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Author Topic: The Palace(Voldar)  (Read 68761 times)
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Capher
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« Reply #270 on: February 05, 2008, 01:47:57 AM »

The guards at the Palace were surprised by two things: one was the sudden appearance of Commander Scar with a lady in tow and they both seemed very much in a hurry. Then a horse with a man who looked liked a healer came galloping at the gates in full speed. They could hear the shouted orders to open the gate by order of the King by the man. They barely had time to open the gates when the horse and man, who they now recognized as Nichea, the King's personal healer, riding the heavily sweating horse.

Nichea rode through the gardens right up to the Palace entrance, jumped off the horse, grabbed his bag and rushed up the stairs into the Palace where he was met by a guard and a Palace servant. They were waiting for him and quickly escorted him to where the King was.

***********************************************************************************

Several moments before Nichea arrived Damien strode purposefully down the hallway, his black cloak flying and flitting around him. Tanny had to run to keep up with Damien's long legs. Damien walked into the open doorway and quickly surveyed the room: Voltigar was waiting for someone and turned when he heard Damien's footsteps. He just nodded at Damien and then turned his attention to the Baron.

The Baron was lying on the floor, his shirt was tore open and the knight he knew as Lance was leaning over him. Cadence was crying as she cradled her father's head in her lap and Iris was sitting on a chair, her eyes were on fire, and Damien could see that her fists were clenched under her skirt.

Damien was wondering what had happened as he stepped farther into the room and then noticed Clayton behind the door. He was just standing there but he seemed to have a smirk on his face. The smirk quickly left when he saw Damien.What did you do Clayton? Why is the Baron on the floor? And why is Iris looking like she could kill you if she could? He thought.

Damien glared at the man for a moment and then turned his attention back to Voltigar. "You needed me Sire," he asked.

Voltigar turned his attention back to Damien for a moment. "I will talk with you later. I need you here until then."

"Is there anything I can do to help the Baron?" Damien asked looking down at the Baron.

"No, I think the only person that can help him is Nichea," Voltigar answered.

"You called,Sire," Nichea said as he rushed through the door, almost running into Damien.

Damien stepped aside.

"The Baron, I think it is his heart," Voltigar said excitedly.

Nichea nodded and looked at Lance who relunctanctly rose away from is leige and his uncle and let Nichea near the Baron.

Nichea quickly pressed his ear to the Baron's heart and heard a slight, faint heartbeat. He quickly opened his bag and took out a bowl, pestle and a strong pungent herb. "I need hot water, quickly," Nichea ordered as he began to grind the herb into a powder.  The scent of the herb grew stronger as it was pounded into the powder.

Fortunately a kettle of water was already over the fire for those who drank tea. Lance carefully grabbed the handle of the kettle with cloth covered hands and stood over Nichea. "I have the water," he said.

Nichea nodded, "Just a few blinks more and then I want you to pour a little of the water into the bowl,"

Lance nodded and waited.

Nichea worked quickly and then nodded for Lance to pour the water. Lance began pouring and then quickly stopped when Nichea held up his hand. Nichea stirred the water in the herb and soon the mixture became a soft pill type of shape. Nichea then took the pill, opened the man's mouth and put the pill under the man's tongue and then closed the Baron's mouth.  He sat back, looked up into the anxious faces of those around him. "The pill I gave him should dissolve and the herb should strengthen the man's heart."

Nichea looked around. "Does anyone know if this man has ahd a prior heart problem? It would help me tremendously if I knew more about this man's health history."
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« Reply #271 on: February 24, 2008, 10:21:00 PM »

Lance looked on worriedly as Nichea worked. He helped as best he could, and nodded when the healer asked his question. "Yes, he has had heart problems for some time. Back in Cemphiria, his healer had him take some kind of medicine, but I'm afraid I don't know what it was, or where he keeps it. I do think he brought it with him though." He hoped that it helped. For his faults, the baron was still a good man. A better man than someone like Clayton could ever be. The knight glanced in that direction for a moment, but the man was not worth that much attention, so he turned back to hear what Nichea had to say immediately. He was still aware of the weasel in the background though...

He felt helpless, he realised suddenly. On the battlefield, or in a duel with a weasly coward like Clayton, he knew what to do. Even with Cadence, though his experience with women was limited, he could do something about the situation, even if that action was just to challenge Clayton. But the baron, his uncle, lying there on the floor, prostrate and with a failling heart... He did not know what to do. At all. All he could think of was to stand there and wait for someone to tell him he could help. He hated the feeling. There must have been something he could do, but he couldn't think what. Helplessly, he made a fist, but he didn't do anything else. He just stood there, waiting perhaps for someone to tell him what he could do.
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« Reply #272 on: February 27, 2008, 06:40:14 AM »

Damien watched Nichea work on the Baron and heard Lance tell of the Baron's heart problem. What Damien wanted to know was what caused the Baron to have another heart attack? He glanced again at Clayton. Clayton avoided his glance, but just briefly and then glared back at Damien as if to say, What? What are you going to do?

Damien just could not stand there and wait and watch, he had to do something and that something was now! "Ok, I want to know who or what caused this? And I want to know now!" Damien demanded.

Volltigar inwardly smiled. "Commander, I am still the King around here and I ask that you tone down your voice, after all we have a very sick man being attended to."

"I apologize your Majesty, however I still want to know what happened?"

Voltigar nodded toward Sir Lance. "Sir Lance and the rest of us were celebrating our prenuptials when Sir Clayton was asked to join in the festivities he reminded us, especially Sir Lance and Baroness Cadence, of something that put a damper upon the festivities and I believe the Baron did not care for what he said and with a bad heart and all, he fell ill," voltigar answered, "Is that about what happened, Sir Clayton?" Voltigar asked, with a straight face.

Damien's mind went into a frenzy as he tried to comprehend what Voltigar just told him. They were celebrating their prenuptials. Whose? Sir Lance's and Baroness Cadence or were there more? Did Voltigar mean his prenuptial's as well?  And what in Coor's name did Clayton say that could have caused the Baron to have a heart attack? 

