|Chronicles Of The Royal Company
|Page 7 of 8|
|Author:||Aicanor [ Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:40 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Complete|
There were lots of interesting characters who didn't survive, and more important to the story than Norein. But it seems GW were inspired by that and are killing characters left and right.
|Author:||Larose [ Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:22 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Complete|
Perhaps lol but most died for character growth or story progression.. Or that's what I intended anyway. And suspense..and a hint of reality , things can happen quickly and not in the most desired direction
I could point to a series of books /now a tv series for the inspiration to kill off characters haha hopefully mr Martin will finish the last two books within the next 100 years
Ahem, on to other topics... When will you release the next chapter of your story aicanor ! Adnezar is collecting dust ! Loll
|Author:||Aicanor [ Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:00 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Complete|
Ahem, on to other topics... When will you release the next chapter of your story aicanor ! Adnezar is collecting dust ! LollHe most definitely is... not happy about it. I will probably wake up with cold blade just above my collar bone one night.
Seems to be more the case of killing off authors than characters.
|Author:||Larose [ Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:45 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Complete|
Lol well he would be following his Druchii nature ! But perhaps his antics are needed to get your ball rolling again
|Author:||Larose [ Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:09 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Complete|
Well I suppose I should conglomerate my newest addition to this, though no more Aicanor! I will not be tricked a second time ... hahah at least not for awhile ..
A Land Scorched in Fire
“Like it or not, you are still a prince of Caledor...which has seceded from the Phoenix Throne. You must decide.” Althran blatantly stated, and looked at those standing on either side of him before continuing. “Imriks' messenger is awaiting a formal response, will you sign the letter?”
Kendrik sighed and scratched his neck, feeling the long scar that ran up over his jaw and to his right ear. His straight white hair was long and rested past his shoulders, contrasting brightly upon the dark red robe he wore during these formal meetings in the hall of his ancestors.
The scar had never truly healed properly and felt lumpy with scar-tissue; a mere half an inch more and the Druchii blade would have taken his head.
His mind flashed to the deck of the Dragon ship 'Sunblade', one of the two that had been in the center of the Asur formation. The other carrying Tyrion himself... part of an assembled fleet to hunt a Druchii Ark: the fortress barges that roamed the sea and raided as it pleased.
Though that day had been its last to which it found its way to the ocean floor. And would rest there for eternity.
Tyrion had saved him that day cutting his way through countless Druchii warriors, and allowed for his fellow Asur to carry Kendrik to the safety of the healers
Now, over fifty years later... his liege lord asked, no commanded to know where his banner stood, if he would stand with Caledor, or with the Phoenix.
His head started to spin.
How could he turn his back upon the reagent of Ulthuan, the dragon of Cothique... the greatest warrior the Asur have ever had... Prince Tyrion.
Kendriks eyes roamed in the lingering silence and rested upon the red banner hanging from the high arched ceiling of the 'Thalui' fortress.
A black crescent moon with one attached and matching dragon wing, rested upon a golden shield overlaying a red field... the sigil of the Draconis line.
It had been over a hundred and seventy years since that day, that glorious day where his house was reclaimed and Ulthuan saved from a dark power.
A power that could have maybe joined the Druchii and Asur with minimal blood shed... Something that could have perhaps saved them from the impending civil war.
'Follow your heart... that feeling in your gut.'
“Mother...” He said softly to himself.
Ten years after her passing and her voice still found its way into his head... She had lived for close to three hundred years, still a small amount in the eyes of the Asur yet significant in the eyes of her human side. As for him, no one knew... perhaps he would live to see five hundred, maybe longer since it was mostly Asur blood running through him.
The future seemed impossibly uncertain.
“Has there been any word from Dethadrin?” Kendrik queried and returned his attention to the hall.
Althran, whom stood before him in shining golden armor with a regal blue cloak and his helm held beneath his arm; showed an expressed look of brief confusion as his eyes squinted behind his long dark hair. He then sighed and looked over to Velnos.
The dark haired Nagarathi was still garbed in his black scale armor and cloak, an exact image from Kendriks youth. Though he now carried a few more scars beneath it, as his faithful protector had been at the Princes' side during every battle.
Velnos gave a slow shake of his head in response.
“Still in the damned cave with the sleeping dragon then... a stubborn beast given that many end their eternal slumber.” Kendrik said and began to pace around his chair near the end of the hall.
“Kendrik...” Came his wife's soft voice, and in her usual manner of reminding him to take care of the matters at hand.
She smiled in his direction with her dark brown eyes, her blonde hair was braided to the right side in one long strand that reached her waist. Which was common in Ellyrion, Caledor's northern neighbor and known as masters of horse.
Lisiel was no exception, taught to ride and wield a bow at a very young age. The marriage had been arranged after Kendrik heeded her family's call for help. A Druchii raiding party had come for some of the renowned steeds in the area, and so he rode out in force and caught their dark kin in the midst of their attempted escape into the mountains.
The only daughter of a prominent and rather wealthy noble on the kingdoms southern border. Now one of their closest allies in the courts, and a rather excellent source of horses.
Lisiels' long gown was a dark violet that reached her ankles and surely irked her the longer she was forced to wear it. As she would jump at the opportunity to change into her riding leathers as soon as this meeting was over.
“Imrik will receive no such letter from me, my duty is to the throne that returned my family to its rightful place. This damned kingdom of pompous dragon lords have scorned my house since the very first day I stepped upon these stones and sat in this chair. They go down a road I will not follow.”
The room was silent, but their eyes showed resolve... passion even.
Althran gave a silent nod and turned to relay the message to the emissary waiting in the outer chamber.
“Get word to our Commodore, Soretu must prepare the fleet immediately... as I fear we will no longer be welcome in these ancient halls.” Kendrik turned and rested his hand upon one of the mighty stone pillars in the room, their ancient engravings were almost a lost art.
“Lisiel... I suggest you get dressed, we go to join Tyrion.” He finished and returned her the warm smile she sent in his direction.
* * *
The dark red armor stood before him with an aura about it... somehow it cast a long shadow over his mind. Each time he looked at it, different visions of his father would appear. Though never the same one, always different. Calehir had passed before he was born, yet his fame... the fame of the entire Draconis line rested within this very armor. Its gold scales shining in bright contrast to the red and accenting the emerald eyes of the dragon head shoulder plates.
Kendrik knew the armor fit him well, and over the years it had saved him countless times. And yet he could not reach high enough for the respect he desired, to prove himself worthy of his title in the eyes of the Asur.
A gentle touch on his shoulder caught his attention.
“He would be proud of you. Your mother always spoke of how the intrigue of the courts were but a burden on his mind, a disgusting game he was forced to play. Now you have chosen your path, now all of Caledor knows where you stand... All of Ulthuan.” She said in a praising tone and joined his gaze upon the armor rack.
“Ulthuan died with Finubar... the land will be scorched in fire by the end of this. Our lands will burn and our people will suffer.” Kendrik returned and even surprised himself with his dark thoughts.
“Is this truly what Asuryan would have of us? Are we but his puppets in the grand scheme of things. The Druchii invade our lands, a reagent stands to oppose them and my own kingdom turns its back on its oath... Everything I believed in, everything I was taught... This... This is not it!”
His fists were clenched and his jaw tightened in anger, he could feel his veins pulsing with the rage he felt inside.
“Damn them all!” He shouted midst a knock to his chamber door.
No a banging, an urgent thump from a closed fist.
“My lord!” Came the voice from behind the oak barrier.
“Come in. Quickly!” Lisiel commanded, to which the sentinel opened the door in haste.
“A force approaches! A few thousand at least...”
“And?” Kendrik returned and waited for more, he could sense it on the tip of the sentinels tongue.
“Dragons... three of them my lord!”
The spectacle outside the 'Thalui' fortress was small but impressive... only one day since he had sent the emissary on his way, and now a token force was here to challenge him. On their own it would be perhaps a fourth of what would be needed to lay siege, however three dragons... well now he had a problem.
The clouds were low and passed overhead in a gray mist like fashion, only allowing sporadic rays of sunlight to pass at random intervals. The lack of light gave the armored Asur a dull silver sheen compared to the golden warriors upon the parapets. The 'Royal Company' had been rebuilt, and its experienced warriors were not to be taken lightly.
The layered fortress was made of dark stones from the mountains, and the golden armour littered its battlements. Its peaked towers were shorter then most seen throughout Ulthuan, they were wider... stronger. Made to hold off an invading force for years if need be, and to watch over the inner road.
Kendrik sat upon Khaine, his mystical griffon and faithful companion. They were on the forward battlements, above the southern gate, its flat roof provided a perfect platform for observing the field before them.
A field that now contained Asur formations being led by three dragons, the green was the larger of the group, while the two blue were smaller. Yet still dwarfed the size of his griffon with a considerable advantage.
The larger had a rider he recognized, Telador. A prince of Caledor who had once owned the 'Thalui' fortress, it had been given to Telador Fuerak's family before Kendriks' return. The prince had not been fond of the “slight” from king Finubar when the fortress was returned to the Draconis line.
Ironically that same prince now seemed to want it back, a task from Prince Imrik no doubt.
“Kendrik! I have come to reclaim what is mine... I will cleanse your traitorous blood in dragon fire!” Telador shouted as he shifted in his silver plate armor, his dragon rear'd up anxiously and seemed more eager then the very prince that rode it.
“I will burn this place to the ground if I must!” Telador continued and awaited a response.
Khaine slowly approached the edge of the battlements, allowing his foe to see Kendrik clearly.
Over the years he had mastered the silent communication with his griffon, the many battles had ironed their minds together.
“You dare call me traitor when it is you who seceded from the very Throne you swore to protect! Where will Caledor stand!? On its own? As the Druchii burn our lands? You are lost Telador, and your grievance to my family will cost you your life!” Kendrik shouted in defiance and did his best to keep his composure.
Even if the eagle claw bolt throwers upon his walls were able to take down the dragons, it would not be before the fortress burned in dragon fire. Three of the mighty besdts made it even worse.
Laughter erupted from his foe, an irritable shrieking laughter.
“I have waited a long time for this you damned half blood! Each step you take curses the sacred land on which you stand. I will end this blasphemy here!” Telador shouted and made to rein his dragon into the air.
Yet before he could do so, a streak of white broke through the low clouds with a thunderous roar and a magical shock wave of luminescent gold.
It was a mighty dragon!
Its size... near the three below it combined!
And though the mighty beast streaked with the speed of a hurricane, those below it seemed to move as though they were made of stone.
The white dragon landed where the two blue were standing, though one was unfortunate enough to have its head beneath one of its large front claw. To which it was crushed beneath the enormous weight and momentum of the beast.
Dust errupted into the air as the other front claw had targeted the rider upon the second blue dragon, crushing him as though he were a fly. The dragons back caved in with the force of the impact and sent its head reeling high into the air in pain... elongating its neck to which the white dragon wasted no time with a powerful snap of its jaws. The razor sharp teeth tore through the softer blue scales and ripped a hole that poured dark blood like a river in the mountains.
Within a flash the two smaller dragons were limp carcasses beneath the white dragon whom had a rider!
It took a moment yet Kendrik recognized him immediately... the one and only.
The Archmage wore his silver plates over the dark blue and white robes, his curved blade held casually in one hand. While a small smile could be seen beneath the silver plated circlet upon his brow.
No words could describe the shock written across Teladors face, to which he reared his dragon into the air to gain distance from his new foe.
Khaine leaped off the parapets in pursuit.
Kendrik gave a reassuring nod to Dethadrin as the agile griffon gained speed and height.
Telador would not escape.
The two broke through the low lying clouds and rose into the sky bathed in golden sunlight.
Though once Telador realized it was only Kendrik, his mood of panic'd fear turned to overconfident delight.
“You dare to face me alone!” He roared with laughter at his own words and slowed his dragon's climb.
“Your courage is surprising... But foolish!” He exclaimed ad his green dragon raised its head and bellowed a burst of fire in their direction.
Which harmlessly flashed behind them... it was not their first time facing a dragon and Khaine's speed would not be matched.
Kendrik circled his foe from on high as the dragon struggled to keep up. To which Telador tried to gain more height.
Khaine swooped low and on the dragons flank, Kendriks great sword was ready to strike. Yet the dragon brought its maw low and snapped its razor teeth in their direction. The griffon turned hard and below the dragons wing towards its tail.
Kendriks blade flashed striking the dragons rear leg, but its scales were tough and the blade tore only a fraction it should have.
Fire erupted in their wake as the dragon attempted to burn them in its anger. Yet Khaines' speed saved them once again.
The dragon beat its powerful wings and followed in pursuit.
The griffon swooped and so did the dragon, then Kendrik had Khaine climb... almost straight vertical
The dragon followed.
Kendrik waited for his moment, the precise time where they lost all their momentum and his griffon would be forced to break.
Khaine broke left, and Kendrik jumped.
The dragons head instinctively followed the griffon left and failed to see Kendrik streaking through the air towards it.
But Telador saw it, his eyes wide in shock.
Kendrik flashed his blade as the dragon neared its peak in momentum, the sword sliced through the muscled tendons of the wing followed by its leathery membrane afterward.
Then Kendrik was falling.
The clouds below were fast approaching with the wind howling inside his helm. Then he looked to his right and smiled.
Khaine was diving beside him, to which the griffon slowly passed underneath him and swooped as soon as Kendrik grabbed the handle on the saddle.
He tried to calm his breathing, then smiled triumphantly as his foe tumbled through the sky in a spiraling motion, its one wing attached by a small strip of membrane that ripped more and more with each spin. Until it finally tore off completely just before the one wing'd dragon disappeared through the clouds with Telador still in its saddle... shrieking madly in fear.
Kendrik returned to his fortress below, to see that Telador and his dragon had landed upon the outer most tower overlooking the sea and city port. The dragon... pierced by the peaked spire like a mighty spear... and Telador suffering the same fate though had stopped half way down its spike.
His foes skewered upon the very fortress they wished to take from him.
Further on, the white dragon known as Teraskonarr, stood menacingly before the fortress gates with its two blue vanquished foes nearby.
The Asur formations, now in a full and panic'd retreat.
* * *
“That... is rather tragic.” Dethadrin muttered quietly as he continued to gaze upon the tower with the slain dragon.
The archmage had accompanied Kendrik to the central keep, and now stood on a balcony overlooking the main courtyard.
“Telador left me no choice... and has never been a friend to our family.”Kendrik added while handing the mage a glass of wine.
“Yes... but he still was an Asur, a noble of Caledor. It is always troubling to spill our kins blood.” Dethadrin replied in a sour mood.
Kendrik nodded his head in agreement.
“You know I do it with a heavy heart... and that what I crave are Druchii heads, at every opportunity. I... I will never forget.” His memories flashed before his eyes with images of Eilesa. “Now I would hear how you managed to pry that dragon from its warm cavern?”
Dethadrin hummed in thought to the question and he drank from the cup.
“It was thanks to an old friend... someone I lost long ago. Her memory rests heavy on both our minds... I suppose there is a sort of comfort between the two of us.” The mage continued in a reminiscing tone before turning with a troubled look upon his brow.
“Prince Imrik leads a host North... towards the Eagle Gate.” His tone turned serious.
“To what end?” Kendrik queried and shook his head.
“I would like to think... that the prince would lift the siege and destroy the Druchii, yet they have seceded ... and sent dragons to kill you.”
Kendrik furrowed his brow... anger coursed through him, disbelief really. But there was a truth to Dethadrins words.
“Madness!” He said finally and threw his wine glass against the nearby stone wall. Shattering it to pieces.
“Are you certain?” Interjected a voice from inside Kendriks formal chambers. To which he turned to see Althran walking towards them with Velnos in tow; both still garbed in their respective armor. As were they all frankly.
“Why would Caledor go to aid Ulthaun... after seceding from its throne?” Dethadrin returned and looked in his direction. “Something is amiss... If Imrik would seek to destroy the Royal Company, the famed battalions loyal to the Phoenix throne... why would he stop there?”
Kendrik continued to shake his head in disbelief...
“ Even so... Why would Imrik aid the Druchii... Chaos daemons march from the Northern wastes and he would have us fall into civil war? How many Asur will such recklessness cost... thousands upon thousands that would stand before the damned legions, would die by the blades of their fellow kin and the Druchii!” Kendrik exclaimed and brought silence to the room.
“The battalions of Caledor are on the move through the inner mountain pass... If Imrik does such an act... Ellyrion will burn once the Eagle Gate falls.” Dethadrin finally added, breaking the lingering silence.
“Then we must act quickly!” Kendrik returned and walked past the two dark sofa's in the center of the room; shouting to the sentinel standing outside.
“My lord?” Answered his faithful guardian, while opening the oak door.
“Send word to the port immediately, warn Soretu that the fleet leaves early... by dawn... we head North.”
The sentinel nodded and gave a quick bow before exiting the room.
“Are we not joining with Prince Tyrions' forces?” Questioned Althran, and moved to the balcony near Dethadrin while pouring himself a glass of wine.
“I will not let my wife's' family, nor their people burn. We gather who and what we can... before the Eagle gate falls.” Kendrik returned with a strong passion in his voice.
He had failed someone once... it would not happen again
“Kendrik, there is more.” Velnos added and placed a parchment upon the red oak desk.
“A letter, from Lucinia... there are whispers at the White Tower, plots over the reports that Eltharions' mission has failed... his host destroyed.
Kendrik quickly snatched the letter and read the details himself before speaking.
“How are we so weak at such a time, our Eastern warden... fallen. The west... falters. The North... is still rather silent. The White Tower... shrouded in mystery and the South... grieves over the loss of the Phoenix. You are right Dethadrin, something is amiss... someone is dividing us.”
“A divided enemy is easily conquered...” Velnos wisely added.
“Or it is Asuryans' will.” Althran stated and received a scolding look from the Nagarathi.
“Asuryan cannot plot or control the warriors of Ulthuan on his own.” Dethadrin interjected and grasped the letter from Kendrik.
“Lucinia states that she is also leaving Saphery... which would imply it has become too dangerous at the White Tower of Hoeth.” Kendrik said plainly and looked up towards Velnos, then rested his gaze upon Althran... who seemed worried to say the least.
“She will take the hidden Sloop near Whitemoon Manor... it is her contingency for such events.” Althran answered in a low tone.
“Very well, send word for her to meet us in Ellyrion.” Kendrik stated and put a comforting hand on Althrans' shoulder. “ She will be alright... we all know we've been through worse.”
* * *
“By dawn!?” Soretu shouted in disbelief. Then grasped his dark cloak and clasped it over his golden breast-plate.
“Aye he can slay a dragon and defeat beings of unforeseen power... but that boy has not the slightest inclination of what it takes to prepare this fleet!”
Arleni stifled her laughter as she walked to where he stood and adjusted the cuffs of his white silk shirt. She then flick'd her long golden hair and winked one of her scarlet eyes at the messenger standing nearby.
“Thank you, that will be all.” She said to the sentinel who returned a quick nod and left the commodores quarters.
“Even as my sister... that does not give you the right to speak for me.” Soretu returned with a scolding look.
“Oh my apologies Commodore, I will ensure it never happens again.” She said sarcastically and mock'd him with a quick bow. Her garb was rather close to his with a similar golden chest plate, a white blouse beneath and dark sailing leathers, though her cloak was the regal blue of the Royal Company.
Arleni even had a similar long sword, as they both had trained together in their youth, and learned to navigate the same oceans of the colonies.
She was his second in command and the only family he had left. To which he smiled at her antics.
“Well as soon as you are finished undermining my command, perhaps you can help with the logistics regarding this ridiculous request.” Soretu continued and made his way to the white wood desk at the center of the cabin.
Arleni came up beside him and covered the parchments under the palm of her hand.
“Our three Eagle class are stocked and ready, the two barges are being loaded by the battalions as we speak, so are our five Hawk class ships.” A sly smile appeared as she realized his surprise.
“And our four support sloops are already anchored in the bay and awaiting our mighty 'Sunblade' dragon ship.” Arleni continued and lifted her hand off the parchments.
“I will find out how you do that one day.” Soretu said dryly and sifted through the parchments. He finally stopped upon one of the many maps, though particularly on one of the inner sea.
“North...” He muttered quietly.
“But to where?” Arleni added and joined his gaze.
“That's another thing... a more specific heading would be nice, you know... so I could brief my damn fleet!” Soretu sighed and shook his head.
“ I miss having to deal with only one ship.”
* * *
The walk with her trio of sword-masters had been long, but necessary to leave unseen. Too many eyes were watching at the White Tower... so much so that Lucinia still had doubts of whether someone had seen them. Yet she needed to press on, they were almost at the inlet of the small fishing village beneath the cliffs of the Whitemoon Manor. There, a small sloop awaited them.
She tightened her dark cloak to keep out the chills from the rather cold breeze, the night sky was littered with clouds which blocked out the light of the moon and stars.
“Almost there.” Denathy whispered reassuringly and walked on ahead in the dark scale armor.
Itheil and Tylsei also wore the similar dark plate & scales, which made the three sword-masters appear as shadows in the night.
Lucinia smiled at the irony of the secret orders name... Shadow Knights skulking in the night like shadows...
“There it is.” Itheil stated... rather loudly actually and stared in her direction. Though it was dark, there was something off about his eyes. Lucinia had seen it before.
Then it hit her as she watched his hand grip the great-sword upon his back. She took a quick step to distance herself and instinctively drew the long dagger at her waist. Lucinia brought up her blade as she took two quick steps back, but Itheil was fast, too fast.
The great-sword streaked through the air and glanced off the dagger, catching her shoulder with its edged tip. Hot excruciating pain coursed through her as she shouted out and tripped over a boulder at her feet.
Her backward momentum sent her reeling to the ground and caused her to strike the base of a tree with the back of her head.
The image of the sword-master seemed to vibrate and stretch as the world seemed to spin about her.
Lucinia raised her hand in desperation against the next impending swing... which was stopped with a loud clang of metal on metal.
“Etheil have you lost your mind!” Shouted Denathy as she blocked his strike with her own sword and sent him flying with a strong kick to his waist.
Then a second clang, though this time from the other shadow in the night. Tylsei? What was happening?
Lucinia's thoughts jumbled through her head as she desperately tried to regain her composure.
Acrobatic swordplay flashed before her blurred vision as she attempted to watch Denathy hold off her two fellow sword-masters. Skillfully parrying one while ducking to avoid the other. Yet how long she could fend off two skilled warriors...
She no longer saw doubles... which was an improvement. So Lucinia sat her self up and grasped the dagger at her side...dropping it immediately from the horrendous pain of moving her arm.
“What is this madness!” She exclaimed and brought herself up to one knee.
