, The Capital
    One day before the Wedding

    “M’lady, these tablecloths simply won’t match the tapestries--”

    “But how are we ever going to fit all of these guests together--”

    “Oh dear! I forgot about the rice cakes--”

    On and on they went.

    It really was a chaotic mess with each servant screaming over one another in an attempt to get their needs addressed. A complete stranger would have thought they were dealing with spoiled children rather than grown men and women. And in a sense, the Queen addressed them in kind, keeping her chin elevated and simply waving her hand here and there (with an occasional nod or shake of the head) in answer to their harried questions and concerns. She knew her prep team – it will all work itself out in the end and there really was no reason for her to intervene, baring any sudden emergencies that simply couldn’t be swept neatly under the carpet.

    The truth was, she was quite calm, especially now that she had reassurance as to where her son’s heart truly was. It almost made the whole thing…fun. That is, if there was room for fun in such a turbulent environment. The thought even made her smile as she ushered away a balding man balancing a palate of fresh fruit on his forearms.

    And so, the preparations for the grand coronation, now merely a day away, continued.

    It was in the midst of all this confusion that a single guard came forward with a piece of parchment. "My Queen," He bowed once, handing her the slip as he rose. "The maester asked I deliver this letter to you. It arrived by raven this morn."

    While her expression remained stoic throughout the exchange, inside, her stomach was doing flips. Her immediate fear was that the news of Fenton’s survival was contained within, which would bring her current world crashing down around her. The gods couldn’t be that cruel, could they?

    Without even acknowledging the poor guard, the Queen accepted the note and gripped it tightly to prevent her hands from trembling. Her efforts could be seen by the way the parchment crinkled within her grasp.

    Desertmen raiding our lands. Put Ravenford to the torch, with the little lady inside. Pirates at our shores. Send assistance.
    –Lord Idgar Tryvnwood, of the Shatterstone Bay

    Relief washed over her and her grip visibly loosened as she realized that Fenton remained missing, but it was only a brief reprieve as the weight of the current situation sunk in. Still, it was enough to bolster her confidence. Somehow, the news about Desertmen attacking the Capital seemed less of a threat than Fenton’s unexpected and unnatural return.

    Emilia sighed and crumpled the parchment into her fist before handing it back to the guard to dispose of. Despite her personal struggles, this action by the Desertmen would be answered by swift retaliation. She will not stand-by and watch while desert raiders roamed freely through their land. The only explanation she could come up with involved a contingency of fools now ruling the Desert in place of Santagar after his untimely demise. A last ditch effort, perhaps, to gain control in the face of defeat? Well, she would ensure that it would be a failed effort.

    “Seek out Ser Aran and see to it that he finds his way to my quarters,” she ordered the guard, speaking to the man for the first time since he arrived to deliver the message. “Inform him that I have a very important task for him to undertake.”

    TAG: Jabba-wocky, spycoder9
     
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  9. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey - The Desert of Mirwyth - 8 days before wedding
    Outskirts of the Evenfall - Camp

    Lorain question was met with disdain. Or indifference, so sure was he in the knowledge within his head. “I know what needs to be done. . .” The twit told her, as Lorain flexed her fingers outwards, keeping quiet. Ser Caliban flicked his fingers at her. With THAT gesture, she knew she was being dismissed. Unfortunately, she was used to dealing with such fools before. But usually those fools only had to deal with work and jobs. Not something that might mean life and death. Lor, the Gods were testing her faith, to have her not pound him into a paste. The man spoke. “Go eat some. Enjoy these last few nights of peace with your boy.”

    Lorain didnt say another word, as she spun quickly on her heel, and then left his tent, replacing the covering over her face. It would not do good for the others to see the frustration she was now feeling. Once outside his tent, she took in a deep breath, and then slowly released it, as she slowed her pace down to a slow walk. 'Lor! Gods and beasts, please guide this fool, so he does not get us killed! .. before I kill 'em!' Lorain thought to herself, as she allowed her body to relax. Well, at least now she had an idea where they were going. And he was right about one thing. She did want to enjoy some time with Fleet. They were going to have much to discuss in the next few days.

    “Milady!”

    Lorain paused just for a second, worried if something had happened, when she released that Olyvar was simply startled at her approach. The squire rose abruptly and wiped his greasy fingers on his leg. Fleet rose as well, imitating Olyvar’s manners as he smiled up at Lorain. Lorain smiled, her eyes sparkled. She was happy Fleet was with her. She relaxed her body, as she noticed him watching her. She turned to look at Olyvar, as he spoke up then. “Fleet. . .he did. . .he did good.” The young squire told her. Lorain moved her veil from her face, and smiled at the pair. "Well, then dat is good news to hear indeed. I knew he would be of good help." With a soft chuckle, Lorain gently ruffled Fleet's hair, as she nodded at Olyvar. "And Thank ye for keeping an eye out for 'em." she told him. She then rubbed her own forehead. "Olyvar, ya must have de patience of de hunter Manu himself, to do what you do." she told him, as she lowered her hand, and smiled once more. She then looked down at Fleet. "Well den, let's get something to eat, and sit outsides a bit, before we turn in." Lorain could hear some of the other knights singing off in the distance. "Sounds like de others have already started." she added with a chuckle.

    Lorain flexed her fingers, and gave a deep sigh. Yes, she would be thinking of much more than sleep this knight. She wanted to show Fleet what she had learned from the nap, before they fell asleep, just in case. But right now, a meal was something much needed, after dealing with that knight.



    TAG: greyjedi125, spycoder9
     
  10. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    18 Days Before the Wedding


    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Mountain Village


    Tavern


    “Alchemy?” The voice startled Adeleine, so much so that she dropped her fork.

    The door to the tavern had opened to reveal a short little thing with dark black hair and eyes the color of mud. It was a pretty mud, but mud nonetheless. The girl had a pleasant enough smile on her face as she skipped into the room, holding her long skirts up. She had a fullness to her face and body that hinted at wealth, along with the quality of skirt she wore. While it was nothing extremely noticeable, it did seem to be made of finer stuff than Adeleine’s.

    “I apologize for scaring you!” The girl’s cheeks were flush from the chill outside. Some of the Mountain’s breeze came in with her. “I heard you say alchemy!” She sat down beside Leiliana, panting heavily from her run.

    "This is Sierida,” Adeleine pointed to the new arrival with her fork. “She’s the chief’s daughter.”

