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Author Topic: Crown of Shadows Pt.II [IC] Part 2  (Read 105593 times)
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Pheros
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« Reply #525 on: March 13, 2017, 01:31:40 AM »

Teliir tilts her head up slightly and takes a long look at Theorin, which is quite significant now that she's dead and doesn't have to blink.  She searches his face for humor or sarcasm, before throwing a quick glance to Avren as the truth sinks in.

"I... 
That's...
But I'm not...
I don't even know..."
she mutters quietly.

Finally her mouth compresses into a thin line.

Well.  Shit.

"Wise and majestic, indeed. 

And I suppose it will breath some life back into the betting pools and gossip circles,"
she finishes wryly.

She pauses for a moment, then asks in a more neutral tone: "Might I borrow Sineth's services from you for a time until I have found my own attendants, Lord Theorin?"

Better the spy you know, I guess.

She looks around the room, attempting to be casual, but searching for Serapis to help her navigate this death trap they call politics.

Talking. Only talking. I'll never fight again, never battle, never spend days in a tree stalking, just live forever talking and pretending to smile.

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« Reply #526 on: March 14, 2017, 06:08:06 AM »


"Wise and majestic, indeed. 

And I suppose it will breath some life back into the betting pools and gossip circles,"
she finishes wryly.

She pauses for a moment, then asks in a more neutral tone: "Might I borrow Sineth's services from you for a time until I have found my own attendants, Lord Theorin?"

But of course, my Lady Silverbow, you'll require time to establish your new holdings. He was still smiling.

Better the spy you know, I guess.

She looks around the room, attempting to be casual, but searching for Serapis to help her navigate this death trap they call politics.

Serapis is standing next to Avren, a smile on her face. She mouthed the word 'Calm'. She made a motion to join them.

The crowd around her, nobles and courtiers. Her nobles now. There is a mix of look from them. Some smiling, some looking pensive, some nervous, and a few with anger.

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« Reply #527 on: March 16, 2017, 12:18:50 AM »

Teliir tries to remember all the faces and names, but there are too many people speaking, asking questions. She focuses on those that look happiest, future allies perhaps, and those who look most angered, future competition.

She says little in answer to questions, honestly not knowing what her plans will be or her next steps.  This she had never anticipated.
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« Reply #528 on: March 25, 2017, 08:36:40 PM »

Teliir tries to remember all the faces and names, but there are too many people speaking, asking questions. She focuses on those that look happiest, future allies perhaps, and those who look most angered, future competition.

So many faces, so many expressions but she tries. The ghoulish looking matron with the orange painted eyes ... dislike. The Erenlander with the precise facial scars ... approval. Etc ...
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« Reply #529 on: March 25, 2017, 08:47:52 PM »

Lady Serapis looked over and leaned close, holding her hand over her mouth in an exaggerated fashion. Intent on making sure that the crowd can't read her lips.

'The bump up to Nobility,' Teliir could hear the Capital on it, 'was Theorin's and my idea. The Queen agreed. You want to advance your Witch Queen's goals? Now you're really in a position to do it.'
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« Reply #530 on: March 28, 2017, 12:45:47 AM »

Teliir simply nodded, not wanting to give away to the crowd anymore than she already was through her lack of practice at the diplomatic arts.

She shook more hands, all the while remembering how much she hated politics, but knowing she must do this as Serapis said, for the mission.
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« Reply #531 on: March 28, 2017, 04:16:36 AM »

Avren stood at the side of Lady Serapis quietly watching the proceedings. Turning his attention to her"Serapis, I'm honestly not sure what it is I could or even should be doing here. This is your court and I'm not a part of it. I imagine Tellir and Verador will stay with you too?"

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« Reply #532 on: April 03, 2017, 07:08:43 PM »

Serapis leaned over, I understand, but some battles you can't fight with your sword. You're the victors of the day, shake the hands, smile the smiles and generate a little good will for your Witch Queen.'
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« Reply #533 on: April 04, 2017, 01:08:59 AM »

He let a joyless smile reach his lips. "She shelters my people it's true, we may even be on the same side, but she is not my queen. The Elves will never see us as equals and I will not bow to her." He let out a short breath.  "But I am thankful for the opportunity she has given to us. I'll take your advice and try to make such things as smooth as possible."

