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  1. #46
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    BTW-I do have my own idea of how to get them "out of this" as it were-if others do as well, fine, then go with it, but I want to see if this little court scene "builds" more

  2. #47
    Humble Grifter Luya Sevrein's Avatar
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    I have an idea too, it might be the same! But this is why I like these collab stories, you never know! Keeps it fun. ;D

    ---

    The Duke walked forward, his face blank, trying to compose his rage as his cheeks grew red, yet, Tahl noticed his fists clenching at his sides. When he lived here, the Duke was the ultimate authority. He had not had anyone question him ni a long while. "Do you want to still have a tounge to speak you name?" Tahl was shocked at how composed he was keeping himself, though he supposed Nobles were taught that way.

    In response, the Old man simply wriggled his mouth as if examining his tounge.

    "This is insolance, MiLord. If the old pig wants to be a fool, I say you make him one." Raeth snickered.

    "Quiet." Correl warned in low tones. It was not their place to speak at hearings... Well, this was the only hearing the old man was going to get.

    "Ah, ah. It would be insolence if I ever declared myself a subserviant subject under this.." He studied the man bearing down on him. "Duke." He smiled. "As it is.. I don't. I'm a bandit, didn't the boy tell you that?"

    Tahl watched him closely, seeing his game, and had to look away as all eyes turned on him, watching the floor.

    Lorne stood up properly, speaking from her place in the shadows. "You would all be lost without me." She smiled. "They were talking as if they were friends, plotting together. Oh, and there was a woman with them. There were women in the band that attacked the town, weren't there? So, maybe poor Tahl let the damsel in distress run free." She had heard them all on the wind. "Now that's not very loyal, is it, sire?"

    The Duke fumed at her. He had only warned her this morning of her behavoir, though he could lose his cool at this semi-public event - and she was right.

  3. #48
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    Composing himself, the Duke turned to the old man.

    "Never have had I such insolence in my court! Aye, I'll take that as confession, old man. But a leader, I doubt that dearly." He paused a moment. "I was going to end your life quickly, but perhaps not. Perhas I can loosen that tongue before it gets chopped off-maybe you can provide information." Yuir stuck his tongue out and bit with his teeth. "Bah, fool." He turned to Tahl. "And speaking of foolishness, our traitor." Tahl had noted his name was not once spoken by the Duke-he was nameless here.

    "So why return, foolish one?"

    "Perhaps he was thinking your Lordship would be honorable and reward him for his actions, perhaps a return of his own honor?" Lorne spoke from the shadows. The Duke smiled mirthlessly.

    "You may have something. Well, traitor? And what of this woman who was with you?" He looked up at Correl. "What of this woman that Lorne speaks of? Did you see her?" Correl looked down for a moment, as if recollecting, then looked at the Duke."

    "I saw no woman, your Lordship." There was a gasp.

    "Do you call me a liar, Captain?!" Lorne roared from the shadows.

    "Silence! This is still my court!" The Duke fumed in response.

    "I do not call her a liar, Lord. I only know that I saw no woman. There was a flock of ravens that fluttered as we approached." There was a hiss of breath. The Duke looked warningly at Lorne. "Perhaps he can tell of a woman, but I saw none." The Duke nodded.

    "Very well, Captain. I trust your judgement. We all see things that aren't there. I trust it more than our traitor here." He turned to Tahl "Tell me your tale, traitor." Tahl wondered if Correl had seen Maya. If he did, why would he lie? Taking a deep breath, Tahl started.

    "What I have done is wrong, my Lord, I know that. There was also a wrong done by the bandits. I felt it the right thing to capture and return their leader to you." Tahl stared at the floor. "I wanted to do something for my kingdom." Tahl's words sounded empty to himself. The Duke laughed.

    "You puzzle me, traitor. You want to help your kingdom, yet you turn your back on same? Would you care to explain?"


    ***
    Accidently called Correl "Carrol" lol-Correl makes more sense
    Last edited by Sonja Ravenscroft; December 17th, 2010 at 11:54 AM.

  4. #49
    Humble Grifter Luya Sevrein's Avatar
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    Before Tahl could answer, Lorne was speaking. "You mistrust your own Mage? I listen to the wind, that...Old...uh!" It seemed not even she could insult Correl, he was suprisingly kind for a warrior. "He see's with broken eyes." She frowned and, ni a swirl of red hair, stormed outside. The Duke looked to a woman, who Tahl knew to be his wife. She was staring cold-eyed and stiff backed, clearly unimpressed.