    “And who might you be?” Sierida gave Leiliana that painstakingly innocent smile once again.


    TAG: Heavy Isotope

     
  11. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet
    Camp Evenfall. Eight days before the wedding

    Fleet had waved goodbye to Olyvar as if he were an old friend as Ser Caliban’s squire departed the young boy’s company and that of Lorain.

    Fleet looked up at Lorain and smiled at her as they walked some distance away from ear shot. He could see that she was in a ‘good mood’, but he didn’t know whether to believe it or not, especially after coming out of Ser Caliban’s tent. The arrogant knight was a nobleman by blood, but as far as Fleet was concerned, none else seemed noble about him. He treated them with obvious disdain, like highborns were wont to do.

    Lady Zooey had been much different, far kinder, and the stories he’d heard about Ser Lawrence served as drastic contrast to the likes of Ser Caliban. Pity it was not he who was leading the expedition to rescue Ser Willis.

    When they were far way from the others, Fleet trusted himself to finally speak, though he still whispered.

    “How wus the meetin’ wit dat pompous blowhard…?” He inquired as he tried to stifle a chuckle. He was quite proud that he’d managed to use one of them fancy words and not mess it up this time around, even though he wasn't quite sure what it meant, but it sounded fearsome. Lorain would likely not approve of him using that kind of language, but he’d observed them being skillfully used at the market to good effect. Fleet had more than enough sense not to dare use such words directly at a noble. They had small folks lashed or maimed for far more trivial offenses…but how else was he going to get any practice?

    “Sorry, mum…” He put in quickly upon realizing that a scolding is what he would get. Only fools uttered words without a forethought of consequence, and Fleet was certainly no fool.

    “Been saven m’ appetite sos we can eat togeth’a.” He added now, with a grin.

    “Am starven’’ The young boy declared and took a few steps ahead, then looked back to see if Lorain would follow. For some reason, he preferred her cooking above that of the rest.


    Tag: @Ktala
     
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  12. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Leiliana Caine
    Mountain Village, Tavern
    18 Days Before the Wedding...

    "Alchemy?" A voice called out excitedly, Leiliana's eyes widened for a moment and her muscles tensed, the sudden yell had startled her. A little girl ran into the tavern, she looked cleaner than most of the children, more well fed and better clothed.

    “I apologize for scaring you!” The girl’s cheeks were flush from the chill outside. Some of the Mountain’s breeze came in with her. “I heard you say alchemy!” She sat down beside Leiliana, panting heavily from her run. Leiliana smiled slightly, "I did indeed," she said warmly.

    "This is Sierida,” Adeleine pointed to the new arrival with her fork. “She’s the chief’s daughter."

    “And who might you be?” Sierida gave Leiliana that painstakingly innocent smile once again. It warmed her heart, growing up she had never seen another girl, now that she was out in the world though; that thought hadn't occurred to her. Maybe she was better at adapting to situations than she thought.

    "I am Leiliana Caine," she said, her accent and manner of speech sounded educated, but not noble or arrogant.

    "I travel from the Order of Avos. Your father likely knows of them, just as Adeleine's did," a thought came to her as she spoke, "I would very much like to speak with him, perhaps there is something I could do to help during my stay." Partially, the reason being was she wanted directions, another was she wanted to learn and trade anything that might be useful to her, she considered cataloging her travels and authoring an almanac from her journey. A great achievement that no other Monk of Avos had yet attempted.

    "Until then, you can show me your lovely town, little one," Leiliana suggested in a kind tone.

    TAGS: spycoder9
     
  13. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    9 Days Before the Wedding


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Delmaristead


    The Tower by the Sea


    He came for her as the sun began to set over the ocean.

    There was a brief tap on the door. When Gwenn opened it, she was greeted by a tall man, with a short crop of black hair on his head and a beak for a nose. His eyes seemed warm enough, two dark rims of coal, though the look they gave her was one Gwenn hadn’t seen very often from men.

    “Milady,” He dipped his head and held out his arm for her to take. “Your father sent me to bring you to the feast.”



    TAG: Jedi_padawan_leigh
     
  14. JediMasterAnne

    JediMasterAnne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2004
    OOC: Returning to the dream sequence for this post (Check out pages 17 and 18 if you need a refresher). As usual, written with spycoder9

    IC: Safia Kildare

    The grey fog was a wet kiss to her entire body. With its cool touch, she was thrown forth into a silver haze of mystique.

    You abandoned me. . .Matheus's voice echoed from this mist. Though she hadn't heard it in months, Safia still recognized it clearly.

    She looked around, trying to find the source of the voice. She could hear him, but she couldn't see him. "No," she started to protest, but her rebuttal died before she could open her mouth. Could she really say that there was no truth in his words? Their betrothal had not ended on her terms, or his, but she had moved on. When Lawrence had entered her life, she had let go of Matheus. "I didn't have a choice..." she said, though the excuse sounded weak, even to her. "My...my father..."

    You were going to be my Queen, He spat, Fine clothes everyday, and sunshine, and our own children to hug and hold. And when it was all over, I would die in love. You took all of that away from me.

    That made her angry. "My father took that away from both of us! And after he took you away from me, he took Lawrence, too!"

    You loved the fox. That wasn't your father's doing! It was yours. His voice faded then. You loved the fox, more than you ever did me…

    Was that true? Had she loved Lawrence more than she had Matheus? Her relationship with Lawrence had reached a point that she had never gotten to with Matheus, but at the same time, she had barely known him. On the other hand, she had known Matheus for years; she might know him better than anyone. But she couldn't deny that she had loved Lawrence. "For weeks after our betrothal ended, I would have given anything to be with you again. Even when I first learned of my engagement to Lawrence, I didn't want it. But as our wedding came closer, I resigned myself never to see you again, and I moved on. And yes, I loved him. Would you have me spend my life pining away for you, never to be happy again?"

    All I ever wanted… He seemed so far away,…was you…

    "I am sorry if I hurt you," she told him, not knowing what else to say. But I won't apologize for loving Lawrence.

    His voice was completely gone.

    In his absence, Safia would realize she was no longer falling, but standing in snow up to her knees. It was everywhere, falling on an empty cobblestone courtyard. There was an unnatural absence of sound. It was then that they came for her. Men with dead eyes, women with missing limbs, children with burned faces. They shambled towards her through the snow. They made not a sound, save for the scuffling of their feet. And no matter how hard she struggled to move, her legs were locked in place. It was when one grabbed her arm that the entire visage faded away, and she was falling again.