He took a minute to try and compose himself as best he could. He made sure to stand up straighter, adjust his clothes more properly, and put out of his mind the fact that most of these folks would have just as likely seen him dead as anything else. These were the allies they had won and now they would have to make do. He stood for a time watching the proceedings and getting a feel for those who were more and less friendly to them.
"Lady Serapis, if we're the victors of the day and you're the favored one for accepting us here, perhaps you could start with some introductions to those and we might further secure some allies, for you at least."
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« Reply #534 on: April 11, 2017, 06:29:22 PM »

"Lady Serapis, if we're the victors of the day and you're the favored one for accepting us here, perhaps you could start with some introductions to those and we might further secure some allies, for you at least."

That is exactly what she does. Taking the Volunteers around the room and whispering to Lady Silverbow before each introduction. They catch a few of her whispered words, mostly about the person's pedigree or social snares to avoid. The introductions focus on Lady Silverbow and Verador. The Fell nobles still have an interest in meeting the rest of the now famous Volunteers from the Witch Queen but they have a larger interest in the new noble and her very deadly Fell friend.

There is a stir in the room when one of the Royal Apartment doors open and the ethereal Dwarven King returns with Theroin.

He waits a moment for everyone's attention to focus. 'We have concluded a treaty between ourselves, and the Dwarves below. The treaty will be placed on display for all to read. The basics are that we will assist the Dwarves in clearing the sections of their home tainted by our rebels and cultists. We will assist them in restarting their mining, smelting, and forging equipment. We will be allowed to extract as much mithral as we can from the rock. The Dwarves will retain 1/3 of all Mithral for their own purposes, the remaining 2/3 will be shipped north to a place of the Volunteers choosing. This will be the first step towards restarting trade relations and diplomacy with the Witch Queen and her elves.'

The nobles break out into applause and the Volunteers have hands shaken and back slapped in friendly gestures of camaraderie. As a group the Fell Nobility of Khrove seem to be overjoyed by this.

Theorin holds up a hand. 'This will require significant investment in materials and people. The clerks will draw up lists of what your Queen expects you to contribute to the effort. House Silverbow and House Serapis will be excluded from these investments. House Serapis has suffered heavy losses and help secure this for all of us. House Silverbow has barely formed and will require time to rebuild and restore.'

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« Reply #535 on: April 18, 2017, 11:18:24 PM »

"Thank you Lord Theorin.  As say you, House Silverbow has little only, but I shall help as I can."

...And I'll need to learn the human languages better too, now
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« Reply #536 on: May 07, 2017, 06:48:11 PM »

The room breaks up into group after several more rounds of applause. They, the Volunteers, can see what's happening. Everyone is speculating on what they're contributions will be and what they'll profit from it. Several of the nobles are speculating that trade with the Elven Nation will lead to more prosperity, and that's worth the investment. Others are saying that taking a position risks the wrath of the Night Kings and the Shadow's Legates. The majority seem to be in favour of the deal, and the rest are grumbling.

Avren however is something to observe. He descends on a group of the dead nobles that are complaining about the wrath of the Shadow and starts debating with them. He undercuts all of their complaints and points out all the potential that the deal has. Trade, Military Support, Communication ... all of these points bring them around and the two nobles leave the hall. But not before stopping to talk to Lady Serapis and Silverbow, pledging their assistance in getting the trade network up and running.

Shelg, the quiet and observant one, notices Theorin watching. He's standing next to the Queen's throne and watching Avren quite closely.
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« Reply #537 on: May 29, 2017, 08:33:53 AM »

A short discussion between the Thane and Avren gives him more details about the treaty that was quickly hammered out. The Volunteers have not been put into the cleansing force that is going below. The Game between themselves and the Legates was one thing, that was sport from the Nobles point of view. This is business. However, no one is going to turn down their help if they volunteer it.