Damien then recalled how Voltigar had pointededly made Sir Lance's name very clear in his answer. So Damien reasoned whatever Clayton had said had to have been something about Sir Lance and Baroness Cadence's wedding, but what? And whatever it was how come Sir Lance did nothing about it?

Damien gave Sir Lance a cursory glance over and again reasoned that Sir Lance could easily defeat Clayton in a duel. So whatever was said, either could not be answered with a gauntlet or Sir Lance did not know he had that option? Whatever the case may be, Damien wanted to know and his temper was rising each blink of time.

Damien turned to Sir Clayton. "Out with it Sir. What did you say?"

Clayton turned his baleful eyes upon Damien; hatred flaring in them. How dare this man demand anything from him! He walks and talks like he is the King! Someday Scar your comeuppance will come, and it will be sooner than you think. 

Then like the chamelion he was Clayton gave Damien a thin smile and a shrug of his shoulders. "Sir Scar, though I do not think you are in the position to demand me of anything, for the sake of peace I shall tell you. I would have done so anyway if you would have just asked. I do not take kindly to have anything demanded of me unless of course it is by you your Majesty," Clayton nodded his deference to Voltigar, "I just reminded Sir Lance and the Baroness that she was already betrothed to me and therefore could not accept Sir Lance's betrothal," Clayton slowly scratched at the stubble on his chin, "If Sir Lance had not been a stranger I would have taken offense to his advances toward my future wife and would have challenged him. However I figured he did not know and that Baroness Cadence had not told him."

Damien's temper was rising and the snide remark by Clayton to him that if he would have just asked
only made it rise faster. The not so subtle and snipe at Baroness Cadence also made Damien's temper rise and it took every effort of self-control not to smack that smug smile off of the man's face; the way he did not use Cadence's title, and then the implication that Cadence had lied to Sir Lance. And that preposterous remark about challenging Sir Lance for making advances upon the Baroness almost made Damien laugh, if it were not for the seriousness of the matter.

Damien swept his eyes toward Voltigar and Voltigar slowly nodded his head to Damien's silent question. Damien then looked down at Sir Lance. The big man was worried about his Baron, but he had not been worried enough to not listen to what Clayton had said, and Damien could see that the man, like him, was having a hard time controlling his temper; the man's fists were clenched so tight, that the knuckles were turning white.

Then Damien turned his eyes toward Cadence and his heart almost fell out of his chest as he met her tear filled eyes that pleaded with him to do something. Baroness Iris, Damien noted, had her fists clenched deep inside the folds of her dress as she looked back and forth from her sister, and then back to her father. She did not even recognize Clayton. Damien also noted the ring on Iris's hand; it was Voltigar's signet ring and though it was many times larger than Iris's dainty ring finger, she held onto it for all it was worth. Well that answered a question, Damien thought.

Then he turned his eyes back upon Clayton who had folded his hands in front of him and was looking down at the Baron and Damien had to admire him for he actually looked liked he genuinely was concerned for the man. But then Damien thought of Cadence and he knew he had to think of something. The problem is, what?
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« Reply #273 on: March 05, 2008, 01:13:18 AM »

The Baron's eyes began to flutter as the medicine Nichea had given him began to work. He opened his eyes after a few blinks and looked into a face that was unfamiliar, then he saw Lance looking down at him, a worried expression on his face. The Baron gave him a weak grin. He tried to rise, but was gently pushed down by the stranger. He tried to speak, but found his tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth.

"Do not move M'lord. You are still very weak. The medicine I gave you has helped your ailing heart, but your body is still in a state of shock and weakness" the stranger told him.

The Baron shakily pointed to his mouth and tried to open it, but he could not.

At first Nichea did not understand and then understanding came to him. He nodded his head in understanding. "You cannot speak. That is common with the medication I gave you, it will wear off in time. In the meantime I think we should get you off this drafty floor and into bed," he glanced over to Lance and the Commander, "Gentlemen, would please be so kind?" He asked.

When Damien heard Nichea speak, he took his eyes off of Clayton and when he saw who Nichea was speaking to and that the Baron had his eyes open, Damien gave a small sigh of relief. He turned his eyes back upon Clayton. He wanted to know something, but he was interrupted once again when Nichea asked for help to pick up the Baron and put him into bed. Damien doubted that they were going to carry the Baron all the way to his room, so that meant one of the girl's beds.

"Which bed, Baroness's Iris and Cadence?" he asked, as he moved forward to grasp the Baron's legs.

"Never mind Commander. I will help move my future father-in-law," Voltigar said as he walked in front of Damien and bent down to grasp the Baron's legs. He gave both of the girls a reassuing smile and waited for Lance to take the old man's shoulders and to see what bed the Baron would be laid upon.

Damien stepped back and could not have been more proud of his King than he was now. It once again reaffirmed in his mind what kind of man Voltigar was. However, he thought, as his eyes swept once again toward Clayton, who he noticed had not offered to help, this man was going to answer some questions, but it could wait until the Baron was resting comfortably.
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« Reply #274 on: April 04, 2008, 01:32:31 AM »

 Library

Sir George and Mouse were just sitting in the library talking when the door burst open. Sir George, turned at the sound and saw another knight standing there; it was Sir Tyronne, another of his friends.

"Sir George come quick! The Baron is ill"

George, jumped out of his seat, "Excuse me Master Mouse but I must needs to see after my leige."

He quickly made his way to Tyronne. "What happened? He asked as they walked out of the library."

Suddenly he turned before Tyronne could answer. "Master Mouse, if you wish to come with us you may. Or you can stay here and I will come and fetch you when the time is right."

Mouse thought, what can I do to help? On the other hand I am curious as to what happened? What do I do, stay or go with them? I need to answer quickly as they are in a hurry.

Mouse stood. "I will come. I doubt if there is anything I can do, but since I was invited by your liege to his daughters wedding I should come and find out what happened at least and perhaps there might be something I could do to help."

George grinned. He was beginning to like this little man who called himself Mouse more and more. "Then come Master Mouse. We must be on our way," Sir George said.

The Baronesse's room

"You can put him in my bed," Cadence quickly added, as she brushed the tears quickly away. "It is closer than Iris's, " she added as she rose to open the inner chamber where the women's bedchambers were.