    The Duke sighed. "Leave her, if she wishes to act that the petulant child she is. I asked our traitor a question that I demand answering."

    Tahl peered up at him, his vision blocked by strands of now matted fare hair. He would have pushed it back off his face if not for his bindings. "It is about my..."

    "Leave." The Duke said immidiatly. He had been trying to keep the news of havnig fonud a summoner in his lands out of public knowledge. Only hmiself, Lorne and a few of his loyal men knew. Anyone else who was watching gave a groan but left obidiently. The Duke eyed Yuir. "He can stay, I shall be killing him."

    When ready, Tahl began. "I marched with your army, as you ordered... I stayed with them through two seperate battles, using my powers as you instructed. You can ask Captain Correl, he even confirmed it in pen.." He mumbled, havnig seen some of the letters. "But we came upon the first village... And, there were so many innocents-"

    "Are you accusing me of asking you to kill innocents? The Vendren are a war people, every man is taught the sword or the bow and every woman knows how to stab a man in his gut. They are trained for the day they walk. That village held no innocents, only more swords that would come against us."

    "But they were no match for Keith!" Tahl's voice even raised then. He was telling the truth. "He slaughtered them, easy as anything... I felt like a killer." Yuir was watching him closely, face iron again. "That's why I ran.. I was only scared of myself."

    The room was silent.

    "When I realized my wrongs, I tried to atone." He shot a half-hearted glance at Yuir.

  5. #50
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    "That's the life of duty. Your duty is to protect your kingdom. Because Keith is an accomplished warrior, he did his duty. This isn't some game of stones, boy, where people try to keep things fair. There is no fairness in war, you know this." Tahl stood, face down. Those people were no warriors. Many of those Keith and the others slew had no weapons. Those were scared mothers he saw, scared children, watching their loved ones died and dying themselves. Tahl felt the fury inside him raging.

    "Don't do it boy, not now" The voice in his head, Yuri was speaking. "Keep the emotions calm. He wants to do this. He knows you're a summoner, and it would do him great pleasure to see you raise a demon in the court." Tahl kept looking down.

    "It was a slaughter." He said mentally in return.

    "Focus, damn your eyes. If you want to live, focus!"

    "Do you have anything else to say? The fact you ran tells me you are a coward and traitor." The Duke turned back and walked to his throne in indifference. " I will take it by your silence you've nothing to add. Very well, traitor. I pronounce sentence. You..."

    "You scoundrel! You heartless rogue!"

    They turned to see a commotion at the back of the court. A hooded woman ran up to him, yelling with guards close behind her.. "You heartless, gutless worm!" She jumped onto him as the guards rushed. She fought as if struggling. He saw Maya look up from the hood. He immediately looked down. To others it would look like shameful hiding, in reality, he wanted to hide recognition of her. She pulled her face up to his ear

    "I'm giving you a chance at freedom, I suggest you take it!" She hissed in a fierce whisper. He felt the chains unclasp beneath her grip. She was dragged back by the guards, kicking and screaming.

    "Gutless worm! You said you loved me! And you ran! Coward! Puke! Oathbreaker!" Maya ranted on as she was dragged out of the court by the guards. There was a huff of a laugh from the Duke.

    "You've been busy, not only betraying your land but breaking hearts!" He laughed mirthlessly. "You disgust me, traitor. Oath-breaker she is certainly correct." He paused. Before I pronounce sentence, one final chance, do either of you have any final words?"
    Last edited by Sonja Ravenscroft; December 17th, 2010 at 09:34 PM.

  6. #51
    Humble Grifter Luya Sevrein's Avatar
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    Tahl did not realize the Duke was asking him anything at all. He was too shocked by Maya's outburst. He would have smiled...If only... Yuir did it for him, however. Then, hearnig the Duke, he stuttered for an answer.

    "Do not give him words, fool, give him a sharp blade...Or better let, allow me." Keith's voice was in his head - this time not like wind, but like fire, cracking and spitting.

    With newly freed hands, Tahl allowed himself to be led on, grabbing the dirk at his belt and releasing it, lunging forward for the Duke's chest.

