Post by alethearae on Jul 9, 2013 2:11:11 GMT
Annorae Allsworth, Nalbinian Hunter/Diplomat
Inside the Allsworth estate in the capital of Nalbin.
Justice. Loyalty. Honor.
"You must fulfill your duty and that is final daughter of mine!"
Annorae stood in a state of shock inside of her father's study, trying to process the bombshell that her father dropped upon her. The day had started off like any other, with a visit from her tutor and whatever noble business her family decided to drag her to but she never expected this, especially from her father. In an instant, her future had been decided for her: she was to take over her father's position as the Nalbinian diplomat to the Dominion as soon as she finished with her studies and completed the necessary physical training.
For as long as she could remember, she had wanted nothing to do with her family and the responsibilities that came with her lineage but she couldn't escape who she was, no matter how many balls and formal meetings she skipped to go hunting with Aidan, her handler and best friend.
Taking a moment to pause before she said something she'd regret, she ran her fingers through her auburn tresses as she let out a deep breath. If there was one thing she had learned growing up, you do not anger Dougal Allsworth. "As you wish father," were the only words she could mutter but from her tone, anyone could tell that she sounded disappointed. She had hoped that out of everyone in her family, her father understood her but it appeared that her witch of a mother was rubbing off on him. "If you need me, I'll be with Aidan out in the woods. It's been awhile since I've gone hunting and I promised Aidan we'd go. At least let me have a few more days of freedom before the business kicks in."
Not even bothering to hear what else her father had to stay, she stormed out of his study, anger fueling her steps as she went to her chambers, changing into her leather slacks, her vest and riding boots. Once she was dressed, she packed her bag, grabbing enough supplies and arrows for a few days out in the forest before making her way over to the stables. She knew she shouldn't be angry with her father's decision but she needed to cool down and hunting was in its own way a form of meditation for her.
It only took her a few moments to make it over to the stables, where a very familiar lanky fellow was waiting for her, beside Zoma, her Appaloosa. She waved over at him, thankful that he had already prepared both of the horses as she went over to stroke Zoma's onyx mane.
"Imma take that as a sign that Sir Allsworth decided to break the news on today of all days huh? Well let's not allow this to spoil our hunt this afternoon. I found a new spot for us to scout out and it has your name all over it. Plus, look at it this way- you might end a war with that look on your face."
Annorae couldn't keep a straight face as she burst out laughing, shaking her head at her friend. If there was one thing Aidan was definitely good at besides hunting, it was cracking terrible jokes. "Enough of that mister. We're losing daylight," she said as she hopped up onto Zoma's back, settling herself up on the saddle while securing her satchel on the back. "Lead the way Aidan. Maybe this time you won't let me outshoot you," she says with a soft giggle as she lightly kicked at her horse's side, urging her into a slow trot at first before taking off after Aidan, ready to see what the forest would bring her during this hunt.
Post by alethearae on Jul 9, 2013 22:41:47 GMT
In one of the many forests surrounding the capital.
Justice. Loyalty. Honor.
The duo arrived at their location after half a day's ride, only taking a break or two to allow the horses to rest for a moment. Annorae took a nice deep breath, letting the cool forest air melt away any negative emotions that lingered from this morning's event. To her, at least for now, it was in the past and holding onto those feeling would only do more harm than good. Plus, there were only a few more hours of daylight left before they could have to camp out for the night. As she and Aidan got the horses situated, she finally took a good look at their surroundings and she was surprised that this place didn't ring familiar to her at all but then again, she hadn't seen all of Nalbin yet.
"So why this spot Aidan if I may ask? See any good elk in the area?" Annorae knew that elk was a fairly popular meat in her household and they had been running low as of late.
"I swear you know me far too well little one but yes I saw quite a few. It'll give you some good practice bringing one down since you had some trouble last time," Aidan replied with a bit of a smirk on his face. She had tried to forget about that but today was as good a time as any to try to redeem herself for letting one get away on their last trip out. "We'll set up camp here with the horses and go a little further out on foot."
With a nod, she grabbed her satchel and arrow, resting it on her shoulder, as they took off for the hills. From what she could tell, he had scouted out a nice hill where they could see an entire portion of the forest without being detected by any of the wildlife. It would only make it easier for them to find their mark.
Patiently the two waited, making idle chatter until they both pause for a moment, the sound of twigs snapping echoing through the section of the forest they were in. Their eyes quickly scanned to see where it was coming from and both found what they were looking for. Right dead ahead of them was the largest elk that they had ever seen. They knew better than to make any sudden movements, since any sound would send the animal away running and there goes their prey. Aidan nodded over in her direction, signaling for her to get her shot ready and to fire on his command. Unlike the other nobles, when the two of them went out hunting, Annorae wasn't afraid to get dirty and actually became quite the shot, that is when its not trying to run from her.
Just as she looked down the line of her arrow and had everything lined up for a perfect shot, she hears a scream in the distance. The sound alone sent the elk scampering away but Annorae's sense of curiousity got the best of her. She quickly got up, looking over in Aidan's direction.
"Did you hear that just now? That shout? I have to go see what's going on!" she said quickly, strapping her bow to her back as she ran towards the direction of all of the commotion. It didn't take long before she came across a very surprising scene: a group of 3 bandits were trying to rob a poor old man. She had never seen the gentleman before but she wasn't going to stand for this. She quickly came to stop and moved into a good flanking position before addressing them. If she was going to do something slightly as reckless as this, she was going to be smart about it.
"You three! Leave that man alone and leave this land! Now!"
Annorae could hear the bandits laughing at her attempt to save the older man but she wasn't about to back down. She noticed two of them start to move in towards her and she quickly got into a defensive stance. She only had one of her knives on her and both men were armed. She quickly glanced behind her, seeing that Aidan hadn't caught up with her. Realizing the position she put herself in, she gathered her wits about her and prepared for the incoming assault.
"Oh you think that you can take us all on? A little pretty thing like you? Why don't you go back to your balls and be a good little girl? You have no business here and he has something that we want.."
Before he could even finish his statement, Annorae had delivered a roundhouse kick to the side of his face. If there was one thing she hated, it was being spoken to like a little girl. While he recovered, the second bandit made his way in to strike at her with his daggers. He just barely was able to slice at her arm, making a shallow cut, before she was ready to deliver her counter. As he geared up for another attack, she dropped out of his strike zone and delivered a hard elbow to his abdomen, following it up with a kick to the head as he began to buckle and fall over. While they were trying to recover, she moved to where the old man had been and saw that she was too late. The third bandit had stabbed him and ran when he saw how quickly she disposed of his friends, leaving the old man to die.
"Have they no honor that they would do such a thing? Just hold on sir- my handler should be here any moment now-"
"Do not worry child," the old man said, placing his shaking hand upon hers. "I know that it is my time but do not fret. I thank you for what you've done for me. You are as she said you'd be" and with that, the old man died in her arms.
