"Hello friends, we a but out for a little fresh air, We are here for nothing but a lovely stroll in the cool breese. Pleasent, no?" Said Lantaris directly to one of the solders. "I am afraid I was not aware that this area is off limits, But may I perhaps join you? After all, where can I go if i am with you? We would have a chance for a nice chat, It may help you pass the time, I am sure that standing here for hours on end may be boring, but I may have some interesting storys for you." during this, Lantaris was making direct signals behind his back, simply implying that he will attempt to distract the two while you guys do what you need to.
Crystal had to physically resist the temptation to slap her forehead. A bluff, even if it was necessary, as weak as that is akin to walking towards the guard with sword drawn. Screaming. On fire. Naked.
Crystal supposed she should intercede before the soldiers attack them or something.
"Excuse me, priest." Crystal grumbled as she stepped past Lantaris, raising slightly on her toes in an attempt to stare down on the corporal, making sure her staff was visible. "Soldiers. I am Crystal Hardwood, Journeymage of the Valsavatharian Kingdom. Trained Warmage of the kingdoms of Coast." Crystal added the last sentence with a trace of vehemence, making sure the soldiers knew what that meant. She spoke as one who expected her orders to be followed...a talent useful for one who's battlefield role is to keep the less magically adept that surround her from dying.
"I trust there is no problem, Corporal? I find myself in a position of utmost urgency to speak with my King, and I am authorising the movements of these people who will accompany me."
Crystal continued to stare. The mage-military chain of command is not a rigid construct, and varies greatly between kingdoms; but it is usually considered within the best interests of a Corporal to defer to the authority of a Journeymage.
"Ma'am." The Corporal stands smartly to attention, the private beside him following suit and casting a strange glance at Lantaris. "If you've buisness in the palace then you may go on, assuming that buisness involves your...euh, associates then by all means go ahead."
"Just try not to piss Skantea off with your performing clown, Hardwood." The second guard mutters as you pass, flashing up a wristband bearing the enblem of the Green Circle and a wolfish grin. "Syk Malthorne, Valsav Vanguard, you can tell the guards at the next checkpoints you've got my clearance."
Another Valsavatharian? Half the population must be here...
Crystal stopped, mentally balking for a second in surprise, before giving him a short bow from the shoulders up. She hid her feelings behind a mask as she stared into his face, searching for any trace of familiarity...both whether she had met him before, or whether he appeared to recognise her or her name.
'How much does he know?' Crystal thought, a seeping feeling of sickness laying into her limbs. A common feeling, and a common thought, when she meets a mage from her kingdom. The number of Valsavatharian mages didn't even hit four figures, after all. 'Does he recognize me at all? By face, by name, or by the...incident?'
"A pleasure, Malthorne of the Vanguard." Crystal returned politely, if stiffly. If nothing else, a member of the Valsav Vanguard deserved such respect, "Thank you for the permission, though I assure you I'm not fool enough to try to piss his majesty off."
Crystal didn't bat an eyelid, but prepared to move on. She had no desire to carry a conversation with another mage, not if it will inevitably lead to questions. Besides, they had a far more important task ahead.
That said, it would be foolish to rudely walk away from one who held a technical higher rank.
The Guards at the next checkpoints nodd you through, until you finally make your way to the gates of the palace. Thankfully for Crystal, no more Valsavatharians (vanguard or not) appear to be manning the barricades...however whatever solace the mage can draw from that is cut off when she sees the contingent arrayed before the gates.
At least twenty fully armed and armoured Vekth and Myanmade stand arrayed around the open portcullis whilst on the walls above them at least a dozen crossbowmen of various ethnicities stand, accompanied by at least three mages.
"Well, looks like the Royalty actually do take their security seriously." Mutters Rege' from behind you, his eyes scanning the walls. "It might be a good idea to flash Chambers' letter to whoever's in charge of this rabble, there reaction would be worth it if nothing else."
Lantaris sighed "Perhaps you should go ahead. I would much prefer to stay out here in the cool anyway. Ill see you when you get out, or if not, Ill be sure to see you off at the gallows. Im still not sure how many of you are serious about this but I can assure you that i will not be involved in such brutality" he muttered under his breath.