Iris rose, turned hateful eyes upon Clayton, her lips trembled as she tried to speak, but she could not so she turned away, but not before lookiing at Damien, pleading with her eyes for him to do something.

Damien felt so helpless as he looked into her eyes. His mind was working overtime on the problem but he could find no solution. Clayton had a full grasp of the law it seemed and for a stranger that would seem unusual, but for a spy, Damien thought, yes, he would know our laws and it seems he is using them against us and there is not a Coor's thing we can do about it.

He slowly shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. Iris just turned and followed the group carrying her father onto Cadence's bed.

Nichea was putting his things away, when they all heard a ruckus outside of the door. Suddenly it burst open, and it would have knocked Clayton unconcious if he had not nimbly gotten out of the way at the right time. too bad, thought Damien as he saw two of the Baron's knights barge into the room.

"Where is our liege?" One demanded.

"What happened to him," the other asked.

They were both imposing men and they were both glaring at Damien.

Nichea answered before Damien could say a word. "Your liege has a heart problem, probably for sometime now from what the other knight told me. I gave him some herbs which should relieve the problem, but he should rest for at least until tomorrow. He was brought to one of his daughter's bed in there," he pointed to the open bedchamber door, "What caused the problem, I do not know."

Sir George finally recognized Damien and before Tyronne could tear into the man, which he was about to do he put a restraining hand on his friends arm. "Tyronne, this man is Commander Scar...the King's right hand man and the most skilled warrior in Voldar if not in the whole kingdom."

Tyronne halted, turned his head toward George, who nodded his head, to Tyronne's silent question. Tyronne stepped back.

"Commander Scar, forgive my friend Sir Tyronne for his behavior. He is quite protective of our liege," George said.

Damien nodded his head. "I understand and Sir Tyronne if I were in your shoes I would have done the exact thing. However what caused the Baron's heart problem is a personal problem and I believe since he will recover that if he wants you to know, he will tell you himself. Right now, I suggest that you inform the rest of the Baron's entourage what has happened and not to do what you two have just done. A room full of angry knights would not be condusive to the Baron's health or to theirs if they happen to attack me."

Both Tyronne and George gave a slight bow of their heads toward Damien. "Your words are wise Commander. I will send Sir Tyronne to tell the others of our liege's condition and warning. However I ask that you allow me and Master Mouse to stay. Master Mouse does not know what he can do to help, but I believe that his performance could cheer up my leige as he lays recovering. If that is all right with him and you of course?" Sir George asked.

Damien thought it over and then gave his assent. "You and Master Mouse may stay. Perhaps as you have said his performance may cheer up the Baron."

George sent Tyronne away and he and Master Mouse entered the room. It wqs then that he noticed Clayton who was slighly hidden by the door. His immediate thought was who was he? but then he recalled seeing the man being honored the previous night. He was given the title of the Order of Voldar; a very prestigious title, though as he watched the ceremony, there was something amiss about the whole affair which puzzled him, but he did not know what.

"Sir Clayton. I apologize Sir I did not know that you were here. I only just now noticed you," Sir George said.

Damien put his hand to his face to hide the smile that crept on his face.

Clayton at first was offended but then when this knight called him Sir and meant it, it stroked his pride and he forgave the man, though he looked down at the little man who had followed this knight inside. Master Mouse. He recalled the little man at the breakfast table and that he had been invited to perform at Iris's wedding. That turned out to be Cadence's wedding. Well he put a stop to that. So this freak of a man will not be needed. So why did Damien let him in? Just to cheer the Baron up? Or was there something else?

Clayton was a spy and his mind always thought there was a conspiracy around every corner and with every person; even a little man called Mouse.  He finally realized that the knight was awariting his reply.

"No need to apologize Sir knight. I perfectly understand. If it were the King I would have done the same and more," Clayton replied smoothly and charmingly.

Damien almost choked on his tongue as he kept his mouth shut. The knight did not know Clayton and now was not the time to bring it up; later perhaps, but not now.

"I thank thee for your kindness Sir Clayton and forgive me for not introducing myself to you nor to you Commander Scar. I am Sir George, and in case you did not know this man is Master Mouse. He is to perform at Baroness's Iris's wedding." Sir George said.

Nichea finished packing his things. "It may not be this knights right to know what caused the Baron's heart to act the way it did, but I have the right as the King's healer and the healer of the Baron to know. So who is going to tell me what caused all of this?" Nichea asked, looking first at Sir Clayton and then resing his eyes upon Damien.

Damien almost told the man to mind his own buisness but then he thought, If I tell Nichea what he wants to know then Sir George will know and perhaps figure out what kind of a man Clayton really is, and at the same time I cannot be accused of slander.

Damien opened his mouth to speak. "Nichea the reason..."

"The reason healer is none of your buisness. You are a healer. That is what you are paid to do. You are not paid to meddle into things that are none of your concern! Now if you are finished, leave!" Clayton ordered, his voice rising with each sentence that came out of his mouth.

Nichea glared at him. "I believe Sir Clayton, that I was speaking to Commander Scar and he was speaking to me. But aside that, as the King's healer I have not only the right but the authority to ask such questions of those in my care. And since you are not a healer I will straighten you out. To heal someone of a wound is easy, it is on the outside of the body, however to heal someone on the inside, such as the heart, it takes herbs and a lot of knowledge, knowledge which I do not believe you possess. That knowledge of a person being healed for the inside, especially the heart, must include why so that the healer can understand and perhaps stop it from happening again. Now do you want to say anything else to me you pompus donkey?"

Clayton's face turned a bright red. He clamped his mouth shut. Then turned and glared at Damien before he stormed out of the room.

Damien looked at Nichea and grinned widely. Nichea had spoken to Clayton like no one had and how Damien had wanted too so badly.

Nichea, at first was not smiling, then when he saw Damien he smiled as well. "Did I say something?"

Damien could not hold it back any longer...he burst out laughing.

OOC will contiue tomorrow. 
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« Reply #275 on: April 06, 2008, 07:28:46 AM »

Sir George was listening intently to the reply of the healers question to the Commander when suddenly the Commander was rudely interrupted by Sir Clayton. Sir George was surprised that Commander Scar did not throw down his gauntlet at that moment. It was considered rude and crude behavior for a knight to act and speak that way, especially to one who is your superior.