    She wasn't sure when she had stopped falling, but the unnerving silence bothered her--though not as much as the grisly scene that accompanied it. She wanted to flee from the bloodied, corpse-like forms, but her legs refused to work. She shouted at the people to get away from her, still trying to run from them, but they did not seem to hear her. She recoiled when one of them grabbed her arm, but the moment it touched her, the figures, the snow and the courtyard fell into grey mist again, and then Safia felt the ground vanish beneath her.

    The mist became white sheets beneath her body. Her dress was yanked up to her stomach, though she could still see the blood pooling around her legs. Women ran around her bedside, and one girl dabbed her forehead with a wet cloth. So much pain struck Safia in that last moment, enough to make her scream. Then she fell once more.

    The blood and pain made her think of the blood she had seen on herself before she had blacked out. There had been pain, then, too, but not like this. What was happening to her? She couldn't quite make out the faces of the women around her, and before she could try to place them, the scene again blurred and faded, and again, she was in free-fall.

    More of these brief scenes flickered before her:

    . . .a pale woman in black sat on a throne of corpses. She drank from a chalice of blood, all the while spinning a golden crown on her fingertips. . .

    . . . a bird led her baby from the nest. . .

    . . . a lioness burned while her cub stared on. Her mane became a sun, as her life blinked out. . .

    . . . a naked lady stepped into swirling waters. Lights twirled about her as the water churned around her ankles, legs, thighs, stomach, chest, neck, head. . .

    . . . a beautiful butterfly fluttered from one flower to the next. One opened its maw and swallowed her whole as she returned a final time. . .

    . . . a skulk of foxes howled against a blood sun. . .

    These came and went so fast that it seemed to Safia that she never stopped falling.

    When she did land, she found herself on something hard, and as she looked around, she saw around her a dark, empty room. There was no ceiling, the roof open to the grey sky above, and snowflakes drifted down like ashes. Something heavy and cold rested on her head, digging into her scalp, but when Safia tried to reach up to take it off, she discovered that she could not lift her hands. Her feet also refused to move, and looking down, Safia saw that the hard surface she had landed on was a seat of stone, and the stone had formed around her arms and legs.

    As she struggled against the throne’s unrelenting grasp, something moved in her peripheral vision, and she looked up to find a familiar face.

    “Mother?” Corrine had returned?

    But Corrine did not answer her, nor did the figure that appeared beside her—Desmond. Safia was less pleased with his presence, but she did not have a chance to address him, as others revealed themselves to her. Karridan, Ectarion, Lawrence, Synthia, Samule, Caetherene, Miche, Rickard…eventually she lost track. As she watched, the falling snow seemed to consume them; their lips turned blue, their skin became ghost-white, hair grew stiff and brittle, and at last they simply collapsed at her feet, to be covered by the falling snow.

    In the distance—or was she just imagining it?—she heard what sounded like a baby crying.

    TAG: None (to be concluded by spycoder9)
     
  15. Jedi_padawan_leigh

    Jedi_padawan_leigh Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2003
    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Tower by the Sea, Delmaristead


    The room was quiet, save for the sounds of the distant seagulls that swooped and cried over the vast ocean outside the tower. Gwenn had taken the opportunity to both reflect and prepare herself mentally for what was to come. She looked out toward the horizon as the sun started to set, a spectacular sight from her current vantage point as the world was bathed in a mixture of red, orange and pink. At that moment the world seemed completely calm and at peace, no signs of the war and all the misery’s it brought with it… The sound of someone knocking on her door brought Gwenn quickly out of her thoughts. She frowned. Was it Edeth and Paege? Turning her head, she eyed the wooden door carefully for a few seconds before moving towards it, the skirt of her dress rustling softly as she moved.

    Pulling the door open, she came face to face with a dark haired man. She had not crossed paths with this person before; at least she didn’t think she had… He was tall, with dark coloured eyes, a beak type nose and his black hair was closely cropped. He dipped his head in greeting and held out his arm for her to take. “Milady, Your father sent me to bring you to the feast.”

    “wish people would stop sayin’ Milady… Gwenn mused inwardly as she looked at the stranger; a flash of surprise in her grey eyes. She did not take his arm straight away. “Me fatha sent yeh?” She said as the man continued to offer her his arm. She was feeling hesitant, but if the king had indeed sent the man then it would probably not be a good idea to snub or offend him. His eyes seemed warm and his disposition amiable enough, though there was something about way he looked at her…Drawing in a quiet breath, the bastard woman relented and awkwardly looped her arm around his.

    “Um, thank yeh…Ser” She mumbled as they approached the winding tower stairs. “Yeh didn’ have te come all the way up ‘ere…”


    TAG: spycoder9
     
  16. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey - The Desert of Mirwyth - 8 Days
    Outskirts of the Evenfall - Camp

    Lorain watched as Fleet had waved goodbye to Olyvar. She smiled, and offered a wave as well, and then she turned her full attention on her son, offering him a wide grin. Fleet looked up at Lorain and smiled at her as they walked, which improved her mood greatly. For a while, they were silent, simply enjoying each others company, and letting the stress of the day fall way. As they neared their tent however, Fleet decided to speak, though for some reason, he was whispering.

    “How wus the meetin’ wit dat pompous blowhard…?”

    Lorain stopped in mid stride, as she tried her best not to break out in gales of laughter. It was not something she had expected Fleet to ask, and definitely not in THAT manner. It was something, she would expect her Da to say, however. As her eyes watered, with her trying not to laugh, she gathered that Fleet thought his words a bit too much, as he quickly added, “Sorry, mum…”

    Lorain turned to look at Fleet, kneeling down so he could see the look she had on her face.. a wide smile, and struggling to not giggle like mad. "Never be ashamed to speak ya mind around me.." Lorain told him, wiping her eyes. "Just as long as ya does it like ya just did, when its just us around." She gave him a wink, and ruffled his hair. Then Lorain leaned in close. "And yer right. He IS a pompous blowhard!" Lorain stood back up. "We'll talk more once we reach the tent. Lorain gave him a soft laugh, as she shook her head. Fleet read the man right. Who was she to tell him not to believe his instincts. At least, he was discrete with his comment. A few seconds later, Fleet chimes up once more.