The Thane however is closed lipped about what they intend to do with the 1/3 Mithral. All he says is that its going towards helping his remaining people and species. As for the armor, the Thane is willing. He pulls himself back from the tight lipped portion of the discussion about the 1/3 Mithral and says that he, and his forges, would be more than willing.
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« Reply #538 on: June 04, 2017, 10:29:20 AM »

Shelg moves over to stand next to Theorin, not as he once did before a master, but as an free elfling. He looks at the man whom he served critically, for the first time in a long time. Trying to ignore his prejudice. Is his loyality to the Queen and the Dead City real? Is he still serving the Shadow in the North?

"He is impressive, for a human," he states following his gaze. "What else do you see, apart from a pice in some game? "
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« Reply #539 on: June 04, 2017, 10:41:58 AM »

"He is impressive, for a human," he states following his gaze. "What else do you see, apart from a piece in some game? "

I'm wondering if there is a family resemblance? There are no remaining likenesses, well, there is one but it's inaccessible.'
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« Reply #540 on: June 06, 2017, 12:57:32 AM »

Teliir continues shaking hands, trying to grow more comfortable with her new status.  She notices the number of nobles mentioning Avren's name as they talk.

Glancing over at him during a break in the conversation, she says quietly to Serapis "That one, he was born to lead.  Not here I suppose, but somewhere."
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« Reply #541 on: July 24, 2017, 05:45:56 AM »

Even as he busied himself around the room, Avren's shoulders tensed as he couldn't help but notice the sensation of prying eyes on him. Watching him, judging him, looking for a sign of weakness. Years of hard toil under the watch of Orcish Taskmasters had taught him to stay vigilant. He wouldn't give any sign of weakness. He caught the gazes of Serapis and Tellir. Then of Theorin and Shelg. He kept to his task, until finally, when the room seemed empty of those who had seemed irritated or overly worried of the outcome, Avren stepped back into the corner with Serapis and Tellir.

"I think I've dissuaded the most immediate regrets about the Shadow not claiming control of the city. Thane Hulmuth has agreed to help create armor made of Mithral for us. Theorin thinks we can be allies to help him against the Priest of Shadow's forces. Which I mean, he's not wrong I'd fight against them wherever they appeared, but ... why does he keep staring at me?"
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« Reply #542 on: August 21, 2017, 01:06:52 PM »

Six Months Later

In a city of Fell a twenty four hour day is normal for those that labour. Which is likely why the preparations could be completed in such a short period.

Under the supervision of the Ghostly Dwarves the forge fires are restocked and started, leading to some humour as one minor noble house discovered that their tower home was a stack for smoke to rise up and out of the city below. With the fires restarted and the parts of the city reactivated the Fell begun to mine the Mithril veins deep under the city. It's slow at first but the Dwarves have an age of experience and having no hands themselves they make the best of it in educated and assisting.

House Silverbow is given the customary time to reassess and rebuild its holdings, a full six months. With the assistance of House Serapis, and rumor around the city is that those two House's might as well just be one at this point, walls are repaired, servants are hired, and key positions inside the holding are staffed. The situation is still tenuous but the other Houses are still holding back for fear of the Queen's wrath. House Serapis and Silverbow are favoured ... for now.

Avren and Verador led a small expedition out of the Khrove to check on the boats that they left at the base of the mountain guarded by Ce'Vain and her twenty Danasil scouts. They knew that Lady Elizabeth had taken the Human crew from the camp to transform into her horrid 'Gloms of flesh and bone but what had happened to the Danasil? That wasn't hard to determine. The jungle had done an excellent job at reclaiming the crude camp and scavengers had done the rest. The Danasil had been killed and their bones broken by the hungry forest. They'd know ... but had hoped that some had survived. Grimm, Jokine, all dead.

The ships they tracked downstream a good four kilometers. The Captain's had retreated with them upstream as to not put all of their eggs into a single basket. It had been a good idea. The ships were overgrown with vines, foilage, and were almost invisible to the naked eye. Simple a mass along the shoreline. The Captain's and the remaining crew were missing as well, either taking by predators or fled back towards civilization. But they had left an almost hidden marking on one of the masts and the small group, after clearing out an impressive collection of snakes from the decks, headed into the Jungle. The marking trail led to a small hill, three hundred meters into the Jungle. They dug and found a wooden crate familiar to Avren.

The words of the Quartermasters in Caradul came back to him ...