The next surprise was the riposte from the healer to Sir Clayton. Touche!, thought Sir George as he listened to the healer rip him apart with words as easily as if he had a sword in his hand. Each sentence, each inflection of the healers words and voice was like an experienced swordsman slicing into Sir Clayton's flesh; giving him a hundred wounds, none fatal by itself, but combined would cause a man to bleed to death: Sir Clayton was being filleted.

Finally Sir Clayton had enough and stormed out of the room. Sir George was puzzled, Sir Clayton should have thrown his gauntlet, and then there was the sudden burst of laughter from the Commander and the seemingly innocent question by the healer.

Sir George shook his head...very confused.

Damien began laughing again, walked over to Nichea and clapped him on the shoulder so hard that the healer went to his knees. Damien picked him up. "That my friend I would have paid money to see."

Nichea looked a bit startled and he rubbed his shoulder as he stared back at Damien. "I will take it Commander that you do not like Sir Clayton?"

"You may, Nichea," Damien answered with a grin.

"Excuse me, may I ask a question?" Sir George spoke.

Damien turned to him, "What is it friend?"

"Well, it may be more than one. How come you do not like Sir Clayton and will you please tell Nichea what caused my liege's heart problem?"

"Sir George there are things about Sir Clayton that I cannot reveal at the moment, however you can take my word; he is not a man to be friends with and if you will listen to what I tell Nichea you may figure that out for yourself," Damien answered.

Damien walked to the table and poured himself a glass of wine, and drank heavily from the goblet, wiped his mouth with his sleeve and grinned again. He was quite enjoying himself. "Please help yourself," he said, waving toward the flagon of wine on the table.

"I do not drink Commander," Nichea said, "But I am waiting to hear your story. I am a very busy man."

Sir George declined but for some reason Mouse did not and with a quick movement was up on the table and pouring himself a glass of wine. He sat there, his eyes glued to Damien waiting as well. He too was as puzzled as Sir George, and wanted to hear the tale.

Damien related to Nichea what had happened between Cadence and Sir Lance, the King and Iris and then how Sir Clayton with a few chosen words had destroyed the joy that was in the room and had caused the Baron to have his attack.

Sir George could not believe his ears! Sir Lance was to marry Baroness Iris, but instead fell in love with Baroness Cadence, and his Majesty had proposed to Baroness Iris and all of this was not only approved, but joyfullly so by his liege.

He sat down with a thump on a chair, "I think Commander that I will have a glass of wine," he said wearily as he poured. He thought about it and it did make sense, after awhile. After the Commander had killed, by accident, the Baron's oldest living cousin it would have fallen for Iris to marry Sir Lance. However as fate put her hand in she had other plans and to Sir George, he would not have been any happier for his liege. He would acquire the King as his son-in-law and an heir for his own from Baroness Cadence who seemed to be in love with Sir Lance.

Certainly, the affairs of the heart were strange, but Sir Lance was not the handsomest man, though he would never say it to his face as Sir Lance was also a fierce knight, on the other hand this Sir Clayton, seemed to have it all: looks, charm and he was just awarded the kingdom's highest honor: The Order of Voldar. But there seemed to be something amiss with this man and when Sir George heard the tale he thought he knew why.

But would he not fight for Baroness Cadence if he were in Sir Clayton's boots? Sure he would, so why such dislike for the man by the Commander and it seems by everyone else he has come into contact with? Again, Sir George did like the manner of the man, but should his manners dictate such dislike? Perhaps the man acts that way because he feels such animosity toward him? On the other hand the man's words did cause his liege to have an attack. Why could not the man see that Sir Lance and Baroness Cadence were in love and step aside? That is what a gentleman and a knight of honor would do? But as the Commander said, Baroness Cadence and Sir Clayton were married. So it should have been Sir Lance and Baroness Cadence that should have stopped the affair. That would have been the honorable thing to do.

He drained the glass and poured himself another: gathering courage. "Commander, from what you have told me it would seem that Sir Lance and Baroness Cadence are at fault here. Sir Lance should have known better than to court a married woman," Sir George said.

Damien turned his black eyes upon Sir George. "Surely you jest? Did you not hear what I said?"

"Yes Commander, and again I say that the honorable thing for a knight to do would have been to cut short the advances of Baroness Cadence no matter how Sir Lance may have felt toward her. Besides, a night and a day is hardly enough time for a real courtship, is it not?" He asked.

Damien so much wanted to tell the man about Clayton but could not for fear that if Clayton heard then all of his and the King's plans for him would be destroyed, so he kept his thoughts about Clayton to himself. However he did have to answer the knight. "Sir George, I am no stranger to the affairs of the heart and I can attest that sometimes people do fall in love as quickly as first sight...."

"Commander, before you go on I should like to say something," Nichea interrupted. "I have heard your story, and I have listened to Sir George's side of things as well and normally I do not involve myself in castle politics you both seem to have missed something. If Baroness Cadence were truely married I would side with Sir George, however the Baronesses's and Sir Clayton's marriage was annulled by the King himself. Therefore as I see it the Baroness was free to give her heart to anyone she pleased after that annullment, whether his Majesty promised her to Sir Clayton after his year of service was over or not, according to our laws, as long as the lady is not officially attached, she can do as she pleases. If she did fall in love with Sir Lance, as it seemed she has, then it should be Sir Clayton who should step down, though he does have a natural right to be angry with his Majesty for allowing and even approving such an affair to occur; but who is going to argue with his Majesty? Surely not I. Nor should Sir Clayton."

Niche picked up his bag and walked toward the door, shaking his head...."Palace politics," he murmurred as he opened the door, went through it, and closed it behind him: leaving a speechless Damien and Sir George.

Mouse just sat there looking from face to face. He was slowly thinking things over in his mind, not betraying his thoughts but interested by all the different emotions that were being displayed on the faces of those in power.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2008, 05:02:52 PM by Simonne Miller » Logged
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« Reply #276 on: April 16, 2008, 11:13:03 PM »

Mouse had been listening quietly to all the things being discussed. He seemed forgotten by the others, and though he usually preferred to remain more or less unobserved - unless he was performing, of course - he decided to speak his thought on this matter. Love stories always touched a chord deep within him - maybe because he knew that love was not meant for him. Not the love between a man and a woman. Women usually saw a freak or a monster in him, and he'd already accepted that. But maybe this story between Cadence and Lance could play out for the better, if the bad influence of this Clayton character could be withdrawn somehow.