Annorae couldn't believe what had just transpired in a matter of moments but knew that there was nothing she could have done to try to save the old man. She gently closed his eyelids as she turned in the direction that the bandits she had disposed of were, only to find them already gone. "Typical," she scoffed as she moved to stand back on her feet, hearing the faint sound of her name being called. "I'm over here Aidan!" she screamed back, seeing him finally cross into the clearing.
"Are you alright?! I couldn't see where you took off to but I'm glad I found you. What happened? And you're bleeding!" he said as he ripped at the bottom of his shirt, using the cloth to wrap around her arm.
"Apparently these bandits were trying to rob this poor old man and you know me of course- getting into trouble trying to protect him but I was too slow. He died in my arms," she said, lowering her head for a moment.
"Sounds like you had enough fun for today but you said that he died? Where is the body?"
Annorae looked at him confused as she looked over to where the old man had died, only to see an oddly wrapped package in his place. She shook her head, trying to process what in Nalbin was going on. "But... I thought I... oh goodness. Maybe today was affecting me more than I thought," she said as she walked over to the package, unwrapping it to find a sword, covered in some weird symbols that she had never seen before. All she found with the package was a note that said 'It is now yours. Protect it and use wisely'. She felt a shiver run through her body, not quite sure what she stumbled upon but she quickly shook it off as she made her way back to Aidan, with the sword in hand.
"Let's head back to the capital huh? I'll race you there," she said, quickly taking off back towards the horses. As she ran, her mind raced with her. For some reason, she couldn't shake this feeling that she was supposed to be there and find this sword. 'But what does this all mean?' she asked herself, holding the sword close to her as she wondered what secrets it held and whatever happened to the old man in the field.
Post by alethearae on Jul 10, 2013 22:22:14 GMT
In the Allsworth Household.
Justice. Loyalty. Honor.
Darkness swept the land as the sun took its departure from the sky. It took the two travelers a little bit longer to get back, especially since they stopped by a nearby farm town and had dinner at one of the local establishment. Once home, Annorae walked Zoma back to her stall, making sure to clean and feed her for the evening before making her way back into the main part of the house. Usually the house was all hussle and bustle but tonight, it was eerily quiet, adding on to her already weird mindset that she was in from today's earlier events. She shook off the feeling the best she could and made her way back towards her father's office. Considering how they left things this morning, she wanted to apologize and try to smooth things over. 'Maybe he'll know what these symbols are' she thought to herself as she noticed a dim light coming from beneath the door. With a quiet knock, she let herself in and noticed her father doing what he did every night: reading and enjoying a drink to unwind from the day.
"Annorae, I am surprised to see you back so soon from your trip out but I am glad to see you. How did the hunt treat you this time?" he asked. She could tell just from his demeanor and tone that he was silently apologizing from earlier and appreciated the gesture.
"I am surprised as well Father but I must apologize first from earlier. You know how I get sometimes especially when it comes to the politics and anything having to do with your job but if you'd like for me to go into training to take over for you as diplomat, then I shall. You do know how I like a good challenge," she said with a soft giggle before returning the subject back to the second part of his statement.
"Hunting was interesting to say the least- that's why we are back so early. I came across some bandits in the woods, which is odd but I also found something quite.. unique and I thought I'd show you." She thought it would be best to skip the part of the old man dying, his disappearing act and how the sword came into her possession as she pulled the sword from her bag, laying it out on the heavy oak table for her father to see. She watched as Dougal's expression changed from concern to curiousity, his eyes scanning and taking in all of the strange symbols and even the make and design of the sword. After what seemed like forever, he readjusted his thick wired glasses and looked up at her.
"Hmm I have never seen anything quite like this before, especially these markings. And you found it in our woods? Very interesting- I suppose you were at the right place at the right time I suppose but I would hold onto that and be careful who you show. You know how some of those in the capital are with things they don't quite understand."
Annorae wasn't quite sure how to take her father's cryptic words but she did just that. She didn't know what this sword was or who it truly belonged to but for now it was hers to take care of and protect. Plus now she had a good excuse to learn how to sword fight, yet another skill she knew would drive her mother crazy.
Post by Timeon on Jul 11, 2013 13:56:32 GMT
"Misses Annorae Allsworth." the valet announced with a curt bow. Annorae took her turn to step inside the grand hall of Myrnium's city council. It was one of the biggest rooms Annorae had ever seen, brightly lit by candles and lamps, with several marble staircases leading to the upper floors on each side. In the middle, amidst the throngs of diplomats and dignitaries, there were tables with delicacies and desserts. A couple of gentlemen were playing fine Nalbinian music at the side. Annorae passed the musicians a smile, and they smiled back.
"Sir Dougal Allsworth." the valet continued, as Dougal followed his daughter into the room.
They were immediately greeted by a woman in a yellow dress, decked in jewels and twisting seashells. A sun had been sown into the back of her garments, marking her as one of the Radiant Lord's own. She offered Dougal her hand, and Dougal kissed it lightly. She courtesied. Then she noticed Annorae, and inclined her head, her smile slightly off.
"How lovely it is to see you again, Dougal."
"What a gorgeous young woman you have at your side." Alexis said, fiery eyes fixed on Annorae. "Have you re-married, and forgotten all about me?"
Dougal chuckled and shook his head.
"This is my daughter, Annorae. She is set to succeed me in years to come."
Alexis widened her fake smile.
"A pleasure. Well, if you'll excuse me, Dougal, I must talk to the new ambassador from Havsgard. We have a spectacle later, some very special guests."
Once Alexis was gone, Annorae frowned at her father.
"Who was that witch?"
"That is the ambassador of Varantium, Alexis Kata." Dougal said with a sigh, looking towards the other guests. "She's a very dangerous woman, Annorae. You will be dealing with her once you succeed me, I'm afraid, because I doubt that woman has any intention of letting go of her power. Come now, there are a few others I think you should meet."
So, this was her introduction to the life of a diplomat.
Myrnium was a Varantian city located in the middle of a huge forest - a forest which was on the border of Nalbin. To the west was Kutanda. For that reason, Myrnium was the place where the politicians of Varantium, Nalbin, Havsgard and Kutanda met. After meeting all the ambassadors, Annorae watched the musicians play while talking to some attendants. They spoke at length to pass the time, until the valet called for silence.
Alexis Kala walked up the stairs, so that everybody could see her.
"This dinner is to celebrate the conclusion of an agreement between our regions. An agreement to stand united against the threat of the Faloran Republic, that gathering of genocidal monsters. They have taken Senusa and the Aras Isles, and destroy our trade and way of life. We have all been affected. But we will put an end to this. I would like you all to meet two of the masterminds between this alliance. They are spirits. Lieutenants of the Archons themselves."
The room was silent, save for Alexis' voice. Even Annorae listened closely. Two great spirits were here?
"Behold the Keykeeper, the guardian of Varantium, the right hand of the Radiant Lord!"