    Correl was in front of his Master like lightennig, at a speed Tahl had not expected the man to weild. He was not old, but he was certainly aging. The Captain laid a made no move for his claymore, only stood, Tahl's steel at his breastplate. It would likely not even drive through if he tried, though he couldn't.

    "Drive him through, or let me!" Keith hissed in his head.

    "It was a massacre! You weren't there, you didn't see!" Tahl growled at him, anger coursing within him. How could such a good man defend such a terrible one? Though, it was true. Correl had been rallying the nearby Forts, otherwise he may have talked Tahl out of his dessertion. "How can you defend..?"

    "You are forgetting your place." Correl spoke, his words flat. "He is my Lord, born of noble blood, born higher than you or I, no matter our skill with sword, words or magic.." He had warned Tahl of this... "Now strike me, or lay down your weapon."

    Shaking, Tahl threw the dirk away without question. Always a man of honor... He cursed Correl silently.

    Yet, the Captain turned on the Duke and spoke in low tones. He could not speak for Tahl, though he could speak for what he was at least. "If you kill the youth, you kill your greatest weapon. I am your tactician, sire, so let me advise. He is a summoner. You hold with hmi great power. I do not ask you to trust him, nor give him any freedoms or honors, yet you know... Your position is best held with him."

    The Duke took one long, drawn-out breath as he relieved himself from what had just happened. He knew his Captain was right, yet he would not look a fool. "I know." He concluded. "But it's right for me to scare the boy.. He is mine. I gave him shelter, food, water, cloth and the very dirk he tries to strike me with." His wiped hair from his face, lips pursed. "You shall live then, Tahl. But you shall see no light of dawn until I say, drink no water until I say... You shall pay, in ways."

    Correl looked on, bowing his head. At least the boy would live.

  7. #52
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    "What of the old man, Milord?" Correl looked at the old man.

    "I believe I was going to be killed, if I'm not mistaken. Well, you'd better get on with it-I hate long waits." Yuri replied flippantly.

    "Oh, you will die, old one, but not yet. There is much of your bandit group we could learn about." The Duke replied plainly. "I'm merely trying to decide the means to do it."

    "Let me, Milord." The voice was Tahl's. "I captured him, so don't, by right I have full charge until I release it?" The Duke stared.

    "You have the gall to invoke charge? You strike at me with your dirk, you are charged with treason, and you have the nerve to invoke that which you forsake?

    "Nonetheless", replied Tahl, speaking a confidence he did not feel. He certainly had nothing to lose, "Unless I am corrected, he is still my charge. Let it be part of my punishment." He looked at Yuri. "I will loosen his tongue."

    "He does have a point, Milord." Correl admitted. "By sparing his life, he still has charge. Are you saying you refuse to release charge, Tahl? It will be held to you. Tahl knew the words were a gate, once said it sealed him.

    "I refuse." The Duke face flushed. He shook his head.

    "Never in the history of my court has a traitor not only attempted to strike me down, but has made been a mockery of by an a prisoner, and invoked privledge." He paused. "I must be getting soft. Very well, you have charge. I will give you some days with him. If I do not get the answers I wish, it will go badly for you-I can make you useful and still cause you pain. Correl's favor is what you thank, though it's pushing it's absolute limit." The Duke stared in disgust. "Take them away-they will eat and drink only by my say so. They will see light only on my say so." The guards grabbed Tahl. The Duke grabbed him and hissed in his ear. "The fortunes this day, traitor. Let us hope you can do as you say, or you will pay, and Correl won't be there to save you."

    He shoved Tahl off. The old man followed, as though he were going for a walk, and not down to eternal darkness.

  8. #53
    Humble Grifter Luya Sevrein's Avatar
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    Once the hearing was over, the guards dispersed. They had prisoners to deal with. Tahl and the old Bandit down to the more comfortable cells - in that, theyhad a bed and a pot for your buisness - and Maya, what to do with such a lose-tounged woman.

    Raeth walked around the back of her as the guards dragged her. "She's clearly mad." One said.

    "Or truely heart broken... When my Leah left, I swear, I wudda' ran into that court screaming myself.."

    "But you didn't, did you?" Raeth cut him off. He leaned close, smirking at the hooded woman. "I wouldn't break your heart, sweet thing. I might break something else though." That gained him a whole bunch of laughs from smoe of the men.

    Maya knew better than to simply vanish in front of their eyes - she would be hunted down as some sort of witch, some unsantioned mage, or worse. So, she simply played along, giving a blank look to the laughter. "You can not break my heart... For it is broken..."