So, while sir George and Damien were still recovering from Nichea's sudden departure, he piped up. "Excuse me for interrupting, gentlemen, but I can't help wondering... Why does sir Lance not challenge sir Clayton to a duel? Is it not custom in cases such as these? The duel isn't usually to the death, I would not wish death upon anyone, but perhaps until first blood is drawn? That way, the winner has proven that he is the one in the right. If it is not done like this, how else are disputes settled around here?"

Then he sipped from his wine and looked earnestly at Damien, awaiting the answer. He was genuinely interested, because just about anywhere he had been - and he'd travelled quite a bit in his life already - disputes were settled with a duel. And perhaps the form of the challenge was a bit different here then in Cemphiria, and nobody had told this Lance character how he should challenge Clayton? Or maybe they'd been interrupted before Lance had the chance to issue the challenge? There could have been any number of reasons why the baron's knight hadn't thrown down his gauntlet, so Mouse just wanted to know that.
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« Reply #277 on: April 17, 2008, 12:41:52 AM »

Damien slowly walked over to the table and poured himself a goblet of wine. He stared into the dark red pool as he slowly swished it around thinking about Master Mouse's question.  If Clayton were any other, the answer to Mouse's question would be an easy yes. Yes Sir Lance could throw down his gauntlet and challenge Clayton, however Clayton was not like any other, he was a spy and though most everyone knew he was a spy, Clayton did not know he had been found out.

He paced the floor as he continued to weigh the all of the consequences of Mouse's question. What seemed to Mouse as a reasonable way to settle this dispute was far more difficult than it seemed on the surface...or was it?

He stopped in his tracks, turned around with a huge grin on his face as he faced Mouse and Sir George. "You know Master Mouse, sometimes as Nichea pointed out just a few blinks ago, the answers to our problems stare us right in the face and it takes someone who is out of the picture to see it. In other words, " he drained his goblet, walked over to Mouse, hugged him tightly, quickly, releasing him, "I think that Sir Lance should challenge Clayton. What do you say, Sir George?" Damien asked.

Sir George was still trying to recover from the revelation of the healer and then when Master Mouse spoke up and asked his question he was pondering that as well when he saw the Commander grin, hug Master Mouse and then ask him if he thought it was ok for Sir Lance to challenge Sir Clayton.

Sir George, gave a quizzical, and confused stare at the Commander and then shrugged his shoulders. "I...I suppose. After all it is, as Master Mouse has stated so simply, the way to settle disputes, especially romantic ones. At least in Cemphiria it is."

"Good, then it is set..." Damien began to say.

"However there is one problem," Sir George continued.

"What is that?" Damien asked.

"All challenges are between those of the same rank, unless it is a challenge to his Majesty and then his second takes on the challenge. I believe, because of Sir Clayton's bestowment of the Order of Voldar, that that gives him a higher rank than Sir Lance. Therefore if I am correct then Sir Clayton would have to be the one to challenge Sir Lance. It could not be the other way around," Sir George answered, but then seeing the scowl on the Commander's face quickly added, "Of course it could be different here in Voldar."

Damien slowly shook his head. "No Sir George, it is not different and your assessment of the situation is correct. Clayton would have to challenge Sir Lance."

A dead silence filled the room until suddenly Damien chuckled. "It does not matter...It does not matter," he kept on saying as he drank more and more.

Finally Sir George could not stand it any longer. "Why does it not matter, Commander?" He asked a bit testy.

Damien went over and clapped Sir George on his left shoulder with enough force to make him grimmace. "Because Clayton will never challenge Sir Lance to a duel. He is a coward! Oh, against those weaker than him, especially women, he would beat upon, but a real duel, never! So, if Clayton does not challenge Sir Lance then..."

"Then," Sir George's eyes lit up with understanding, "Sir Lance and Baroness Cadence can get married with no opposition." Sir George said, finishing Damien's sentence.

"Correct." Damien said, taking another gulp of wine.

Clayton's Quarters

Clayton stormed through the Palace. His pride was damaged and his anger knew no bounds. How dare a peasant of a healer tell him what he can or cannot do? He will regret it, I promise that! They all will! When I receive the orders from Christian that the war has begun then it will be my time. In the meantime...

He noticed a young servant girl scurrying along the wall carrying a bundle of laundry.  He quickly looked around, saw no one and when she stopped to give him a small curtsy, he hit her behind the neck knocking her unconcious. The   He quickly scooped her up and carried her to his room. There he stripped her, gagged and tied her up, drinking wine as he waited for her to awake.

When it was all over and he slowly covered her bright blue eyes with his hand, closing her eye lids for the last time, hey lay back spent. His anger gone. It had been brutal. The girl, who was probably only about thirteen years of age or younger had struggled but it was of no use as he pummeled her not only with his fists but with his other member as well: taking satisfaction with each tear, each groan and the fear in her eyes as she stared up at him as he ravaged her until after one last punch their was no more fear, no more tears, no life.

Finally he rolled over, got dressed and looked down at the blonde haired little girl. His first thought was, how do I get rid of the body? He then recalled the old servant who had first given him a servant girl. Clayton did not know who the man's name was, but he was certain he could find him.

He quickly tided up his room; covering the girl with his bloody sheets and then locking his door behind him he went to look for the man.

Nana was walking through the Palace when she noticed the bundle of laundry on the floor. She knew that she had sent Becky to fetch it and had wondered what had become of her? Lately her mind was wandering and it was hard to keep the little girl from doing her chores, even with the punishments given to her.  Nana picked up the clean laundry and then carried them off. Becky, wait until I see you. You will be peeling potatoes until your old and gray! she thought. As she gave the clean laundry to another girl and told her to fold and iron them, she wondered where Becky had gone off to?  Soon, however other matters became more pressing, such as preparing the evening's meal, and she forgot about her.