The doors to the room swung open, and a score of golden-armoured knights marched in, trailing cloth and chains. In their midst was a spirit, a beast. The Keykeeper walked on two legs, his dark fur half-hidden by metal plates. His head, much to Annorae's amazement, was like that of a horse, only with teeth like a wildcat's, and burning golden eyes like a monster's.
Everyone stepped back from the guards and the Keykeeper, who stood in the middle of the room.
"I did not forge this alliance alone." the Keykeeper's voice tore into Annorae's eardrums. A woman screamed.
Another figure appeared on the staircase opposite of Alexis. It was another spirit, this one looking like a walking plant, a person made of wood and vines.
"The Old Man of the Wood." Alexis called, pointing at the other spirit. "An agent of the North Wind of Havsgard!"
"My forests offer up their bounty." the Old Man croaked, his voice like the breaking of stone beneath the roots of a tree. "The people of Havsgard labour to create a mighty fleet. A fleet that will row to the Republic, and sunder its earth, and destroy those who live upon it. A fleet to rival that of the Republic."
"Is this the sort of thing I am going to be dealing with?" Annorae asked out loud, peering over the crowd at the two spirits. Somebody gave her a look.
She caught movement up on the landing above. There were people running towards the Old Man of the Wood. They had swords.
Another scream, but this time directed at the people with swords instead of the Keykeeper.
"Death to the Archons!" one of the swordsmen yelled, swinging his blade into the Old Man of the Wood. The Old Man began to glow, shouting in agony, his voice distorted.
The Keykeeper turned and ran, leaving the dignitaries and the guards with the attackers.
"Godslayers! Traitors!" Alexis Kata yelled. Then Annorae saw that the swords that the strangers were wielding looked exactly like the runed sword she had found some months ago.
Annorae could try rescue the Old Man of the Wood, and probably earn the respect of all the diplomats of the Dominion if she succeeded - or she could protect her father, and try get as many people as possible to safety. She drew the knife she had hidden away on her person - she would have to act fast.
Post by alethearae on Jul 14, 2013 1:40:42 GMT
Above all things: Loyalty. Honor. Justice
What had started out as a seemingly innocent gathering of the regions' diplomats swiftly transformed into something the likes that she had never seen before. With barely a moment to catch her breath, Annorae quickly scanned her surroundings, trying to see what in Solumaros she could do with the particular situation that these intruders had put everyone in. She knew that she had very few options in front of her: she could fulfill the loyalty she has to her people and keep them safe from these violent intruders or she could try to save whatever hope Ambassador Kata had in such an alliance of peace by saving the wounded spirit.
Out of the corner of her eye, she notices a group of guards running into the room, trying to help the already busy squadron fend off their new enemy and keep them from harming anyone else. She quickly flags them down, beckoning them to her as she brings her father in close, her hand gripping her knife tightly.
"Alright gentlemen. We have a duty to the people in this room to get them out of here safely before any harm should befall them. I want half of you guards to go with my father Dougal. Father, do not even start with me right now. I know what needs to be done and so do you. Plus you are the strongest of us all. In case they barricaded the doors, they are going to need your strength and leadership to lead the way. The rest of you will be coming with me. These... intruders have trespassed upon this land and potentially severely injured a spirit who came here in peace to come to our aid. I personally will not stand for this. You can choose to run and help those trying to get the people out or you can come with me and help me rid this place of these miscreants. It is your choice but I am going."
With that being said, she quickly uses her knife to slice at the bottom of her dress, effectively cutting off inches of material to make it easier for her to carry out her plan. Plus she didn't exactly like the dress anyways. She instructed the first group of guards where she wanted them to go, funneling any and all unnecessary patrons towards the doors. She remained relatively center in the room until most of the room had emptied out. She glanced over towards where most of the patrons and ambassadors had run and waited until it was mostly clear before focusing her attention upon the intruders. She could see some of the initial charge, who had tried to fend them off from the beginning, were severely hurt and knew that she didn't have much time. Taking what few people who decided to follow her seemingly crazy idea, she sent one portion of them to aid in those guards still fighting. Annorae swiftly moved towards the spirit, seeing that he was hurt worse than she had originally thought.
"I do apologize sir spirit that it has taken me so long to get to thee. I needed to ensure that no more innocents were injured by these invaders. Is there anything I can do to help you, since their swords seemed capable of hurting one such as you? I didn't even know what was possible." She decided that it was probably for the best that she did not mention that she herself came across such a sword, especially after seeing the destructive power that they possessed. The last thing she needed was to unnecessarily add to the damage the trespassers have caused. She assigned two of the guards to watch the spirit and try to help him as best they can, though her people knew very little when it came to spirits and how to exactly help them, especially since the only one her people had ever met was The Paragon.
"Sir spirit, I must leave your side for now but these two will keep anyone else from harming you further. Though my people are very suspicious of spirits, the fact that you came here in peace to help us deems you worth helping. I wish I could be of more help."
She then switched her attention to the much smaller group of individuals that dared to disrupt what was trying to be done here. She let out a very high pitched whistle, getting everyone's attention, both ally and foe before addressing them.
"I am Annorae Allsworth, daughter of Diplomat Dougal Allsworth. Why have your people come here with such strange swords and harmed those who merely came here to discuss this alliance to help these regions?" she asked, her stance exuding a sense of confidence as she held her knife close, ready to spring and attack should she need to. "Leave this place and do not come back. I wish no further bloodshed and you've made your point. But harming anyone here, spirit or otherwise, is unacceptable. Again I will ask you to state your business and leave before any further action must be carried out."
She could sense the guards moving to stand beside her, waiting to see what these people truly had to say. She only hoped that they had some semblance of honor and would leave, since they seemed to have accomplished their main objective. If there was one thing she was sure of, it was that she would allow no further harm to come to the guards now protecting her and the peaceful spirit.
Post by Timeon on Jul 16, 2013 14:03:27 GMT
Clad in black and grey, the murderers clustered in the centre of the room, atop a carpet flecked with the blood of their victims. One of the assassins held his runed blade before him, and took a careful step forward, the sound of breaking glass beneath his feet. He stopped with one foot resting on the body of the valet, whose face was stuck in an expression of pain and surprise. From the stairs, the Old Man of the Wood creaked mournfully.
"The Archons are decadent and corrupt." the lead assassin said, holding his runed blade down to one side, and gesturing with his free hand. "You, Misses Allsworth, are Nalbinian. What has Nalbin become, if not another puppet to the whims of greater spirits?"
The taste of pleasantries and fine foods in Annorae's mouth turned sour, and she was sure she could smell smoke.
"What do you want?"
"We want to burn away the sickness that grips the Dominion..." the man said, as the agents behind him set the tapestries in the room on fire around them. "We want Justice."
Another patrol of soldiers burst into the room behind Annorae, carrying crossbows.
"Halt in the name of the Arbiter!" one of them yelled.