    "Allow me to mend it." His arm moved forward, and Maya managed to seperate herself from one of the guards in time to bat it away.

    "I will have no one but Tahl!" She protested.

    Raeth growled. "Throw the bitch in the stocks for a while. If I were you, I wudda' chosen my chamber any day." However, as he skulked away, Maya noticed a redhaired young lady, stood in the doorway.

    Lorne gave her one of those looks - the narrow eyes that say 'I know.' She recognized that voice.

  9. #54
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    Yes! I was hoping to make a connection between Maya and Lorne! Great minds think alike!

  10. #55
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    "I wonder why she tried."

    Tahl looked up. The two had been thrown in the cell. There was only one cot-if you call a wood frame and a wool blanket a cot- in the cell. The cell was room enough to take 4 strides in any direction.

    "I should have tried to escape, yet the rage-"

    "controlled you. Now she's bound off to who knows where."

    "The stocks. I overheard them." Tahl said.

    "Oh, so you were paying attention. That's positive, you aren't entirely without wits." Tahl sat on the cot, fatigued.

    "What about you?" Tahl thought. "You could have swept them all away and gotten us all out of there!

    "Oh, that's smart. Then I simply have every Hunter in the land and my face on every poster, just what I wanted." The cynical reply came from Yuri. "So now what, boy? Going to loosen my tongue?" Tahl sniffed a chuckle.

    "It was the only way I....I...."

    "It was your only way out of this mess. Admit it." The thought stuck in Tahl's mind.

    "I tried to save my honor, admittedly it was selfish."

    "Ah." Yuri spoke. "Self realization-there's hope for you yet."

    "I see now it was in vain. The Duke has made his mind up. At most...I overheard Correl. I am a tool to him, nothing more." Yuri peered at him.

    "Lie down"

    "What?"

    "Lie down. I need to see something-do you trust me?" Tahl opened his mouth, then lay down. "Close your eyes." Tahl suddenly felt sleepy. His eyes dropped of their own accord. His last waking sense was Yuri's hand on his brow.

    "Sinago" Yuri murmured.


    ***

    This is getting tough to keep it short! lol...I'm seeing a story laying itself out, which like I said, I don't write Fantasy-but these characters are telling me their story-amazing

  11. #56
    Humble Grifter Luya Sevrein's Avatar
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    Same with me, only, I have no idea where to take your 'Sinago' ref. ;D

    All though, I believe it was... Third, maybe? Who named the old man. It was Yuir. not Yuri. xD I think, anyways.

    Yes, I agree. They'd be fun to develope, though I have an idea for Lorne myself.

    ---

    The guards, true to their word, hauled Maya up in the stocks. Luckily for her, given the Bandit's constant raids, no one was out in the courtyard to pelt anything at her and the Guards kept their distance.

    Lorne, however, did not.

    The red-haired girl walked in front of her, peering down at Maya. "You are with them." She said, simply. "So, what, are you really his whore or something much more interesting?"

    Maya gave a casual smile, letting her head loll as much as the wood would allow. "I believe you already presented this to the Duke... and were not trusted." She smiled, ever curtiously, despite her situation.

    Lorne lowered down. "Perhaps my loyalties are no his-"

    She was cut off my the swift sound of a horn, and several scouts rushing across the yard into the Gate House. "Inform the Duke!" Someone called, "Fetch the Captain, fetch the Quartermaster!" "Why is there no welcoming party?" "Was there no word?!" Within mere moments, the Castle was alive, as the sun died idley behind the hills.

    Lorne rushed to the Gate and peered out. Sure enough, a wave of fire was heading their way - woven fire, in the form of red banners, bearing the Royal Crest. A Royal party... By the looks of their wery horses there had come all the way from Castrien itself - The City of the Sky, they called it, for it's height and layers, it's majesty.

    She turned to see Correl rushing out, not in armour this time, and half pulling his tabard over himself once more, trying to be presentable. "I was not expecting emmisseries."

    "That's because they sent no word." Lorne frowned.

  12. #57
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    Yuir, right, sorry lol. We'll see if 3Id wants to do something with the old gent and his ways-if not, I have an idea.

    ****


    "You are such a fool." The voice chittered in her head. "There you had to go, all heroic, to rescue your love..."