    “Been saven m’ appetite sos we can eat togeth’a.” He added now, with a grin. “Am starven’’ Lorain followed the boy, laughing softly. "Aye, now I agrees with ya on that! A good meal, and some time to ourselves, I think we has earned that, after a long days ride." Following alongside Fleet, she followed him, and together they got their meal. Once back in their tent, Lorain would fix it up abit. The food was plentiful and such, but it lacked any flavor. It was more to fill bellies, and keep the soldiers happy. And if all the singing she was hearing was any show, the soldiers were pretty happy already. She almost wished she could join them, but no, she needed to keep a clear head. Lorain took the time to enjoy not only the meal, but the time she passed with her son, as they sat back, and enjoyed the meal among the stars.

    Hours passed.

    Once Fleet and Lorain had enjoyed their meals, and were simply relaxing Lorain moved over towards Fleet, and sat down next to him, putting herself eye level. She smiled, and gave him a hug, and then she spoke to him in a low voice.

    "There be some things about to happen soon, so I wants ya to be very aware of." She told him. "This, ya keep to yourself for now, cause I'm not liking some things.." Lorain spoke softly to Fleet, looking at his face, gaguing his reactions. She then leaned over, and began to draw an image on the floor of the tent, and after many quiet moments, a map slowly appears on the floor. "Now, I wants ya to pay attention to all of this. Cause one, ya having to think fast on yer feet so long, you have a good talent at seeing sum stuff I dont. I also wants ya to know where ya are, and keep track on when we travel, so if something goes wrong, ya know which direction to head, to get out of here." Lorain's face was all serious now. She pointed to their personal packs. I packed food and water, seperate from the others, just in case. I've been teaching ya, how to tell where the sun rises and falls, and ta find North even during the day. So ya keeps ya eyes open." Lorain leaned over, and then showed him where they were. She then tells the boy everything that was discussed with the Knight in his tent. Ser Caliban’s plan to join up with Lord Dondare men. Everything. She then spoke very softly now. "Knight Idjits plan is ta join up with dis Lord Dondare. If this Lord lives so close to the Capital, not sure where his true meaning lies. If de Lord not the friend he thinks he is, it could be a trap. The father said we was to go in, as a small group. Sneak in, sneak out. But this man wants ta add mores people." Lorain sighed deeply, flexing her fingers for a moment. "What ever happens, I wants to have a choice, in case things go bad."

    Lorain leaned back, watching Fleet carefully. Normally, she would not have told him so much. But being an urchin for so long, Lorain was not going to lie to him. He already had enough of that. Besides, she believed that Fleet could handle it. Rather be prepared than to be caught unaware. Especially here. After a few moments, she spoke up once more, but on another thought.

    "Member them group of the father and girls that we met traveling?" she asked Fleet. "I listened to the man. And I heard em speak of 'assassins in the sand' and chaos in the capital of the Desert. Now, I dunno whats going in the desert capital, an all that, but das not caught my ear. Lorain leaned back. "My Da told me of a story long ago, when I was barely bigger than his knee." Lorain leaned forward once more, her face close. "We was sharing stories, telling scary stuff. My Da, came from the desert, so he had all kinds of tales. But dis one, he told me once..and then he acted strange. Woudlnt explain. Wouldnt tell me more. So it made me remembers it. Might be nothing. But with all de crazy things happening with the mad king, and maybe wars to come, I listen to any story. Cause as my Da taught me, there be more truth in stories sometimes, than most peoples give em credit for." Lorain smiled at Fleet.

    "The are some legends of the Desert. One of them, has to do wif something called the assassins of the sand. Some call em sand witches. If there be other names for them, then I do not know em, other than the ones I dare not repeat, for what little my Da says of em, not many live to learn of it." Lorain tilted her head slightly. "Dont know much about em. They dont come round too often, which I hear is a good thing. Things die when they do come out, if the stories be told. Why they do things, I dunno. I hear they dont speak. But they make a strange sound. Some say rattling sounds, like somes kinda reptile. Others says they sound like a throat being cut. I dunno. For all I knows, maybe King Reynar got em mad. But..." Lorain held up a finger. "Dem be desert folks too. An they got their own code. My Da drew this ..." Lorain drew a symbol on the ground. "I dunno what it was. Is it one of theirs, or a ward. He erased it quick, and then did all kinds of finger wards after it. But I figure I better remembers it. An now I want you to remembers it also. Hopefully, we not find any. We got ENOUGH ta worry about, between heading into King Renar's area, and looking for Willis." Lorain gave a long stretch then.

    "But we not worry about it now. I know, funny thing to say. But we canna change things that havent happened yet. But you use dem sharp ears of yours, and listen to what the knights are saying when they arent around da Knight. Dems talk more wif you around, than they will me. But for now, we relax, but we keeps our whits about us." Lorain gave her son another small smile. "We find Willis. Dat all. And we stay alive. Anything else...we'll see."

    Lorain stretched, the small pop coming from her back felt good. She wished she could do another bath, nut it would be foolish to waste water on such things. Besides, getting undressed would be mad, in an encampment of men, knights or not. She checked the armor that they carried as well, looking over it carefully. It was close at hand, as were their other items. She only unpacked just what they needed for the night, which was not much. After she checked their items, she sat on the bed, and let down her hair. After being tucked up under turbins and such all day, it felt good to let it down, and brush it throghly, before she braided it back up once more. As she brushed her hair, she waited to hear if Fleet had anything to say or add. Now was the time to listen to his concerns. Now was their time to spend alone, and she cherish each minute she had, when then could spend time together, as mother and son.




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  17. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet
    Camp Evenfall. Eight days before the wedding…

    The breeze was soft and carried the songs of the singing men upon her, adding her own whispered accompaniment to the chorus of voices.

    Fleet almost felt as if he were floating while laying down and looking upwards at the twinkling stars which stretched as far as he could see. So bright and clear they were, he even reached up and imagined he grabbed them in his hand and played with them with his fingers.

    The meal Lorain had prepared had tasted so good, he was astounded at how much he’d enjoyed it. Had Lorain cooked in the kitchens of nobles as well? He could only imagine so.

    Lorain had not been upset at him at all about calling Ser Caliban a ‘pompous blowhard’. On the contrary, she seemed quite amused by it. However, the former urchin did take Lorain’s advise to heart. He was to only speak his mind and be that candid with her and with no one else around. Oh, what a blessing she was. The chance to unbridle one’s tongue without fear of retribution. Such freedom was unheard of. At least to him.

    As it was, the evening felt timeless.

