The Mouth and the Blade
Ser Zyre Greyiron was despondent. His younger brother, Elmar, had been brutally murdered by Lord Ice’s warband, and he could not come to terms with it. “I should have been there! I would have put down that rabid dog!” he yelled. “Before this is over, I will have that head on a spike!”
He was in a foul mood as he inspected his camp, punishing soldiers for the most minor of offences, such as keeping dirty boots or bedding ugly whores. This was his state of mind when he overheard a conversation between several soldiers gathered around a fire: “This is all Lord Rhysling’s fault! And Ser Zyre is not without fault as well! Bad planning, poorer execution! A disaster all around, I tell you! If only they would listen to me, we would all be much better off!”
Ser Zyre listened to this blusterer, his anger growing with every word. The braggart continued: “They have no idea how to play this game of theirs, what they call a war. We are here for their amusement! Ser Zyre couldn’t even protect his own brother! What will he do for us then, tell me? If only I had been there, I would have saved him! Or least I would know where the killer was by now!” That was all Ser Zyre could take. He stepped next to fire and addressed the blowhard, his eyes red with rage. “Soldier! What is your name?!” The soldier got up in a flash, cowering in fear - “Nolio, my Lord.” he whispered.
Ser Zyre roared: “Soldiers, seize this scandalmonger! I will have his tongue for this insolence!” Four men grabbed Nolio and dragged him to Zyre. He drew his dagger and cut out Nolio’s tongue in one swift motion, blood gushing all around. Satisfied, Zyre began to walk away, but then he stopped. He could not believe it! The busybody was still protesting! Although you could not make out his words anymore, his meaning was still plain for all to see: pointing fingers and blabbering, he was not done in his recrimination!
Ser Zyre closed his eyes and shook his head. “Some people will never learn.” he thought to himself. “Soldiers, take this trumpeter to see the headsman. I will have his head on my table before sunset.”
“Make way for the King! Make way for His Majesty!” The heralds announced the royal column, and the peasants and highborn alike would kneel and face the ground as King Karron Blackmyre rode past them. Behind him rode Ser Ryden Chandyll, the Good Knight, and the rest of his Guard, all clad in resplendent golden suits of armor. It was quite a sight, awing to all who were fortunate to see it. Lord Broden Perry had ridden ahead with a contingent of the Crimson Legion, their crimson capes floating in the wind, making sure the King would come to no harm along the way.
King Karron was on his way to a gathering of loyalist Lords to discuss the war and what could be done to stop the momentum of Lord Rhysling and his minions. Karron had summoned all his banners east of the Pillars, and sent ravens to those beyond, demanding action. All his subordinates were commanded to attend this meeting, all but one. The King had personally ordered his Sentinel, Ser Duncas Cray, called the Dark Blade (Azmadi) to oversee the preparations for the burial of his High Chancellor Lord Jorrel Coldwater, who had been brutally slain the night before, the exact circumstances of which were still unknown.
Ser Duncas had taken his King’s command to heart, and had ordered all details be attended to without exception. However, as Lord Sentinel, he was also required to investigate the murder of the Chancellor. He rode out of the Capital, tracing the late Chancellor’s steps, examining the bodies and the grounds around them, and the conclusion was but one: Lord Coldwater had been betrayed, most likely the work of the devious Lord Eathe. They had warned the Chancellor not to trust that man, but he had not heeded it. In the end, he had paid for his misplaced trust with his life.
They had lingered in the countryside, he thought as he looked up at the Moon starting to show itself in the sky above. He got on his horse and ordered his company of 20 soldiers to march back to Westermere. After a few leagues, they noticed a strange glow in the distance, bright as the starlit sky. As they approached they could see a blue flame, terrible and immense, roaring in their way. There was a cold in the air such as they had never felt, not even in the coldest winters in their memory. Before they could being to comprehend what they faced, the Flame split itself and rained down on the soldiers, burning man and horse alike. The air was cold, but the Flame was hot, searing and scorching. Swords and chain mail melted and became one with the flesh, a terrible sight, and a worse smell.
Ser Duncas managed to take cover under the carcass of his charred mount. Two or three other soldiers had also survived, but he could see they were quickly cut down by a strange figure, covered head to toe in a dark cloak. He seemed to be wielding a pair of daggers, the brightness that emanated from them hurting his eyes. He watched as the daggers cut through the steel of their swords, and for an instant Ser Duncas knew fear.