"You can't escape." Annorae voiced, taking a step forward as the flames began to spread throughout the room. "Surrender!"
"There must always be sacrifice." the leader of the strangers said, and turned to leave the opposite way. Two of his agents ran forward, towards the crossbowmen, and their bodies began to contort and shift. Blood streamed from their eyes and ears, and with inhuman screams, spines and fins burst from their flesh. Crossbow bolts bounced off of them, or else simply did not slow these two down.
One of the chimeras fixed its animal eyes on Annorae. Annorae held up her knife uselessly, the smell of blood and fire filling her nose and choking her. The creature leapt towards her. A massive splinter of wood gouged its head, pinning it against the wall. Weakened but alive, the Old Man of the Wood withdrew his arm. The other chimera sprang onto his back, gnawing at his already weakened body. With a horrendous groan, the Old Man of the Wood cracked and his wooden body snapped in several places. Several crossbow bolts finished off the last chimera.
Regaining her composure, Annorae ordered an evacuation of the building. The servants and guards all rallied behind her, eventually filing out of the town hall into the gardens. There, her father awaited her, a relieved expression on his old face.
Their joyful reunion was short-lived. Ambassador Alexis and several Kutandan and Havsgardian delegates gathered around Dougal.
"This attack will change nothing!" Alexis ranted and raged, her dress torn, but her dignity untarnished. "The alliance will go through."
As Annorae made a headcount, part of the town hall collapsed in on itself, releasing a cloud of smoke into the evening sky. That night, Myrnium was lit by the hatred of the assassins, and by morning, all that was left of the town hall was ashes.
Post by alethearae on Jul 24, 2013 16:31:45 GMT
Inside King Lamais' palace in Tystead
Justice. Honor. Loyalty. And always be true to yourself
Annorae quietly waited in one of the main hallways of the palace. She knew that she shouldn't be nervous but her hands slightly trembled. She wrapped her fur shawl around her shoulders, trying to keep her hands busy so she doesn't mess with her dress or the knife that she had sheathed along her thigh under it. It was not every day that the king holds a formal ball in your name to announce your new official position. As she gazed up at her father Dougal, a small smile appeared on his face as he stood close by to his daughter, showing just how proud he was of her in this moment.
As they waited for the king to announce their entry into the main hall, she couldn't help but think back on everything that had occurred since that fateful diplomat summit that had taken place years ago. Upon her return, the townspeople cheered her name in the streets for both her courageousness and quick thinking that helped to save all that she could in the hall. She became somewhat of a hero in the eyes of her people and placed her somewhat on a pedestal. It was shorty thereafter that her father announced publicly that she was his nomination as his successor to be the Nalbinian diplomat to the Dominion. Most of the townsfolk were excited to have someone such as her to represent them but of course, there was a small group who thought there were other more qualified candidates.
After the announcement, she quickly began her training and preparation, from learning about the ins and out of the Dominion in terms of history and laws to sitting in on formal meetings and attending any other formal events as the diplomat in training. The first order of business that she sat in on was Ambassador Kata's alliance with the spirits. Though the old tree spirit died trying to save Annorae, his death was not in vain. After much strife and fighting amongst the various countries, the alliance finally went through and has been effect now for a couple of years. Since then, there have been a few minor tweaks here and there but things seemed to be running smoothly thus far. There hadn't been any more encounters with the Godslayers that she knew of but then again, until she was officially the diplomat, she didn't know all of the specific details.
Her attention zoomed back to the present as she heard the voice of one of the guards trying to get her attention. She quickly snapped back as she nodded up at him, walking over to her father before taking his arm. It was then that the large wooden double doors opened up before them, revealing a very ornately decorated hall, with splashes of gold, crimson and emerald green seen all throughout the space. Along the sides of the center aisle, there were multiple tables, occupied by various nobles, diplomats and townspeople with the king and his throne at the end of the aisle. She could see so many smiling faces and it helped to ease her nervousness.
Once they made it up to the stairs leading up to the throne, Dougal and Annorae stopped, gazing up at the king as they waited for the king to speak. King Lamais slowly rose from his throne, the queen at his side as he beckoned Dougal forth first.
"Diplomats, Countrymen and Nobles of Nalbin, thank you all for coming to be apart of such a special night. It's not everyday that we get to actually perform a ceremony such as this and it gives me great pleasure as the King of Nalbin to do so. As many of you know, Sir Dougal Allsworth is stepping down from his position as our diplomat. In his stead, he has selected his successor- his own daughter Annorae Allsworth. If she is anything like her father, she will do great things for our country. Hopefully the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
The king then turned to Dougal, nodding as he removed a silver pin that he had attached to his lapels and placed it in the hand of the king. The pin was in the shape of 2 crossed quills with a metal flower towards the bottom of it.
"Annorae, can you please step forward?"
With that, she made her way up the stairs, smiling up at her father the entire time until she was one step below where the king stood. She gracefully curtsied before the king spoke again.
"Annorae Allsworth- I've known you since you were a little girl and you've grown up to truly embody and live up the ideals that we as Nalbinians strive to follow each and every day, especially after the summit in Myrnium. As your king, it gives me great honor to present you with this pin, the symbol of our diplomat and announce that you are the new diplomat for Nalbin."
As if on que, the entire room erupted into applause as the king pinned her and allowed her and her father to take their seats with their fellow diplomats.
The rest of the night seemed like a blur as everyone came to congratulate her before dinner and lots of dancing and celebrating occurred. Even with such an honor bestowed upon her, Annorae didn't let the title get to her head. In just a few years, she was surprised to see the progress she had made, developing into the woman she is today and hopes that she will do good things for Nalbin as it has done for her.
Post by Timeon on Jul 26, 2013 23:57:44 GMT
The capital city of Tystead was hewn of giant blocks of grey stone. It was a cold and sometimes windy place, and that was what made it so wonderful - it was home. Several small rivers wound through the city, before continuing on eastwards towards the great lake of Theymoor, in the middle of which was an island, and a city giving the lake its name. From Theymoor, the rivers eventually emptied out into the ocean, which stretched out forever past the horizon. Of course, the world was probably round, but the fishermen of Hewick liked to pretend it was not.
Yes, this was home. Riding alongside her was Aidan, his hair tied back into a ponytail. It had been a two weeks since Annorae had succeeded her father, and after many tedious ceremonies, she had taken some time to herself. Passing through the Foreign Quarter, Annorae studied the suddenly different architecture and decoration of the buildings around her. Nalbinians liked to keep to themselves, so they walled all the foreigners off in one part of the city. It was a shame, she thought, but they did not seem to mind. It was mid-day, and chilly. It had snowed in the morning, but the snow had melted, leaving mud and grim moods behind.
"A tune for a true lady?" a colourful man in traditional dress asked, stepping out with a flute. "One silver, so I sing what's surely the sweetest swooning song, madame!"
"No thank you." Aidan grunted.
