Rites of Yore pt2

Zachary turned to the Fury, "I will summon you when needed." The demon gently bowed to him in response, "As you wish, my lord." Shadow, embers, and the smell of sulfur swept around the Fury, leaving only ashes The ice cold man turned to Starsleeper, "As narrow sighted as ever. Only seeing the savagery of nature, not the tamed power before you." Zachary approached the gates, "Waging wars for simple rights isn't something necessary."

Andolliron turned, lift a hand in invitation to the Lord of Frost. "And yet, here we stand. Let us be elsewhere." Andolliron withdrew from his robes a small marble statue of a log cabin. The thrum of power surrounded them a moment before all beheld an actual log cabin. He opened the door, invitation clear.

Zachary entered the log cabin, "I understand your hatred for their kind, but you should never smack a dog because a wild hound bit your hand. They might be the same, but there is a difference between wild and domesticated."

"Wild or domesticated, they are still dogs," was the finishing reply as the door was closed. Though one should never give trust to a wizard's abode when he was potentially hostile, Andolliron himself respected the former Lord and himself too much to try any evil acts. It was with this in mind that he shifted the spell, allowing the outer manifestation to remain in the field.

The inside was different. While it appeared as a simple, one-to-three room log cabin outside, the vastly disproportionate proportions of the domicile at hand was much larger and better furnished as one would suspect. The floors were white ash, interwoven with birch branches for the walls and an elm ceiling. All of the furniture was Elvish, mage light floating at the center of the ceiling and at the four corners of the room. The space was more than capable of holding twenty people, with four separate doors leading to rooms unknown.

With a few waves of his hand to the table, the western door, and them, food began to appear as the door swung open to admit floating platters of cheeses, breads, and fruits. Andolliron allowed the unseen servants to take his robe to the waiting closet that folded out of the wall with geometrically exact foldings. Lord Sainte unclipped his cloak, guided by his own will to the closet, before sitting at the table.

Both men looked lordly in their vestments, though it was hard to tell who's permanent frown was deeper.

"I seem to recall you smiling more, Lord Starsleeper," Sainte said with a plucking of a grape.

"War never changes, Lord Sainte," was the dour reply.

His mouth tightened a bit at the acknowledgement. "Then, you understand the need to find peace now."

"Ah yes, this supposed grandson of yours. Your child was declared dead hundreds of years ago." Sainte faced the mage, "So was I, yet here I stand before you. I must apologize for disappearing in name, but I had to if Dalen was to survive."

"Unlike your supposed grandson, you were a Lord of Dalen in the days when the rites of yore were used. You commanded the power and respect you deserved. Now, I have heard the tale of this Draken. I have heard how he is the source of darkness upon Dalen. My own scouts have found the witnesses to his atrocities some months before. Why should I give this half-blood a chance to claim Opra Dale?"

"The rites allow such chall-"

"No, Lord Sainte," Starsleeper interrupted. "Why, I asked. Your line is declared ended. Even if I agreed to sponsor the claim, a bastard is a bastard."

"A bloodline forced to end because of invading forces. You speak of bastards and yet if I'm not mistaken, your bloodline is filled with bastards who redeem themselves. The Rites exist to prove one's worth, one's power to change the very land. You seem to mistake it as the way of blood, like some Verdish scoundrel." Zachary's face was cold as he spoke in the freezing voice of his.

Andolliron's stone face did not change in its frown. He merely raised a finger as he responded, "You are mostly correct. The Rite To Rule is for those loyal to the kingdom." He gestured to the empty floor, illusions of abandoned villages and strange dark marks in each coming to life. An encampment of villagers flashed into focus, people spouting rhetoric of "The Dark One" coming to cleanse them all. "Draken has been named their prophet, for these people were found camped deep in the ruins of the capital. A site of a massive battle, may I add. It is possible that we are inviting evil to the last bastions of Dalen."

He stood. "My bastards aren't destroying Dalen, Zachary. If you feel so strongly to support him, then impress me. Summon him before me so I may judge him."

Before Zachary could answer, the door was pounded on and a gruff voice spoke out. "Enough Andolliron. There is no point for this division." Turning behind him, he door swung open to reveal elder dwarf many knew as Sir Ombre. The dwarf wore a ragged black cloak, and a crooked staff in hand. "Zachary does not speak of the Dark One, Starsleeper. Rather, a much more alien threat." Zachary quickly took a knee before the dwarf, which was unexpected.

Ombre grinned, showing his rotten teeth, "At least some Dalenai nobles understand there is no evil, only cruelty or compassion." He chuckled at his weird philosophy, before turning to Andolliron, "You mistaken me for the evil you were to watch, but I am part of the natural order, while our true enemy is not." The dwarf's form twisted and turn, growing out. The aged form withered away, being replaced by a very tall and handsome elven man, his hair was long, black, and shined like silk, his skin was clear of any blemishes or marks and pale as the moon. His dark eyes were black as coals, yet flickered with the life of flame. "So, I have worshippers here at last."

Andolliron squinted at the manifestation before him. "I know You. Tis most unfortunate that you have chosen now, Ser, to come forth. Were it fifty years previous, we would have dueled."

"One you would have lost handily," replied the newly formed and flexing elf. He raised a hand. "Yes yes, very powerful, you are, and I am certain you’d definitely, definitely do some damage. But I am pressed for time and bickering isn’t the pastime I’m here for.”

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