Denathy was a remarkable acrobat, she proceeded to catch Etheils sword at the hilt and rotated his momentum with her to enhance her horizontal jump that avoided a cleaving strike from Tylsei, and struck her in the face with the heel of her boot shortly after.
Tylsei stumbled from the kick and spit blood on the ground, while Etheil stood dumbstruck as his sword had been skillfully thrown with the rotation of Denathys' body.
Lucinias' guardian landed with her sword at the ready, and jumped forward with a strait thrust to Etheils' chest.
Tylsei quickly recovered and advanced upon Denathy from behind. To which Lucinia gathered the energy around her and unleashed a torrent of purple death magic towards her new enemy. Though the magic seemed to hit an invisible barrier that caused it to circle about the sword-master and disappear into an amulet hanging from her neck.
She turned her gaze towards Lucinia with a sad and almost regretful smile. Though this provided time for Denathy to withdraw her great-sword from Etheils' chest and flash towards Tylsei with a wide strike.
“Tylsei! Why!?” Lucinia shouted and looked at the dagger on the ground. “Stop!” She shouted once more and picked up the knife.
However the sword-master continued on against Denathy. And gained the upper hand from a quick parry and a slicing strike to the guardians leg. She cried out in pain and shuffled in retreat.
“It will be over soon Lucinia.” Tylsei stated coldly and brought her sword up high.
A fury coursed through her veins, to which Lucinia flipped the long dagger in the air and caught it at its tip.
Then with all the strength of her uninjured arm, she threw the knife straight and true.
It caught Tylseis' side and entered beneath the arm pit, an unavoidable weak point in any armor... She cried out in pain.
Denathy took the opportunity and advanced with a swing that cleaved Tylsei at the wrist, rending the great-sword to the ground and only adding to the screaming pain she was in.
The traitorous Shadow Knight fell to the ground a midst heavy and bloody breathing.
Lucinia looked over to the still Etheil, then back to Tylsei.
“What ... why Tylsei after all these years, after everything we have been through!?” Shouted Denathy in a cry of passion.
“The high lore-master... has been watching you for some time Lucinia, having us look into Eltharions' mission... was a mistake.” Tylsei answered and coughed more blood while wheezing for air.
“Kendrik... is now a problem...” She continued briefly before coughing once more and becoming still.
Denathy looked in her direction with pain ridden eyes. “Lucinia... we need to leave.”
* * *
An attack on Lothern? Damned Druchii... this seemed to be like no invasion of the past. Their numbers too great. The force attacking the Eagle Gate was reported to be countless legions, yet to siege Lothern would take an army double its size, at the very least!
And now Kendrik sailed with half his force...
He shook his head as he observed his diminished fleet from the enclosed bridge deck of the 'Sunblade', the mighty Dragon class ship... one of the handful remaining in Ulthuan's navy.
Althran had been insistent on heeding the call of the Capital. To protect the Phoenix Throne and to project its will, was the Royal Company's sole mandate. And so how could Kendrik protest it? Even though the seat was now empty...
Well he did not, he only protested the notion to have the entire fleet sail south... he could not forsake Lisiel's family. Something inside him would not allow it.
Althrans' fury still resonated deep within him, the scolding glare from the bridge off one of the two Eagle class vessels taken south.
As far as command within the Royal Company went, they both were equals. Though being the elder prince, Althran naturally carried more weight... which showed as it was actually more then half that sailed south when they left port.
Yet this would not keep Kendrik from doing what he believed in. He still had many with him, Dethadrin for one, had followed him and continued to circle the fleet high above them... upon the mighty white dragon. Even Velnos had scoffed at the notion, 'Ellyrion would burn in the time it would take to sail south' he had said.
Lines were being drawn and friends were becoming scarce. He still had not received word from Gidras... Could more be flocking to Prince Imriks' banner? Even outside Caledor? Could the Brakist family have forsaken them as well? His ally in Lothern now joined with Imrik?
Nothing was certain, nor impossible. Especially with Ulthauns' kingdoms splintering with an enemy at their gates!
“Ah the plains of Ellyrion.” Stated Soretu from the helm of the ship. The wheel he stood next to was magnificent, made entirely of white oak and carved to depict a mighty Leviathan coiled about the sphere (representing the Sun) shaped brace attached to the wheel.
“Tylas, bring us two points to port... let us get a bit closer to shore.” The Commodore continued and turned to Kendrik.
“How about you join me upon the prow and see what we have thrown ourselves into.”
Kendrik returned a simple and agreeing nod in Soretu's direction. To which his friend turned with a whip of his dark cloak and made his way towards the spiral staircase.
They both descended and passed by the multiple floors in silence, the size of the 'tower bridge' never ceased to amaze Kendrik. No matter how often or frequent he visited it.
“Soretu.” He said finally and broke the lingering silence, the commodore slowed his pace and casually turned his head in acknowledgement.
“You were rather quiet during Althrans departure, I am rather curious over where you stand on all of this?”
Soretu smiled and pushed his golden hair back.
“Well I am standing right here Kendrik.” He replied with a wink.
“But as far as this nonsense with splitting our forces goes... I am but a noble of the colonies with a fancy title. This is your ship, with a crew hand picked from the colonies. Our duty is with you, and the captains who have remained with us are loyal to your command and of course one is my sister.” They both stopped upon the staircase as Soretu seemed to think on his next words.
“Our enemy attacks us on two fronts and one of the ten... our own kingdom seems to have turned traitor. There is no wrong decision here, we go to save those who would be swept away in this confusion and most of our strength has sailed to defend Lothern.”... “We should concentrate on what we will find in Ellyrion.” Soretu changed to a more serious tone upon his final words and then placed a reassuring hand upon his shoulder.
Kendrik smiled over the comforting words to which they both continued on.
Kendrik now stood upon the prow of the 'Sunblade', and leaned over the dark brown and intricately carved star-wood guard rail to peer into the distance. The plains of Ellyrion were vast and beautiful with a backdrop of the white peaked Anulii mountains, this is what caught his attention. As the sky was clear with the sun nearing its apex of mid day, and allowed them to see what seemed to be... trails of black smoke rising among the mountain peaks.
“Fire...” He said softly, to which Lisiel quickly responded. “That must be the Eagle Gate, there could be no other source.”
Her words validated what he feared... she had spent her youth on these plains, and the location of the Eagle Gate would be certain.
They needed to move quickly.
“I will go.” Kendrik stated and turned to leave the group that had gathered.
“Not alone!” Came a shout from behind him, his wife had a natural stubborn and rather wild side to her.
“I will be faster alone.” He answered and turned back towards her.
Lisiel had her sly smirk across her face which was always accompanied by a wicked glare in her brown eyes. She would not be dissuaded, nor would he be able to win this argument... yet he protested regardless.
“It is my family, and if not with you then I will go with Dethadrin... either way we will not reach Ellis until night fall.” She continued and crossed her arms. She was already garbed in her dark leather armor with silver shoulder-plates, armed with a black tipped spear across her back and a short bow & quiver upon her waist.
He sighed as she flicked her blonde single strand of braided hair over her shoulder.
Kendrik then looked into the sky to where Dethadrin seemed to be already descending in anticipation.
“Follow me if you must.” He returned with a growl and made his way to the mid deck where his griffon awaited.
Kendrik approached a smiling Soretu who gave a slight shake of his head.
“I will anchor the fleet at port Ellion and will have them send word to their capital Tor Elyr.” His friend said and pointed along the coast. “Velnos will surely march with the battalions to meet your evacuation half way... I have a feeling you may be in a hurry.”
“Our message should have reached them by now, and should be reaching all of Ulthuan soon enough.” Kendrik stated with hesitation and stopped his pace beside Soretu.
“Aye, yet did it make it in time? Will it be enough to rouse the other kingdoms? Many things can happen, be careful.”
* * *
The orange hue of dusk turned the plains of Ellyrion into a dark golden sea that shifted with the imposing wind, giving it a life of its own. And further on, the small city of Ellis stood like a small island defying a surrounding ocean. Its light green peaked towers and homestead roofs rising above the white stone walls. Which were much smaller then any of the great cities or fortresses of Ulthuan; but clearly built with the sole purpose of resisting raids.
As Kendrik drew closer, black figures could be seen harrying the city's outer walls, or more so; a caravan attempting to flee.
His griffon tucked its wings into a dive to gain momentum and speed.
The black figures turned out to be Druchii outriders, dressed in black and loosing deadly hand held crossbow bolts upon the Asur caravan.
Archers from the city walls attempted to dissuade the dark armor'd scouts, yet there were many and the distance to the caravan was far.
He craned his head back and gazed behind him, the dragon was slow, and as such Kendrik would have to go it alone.
And so, he readied his blade.
Shouting and screams of pain could now be heard, the Druchii bolts finding their marks. Though the Asur were famed archers and had punished any who drew too near to the walls, even the defenders of the caravan managed to drop a few with arrows of their own.
Kendrik gritted his teeth in anticipation as Khaine swooped directly for an unsuspecting Druchii rider. The eagle talons dug deep into the horses muscles and pierced through the elf's armor, and with their momentum, smashed the enemy into the ground with an eruption of dirt and grass.
He then nimbly jumped from the saddle and swung his blade in mid air, cleaving through a nearby rider across the chest with a spray of blood.
Upon landing, Kendrik quickly picked up a spear from a fallen Asur nearby. He shifted his weight with a spin, avoiding a rider seeking to run him down. Then dropped to one knee while thrusting the spear into the ground. As it met the earth, his eyes flared pure white and blessed the weapon in a golden light, blinding anyone nearby. As well as drawing any Druchii bolts to its location and away from the remaining Asur.
His griffon had found another victim in the circling fury of the dark riders. Their bolts now useless, causing them to draw swords and close the distance.
He brought his great-sword in line with his waist and awaited three charging Druchii galloping in his direction. Then to Kendriks amazement, the riders were brought down by a flurry of arrows which streaked over his shoulders, finding their marks upon the horses and riders alike.
An Asur war horn pierced through the air as the dark riders tumbled to the ground before him, one gaining their feet quickly yet to only meet Kendriks great-sword soon after.
Ellyrian reavers streaked past him with spears lowered and bows drawn, creating chaos among the Druchii riders.
Seeing the commotion, Kendrik quickly sheathed his sword upon his back and gathered the winds of magic. Its energy coursed through him bringing white fire from his eyes, then from his positioned hands; a golden symbol appeared depicting a glowing triangle with a white phoenix within. Then it flashed and released the energy.
Deadly white flames erupted behind the Druchii scouts keeping them from escaping and cleansing any who passed through it in Asuryans fire.
Asur and Druchii met with sword and spear, arrow and bolt, but now the Asur contained the advantage, no; the victory. As Kendrik looked up into the sky and saw the dragon with Dethadrin, Lisiel, and his sentinel Yulias on its back.
His griffon jumped up beside him, dismounting a dark rider with its claws and tearing through the armor with its razor sharp beak.
Then with a triumphant screech, it circled him in a fierce and protective manner.
This was echoed by the dragons roar as it landed with a strong gust of wind, knocking Druchii off their horses.
Kendrik then paced to the caravan of carriages, horses, maidens and even children. All surrounded by a staggered line of Asur warriors fighting off a hand full of Druchii. Khaine followed and then dashed forward, taking yet another Druchii unaware. As did Kendrik with a quick strike of his blade across the back.
“Well met my lord.” Huffed an exhausted sentinel as he dug the butt of his spear in the ground to hold his weight. Then dropped his shield which was littered with bolts.
Kendrik returned a quick nod of acknowledgement and gazed upon the Asur and the overlooking city walls.
The skirmish was all but over, as Dethadrin could be seen unleashing his fury with multiple streaks of white-ish red energy, which found the remaining and fleeing Druchii.
Though this was only a small victory... but a drop in the bucket. As it was now certain, the Eagle Gate had fallen and no longer protected the mountain pass. The armies of their dark kin were on the march, along with the might of Caledor... led by Prince Imrik, the traitor.
|Author:||Larose [ Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:09 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Complete|
* * *
The small caravan that had been seen two nights past, was now the entire city. Spanning the length of the road for almost a mile... the city had evacuated the morning after their arrival. The Druchii scouts had brought on a harsh reality. And everyone knew that the city of Ellis could not withstand a full scale invasion.
The city's reaver knights now patrolled along the flanks and rear of the spanning column, which extended almost a mile in length... maybe more. Its inhabitants, taking anything of value or cultural significance... shock written across their faces from the actuality of their situation. And hate. Word spread quickly of Caledor's betrayal.
Soon the entire kingdom would know.
Dethadrin had a bird's eye view on the procession, soaring high above in the sky and keeping a vigilant watch in the distance.
Though the clouds were low and hiding the sun, making it difficult to see as far as he wanted.
Teraskonarr circled just below the low clouds and turned towards the front of the column. To where Kendrik could be seen below, walking alongside his griffon with Lisiel and her family.
And there... in the distance ahead. A dull golden sheen could be seen on the horizon, undoubtedly the regiments of the Royal Company. In formation awaiting the refugees.
It took some time for the end of the column to reach the regiments position, to which Dethadrin had joined Velnos in watching the procession. The Nagarathi was dressed in his usual dark scale armor and black cloak, his gray eyes... examining those passing by with suspicion.
“Caledor is only the beginning.” Velnos said rather quietly.
Dethadrin turned and looked at the dark haired warrior, then after a moment responded.
“I agree, there is much still left in the dark with the White Tower. Caledor truly has turned traitor... unbelievable.”
Velnos nodded in agreement and turned his gaze upon Kendrik further down the field. The red and gold armor contrasting with the dark blue cloak, his long white hair shifting in the wind. So like his father... yet so different.
He gave his head a quick shake to release him from the reverie of the past.
“No sign of the Druchii force... nor Caledor. They must be heading north to Tor Elyr.” Dethadrin continued and gazed upon the procession of travel weary Asur.
“If that is the case... then the siege of port Ellion will not come until the full Druchii force has passed through the mountains.” The Nagarathi paused for a moment before his eyes widened and his brow furrowed. “ If their priority is north... then Avelorn will come next.”
“They will overrun the Inner Kingdoms, even if Lothern holds.” Dethadrin added and started to shake his head as mind raced.
“Then we must evacuate Ellion.”
“And go where? We are not even sure who we can trust.” He questioned and adjusted his white and blue robes.
Velnos pondered on his words and began to nod in agreement.
“Perhaps we will receive news of Lothern before a decision is to be made.” The Nagarathi said and walked off towards Kendrik.
Their travel to Port Ellion had been unusually quiet with no sign of a Druchii or Caledor pursuit. Dethadrin had been right, at least for the time being... their goal appeared to be in the North. Yet despite the lack of immediate danger, panic could be seen throughout the entire city. Even the hall of Olis Ellionost, a noble of Ellyrion and lord of the port; was full of confusion and conflict.
It had been a week or so since the evacuation of Ellis, and rumors of Lothern were uncertain and changing. Though hopefully Lucinia would be able to shed some light on the truth.
Kendrik watched the dark haired spy master disembark from the small sloop, her blue cloak wrapped tightly over her shoulders in an attempt to keep the morning wind at bay. Her ebony armor'd sword-master, followed shortly after... limping along from what appeared to be a wounded leg. Even Lucinia seemed to be cradling her left arm uncomfortably.
He started in their direction, eager to know what had happened.
“Where are the others...” Velnos queried as he followed in Kendriks wake.
She sent him a warm smile and a nod on her approach, finally stopping with a few feet of distance between them. His eyes seemed to give away his thoughts as she looked over to her wounded shoulder, then gave a light one sided shrug.
“We have had some trouble along the way...” She said plainly, hinting that they should talk in private.
The port was bustling with activity, much of it from his anchored fleet in the bay. Yet there were many other ships, as Ellion was one of the major ports along the Western coast of the inner sea. Making it a strategic position, one that would be needed by their enemies soon enough.
Their small group made their way along the docks, towards the far end where Arleni had claimed the 'Eagle class' moor as her own. The beautiful three masted vessel 'Tieris', named after a ship that carried a special place in all their hearts, from a time of uncertainty... much like they were experiencing now.
Arleni was standing next to the plank of the ship, her golden hair and armor shining in the morning light. The scarlet hue in her eyes were intoxicating, even after all these years she still caused a nervous warmth within him. If not for his duty as lord of his house and the political intrigue of court; it could have very well been her at his side.
She folded the parchments in her hands and sent them all a warm smile upon their approach.
“We need your captains quarters.” Velnos stated as he helped Denathy come to a slow and limping stop.
Her warm smile turned to concern as she noticed the slow healing injuries upon the maidens. With a quick nod, Arleni led them upon her ship.
Once inside, they quickly organized the room so that the captain could re-dress their wounds. Her healing talents, honed and crafted from a life at sea.
“Lucinia, what has happened?” Kendrik queried.
She looked in his direction, her bright blue eyes showing a hint of uncertainty.
“Tylsei and Itheil turned on us, they sought to keep us from reaching you.” She hesitated once more.
“Teclis was watching us, concerned over my delving into the matters of Eltharion... I even came by information over a secret meeting with Prince Imrik.”
“Then our worst fears have been realized...” Kendrik answered and paced about the captains quarters.
“Our high lore-master stands with a traitor!? But why? He would turn against his own brother?” He continued and came to a stop beside Velnos. The two of them sharing the same look of confusion.
“Upon Tylsei's last words... she said 'you were a problem', I have thought about this during our voyage... which experienced delays to say the least.” Lucinia stated in frustration with a shake of her head.
“The Royal Company represents the unity of Ulthuan, its members comprised of every kingdom... including the colonies. If they are seeking to divide us... then it would start with the famed battalions loyal to the Phoenix.” She stopped and gazed about the room with a look of puzzled confusion.
Then looked at Kendrik and said.” Where is the fleet? Why are we so few here?... Where is Althran?”
Kendrik sighed and ran his fingers through his white hair, then with a small shrug he said. “Defending Lothern, it is under siege... the Eagle Gate has fallen and now Imrik marches with the Druchii.”
Lucinia stood from her chair, to the annoyance of Arleni who had not finished with the fresh bandages.
“Then we are already divided.” She said woefully.
Another week had passed, which only added to the indecision of the city. Reports of Druchii and Caledor regiments were on the rise, rumors that they had already reached Avelorn, others stating that Lothern had fallen. Whatever the case, things were not going well; and the original plan to join Prince Tyrion was faltering. The position of his forces were ever changing, clouded in secrecy and mis-information.
These thoughts had raced through his mind, tormenting him to come to a decision... Yet they could not set out blindly, with no word from Althran, nor Gidras... how could he make a choice?
They had been called to the city's hall, a ship had arrived, which was causing rumors of its own. Talk of a Druchii among the emissaries claiming to be from Lothern.
The chamber was grand, built with a high arc'd ceiling of white marble, tapestries of horses and Ellyrions famed Reaver Knights in battle; were depicted along its walls.
Olis sat upon his chair at the end of the chambers, with two groups split on either side of the long dark green carpet that divided the center of the room. The Asur were the city's influential nobles, military leaders and merchants; along with the leaders of the Royal Company.
All had been gathered to witness the message from the capital. Causing a great deal of chatter and theories to circulate throughout the hall.
A commotion could be heard outside the two silver double doors, which were opened soon after. A group of armored sentinels marched into the room, forming a tight box around a group within, coming to a stop before the high chair.
Its guardians parted at the front and allowed the emissaries to come forward.
Shouts and curses filled the room as those gathered realized who stood among the emissaries.
It was a Druchii!
“Silence!” Shouted an Asur garbed in a long white robe and stood beside the dark haired Druchii. He was garbed in silver armor... depicting the phoenix upon his chest plate! His pale skin marked with the black ink that was customary with their twisted kin.
The Druchii spoke.
“By order of the rightful ruler, your new phoenix king... who has now passed through the flames of Asuryan! His eminence Malekith-”
Shouting irrupted once more as blades were drawn in anger. Which was answered by lowered spear tips of the sentinels.
“The Phoenix commands your fealty! Asuryan has spoken! Follow in the steps of Prince Imrik... of your high lore-master Teclis... It will be sanctified through marriage with the Everqueen! It is the will of the creator!” The Druchii shouted in an attempt to rise over the commotion.
Kendrik stood silently at the spectacle before him... some shouted in anger, calling others traitors. Some calling for the Druchii's head or that they would not follow the 'Dark Phoenix' ... others standing in silent shock. Even Olis sat in silence and seemed lost for words.
“The might of the Phoenix prepares outside your city walls as we speak!” These words seemed to bring a harsh reality to the room, where much of the shouting stopped and turned to a cacophony of conversations.
“Swear your fealty now and join the true king or die traitors! You have been lied to, the reign of the false kings has ended!
Shouting filled the room once more as many tried to advance upon the surrounding sentinels, threatening an all out skirmish within the hall.
That is until Kendrik realized grey smoke filled the area beside him where Velnos had been, followed by a flash of smoke near the front of the formation. Then the Druchii was gone!
Only to reappear beside the high chair, with the Nagarathi gripping him by the neck. Velnos had a snarl upon his face, eyes as grey as the shadow magic he used... and a knife in his free hand.
“Here is our answer!” Velnos shouted and brought the knife up with a flash, thrusting it through the eye of the Druchii. He then released his grip and allowed the elf to tumble down the short flight of stairs and rest at the feet of the Sentinels.
The room was silent, with all eyes fixed upon the Nagarathi who now had a mighty white great-sword in a rested position pointing to the ground...gripped with both hands.
His long dark hair flowed past his face from his tiled head, combining with his dark armor and cloak to give a rather ominous look.
Slowly, Velnos raised his gaze from the dead Druchii, and looked upon those before him.
“Does anyone disagree!?” He queried with a growl.
Sure enough, the Druchii had told the truth... an army was now outside the city walls, arriving only two days after the spectacle in the hall. Now, after a week of impending siege... though no actual attack. Its desired effects seemed to be setting in, already the city was divided... with each passing day more and more Asur seemed to go over to the new 'phoenix army' outside the walls.
Though the Royal Company seemed relatively in tact, the odd desertion was to be expected. Yet they were a large family, bonded through war... or at least the portion that had sailed with him. On a positive side of things... more of a silver lining to a dire situation. His fleet had gained two new warships, a barge, and a number of joiners throughout the city. This was more then likely from the latest gathering in the hall, to where Kendrik stated his plans.
He had finally received word from Gidras Brakist, his ally in Eataine who also wished to join Tyrion. They would meet near the northern isles of Eataine and make a push through the Lothern straight.. as its gates no longer controlling the pass.
With the armies of Malekith on the march and his fleets scouring the inner sea near Saphery, it seemed the only option to reach Cothique... where Prince Tyrion held his base of power and was currently mustering his forces.