It was a fleeting instant, though. The Dark Blade gathered his strength and hoisted himself up, calling out to the assassin: “You, wizard! Magic has been forbidden in these lands for a thousand years, under pain of death!” Maro Vhassinar looked at Ser Duncas and grinned, his blue eyes glowing in the dusk “It would appear death has ridden ahead of your sentence, knight. The Flame knows no master.” Ser Duncas looked at Maro and reached behind his back for his great longsword. As he drew it from its sheath, it did not fail to impress the Warlock. It was not just any blade: dark and glittering, it had been worked on for years in the great forges of Llyn, the hard steel coated in a fine layer of obsidian, hardened by the fire and worked on by the great masters of the forge. It was unbreakable, and impervious to magic.
Maro recognized the threat, but he welcomed the challenge. After his fight with Saloman Spyre had gone awry, the Flame hungered. And this he could not allow. Maro lunged forward, trying to catch Ser Duncas off guard, but the knight was a seasoned fighter. The blades gave a low echoing buzz when they clashed, sending ripples through the air around them. The enchantments did not seem to work on this sword, and Maro worried. Ser Duncas was an accomplished duelist, and he was losing ground with every blow. Ser Duncas lunged forward, a thrust, a downswing, blow after blow, until one of Maro’s daggers went flying through the air. “Yield, wizard. I will show you a good death.” he said, as he pointed his blade at the Warlock. “Your blade may contest the Flame, knight, but your flesh may not.” A jet of blue flame streamed from Maro’s dagger toward the knight, who parried it with his sword. The glow was blinding though, and for a moment Ser Duncas lost his bearings. It was all Maro needed, as he lunged forward and pushed his dagger right into the knight’s forehead, killing him instantly.
Maro Vhassinar looked down at the Dark Blade, and wondered. He may yet meet his fate in this strange land.
Lord Rhysling had not taken kindly to the death of his squire, Elmar Greyiron. He had ordered Lord Herrath Eathe to take 500 riders and bring him the head of the villain Ser Robart Foral, ominously called Lord Ice. His warband had become a plague on the countryside, pillaging, looting and burning everything they found in their way, leaving behind nothing but grief and death. Ser Zyre Greyrion had begged Lord Nithan to command the chase, but he would not have it. This needed a skilled hand, and Ser Zyre was not of clear mind. Lord Eathe had scoured the area, trying to make sense of the devastation he found. He could scarcely believe it. The stench, the putrid stench was the worst of it all, lingering in the air for miles and miles, forcing many in his party to cover their nose with rags. He would bring this villain to justice, Lord Eathe thought, if it was the last thing he did.
Unaware of this, Lord Ice’s raiders rode ahead, leaving a path of devastation in their wake. They took great joy in the misery of others, and they were enjoying themselves today. They had left the villages behind and came across a small town, home to a good crowd of artisans, blacksmiths, merchants, and whores. They took the town watch by surprise and killed and maimed at random, sparing neither the infants nor the elderly. Not happy in the chaos they caused, they dismounted and cut down all in their way, breaking down doors and cutting infants in their cribs, the crippled and sick all the same. Any gold or silver they came across, they claimed. And they laughed, loud and often.
As they broke down another door, they found themselves in a brothel. Whores ran out, crying and screaming, some covered in sheets, most naked, their parts laid bare for all to see. They let them go, as they would round them up later, when the killing was done, and they would take their pleasure, first in the sheets, then with their knives across the whores’ necks. The men inside were given no such mercy, though. All were killed, except a sniveling coward who crouched down in the back of a dimly-lit room, his parts too small to be of any notice. He was naked and cowardly, so they could not make out his standing; sitting there, in a shameful display, MrBlonde could have been either a farmer or a knight, though not any valiant knight, for sure.
It made no difference for Lord Ice’s men, though. Everyone dies; the weak, feeble and spineless especially. MrBlonde begged for mercy, but it was a loud sound that came to his rescue. A war horn sounded in the distance, and the rumbling of hundreds of hooves hitting the ground running came nearer and nearer. Lord Ice’s men stepped outside of the brothel and saw Lord Herrath Eathe’s cavalry charging at them, House Rhysling’s banner flying high against the wind. Ser Robart judged the situation, and finding himself outnumbered 5 to 1, or worse, ordered a retreat. Lord Eathe gave chase and many of Lord Ice’s raiders were cut down and killed, but their dreaded commander escaped into the woods.
Having been spared of certain death, an anemic looking Mrblonde stepped out of the brothel, looked around and fainted, lying there on the ground, his bare ass pointed upwards to the sky, perhaps a sign of things to come.
Azmadi (Ser Duncas Cray, the Dark Blade) was killed by Maro Vhassinar (SK)
Nolio (Townie) was killed by Ser Zayr Greyiron (Mafia)
Lord Herrath Eathe (Mafia roleblocker) has 1 block remaining!