    "Shut up!" She hissed back mentally, and then closed her eyes. She had to get this out of the way. She heard Lorne say "Hmph. Passed out already, wretch. You'll get yours, I assure you." She heard Lorne walk away to see the fanfare. Her mind went from dark to a haze, a picture started to form.

    The woman sat in a misty throne. She had decided to garb herself in red, a low cut gown exposed her bosom, and fire coloured hair ran straight down her head.

    "Ah, Love. Tis a wonder, is it not, Maya dear?" The woman snickered.

    "I don't need this from you, Freya."

    "Of course you don't, but you have to have fun sometime. He is a handsome gent."

    "Shut up."

    "Did you feel sorry for him? Is that why? He has potential, certainly." She paused. "Simona was searching for you." Her brow mentally furrowed.

    "And you denied her to me?"

    "Of course, darling....she wouldn't pay the toll." A wicked smile curved on her lips.

    It was going to be a long session....
    Last edited by Sonja Ravenscroft; December 18th, 2010 at 10:00 PM.

  13. #58
    Humble Grifter Luya Sevrein's Avatar
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    The woman curved her pale fingers and brought them to her chin. "Another summoner... Another conduit to your World.." That made her smile thoughtfully. "Oh, he will be pleased."

    "He?" Maya asked. "Doing this all for love?" She mocked Freya bitterly, though she knew she would get no rise out of the throned woman, and, if she did she would have to fear it. She often wished she knew the people of which Freya spoke. The people, or the demons, or the things...

    "Which low-level worm has burrowed into his head, then?" Freya chuckled, expecting one of her underlings.

    Maya tried to remember, though she felt frail, as if her powers were dwindling. Reaching into Tahl's mind had been... difficult. "I believe his name was Keith."

    The woman's eyes widened, and then darkened.

    Maya had never seen Freya look shocked, or quite as angry, or was it worry...?

    ---

    Yey! An actually relitively short one!

  14. #59
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    Maya smirked.

    "Now why would that "low level worm"worry you so much? Or is not so low level. I must say Freya, I do believe you are at a loss."

    "Silence!"

    "Mighty, magical Freya, scared of a--"

    "SILENCE! Curse you, woman do not push--"

    "Freya, perhaps it is all for love after--" Freya hissed.

    "OUT!" She yelled. Maya slammed back into reality. It was getting dusk, and she was still in the stocks. The fanfare had reached the castle.

    "Enough of this" she mumbled. Poking around her in her mouth she pushed out the small metal pick under her tongue. "Better get it right first time." She spit into her left hand, and caught the pick. She smiled.

    "Why do they always leave the locks on the hand side of the stock?" With some deft manuvering she unlocked the first, enough to get her hand out. No one was around at all. She unlocked herself and pulled herself out. Pulling the cloak about her, she seemed to disappear into the grassy knoll.

  15. #60
    Humble Grifter Luya Sevrein's Avatar
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    Inside the Castle, the Great Hall had been taken over by the soldiers, Court Mages, archivists and other court digniteries who had journeyed up from the Royal City. The Duke had been swift to crack the whip, getting the servants to work to prepare a feast that would rival something they could have made if they'd had warning.

    The highest authority was Marson, brother to the King himself, accumpanied by Carith, the Archmage, the position traditionally held by the second most powerful Mage - only excluding the Oracle, who's power was unknown, and who answered only to the Monarch. Two of the King's War council were in attendence, swapping meat and mead, away ni their own world.

    "We really were not expecting you." The Dutchess pushed, her eyes narrow as ever.

    "A lost bird, no doubt." The Duke smiled. He had to do something to quench that look of disgust from Marson's face. The man was a few years his junior, and a withered thing. He had played with him in the halls of this very court when they were boys. He and the now King had bullied him.

    Now, of course, Marson relished his power.

    "You shall have to answer for it, of course. Though I shall consider being linient." Marson smiled. The Duke smiled in return, concealing any thoughts of violence. "Though we have other matters to discuss."

    "We do?"

    "Indeed, MiLord. We have war." One of the Council spoke then. He was a broad-shouldered, bearded man, holding a ham bone like a quill as he explained. "The King's wanting men from every Dutchy. A thousand at the least, five if you want to stay on his good side."

    "The King and I are old friends actually, near brothers." The Duke added, forgetting his suprise at the news in order to keep his pride.

    "And I /am/ his Brother." Marson was ever-smiling.

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