And so, his fleet sailed out of the bay... leaving those undecided with Olis and taking anyone who would follow.
Their rendezvous went as planned, meeting at an inlet bay on the north-western edge of Eataine, where they anchored the fleet and set up camp upon the shore. Their numbers now close to the original strength of the Royal Company.
It is here they waited and observed... through a network of scouts, they were able to watch the Lothern straight. Seeking the moment where the naval strength of Malekith would be needed elsewhere.
Kendrik let out a sigh and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, he had lost count of the weeks. Or had it been over a month already?
“The report should have arrived by now.” Stated Gidras as he poured himself a glass of wine from the flagon on a nearby table.
He chose not to comment on the obvious fact, and instead let his eyes wander along the poles that supported the white pavilion above their heads. It rustled with the light winds and echoed the sounds of lapping waves nearby.
They both knew that the scouts were not always on time and the delay of one would ripple down the network.
“Though I did receive disturbing news from the North.” Continued Gidras and sat in a chair across from Kendrik.
“Oh?” Responded Kendrik as he gazed upon the brown hair'd Asur before him. Gidras wore a casual black robe with red outlines.
“Tyrion defeated Malekith on the Blighted Isle....”
Kendrik sat up and adjusted his chair with interest.
“Though this 'dark phoenix' still lives.”
“It is still a victory... how is this news disturbing?” Queried Kendrik and furrowed his brow.
“He has drawn the 'WidowMaker'....” Continued Gidras, to which they both sat in silence.
“That is... disturbing.” Echoed Dethadrin from the end of the pavilion. He turned his gaze from the maps on a table and adjusted his white and blue robes.
“He has forsaken us all then...” Kendrik added while placing his head in his hands.
The three of them were speechless, causing a tormenting and lingering silence to envelope the pavilion. That is until a voice from outside its flap doors, requested an audience.
Gidras quickly beckoned the sentinel inside, in which he was given a letter shortly after. It took him a few moments to read it, its contents giving him cause to rise from his chair.
“It is the report, the strength of Lothern sails North!” He said enthusiastically and handed the letter to Kendrik.
“Send the word, prepare to break camp.” Gidras then ordered to the sentinel, who gave a quick nod and left the pavilion.
“They go to reinforce Malekith...” Dethadrin pondered and returned his attention to the maps.
“Tyrion will surely follow... if he has the 'WidowMaker' then his mind is lost, and so will all those near enough to hear its siren song.”
Kendrik nodded in agreement to Dethadrins' words. The nightmare had just become worse.
The fleet had set sail within the week and now headed East, taking their only foreseen opportunity to break out of the prison that was the 'inner sea'. The 'Sunblade' anchored the center of the fleet formation, flanked by their two Eagle class vessels: one being captain Arleni's vessel, the other being the flagship for Gidras. The remaining ships followed in their wake to make three long lines.
It was not until the third day with its morning light rising in the sky, did they see the force that would oppose them. They came upon the enemy fleet near the 'Golden Reef', a lonely island before the Lothern straight, know for its immense sand beaches. The combined Asur and Druchii fleet was rather larger then they had expected... or of which had been reported.
And as the two forces drew closer, some of the sails were unmistakable... the dark blue canvas of the Royal Company.
Kendrik stood upon the fore-deck of the 'Sunblade' with Soretu next to him, utilizing his spy-glass to observe the enemy fleet.
“Yep, she carries neutral colors, looks as though they wish to talk before this little party gets underway.” The commodore said with a chuckle and handed Kendrik the spy-glass.
The vessel he was referring to, was a small sloop that had broken off the enemy fleet, and headed towards the sand beaches of the isle to the west.
“Good, then I will go.” Kendrik stated and handed the looking glass back to Soretu.
“Alone?” Lisiel added from nearby, and looked very un-impressed.
“I must.” He answered and took her hands within his. “I must know if he is there, if Althran is in command... if he is alive... then I must speak with him.”
Her brown eyes filled with water, yet she gave him a kiss and a slow understanding nod.
He smiled warmly and then turned towards the mid deck, to where his griffon Khaine awaited.
It took little time for Kendrik to reach the island, and he now awaited the approaching longboat that had been released from the sloop. Two Druchii corsairs pulled at the oars while two other figures stood on either end, staring in his direction.
One wore dark purple and black armor, with a high crested helm and a pair of swords at his waist. Clearly a Druchii dreadlord from some house of Naggaroth. The other, fully clad in shimmering golden armor, his helm held under his arm allowing his dark hair to flow in the wind.
It was as he feared...
His griffon paced uneasily a few paces behind him upon the approach of the two figures. The Druchii had now removed his helm, revealing high pale cheek bones with jet black eyes... the mark of an elder. An experienced and deadly adversary.
“Have you come to pledge your fealty to your new king?” The Druchii said with a hint of sarcasm, though his face seemed rather serious.
Kendrik smiled in response and gave a slight shake of his head. Then looked Althran in the eyes.
“Where is Dethadrin?” Asked his old friend... and mentor. He then looked up into the clouded sky, scanning for any signs of the dragon.
“Have you lost your mind Althran?!” Kendrik returned in a passionate bark, it had taken the Druchii but a few seconds to render his blood hot.
“Who are we to question the will of Asuryan? The Royal Company is loyal to the throne, it matters not who sits upon it.” Althran answered calmly, while his eyes still looked to the sky.
Kendrik started to chuckle, a maddening chuckle of disbelief.
“You told me once... that the Royal Company was built with the heart of Ulthuan. A unity of the kingdoms and colonies, a unified family. Just as Ulthuan would unite in times of darkness.” Kendrik spoke reminiscently and shifted his gaze upon the Druchii, who seemed to shuffle uneasily.
“Is this what you have fought for all these years? Alongside my father? You said he died to protect us all, keeping Ulthuan from becoming the darkness.”
Althran snapped his head back and gazed upon Kendrik with passionate eyes.
“Boy, the true darkness is in the north, marching from the gates of hell itself!” Althran shouted in defiance and took a step forward.
“It is not too late to swear your fealty...” The dreadlord added with a smile.
“Ah, that I cannot argue Althran, and yet this path before you... along side the Witch King-”
“He is the Phoenix King!” Interjected the Druchii.
Kendrik shook his head, “Whatever ever title you give him, he is still the same who has wrought destruction upon the Asur for thousands of years... taken so many of those close to us...”
“You need to let her go Kendrik!”
“You are lost Althran... I will never forget. Nor will I blacken my soul to follow Imrik the traitor, Teclis the schemer and Malekith the Witch King!”
Kendrik turned and began to walk away from the duo as he finished.
“It is you who are lost!” Althran shouted in defiance. “And you will die here!”
He sat upon the saddle and turned to them one last time.
“To face the darkness is one thing Althran, but how you meet it is what defines us. Your family stands on the brink of war, will you be the one to divide us?” Khaine screeched with passion as Kendrik finished.
Though the Druchii had reached for something within his dark cloak, and pulled out a hand held repeater crossbow. Which soon was pointed towards Kendrik.
“No!” Althran shouted and tried to lower the Druchii weapon, yet not before a bolt released. Striking Kendrik in the leg.
He shouted in pain as his griffon took to the air.
“You are a damned fool!” Came Althrans' voice from below, along with the release of yet another bolt, which streaked through the air and missed Khaine by mere inches.
“Damned Druchii!” Arleni growled passionately while cleaning the wound.
“Did you see which vessel they boarded?” Kendrik queried and winced with pain.
“Aye, they are on the same ship that Althran left on in the first place. It is 'Moons'Ril', on the sea side of their formation.” Soretu answered confidently.
“Then he truly means to sail against us?” Lisiel asked in disbelief.
To which Velnos nodded and said, “it seems that way.”
“Soretu... tell me you have a plan, we seemed to be outnumbered.” Kendrik added and hoped the colonial had an answer.
“Ha!” The commodore gaff'd. “Of course I do, brief'd the captains of the fleet my self while you got yourself skewered.”
Kendrik stifled with laughter towards the smiling Soretu.
“Good, my only request is that you get us as close as possible to Althrans ship.” He added and looked off in the distance towards the enemy fleet.
“Oh I wouldn't worry about that....” Soretu said and joined his gaze. “The 'Sunblade' will carve half their ships to pieces... he will come to us. That! You can be sure of.”
The groaning and cracking of timbers filled the air, as the dark sail'd mast came crashing down into the water. The ship itself, quickly taking on water... standing little chance against the mighty Ilthilmar blade upon the prow of the 'Sunblade'. Yet another victim to the skillful sailing of Soretu.
The Royal Company's vessels under Althrans command, had taken a center position within their fleet. And was exactly what Soretu decided to avoid, to which he had concentrated their fleet to the East, on the seaward side of their fleet. They had a South Westerly wind at their backs, causing their adversaries to be pushed towards the shores of the island. As such, many had already run aground... while the others fruitlessly attempted to tack into the wind and maneuver past their own ships.
It was madness.
Arrows and bolts flew through the air as ships exchanged broadsides of bolt thrower batteries. Others were rammed and boarded, giving way to bloody skirmishes.
Dethadrin had now joined the fray, streaking in like a hurricane once again. Though the dragon was terrifying upon the sea, able to pick up ships from their masts or douse them in flames of destruction. Not to mention Dethadrin himself, weaving the winds of magic and igniting corsair ships with brilliant white flames.
The 'Sunblade' was at the vanguard, clearing a path through the enemy vessels. Allowing their fleet to fend off the formations flanks and follow in its wake.
Yet despite their tactics, their ships were slowly becoming overwhelmed. The Druchii corsairs boarded at every opportunity, allowing their superior numbers to gain the advantage.
Kendrik stood upon the mid deck of the 'Sunblade', limping while shouting encouragement and being visible for those around him. His griffon, stalking his every move.
Soretu had predicted that Althran would come to find them, and it surprisingly did not take very long. His ship the 'Moons'Ril' came up on their starboard, just as another corsair ship did the same on their port. Grappling hooks followed from the Druchii, to which they quickly boarded.
Lisiel streaked past him with the black tipped spear at the ready, her quiver now empty. Following her closely, were golden armor'd Asur, charging to meet the boarding corsairs.
Lucinia and Velnos stood at Kendriks side, facing starboard... and to where Althran prepared to engage. Surrounded by golden armor'd warriors and Druchii alike.
Though his eyes set on Lucinia... his wife. The once determined passion to fulfill his duty, slowly fading from his features.
Then a fierce hatred filled his eyes, Kendrik could see it... as they were now shouting distance between them.
Althran raised his sword into the air and shouted towards where the three of them stood.
“KILL THE DRUCHII!” He roared with all his might, causing brief hesitation within his golden guardians. Until he struck down a corsair nearby, and proceeded to run his sword through another.
A full scale skirmish irrupted upon the deck of the 'Moons'Ril', to which Kendrik could not help but smile.
“TO YOUR BROTHERS!” Kendrik shouted to those gathered near him.
Lucinia ran forward, wielding death magic from her one good arm and leding a group of golden Asur over the side rail to reinforce Althran.
Then he felt pain, and caused him to reach over to his upper arm... feeling the cold steel of a Druchii bolt; which had pierced through a gap in the plate and passed through the golden scale discs.
“I knew Althran was soft!” Came the voice of the Dreadlord from behind them.
Kendrik turned to see Druchii flooding the deck, and fighting bitterly against the golden armor'd crew.
His griffon leaping back and forth among the corsairs.
The dreadlord had one of two swords drawn, and the hand-held crossbow in the other, smiling. Until a spear tip streaked towards him, forcing a parry from his sword.
“Oh and who is this pretty thing!” He shouted joyfully and released a bolt at close range. Striking Lisiels' shoulder beneath the silver plate, and causing her to drop the spear.
“Lisiel!” Kendrik shouted while taking a painful step forward, to which a hand grasped his shoulder. Then grey smoke disrupted his vision.
The Nagarathi was then in front of the Druchii, pushing him back with swipes of the white great-sword. Then disappearing within a flash of smoke, only to re-appear behind the dreadlord. Causing him to spin in panic with last minute deflections of the deadly strikes. The surrounding corsairs were randomly cut down during the onslaught of Velnos. His movements almost impossible to follow.
Kendrik had made his way towards Lisiel with the help of his griffon, whom lashed out at any corsair brave enough to advance.
Then he sensed something... a presence with the winds of magic. To which he looked down the deck, and there among the skirmishing of golden and ebony clad warriors... walked a sorceress. Yet she was no Druchii... but an Asur! Clad in a violet flowing gown, her white hair... sailing in the wind... and her eyes... pure white.
She was draining the winds!
Which halted Velnos in his tracks, allowing the Druchii to take a quick shot with his crossbow. Its bolt, striking just below the collar bone.
Kendrik quickly stretched out his hand and let the energy flow through him to grip the winds and pull them from her grasp. Pressure started to build, the energy running wild and pushing against them.
Velnos parried the Druchii sword with a wide swing and knocked the repeater crossbow from the dreadlords hand with a follow through of the sword hilt.
Yet his adversary was quick and countered with a thrust of his sword, which caused Velnos to shout out in pain, as it pierced through the right side of his stomach.
Kendrik lost a moment of concentration in watching the duel, to which the sorceress gained the upper hand. The energy began to push against him, tearing at him from the inside. Until a faint grunt came from behind him, and was followed by a spear that streaked through the air. The energy came into his full control, which puzzled him for a brief moment before realizing the sorceress had collapsed to her knees... from a spear through the center of her chest.
“Bitch.” Is all that came from Lisiel who was now standing next him, holding her wounded shoulder.
Then yet another shout of pain returned his attention to Velnos, however it was the Druchii who had stepped back... clutching his nose in pain.
The Nagarathi, standing like an immortal demon, holding the Druchii helm and ignoring the bolt through his shoulder or the sword embedded in his stomach. His white great-sword resting at his feet.
The dreadlord instinctively grabbed his second sword and skillfully lashed out as he unsheathed the blade. Yet it found only smoke.
As Velnos appeared behind him with Druchii blade in hand, and in one movement the sword pierced through the dreadlords back. The pain causing him to arch and raise his arms, allowing the Nagarathi to take the second sword.
He then slashed the Druchii's tendons behind the knee caps, causing the dreadlord to collapse upon his hands and knees.
Velnos calmly walked in front of the crippled foe and gripped his dark black hair, wrenching it back to gaze upon his face.
“Well aren't you a pretty thing.” He said cold and mockingly before thrusting the sword through the dreadlords gaping mouth.
The Druchii fell forward with the release of his hair, and limply landed on the deck.
Much of the Royal Company rejoined with the timely decision of Althran, to which they destroyed much of the Druchii fleet and certain Asur ships that continued on with the attack.
The Lothern straight, which followed soon after... was a mere harrying of inadequately resourced defenses. The fortress battlements carved into the very cliffs of the straight, clearly did not have the required Asur, or Druchii to mount any sort of defense. To which their fleet passed through relatively unharmed.
Once clear, they had convened to decide their next course. Nagarythe had been agreed upon, knowing that they would never join the Druchii. It logically seemed like the reliable choice, and somewhere to which they could gain more information about Tyrion's forces... If the rumors were correct, then they had fallen further then the Druchii themselves.
The voyage seemed long, and slow moving as it became difficult to keep the fleet together. Being forced to abandon certain ships that had taken too much damage. But progress was made, and they healed their wounds in the process.
Velnos was by far the most entertaining to watch, as he was observed by Denathy and Arleni on a regular basis. Which was accompanied by a strong protestation of being 'fine'.
Though it was the day they came upon the edges of Tiranoc, near the sunken ruins of Tor Anrok, it was the day that changed everything.
Kendrik would never forget the sounds, the horrendous groaning of the mountains as they fell into the sea. The dark blast of energy that went miles into the air and brought enormous storm clouds... the great chasms that split the very island apart and brought Ulthuan beneath the sea.
They had watched... for what seemed an eternity, from the safety of their ships. They watched as the tales of old were brought to light, yet not the partial destruction like the 'Sundering' of old... this took everything.
He had been forced to watch his fellow Asur jump into the sea, garbed in full armor and overtaken by the madness they witnessed before them.
Yet most endured.
And also decided on something else... Kendrik had realized they represented Ulthuan now... A fleet comprised of the ten kingdoms and colonies. Those under Malekith would change... if any of them had survived... But they... they would carry on.
They would sail west, towards the 'Tower of the Rising Sun'.
He had been born on an island near there, it had been his home once. They would make it so once more.
They would rebuild and defend the culture... no the idea of what Ulthuan was... its spirit... its heart.
|Author:||Larose [ Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:06 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company -Beginnings|
Well HOLY CRAP! over 10 000 views!?! Are you all still reading this? hahah well I suppose I should reward you with a chapter... or well the beginning of one and perhaps some 'wishes' to see how some of these characters started out.
Into the Shadows
The dark oak door loomed like a menacing gateway before him, towering at over twelve feet tall and appeared even larger when siting in a chair. He found himself shuffling in anticipation despite the comfortable sofa, which matched the brown grains of the wooden door. Though it was 'who' rather then 'what' was behind the door which caused such unease.
It was a rather small waiting room with only one other sofa, made from a white leather rather then the dark he sat upon; the only other piece of furniture placed at opposite end of the square room. To his left, was a much smaller door painted white and leading to a passageway which would bring him back to the palace hall. An awe inspiring auditorium where the king of the Asur would hold court. And to his right, the imposing entrance.
Toleran had wished for this moment, yet now with it being so close... well waiting any longer would surely drive him to madness. He had come early, “never keep the 'eye of the phoenix' waiting” his father had once told him. Though it had been over a hundred years since his father had stated those words to him, it seemed as if they had spoke before his arrival. This was the final step, the moment where the spymaster of the Phoenix would decide if Toleran would become an 'Agent of the King'.
The door opened.
He almost fell out of his chair as he tried to see into the room. The door gave a light thud as it hit the white marble wall.
Toleran stood, and slowly paced forward. The silence was deafening, only the whisper of his leather boots could be heard upon the stone floor.
He stopped short of the entrance, a thick black carpet was set before his feet near the opening to the circular room. It stretched out in a straight line towards the center where a dark desk rested with three chairs, one of dark wood, and one of white. The third was neither and stood alone on the other side of the desk, more of a dull grey with comfortable looking cushions.
His heart beat increased as he took a step to the side, passing over the dark carpet and hugging the wall to his right.
'Odd', he thought to himself as his eyes swept over the bare room. Off to his left was a lone window with thick white curtains... A test perhaps?
The fabric was thick enough to hide someone... and so he moved across the room, cautiously.
The window drew closer as he tilted his head and vigilantly watched for movement.
“There is a saying.” Came a soft voice from behind him, causing Toleran to spin on his heels.
Yet the room was empty... and the door was now closed. His eyes shifted back and forth, searching. Could it be magic? Yes it had to be!
“It is a saying we live by.” The voice said once more and seemed to echo throughout the room... and still he could not find its source.
Then his eyes stopped upon the grey chair behind the desk... it had shifted in his direction, though no one sat in it!
“Perhaps you have heard it before...” Came the voice once more, and was followed by a pause of silence.
Until the chair started to turn.
“That which appears bent... is usually straight.”
The chair rotated slowly and without a sound... finally revealing the source of the voice and to his amazement, a double sided chair with an Asur casually seated.
“And that which seems straight... is usually bent.” The elf continued and finished with a smile. His features were smooth with black eyes, and his hair a dull grey that matched the chair on which he sat. The robe he wore was a plain dark silk with no design or flare that was common in Lothern.
It was the 'eye of the phoenix' himself, Hystarys Deln'kios.
“So you are the one she spoke of... the one who wishes to join and serve the throne...”
Toleran made to speak yet stopped upon realizing what the Asur had said... there were many trials before this final evaluation. Yet none of those who had interrogated him through means of magic and delving into his past had been a 'she'.
His mind raced with confusion as he watch Hystarys smile once more and then sighed and shifted in his chair.
“You are very much his son.” The spymaster said with a rolling hand gesture. “Do you really think that the only ones examining you were the ones you spoke to?” He stood and pointed towards the two chairs across the desk.
“Nothing is black and white, not for us... not for those who wish to live in the shadows and hunt the blight of the Ever Empire.”
“I want to learn... I want to cleanse the Asur from this blight...” Toleran responded, yet was cut short from a wave from the spymaster's hand.
“Yes, yes I know of your devotion... your loyalty to the throne... and your wish for answers.”
He felt his eyes widen at the thought of his father... of his mother... both had been missing for over a century.
“But can you learn? Will your heart waiver when the moment requires one made of stone?” Hystarys' continued as his eyes shifted in suspicious examination.
“I have never wavered before an enemy nor fled the field!” Toleran countered and felt his blood rise in response to the slight towards his aptitude and character.
“Oh of that I have no doubt, valor witnessed upon the battle field and an exemplary practitioner of the sword. Or should I say 'swords'.” Hystarys said and pointed towards the dual short-swords upon his back.
“But this world is no field where the lines are drawn and the armies clash... my world is that which family turns upon family, friends who deceive one another, beliefs that twist the mind and at times the very fabric of reality, cults of pleasure, devotees of slaneesh, druchii spies and assassins.” His hand slammed the desk as his voice grew in volume and his eyes somehow darkened.
“So I will ask you this once... Why would you choose to live in such a world?”
Toleran was taken back from the passion in the spymasters voice, a prickling sensation ran up and down his spine as he thought carefully on his next words.
“I....” He stopped and looked up at Hystarys, into the black void of his eyes and said.
“Because no one else will.”
The silence that followed tormented him and his mind screamed as he kept his gaze upon the elders eyes. He wanted this...
A slight smirk came across Hystarys' face and he began to nod. “Because no one else will.” He echoed and turned towards his desk.
He opened a drawer and pulled out a sealed scroll and a small disk, then called out, “ Lenais!”
A moment passed until the area opposite to the window shifted and revealed a hidden door that molded to the angled wall. An Asur stepped out clad in tight black leathers with a dark cloak and a bow & quiver strapped to her back. She had long brown hair tied in a pony tail and sharp green eyes that glanced towards him with a familiarity.
As what he assumed to be an agent stopped near the desk, he could see faint white tattoos upon her neck... runes and inscriptions of Isha. Only one place was known for such things... Avelorn. Home to the Everqueen of the Asur!
Hystarys handed her the scroll and then turned towards Toleran with an outstretched hand holding the disk.
He took it and turned the badge in his hand, the one side was silver with a pin... and the other depicted the rising phoenix!
Toleran froze in shock and looked up.
Hystarys was nodding. “Take him with you Lenais, he is now your new apprentice.”