    Fleet looked over and smiled when Lorain came over next to him. Sitting up on the small sand dune, he returned his mother’s hug. No reason or special occasion was needed to give or receive one. However, once Lorain began to speak, he knew this was going to be very important,so he gave her his undivided attention.

    “There be some things about to happen soon, so I wants ya to be very aware of…” Lorain began to say.

    Fleet nodded in understanding and listened with all his wit, focus and concentration. His blue eyes were fixed on Lorain and his face was a mask of concentration as he committed her words and the meaning of her words to memory. Lorain drew a map of their location on the sand and he looked at it fiercely. Without her explanation, the lines would be completely meaningless. The boy had no formal education, so he relied entirely on his wits, intuition and memorization.

    He recalled the moment when Lorain had taught him to use himself as a sundial. The lean of his own ’shadow’ contained information in regards to the sun his location on the land. Clouds journeyed across the sky in pre-set directions. This information almost seemed like magic to him, and Fleet felt the wonder of his growing understanding. The moment had been almost overwhelming once he ‘got it’. Learning such things that day had made him even thirstier for knowledge. He understood he couldn’t learn things all at once, but that didn’t stop him from being excited at the prospect.

    So, now they had to be prepared to ‘escape’ should ‘lord blowhard’ make a ‘blunder’ out of Ser Willis’ rescue mission. The fact that ‘Mum’ was telling him all this did not fill him with confidence concerning the mission, but he agreed with her that it was better to be prepared…just in case. The capital was a ‘bad place’. He’d drawn that conclusion long ago, not only from all the talk he overheard, but from his own eyewitness experience. Bad things happened when folks from the capital were around, and now Ser Idjit Blowhard was planning to join up with some bloodletter, Lord Don’t Dare ( or something like that ), in disobedience to his own father.

    For a second, Fleet wondered if ‘Caliban’ would be flogged for disobeying his father’s orders. In all honesty, he doubted such was the case. Had he been flogged before, he would not be acting so recklessly now. ‘Many lashes drive foolishness out of fools.’

    “Whatever happens, I wants to have a choice, in case things go bad.”

    Lorain’s tone did not leave much room for misunderstanding. Fleet nodded slowly as he looked directly in her eyes.

    “Member them group of the father and girls that we met traveling?”

    The first image in the boy’s mind was that of the acrobatic girl he’d stared at. He still recalled her quite vividly and he blushed as the images blossomed once again in his mind. Fleet averted his gaze for a brief second as he regained himself and did as he was bid. Yes, he did recall the girls and the father, the man who was willing to ‘sell’ his own daughters. Two were shy while the other had the bearing of a tavern wench.

    “Yes, I do.” Fleet answered with a firm nod.

    What Lorain related next was….well, beyond belief. ‘Sand Witches!’

    Fleet had never live din the desert towns, so he’d never heard of them, but they sounded quite frightful. Involuntarily, he began looking around as Lorain spoke and at one point, even checked if his dagger was still strapped to his side. The fact that they were rarely sighted brought him little comfort if they were being seen now.

    When Lorain drew the ‘warding sign’ on the sand, Fleet not only made sure to memorize it, he’d even drawn his own next to Lorain’s before erasing the symbol he’d drawn just as quickly as she had erased hers. He didn’t know any ‘finger wards’ but if he could he would sure try to learn them.

    “Hopefully, we not need find any. We got ENOUGH ta worry about, between heading into King Reynar’s area and looking for Willis.”

    Fleet watched Lorain stretched as he continue the information he’d been just given. It was quite a bit to assimilate, but he was determined to absorb it all. The gods old and new had been merciful enough to give to him a ‘mom’, and now he had to be strong enough to protect her. He would do his very best, even at the cost of his life.
    Through the little he knew of honor and all that was right and good in the world, he understood why Lorain desired to rescue Ser Willis, a man who had help free her from pirates and slavers and was still captive to such scum. It was the right thing to do.

    Fleet also understood the strategic advantage of going in and out with a small band of men to rescue Ser Caliban’s older brother. He recalled many of his days as a petty street thief. Whenever the group of thieving boys became too large, things went ( unsurprisingly) awry and much suffering ensued. He didn’t imagine things would be much different this time, at least in principle.

    On a different note, the idea of listening in on the men as they talked and gathering information was very exciting and appealing. Fleet already knew how to remain ‘invisible’ as he called it. To make himself not be noticed. True, he couldn’t simply ‘disappear’ in a crowd as he did back at the marketplace, but he was certain he could manage. Besides, this was far from his first time ‘gathering information’ from others. Many times, he’d been asked by some guard or highborn servant to ‘listen in’ on conversations in exchange for food, copper or an article of clothing. This time, he would be doing it to help them survive whatever was coming next.

    “We find Willis. Dat all. And we stay alive. Anything else…we’ll see.”

    Fleet remained silent for a good while after, replaying and assimilating all that he’d been told. He watched as Lorain did her hair. Seeing her brush her hair made him smile. He much preferred her with her hair down, but understood why it was best for her to travel as she did. At least she got to be comfortable in the privacy of her tent. He watched her braid her own hair with curiosity and amazement. That looked interesting.

    “Mum……” Fleet said after a moment, speaking a bit tentatively.

    “I knows am not yer real….uhm, well…I wus wondering if….”

    Finally, he managed to get his words out. Some of them at least.

    “….do I gets a surname, some kind of…fam’ly name? even if…..you know….”

    Fleet shrugged and looked away for a moment, before casting his gaze back on the giant woman who had saved his life in more ways than anyone could imagine.


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  18. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Lorain Ashkey - The Desert of Mirwyth - 8 Days
    Outskirts of the Evenfall - Camp


    Lorain stayed silent, letting Fleet has his time, while she worked on her hair. It was quite a bit to take in, and so far, he seemed to be handling it well. She smiled, proud at he son. The boy was quite surprising, and had strength in him in so many ways. She braided up some of her hair, but left the rest down for now. She would put the rest up later, when it was time to travel once more. As she sat on the edge of her bed, Fleet spoke up.

    “Mum……”

    It ran a shiver through her, hearing him call her that. She wondered if that feeling would ever go away. She hoped not. "Yes?" she replied

    “I knows am not yer real….uhm, well…I wus wondering if….”
    She looked over at him. obviously, something was bothering him. He then suddenly managed to get his thoughts out, in a rapid jumble.

    “….do I gets a surname, some kind of…fam’ly name? even if…..you know….”