"So sombre, so sad. A silver so I stop your soulless sojourn!"
Annorae smiled at him, but continued riding. The man was persistent however, and blew a few notes on his flute.
"A soothing song about swords, runed and righteous, perhaps?"
A song about runed swords? What was this man talking about? Annorae froze, and her horse seemed to sense her stiffness, and stopped moving.
"What did you say?"
The man did not say anything, so Annorae threw him a coin.
After a short melody, the bard winked at Annorae.
"A sentry stirs, southwards, sitting in the bell-tower. He sends a message. To speak of swords."
Aidan tried to trot towards the man, consternation on his face. "Wait a minute!"
But the bard sauntered off happily, lost amidst the tapestries, boxes and baskets of the Foreign Quarter.
"How would that bastard know about your runed sword?"
"Oh, I don't know. Maybe because you talked about it, Aidan?" Annorae asked, half-serious, half-teasing.
"If I ever talked about it... it would only have been to close friends. I'd never-"
"Nevermind. Let's get home first." Annorae said, a chill running down her spine. Ever since the affair in Myrnium, seeing those runic swords killing the Old Man of the Wood, she had kept her sword hidden. She had tried researching more about it, but her search had turned up nothing, until recently. When King Lamais had raised her to diplomat, she had gotten a chance to see his sword. All Kings of Nalbin bore that sword, the sword given to the Nalbinian people by the Archon known as the Paragon, before the Paragon had vanished. She had started to research more about the Paragon and talk to Aidan about it... had that drawn attention?
When they arrived at home, Dougal was waiting at the door, a worried look on his face.
"There were some people who just stopped by, Annorae. They were asking for you, but I got a bad feeling about them, and sent them away. Are you quite alright?"
Post by alethearae on Jul 27, 2013 23:50:58 GMT
"There were some people who just stopped by, Annorae. They were asking for you, but I got a bad feeling about them, and sent them away. Are you quite alright?"
Annorae's face instantly paled as she listened to her father, her hands instantly starting to tremble. The day had already been made interestingly peculiar with the singing bard in the Foreign Quarter and now strange people had come to her door asking about her and she knew no one would dare come to her place of residence without first contacting her. Immediately, her mind went to trying to figure out who might know about her and her connection with her sword and the only people that came to mind are the Godslayers. She took a deep breath, running her fingers through her hair in an attempt to steady them as she nodded her head, her attention snapping back to the present to deal with the new information that had been presented to her.
"I trust you and your feelings father but I'm doing alright as I can at this point. I know being the new diplomat hasn't been easy but I am surprised that people stopped by looking for me, especially with what happened to us in the Foreign Quarter."
She took that moment to explain to her father the bard and his cryptic message and watched as his face went from concern to very serious in a matter of seconds. She waited patiently to hear what sort of reaction her father would have to this and she knew from his face that it wouldn't be good. He asked Aidan to excuse the two of them so that they could talk privately. This was something neither of them wanted to have other people hear about until they understood what was going on.
"Hmmm a sentry in the south huh? I am not sure who he may be talking about but if I know you like I know that I do, considering I raised you, you are going to want to find out what this sentry knows and his connection to everything that is going on. You truly are my daughter in that respect but I am not going to send my only daughter out there with no backup in the likely case that this is some type of coup from people who weren't happy with your new title or with the fact that you have a sword similar to the ones the Godslayers possessed. This is what I think we should do- I am going to call up an old friend who lives in the capital and have him come to the house. Trust me, he once saved my life and I know he would protect yours because you are my daughter."
Annorae nodded, agreeing with her father and the suggestion and left him to do just that. While he headed over to the stables to make his way to meet up with his old friend, she snuck up to her room and retrieved the sword from the false wall panel in her bedroom. If people were snooping around in the capital looking for her and probably the sword, it was not safe here anymore. With that, she quietly made her way down to Zoma, getting her ready before wrapping the sword up and taking to Zoma's back and heading far far away from the house. If there was one thing she had learned in her rebellious teenage years with her father, it was where to hide something when she didn't want it found.
Dougal Allsworth rode hard atop his trusted stead Millennium as he finally came across the city of Bywood. He remembered spending quite a few years in this town and had grown to love it but he knew that he wasn't here to reminisce- he was here to look for the one person he knew that could keep his daughter safe on the path that she was heading towards. He knew that these two events that occurred to Annorae had to be connected but he wasn't sure why but all things linked back to that runed sword and if he knew anyone who was familiar with runes and spirits, it was him.
He quickly dismounted off of his horse as he came across a two story wooden house hidden deep in the forest. Dougal had only visited him once or twice but he had an open invitation, especially when it came to him and his own.
Dougal quietly knocked upon the heavy wooden door, waiting for a response. He could faintly pick up the sounds of feet walking from the back of the home forward before the door slowly creaked open.
"Allsworth. It's been awhile," a deep baritone voice said from just behind the door.
"Housstrum. It really had been and I wish I came just to talk about old times over a drink. I need your help."
Just from the sound of that, Damien Housstrum quickly opened the door, welcoming Dougal in as he shut the door behind him and led his old friend into his den. Once inside, Damien retrieved a glass container, filled with a golden amber liquid as he poured both of them a glass and offered Dougal a seat. With his drink in hand, Dougal proceeded to fill him in on everything that had been going on, from the almost ill-fated meeting at Myrnium to the events of the day.
For a few moments, Housstrum was very quiet, listening while making sure that his familiar with close enough to hear every word. Little did Dougal know that Damien had become a Pacter before his return to Nalbin but that was his own secret and it may just help him to protect Dougal's daughter should they take on the task that Dougal was asking.
Ellie, what do you think we should do? Due to my past with him and knowing what we both do about what the sword could potentially mean and the trouble associated with it, I want to help him but I know it's not just me here anymore. I want your opinion as well and be honest. I think we've been together long enough for me to have earned that.
Oh my dear Housstrum. A true Nalbinian through and through, Elenora replied, making sure to not give away where she was. If there was anything that she knew, it was that she only revealed herself should the occassion deem it necessary. For once, I agree with you, moreso out of interest to see just what the sword is and who this mysterious sentry is... but also because I remember this one... from when we first returned. He was nice to us and I feel we should at least escort her and go from there. Plus, you've been saying you were getting bored here. You just might get the excitement you've been looking for.
Once Ellie's voice left Housstrum's head, he nodded and responded to Dougal. "I'm in- plus you know an inquisitive mind like mine couldn't say no to a mystery such as this and I need a little more excitement. When do we leave?"
I hope you know what you're getting yourself into Housstrum but at least this should be fun.
The next day
Back at the Allsworth Estate
After quite an eventful night for the both of them, Annorae and Dougal met up in his private den, both drinking some coffee to try to jumpstart their day.
"I have good news for you. As I told you yesterday before we parted, I think that you should do see this sentry and find out what he knows, if he even knows anything but you are not going alone. Now, I want you to meet something. You haven't seen him since you were a little girl so I'd be surprised if you remembered him. Housstrum, whenever you are ready."