His mind raced as his eyes jumped back in forth from the disk, to the spymaster and then to Lenais across the desk. “Take me where?” He queried.
“Your first assignment.” Hystarys said and paced towards the secret door.
|Author:||Larose [ Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:48 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
* * *
The night air was cool and refreshing with the light breeze from the west. Beads of sweat dripped from his brow and soaked his brown hair beneath his tall silver helm. He was hot, and the slow gallop pace of escorting a carriage was not helping. Silver silks with a formal gray tunic beneath silver armor, and not to mention the matching cloak over his shoulders; all combined in an attempt to cook him upon the back of his horse.
Calehir looked over to his riding partner on his right, who seemed rather comfortable and too enthusiastic over their tasking. His friend noticed his gaze.
“What? Not enjoying yourself?” Dethadrin queried and followed it with a wide mocking smile.
“This damned formal attire is not meant to be worn beneath armor.” He replied with a grumble. “Are your garments not the same?” Calehir continued with a plea of hope that he was not the only one suffering.
Dethadrin stretched out his shoulders and adjusted the gray cloak. Then looked down at his silver robe and silks, all of which seemed to be comprised of a lighter material.
“I fear you are on your own my friend, we magi rely on the arcane to keep us safe.” The smile returned, somehow even wider.
Calehir scoff'd, “I have scars upon my shield that would say otherwise, or do you not remember the beaches of Tiranoc?”
Dethadrin sent him a sidelong glance with a raised eyebrow in response. Then paused for a moment before the smile returned, “ I think we can both agree that you would have needed a new one... if I had not been so close.”
He thought upon those words for a moment before sending the mage an agreeing nod and a smile of his own.
They had trained and fought together for years, and continued to do so... as becoming a 'Silver Knight' was a long and demanding process. It was an order of nobles, one of the many like it scattered across Ulthuans kingdoms... meant to train the young nobility into leaders, into warriors. And at times would accept mages from the Tower of Hoeth.
“But whatever the case, this beats my endless studies at the White Tower... soon to begin once more after this tasking.” Dethadrin continued and pointed in the distance ahead of them.
There were two carriages in their convoy, and a dozen mounted guardians from the 'Silver Knights Order'. All garbed in their iconic silver armor, cloak and matching tunic. The procession moved down a road marked with lanterns of green and blue orbs of light, at what he considered a leisurely pace, and headed towards a manor on a hill in the distance.
The faint sounds of music carried through the air and brought a festive aura upon the bright and extravagant manor. Countless carriages could be seen near its tall pillar'd entrance, while a steady flow of richly clad Asur made their way inside.
It was the home of a wealthy merchant in Eataine, just a few dozen leagues to the West from Lothern. An area known for its marvelous vineyards, to which he could make out in the dim darkness. Rows upon rows surrounding the manor, and clearly the source of income for throwing such a lavish gathering.
Upon reaching the entrance to the manor, the knights moved with clear purpose and practiced formation. Calehir and Dethadrin dismounted, both tasked to the interior escort, along with three others and Serionil... their 'Silver Captain'. Who was also the first to step out of the carriage.
He pointed at the two of them and gestured towards the front carriage.
Calehir gave a quick nod and made his way over with Dethadrin.
“Sure you don't want to bring that shield of yours to the party?” The mage whispered and let out a light chuckle.
The question did not warrant a response, as everyone attending was aware that no weapons were permitted inside. He opened the carriage door and lowered his chin in respect for the lady that stepped down.
She passed them both without a word and moved to where her prince awaited. Her long golden hair was braided to her waist with intricate red tassels inter-twined, matching the long red gown she wore.
Four ladies in waiting followed her wake, richly adorned in jewelry and bright colored dresses. One in blue with dark black hair caught his attention, she passed by with a slight smile upon on her lips.
He looked away nervously in response and noticed Dethadrin gawking at one of the four as well... and there a few paces off near the prince, Serionil turned his gaze upon them with a scowl.
The group entered the manor and stood before a grand staircase that descended into a great hall. Golden chandeliers loomed above them in the arc'd ceiling along with the house hold banners. Tables of food and drink lined the outside perimeter of the room as its guests gathered at its center.
“Prince Toran Ilushias, of Tor Wis. The 'Wind Rider' of Tiranoc!” Came a heralds voice from nearby, which drew the crowds attention towards the prince and lady descending the staircase.
This was Calehirs' second time seeing the prince, the first had been on the beaches of Tiranoc. Where the order had answered a call for aid against a large Druchii assault. Many had perished, but they were successful in casting their dark kin back to the sea.
Toran had apparently been impressed with the 'Silver Knights', and now... a few years later. He requested a personal retinue from the order. At a cost of course.
A hand firmly gripped his shoulder and turned him abruptly towards Dethadrin, Serionil did not seem happy.
“You two are here because your family bloodlines allows you to attend such gatherings... but also for a task. Now am I going to have to sort you two out? Keep your eyes open and off the maidens... stay focused, these death threats are real.”
They both returned quick nods in response as their captain gazed over the crowd.
“Come, you two shadow me and keep your eyes out for anything that looks out of place.” Their captain continued and stepped between them towards the staircase, the prince was now mingling with the guests.
* * *
The nights festivities continued through the night without incident. Though the manor now contained twice as many guests and the excitement level increased with an Arch-mage conducting a show of arcane glamour.
This also increased the temperature of the hall with so many Asur inside... to Calehirs' dismay.
The tunic itched now and the sweat was dripping down his back. Yet despite his discomfort, he did his best to stay vigilant.
Familiar voices grew in volume as he noticed Serionil nearby with Prince Toran. He took a few steps closer as he could not help but eves-drop on the conversation.
“Surely the city of Copher could be used as precedence, almost ten decades later and the port city is a vibrant economic hub, a strategic asset and a symbol of glory for the Ever Empire.” Toran said with passion in his eyes, though his tone revealed frustration.
“Prince Ithenias brought glory and riches to those who supported the endeavor... With the 'Silver Knights Order', the fleet of Prince Althran, and the power of Tor Wis... we could do the same, we witnessed the power against the Druchii in Tiranoc.” He continued and paused for a response from Serionil.
“You know I cannot speak for the Chancellor and council, and their position still seems set on the defense of Ulthuan... such a large expeditionary force is reckless in their eyes.”
Serionil responded and took a small step back as Torans' fist hit the table next to him. The strike was composed enough to only attract the attention of a few nearby, yet the message was clear.
“You could speak to them, or speak to those you know outside the order for persuasion and support... I know you are close with the Draconis family. Such a strong voice from Caledor...”
Serionil started to shake his head in disagreement.
“You think I do not know of the sons and daughters of prominent families within the Silver Knights?” Toran smiled and turned his gaze upon Calehir, which startled him back to his duties.
“I was not the only one who witnessed Kendrakors' son on the battlefield.”
“Ah there you are, have you seen Lerithos?” Queried Dethadrin, who had somehow appeared next to him.
“Uh, I have not... Why?” Calehir answered and turned away from the conversation of Serionil and the prince.
“Well help me search, I have a beautiful servant for him.” The mage said confidently and smiled... until noticing Calehirs' look of disapproval.
“Right... regardless we should find him before Serionil does.”
Calehir gave a nod of approval and the two of them casually made their way to the perimeter of the gathering.
They both finally reached the staircase and realized two posts were missing from the household guard. One that watched a hall with stairs that led to the upper levels, and the other for access to the kitchens.
“Odd.” Calehir whispered and then pointed towards Heric, one of the three others in their retinue.
“Take him with you to the upper levels, damned Lerithos has probably taken a serving girl upstairs.”
Dethadrin waved towards Heric and turned towards Calehir, “And you?” His friend looked over towards the kitchen entrance. “Hungry I take it? Perhaps searching for a blue dress?” He continued with a wink and turned to meet up with Heric.
Calehir slowly approached the kitchen entrance and noticed a household guard a few paces away, though clearly neglecting his duty.
He made to stop, yet something compelled him forward. The door opened with a simple push and made a small squeak from frequent usage. Servants and cooks scrambled back and forth with new dishes and drinks that overwhelmed his senses. It seemed like a maze of a kitchen, full of corridors and pantry's , in which he passed through the first few and came upon a more quiet section. Faint voices could be heard to his right, naturally drawing him to their location. Passing yet another pantry and descending down a small set of stairs and through a large wine cellar.
The voices were louder now, two distinct voices of a male and female....
He opened two sets of doors and turned into a section of the wine cellar with a smile. As there stood Lerithos with a maiden carrying a tray full of glasses filled with red and white wine.
They both looked in his direction as Calehir shook his head and walked towards the head of a large oak table at the center of the room.
“You are lucky I found you Lerithos, you damned scoundrel... Serionil will kill you for leaving your ...”
Calehir stopped short of finishing as he noticed the shock upon his friends face.
His eyes quickly scanned the room and then stopped again on the maiden... she had black hair, and resembled one of the ladies in waiting... the one who had smiled at him! She looked different now though... short hair and her features were, sharper.
He then noticed a body near their feet, a girl missing her clothes and laying in a pool of blood... and there but a few paces away.
The blue dress.
“Go, I will deal with this.” Lerithos said and took a step towards Calehir, as the maiden made her way around on the opposite side of the table... still smiling in his direction.
“What in Khaines' hell is going on?” Calehir growled, and took a step back upon noticing the dagger his friend now carried.
“Lerithos, lets talk about this... what are you doing?” He continued and held up his hand in retreat.
His friend approached faster.
Calehir released his cloak clasps and wrapped it around his left arm while continually trying to distance himself. He looked quickly at the doorway on his left... he could try to run. But the narrow corridor and multiple doors would only slow him down to receive the knife in the back.
He started to follow the table.
A light chuckle filled the air and he started to shake his head at his friend.
“Not exactly what you were expecting was it?” Lerithos said dryly and lashed out with the dagger.
The weapon flicked back and forth like a vipers tongue, its sharp edge tearing into his cloak and glancing off his scale armour beneath... making the danger all too real.
Lerithos charged forward with a thrust, causing Calehir to fade to the side while using his cloaked arm to parry the dagger. He then grabbed the wrist and went shoulder to shoulder with his friend while struggling to maintain control. His free hand reached out and grasped one of the many bottles of wine which lined the cellar wall, and brought it around towards Lerithos. The bottle smashed upon the wall as his friend ducked and threw his body weight in an attempt to knock Calehir off his feet.
They both fell into the wine rack and tried to maintain their footing as bottles fell with a smash and poured wine all over the marble floor.
Calehir lashed out with a swipe of his own, as he still carried the broken end of the bottle. Its jagged edges caught Lerithos' right cheek, which caused a spray of blood and forced his new enemy to take a step back.
The pause was welcomed as they both had a slight pant to their breathing.
“We are here to protect the prince, what is wrong with you!” Calehir shouted as he took another step back.
Lerithos spat blood upon the floor in anger and moved towards him once more. Then started to laugh.
“Who said anything about the prince!” He answered in a shout of his own and charged forward.
He slashed with the dagger this time, causing Calehir to arc back. Then Lerithos brought the dagger up high as he jumped forward.
Calehir instinctively gripped the wrist in response, yet the momentum was too strong and their footing too slick from the wine.
The dagger pierced into his shoulder plate as the two of them fell. Calehir shouted in pain as his free hand streaked out and embedded the jagged broken bottle into Lerithos' neck.
His lower back hit the floor first and his head cracked into the wall behind him. The protection from the helm did little against the ringing it caused within his ears. His vision blurred as he pushed a gurgling Lerithos off him with a grunted effort.
Calehir desperately tried to crawl towards the doorway, his vision darkened sporadically and his hands tried their best to grip the marble cellar floor. Yet they were soaked in blood and wine and his shoulder was in excruciating pain.
He made it a couple feet before his eye lids drooped and his body collapsed upon the floor.
|Author:||Larose [ Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:20 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
They had pressed through the night without rest, and at a full gallops pace. He was sore, and by the looks of it so was his horse. Yet it was out of necessity and so Toleran stretched out his shoulders and handed the reins to the waiting attendant. Lenais was already making her way into the manor which forced him into a quick sprint to catch up.
Upon reaching the entrance, he collided with a warrior maiden heading in the other direction. Their shoulders connected as she tried her best to avoid him. Toleran lost his balance and fell against a tall vase nearby, he hit the marble floor as the vase broke beside him and echoed throughout the hall.
He looked up and saw that she had nimbly absorbed the momentum with a sweeping back-step. A sleek silver spear was strapped between her shoulders with a silk white sash that rested upon her golden armor. She was young, very young with smooth ashen hair in a long ponytail. Her beautiful silver eyes looked down on him with surprise and concern.
He felt rather foolish.
“Well you seem to like attracting attention.” Came a voice from behind him and was accompanied by a helping hand shortly after.
Lenais helped him to his feet and sent a reassuring nod to the maiden who then continued on outside.
“So... do you know who she was?” She whispered and brushed some dirt off his shoulder plate.
Her eyes narrowed as she noticed the confusion written across his face. “Did you read the reports?”
“I, well as much as I could given the time constraints...” He answered awkwardly as she shook her head and continued on into the hall.
He lagged behind as he thought on her words, then about the maiden he had run into. Then it hit him, a spear, ashen hair, silver eyes... Her name was Norein Delosir! The newest and youngest of the Swan Guard, chosen from the Tor Wis noble families in early childhood to guard the Wisionil family... a lineage that has ruled over the city since its founding.
It was also the family he had been assigned to investigate... or well to follow up on an investigation of an agent gone missing.
The family had been subject to threats for some time, three failed attempts on the lives of two siblings and the only living heirs of the Wisionil family. Elis'l, who is married to Toran Ilushias and her younger brother Folisik.
“Can I help either of you?” Came a concerned voice from an approaching Asur, who was accompanied by five silver clad warriors.
Lenais returned a nod and opened her cloak to reveal the phoenix sigil as she approached. “ I am searching for the assigned seeker for this incident.” She said and stopped a few paces away from the armored elf.
He carried his helm casually beneath his arm and towered above those around him. His straight brown hair rested upon the silver pauldrons' protecting his shoulders and his matching eyes narrowed briefly on seeing the sigil.
With a quick wave, he waited for his guardians to disperse before he answered.
“If there were one to be assigned, I would be the one.” He gave a quick bow and continued. “Serionil is my name, captain of the 'Silver Knight' escort for Prince Toran. How may I help the agents of the throne?”
“I suppose we should start with somewhere more private.” Lenais said and looked back in his direction.
The captain had agreed and he soon found himself sitting in a small study on the second floor of the manor.
“It has only been two days, word travels fast it seems.” Serionil said as he poured red wine from a sparkling glass decanter.
He offered a glass in Tolerans' direction, to which he refused... it was only an hour past dawn!
“It does.” Lenais said plainly and took a seat on one of the four red silk chairs surrounding a brown table at the center of the room. “Why don't you start with a break down of the situation.”
Serionil pressed his lips in thought, then took a seat at the table with a large sip from his glass.
“Five are in the healing wing from poison, and two dead.” He said grimly and finished off the glass of wine.
“Of those five, Elis'l and her three lady's in waiting are expected to make a full recovery, one is part of the escort under my charge. His name is Calehir Draconis, stabbed through his shoulder with a poisoned and enchanted dagger... a damned piece of work that blade is, pierced through the armor like butter. What is worse, he was attacked by another under my charge, Lerithos Silni... who did not survive the encounter. And lastly, a serving girl who was killed by the assassins.” As he finished, he poured himself yet another glass.
“ So it seems the attempt was unsuccessful” Lenais said plainly and continued to write on a parchment with an ink & quill from her satchel.
“Only due to having a powerful Archmage nearby... who should be arriving here shortly, I sent for him.”
Lenais paused in silence as she concentrated on the parchment. “So this Lerithos was involved?”
“It seems so, he was the one missing from his post... and well I know the Draconis family personally.”
“Tell me about the assassin.” She continued and untied the dark strap that kept her hair in a ponytail.
“A bit of a mystery, Elis'l had four ladies in waiting... one is unaccounted for. More details will be available once Calehir awakens.” Serionil finished with an odd expression.
“This troubles you?” Lenais said and leaned forward with interest.
He slowly shook his head, “if it was her... then why now? Why not the numerous times she was alone with Elis'l. Why the spectacle?”
Toleran thought deeply on those words, the captain was right... it was odd.
A quiet knock echoed throughout the room as the brown oak door opened shortly after. A tall Asur walked in dressed in long white robes that contrasted sharply with his jet black hair that reached past his shoulders. His brown eyes glowed a greenish-blue mark of Isha, from the continued practice of the healing arts.
“I would like you to meet Elandrel Arhain, Archmage from the White Tower... and my saving grace.” Serionil said as he rose from his chair with an outstretched hand and gestured for the newcomer to sit.
Elandrel gave two quick nods of acknowledgement and sat across from Toleran.
“So you are the one that saved them, tell me about the poison.” Lenais said frankly and prepared her quill.
The mage graciously accepted a glass of wine from the captain and turned in her direction.
“Well there are two, the one used in the drinks comes from Goselini flower buds... it grows in the deep valley's of the Tiranoc mountains. Deadly when consumed, but if treated quick enough it can be stopped.” Elandrel paused for a sip of his wine and began tapping his hand on the table anxiously.
“The dagger however...” He continued. “ Well its poison is far more potent and deadly, it has taken much of my time and dedication to stop. It is an old concoction from Nagarythe... ancient really. Often used by our dark kin... and odd it was not used on Elis'l.”
Toleran watched Lenais, her demeanor changed rather quickly upon his final words. She then looked over to Serionil.
“Tell me about this missing lady in waiting.”
The captain shrugged his shoulders. “I know she has dark hair, but otherwise there is little I can tell you about her. Other then her name is Olicie Helion, a noble line in Tor Wis. Further details will have to wait until Calehir awakens.”
Lenais shot a glare in Tolerans' direction and smiled. “Or we can seek the Swan Guard... Norein will be coming with us for a time. Please pass the message on.” She said and quickly stood from her chair.
“Whatever the throne desires.” Serionil said dryly with a waving gesture.
Toleran closed the door behind him as they left the archmage and captain to finish the wine.
“Uh have I missed something?” He asked and tried to gain her attention.
“We are going back?”
“To hunt.” She stated and confused him further.
“To hunt who? The assassin? How do you...”
“If you let me finish.” Lenais said with a hint of annoyance and a glare demanding silence. “Traveling the open roads is dangerous when you are being hunted. If she is smart... she knows there are patrols searching for a lone traveler with her description.” She gestured for him to follow as she made her way down the hall.
“So how do you escape?” She queried, and turned back in his direction.
“You disappear within the most populated city nearby.” Lenais said with a smile... answering her own question.
|Author:||Larose [ Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:56 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Oh my... I believe this section has been far too dormant! Not that I haven't fallen off the map for awhile either :p lol but I will try my best to keep this show going!
* * *
“I still believe a description of Lady Helion would have sufficed...” Norein grumbled while gazing off in the distance.
Toleran was surprised they had managed to bring her at all, as she had protested fiercely and insisted on staying by Ilis'l.
Yet Prince Toran made his position clear.
Now she reluctantly rode along side them upon her white mare. Despite it all, she seemed to be good company. Her silver eyes were always vigilant, he often caught her scanning the horizon and subtlety checking the road behind them. A warriors quiet composure... only interrupted by random spurts of guilt for not being at her lady's side.
His mind wandered back to the manor, there had been something different in her composure when Toran had given her a strict command to accompany them. Almost as if she desired to be by his side... and not that of his wife.
A sharp pain in his leg broke his thoughts, he looked over in anger and was startled to see Lenais. She had somehow slowed the pace of her horse without him noticing and kicked him!
“Day dreaming is dangerous, that sigil on your chest makes you a target.” She scolded as her sharp emerald eyes gazed across the luscious green plains and rolling hills that surrounded them. “Just because we are on the hunt... does not mean we cannot quickly become the hunted.” She continued and looked back in his direction.
This had caught Noreins' attention as well, and she joined the conversation. “I do not believe Olicie will be waiting for us...”
“No.” Lenais returned abruptly. “But that poisoned dagger is often used by the Druchii spy networks within Ulthaun... word travels fast and they are quick to silence those on their trail.”
“So...” Toleran interjected and paused. “How are we going to truly find this assassin in one of Ulthuans largest cities?”
“Well, if we make it there then I have a few assets to speak to... we've had our eyes on a few suspicious Asur.”
He nodded his head in understanding then stopped with a puzzled look.
* * *
The sea crashed upon the shore in relentless waves behind her, while the wind howled with a biting cold. A black cloak was her only defense, to which she held it tightly about her shoulders. The night sky was dark with clouds and allowed no light from the moon or stars. The city of Lothern appeared as a bright beacon in the distance due to its torch lit spires and high city walls.
The four day ride had been hard and would not have been possible on a mortal horse. She had used her shadow steed, an enchanted and tireless horse from the shadow realm. Though the required mental strain had been high, and forced her to utilize every herb and enchantment she knew to keep herself together.
She was exhausted, and the sound of the carriage she sent for was beyond welcome. It was pulled by four dark horses and its white wood appeared a dull gray in the night. One of two armored sentinels quickly dismounted and opened the door for her.
It was a welcome shelter from the wind and the red velvet cushions brought a comfort that would put her to sleep.
“You've disturbed our plans.” Came a familiar voice which almost startled her out of the chair.
“I...” She began before her 'handlers' hand raised up from beneath a dark hooded cloak.
“Treia... your assignment was to be done publicly and without suspicion of a handmaiden being involved.”
She shook her head in defiance. “ And you told me the Silver Knight Order would not be a problem.”
The carriage began to move.
“I was seen and I did not trust your man on the inside... the one who interrupted us seemed... capable.” Treia continued and looked out of the window. “Where are we going?”
“To the city of course.” He responded with a sigh.
A long silence ensued which began to strip away her sanity... there was something more.
“I finished my task! And I doubt the attempt was successful with so many magi in attendance... you should have given me something that acts quicker, such as a Lincos flower from Lustria.”
A small smile could be seen beneath the hood which made here even more weary. He was very short for an Asur, yet extremely powerful... and old.
“Yes... Yes I suppose we could have. But death was not the intent... not yet... and as for you. Well, you were to continue being our asset there.”
Silence resumed for what seemed an eternity, until the brightly lit city passed by the carriage windows.
“Have you received news on the outcome, did your man within the Order succeed?” She queried hesitantly
“Another failure I am afraid.” The handler answered calmly
“Then what choice did I have?”
His head snapped in her direction and his eyes glowed in a golden light.
“ You had but one choice! To fulfill the assignment as described, nothing more... Perhaps you should have stayed and ensured the knights death.”