    Fleet shrugged and looked away for a moment, and then looked back at her. Lorain put down the brush, and held out both of her arms.

    "Is that what be ailing ya child?" she said with a gentle smile, as she coaxed Fleet to come to her. When he came close she would gently ruffle his hair. She just coudlnt help it. She offered him a warm smile. "Oh Fleet. Didnt I say I was your Mum? I'm sorry, if I forgot to tell ya, with so much going on." She gave him a powerful hug then. "Im all yours Fleet. And ya might not have come directly from me, but your mines now. And yer as real as any other child I might have laters on, ya hear me?" She held him at arms length, and look deep into his beautiful blue eyes.

    "Mah name is Lorain Ashkey. And now ya be Fleet Ashkey." Lorain patted the bed next to her, gesturing for him to sit down. She now began to brush his hair, as she told him the story of his 'family'. Of her father from the desert, and her mother, from the mountains. She told him of her younger years in the mountains, and their move to the desert. Where her home was located. And about her baby brother and how their family was strong in the guild, of metal-smiths. She even showed him the family logo, their mark as a smith. And she whispered to him that she too, knew the secrets of the working of metal, and and her specialty was more towards a weapons smith. "Ah dont let many know what I do, cause one its almost unheard of for a woman to be doing it, and two, if there be war breaking out, sometimes it can be a dangerous trade. My Da and me were waiting for a ship to bring in special metal when da city got attacked..." Lorain's voice suddenly trailed off. Wait. The ship her dad had been waiting for had been the pirate ship. Had someone TOLD them, that he was a blacksmith..and were they looking for him? A dark look flashed across her face, before she swept it away. Not now. Lorain shook her head. Instead, she looked at Fleet and smiled.

    "So, ya comes from a proud family Fleet. And whether ya wanna learn the family trade, or become a Knight on yer own, you have a family name now." Lorain smiled. "My Da used to say the words over da house symbol, A hot flame, and a sure strike. A hot flame test da metals, but makes it strong as well. And a sure strike, can turn dat lump of metal into anything ya wants with a little bit of skill. Just likes a sure strike can also take out yer enemy."

    Lorain gave a long stretch, and yawned deeply. She looked back over at her son. "An I think I is done filled yer head up with enough stories fer tonight. Ya get some sleep now. We got plenty we can talk about later. We need rest, just in case Ser Caliban has some other strange plans to surprise us with." She gave Fleet a wink. "Bed." Lorain sprawled back on the bed, and yawned once more. She checked to make sure her weapons were where she had left them, and then waited for Fleet to get settled in, before she turned down the light so that they could get some sleep. Lorain laid quietly, but her mind whirled with what she had found out, and what she should do next, in order to insure they stayed safe.





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  19. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    IC: Ser Aran
    Castle Reyneer, Capital

    One Day Before the Wedding

    “You and your lot are locusts. Sure you can swarm. But without a king, you just despoil. You can’t coordinate. You have no wealth. You can’t build anything,” sneered an over-dressed buffoon.

    It had happened years ago, in one of Aran’s first run-ins with these people and their “kingdom.” The local commander had already been worn down by the long, unproductive campaign. Taking aid from riders decked in animal skins was more of a wound than his pride could bear. They were sent away the same night, unceremoniously, only to be recalled to service when the bandits put that commander’s head on a pike. It wasn’t till Aran and the other horsemen routed the bandits that his life began to change. Curious, then, that what he remembered was nothing of those first contracts, but instead this abortive deal.

    Aran had been young, then. Prideful, headstrong. The whole thing had struck him as hilarious. Unburdened by foolish notions of honor, they’d been more than happy to take their payment for reclining safe in camp. When they finally took the field, there wasn’t enough of challenge to make things interesting. They did, though, have a high-time carousing with the plunder of two whole camps. It was a simple affirmation of their way of life. Monarchs sapped warriors of initiative. Mirwyth was a place of feckless, self important lordlings more concerned with their costumed parades than anything. That was all the more thought he gave to government.

    He revisited now, the memory more bitter and complex. It was hard to say that Fenton’s disappearance hadn’t proved him right. Worse, in spite of knowing the danger, he was just as caught up in it as the rest of them. When was the last time he’d ridden beneath an open sky? He was the King’s man, now. Caught in its terrible, grating price, he’d wondered more than once if it was worth it. This was before he considered Emilia. He knew what happened when a war leader lost influence on the steppes. He didn’t want to imagine this kingdom’s equivalent.

    So instead, he made compromises. There were, of course, the usual things. He put prisoners to the question, one after another, knowing whatever he did there would be milder than what would come otherwise. He put soldiers on every corner and blood on the streets, to tamp down on something far more violent he saw lurking in the shadows. But there were the points particular to the silk-shirted lords. More than ever, he was seeing to those, too. His riding boots were polished, and he wore some of the silken tunics he spent so much time mocking. The sword at his hip was replaced with something that sported an awkwardly ornate, gold filigree hilt.

    Necessity had made him swallow every insult to his dignity. That, finally, was how he differed from the fool making the “locusts” speech. It seemed to be paying off. Emilia and Mattheus were working the court in tandem. The market stalls started to fill with the sound of bickering merchants again. Manure was back on the streets. The moment of suspended, insane terror was finally passing. Or at least, he’d thought so. Then the Queen had summoned him suddenly.

    Emilia,” he said, bowing deeply from just outside the door.

    He’d come at once, in his best wardrobe. It was unclear what she would want at this hour. What could have stopped them, so close to the coronation. But crossing the final threshold, he knew one thing. He’d come to much too far to stagger now. Whatever his task, he was prepared to execute.

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  20. BartSimpson-SithLord

    BartSimpson-SithLord Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 24, 2002
    IC: Elric Cliffe, The Isles of Mirwyth
    Iron Crag, Dining Hall

    “Make you legitimate?”, Elric watched as his father grinned at the suggestion. The grin held no warmth, of course. The grin was a mask to hide the annoyance and, possibly, disappointment on Rollant's face. “I took you to be wiser."

    His father raised his cup into the air, signifying that it was empty and that he needed more of the somewhat foul tasting wine. Within seconds a homely serving maid hurried over to fill the glass, skittishly pouring the drink and avoiding both the demeaning stare of Rollant and the knowing stare of Elric. Finished, the girl nervously trotted back to the recess she had previously occupied. Elric knew what would come next as his father spit out the sip of wine and poured the rest of the glass onto the ground. “What’re you trying to do, wench, poison me? Clean this.”