Clayton found the man in the stables. They went back to Clayton's room where the man quietly and professionally looked at the girl laying on the sheets. He grinned at Clayton with missing, yellowed teeth and his breath reeked as he spoke almost making Clayton vomit.

"Eh, I see ye like em young. Dis one not even ten years."

Clayton almost choked on the vomit rising up his stomache. Not even ten years old? How did he know that? She looked much older. Is he sure or is he just trying to get more money out of me? Clayton thought.

"How do you know how old she is?" He demanded.

"I know dis girl. She one of Nana's girls. Her name is Becky, I think.  She be hard to miss."

"You mean it is going to cost me more for you to get rid of her?" Clayton asked.

"She be hard to miss. Nana's favorite," the man said, scratching his stubble.

"Fine, how much?" Clayton asked.

"Last one, easy. Only cost a silver. Dis one, three, perhaps four?" The man answered.

Clayton reached into his purse, took out four silver bards and tossed them at the man. "Here you greedy bastard. But it had better be done right and nothing comes back to me, understood?"

The man scrambled like crab picking up the silver. "Eh lord. I understand. I do a good job," he said as he reached into his pack and took out a large crude knife, and a saw.

Clayton nodded, and then left his room letting the man do his job. The girl completely forgotten as he walked toward Cadence's room. 



« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 01:19:24 AM by Capher » Logged
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« Reply #278 on: April 22, 2008, 07:10:24 AM »

Iris followed the two men into her and Cadence’s inner chamber, her countenance silent, quiet.  She had never felt so strained before, so torn. How could this be the happiest day of her life and yet the worst?  How could she celebrate the pinnacle of her dreams when he sister still belonged to the nightmare?  Her free hand caressed the signet ring upon her finger; its solid form making her heart soar to her throat in unrestrainable glee.  The next moment her eyes caught the sight of her beautiful young sister leading the way in the angelic pink dress, hair lifted in a new, baroness style.  The heart stuck in her throat, choking her with worry and guilt.  Iris did not know how she could be so happy when her sibling was still in such danger.

The older girl wanted nothing but the best for her sister, a loving home, gorgeous children a long peaceful life.  Yesterday, when she thought she would never have her dream, she had even been willing to give up her own life for that happiness.  Would she now that she could have the dream?  The ring was heavy on her finger, not only physically, but in meaning too.  It represented her wildest, most impossible hope, the desire she had been hiding ever since she met the King.  Would she give it up if that would help Cadence?  The woman steeled herself.  Yes.  If there was no other way, and it would help her sister, then Iris would, even though the thought almost made her break down once again.  The momentary flutter of indecision and hopelessness was gone though, and the determination to get them both through was back.

As the others arranged her father on Cadence’s bed and made sure he was comfortable, Iris slipped down onto her own, perching on the edge of the hard wooden frame.  Tension showed in her figure, shoulders hunched and heels pulled off the floor.  What if he died now, before everyone knew them to be his daughters?  Would that make her no longer a baroness?  Iris baulked at the idea, at everything changing once again, but there was nothing she could do about that now.  The healer was the only one who could help and he had done his work.  She pushed it to one side to worry about when there was the luxury of doing so.

She took a deep breath and addressed her sister.  Her voice, so long restrained from yelling out in anger, was hushed, weary.  “Cadence, I apologise for asking you what I am about to say so directly, but do you truly love this man?”  Sightly lower – “If you are able to marry him, will he make you as happy as I will be?”  She lifted her worried face to her younger sister’s face, half smiling, hoping her sister would be able to interpret the unspoken question there.  Cadence had thought herself in love with Clayton, was it real this time?  Iris knew at least that he was a better man by far, and certainly a better solution than Clayton.  The assurance of her sister’s happiness would turn the solution into a success.

~~~~~~~

Cadence herself stepped lightly towards her sleeping quarters, breathing light and fast as if she had just run around the entire castle.  She could still feel the two burning spots where Lance had laid his hands, and the sensation of protection lingered hopefully.  But, Clayton.  The thought made her shudder, made her shiver in panic.  The young woman rearranged the blankets as the two men settled her father, the movement of her hands giving her something else to concentrate on, however minor.  She couldn’t look at Lance for fear of bursting into fits of tears and frustration.  Just as Cadence thought she had found a solution for them all, Clayton had returned and declared it void.  The man she had thought she loved had all but claimed her as his own possession, a claim she herself had given him and no-one else.  A small sob escaped Cadence’s lips, shaking her slim frame as she slipped the blankets over her father.  She hadn’t even begun to get to know him yet, but the thought of him dieing, of her being denied that opportunity, that was not one she wanted to dwell on either.  She hoped the healer’s work would help him.

Eyes kept low to avoid catching the other’s gaze and prevent her from loosing her already wavering grip on her emotions, Cadence didn’t realise her sister was addressing her until she spoke.  Did she truly love this man?  The young woman looked up into her sibling’s anxious face, not missing the joy Iris was holding back.  Could she be as happy as that with Lance?  She considered for a moment the act giving herself to the man, allowing herself to imagine living with him, bearing his children, sharing his bed.  As before, her body responded with a light flush of colour, and a smile lightened her previously grievous expression.  “Yes, I think so”, she answered, although the reaction itself had been enough for her sister.  Cadence turned her head towards Lance, lifting her face shyly to his.  The slight, tentative smile still rested upon it; hopeful, but still nervous.

~~~~~~~

Iris turned to Voltigar, her face showing more of the joy now dancing within, but her shoulders still tense, worried.  One signet-ringed hand reached out across the confined space and sort out his, her fingers slipping between his larger, rougher digits. The thrill of finally being able to do such a thing made her want to reach for his lips once more, press herself against him and throw the rest of the day to the wind. She restrained herself.  Now was not the time.  “What do we do now?  There must be a way, anyway.  Surely Clayton does not own Cadence for the rest of her life?  Is there any way she can break off the engagement?”  Iris wished she knew the law of Voldar slightly better, that she could be of some help in finding a way around it.
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« Reply #279 on: April 23, 2008, 01:56:07 AM »

Voltigar put the Baron's legs on the bed and watched with interest as Lance compassionately laid the Baron's shoulders and then put a pillow under his head. The Baron's color to his face was slowly returning from the ash gray it had been before Nichea had given him the herbs he had made and gave it to the Baron.