Treia scratched her neck nervously and then made to respond, however her body suddenly felt heavy... so much so that moving was next to impossible!
He had his hand clenched into a claw before him, and his golden eyes were now menacing.
“They hunt you now, yes... yes they do. And we have no room for failure... not now.”
She made to scream, but she had no air to breathe. It seemed as though the weight of the world was upon her, a crushing force.
Then she remembered the amulet, it was so close. Treia gripped the chain around her neck, and desperately tried to reach the pendant hanging from it.
“It is unfortunate, but only a delay... yes only a delay... Tiranoc shall rise again.”
Her vision dimmed, but then she felt it. The sun pendant which did that what it was named after. She could feel its heat through her gown and soon the carriage was filled with a blinding light.
The mage screamed and covered his eyes in pain. And it was all she needed.
Treia fell forward with a gasping cough and pushed the door open as she fell. The carriage was still moving and the stone road brought an awakening pain. She rolled at least three times and came to a painful stop upon her back.
She tasted blood and heard an echo of the carriage coming to a stop. It took all of her strength to stand, which was just in time to see the sentinels coming her way.
A limping run is all she could manage, yet with another cough she cleared her mind and surrounded herself in a thick cloud of smoke. Then continued on as best she could... until an arrow hissed past and hit the marble building to her right.
A set of brown double doors stood before her, and without hesitation she burst inside.
Into a tavern. And it was full of Asur.
Chatter and music filled the room which helped keep her entrance discreet, yet blood was now dripping from her brow and she could only imagine how she appeared to those that did notice.
“Are you alright?” Asked a concerned guest as Treia tried pushing her way past.
She quickly glanced back at the doors... no sign of her pursuers. A cloth rested on the brown bar-top nearby and with a swift hand, Treia began to clear the blood from her eyes.
The chances of escape were diminishing... she had to keep moving... further into the city, perhaps to one of her personal safe-houses. Though, could it be compromised?
Who could say what that damned elder knew?
Treia continued on, and moved into the back rooms of the tavern. The smell of wine, ale and food filled her senses and made her realize she was very hungry. Causing her to grab a loaf of bread as she moved towards a door that seemed like an exit.
Someone behind her shouted in protest upon seeing the theft, and so she quickened her pace. A flagon of wine also caught her eye... she wasted no time.
A familiar cool air and a brisk wind hit her as she left the tavern with a mouth full of bread and wine.
“You!” Came a shout from nearby and was followed by a wide swing of a spear shaft, which struck her across the side of the face. She stumbled in retreat, while spitting the remaining food and wine on the ground.
Her eyes watered, but she could make out that it was one of the sentinels that pursued her. He flipped his spear and came forward.
Treia flicked her wrist launching the remaining wine towards the sentinels face, then quickly threw the flagon shortly after. It smashed upon his helm and the wine caused a brief delay in his advance.
Her back felt the cold stone of another building in her retreat and the sentinel sprung forward with a thrust of his spear.
She dropped into a low crouch, using the wall to balance and her hands to push the spear pole above her, ensuring safety from the deadly steel tip. Then with a strong forward kick she destroyed the closest inside knee.
He howled in pain and fell back.
Treia gained her composure and stood up, though she felt eyes upon her. And there down the alley, a short dark hooded figure stood with outstretched hands.
Khaine be damned! She dove towards the intersection in the alley nearby as a cracking thunderbolt struck the building and sent dust and rock into the air.
Treia cried out as rocks hit her in attempt to regain her feet. But she could not quit now!
“Histaris I need you once more!” She shouted and conjured a spell of her own.
A dark portal with swirling gray smoke appeared before her, and a horse as black as night shortly after.
She used her remaining strength to climb up and whispered.
Cool air rushed past her face as the horse sprang into a full gallop, just in the knick of time as the alley behind her illuminated in a brilliant blue light with another thunderclap of lightning.
The light faded as her steed brought her back onto the main roads of Lothern and then back into similar alleys... they could not catch her now, not tonight.
|Author:||Makiwara [ Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:37 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
I'm glad one of the grizzled veterans is still writing, nice work.
I'm going to have to go back and binge on The Company's antics late one night with a coffee and cigar just to relive the daring-do.
More I say!
|Author:||Aicanor [ Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:35 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Took my sweet time to finish reading, but I got here in the end. Yes,more I say.
|Author:||Headshot [ Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:05 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
|Author:||Larose [ Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:57 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
@ Makiwara haha I also want more... from you! I can't keep this section of the forum active all on my own now... and thanks, I'm glad you can binge on their antics. God knows I do lol.
@ Aicanor I knew you would, as I've always known you still lurk in this section of the forum from time to time lol.
@ Headshot I am speechless, such a compliment from the ultimate chronicler! ... Also glad to see you still visit
Alright, alright... more you say, well more I will try to provide. Though no promises for timely updates! Life is going to be crazy until the end of march... but I will do my best
He stretched his jaw and quickly rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Out the window on his right, a faint amber glow could be seen on the horizon... it was early. Yet Dethadrin had insisted to be notified the very moment Calehir awakened, the poison had rendered his friend in what seemed an eternal sleep; though in reality just over a week had passed.
Forcing himself to stand he snatched the red robe and belt laying on a nearby chair, then slipped his feet into a pair of brown shoes and proceeded into the hall. It took a moment for him to remember the direction of the healing ward in the manor, but with a brisk shake of his head he sprinted down a set of familiar hallways.
Dethadrin turned the final corner and came upon two silver glad guardians on either side of a brown door. A quick nod passed between them as they were Silver Knights, Heric and Ilen.
He stepped inside and found Calehir siting upright beneath the white sheets of the bed. A weak smile appeared as he looked in Dethadrins direction. His brown hair draped across his features yet did little to hide the toll of the deadly toxin, or the wound for that matter.
Elandrel, Calehirs' savior... was standing at the end of the bed. The arch-mage wore multiple black and gray robes made of rich silk which blended with his long jade hair.
“The worst has passed, but you still require a daily dose of this concoction.”
“Yes of course, thank you Elandrel.” His friend replied in a coarse voice.
“Why is it that these things happen when I am not around, I fear one day you may not be so lucky.” Dethadrin added and dragged a chair from the corner of the small room.
Calehir managed a light chuckle that turned into a cough and brought a hand up in defense.
“I thought I had rid myself of this nightmare with a scolding Dethadrin... perhaps I am still asleep.”
He replied with a sly grin and grabbed the cup of water nearby.
“Ah well perhaps this is the nightmare where I also light you on fire...”
“Well that would render my work useless.” Elandrel chimed in, unsure of what was going on.
“That is a bit drastic... since you were the one who sent me off in the first place.” Calehir returned, his voice sounding a bit stronger.
Dethadrin paused in thought and smiled.
“Right... the striking beauty in the blue dress. Well maidens have always been the chink in your armor.”
“She is not the one who stabbed me...” Calehir returned with a slightly annoyed tone.
“What... am I listening to?” Queried Elandrel before a quick knock and the opening of the chamber door interrupted the banter.
Serionil tilted his head below the archway, then with one long stride he towered into the room clad in silver armor. His brown eyes gleamed with joy as he slapped Dethadrins back enthusiastically.
“You two are idiots, you can be heard down the hall... though I could not be happier that you have pulled through Calehir. Thank you Elandrel, you have no idea what this boys father would have done to me if he had not.”
Dethadrin rubbed behind his neck to try and sooth the stinging pain from Serionil's hand... which resembled much more of a paw from some great beast in the Anulii mountains. He noticed Calehir had a more serious look now, clearly remembering his confrontation.
“How long has it been... and Lerithos?” He asked grimly.
The room went silent, there had been very little discussion about it... more an avoidance of the topic.
“Lerithos did not survive the encounter between you two..”
“Rightfully so.” Dethadrin added with a small growl as their captain paused.
“You have been out for a week.”
Calehir's eyes grew in surprise.
“I suppose its not overly difficult to infiltrate one of Ulthuans' High Helm orders'.” Elandrel pondered out loud and then looked around the room. “But he was no Druchii... On the outside at least, no physical signs or markings.”
“Nor was Olicie...or whoever she is as I am sure the real one died some time ago. As for the Druchii... I know plenty of raids have taken children, and no one seems to know why.” Serionil replied and brought another lingering silence.
Dethadrin shifted in his chair... Everyone knew Ulthaun contained many sympathizers, conspire-rs even. It is why the White Tower and the Phoenix Throne needed agents to hunt them down... a plague of cultist, spies and loyalists to Malekith. Remnants of a brutal civil war.
“It is not beyond the Druchii to twist the minds of the young and turn them into spies and assassins.” Dethadrin added and looked over at Calehir, who seemed almost guilt ridden of having to kill Lerithos.
“I am now more concerned about any information he may have acquired from the order... and I have no doubt there will be another attempt on the prince and his wife... it is not the first time the Druchii try to strike at our nobility to bring chaos. We ride out tomorrow, Prince Toran will conclude his business today. Calehir, I am sending you back to Tor Ethir by carriage.” Serionil stated and made for the door.
“Wait.” Calehir protested briefly before the captain brought up his hand.
“It would normally be my call, but this comes from the Chancellor and Council. Besides that wound needs to heal... you look terrible.”
The captain smiled and left the room.
* * *
His hazel eyes examined every detail of his comportment in the tall mirror before him, it matched his height and gave a full view of himself. Its gold frame was designed to match the wine orchards that surrounded the manor.
One must look the part for such an important meeting, and so he fixed his golden hair to the smallest detail and adjusted the forest green and dark blue robes he had chosen.
“My Lord.” Came a voice with a small knock at his door.
Toran spun on the heels of his black leather shoes and approached the wide and beautifully crafted brown desk at the center of the room.
“Yes.” He replied loudly and stood next to the dark brown leather chair near the desk.
“Prince Sefian Brakist.” The guard stated and held the door open in a ceremonious fashion.
The figure who entered afterward was tall and richly adorned with red gems in his armor and black silks of the finest grade. His tall silver helm matched his plate armor, and was tailed with a white plume that fell down to his shoulders. The prince had eyes of ice blue which distracted Torans' gaze from the scar that ran along the right eye to his chin.
“Lord Brakist, come sit... it is good to finally meet... Erius that will be all.” Toran said with a wide smile and a wave to send the guard off.
Sefian sat in one of the two matching brown chairs on the opposite side of the desk, and removed the tall helm. His long black hair rested upon his shoulders and only added to the eerie color of his eyes.
“Would you care for some wine?” Toran asked and started to pour a glass from the flagon on the corner of the desk.
“I am fine, and time is short.” Sefian replied coolly.
“Straight to business then.” Toran continued and reclined in his chair, wine in hand.
“I am prepared to fund your endeavor, my returns from your conquests will remain as what was outlined with my brother...” Sefian said in a calm and composed manner.
Toran nodded in agreement and remained silent.
“And the favor we asked for?” Sefian continued and seemed to be in careful examination.
After a large sip of his wine, Toran placed the glass on the desk and smiled.
“Of course, such a simple thing really. I personally requested him as the captain of my escort... from what I know he is still very close to the Draconis family. I am confident there will be no problem with arranging a meeting... though why all this trouble?” Toran stated and started to swirl the wine in the glass with quick little rotations.
“It is a delicate matter...” Sefian replied quietly.
“Ah yes, I heard about that challenge of honor... Orlias was brave, yet truly foolish to go up against an Elder from Caledor.”
Toran watched as the cool demeanor of his business partner seemed to be cracking, “Though even more so for such bloodshed among the Asur, so senseless... without purpose...” He continued.
“I hear your plans have hit a wall with the Silver Knights Council... you assured me the Chancellor would be able to sway them. Should I be concerned?” Sefian questioned boldly and changed the subject.
Now it was Toran who was losing his composure, that damned Council had been blocking him at every pass.
And yet Toran smiled once more.
“No need for concern, I will soon have complete control over Tor Wis, Prince Althran from Lothern has agreed to the partnership and will bring the full might of his fleet. And the Council... it is just a matter of time.”
Sefian sighed. “Why not just approach another order... there are many.”
Torans' smile subsided and he rose from his chair.
“Not an option, I will create a force made from the best, the Silver Knights Order is a symbol. And has been the Order of choice for centuries... with them in the fold it will be a political statement... A company worthy of the Phoenix... made for royalty.”
Brakist stood without a hint of emotion. “You may have a long road ahead if you think the princes' of Ulthuan would approve you to be at the head of such power... you who is from Tiranoc."
“Once they realize it... it will be too late.” Toran stated and held out his hand and said. “It seems we have a deal.”
Sefian slowly nodded his head. “It seems that we do.”
|Author:||Makiwara [ Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:07 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
@ Makiwara haha I also want more... from you! I can't keep this section of the forum active all on my own now... and thanks, I'm glad you can binge on their antics. God knows I do lol.
I have something I'm putting together at the moment in note form; just have to wait for something to drop over on 9th Age and have a conversation with someone about some things...
There may be some more coming in the pipeline shortly.
|Author:||Larose [ Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:50 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Oho... that is good news, look at you all shrouded in secrecy with your hidden contacts and your conversations Looking forward to it!!!
* * *
They had reached Lothern without incident, though the words of his trainer had Toleran rather paranoid. He found himself at a constant state of wonder on whether someone was watching them... and seemed to be glimpsing illusions in the dark.
As it was now night and the only light came from the many lanterns of Lotherns' streets and the stars above. The white marble spires were countless and came in may forms, some had bridges that connected them, others had terraces and gardens with vines that reached over the sides.
He had spent many years within the city and yet always managed to find something new to admire.
Their small trio had grown near dusk, as Lenais had filtered out a particular Asur who had the most evidence and the highest chance of providing further information. She felt some support would be wise, as in her experience these raids never went as planned. And so she used the power that an 'Agent of the Phoenix' demanded, which enlisted the help of a captain in the city guard, six of his sentinels and a mage.
The alley that they now walked was dimly lit, causing the city guards silver armor to appear a dull gray. Leothil was dressed in bright blue and red robes with brown hair that rested loosely upon his shoulders. He was the assigned mage to captain Herios who was garbed identically to his sentinels, save the red sash that draped across his chest.
“Have a couple of your troops watch that door on the right, we cannot risk an escape.” Lenais commanded with a point of her finger. She then lifted the hood of her dark cloak and tightened her brown pony tail with both hands. “ The main entrance is further up ahead.” She continued and then looked over in Tolerans' direction, her bright green eyes met his with a look that silently said to get ready.
The building was wide yet short, with what seemed to be only two floors and a peaked roof. An old library of historical records. Its windows were square with arched tops, and covered with red curtains. Its caretaker had been watched for some time now and had a suspicious past, though it was the lack of recent significant events that brought Lenais concern. His name was Felrin, and she highly doubted he had cut all contact with the dark cultist world.
The main doors were black, square and an average height, to which the sentinels formed on either side and prepared for entry.
“On your signal.” Herios said and looked up and down the street they were on. It was empty.
Lenais gave a quick nod.
Then the captain returned the nod and his hand lifted up and then swiftly downwards. Signaling for a waiting sentinel to kick the door in... yet one closest to the entrance quickly held his hand up.
There was a brief pause as the sentinel examined the door, and then with a light push the door swung inward... then the other.
The faint outline of shelves full of books and scrolls could be seen as both doors were now open and the sentinels moved inside. The only light came from the street lamps outside and was accompanied with a horrendous smell.
Toleran stopped short at the entrance while everyone moved inside, he knew the smell well... though only from the battlefield, death had a particular tinge to it.
Norein seemed to sense the danger as what had been a casual walk with her spear slung across her back, was now a careful pacing with her weapon at the ready. His eyes adjusted to the lighting as he moved in behind the group and allowed him to notice what everyone else had seen.
A body rested face down on the ground in a pool of mostly dried blood, though it was the figure that stood over it which brought concern.
“Olicie...” The ashen haired maiden growled and tightened her grip on the spear. Then after a moment, the figure stood up and looked in their direction.
“That is not my name... and I did not expect to see you, Norein.” The assassin replied and started to approach them, though her gaze turned and looked further into the room behind her.
Toleran smiled in joy. “ Well this is rather unexpected, I thought it would be much more troublesome to find you.” He said with a chuckle and looked at Lenais... who was not impressed.
Olicie or whatever her name was, now had her back towards them and peered into the dark room. The windows, bookshelves and desks created a picture that was both clear from the small amounts of light from outside, yet also cloaked in varied shadows of gray and dark voids.
Then he saw what their assassin was looking at.
“Bind her!” Herios stated loudly.
“Wait!” Lenais responded and grabbed the sword on her hip.
Five shadows seemed to move in unison and appeared from the dark confines of the room.
“So you do not work alone.” Toleran challenged and drew his two short-swords upon his back.
“My friend seems to have died two days ago... they are not with me, I assure you.” She returned without facing his direction.
Well this just got a bit complicated he thought. Then one of the sentinels reached out to grab the dark haired maiden by the arm and everything irrupted into chaos.
Thick grey smoke filled the room and stopped him from seeing his very hands, leaving him only his hearing to perceive what was happening.
Sprinting footsteps, a table being knocked over and the voice of Herios all came at once.
Then a scream of pain.
“Leothil bring us light!” Herios shouted from nearby. Then within moments, golden specs of magic flowed past him and followed the contours of the room... taking the shadows and smoke with it.
“Nicely done!” Toleran praised and looked over to where Leothil had been standing before the commotion. Though reality set in as the mage stood frozen in place with blood dripping from the mouth, his eyes wide in shock and looking at a dagger stuck in the center of his chest.
He slumped to his knees and fell forward.
It took a moment for Toleran to break the trance and comprehend what was happening. The assassin they had been hunting was now gone, and so was Lenais... while Norein was already fighting two of the shadows with her sleek silver spear.
A city guard rested near the fallen mage, the likely source of the painful cry he heard in the smoke.
Within moments another guard dropped to a well placed jagged sword which was carried by the shadows and was very close to the length of his two short blades.
Then Toleran was defending himself.
The threat of impending death broke him from the trance as the cloaked figure came at him with a short sword and dagger. The strikes were swift and its movements a blur. The quickness was almost impossible to follow! And further on Norein was fighting two of them! Her spear flicked and stabbed and spun with extraordinary skill, keeping her two attackers at a distance.
The same could not be said about the sentinels who did their best with shield and spear, but it was not long before another caught a blade in his side as he tried to pierce his attacker with a thrust. The guard cried out and tripped over a chair, causing him to stumble into the one attacking Toleran, which gave him a moment from the relentless attacks.
Though not for long as the cloaked assassin nimbly rotated and launched himself off the wall. Toleran parried the stabbing motion of the long blade and jumped back to avoid the quick dagger that followed. He then came up with a high angled attack of his own which failed to connect as a boot struck his chest and sent him reeling into a bookshelf and onto the floor.
The kick and the fall stole his breath and caused him to gasp in desperation, then began to shuffle as best he could to keep away from his attacker. Though at this point all seemed lost, he was outmatched.
Then a streak of silver flashed and put the assassin on the defensive. It was Norein!
She now fought against three! She did a quick side step to dodge a sword slash and swiped her spear in a wide arc at the two others who were now trying to circle her. They retreated as she quickly retracted her spear to plant the butt on the floor and support a forceful back-kick to the first attacker. It connected mid torso and sent the cloaked figure flying into the bookshelf that Toleran had hit moments ago, and knocked it over with a crash.
Toleran gained his feet and grabbed one of his swords nearby... the other, well he had no idea where it was. He then moved to support Norein who was now on the defensive against the two that had briefly kept their distance. She dropped low, slid back, side stepped and counter attacked like a demon. Using the spear tip, the butt and the pole as weapons, not to mention her feet and the occasional clenched fist.
Then one skillfully caught her hand and twisted it upward, causing her to arc in pain as the other attacker brought his blade up to finish the job.
Toleran jumped forward with his blade at the ready.
Then a grunting cry filled the room as a sentinel sprinted into view and tackled the assassin with the prepared blade, crashing them both into the second assassin and onto a nearby table.
Norein backed up in pain and clutched a few of her fingers which looked bent at awkward angles. Things were not going well, as Herios cried out after suffering a slash to his upper arm rendering it to hang limply while he swung wildly with the other clutching his sword. His desperation was clear and looked to being pinned into a corner by two figures.
The sentinel that had saved Norein was no longer moving from a dagger lodged into his back from one of the assassins.
To their left, the fifth was recovering from his crash into the bookshelf and gained his feet... they were now outnumbered.
Toleran spit up blood and sighed painfully with a hand on his chest.
Then glass shards flew through the air as a figure in black plated armor with dull white hair and a shimmering white great-sword upon his back; crashed through the window. He landed into the room near the recovering assassin and within seconds, the blade had been drawn and slashed the assassin across the throat.
The figure then straightened himself and swiped the sword to his side in a ceremonious fashion flicking the blood off the blade, while the dead assassin hit the floor with a thud.
A stillness followed as everyone in the room seemed unsure on what to do next.
It seemed to last forever until Toleran noticed three of the attackers look at the one cloaked figure who had broken Noreins fingers.
“Nagarathi....” The figure hissed.
“Druchii scum.” The newcomer replied and spat on the carcass at his feet.
The silence resumed as both sides waited in anticipation. Then finally the figure who had spoke, moved his hand towards his belt. Causing the others to follow suit and with one coordinated motion, they all threw a pouch that hit the ceiling. Coarse smoke and dust filled the room, forcing Toleran into an uncontrolled cough.
The distraction was brief yet enough to allow the four remaining to disappear.
“I think I have had enough smoke for one night.” Toleran said out-loud and spit out some of the coarse grains that had gathered within his mouth.
Herios clutched his arm and gave a nod to the new-comer before going to check on his wounded troops.
Toleran rubbed his chest in pain and started to look about for his lost sword, then noticed their savior looking in his direction with bright blue eyes.
“Who the hell are you... Nagarathi?” Toleran queried.
Though the white haired warrior said nothing and moved to examine the dead librarian on the floor.
* * *
Treia ran as fast as she could, but there was no shaking the damned Avelornian. She knew the tales of their supposed swiftness... but this was ridiculous. It was as if her pursuer knew the complete lay out of the city, every time she figured herself clear... the green-eyed maiden came flashing around a corner and set the chase off once more.
She threw her weight into her right shoulder, taking an unsuspecting Asur by surprise and sent him reeling back into the door from which he came. It was the third passer-by that had slowed her down, she needed a moment to summon her horse... yet this one was relentless.
Treia had to gain some distance.
A sharp alley corner was coming up and she angled herself to take it at speed, yet made a full switch in momentum and turned back as she cleared herself from the view of the pursuer. With a clenched fist she followed through with what seemed a perfectly timed strike.
But the damn Avelornian was fast....
