The servant noted that Greyscale Castle hasn’t looked this good in many a year. Most of the obvious signs of decay were cleaned up and others painted over. This was to be a momentous day for the Kingdom and the Dallian Confederacy. An actual King was going to resign and be replaced by another King and the resignation wasn’t to be fatal to the old King. King Stanescleu was going to allow another to become king of one of the Forlon Four, Luxor. The new king was both a foreigner and a non human, both of which were to upset the status quo of the region. The servant had heard that some of the royalty in some of the other Duchies were upset at this turn of events and some were rumored to be conspiring as of right now.
He looked to the other servants also polishing and cleaning. The rumor mill had been rife with stories of the new King and of his people. They were mercenaries, and although many of the mercenary bands that had wandered through out the Dallian Confederacy were honorable there were always stories of those who had raped and pillaged. The stories that he’d heard were that the new King was a Dwarf in command and had, what was it called a … genie, yes a genie as an advisor. The servant had seen some of the other troops in the Dwarves mercenary group who had gone to the east to find out what had been happening there. Rumors of the increasing swamp size and stories about three nasty creatures whom controlled the swamp were actually confirmed as the group returned and their stories spoken about. The Dwarf’s name is Saleed Ibn Al Lith. His name as odd as the fact that he is a Dwarf and on top of that he came from some far eastern kingdom to claim this throne.
There were stories that the Dwarf had survived assassination attempts at least twice and that the assassins were from Russ. The servant had been told that at least two of the members who went east were from Russ also. The servant had overheard that the half-orc whom who he thought was from Istellia was intent on rebuilding the old lab as part of his service to his lord and the human priest? Oracle? He was never sure what was a true priest was intent on creating some sort of service for the people of the land.
The servant had met the Dwarf and the Genie and had found both of them to be pleasant and humorous. They had treated the servant well, and although King Stanescleu had treated him politely, the new ruler had a sense of making things different for him and the kingdom.
“You know Khalid, that we’ll have to rebuild the Falcon Raiders and what passes for an army here. I don’t believe there are more than 3-5 thousand troops in the entire kingdom. Thank Helm, that our neighbors are too busy with themselves and the swamps help keep the Rus away and the Baldamarians are now afraid of the Raiders as a group. So we should have time to rebuild the army. My main concern after the corination is the Rus army. The Swamp will provide some cover and will take a couple of years unless we decide to use Druids to attempt to dry it out sooner. In the meantime, I will want some sort of regular patrolling on the eastern sector. I’m not as sure as the group is of Van Reeders loyalty to me but I will accept the groups recommendation for now. Make sure that whats her name Doinia, and Remus will continue their patrols along there and report back to me.”
The genie looked down at his close friend, “I really don’t believe that you’d be a King. There’s still too much fight in your blood. Being respectable, doesn’t really suit you. But you are right about rebuilding the Falcon Raiders and the misbegotten whelps whom form the troops here.” The genie stroked his goatee in a fashion that Saleed had seen many times before and knew his friend was thinking.
“I see the Russ as a larger threat than any of the other of the local kingdoms. They have attempted twice to assassinate you and we are still completely uncertain as to why. Russ is having its own troubles in Aponi and there is some struggle again going on with the Ice and fire mages there.”
Saleed also began to stroke his beard in the same fashion as the genie and the guards managed not to chuckle at the two of them as they strode down the hallway.
Leonid and Beso both were trying to warm themselves up with coffee that somehow would not get hot despite the fireplace that the cups were in. They looked about the great room of the palace of the Frost Mage Vassily Zhukov. The cold was penetrating and the two comrades wondered how long they would last before frostbite struck both of them. Zhukov walked into the room, the icy floor crunching under his thick boots.
He looked at the two, with a look of mostly contempt and sat down at the table they were at. “Even the accursed Ember Mages , agree with me about the situation at both Aponi and Luxor. We need to resolve both of these situations for the good of Rus.” The two of them looked at each other and then to Vassily, Leonid asked in a timid voice, “We understand the need for stabilization in Aponi, My Lord Zhukov but why Luxor. They are nothing but a gnat to be swatted aside.”
Zhukov’s look literally froze the both of them. “let me tell you why….”
A person looking at the woman would have noticed that she didn’t open the ruined door of an structure which was covered in vines and tree branches and just passed through the door. That person if close enough would have noticed a look of anger on what could have been a pleasant face.
The anger on her face also showed signs of confusion. She moved through the ruined structure. Damn was the first thought as she wandered about. She remembered after awaking, she took control of a dwarf and was trying to destroy the others whom attacked her slave. She vividly remembered the warrior who had destroyed her hat. She would avenge herself on him and then the others. First she had to figure out everything that had changed.
Anders, sweating under his chain armor covered by the grey tabard with the purple hand on it was holding his holy mace. He and the others whom had gone into the port of Ico Prane of Mirelle, to find the wraiths who were holding sway in this port city. He had been fighting the icy clutches of the wraiths and was the last survivor of the group of velvet hands who specialized in fighting undead. He had been with the fight for several months starting with the city of Vieta in Patula. He had seen three of his brothers and sisters fall as well as others in fighting the nasty horde. This was the next to last city to be infected. Quarantines of everything within the various cities had slowed the hordes of undead movement along the sea and despite the hinderance of the priests of Smerc and Ongeluka, they had been getting the upper hand. It was good that they had help from various other wizards, sorcerers and oracles in combating these creatures.
The night was dark with no moon showing. It always seemed that is was always a new moon or no moon. He was never sure if he wanted to meet them in the open or inside a place, although it rarely mattered. It was a warm night and even though he knew his armor would be no good against their touch, he felt it was necessary. A yell from his left, brought him out of his thinking. He began to recite the words that would harm and possibly destroy the lesser wraiths at least. A group came out of the shadows and were overwhelming the fighter so he channeled and several of their existences ended. He was hoping to continue hunt, the fighter had come out slightly harmed but he had scrolls to deal with the problem