He stood back as the girls took over covering the Baron with a blanket. Voltigar's face was stone-like as he watched the proceedings. He saw Iris sit down on her bed, her face a menagrie of emotions; from joy, to sadness, to anger, to frustration, and then finally to determination. Voltigar's heart broke as he saw his intended go through such gripping and powerful emotions, so much so that it made him wonder if all of the subterfuge he and Damien had planned for this spy was really worth it?

Then he remembered he was not just a man, but a King and thousands of people depended upon him; not only in the Capitol itself, but throughout the whole Kingdom. Why Nyermersys had to do this was beyond his comprehension. Did they not learn their last lesson from the last war with Voldar? Was not the resulting casualties on their side enough? Or the disease and famine that follows every war? What was it that the Earl of Nyermersys wanted? To be King? There were days, like this one, that Voltigar almost wished he could just give the Earl what he wanted. But Voltigar knew in his heart that that could never be. The throne was his and his alone, and the responsiblities that go along with it: including having to play with Clayton giving him false information so that Nyermersys's armies would not know the strength, nor the plan of attack that Damien and he had already begun to put into action.

Even if that meant hurting the one he loved the most...

“What do we do now?  There must be a way, anyway.  Surely Clayton does not own Cadence for the rest of her life?  Is there any way she can break off the engagement?” Iris asked him. Her eyes pleading that he had an answer.

What can he tell her? He had no answer, none that he could think of at least, except to expose Clayton for what he was and then have him executed. But he had already had that discussion in his head and as much as he would like to give an answer that would make the love of his life happy, he had none.

His only hope was perhaps Damien, who knew more about the law than anyone would be able to come up with an answer or at the very least a plan of action.

"Iris, I am sorry. I do not have an answer for you, nor for you Cadence or for you Sir Lance. Sir Clayton seems to have us stymied with our own laws and even though I am King, I am not above the law! I promised that to myself and to my people. Our only hope lies in Commander Scar. He knows the law better than any man I know alive. My suggestion is that we all adjurn to the outer chamber and let your father get some rest, perhaps the Commander already has the answer to our problem and our worries and concerns are for naught."

He opened the door and waited for the ladies to leave first, and then Lance and then he would leave last.

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Simonne Miller
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« Reply #280 on: April 23, 2008, 03:55:15 AM »

After putting the Baron in bed, Lance stepped back and let the girls take over. His thoughts were dark, mostly occupied with very unpleasant things that would make Clayton wish he'd never been born, and it probably showed from his one good eye. At least, he knew that he was frowning, though he couldn't make it go away. He started walking up and down the room, his hands clenched behind his back. Oh, if only he could get Clayton between his fingers...

When he saw Cadence glance at him though, the frown seemed to melt away. Her shy smile chased away all dark thoughts, instead turning them to the light that was the baroness. He went over to her where she was sitting on the bed and knelt down beside her, much as he had done but an hour before - he couldn't believe that he had only proposed to her such a short while ago. Taking her hand in his own, he pressed it against his cheek. "We'll find a way out, my love. Have faith." Then he stood back up, smiling at her. Somehow he was no longer conscious of his disfigurations. All he could think of was Cadence, and keeping her safe from that monster.

When the king suggested they go to the other room, he nodded, moving in the direction of the door - slowly, so that the ladies could go first. He was slowly but surely putting all his hope on Damien, on the fact that the Commander could have thought of a solution to their problem. Placing a hand very lightly on the pommel of his sword - a quite natural position for a soldier like him - he waited until he could go out and hear what this Damien had to say. He didn't know what he was gonna do if it was anything bad.
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« Reply #281 on: April 27, 2008, 05:58:35 AM »