She missed the face as the head shifted with a quick flick, causing her knuckles to only graze the cheek. Then a hand reached beneath her outstretched arm and across her chest, then with a marvelous channeling of momentum. Treia was thrown through the air.
The ground came quickly, but her experience kept her calm and able to roll out of the fall. Pain streaked through her shoulder, yet she regained her feet and drew a dagger.
With a quick sprint Treia went on the offensive before the Avelornian could draw the sword at her waist or the bow upon her back. The blade slashed in arcs and thrusts with familiar practice, yet her adversary judged the distance well and side-stepped her every move. She was becoming annoyed.
“Die!” She growled with a thrust of the dagger. The maiden pushed the attack to the side and struck the knife from Treia's hand. It clattered on the street as she continued the offensive. Treia spun on her forward heel and advanced with a backwards elbow, hitting the Avelornian on the inside shoulder. The strike hit hard, knocking the maiden off balance and followed on with the opportunity. She threw a hard punch which connected on the left cheek.
Her pursuer cried out in pain and seemed to stumble back, but in reality it turned into a rotation from the forceful strike and blindsided Treia with a high arcing kick. The round house hit her across the side of the head and sent her flailing into the wall... one of the two tall spires which created the alleyway.
A moment of pause ensued as her dark brown eyes met the Avelornians lush green. They both gained a quick reprieve and seemed ready to pounce... when two intoxicated Asur opened a brown door next to Treia and stumbled between them.
Perfect! She thought and forcefully pushed the two forward causing them to fall onto her pursuer. Swirls of smoke appeared as she channeled the winds and opened a portal to the shadow realm. Within moments she was upon Histaris and galloping out of the alley.
A quick look behind her brought a satisfying smile as the rather capable adversary faded from view. As her eyes turned back to the road ahead, she noticed a cloaked figure further down... standing casually in her path, and smoking a pipe?
Most likely another intoxicated fool, she would not stop! The figure drew closer... and still did not move. The red amber's from the herbs in his pipe could be seen clearly, he was staring right at her without so much as a flinch!
“Out of the way!” She shouted, as thick smoke surrounded the stranger. Not the kind from a pipe, but the very same that she was so familiar with.
It was shadow magic.
The stranger was gone, but she knew very well what was happening. As more smoke appeared to her right and she caught a glimpse of outstretched hands... A practitioner of phase shifting, a damned lunatic!
“Bastard!” She cried out, as hands gripped her and smoke clouded her vision.
A familiar pain streaked through her spine as she was thrown to the street. She grunted and looked over to her horse Histaris, who briefly continued his gallop and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The fall had broken her concentration.
The dark cloaked figure had one hand adjusting his pipe and the other holding one of his twin long-swords pointed in her direction.
“I would stay there my lovely.” He said casually with a smile and blew smoke into the air.
* * *
|Author:||Larose [ Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:46 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Ack it's hard to get the ball rolling after so long! haha Just a small piece to get me back in the swing.
* * *
“I had it under control...” Lenais said with a dry tone and picked at the end her bow.
“Oh I know you did.” The dark haired stranger replied with a wide smile.
Toleran looked at both strangers, and then tried to sooth his aching chest. He had no idea where the two had come from; nor would he give himself the headache of trying to guess. Though by their similar facial features he assumed they were brothers.
“Besides,” the newcomer continued with a pointing nod towards their saviour with white hair. “ He would be angry if I hadn't, it's been so long since our last reunion.” A look of teasing banter appeared as he finished, something that implied the three of them had some history.
A cry of pain interrupted the idle chatter and brought everyone's attention to the wounded sentinel. Captain Herios did not look gentle from the hasty way he patched up his only surviving guard, though wounded himself... it seemed the soldier was far worse and time was not on his side.
“How is he?” Norein queried without taking her silver eyes off the new prisoner and clutching her injured hand.
“Stable, but he will need a healer. The sooner the better.” Herios said and stood up while wincing in pain from his wounded arm.
“So does anyone care to tell me who these two are?” Toleran finally asked, the question had been burning his mind and he could no longer contain it.
“Just old friends, happened to be in the area.” The white haired warrior said and took out a black hood from a small satchel at his side. His eyes fell upon the prisoner as he readied it. “We have somewhere nearby that should bring us some privacy.” He continued as the assassin sighed with what seemed a familiarity of knowing what would come next.
Toleran peered with suspicion at the odd answer, though the stranger was right, they were still standing in the old library and who knew when those shadows would return and maybe in greater number.
The hooded assassin went first, under the watchful eye of the two strangers. Then Captain Herios and Norein with the wounded sentinel, both doing their best to keep the guard moving. Toleran and Lenais lagged a bit behind, seeming almost intentionally. Hopefully she would explain who these two were.
She looked a bit haggard, her cheek was swollen red and the edge of her lips had a cut covered in dried blood.
“You alright?” He asked, to which she nodded in return and said nothing as they walked through a back alley.
“They are 'Shadow Knights'.” Lenais said quietly and leaned in slightly. “From the White Tower ...we are a mirror branch to what they do, except we report to the 'Eye of the Phoenix'.”
Tolerans' eyes widened and he realized what they were... specialized sword-masters, famed martial warriors on the battlefield and known to scour Ulthuan in search of Druchii loyalists, cultists and worshipers of the dark gods. Some tales spoke of how entire covens were slaughtered single handily... as these agents often worked alone.
“Well we are lucky they came when they did.” He added and looked back ensuring no one was following them.
“Luck had nothing to do with it... the one in the dark cloak with black hair is Velnos, the other is Sontas, his brother. Both from the Fei'kin family... I should have known.”
Toleran returned his gaze upon Lenais, she noticed his puzzled look.
“Back at the manor, the Silver Knight who was poisoned is Calehir Draconis, son of Kendrakor Draconis.”
“Yes, I know the name. Kendrakor is rather famous of a quick temper and sword.” He interrupted and quickly gave Lenais an apologetic look.
“Anyway... it is Kendrakors' wife that slipped my mind. Ceicil Fei'kin, she is part of the Lore-master council and receives the 'Shadow Knight' reports... these two are her nephews and have been following us since the manor.”
“Seriously?” He asked in a bit of shock. “Some family...” He continued and gazed upon the two brothers ahead.
The group passed through another alley and then made their way towards a small bridge with a rather hidden gate beneath it. Velnos had a key, and within moments Toleran found himself traveling down a dimly lit passageway with another door at the top of a small set of stairs. Another key was produced which opened the door to what seemed to be a cellar... from one of Ulthuans many taverns.
Now they were in a kitchen, full of pleasant aromas of fresh fruit, wine and seafood. The head chef quickly glanced at one of the Shadow Knights who discretely showed a sigil, and that was it. Everyone in the room went about their business as if the group were ghosts.
And onward they went, down another set of stairs and into a hall full of pantry's and dry storage. Then without warning, a set of shelves upon the far wall with jars full of spices... swung inward. A light creaking sound echoed through the room, as a elf in full blackened plate armor awaited them silently.
“We will need some privacy.” Velnos said flatly as the secret entrance closed behind them. The room was a bit oval and had 3 archways with staircases that went down. The guardian pointed to the furthest on the left.
“The assembly chamber is open, otherwise we are full up for preparations... ” The Asur responded quietly from beneath his helm.
“Right, I will go check in with that and meet with you after.” Sontas stated and looked back at Lenais.
Check in with what? Toleran thought as he tried to figure out the coded speech.
“It is good to see you again.” Sontas continued and followed it with a bit of an awkward smile. To which she smiled in return.
“Damn spies, the lot of you.” Came a muffled voice from beneath the dark hood. She coughed and leaned forward as Velnos struck her hard in the stomach.
“That is rich coming from you.” Velnos growled, showing a bit of a darker side other than his casual bravado.
“Druchii heathen.” Sontas seconded and spit at her feet.
“I am no Druchii...” She quipped before being hit once more, this time much harder.
* * *
|Author:||Larose [ Fri May 13, 2016 5:56 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
So hard... mustttt keep goinnngg lol
The white capped mountains of Tiranoc were the platform for the city of Tor Wis, providing a shield at its back and a commanding view of the plains and ocean below. Its walls were built as flawless extensions of the cliffs that fell for hundreds of feet to the city's Western and Southern approaches. The main gate faced North and guarded the long access road which wound its way down the mountain slopes like a serpent. Finally to the east was a small gate for the mountain pass that would take travellers deep into the Annulii mountains and to the inner kingdoms.
Tor Wis was a testament of Asur craftsmanship stemming from a sheer will to rebuild what was lost through civil war. Its ring wall was tall and over thirty feet thick, made to repel all but the most determined invaders. The manors and spires matched the dark gray of its defences, as the city had been carved from the very mountain it stood upon.
Toran gazed across the horizon from the central keeps highest tower, and paced the balcony which had been built just short of the towers peak and wrapped its circumference. The sun was setting and did its best to fight off the cold wind that was now howling through the mountains. He stopped facing south, the only piece of view he loathed. Far below the green plains and sandy beach gave-way to an abrupt marshland which spanned for miles along the Annulii mountains, a remnant from the great floods. 'The Wheeled Marsh', a salt water forest full of weeds, soft ground and pools that spawned dark creatures. A natural blockade for trade with the richer southern cities, yet another obstacle that he had in his way. But not for long.
He turned his eyes to the west, to his precious port town in the distance. 'Whelinos', a deep water harbor that would become the hub for Prince Althrans' fleet, and a staging point to project their combined power.
“Your guests are arriving.” Came a startling voice from the doorway behind him. Toran turned a bit anxiously to face Anoras and replied. “Yes, I see some sails in the harbour... how was your business in Lothern?”
The mages' golden eyes peered at him in irritation beneath the dark hooded cloak he wore. “Problematic, and rather frustrating... Treia has been picked up by agents of both the phoenix and the white tower.”
“I would say that is serious.” Toran ridiculed with a bit of a growl.
“You just make sure not to interfere...” Anoras replied with a stone face, though his eyes once again portrayed a suspicious undertone.
“It is happening tonight?” He said and turned back towards the balcony rail, clutching it in a firm grasp as he quickly became overwhelmed.
“No... but soon...it is necessary.” The mage continued and came to stand beside him. Toran shifted his blue and white silks to keep the wind from cutting to the bone.
“Even death with a purpose... is still death.”
“It is, but the Asur are proud and stubborn... vain and passive until no other choice is before us.” Anoras countered and began walking back towards the doorway.
“Leaving so soon?” Toran asked with a doubt ridden voice. He looked back at the dark cloaked mage who then flipped up his hood and said.
“I am needed elsewhere, remember why we are doing this, we have come too far... Tiranoc shall rise again.”
* * *
Yet another grunt echoed the chamber as the use of magic and even water as a means to extract information, had returned to the fist. Resulting in only more defiance, the assassin was tired, hungry, and bruised but mentally intact. She had given them her name with a bloody smile... Treia, and that she was no Druchii. These were the only words she spoke and Toleran was becoming rather annoyed and sick of it.
He had lost count of the days they had spent in the assembly hall, normally used as some sort of briefing chamber. It was now a room full of re-arranged chairs that made it look like a gallery to view the suffering of a soul seated and tied at its center.
“Enough!” Shouted Norein with a tears dripping down her cheek. She wiped them with her bandaged hand, the remnants of a healer seeing to her broken fingers. Her ashen hair was no longer in a pony-tail, and was loose upon her golden breast-plate.
Sontas, had removed his armor and wore a simple black robe which barely showed the blood that now was dripping from his knuckles. He held the next blow and turned towards the warrior maiden, his bright blue eyes met the stern silver and within moments he stepped aside. Norein pulled up a chair and sat across from Treia.
The rest of their group had scattered around the room, some eating food and others nursing wounds. Yet his mentor had watched carefully, Lenais had not missed a moment of the prolonged interrogation. She sat beside Toleran, elbows resting on her knees with her hands propping up her chin. Her brown hair was still tied back and he found himself admiring her white faint tattoos on her neck.
Then her emerald eyes shifted in his direction, catching him in his day dream.
“Am I more interesting than what is occurring here?” She queried with a glare that did not warrant a response. “Norein, if she will not tell us who those other assassins were, why they were trying to kill her or who hired her in the first place... then let us at least hear why she is no Druchii.” Lenais continued a little louder in frustration and returned her gaze.
“Well?” Norein seconded and gazed at her one time friend in utter disbelief. “What do you have to lose, if this interrogation does not end up killing you... then those shadows will surely finish the job soon enough.”
Treia tried to advert her eyes and sighed.
“I am an Asur.” She said flatly and showed a building resentment in her swollen features.
“Druchii no longer have that right.” Velnos barked from the back of the room and continued eating from a tray of fruit.
Treia chuckled and spit blood on the floor. “My family paid with enough blood fighting Druchii for that right.”
Her words came out in an swollen manner but they were clear enough and the room went silent.
“A colonist...” Lenais said quietly.
Norien looked back in their direction with eyes seeking more information.
Treia gaffed and shook her head. “ I wish we were given that status.”
Tolerans' mind raced, he had heard of rough fortune among some of the Asur colonies and even of great riches as well... some were known to house multiple battalions of hardened warriors and immense wealth. Nothing to warrant such resentment... unless.
“Arnheim.” He said out loud and caught the assassins attention, as well as the rest of the room.
Treia just stared in his direction, expectant of more.
“The phoenix tries to help that colony as much...” He stopped short, the propaganda of the courts felt like dirt upon his tongue.
Many knew all too well yet spoke little of the empty speeches and promises to reinforce the garrison of Arnheim. Which rested on the eastern coastline of Naggaroth, and the closest city to their Druchii brethren.
However the reality was that very few houses would answer such calls, and were even slower to raise armies to break the relentless sieges that plagued the fortress city. It had been conquered once, and reclaimed... yet now was more of a thorn in the side of the Asur, always asking for aid, for more troops... for more supplies.
“The lies are heavy on the tongue... no?” She cackled in disgust. “Oh the hope my parents would fill me with, 'Prince Tyrion will come to break the Druchii' and 'help is on its way'... yet few ever did, never enough ships, never a large enough threat. So close to the holy island and yet always too far... too risky.”
The wounded captain Herios stood from his chair with a wince of pain and growled. “ We sent what we could!”
“Oh please, the immensely strategic port to keep the water ways open, yet always under siege. Never given a moments peace, children stripped from families through countless raids. And yet only the minimum ever came from the Phoenix, just enough to keep the Druchii out. I am sure no one reports the death toll of a city that exists for all else to profit, for the past glory of the Ever Empire.”
“You were one of these children...” Lenais interjected and ended the passionate rant of the assassin.
The room went silent once more as Treia and Lenais locked gazes.
“How young were...” Norein started but was interrupted by a snarling captive.
“Too young! The Druchii and Asur can burn together.” She said and trailed off in thought.
“So you fight the Asur now.” Sontas said quietly with a hardened stare.
“I kill for whoever pays enough, and it just so happens there are high prices on the heads of the Asur.”
Norein started to rub her forehead. “ Then who hired you.” She asked in disgust.
“As if they give their name freely, he is a powerful mage , desperately wants to kill me and rather short.”
“So then what good are you to us?” Sontas yelled out and picked up his white great-sword from nearby.
Treia paused for a moment. “There is a covenant, it is where I and many others are hired... it has a keeper who must know something.”
"Why should we trust your word..." Velnos asked from the back of the room, now clearly showing an interest.
"You have no choice, though the covenant now has a price on my head... and I would rather do what I can to keep this mindless beast from cleaving me in half with his big white knife." She returned and sent a bloody smile towards a steaming Sontas.
|Author:||Larose [ Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:57 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
I blame summer and its shenanigans... that is all... lol
* * *
The four spires of Tor Ethir were connected at their mid-levels by a number of long arced bridges that formed their combined half crescent shape. The base of the towers were conjoined by a large palace with a wide plateau staircase leading down to a marvelous courtyard. Towering white Eataini oaks lined the outer walls which encircled the complex and brought an aura of serenity to the otherwise military styled architecture.
This was the heart of the Silver Knights Order, its ancient seat of power from where its noble warriors marched forth to aid Ulthuan and strike down its enemies.
Massive oil paintings littered the inner halls of the palace, and one in particular always caught Calehirs' eye. A battle during the Asur civil war on the fields of Ellyrion, just shortly before the events of the Sundering. One glittering host against another, even a keen eye had trouble telling the difference between the armies pitched against one another.
Yet there was some subtle detail that showed where the Order stood, their silver cloaks and banners merging among the levy's around them. Countless foes had fallen prey to the ancient trick, believing they were up against Ulthuans citizen militia and failing to notice the Silver Knights formations until face to face with the battle hardened warriors.
“Ah Calehir, there you are.” Came a familiar voice from down the white hallway, which caused him to slowly turn with a smile.
“Serionil...” He answered with a friendly nod and paced towards the fully armored captain. “Why are you not with Prince Toran?” Calehir continued in puzzlement.
“Ah, living under a rock I see... I arrived yesterday, the prince tasked me to a diplomatic meet with our colonial brothers in Copher.” He replied while shaking his head.
Calehir knew he hated such trivial things and sent him a mocking smirk.
“Oh you think it's funny do you! Well you are to take my place at Tor Wis and you are to leave today in order to meet the Chancellor and Council... I hear you are feeling well.” Serionil said in a commanding tone with a smile of his own.
Calehir raised his hands up in wonderment... the Chancellor had left by sea two days ago, and not to mention the Council was already in Tor Wis. “I am. Yet how do you expect me to arrive in time for the congregation? What am I flying there? I should have just stayed with you in the first place.”
Serionil became startled for a brief moment and had a small look of praise. “Why yes you are actually, you have a friend awaiting you in the courtyard... excellent timing I'd say. And you know we cannot fight the will of the Council. No matter how many times they may change their mind.”
“Thylorrasilis.” The captain said bluntly. “ Or whatever you call him.... Eclipse was it? I doubt I have ever seen a dragon so annoyed with such antics as to changing his name.”
Calehir became estatic and also confused... why was his fathers' dragon here?
“I.. Uh... well safe journey to you Serionil, do not tarry too long... who knows what trouble awaits me.” He said with another smirk and clapped the captains shoulder as he made into a quick sprint through the hall.
“That is what I am afraid of!” Serionil shouted behind him.
It took little time for Calehir to duck and weave his way into the courtyard, avoiding small talk with his fellow brothers and sisters of the Order, many passing by in wonderment over his scrambling pace. The two massive white doors of the main entrance were wide open and allowed him to see the jet black dragon. It dominated the courtyard even with its wings tucked to its side. Eclipse turned his head and spotted Calehir with his bright amber eyes.
“I could have fallen back into the eternal slumber while awaiting you young prince.” The dragon stated with a booming voice and lowered his head towards the staircase.
Calehir slowed his pace and sent Eclipse a side-long glance. “ You know I do not carry that title... or have yet to earn it for that matter. Besides... most of the order is unaware to that fact and I'd like to keep it that way.”
“Humble... yet naive if you think you can hide the name 'Draconis' beneath that silver cloak. Especially once they see you take to the skies with me!” The dragon said gently at first and then boomed out once more in grandeur while spreading its wings.
He looked over his shoulder nervously and a bit embarrassed over the spectacle. “So it seems we are heading to Tor Wis together... Why are you not with father?”
“Is it not obvious? Someone tried to kill his son, your training here is necessary but never forget who you are! For surely I will crush any who cross you Calehir Draconis!” The Dragon boomed once more, gaining the attention of all those nearby.
“Eclipse! Would you stop!”
The dragons eyes narrowed.
“ Thylorrasilis, that is my name you impudent little...”
“Are we going to converse through the day, or shall I fetch my things?” Calehir said with a smile.
Eclipse raised his head and snapped its jaw, letting out a bit of red and yellow flame with a rumbling growl.
“If you must young prince! As I doubt those gray robes will suffice... I must say it has been rather peaceful without your irritating jests.” The dragon said with a menacing smile of his own, or what Calehir had always thought was its smile; as it was rather hard to tell with all the teeth.
* * *
Toleran put down the wet stone and brought up his cloth, his swords had taken a rather large beating with those damn shades at the archives. They would not best him a second time.
Their hidden lair was now bustling with activity as everyone prepared for the impending raid, armor was being checked, swords being sharpened and groups going over their roles. By the details given from Treia, it seemed they were headed for a noble's manor near the northern edge of Lothern. Yet it was the catacomb beneath that brought unease... known to have more than one entrance and ample opportunities to lose your way.
The repetitive motion of sharpening his blade was mundane, yet a prickly sensation had him stop and look up. Approaching where he sat was an Asur clad in tight black leathers with a dark cloak and a bow & quiver strapped to her back. She had long brown hair tied in a pony tail and sharp green eyes that glanced towards him with a familiarity.
“Lenais...” He greeted as he stood causing him to notice the figure in a dark robe striding closely behind his companion. The dark eyes and gray hair was familiar. “Hystarys!” He continued and put down his sword.
The Eye of the Phoenix sent him a small smirk and stopped a few paces away with a side step. This allowed a clear view of a stunning maiden wearing a bright silver gown that matched her sterling silver hair and eyes. She walked with a smooth grace that made it appear as though she glided across the stone floor. It had been years since he'd seen her... but there was no mistake... Ceicil.
“Let me introduce you to Ceicil Fei'Kin Draconis, Shadow Guardian of the White Tower and advisor to the High Lore-master.” Hystarys said quietly and made room for her to stand beside him.
“Oh we have met before Hystarys... though it has been some time.” Ceicil said with a warm smile which caused Toleran to slightly blush. He shifted in place and noticed a suspicious glance from Lenais nearby.
“It is good to see you again my lady.” Toleran answered nervously with a small bow. “ Are you planning on joining us for this raid?” He continued.
The warm smile faded as her eyes scanned the preparations around her. “No, I have business in Lothern... I am just here to ensure my people provide all the help required for the Eye of the Phoenix to destroy this traitorous cult.” Her soft voice turned into a resonating rumble as passion filled her eyes. “Take me to this assassin who nearly caused the death of my son.” Ceicil finished with a small nod in Tolerans' direction and walked off with Hystarys.
He watched the silver clad maiden disappear down the nearby staircase and was abruptly interrupted by a hard punch to the arm.
“Gah!” He let out in anger and turned to see Lenais with an expecting look upon her face.
“Like I said it was long ago...” He said as her eyes narrowed and intently examined him.
“You failed to mention any of that when I told you about the Order she created and a bit of their family history.”
“I... it was a bit personal. I am sorry I deceived you.” Toleran replied sheepishly. To which she punched him again.
“Nothing to be sorry for.” She said with a smile as he rubbed his arm in confusion. “I am impressed.”