Quote
The shipment was sent to the Queen. Its sender was Coelinana Llanil, second wife to Justin Llanil, Advisor to the King of Erenland.

The other muted conversations in the room go quiet as attention is refocused.

Verification is required before ... The Quartermaster stops speaking for a moment and tilts his head back staring at the branches above.

Verification receieved. Message as follows. His voice changes to a Erenland female, pain and fear are clear in her tearing voice.

My Queen, this will be my last message to you. They have overrun the lands, and have outflanked our soldiers. The survivors barely returned ahead of the advancing hordes. I can see their fires now, in the distance. They're burning the villages before advancing on our keep. Those poor women and children below have bought the time for this missive. My husband and 1st born are dead, they insisted on leading the troops. I have nothing left my Queen, it's all gone. I entrust to you the remains of my life. The amulet you left to me, in case I ever needed to return to you, I have attached to this crate. I hope it works as you intended it. If all are to fall into darkness on this day, then I deny this to the darkness. Hold them for me, in the hopes that one day Erenland rises from this darkness. A crash can be heard, an echo from her voice. A second crash and bestial Orc howls over cracking wood.

No time is left. I would come my Queen but for what? My heart is broken. Without my children and my Justin I have no wish to continue to live. These beasts will see what it is like to face fey without nothing to lose. The fear and pain in her voice passes, resolve and anger settle in. Remember me well my Queen.

Another crack followed by splintering wood, only much louder.

For Caradul, and the King of Erenland!

They pried open the crate on that small jungle hill and found the items that they left behind for safe keeping. The dark green war banner with silver and golden Griffon, the forbidden by the Shadow symbol of the Kingdom of Erenland. Under it, looking no worse than when they had left it, the suit of knight's armour, rented along the chest and flecked with still present blood. The armour still had a shine to it, even in the fading light of the day. The golden Griffon on the chest matched the banner, armour worn only by the Royal Family of Erenland.

Shelg ... he was Shelg ... and collecting information was his nature. While he was careful in his interactions with his former master Theorin he dug himself deep into the political structure for Teliir and her House. His ability to hop from Shadow to Shadow was invaluable in shutting down several fledgling plots against Silverbow and Serapis. Word was spreading among the noble houses that Silverbow and Serapis had some ability to sniff out spies and treachery.

 
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« Reply #543 on: August 27, 2017, 01:59:29 PM »

Teliir sat in her office, her private chambers in her new House.  Private, however, was not exactly the right word, given the number of servants quietly entering, placing messages on her desk, and leaving with others.

She looked down at the latest letter, another asinine message from some low-ranked House, inviting her to a meal or sport or some other waste of time in an attempt to court her friendship and favor.  She lost track of the number of these events she'd gone to, smiled politely, listened seriously.  Serapis had been training her, but she had been her old self to change that much, that fast.

She looked over at the mantle. Why the hell is there a mantle, a fireplace?  What's the point? she thought for the thousandth time.  There on a nice stand, was her bow and quiver.  Relegated to an artifact, a simple decoration!  She hadn't killed anything in months, and all the danger she lived in was subtle, political.  Just as deadly but nothing her senses were tuned to.

She slammed her fist into the desk and let out a wordless growl.  A servant who had just stepped into the room froze, spun, and exited so quickly she heard him bump into the wall of the hallway.

She calmed, and turned her eyes back to the invitation.  She opened her calendar (a Shadow-blighted invention if she ever saw one) and added the social meeting to her list.  That made three that day alone.  The idea of a murderous rampage floated through her mind, just wandering the streets killing all she saw or leaving one of these lunches with all others unmoving, but she quickly dismissed it, knowing how many people in this city depended on her playing her role, and how much worse it could be for all if she wasn't the one holding this spot.  Another Elizabeth would be more than happy to fill any void she left.

She wrote a quick reply in her sad, unpracticed handwriting in the human tongue that passed as default in Khrove.  "It's fine, come." she said to the servant just outside the door.  He came back in almost as quickly as he had left, a placid face as though nothing had happened.  Benefit of being undead, she supposed.  She handed the reply to him to return, and turned to the next letter.
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« Reply #544 on: September 07, 2017, 09:06:51 PM »

Teliir sat in her office, her private chambers in her new House.  Private, however, was not exactly the right word, given the number of servants quietly entering, placing messages on her desk, and leaving with others.