Annorae turned her head towards the open doorway to her father's office as she watched the older gentleman enter the den, taking a seat beside her father. She truly did not remember him from her childhood but if her father trusted him, then so would she.
"Very nice to meet you Mr. Housstrum and thank you for coming to our aid at such an interesting time to say the least."
"And thank you Ms Allsworth. You truly do take after your father in more ways than one, especially in the looks and bravery department," Housstrum said with a smirk on his face. He knew that Ellie was nearby but had her stay out of sight for now. She wasn't sure how his daughter viewed spirits but that would be for later.
For the remainder of the day, the three sat and conversed, trying to figure out what would be the best course of action for them moving forward and just when they would actually go to meet with this sentry in the south.
Later that day, Annorae sent word to the sentry to request an audience with him and discussed where to meet him. She made no mention of bringing her sword, considering all that she went through to rehide the thing. Now it was only a matter of time before the new dynamic duo made their way south to their meeting.
A few days later....
Annorae and Housstrum both rode towards the southern part of Nalbin, though the trip was mostly spent catching him up on some of her latest accomplishments and him sharing some tales about his adventures outside of the country. She was envious of him because he was able to leave Nalbin but she knew that one of these days, she would get to see and experience such things.
It didn't take long until they finally saw the bell tower in sight. They both parked their horses just outside of the tower, dismounting and instantly being on high alert. They both had no idea what they were truly getting themselves into but at least they would be prepared.
Ellie, get in a good position so that you can hear and see everything going on. At the first sight or sound of trouble, warn us and we are getting the heck out of here, Housstrum told his familiar with his mind while Annorae knocked on the door, unsure of who was waiting behind the door and what truth would be revealed.
Post by Timeon on Jul 30, 2013 14:19:44 GMT
"Good to see you, Ms. Allsworth! I expect this is surely a big misunderstanding. Please keep your hands in the light, and maintain eye-contact. Don't need a brawl now, do we?"
"There's magic inside. Be careful."
Annorae nodded to Housstrum, definitely glad that her father had told him to come along, especially when she knew next to nothing about magic and spirits.
"Of course Sentry. I can understand the need to avoid a brawl, or any sort of physical encounter."
They opened the door and began to ascend the stairs of the bell-tower.
"Ellie, I know you've sensed the magic at play here. Any additional insight would be wonderful." Housstrum said to Ellie.
"It's hard to tell what it is, Damien, I'm sorry."
At the top of the stairs they found an open door, and inside there was a huge man with a shaved head and a thick beard. His skin was tanned, and he looked like he had seen some hard times. Despite this, he had the smile of a friendly bear.
"It is nice to finally meet you sir or is there another name you'd like to go by besides Sentry?
"You can call me Elger." the man said, rising, walking towards Annorae and offering his hand.
Very hesitantly, she reached out and accepted his hand.
Elger gripped her hand very tightly, refusing to let go, and stopped smiling.
"So. The Godslayers."
Then he shouted in her face.
"Where is the sword?"
"Somewhere you will never find it. I trusted my gut and moved it before we even had this meeting. Why are you so interested in my sword? And how did you know I had it?"
"You let them in at Myrnium, didn't you?"
"Absolutely not! Though Nalbinians are known for being sceptical with spirits, I would never allow such people to disrupt what we were trying to do that evening. I'm not sure what information you got but I stood up to the Godslayers and saved everyone in that building. Now tell me why I would do that if I was with them?"
The pressure on her hand eased up slightly.
"How did you get that sword?"
"I came across it years ago. I was out hunting one evening and I came across an old man being harassed by several bandits. I intervened and tried to save his life but I was too late and one of the bandits dealt him a deadly blow. All I know is as I held him while he was dying, he gave me the sword and told me to protect it. Then his body disappeared"
Annorae knew that she probably shouldn't have been completely honest but at this point, maybe the complete truth would help get her out of this mess.
Elger looked to the other soldiers, then they put their weapons away. He let go of Annorae's hand.
"Those swords are designed specially to kill spirits. The Godslayers are very dangerous, Ms. Allsworth. And I believe they know you have the sword as well. We think they have infiltrated Nalbin, and possibly your household. We were told that they keep company with you."
Annorae gazed into Elger's eyes for a moment, seeing that he spoke the truth and ran a shaky hand through her hair.
"I agree with you sir. I've seen just how dangerous they were up close and person. They almost killed me at Myrnium when they released two chimeras at me. I had my own suspicions as well that they have infiltrated Nalbin- I believe a small group of them came to my door only a few days ago, shortly after you sent word to me that you wanted to meet- hence my caution in regards to this meeting. I had no way of knowing if you were with them but I would never keep company with them. I just came across a sword I know next to nothing about and got thrown into things."
"We have reason to suspect some nobles of collaboration with them. You are Diplomat, are you not? You can help us get to them."
"I am indeed the country's diplomat but how would you suggest we go about doing that? And to what end?"
Elger leaned in close.
"You have political authority. Contacts. Influence. If we root out the Godslayers, we save Nalbin, and the Dominion."
"I am still relatively new in my Diplomat role but I do have some authority in that realm. Even if we root them out, we know what they are capable of. We'd need to not just root them out but do something so that there won't be backlash against Nalbin and the rest of the Dominon."
"We can arrest the people responsible, search their houses. That's a start, don't you think?"
"If we go about it that way, we need to make sure that we get concrete evidence to link them all to the Godslayers - otherwise they'll just get away."
"Oh, they won't get away missie." he cracked his knuckles.
One of the soldiers, a woman sighed.
"She has a point, Attendant. We can't break Common Law."
Common Law? These people are probably Wardens of the Arbiter.
Elger rolled his eyes.
"If they invite you to dinner, you can search their house. You can take a partner of course, who can search the house while you make conversation. Like me."
"Of course. That makes sense, but it seems like we have some work to do, Elger. May I propose that while the Godslayers are a threat, that we be allies on this front?"
Elger allowed himself a quizzical look.
"We'll be allies. If you take me to that sword."
"May I ask what is so important about my sword in particular Elger?"
"That remains to be seen, doesn't it? Each sword is different."
"How so, Elger? I thought you said that the swords were designed to kill spirits."
"Some are designed to kill specific spirits. If your sword falls into the wrong hands, it can be misused. Each sword is different. I don't want to tell you everything we know, yet."
"Alright, Elger, I will show you and only you the sword. You, Housstrum and myself will ride until we get to where I have hidden it. I trust what you have told me is the truth and the last thing you want to do is lose an important ally."
"This should be fun."
Post by alethearae on Jul 31, 2013 17:21:53 GMT
Annorae paused for a moment, trying to comprehend and process everything that had just occurred- from her finding Wardens of the Arbiter in Nalbin and why they are here to their newfound alliance of sorts. Usually she wouldn't be one to just side with the Wardens but they shared a common enemy and if there was anything she knew about Wardens, it was that they had a definite dislike for the Godslayers and wanted them gone as well.