Toleran titled his head side ways and gave her a questioning look.
“Just when I thought you were learning.” Lenais replied with a shake of her head and started walking towards the staircase.
“You do know what line of work you are in right?” She said with outstretched hands and sent him another quick smile before descending the same stair case to follow Hystarys.
|Author:||Larose [ Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:26 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
* * *
“My lords and ladies, welcome to Tor Wis... The jewel of Tiranoc.” Toran paused and sent the room his warmest smile. Most had arrived over the last couple days, and soon those who stood in his way would be removed... those who did not believe would finally see and those who would try to stop him, would come to realize it was too late.
“Please enjoy yourselves while we wait on our few remaining guests, this is a gathering of unity and this evenings main announcement will come shortly before dinner.” He continued with a new smile and a lingering gaze on the Silver Knight Council, the six richly glad elders who had tried to stop his every move... they would finally see.
The grand hall was filled with every colored silk imaginable, delegates from every kingdom of Ulthuan. Merchants marveling over the imported fruits and fish from the colonies, scholars admiring artistic tapestries, relics and beautiful floral arrangements which lined the entire square hall. Well over a hundred influential Asur that would benefit and join him in his rise to power. No longer would Tiranoc be looked upon as what had once been.
He caught himself within his thoughts and brought a new and well practiced smile of welcome, his uncomfortable pause would have been awkward to most with out his grace.
“So let us celebrate a bit before we continue on to state and business affairs.” Toran raised his silver wine glass and brought his free hand up in an open gesture. “To the Asur and the Ever Empire, the true guardians of this world!” His toast was met with applause and a chorus of 'to the chosen'.
The evening seemed to drag on as Toran kept to small talk and a relaxed pace as he walked throughout the grand hall. He stopped to admire his newly finished white marble fountain, which was the backdrop to where his guests would receive drink refreshments. The attendants almost outnumbered his guests as they moved throughout the room with exotic foods and drinks.
He had spared no expense for this occasion, some would not have come if he had. An ugly truth about those dictating the future of their people. Asuryan would be foolish to trust such a great task to anyone but him.
“My Lord.” Came an unfamiliar voice from behind him, bringing a small chill as he turned.
It was one of his new attendants, as there had been so many new hires for the event. He gave a quick nod for the young and a bit odd looking Asur... to continue.
“A message awaits you in your personal chambers.” A small wicked smile appeared, and then the attendant turned and vanished within his mingling guests.
A queasy feeling overcame him as sensation of guilt almost crippled his body, Anoras had not shared the details of what would happen tonight.
Toran took a deep breath and finished off his wine. His eyes scanned the room in a new light, he had a moment of concern for those throughout the room. Yet a little voice came through and pushed the weak thoughts from his mind. 'Asuryans Champion' the little voice said. 'It is necessary'.
Damn you Anoras. Toran shook his head as he sensed the magic trick within... did his partner think him so weak of mind?
Yet one thing was for sure... there was no turning back now.
* * *
“Well extravagant would be an understatement.” He muttered and loosened the crossed shoulder straps that held his twin swords securely to his back.
“I have seen larger.” Lenais whispered with a smirk and a green eyed gaze which subtly told him to focus.
“I only imagine the catacombs to be a vast maze to get lost in, not to mention our guide hates us all.” Toleran continued, and gave a nod towards the North where another team was getting ready. The main group would consist of Norein closely guarding the assassin Treia; along with a full contingent of sentinels led by Hystarys himself through the South gate of the manor. The brothers would lead a team through the West gate, while Lenais and Toleran would lead a smaller group through the postern gate in the East. Most had opposed taking Treia, yet navigating the lower catacombs left no other choice. This all seemed a bit rushed and almost foolish.
“Just keep your eyes open and follow my lead.” She stated abruptly and pulled out her bow. “It is almost time, everyone ready?” Lenais asked with a side glance.
Toleran looked back at the ten sentinels under their charge, one looked far too young. Like he did during his first post in Ulthuans levy. He gave a quick nod in their direction, which was reciprocated in turn. “ Watch our backs, stay close and no one do anything rash.” Toleran whispered and looked back to Lenais, she sent a small smile and pulled up her hood.
“Lets move!” She said a bit loudly and gave the thick rope a quick tug. “Yah!” Came the shout of a sentinel further down, leading a few horses attached to the rope.
The gate hinges groaned briefly as the rope tightened with a snap and a clang of the gate hitting the ground.
They moved in a unison sprint towards the silver door ahead, located between two tall spires with peaks that disappeared in the low night clouds. The moon was a small crescent, which was perfect for the night raid. Lenais took the left side as he took the right, the sentinels formed up on either side and waited.
The signal would be the loud horns that would come from the group at the main gate. They were hoping to catch anyone trying to flee, yet it was down below that brought concern for escape... they needed to get down there as soon as they could.
Toleran paused in thought, and then reached for the intricate handle. Lenais glared as he raised his eyebrows and the door clicked open. He then pushed the door right at the precise moment where someone turned the corner of a hallway coming face to face with him.
“Going somewhere?” Toleran said joyfully and grabbed the younger dark haired Asur by the shoulders. The black silk robes signified some sort of nobility and it tore easily as he shifted his weight and threw the elf to the waiting sentinels outside. They quickly grabbed the newcomer as he landed on his hands and knees.
A few moments later the expected horns rang out in the night sky, which was followed by further movement within the manor.
“That is the signal! You three secure the prisoner and the door. The rest follow me!” Lenais ordered with an urgency as she drew an arrow and moved down the hall.
Toleran followed in her wake with the remaining sentinels and watched her clear corners with her usual grace.
“Halt! Agents of the Phoenix!” She shouted then quickly cursed as she loosed an arrow. He turned the corner after her and saw a few attendants with their hands in the air. Their eyes wide as another young elf rolled on the ground in pain from the arrow in the back of his leg.
Their group moved into the center of the room, and sought to restrain the three nearby. Then a hiss and a clang of an arrow hitting the marble floor, sent everyone scrambling. The room was overlooked by a balcony from the second floor, and two house guards were sprinting to nearby pillars and loosing arrows in their direction.
“Above us!” Lenais shouted and responded with an arrow of her own. Though Toleran's attention was now on the drawn blades from the two attendant who had previously surrendered.
He was forced to jump back from a swiping blade and instinctively responded with a slash of his sword. Blood streaked through the air as his blade cut through the elfs forearm, and let out a piercing cry which echoed through the room. Soon after a spear streaked over his shoulder like a javelin and pierced through the other attendants chest.
Toleran paused in view of all the blood and cries of pain from a few feet away, not that it was anything new. Just that he felt so uncertain on who was his foe, this was no battle line. More a murderous skirmish as his ears attuned to the wails of pain and clashing of weapons throughout the manor.
Though the sound of an arrow embedding itself into a shield was something he knew very well, and came in unison of a hand gripping his shoulder with a push. “Sir, what are you doing!” Came a shout from the very young sentinel who was now pushing him towards a doorway and out of sight from the house guards on the second floor.
He looked at two arrows jutting from the shield the young elf carried as he peered around the corner of the doorway. Toleran shook his head and said, “ thanks for that... I ... froze.”
“Help me.” The sentinel responded as he jumped forward with his shield up and his free hand gripping under the arm of a wounded comrade. They pulled with stressed grunts as another arrow flew through the doorway behind him, finally managing to pull the wounded sentinel out of harms way.
He had an arrow through his stomach and looked pale. Without an immediate healer, his fate was sealed. Toleran had seen it many times. He then pulled out a satchel with wine and pressed it to the elfs dry lips.
“You have him?” Toleran said in more of a statement followed by a nod, and then charged out towards the staircase at the far end of the room. Lenais and a few sentinels were already ahead of him, as he struggled to catch up.
“Lenais! We need to find the way down, not up!” He shouted from mid-way up the stair case.
She loosed an arrow and said, “ you five keep moving through the upper levels!” Then looked in his direction with a nod, “Let us find the brothers, they should be reaching the kitchens with the entrance. Treia's information better be correct, for her sake.”
|Author:||SpellArcher [ Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:54 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Nice contrast between the two pieces Larose. More please!
|Author:||Larose [ Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:43 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Hey SpellArcher, thanks for the kind words! Yea I realized my story was unfinished, work has taken much of my time lately and there's nothing worse than an unfinished story! haha I apologize to all those who were stuck with silence for so long, that's my bad.
He slowly closed the door to his chambers and gave a quick nod to the two house guards outside the room. They were from the 'Swan Wardens', his wife's family guard and known for their skill with spears. Which is what they carried, while their garb comprised of white silks beneath smooth ebony plates made for mobility.
Prince Toran turned to the wide table in front of his balcony doorway, it was a dark wood that contrasted richly with the red drapes throughout the room. And there on it's flat surface, rested a rather large book with a letter on top of it. He quickly sat on the maroon cushioned chair and placed his silver wine cup on the desk. The letter had the Se'Cruen seal... so it was from Anoras, upon opening it there was just a simple statement, 'as promised'.
He entered a deep thought for a few moments and looked at the large book, which on closer inspection seemed to be a pile of parchments connected together with metal rings. Toran proceeded to flip through the pages with interest and quickly realized what it was. Every few pages were signed pledges of support for his cause and varied from: deeds for parcels of land, partial or full ownership of businesses ranging from shipping, to mines and spice trades of the colonies. The list continued on from almost everyone in his hall at this very moment, he noticed forges for weapons and armor, yearly contributions, cattle, percentages of harvest and even warrior recruitment.
This was incredible, it had taken decades of planning and petitions for support, countless favours and business deals. Though he never anticipated so many signed documents to be in his possession at this very moment. It was all so close to fully coming together, pieces of every kingdom under one standing banner for conquest and response to their Druchii kin... A sword for the guardians of this sacred world. A professional legion for the Phoenix King and their people to rely on. A projection of power... which would be under his control.
He flipped through a few more pages before standing up with his wine and opening the balcony doors. The crescent moon illuminated the water and created a faint beam of light that reached his port town below. Toran took a prideful drink of his Ilesin Wine, shipped from the colonies which... well he now owned a part of its profits.
“That little bastard did it.” He said out loud with a chuckle and another sip of his wine. Now all he needed was Althran to show up with his fleet to portray their combined power and finally get this night over with. They should have been here a couple days past, better late than never he supposed.
As Toran turned to head back into his chambers, movement caught his eye in the distance. He focused for a moment and realized it was the silhouette of a ship in the moon light. But not just one, it turned into many more and they were not Asur. His silver chalice clanged off the balcony floor and snapped him out of his shocked state.
“Damned Druchii!” He shouted and broke into a sprint for his chamber door, grabbing his long-sword from the wall on the way. As he reached the door, a scream of pain could be heard from the other side. Toran opened it to see one of the wardens on the ground bleeding out from a knife through his throat. The other was trying to fend off two assailants dressed as his catering staff!
The Swan Warden was bleeding from his arm, yet his spear flicked back and forth with ferocious speed.
Toran gripped his sword with both hands and charged forward as one of the attackers turned to face him. This was a mistake as the warden's spear flashed in a wide arc, catching both servers across the neck. They collapsed with painful gurgles while dropping their deadly curved daggers, Druchii made weapons.
“My lord, I have heard the sounds of fighting further on... I believe there are more of them.”
Toran gave a nod to his panting guardian, then remembered all his guests. “Come, we must get back to the main hall! There's a damned Druchii raid about to hit our shores!”
His fears were soon realized as they made their way through the corridors at a sprinters pace. His house guard were on alert and the sounds of skirmishes echoed from different directions. Many were confused, some were trying to help the wounded and others fighting it out.
Thankfully someone had made the call to rouse the garrison.
“Quickly now! Into the grand hall!” Toran ordered to the guards gathered outside the hall doors. Is this what Anoras had planned? Surely this was something else, this was uncontrolled madness.
The doors opened with the guards charging into mayhem. The screams and clashing of weapons was almost deafening. Assailants in black cloaks had somehow got inside and were fighting alongside some of the traitorous catering staff, they must have been let in!
“Kill the damned Druchii!” He shouted as more of the garrison charged in past him, giving much needed aid to those still fending for their lives.
The scene was horrifying, countless wounded and dead were strewn throughout the hall. Many were fighting with their fists trying to overwhelm their attackers in numbers, his fountain was stained in blood and the entire room was a disaster.
His sword slashed and stabbed as his guards began to slaughter the assassins with their overwhelming numbers. Yet he already knew it was too late, the damage was done and it was only beginning. The raid would be upon his shores by now... they had to get ready.
“See to the wounded! Check every closet and nook within Tor Wis!” Toran's head was spinning but he tried to maintain his composure, he pointed towards his garrison captain. “Hilas, get the levy bells ringing... we must rouse the city and prepare for combat. Whelinos port is being raided as we speak!”
His orders rang out to anyone he caught standing about in shock, the scene was gruesome. Many had died to knife wounds, others looked to have been poisoned... it was total chaos.
“Toran.” Came a faint and familiar voice from nearby, and his heart sank. He turned to see his wife leaned up against a pillar, one of her handmaidens was holding her hand while trying to stop the bleeding from their own forehead with the other.
“Elis'l, what have they done to you!” He shrieked and dropped to his knees next to her. A black substance was dripping from the side of her mouth and out of her nose.
“I need a healer here immediately!” Toran shouted and tried to clean the dark liquid with his robe.
“I think it is too late.” She said weakly and coughed more of the substance up. Her eyes wandered and rolled back as her head tilted to the side and went still. He shouted out in anger as his hands desperately tried to wake her up by shaking her shoulders.
All the poison meant one thing, this must have been what Anoras has referred to... this was too far, too much blood, what had he agreed to? He felt his body start to shake in anger, as his rage was overwhelmingly powerful.
He stood up with his sword in hand and paced to where a wounded Druchii sat under guard, the bastard had a small smile on his face.
“You seem amused!” Toran yelled and brought his sword up in a striking pose. “ Let me give you a smile Druchii scum!” He continued and swung his sword before the prisoner could answer.
The relic sword cut with ease and he was not sure if he had mis-judged the distance or not, but the blade slashed across the elf's mouth and took the rest of his head with it.
Toran was breathing hard and not thinking clearly, he looked around the room in disgust. He felt almost as if he was losing control, that is until a damned little voice came back into his head, 'it is for the good of our people'.
It seemed to clear his mind, yet he was still unsure how to think.
“Prepare my chariot! There is no time to waste!” He shouted out to the room, creating a scramble of Asur trying to make sense of the situation.
“Where is the Silver Knight Council?”
This new voice was also vaguely familiar, and caused Toran to search his memory as he turned towards its source. A young warrior with a bloodied sword stood in the doorway of the grand hall, his face in utter shock as to what he saw.
It was the Draconis heir Calehir,
Toran scanned the room and spotted a few of the council elders on the floor of the hall, all with black tar dripping from their mouths. He looked back at the young Asur, who seemed to have seen the answer to his question.
The long night was only beginning.
|Author:||SpellArcher [ Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:08 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
It’s always the damned Dark Elves isn’t it, they don’t know when to stop!
|Author:||Larose [ Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:12 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
I don't think they know how to stop hahaha Sorry about the wait! Trying my best !
* * *
Dethadrin sighed and leaned against his silver staff. He was bored and the constant break of the waves hitting the shore was starting to place him in a trance like state. Being assigned as a part of the honor guard for the arrival of the Silver Knight Chancellor wasn't his first choice. His brothers were enjoying the festivities at this very moment, and he was stuck waiting out in the cold night.
Ropes were being tied off to secure the large Eagle ship to one of the many docks at Whelinos port. It was a rather large vessel and was his first time being so close to one. Its large plank extended out and took some time for the sailors to fully secure for use. The whole operation seemed to be a logistical concert of sailors moving in different directions with their own tasks.
A quick smack across his arm jolted Dethadrin from his wandering thoughts. He straightened himself and smiled at his friend Heric who had steadied up the Silver Knights behind him. There was movement on the top deck which most likely signified the Chancellor was about to disembark.
His eyes wandered up to the star filed sky with the crescent moon illuminating the ocean in the distance.
Their commander came into view wearing sterling silver armor that reflected the moon light with stunning shimmers. His dark red cloak rustled with the light wind as he walked down the ships plank towards them.
“My Lord, we have a carriage waiting to take you to Tor Wis.” Dethadrin stated with a small bow. Then became concerned and tightened his grip on the silver staff, someone was manipulating the winds of magic... he could feel it and it brought a tingling feeling across his whole body.
His eyes scanned the area nearby, the port town had many alleyways and large warehouses which created a security nightmare.
“Draw your weapons!” He shouted as his eyes caught the silhouette of numerous ships in the distance.
The Druchii? Here? Now? He cursed out loud and brought his staff into the air in response to the massive purple and blue ball of energy that was now hurling in their direction.
“Get down!” He yelled out and jumped forward towards the confused chancellor. His staff touched the dock and channeled his magic into a brilliant white arced barrier of protection. Dethadrin tried to brace himself in an angled crouch as all sound seemed to be drained in an uneasy silence. The massive ball of energy hit the side of the ship with swirling fury and finally erupted in a deafening explosion of fire and wooden planks.
The magic shock wave was enormous as it pushed and even cracked Dethadrins magical barrier. He grunted and screamed out as the heat from the magical fire destroyed the nearest warehouse and blew a gaping hole in the eagle ship. The chancellor's gauntlet gripped his shoulder as he gave the mage a thankful nod. The shinning armor was now partially stained black and the luxury cloak was torn with burn holes.
Screams of pain could be heard from the ship and some of the knights behind him, one laid on the ground with a ship plank splinter through his leg. He shook his head and rubbed his ears from the ringing pain, which revealed blood. His damn ears were bleeding!
“Damn them all!” He shouted out and rolled his shoulders in pain. “My Lord, we need to get you to safety.”
Bells could be heard in the distance which signified an Asur response was underway.
Bolts from crossbows and bolt throwers were now flying through the city as a mass panic was spreading through the port town, it's alarm bells were also ringing. Soon the Druchii raid would cut through the docked ships and attempt to burn everything down.
“Heric! Grab who we can, we need to get out of here!” His friend was on one knee trying to help the wounded knight, yet time was running short... they needed to reach the carriage.
He was under a constant battle with his rage... in which he started to shake and lose a bit of control. He cursed out and angrily paced down the dock with an outstretched hand... cursing again while unleashing countless bolts of fire that arced and spiraled through the air towards the closest Druchii ship. The eruptions of the magic and his rage brought a lust for power within him; he screamed out and brought his hands together with his staff.
He did not think this through.
His practice and teachings of the Asur 'true magic' was amateur at best, and he realized that a few moments too late. A large golden triangle appeared before him with a burning phoenix at its center, the symbols came together and started to spin with his channeling of energy. Yet they were not in sync as it was no longer in his control. Just a pure raw energy that erupted from where he stood and created a massive wall of white fire upon the water in the distance.
It was beautiful for the briefest of moments as the energy also backfired and blasted him in the opposite direction towards the chancellor and his friends. He hit the broken rubble with a forceful crash of dust and debris, his chest burned from the countless cuts created from the raw magical energy.
Though the pain meant he was still alive.
Dethadrin groaned in breathless agony as the impact had also taken the air from his lungs. Time seemed to pass slowly as he contemplated his stupid and rash actions...that much raw energy should have probably killed him.
“He's still alive!” Came a shout nearby and was accompanied by a few grasping hands which pulled him from the rubble.
“You crazy bastard!” Heric shouted with an almost prideful smile, as his friend looked back and pointed towards the bright white wall of fire on the water. Three Druchii ships were completely engulfed in flames as the rest of the fleet tried to maneuver out of the fires wrath.
Dethadrin wobbled wearily as his knees were weak and he realized his silver robes were scorched, torn and full of blood from the many cuts across his chest.
“I've only read about that spell.” He said flatly and spit blood on the floor. He saw the chancellor's eyes go wide in response with a slight shake of his head.
“I need you alive Dethadrin, but it seems you have bought us some much needed time... take me to the carriage.”
* * *
Toleran leaned against the wall and let both of his swords drop to the floor. His shoulder was in pain from a over zealous house guard armed with a knife. What was wrong with everyone here? He thought most would have surrendered by now.
Lenais noticed his plight and came over with some sort of ointment and bandages. The fighting had been rather gruesome, and they hadn't even reached the catacombs yet!
“Let me see the wound.” She said, with a rather gentle tone of concern. The Avelornian slowly released the clasps on his right shoulder plate and cut a piece of his robe away. The knife had somehow found its way past his armor.
“If you don't open that door, your head will roll and I will smash it down! All you do is waste my patience” Sontas shouted as he gripped the house lord by the neck.
Most of their group were preparing for the descent into the catacombs, yet this Asur was attempting to deny any knowledge to the bitter end.
Toleran winced in pain as Lenais cleaned his wound. “ Why do they deny and fight Velnos?” He queried while trying to ignore the gripping pain he was in.
Velnos looked over and lit his pipe with a smile. “Swordmasters of the White Tower have a reputation, those charged with the hunt of conspirators and cultist have even more of a reputation. And we 'Shadow Knights' have the worst of all.” A puff of smoke went into the air as he pushed his jade hair back with a free hand. “ Some think it better to die rather than suffer the humiliation of losing their assets, titles and honor... not to mention interrogation.”
“Many still support our scornful kin.” Lenais added and tightened the bandage causing him to gasp in pain. “There that should help you finish this night out.” She said with a smile and a light tap to his chest.
Toleran returned a nod of appreciation and bent down to pick up his weapons. Then an idea popped into his head.
“Treia, has he not opened this door for you more than once. Surely you must know how to get past the magical wards.” He stated and turned towards their prisoner.
Her features were still swollen and the cuts across her brow and cheeks had healed a small amount. It all made for a grotesque looking smile. “Thought you would never ask.” She answered and walked towards the door.
“Stay away! He will kill us all!” The lord shouted in fear before being silenced into gasps for air as the white haired brother tightened his grip.
“Oh he has already tried.” Treia snarkily replied and moved her hands across the doorway. She muttered a few incantations while lightly following certain symbols.
A still silence followed before the door shifted and started to descend into the floor.
Hystarys smiled in Tolerans' direction and then turned towards a couple of swordmasters. “Bring this one to the Phoenix dungeon, I will have questions on who this 'he' is when this night is over.”
“Surely you jest!” The lord screamed out while being hauled out. “I am an Eataini Lord!”
“Not anymore.” Hystarys said flatly and gestured towards the doorway. “ We have wasted enough time, move out!
|Author:||SpellArcher [ Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:17 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Gripping stuff! I particularly like the mage.
|Author:||Larose [ Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:14 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
haha I know a few of you do, you may like this next piece then and thanks, gripping is good lol very good.