As Iris looked up into the King’s face, she saw the resolve and determination she herself had felt.  His expression was drawn out, strained with worry, and she felt the joy of there engagement fade from her own visage too.  The woman wished they could shut out the world, forget all these problems, or simply make them go away.  A childish part of her was angry at him for tip-toeing around his own court like he was, but she overruled it. The real Iris knew that he was right to act as he was.  The laws should apply to him, to both of them, the same as they did for everyone else.  The respect she felt for him grew as her mind overruled her heart, drowning out its scream of frustration and despair.  Her shoulders shook once with a suppressed sob as she rose daintily from her seat and lead the way out of the room.  As soon as she rounded the frame of the door the woman held her head high, forcing the worry away from her face a little and attempting to make herself look in control.

~~~~~~~~

Cadence felt the force of Lance’s smile as it hit back at her across the room.  For a second the fears were banished, everything was simple once more.  He took her limp and willing hand in his own, and pressed it up against his cheek.  The girl felt the strength of him, and the rumble of his voice as he spoke seemed to course down her arm, a rush of warmth from palm to chest.  It was not only his words which steadied her, but the feel of his body, so powerful and so close.  The smell lingered in the air around her and for a brief, beautiful moment she was safe.  The king’s words washed over her, a rumble in the background against the roaring of all that was passing between her and Lance.

 Sadly, the threat of Clayton was too large and foreboding to be forever warded off, and as soon as Lance allowed her pale paw to drop, they began to nibble at her once more.  Her sister's shudder did not go unmissed, and somehow this was worse than if she had spoken out loud.  The young woman felt a familiar pang of frustration at the fact that things were so close to being perfect, and yet so close to being completely the opposite.  And it was all her fault: she was the one who had invited Clayton in, the one who was responsible for all the things which were going wrong.  As they moved into the room Candence saw the change in her sister, the attempt to look the part of the barroness. The younger sibling tried her best to follow the example, but although her baring spoke of her new status, her hands would not keep still.  She fidgeted in her nervousness.
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« Reply #282 on: May 06, 2008, 06:28:11 AM »

Damien, Sir George and Mouse were sitting drinking wine and Damien was smiling when Voltigar opened the door from the inner chamber and the ladies and Sir Lance walked out. Voltigar saw the smile on Damien's face and immediately hope sprang into his heart.

"Commander, tell me that you have solved our problem,"

"No, your Majesty I did not," Damien answered.

Voltigar's heart sank and then he became angry. If Damien did not solve their problem then why was he sitting there with a smile on his face and drinking wine like it was a celebration or something.

"Then Commander I would like to know what the jesting is all about? My fiance, her sister, Sir Lance and the Baron would like to know what so amuses you at this time?" Voltigar's voice was very low and very quiet; anyone who knew Voltigar knew that when his voice was low and quiet was when Voltigar was extremely angry and very dangerous. His prowess with sword could be matched with Damien's and there was no betting man who would take odds on who would win.

It seemed to Voltigar that Damien did not seem to care for he continued to smile he even offered the other's to join him in a glass of wine. Voltigar was having a very difficult time holding his anger back.

Damien finally seemed to notice and still smiling and drinking wine, "Your Majesty i said I did not come up with a solution to our problem, however that does not mean that there has not been a solution found," Damien said.

Voltigar's head whirrled. "What solution and who found it?" he finally asked.

"Nichea and Master Mouse here!" Damien answered, slapping Mouse on the shoulders heartily.

Voltigar heard, but he did not understand. How could have Nichea and this circus performer come up with a solution that he and even Damien could not think of? "Ok, Damien. I give up. How did Nichea and Master Mouse come up with a solution that even I, nor you, could think of?" Voltigar asked, a bit icily, a bit tired of playing games.

"Nichea pointed out that you had annulled Clayton's and Cadence's marriage. Therefore she was free to give her heart to anyone she chose, no matter what your Majesty promised him. The answer was staring us right in the face but we were too close to the problem to see it. Nichea looked at it from afar and saw our fallacy and more importantly Clayton's!." Damien answered.

He walked over to the table and poured himself more wine. "Are you sure you would not like some wine now your Majesty? Or you Sir Lance or you Baroness's."

Voltigar thought about what Damien said and could have kicked himself. Nichea had seen what they could not.  He smiled, "I think I will take you up on that goblet of wine, Commander," Voltigar said.

He waited as Damien poured the wine and handed him the goblet of wine. "Thank you Commander," he said. He took a drink and then glanced over at Mouse. "I have heard how Nichea solved part of our problem, but how Master Mouse did you solve the other part?" He asked.
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« Reply #283 on: May 07, 2008, 05:10:07 AM »

Damien's reaction was... rather unexpected, to say the least. It was not often that the small acrobat found himself hugged by a huge man like the Commander - or by anyone, really. After that, the mood shifted a bit though. It became more pensive, then lighter again as Damien found his solution. After that, they talked quietly for a little while as they waited for the others to arrive.

When the door opened and Voltigar, Lance and the ladies came out, he gave each in turn a serious and respectful nod. He sat back and sipped his wine as he listened to the conversation between Damien and Voltigar. He wished Damien wouldn't put so much stress on the whole thing. Why didn't he want to take credit for this, like most men he had met would? Now he, Mouse, was being placed in the center of attention. There was only one moment when he liked being the center of attention, and that was during his performances. He was most definitely not performing now, so all the eyes directed towards him were making him nervous.

When the king asked him a question, he played with his goblet for a moment before answering. "I... uhm..." He could just feel the blush creeping up into his face. Why didn't they just talk over his head like normal people? "I asked why this was not settled with a duel. As far as I know, romantic disputes are fought out in a duel. They are in stories, anyway." He shrugged.

"Sir Lance is a competent fighter, if I am any kind of judge," with this he bowed in the direction of the knight, who was standing looking at him with a smile on his disfigured face, and a glint of hope in his brown eye. "so he should be able to win, I reasoned. Sir George pointed out that since Clayton was higher in rank, he would have to initiate the duel, and that brought the Commander to the realisation that if Clayton didn't initiate, nothing stood in the way of sir Lance and my lady Cadence marrying. So it... it wasn't really all... I mean, we kinda worked together." His explanation stammered to a close. He probably could have told that heaps better if he'd put himself in his performer's mood, but he didn't really feel like now was the time to be performing. Oh well, they got the story anyway, whether told in a good manner or not.

*********

Lance

The knight filed into the room after the ladies. He poured himself a goblet of wine when the Commander offered it, feeling that whatever the news, he would need it. He found himself torn between hope and anger, which gradually leaned more and more towards hope as the conversation continued. He looked intently at Mouse - strange name, that - when the acrobat told his tale, and he acknowledged the man's compliment with a nod of his head. He rather liked this little man, though he couldn't really put his finger on the 'why' of it. He just put it down to his gut feeling. Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that neither of them were really the prettiest of people, for various reasons, and he felt some kind of connection to Mouse because of that.

His one brown eye shone as the guy finished his tale. "Thank you!" he said, from the bottom of his heart. "Thank you, all three of you. Or all four, remind me to thank the healer when we see him again." Then he looked at Cadence, although his heart felt like it would break. He reached out his hand and took hers, and he smiled. "You see, my love." he whispered, words meant only for her ears. "I told you things would work out." If only his uncle would now get better, then nothing could break this joy that he was feeling. He leaned forward and placed a light kiss on the crown of Cadence's head.
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Ease of laughter comes so fast when you're not in the jester's shoes...

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« Reply #284 on: May 08, 2008, 12:59:00 AM »

Voltigar felt for the acrobat as he stammered his way through his explanation of how he had helped out.
Clayton was not higher in rank, thought Voltigar, then he remembered that those who were knighted the Order of Voldar, no matter what their parentage, was an honorary Baron, so therefore Clayton was higher in rank, technically. But as Mouse pointed out and Damien realized Clayton would have to initiate the duel by throwing down his gauntlet and Damien was sure as was he that Clayton would not do such a thing as in his heart he was a coward. He only beat on those weaker than himself; especially women.

"Master Mouse thank you for your kind explanation. You do not have to be afraid of me," Voltigar said and then he paused as he took a drink. "Perhaps afraid is not the correct word, nervous would be better. You do not have to be nervous my friend. You are among friends and I am sure Sir Lance and the Baroness's will have their own special way of thanking you.  As for myself, ask me of anything you desire and if it is in my power to grant it, I will. Do you wish a knghthood? Land? Weatlth? What can I do to repay the debt I owe you?" Voltigar asked.
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