    Elric could tell the girl was frightened, unsure of what to do. His father had a temper and Elric had provoked it rather bluntly with the comment on legitimacy. “Clean it now," Rollant's voice came out as a hushed whisper that Elric had to strain in order to hear, but he knew what it implied, if the girl did not act quickly then she would not survive the night. Luckily, for her, she made haste and began to wipe at the wine with a rag. “It seems our servants are as defiant as our prisoners. Perhaps we can make them one in the same," Rollant taunted.

    It was not an empty threat, both Rollant and Elric had made prisoners of servants that had displeased them in the past, but this was a threat born out of Elric's prodding the sore subject of his bastardy. “To legitimize you, King Golden Anchor would have to do the honors. And at the moment, it seems he would be pleased to see our line die out as quickly as it came into power. No, you’re my bastard, and that’s how our lives shall continue. Bastardy suits you.”

    Rollant was correct, of course, bastardy did suit Elric rather well. He could operate in some many fun and interesting ways when he wasn't known to be part of a house. Oh, look, it's just a Cliffe, people would think and pay him no mind. It worked wonders for when he needed someone dead or...otherwise. Elric smiled at his father's response and took a bite of stale bread soaked in soup. He looked at this father, the time for fun well past, "And what would you have me do when the war does approach the Isles, Father?"

    TAG: spycoder9
     
  21. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    7 Days Before the Wedding


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    Evenfall


    Outskirts



    They were greeted by riders from Evenfall the following morn. Olyvar scurried up to Ser Caliban’s tent, and moments later the knight stepped down the dune resplendent in his armor. He met the men at the edge of the camp, near where Lorain and Fleet had been packing up their things.

    “Ser Caliban,” the stranger dipped his turban wrapped head at their leading knight.

    “My lord,” Ser Caliban bowed.

    “To what do I owe the pleasure?” The man’s voice was muffled from his garb.

    “My brother was taken prisoner in the raid of Caraba,” Ser Caliban stood. “Lady Ginnifer sent us to rescue him.”

    “I have heard tales of Caraba’s raid…” The lord cast his eyes out over Ser Caliban’s small party of men. His eyes rested on Fleet before finally returning. “Were the offenders truly pirates?”

    “Pirates and sellswords, in the service of Fenton Reynard.” The knight’s words lingered in the air.

    The lord looked to the two men who had accompanied him, dark men in their own turbans.

    “Then, it is true…” The lord frowned. “The war has come to the Desert.”

    “It has.”

    The lord looked back to his dark castle that poked at the sky above.

    “Lord Dondare,” Ser Caliban spoke once more. “the Desert has suffered grievance after grievance from Reynard. Taxations, imprisonments…one of your own sons, if I am correct?”

    The flicker in the lord’s eyes proved the fact true.

    “Hedric.” Lord Dondare’s voice was quiet.

    “Hedric the Heir.” One of the other men murmured.

    Ser Caliban latched onto the name. “Your heir is in the clutches of our enemy? If he doesn’t hesitate to cripple entire cities, enslave our men, rape our women, slaughter our children…what do you think he would do to your heir, should he have the opportunity? Or to your lands? Evenfall is only two days ride from the Capital…should he chose to pillage the Desert, who might be the first to fall?”

    Lord Dondare stared long and hard at Ser Caliban.

    “I will give you fifty of my men. A small garrison, but enough to return your brother home, Ser Caliban.” He looked up at the sky. “They will join you at the gates.”

    “I thank you, my lord, for-“

    “Do not thank me yet. Your brother is still a prisoner.”

    The lord turned his horse around, as did the men with him, and they galloped back to their lands.

    Ser Caliban watched them ride off. As he turned around, he noticed Lorain staring. He grinned.

    “Smile, woman,” He said, “It looks like we’ll save my brother after all.”

    And then he walked off.



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  22. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    6 Days Before the Wedding


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Delmaristead


    Docks



    The man’s wart wiggled as he eyed Abott. Finally he stepped back and spoke.

    “I’ll get the Moorecroft’s. They’ll be glad to hear this.” He stepped back down the dock and began barking commands to his workers. They scurried about the ship, helping unload things and such.

    “They’re dangerous. . .” Zia hissed over his shoulder. “Hungry and dangerous, all of em.”

    Tai stared out over the harbors with that empty look on his face.

    “And that boy. . .” She whispered, “He’s lost it. . .”

    Even though her voice carried, the little boy didn’t break his gaze.

    “He’s better off dead, than like that. . .”



    TAG: Mitth_Fisto
     
  23. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet
    Camp Evenfall. Eight days before the wedding…

    He tried hard, but could not help it. There was no helping it, even if he wanted to.

    Lorain hugged him so fiercely and her words resonated through his soul. Fleet shivered, and not from the cold as his eyes filled up with tearful moisture. He felt a lump in his throat and wanted to sniffle. However, the smile on his face was like that of a midnight sun. He was happy. He had a mum that loved him like one of her very own and he had a family name.

    Fleet Ashkey.

    The smile on his face never left him. He wanted to run and proclaim his joy to the world, it was a wonder he could even sit still. Fleet blowed his nose on his tunic and dried his eyes, but his heart was soaring high. He listened to Lorain speak of her father, of her brother, of her family, no… ‘his’ family, and the family legacy he now inherited. They were proud crafters, blacksmiths!

    Fleet didn’t think he could be a smith, but he could learn some useful things. He would become a Knight if at all possible, or the closest thing after that. He would wear the family crest, say the family words, learn the oaths, be the first of his name...and make his mother proud!

    During their conversation, he did notice the look that flashed so briefly upon Lorain’s countenance when she mentioned the special metal and the attack on her city. Lorain shook her head and continue to speak of family traditions, so he listened, but he was sure that by now, she knew he would ask her about it in the near future. He was her protector now, and as such, he needed to know such things.

    Then suddenly, it was time to sleep. But Fleet was too full of energy to go to sleep. So, he lay there, awake. Praying, and thanking the gods old and new, for finally smiling on him and for proving the evil Father Tucker wrong. That one, who proclaimed that all orphans were nothing more than ‘worm food’ and ‘worthless wretches’. One day, Fleet Ashkey, Knight of House Ashkey, would find himself riding back to the orphanage, and would set things right. At least that’s what he told himself.