Their original plan to reach the carriage... had changed. Too many being wounded, too many in panic and chaos.
‘They need leadership!’ The Chancellor had stated upon actually reaching the carriage. He was not wrong, yet things were dire.
The Silver Knight ships that had accompanied the Chancellor’s voyage, were now engaged in bitter fighting within the bay. Turning valiantly towards their foe and using Dethadrin’s fire to gain a temporary advantage.
Yet the whole town was being overwhelmed, corsairs were pouring over the sides of their ships in ridiculous numbers.
“Lock shields! We hold here until reinforcements arrive!” The Chancellor bellowed from one of the horses he had saddled off the carriage.
They were positioned at a two way junction on the North-East edge of the town. Their Asur numbers, maybe over a thousand.
This was better than being run down by harpies and Druchii outriders he supposed. The enemy ships were using large planks to offload troops, beasts and equipment.
This was no small raid.
He looked back and forth at his armored Silver Knight brothers and sisters. Then onto the overwhelming number of his kin that barely had any time to grab pieces of armor. Most had their helms, shields, spears and bows, as to their training when the bells rang in the middle of the night.
Though in this fight, there was no advantage for them. The Druchii were ready, armored, fast and dirty fighters.
“Archers at the ready!” Their leader shouted as he galloped back and forth behind the shield wall.
Dethadrin could stand now, thanks to the very pretty and talented mage that had joined them in the panic ridden streets. Her name was Samia’li, her brown hair was frazzled and her blue eyes showed the inevitable terror they all felt. She was a healer dressed in a blue night robe and she gripped her silver staff as if to snap it in half.
He placed his hand on her shoulder. “You heard the bells, we need to stay alive until the garrison arrives… We can do this.”
Her eyes met his, a bit more determined now. Then turned to a scolding look.
“If you try to wield our true magic like a damn sword, you’re going to get yourself killed!” Her tone matched her look as she pressed her hand to his chest… rather roughly.
Golden energy swept over him as she tried to heal his scars.
“You must be one with its natural flow, guide it… do not try and bend it to your whim... like those damn barbarians destroying my home.” She grabbed his hand and placed it upon hers, letting him feel the energy's current.
“Can you feel that?” Samia’li said and extended his hand towards a wounded Asur next to him. The elf had taken an arrow to the leg.
The healing magic flowed through him and out from his fingers, mending the wounded leg.
“You will teach me more after this night is over.”
“Good.” She said with a smile and turned back towards the battle line.
The Druchii could be seen raiding into homes and chasing stranded Asur throughout the streets in the distance. They were killing and fighting towards their position.
“Wait for it!” The Chancellor shouted as Druchii started to pour around building alleys and other streets.
“Kill them all!” He bellowed once more as their damned kin seemed to be trying to organize against the shield wall.
Arrows flew and Druchii fell.
Bolts answered and cries of the damned echoed into the night sky.
Dethadrin extended his arm and tried to concentrate on the flow that Samia’li had shown him. Streaks of red fire flew from his hand and exploded in blasts of flame as the Druchii charged headlong towards them.
The Asur arrows were finding their marks and their kin needed to close the distance as soon as possible.
“Watch the left flank!” Someone shouted out down the line.
The Chancellor reared his horse into the air in response.
“Full wedge at the center... roll the line on the left!” He shouted as horns rang out in response to shift their positions. Every Asur was trained, and none hesitated.
Spears were lowered and arrows flew as the Druchii jumped and hacked into their lines.
Dethadrins’ head was on a swivel, unleashing bolts of fire at the oncoming horde of corsairs.
It was looking like an effective response, until the night sky was filled with shrieking beasts.
“Above us! Harpies!” Someone shouted while others were picked up into the air and thrown or hacked.
“I need that wall of fire Dethadrin!” The Chancellor shouted while pointing with his sword to the intersection.
“I need it now!” He continued and hacked at some Harpies attempting to grab him.
The lines were breaking and he felt terrified, his hands were shaking. That blast of energy had scared him more than he thought.
“Dethadrin! You can do this!” A familiar soft voice rang out nearby.
Samia’li had come back to where he stood, her brow dripping with blood. He looked at her with a feared resolve, time slowed and she smiled.
Then a bolt of ice magic hit her side and flung her across the ground in a cry of pain.
He screamed out and looked up to where it could have come from. A sorceress was standing on a third story balcony facing their position. She was scantily dressed as they always were, and her eyes flared blue as she prepared another spell.
Dethradin reached out and attempted to drain her magic. Yet she was strong and the energy flared between them creating a massive pressure of force.
Despite her strength, he was angry, full of rage.
Dethadrin thrust his staff forward towards the sorceress and screamed out as he unleashed a second spell. The wrath of the war-god himself.
Countless streaks of red energy blasted from his staff and hit the building with a concussive magical shockwave. Stone and blood flew through the air as his magic turned the house into a single story.
“Gah!” He yelled out and kneeled next to Samia’li, she was bent over on her knees and clutching her side.
“Help me up” She said with a weak but passionate voice. He could see her healing magic flowing around her.
She leaned on him as he lifted her up to her feet. “You can do this. I will guide you.” She said as she clutched his robes.
The Chancellor was screaming out amongst the deafening clashing of war. Yet it seemed so far away, at that very moment all was calm. Her energy flowed through him as she held onto him under his right arm, his left extending his silver staff.
White fire flashed and enveloped where they stood, dancing into a massive white pillar reaching high into the sky, burning any harpies nearby. The golden triangle appeared off the tip of his staff, the white phoenix within... both spinning in sync. He could feel the immense power, then all at once... the dancing flames were drawn into his staff and the noise went completely silent.
Time seemed to pass slowly as they waited. He was not disappointed.
A wall of white fire erupted within the advancing Druchii, blasting them into the air and burning countless more. The intersection could no longer be seen, and the house that divided the two roads exploded in a spectacular eruption of debris.
“That’s what I’m talking about!” He heard the Chancellor shout out as cheers of the Asur echoed in the night.
“You are a quick learner.” She said and stumbled a bit to face him with a smile.
Then a look of terror.
“It’s a Hydra!!” Someone shouted out behind him.
Samia’li pushed him to the side and brought up a magic barrier to protect them. Moments later the dark beast charged into the Asur lines breathing fire and snapping jaws from numerous heads.
Bodies flew through the air as the Chancellor charged in cutting off a head at the neck. However, everyone knew such a charge was suicide; and within moments the teeth from another head wrapped around his shoulder and picked him up from the saddle.
Dethadrin unleashed bolts of fire from behind the magical barrier in an attempt to free the Chancellor. Yet the beast continued to charge forward, crushing those in its path and smashing into Samia’li. The protective wall shattered in a magical shockwave which sent them flying through the air.
He hit the ground hard, he could hear Asur fighting behind him, all around him.
“Samia’li where are you?” He found himself shout out as the night sky seemed to spin from the impact.
His eyes found the rampaging Hydra a good distance away with another head missing, though the Chancellor now hung limply in the jaws of another. He then glanced to the left and saw Samia’li laying nearby.
He crawled and stumbled as he reached her position. He was exhausted, his hope crushed and yet she tried to smile upon his arrival.
“Such a quick… learner.” She said softly as he held her hand.
“It’s not over!” He said, though he could see her body was broken. The slight shake of her head meant she knew it too.
“Remember...” She groaned and coughed blood as he tried to cradle her head. "What I said..." She continued and then let out a final breath of air.
He screamed out to the night sky.
This was too much, too many. Dethadrin fell onto one arm beside her, trying to muster strength. The battle was a bloody skirmish and the left flank was broken with an unstoppable beast.
“You will all die!” He shouted out and thrust his silver staff into the ground to help himself up.
He stumbled as his anger was draining him and the sadness enveloping.
Then he let out a sigh of relief.
As the mighty roar of a dragon was unmistakable. The horns of an Asur cavalry charge was undeniable. And now they were both ringing in his ears... he looked up and saw a mighty black dragon swooping towards the Hydra.
Yet stood baffled as its rider looked very familiar, was that Calehir?
He then looked over his shoulder, the thundering hooves of cavalry and chariots were not far behind. Their silver armor glittering in the moon light, and further on the Asur formations could be seen.
Not marching, they were charging.
--Ha i'm the worst, lied. It's a good piece but sad also damned Druchii.
|Author:||SpellArcher [ Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:58 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
It's a good piece
It is, thank you. Real drama.
Then on the overwhelming number of his kin that had barely any time to grab pieces of armor.
This reminds me of a brilliant account I read of the battle of Stamfordbridge. A potentially deadly advantage from a surprise attack.
|Author:||Larose [ Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:05 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
I googled the battle reference you mentioned, a deadly advantage for sure. Not much you could do about it with Druchii on your shores and bells waking you in the night though lol I thought I'd slack a bit at work and give all you loyal readers/ lurkers another piece before the weekend
Old…That was all Toleran could use to describe the overpowering smell of the catacombs. The group had stayed together thus far, and their guide Treia seemed to be cooperating more than he anticipated.
Or they perhaps were heading into a trap.
Or perhaps they would succeed in the surprise raid as intended.
Toleran gave his head a shake, all he knew was that he felt unsure. A feeling that he’d had for some time now, as if they were playing into the hands of the very people they were hunting.
“We need to move faster Treia.” Norein expressed with a look in his direction. It seemed as though she was sharing his feelings.
“Well I’m finding it rather hard to see from the ‘interrogation’ you all put me through.” She barked back and peered down one of three corridors.
With a few magic lanterns and maintenance, these catacombs could be returned to their former glory he thought. The intricate architecture could be seen in the darkness, as they all were relying on their natural aptitude of seeing in the dark. It was not ideal nor anywhere near in comparison to the Druchii. Yet necessary.
The group passed through numerous burial chambers and winding corridors, to the point where Toleran started to become frustrated.
It was becoming impossible to remember the way out.
“I do hope you are not wasting our time… Treia.” Hystarys said from over Toleran’s shoulder.
“Quiet.” She shushed as they turned a few more corners. Then to his amazement they could see light at the end of a long corridor.
Their guide pointed at an adjoining hall to their right. “Some of you take that passageway, we are coming upon the ‘Blood Tavern’… it is best we attempt to surround them.”
Lenais then pushed past him and grabbed Treia by the neck. “The what? Keeping information from us?”
“Calm down Lenais, now is not the time.” Velnos stated as he started moving with his brother and a few sword-masters in the direction Treia had pointed to.
The assassin rubbed her neck upon release and spat on the ground. “Information keeps me alive.”
“We will wait on your signal.” Velnos said and moved on ahead with his group.
Toleran could hear voices now, a bit boisterous which meant drinking was involved.
“What is the plan?” Norein queried as they closed in on the corner. The light was now brighter and the voices louder.
“We simply walk in… no sudden movements, hopefully surrounding them will encourage surrender.” Hystarys replied and gave flanking instructions to the handful of sentinels that had accompanied them.
“I disagree… these are highly trained mercenaries, we can’t waste the advantage of surprise.” Lenais countered as she readied her bow.
Toleran gave a nod of agreement, even Treia seemed to shrug her shoulders.
Hystarys sighed and pointed at two sentinels. “You two watch our guide.” Then he drew his sword.
“Try not to kill everyone.”
Thankfully the doorway was wide and allowed them to fan out, while the room was rather full of… well what you’d imagine really. The worst of the worst…gambling tables full of drinking, courtesans, a small fight in one of the corners with onlookers taking bets. A dead body near the bar, arguments and laughter. Some that could be deemed cultists, some that were actually Druchii.
A great many traitors and mercenaries.
They charged into the room with a fury that only invited conflict. Lenais put a few arrows through anyone unfortunate enough to be looking in their direction as they entered. Velnos, his brother and the sword-masters entered from a door way on the right, swords swinging with blood in the air.
Toleran heard Hystarys shout out the token ‘Agents of the Phoenix’ and demanding surrender. Yet Lenais had been right, no one even saw it as an option. Whether they had come in peacefully or with blades drawn as they were now. Every one of them drew their own weapons and responded accordingly.
He had put his sword through the back of an Asur standing near the doorway, and continued on without hesitation. Toleran slashed out against another, the spray of blood streaking across his face. It barely affected him as he continued forward through the mayhem.
Screams of pain echoed through the room along with the clashing of steel, to the point it was becoming disorienting.
Then Treia’s voice rang out in the confusion. “That’s him! That’s the one who runs this place!”
Toleran caught Hystarys’s gaze as they both looked to where she was pointing. An Asur in dark robes with blonde hair to his shoulders, was now attempting to push his way through a small crowd near the bar.
He looked back in their direction. “Kill them all!” The keeper shouted out to no one in particular.
Then Toleran realized they all had missed something in the confusion.
The room was wide, and the light from the lanterns and torches did not reach the corners. His eyes caught the movement in the shadows… he had seen it before, in their previous raid when they finally caught up with Treia.
The damn shade assassins.
“Watch out!” He yelled out as he grabbed some sort of cutthroat nearby, and put the Asur between himself and the knives that were now flying through the room. The dark leathers did little to protect Toleran’s new shield, and the elf’s eyes grew wide in deathly pain from the knife in his back.
Hystarys was slow to move, luckily only taking a knife in the arm as he cried out in pain. A sentinel dropped from one in the neck while a sword-master effortlessly deflected the knives like a nuisance.
Not good, Toleran thought as he let the dead elf drop to the ground in front of him. Then something very familiar occurred.
The warrior goddess with a spear.
Norein flashed across the room with a battle cry, and immediately engaged the deadly assassins. The room was becoming a slaughter, the sword-masters gave no quarter. Their blades slashed at anyone nearby… assassins, waitresses, courtesans and mercenaries alike. Many screamed from loss of limb or attempted to drag themselves across the floor with blood trails that made him sick.
But this was all at the back of his mind, as he now found himself beside Norein and swinging his dual swords. No hesitation, no fear… just purpose.
“You two! Bring Treia with us!” Hystarys shouted as he grabbed a couple sword-masters in his pursuit of the keeper, who now had made it to the other side of the room and attempted to escape through another corridor. “Lenais! Protect the rookie!” He continued as he gave her some sort of hidden hand signal.
Oh sure, leave these deadly bastards to us… he cursed and deflected a knife meant for his ribs. Their dark hooded cloaks masked their movements which created a deadly guessing game. Toleran side stepped once more and slashed his second blade, blood streaked into the air.
He almost stopped moving completely. He had cut the assassin across the chest, yet his opponent continued forward with a slash of their own. The blade glanced off his shoulder plate and brought a grim reminder that he was still wounded. His adrenaline pushed him through the brief pain and he slashed his swords in a criss-cross fashion.
He took a step back as the assassin fell to the ground at his feet. That went rather well he thought.
A force blindsided him with a tackle which brought him to the ground. His new opponent was on top of him now, and in an advantageous position. Though it definitely was not who he had expected…. A courtesan dressed in a skimpy corset and skirt, now had her legs wrapped around him with a blade in hand and a deadly snarl upon her face.
To his amazement, she had knocked his blades from his grip, and the knife streaked towards him with deadly intent. He caught her at the wrist with both hands and stopped the razor tip a few inches from his neck.
Toleran craned his neck back and tried to wiggle out of the locked leg grip around his waist.
“Die!” She shrieked and leaned forward on the knife, causing him to strain in pain from his wounded shoulder. The knife scraped his neck as he desperately tried to hold her off.
Then his attacker arched her back in pain and slumped over his shoulder.
He sighed in relief as he noticed an Avelornian arrow embedded between the courtesans’ shoulders.
“Really Toleran? Couldn’t wait until after the raid?” Lenais said with a smirk and an extended hand to help him to his feet.
He rolled the maiden off him with a grunt and happily accepted the help.
Toleran looked around the room, the fighting had mostly stopped and every one of them seemed wounded in some fashion. Causing him to realize his own arm was bleeding and so was his leg, two new wounds which came with sharp pain.
Lenais had a cut across the side of her brow, Norein had a knife in the side of her stomach. Velnos looked to be nursing his chest and his white haired brother Sontas, was in the process of removing a knife from his upper shoulder.
The room was a mess, a few sentinels and a sword-master had fallen. While a handful of others seemed to have only minor injuries.
Then he snapped out from his shocked state. “We need to catch up to Hystarys!”
- Not as much drama... yet lol
|Author:||SpellArcher [ Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:34 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Definitely a sense of trepidation and combat shock here.
|Author:||Larose [ Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:08 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The Royal Company - Beginnings|
Haha, yes indeed... just a little
They echoed through the night along with the Druchii war horns… This was no raid, it was an entire legion preparing to land on their shores.
Movement could be seen throughout the edges of town, their dark kin were maneuvering.
To the North, the remnants of the Asur ‘makeshift’ regiment were now fighting alongside their new hero. Calehir… His strength combined with his family’s dragon was devastating. The hydra had been slain upon landing, and the dragon’s fire only added to the white flames… which now engulfed countless Druchii and the Northern town buildings.
Toran held his sword in the air, leading his chariots. The Asur Cavalry were following close behind and the city’s levy regiments were at a desperate double march pace.
They had to break the beachhead.
Though the movement between the buildings now forced a new assessment of the situation. And rightfully so, as it all became clear… mounted riders were assembling in response. Their dark kin traditionally rode horses, yet some chose to ride deadly carnivorous reptiles. Powerful two legged beasts with forearm claws and razor sharp teeth, making them more deadly than the riders themselves.
The beasts growled as the Druchii war horn sounded a counter charge.
Toran quickly made a circling motion above his head with his sword, his chariot regiments wheeling to the right in response… then he pointed his sword towards the oncoming Druchii cavalry.
The mounted Silver Knights sounded off their war horns in response and wheeled left to meet the Druchii riders head on.
It was as if two tidal waves were crashing into each other.
The sound of lances piercing armor, horses smashing into beasts, cries of the wounded and the sheer number of bodies… Thundered out above all else.
It seemed to echo off the mountains.
His regiment of chariots had nearly been crushed… nearly. Now they loosed arrows at will and circled the melee of mangled cavalry
Toran signaled the chariots to continue their engagement and then slowed his horses to give final instructions to the levy commanders. The Asur were eager, which risked disorganization.
Against the Druchii… that was unacceptable.
The regiments split off to his instructions and diverted their paths to support the cavalry and those on the edge of Port Whelinos.
Toran flicked his reins to maintain a pace ahead of the massed silver warriors and headed in the direction of a lone figure just outside the town. The elf was hurling magic into the Druchii lines with brilliant flashes of light and deadly explosions.
As his chariot drew nearer, the lone Asur seemed to be carrying someone over his shoulder while holding a staff in his free hand. He was ragged, his robes were nearly destroyed, covered in dirt and blood. He was slowly pressing forward... stumbling and struggling to even stand.
Toran slowed the horses to a light trot and pulled up beside the mage.
“Warrior!” Toran shouted to catch the mages attention. Though not before the Asur unleashed another spell. Their gazes met and Toran gave a quick nod of his head for the mage to climb aboard.
“Quickly now.” He continued and looked back at the charging Asur, maybe a hundred yards away.
“You have my thanks, my lord.” The mage said as he laid the body of a maiden against the front wall of the chariot. She did not look too well… or alive for that matter, yet he asked regardless.
“Will she live? What is your name? Your face looks familiar.” Toran asked and tried to keep his horses steady.
“We have met briefly Prince Toran, I am Dethadrin… A mage of the Silver Knights.”
The Asur seemed distracted with his gaze upon the maiden at his feet… Toran pressed no further questions, as he flicked the reins to press on.
“We will avenge her!” Toran said passionately and handed the mage a steel flask from the chariot, filled with a harsh spirit from the colonies.
A good way to dull the senses in such conditions.
Dethadrin took a large and bump ridden swig, its fluids pouring out the sides of his mouth and onto his ragged robes. Yet his eyes flared to life and his features turned back to anger.
“That you can be sure of!” The mage growled in response and finished off the flask. He then threw it to the side and extended his staff behind Toran, unleashing a blast of red and white energy into the Druchii cavalry.
The levy had now reached the Silver Knights and entered the fray. The ground seemed muddy and unsteady as they fought over top of fallen Asur, Druchii and beasts.
The explosion of magic launched Druchii and beast into the air, causing a much needed gap for their brothers to exploit.
Toran smiled as the mage seemed re-invigorated, bolts of fire flew from his staff and erupted into the night sky.
Harpies shrieked and fell like burning stars.
Soon they were among the town defenders who had made a push into the city streets. Toran had charged his chariot into the skirmish, running Druchii down and slashing out with his sword. The levy regiments had followed up behind them, bringing a new fight to the enemy.
The momentum had shifted.
“Forward!” Toran shouted, as Dethadrin unleashed fire and blasts of magic in support of their kin.
Calehir and his Dragon were now in the air, streaming fire down streets filled with Druchii and scaring off any remaining harpies. The Druchii Cavalry were bogged down and being overrun… They had the Druchii on their heels.
Or so he thought, as the Druchii war drums continued to beat into the night.
And then a roar that brought chills up his spine. Not that of a dragon, but that of a lion.
Toran knew it immediately. A damned Manticore was nearby, and most certainly carrying a Druchii lord with it. The beasts were vile and ferocious. They came in different forms, yet most resembled a huge lion with a scorpion tail and large bat-like wings.
The roar rang out in the night sky once more and Toran looked up in time to see it all unfold. The Druchii lord had spurred his beast into a dive and collided with the dragon’s side. The two beasts turned into a tangled mess of wings, and tumbled out of the sky with their riders desperately clinging to their saddles.
They hit the ground and the houses just ahead of Toran. Dirt and debris erupted into the air as the beasts rolled and flung their riders into the city streets.
Toran never truly appreciated the size of a dragon until that very moment…as its tail flipped and smashed into his horses. Swatting them all like pesky flies.
The chariot flipped, his horses flew into the side of a building and his shoulder screamed out in pain as he hit the stone roadway.
His ears were ringing as he stumbled to his feet and instinctively clutched his shoulder… something was broken.
The battle continued to rage all around him, his Asur warriors fighting in every gap of the town, fires were burning and the wounded screamed out beyond count.
Toran gave his head a slow wobbled shake, his knees felt weak. His gaze searched for his sword, then stopped on a flash of magic nearby.
Dethadrin seemed to be on his feet.
Then his eyes turned towards the beasts now fighting through another Asur home… and then the ports bay that was now in sight. The moon light still illuminated its dark waters, now accented with burning ships. Though it was the looming darkness beyond the light that troubled the back of his mind.
He had seen it once… His memory flashed and he felt his eyes grow wide.
It moved into the moon light and revealed a dreaded Black Ark!
A Druchii floating fortress… how could such a force make it to Ulthuan without warning!
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