"Brutality?" Al'Ral turns to you, a quizzical look in his eyes. "Lantaris, we're at the forefront of brokering a peace that could crush the Celian Empire's puntive attempts south for good, and believe me, I've seen more of these situations than you've years, and I can tell you this. If Chambers finds you wanting when we enter that castle, unless someone knocks him off for you he will hunt you down in cold blood. I know it's not your desicion, but neither was it mine or Regarial's, if you have no faith in your companions how can you hope to stand together against both the Empire and the League?"
"Besides," Rege' adds, "I'm not sure your Kings' burly guards over there would take kindly to you walking back to the checkpoints or loitering around here, you're putting us all at risk by staying put. Under duress, you might be the only chance Crystal and Takra have, so pearhaps you can leave your morales behind like the rest of us have and do what's necessary."
"Surley you owe your friends that much." Al'Ral finishes, the duo holding Lantaris' gaze cooly.
"You are lucky that I do not just leave you to your own demise. This is barly my buisness to be involved in treason. I am may deal out justice to those who deserve it, but it is not my job to decide who can live and who will die. That job lies with others. You may be able to kill somone else but it goes against everything I ever leart. The reason I live the way I do is that I dont have to kill somone. I can hinder or harm someone without causing death. I will, however agree that perhaps you are right that I should not hang around here, but I refuse to be a part of murdur." Lantaris whispered in such a cold tone that deemed this to be his final words on the matter.
Posted on 2011-08-09 at 07:08:01.
Edited on 2011-08-11 at 07:39:57 by omega biobirinator v8
Takra was in a daze, she had been thrown head first not just into the deep end of a pool, the deepest darkest place of the whole ocean. She had wondered through the checkpoint like the undead she had witnessed earlier. Her mother had told her that zombies and ghouls were only myths, not real life nightmares. Now she stood outside the kings less than humble abode, trying to stop the Celian Empire! She didn't even know what or who they were? Let alone how to defeat them.
The mage awoke her from her tranquility, Crystal that was her name wasn't it? She asked her a question and it took her a few seconds to understand it. Once she had registered the question, it shocked her. Why was she here? What impact would it make? How did she get here?
“Crystal, my friend I don't know why I am here. I don't know how I got here. I don't know what we will achieve. But by heck we should be here if what this man says is true, we can save lives and we can vanquish evil. That mage Hardwood is why i'm here.”
What Takra had just said had not been thought through that was raw instinct one which had not been tarnished, that was why she was here. She smiled now, she had some purpose about her a goal, an aim.
"You see, Lantaris, we're here to save lives, not to end them." Al'Ral adds, spreading his hands helplessly. "Besides, if you've been trained to take foes down without fatalities then wouldn't it be best for you to come with us and potentially avoid any unnecessary bloodshed?"
At this point you are interrupted by a cough from the sergeant manning the gate, his amber Myanmade eyes glaring at you from his ashen grey face.
"Is there some kind of problem, or has the Royal Gatehouse suddenly become a shelter for vargants? Either get moving or get gone!"
"We need to speak to His Majesty, the King of Valsavathar. I am Crystal Hardwood, journeymage of the Valsavatharian Green Circle and these are companions of mine. Vanguardsman Syk Malthorne gave us clearance."
Crystal spoke clearly and quickly in response, her mind spinning. Takra's words were...important. Crystal could risk a certain level of trust within her, at least. Things may get very messy, very quickly, considering Skantea's state of mind.
Lantaris stayed quiet, slowly observing his suroundings. He was a little unnerved by the malice that seemed to have overtaken his companions. However, he would have to wait for the right moment to speak his mind. He tried to enjoy the cool air, trying not to think about what may be going through his companions minds
"Move on through, then, Journeymage...you wouldn't want anyone getting suspicious with you loitering around outside." The Myanmade growls, motioning for his squad to part and let you through, closing ranks neatly behind you.
The interior of the palace of Karth is impressive, the hewn stone grandeur a testament to the southern kingdom's strength. Everywhere you look there seem to be pairs of guards, patrolling, the corridors or guarding various doors or halls.
Leading from the main foyer there are six main corridors, each bearing the livery of one of the Kingdoms of Coast. You frown as you regard the Valsavatharian passage, it almost seems as if the shadows playing against its inner wall are forming a hand beckoning to you...
Crystal closed her eyes for a second, calming her mind and heart. The likelihood of geniune danger being here of all places is minute. Without so much as a glance behind her to her allies she strode forward into the Valsavatharian corridor.