Author Topic: Below the high mountains.  (Read 676 times)

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Offline X-Tuornen/LF (Geir)

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  • Laela Flaertes, Duchess of Tuornen
Below the high mountains.
« on: March 18, 2009, 06:13:42 am »

Below the high mountains.

Early mornings light drizzle sweep across a landscape dominated by ever-rising hills.
An ancient road wind and twist among the hills, at a distance it is no more then a smear like a river of brown and grey. The imperial road in Monsedge is indeed in poor shape, but still functional for its current travellers. Tracks of broad cartwheels are seen in the mix of dirt and hard packet gravel. And still settstones keep the road from merging with the thick muddy soil. It may be said that the old imperial soul lives on in this proof of true craftsmanship.

A column of grey and green riders makes their way north along the road. Swift scouts come and go from the slower moving main group. Large grey dogs form a picket surrounding the column, charging to challenge each approaching rider. But never a bark is heard.

As the drizzle lifts and the air clears the individual riders can be discerned. The column consists of soldiers, but no knights in shining armour. There is the colour of steel under the thin leather capes of grey and green, but these Outriders of Maquis Braedonnal Tuare are equipped for long patrols deep into the razed lands below the high mountains. The dogs of war sniff for unknown elf and shy orog.

Far south of this the Duchess banner leads a column of riders on their way north. Outriders of Maquis Braedonnal Tuare screens the column as it travels this landscape too dominated by ever-rising hills.

The riders of the Duchess column are mostly knights of the Ducal Bodyguard. But in the middle of the knights a group of riders have a less uniform appearance. A tall slender knight lead this group, but by the side of this knight a lady rides, exquisite embroidery can sometimes be seen under the thin leather rain cape of grey and green. Following these are two slender warriors, their horses shifting and stamping as competing for prominence. Further back along the column, between knights of the Ducal Bodyguard a broader built knight of darker armour also rides.

Maquis Braedonnal Tuare speaks slowly to the lady riding next to him.

“Duchess, our riders tell me the southern knights should catch up with us this evening if we wait for them in the town.”

After a pause as he scans the surrounding hills he again turns to Duchess Laela Flaertes and speak.

“The Duchess can be sure I will be on my best behaviour. I have no quarrel with these our new allies. As long as that is what they show to be. And yes, the smoke burners and water spillers will be in town too I hear. I will do my best to not mock them either.”

The Duchess shed her rain cape, halting her movements as the elven knight turns his head sharply towards her.

“Braedonnal, don’t you ever have hope?”

She hands the rain cape to him and he passes it on to one of the Ducal Bodyguards closing in to receive it.

“I have hope in the Duchess She should know. The Duchess is the hope for a future I can not imagine.”

The Duchess slows her horse and look up at the elven knight.

“But you would leave our lands if I succeed? Would you never reconsider that Braedonnal?”

Silence again dominate the column for a few moments.

Maquis Braedonnal Tuare, the ancient elven knight of Tournen, the hero of generations, the general Tuare shifts slightly in his saddle and mumble so none but the Duchess can hear his sad but defiant words.

“Then I could face my enemy free of care for not but my purpose. To be but an elf, an alien, a monster in these lands, a leaving legend rather then a living one, free to be twisted to what use the storyteller have for me at each telling, then not a being of flesh and blood but a mere memory, and soon not even that. Then I could face a true elven monster, and two could be none if my blade was true. What picture could be drawn for a high wall of me and him, who is who could be asked, where they both monster? Elven at birth both yes but…”

He looks down and continues.

“The Duchess should allow me to have my anger culled too then. I know years too Duchess, and there have been many.”

The column overtakes a slow moving row of broad wheeled carts drawn by oxen. Commoners bows and whisper repeatedly.

“Blessed be the Duchess, blessed be the elven Maquis. May he be offered to recognise the Gods a second time. Blessed be the Duchess, blessed be the elven Maquis. May he be offered…..”   

Maquis Braedonnal Tuare smiles at the commoners but frowns at each whisper of a second offer. The Duchess whispers to her Maquis.

“Braedonnal, you do know they pray for your soul even if you dismiss such matters, you do know the love this shows that they have for you. Soften up and let me ones see the happiness I know is in your heart in this knowledge. Then you can go play with your monster. I will not suffer your pride and heartbreak at the expense of a free and prosperous Tuornen my dear Braedonnal. Remember that!”

There will be an adventure to continue this short scribble.
Laela Flaertes, By the Grace of Haelyn Duchess of Tuornen

- Geir
Tuornen / LF