She looked down at the latest letter, another asinine message from some low-ranked House, inviting her to a meal or sport or some other waste of time in an attempt to court her friendship and favor.  She lost track of the number of these events she'd gone to, smiled politely, listened seriously.  Serapis had been training her, but she had been her old self to change that much, that fast.

She looked over at the mantle. Why the hell is there a mantle, a fireplace?  What's the point? she thought for the thousandth time.  There on a nice stand, was her bow and quiver.  Relegated to an artifact, a simple decoration!  She hadn't killed anything in months, and all the danger she lived in was subtle, political.  Just as deadly but nothing her senses were tuned to.

She slammed her fist into the desk and let out a wordless growl.  A servant who had just stepped into the room froze, spun, and exited so quickly she heard him bump into the wall of the hallway.

She calmed, and turned her eyes back to the invitation.  She opened her calendar (a Shadow-blighted invention if she ever saw one) and added the social meeting to her list.  That made three that day alone.  The idea of a murderous rampage floated through her mind, just wandering the streets killing all she saw or leaving one of these lunches with all others unmoving, but she quickly dismissed it, knowing how many people in this city depended on her playing her role, and how much worse it could be for all if she wasn't the one holding this spot.  Another Elizabeth would be more than happy to fill any void she left.

She wrote a quick reply in her sad, unpracticed handwriting in the human tongue that passed as default in Khrove.  "It's fine, come." she said to the servant just outside the door.  He came back in almost as quickly as he had left, a placid face as though nothing had happened.  Benefit of being undead, she supposed.  She handed the reply to him to return, and turned to the next letter.

Another requisition for supplies for the ships going back north. The supplies were easiest. It was the trained sailors. With that damned Elizabeth still uncaptured no one had paid yet for killing the only sailors for a damned, long distance. They were going to have to recruit the best people that they could and train them on the way. That was no place to be trying to train people. Especially with twelve crates of Mithral on board. If that was the on good thing to come out of this entire expedition was that the start up of the Dwarves city had gone smooth and easy. In almost no time they're fired up the forges and started smelting the Mithral ore into transportable ingots.
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« Reply #545 on: September 10, 2017, 08:19:41 AM »

Avren could have almost laughed at the misfortune that had befallen the entire expedition the day they had found all of the miners had been taken and slaughtered. Even so, the crate that contained both the banner and the armor from a time mostly forgotten had been a small blessing. It had been enough to make him hold back his humorless laugh and turn into a grim determination instead.

Despite his earlier misgivings about the city and his plans to leave once things had been settled, he realized that even if he left now, he would be leaving to start over again.  These Fell were not the same ones he'd been told stories about. So rather than running away, he decided to act during the cleansing of the mine. Though the chances were indeed very small, he'd had a vague hope that Elizabeth had decided to go to the mines below the city. Here, even in this city of death, he was known, now he would make sure that he was remembered.

Six months later

Avren's eyes snapped open as he heard faint movements from beyond the door. He sat up quietly from his bed but the sounds moved further away. The months in Khrove had done little to ease his sense of being watched here. He was still a living person among a city of the dead.

The dreams had not changed either. Although they did not bother him anymore, more so they simply didn't let him forget. Once again he had been among a very few survivors, Tellir and Verador bleeding out. Grimm and who knows how many others turned into that hulking mass. The Danisil scouts scattered. His mind even flickered with the memory of Murwick of those previous months. He couldn't very well call this mission a failure, they had been pushed back a step with their losses, but they had gained two steps in different directions. The elves were finally getting their mithral shipments now, and they also had Krove as their allies.

He stretched and slid out of the bed and grabbed the sword he kept with him at all times. The now comfortable grip reminded him that he still had things to do. With a push down he pushed himself up and got dressed. His left arm was still somewhat tender from the sparring match he'd gotten into with Verador the previous day. There hadn't been any real fighting for some time but Verador insisted that it was the best time to better oneself. Avren didn't disagree.