"Before we head out, may I have a word or two with my associate?" Annorae had found it quite odd that Housstrum had remained silent for most of the interaction and she wanted his experienced opinion on the matter and what the best way to move forward shall be.
"Of course. Take your time. We will be here discussing how to proceed as well, considering what our task here is."
With that, Annorae nodded over at Housstrum as they both made their way downstairs and headed over to where their horses were resting for the moment. She made sure to keep her voice down, just in case they were somehow listening in on what they may be talking about. Call it being paranoid but being a diplomat and in politics can do that to you.
"Alright, now that we have a moment, what do you think of these Wardens? I assume that you've had experience with them in your travels because this is new territory for me."
"He is about how a Warden typically is and he seems trustworthy. Ellie couldn't get much off of them in there but it could have something to do with the fact that they are Wardens of the Arbiter. I say tread carefully with them and from here on out, watch what we say and reveal to them."
Annorae nodded as she turned to gaze up at him. "On that note, this is what I think we should do next. You and I will go and retrieve my sword. I don't quite want them knowing where I have it hidden in case I need to move it again. We can put them up in the outskirts of Tystead or a nearby town for the time being- try to keep it very low-key. The last thing we need is for the townspeople and the nobles wondering why we have Wardens in our city and to tip off any who may be helping the Godslayers."
Housstrum paused for a moment, surprised at her words but reminding himself that she is indeed Dougal's daughter. "Very true words Ms. Allsworth. I recommend you fill in our new guests on the plan and we can go form there. It is going to take time to get back to the capital anyways and we can hopefully find out more about how the Wardens came across their information about you having the sword and why the Godslayers are in town."
With that in mind, Annorae went back upstairs and filled in Elger about their plans moving forward. He agreed with them and understood the extra precaution as the group rode together. On their way back north, Housstrum recommended to the Wardens that perhaps they stay in Bywood, his neck of the woods, since it is a little further away from the capital and won't arise any suspicions since most of the folks there keep to themselves. Plus, with the forest and the mountains, they will be able to hide and conduct whatever business is necessary without worry of people overhearing them.
After about a day or two's journey, the group arrived in Bywood and were put up in one of the nicer inns in the town, reserving the whole top floor for the group. Housstrum grew up with the owner and knew that he could be trusted. The Wardens were smart and didn't give any indication of who they were to those they came across and it seemed to be doing the job. Once inside, the group began to settle down for a moment, having the inn's cook bring up some beef stew and other foods before Annorae spoke up.
"As we agreed, I am going to retrieve my sword and bring it back here. Elger, I will only allow you to actually view the sword once it is back in my possession. From there, we can decide what we shall do."
Annorae and Housstrum rested in their own room for the evening with the Wardens in the nearby rooms before taking off in the morning to retrieve her sword. The two and Ellie took the long way to her hiding place, making sure that no one and nothing out of the ordinary was following her.
The following day, her and Housstrum returned to the inn, both carrying two large bags and Annorae with a brown cloth-wrapped package on her back. Once inside, she knocked on Elger's door and summoned him to her room.
"Alright, first things first. We weren't followed back here and from what I have heard from my father, no more of the Godslayers have come by my home. I was able to buy you and your group some clothes to help you blend in a little better while you are here and some money in case you shall need it," Annorae spoke softly, before moving her bed to retrieve the package. "I suppose this is what you have been waiting to see Elger. These are my conditions: I will hold onto the sword at all times and you may observe it. If you have any other requests we shall go from there. Sorry the diplomat in me doesn't always turn off," she said with a soft giggle as she moved to unwrap the sword, holding it tightly with both hands but having it so that Elger could see all of the runes on the blade.
"So Elger, tell me what you can about my sword and why people are so adament on taking it from me."
Post by Timeon on Aug 6, 2013 13:00:35 GMT
Elger spent a while looking over the sword, tracing his hands across the runes. He looked to Annorae, scratching his neck with a grim look on his face.
"I've seen a few runed blades in the past few years. This one is different from the rest. Most runed swords are designed to destroy magic, and kill spirits. This sword you have has runes for holding. It may serve as a prison, for consciousness. For spirits."
Damien Housstrum edged into the conversation, eyebrow raised.
"I sense no great magic from this blade. Is there a spirit hidden within it regardless?"
With a grunt, Elger wrapped the blade back in cloth.
"I do not know."
"So, that's it?" Annorae asked. "That's all there is to it?"
Elger lifted the covered blade and tucked it under his arm.
"It's an extremely dangerous weapon, Miss Allsworth. You said an old man was carrying it, and he was killed by bandits? What if I told you that the man you tried to save was probably a Godslayer? From the sound of it he was probably a traitor to the Godslayers, trying to escape from their assassins. Only he failed. Those were probably Godslayer agents that killed him. That is my guess."
A memory flashed through Annorae's mind of the old man's body, there one minute, and vanishing the next.
"Why was he coming to Nalbin, then?"
Elger met Annorae's and Housstrum's gazes.
"I only have suspicions, but many of the Godslayers we fought spoke Nalbinian. The Godslayers may have their headquarters somewhere in this kingdom. And that is why I am here. To find it."
Housstrum stroked his moustache wearily.
"And what do these Godslayers want, Warden?"
"To destroy the Dominion. Which is why I need you to give me this sword, Miss Allsworth. It is not a toy. It is not a shiny play-thing. You must surrender it to the Wardens of the Arbiter, where it can be studied, and where it will be safe. It's a start."
Post by alethearae on Aug 8, 2013 13:42:16 GMT
As Annorae watched Elger analyze the sword, she was somewhat in a state of shock, trying to think upon what he just told her- that her sword wasn't used to kill but to trap spirits and his guess as to who the old man was. She knew that these swords were dangerous but this just upped the stakes, especially if hers is the only one like this out there. What made it even moreso was that neither Elger or Housstrum had any idea if there was even a spirit inside. On top of that revelation, she now knew that her home was where the Godslayers may have their headquarters. She wasn't sure how to feel, especially since now they have even more evidence of Godslayers in Nalbin.
Annorae took a deep breath before moving to address Elger, knowing that he was wanting to commandeer her sword. She was torn between wanting to keep it safe and feeling an obligation to do so but the diplomat in her knew that she should give it to them as a sign of good faith. Last thing she needs is to anger and lose her newfound allies. She wouldn't be able to take on the Godslayers by herself and she needs their help if they are to accomplish anything.
"I understand the danger that the sword possesses and I agree that for now, it would be safer in the hands of the Wardens, considering that my own country is not nearly as safe as I knew it to be, not with this increasing threat. On that note, I believe I know how we can move forward in our task."