    Tonight however, was the best night ever. Tonight, Fleet’s new life could officially begin.

    *****************************

    IC: Fleet Ashkey
    Evenfall, Seven days before the wedding…

    He started the day by giving his Mum a big hug and a wide grin. Fleet hummed a tune he made up as the moment fancied. There was an extra ‘pep in his step’ as he carried out his morning duties. None of it needed ‘splaining.

    The sound of many horses drew the would-be squire’s attention and he rose once he saw the many riders that approach. Fleet looked at Lorain, then back at the scene which began to unfold. Ser Caliban and one of the riders were now having a conversation.

    Fleet watched and listened. He visually scrutinized the riders and listened for their accents, if any. Their weapons and mode of dress. He’d heard tales that Ser Lawrence dressed similarly to these men. That could not be coincidence.

    The rider who spoke had looked at Fleet. The moment had been brief, but Fleet caught it. He could not read the man’s expression at all, and that gave him pause. He fought the impulse to reach for his weapon. Lorain warned him that such a gesture could be misinterpreted at a very high cost. So, he calmed himself and continued to listen.

    Ah, this man…he was ‘Lord Done-Dare.’

    From the sound of it, he was not very fond of the ‘Mad King’ either. It sounded like his son was in some kind of trouble. Hedric. Did that mean he would need rescuing too?

    Some arrangement was made. Fifty more men would be joining them. Fleet frowned a bit, then looked up at Lorain. He wasn’t liking this arrangement. His mind was working now. If Lorain, Olyvar and himself could find Ser Willis, they could leave Ser Caliban and the fifty men to indulge in their wanton bloodletting while they made their escape. He’d have to suggest that to Mum the first chance he got.

    When Ser Caliban spoke next, one again refusing to address his Mum by name or in a respectful form, Fleet mentally pushed Ser Caliban ‘name’ further up his ‘Bad’list and stared at his retreating form, quietly seething in silent vehemence.

    “Aye. Rescue Ser Willis first……” he whispered, almost inaudibly.


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  24. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Abott Tuckman
    Docks, Delmaristead

    The well fed wart seemed to dance upon his words, even as the person behind it stood impassively. It was a bit of time before the man drew back the voluminous wort and said he would alert the nobles and dock workers to come get them unloaded. A task the hungry masses were all to ready to perform.

    Abott merely nodded at the retreating form, the Moorecrofts would react as they willed, and no added pleasantries to the wart would sway what may or may not happen. Only one thing was sure. Somebody pay.

    The Temptress took the moment to note the danger they all were in, but he heeded not her words, not at first. Yes the people were on the verge, but that was why they brought the food, now given a good nights meal the verge would be pushed back once more and the veneer of civilization that business required would stabilize. If they left without giving the food, they would never return, could never return. A delivery unfulfilled is one thing, to show the customer the thing they desired and sent you for, then to walk away was to burn a trading port forever. And that was something you never did out of fear, just because the client was desperate did not make them bad customers, sometimes they were the best kind.

    When she mentioned the boy Abott turned to look at her for the first time. "He lost her. Never it my dear. Never it." a tinge of sorrow touched his voice as he looked at the lad. "If you do not want him anymore I will take him on, you don't abandon a crewman in any form because he has felt what you keep at bay." the words shocked himself a little, his eyes widening at his own shock of having just said it. Looking away at the docks, "You learn to live with it, but the lad will be a hard case in years to come, perhaps even on par with you."

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  25. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: The Queen, Emilia Reynard
    Queen's Chambers, the Capital
    One Day Before the Wedding...

    The entryway to the balcony stood ajar, allowing a cool breeze to sweep into the main chamber as Emilia overlooked the vast view of the city below. Her hands were clasped tightly before her as the curtains swayed in an elegant dance on either side of her. From this distance, everything seemed so serene and peaceful, as if the city itself had been left untouched by the elements and was forever protected. This was further accentuated by the deep shadows cast by the palace on the streets directly below. It was as if the stone fortress was the silent protector keeping watch over its flock, its tendrils extending further into the city with the movement of the sun as the afternoon waned on.

    But in the end, it was only a false sense of security – the calm before the storm, she mused with a heavy sigh. The cloud of war loomed heavily over the kingdom, and with the threat of the Desertmen invading the outskirts of the Capital, it would surely burst and rain down on them endless terror and destruction. At that point, it would be too late and things would surely spiral out of control faster than Emilia could handle them. The kingdom would soon slip through her fingers and all would truly be lost…

    So, the goal was to nip the problem in the bud before it had a chance to fully materialize. The Queen had the perfect thing – or, man – in mind to ensure the job was done to her satisfaction.

    Almost as if he could read her mind at that particular moment, Ser Aran made his entrance and called out to her across the ornate chamber, bowing deeply at the waist to show his respect.

    Emilia did not intend to keep the knight waiting and turned quickly to address him, her elation at his presence hard to conceal behind the smile that stretched from ear to ear. She genuinely was glad to see him, especially since she considered him one of perhaps a handful of servants in whom she could trust. His judgment was sound and his loyalty was unprecedented, both of which she considered to be very valuable assets. In this day and age, she had every intention to take full advantage of them and perhaps even test them to see if he would prevail. After all, it would not only be for the good of Mirwyth, but perhaps for more…personal matters we well.

    “Welcome, Ser Aran,” she said in greeting, extending her hands in an inviting gesture as she crossed the distance to him. “I do apologize for the short notice, but as I’m sure you’re well aware, these are troubling times and one must act swiftly if we are to shine forth and break through this storm.”

    Her smile wavered for only a moment before she redirected her attention to a pair of chairs with posh upholstery and intricate wooden designs carved into the legs and arm rests. “Now, please, relax and make yourself comfortable. Enjoy the scenery.”

    Her behavior may have appeared odd, especially since they were alone with no other servants present to tend to them, but it was all part of the plan. She hoped to put his mind at ease and perhaps butter him up a bit before hitting him with the real bombshell. She also had a hunch that he found her quite favorable as well, so this should work out quite nicely if she could play that up a bit.

    Lowering herself into one of the chairs, she crossed her ankles formally and soon found herself studying him quite intently. She noted that he was dressed finely in his best robes and he radiated with perfection…or rather, what people would believe to be the perfect example of a knight in the King’s service. It really could not get any better…

    “So, tell me, Aran,” she spoke suddenly with her eyes still focused on him, breaking the momentary silence. “What is your opinion of the Desert?”

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