He wanted to speak with Kramis to see if there had been any new messages from further north, then he should also speak with Tellir to see how things were proceeding with the shipment plans.
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« Reply #546 on: September 10, 2017, 08:13:33 PM »

Teliir shook her head at the predicament. To have what she came for, but no way to get it back to the Witch Queen.  The journey south had been treacherous and they had lost friends and allies.  How much moreso with an unseasoned crew.  It would stand a better chance with her and Verador to help guard, but so far from her new Queen's song, she didn't like her chances of staying sane without eating any living crew members.

She went to search the manor for Verador, who had become her de facto sergeant-at-arms the last six months.  He had got the household guard into reasonable shape (not to say if she left on this trip they would be able to stop the onslaught that would obviously come).  Maybe Verador could find help among his Danisil contacts.
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« Reply #547 on: October 18, 2017, 11:15:43 AM »

He wanted to speak with Kramis to see if there had been any new messages from further north, then he should also speak with Tellir to see how things were proceeding with the shipment plans.

Cramis reported that everything was quiet from the North. There was a war on, and that wasn't quiet he reported, but there had been no information coming south in regards to them.

Donning the armor was a pair, and required Adam's help to get in on in under 30 minutes which wasn't something to be relished first thing in the morning. However, it was worth it in the training sessions with Verador. The Fey's, correction Fell Fey's, training blades just slipped clean off the armor without Avren feeling much of an impact. For testing they'd switched to heavier blades and found that for Avren to really feel getting hit he had to go at him with the intent to cripple. The armour, through magic or just excellent construction and Avren was suspecting the former, reflected much of the impact of the blows. Something that he knew could very much save his life in fight. Losing that moments hesitation from an impact could turn the tide, but all this steel was going to take some time to get used to wearing. It certainly got a few strange looks as he moved around the city.

If it wasn't was Adam he'd have been lost. The boy, not much in his teens in appearance if you discounted the dead eyes and dessicated skin, has approached him in the street on one of his first day wearing the armour. Adam had informed him that he was wearing the neckpiece, the gorget, wrong. He'd followed the boy's instructions and he was right, it sat better. He'd discovered that Adam was obviousl older then he appeared but Avren was surprised just how much. In his living years he'd been a squire to one of the Sarcosian Knights and he'd had some experience with helping his Knight don his armour first thing in the morning. He also, casually, explained that he'd been killed with his master on a Cavalry charge against an Orc position. It wasn't a chance encounter Adam further explained, he'd heard that there was a man in full plate walking around the city and he'd wanted to see it.

It had been a long  time since he'd even seen that kind of armor.

Teliir's security had checked on Adam's story and he was currently working in a shop repairing tools and weapons, simple metal work. The owner of the shop was eager to give Adam up when he'd heard the House Silverbow name, an attempt to curry favour which Avren was happy to take. Adam was proving to be very helpful, and fell into the role of Avren's bodyman and squire extremely quickly. Familiarity, Avren supposed.

Adam had let out the best whistle that a dessicated throat could manage when he'd seen the Banner. 'The Royal Sigil. The King of Erenland. I've not seen a banner like this since before my death. They banned them, obviously. Just having one is death from the Shadow, but what isn't these days? We should fly it.'

Which lead to the House Silverbow getting another banner pole. Next to the Silver Curve that had been adopted by the Silverbow House as a symbol flew the Golden Griffon of the Kingdom of Erenland.

This lead to no small amount of staring and whispering from those passing by Silverbow's prominent position on one of the main boulevards. It also led to no small number of waves, smiles and salutes as well.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 11:58:14 AM by Harrowed » Logged
Luiniel Blades
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« Reply #548 on: October 29, 2017, 02:58:21 AM »

For all his misgivings of the Fell, Avren had decidedly come to like Adam. He had proven to be more than useful since taking him on as a squire, not that Avren had ever thought about having one before, and Avren agreed with his sense of taking the initiative on things.

Avren made his way to Silverbow manor, he meant to find Tellir now that the first shipment of mithral were ready for transport.
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« Reply #549 on: October 29, 2017, 10:34:32 AM »

Teliir smiled as Avren entered.  At least she knew what he wanted from her, and she wanted the same thing.

"Your banner has drawn quite a bit of attention. The human fell especially seem called to it.

Any ideas about getting the mithral north?"
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