Annorae and the Wardens congregated in her room at the inn and discussed their next move: infiltrate various parts of Nalbin and try to find any suspicious activities that could be linked to the Godslayers. Annorae warned the Wardens not to reveal their true nature but felt silly afterwards knowing that they wouldn't do anything to tip off their common enemy. They agreed to meet up in two weeks time back at the inn, which would give Annorae and Housstrum time to use their Nalbinian connections to see just how deep into Nalbin the Godslayers truly were.
Two Weeks Later...
It had been a long two weeks but the group reconvened back in Bywood, meeting back up in one of the upstairs rooms. They all took a seat around the circular meeting table and quickly got their salutations in before it was down to business. Annorae and Housstrum went first with their news and was curious to see what they would think when it came to what Housstrum had to say.
"Alright folks, I'm not sure what you all found but me and Ellie found something that we found particularly... suspicious. Elger, you and your group stated that you believe that the Godslayers may have infiltrated or have supporters amongst the nobles and others of higher authority here in Nalbin. I had Ellie do some investigating and I asked some of my usual sources and we believe that your "theory" of sorts may just be correct. We saw some very suspect activity going on in the capital and, after some digging, I have a very bad feeling that they may have people working among the king's advisors or even higher up than that. Three in particular stood out as being fishy but we would have to further investigate and carefully."
On that note, the room was dead silent. If this were true, it changed everything and Annorae knew that the Wardens would definitely want to try to find out exactly how high up the chain the Godslayers were. If the Godslayers had positioned themselves in such a position that they could take over Nalbin in some sort of coup to hurt the Dominion, the group would have to move fast.
"Using this new information Elger, what do you propose we do next? I know for one, we need to get that sword out of here. With such a heavy Godslayer presence now in my country and knowing that they want this sword, it needs to stay safe and not end up in their hands. We don't know everything about the sword yet except for its intended purpose and until we know more, we need to guard it well. Also we need to come up with a plan to expose these suspicious characters if they are truly working with or are true Godslayers."
With that being said, Annorae sat back in her seat and heard Elger out. They had to plan their next few steps carefully because there's always the possibility that if the Godslayers find out someone is snooping and on their trail, that they could retaliate and they truly don't know what all they have up their sleeves.
Post by Timeon on Aug 11, 2013 10:52:05 GMT
Elger spent a while massaging the back of his head, a look of concentration keeping hold of him. Annorae empathised with him - this was a lot to deal with all at once. Suspicious nobles in the King's court, Godslayers, magical swords and loose ends, all were a cause for concern.
"The King has three ministers. Elected by the nobles." Damien Housstrum added. "Any one of them would be a good conduit for the Godslayers to gain influence in the Nalbinian court."
"But why Nalbin?" Elger kept thinking, deep in concentration. "Many Godslayers speak Nalbinian, and they may be based here... Could they be-"
"Could they be what?" Annorae worried, clenching her fists.
Elger looked up, almost surprised.
"Nothing. I'll tell you if I get more evidence for my suspicions. For now, tell me. Who are the ministers?"
The three ministers held equal duty in Nalbin, chosen from amongst the nobility by the nobility as the King's advisors. The first was William White, a middle-aged man whose family controlled the island of Varnuro in the south. He liked to associate himself with charitable causes, but it was obvious that he only did it out of ego. The second minister was Maxwell Drewyn, from the island-city of Theymoor, in the middle of the largest lake in Nalbin. Drewyn was a notorious gambler and an economical genius. Lastly, the third minister was Rewill Symes, from the northern coast and its mountains. His family originally hailed from the Free City, and thus, his connections to the Free City allowed Nalbin to maintain good relations with the merchant council there. By all accounts, Rewill was a refined and pragmatic gentleman.
All three of the King's ministers kept shadowy social circles which implicated they could be in league with the Godslayers.
"My suggestion is that we host a great ball or dinner in the Allsworth Estate." Elger said finally, looking up from the table. "I am sorry to endanger your family, but it's the only way to invite the King's council to the same place rather than waste time investigating each one separately. When the ministers are in attendance, their households will be easier to infiltrate. I will send Wardens to each of their homes to search for evidence against them while they are at your dinner. Does this sound acceptable?"
Damien Housstrum grabbed Annorae by the arm, his eyes narrowed.
"This will involve Dougal. He should not be a part of this. It has nothing to do with him. In the bell-tower you said that you would and Annorae would go to the homes of the ministers as guests. This is riskier, Warden."
"Riskier, but more efficient. We may be running out of time." Elger stated bluntly. "A couple of years ago, the Godslayers attacked Kutanda and injured its Archon, the Burning Man. They stole plans for a great weapon. I can't afford to waste time!"
Post by alethearae on Aug 11, 2013 18:28:27 GMT
Time almost stood still for a moment in the room as Elger revealed just how important it was for us to put his new plan into motion and execute it as flawlessly as possible. Annorae took a deep breath, trying to focus her thoughts for a moment as she tried to put them into words. She had no idea that all of this had occurred and she was one of the Dominion's diplomats. What else had occurred that she knew nothing about?
"Plans for a weapon? I don't even have to ask what exactly it does- anything in the hands of the Godslayers of such magnitude could only lead to death at this point."
She paused for a moment, turning to gaze up at Housstrum as she rubbed her arm where he had grabbed her. "I understand how close you and Father are but if we tell him and this plan is to work, you know what he will be involved somehow. I know that it is much riskier and the backlash if its linked to us is a bit frightening but we need to do something at this point. I am willing to take the risk- are you? Plus we aren't stupid. We'll make sure to have some of the Wardens, if possible, at the party itself so we at least have some back up."
With that, her attention returned back to Elger. "Would that be possible? And if we are to do this, we couldn't have picked a better time. Usually around this time, one of the noble families throws a party of sorts for the Nalbinian New Year. We only have a couple weeks but it'll be enough time to invite the king. If the king comes, so will his ministers. I'll say that its both for the holiday and it's a chance for me to get to meet them as well but your Wardens must be careful. If it comes back to me, it will not end well for me and I could lose everything- thus bringing us back to almost square one. Then again, I shouldn't have to say that- you know how important this is. Are we in agreement there Elger?"
Annorae waited for his response, knowing that he would agree that this needs to be done and they would have a lot to plan, especially with getting his Wardens in place and trying to actually plan the event. All she knew is that everything needs to go well or else they may lose their element of surprise.
The Allsworth Estate
It was the eve of the Nalbinian New Year and Annorae was more nervous than she has ever been in her life. Between her family and some of the nobles, they had managed to put together one of the better celebrations that Nalbin has ever had and only a few souls even knew what they were doing here tonight for the sake of their country and the Dominion.
Annorae was all dolled up from head to toe, making sure to have knives strapped to the outside of her thighs under her dress. She didn't know what this night held in store but she prayed that this wouldn't turn into the nightmare that Myrnium was. All of the men were on alert and all she had to do was be herself and charm the room, putting her skills to work. She only hoped that Elger's Wardens would find something of use.