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Forums > Fantasy Roleplay Forum > Chronicles of Obelus: A Call To Action (Closed)

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Setting: 1 year before the events in JTTN (Journey To the North). Gweyr Commander of The Queen’s Talons encourages Elvira to seek outside support, since her brother Parya'theïn is making things difficult for her to find allies from within. The division in the family is hurting Elvira’s rule so she agrees to seek help from outside of the Urdu. Elvira and Joseph have been writing letters back to each other for months. Elvira shares how the Orcs have threatened her forest and she lacks support from her people. Joseph shares that his cousin Martha and her inner family were kidnapped by Norseman right outside of his boarders. The two then realize that they have mutual enemies and so they agree to become allies.

Plot: The Council of Laurels call a meeting with Elvira, in Haramon, regarding this treaty. Gweyr Illy’vana escorts King Joseph and his Knights to Haramon to meet Elvira and the High Elf Council for the first time.

I will open the scene up with the last letter sent from Joseph, which will be available for Elvira and the Council to read.



A pink faced elf boy, rode into Haramon with two elf warriors, hired protectors that worked closely with the Queen's Contingent. The boy was no longer nervous after seeing Elvira nearly a half dozen times in the passed month. He handed the sealed letter to Elvira, then bowed his head to ride off to the nearest stable. They would make sure the boy was properly paid and fed well. The escorts would also see him safely returned to his family in Welden'eve.


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Elvira could not even begin to express the relief that she felt when the letter was received. She had hoped that Joseph would at last come to this decision, for today was the day that her proposal and the quiet sprouts of her labor would finally be presented to the Council. As the former King Jhahardis' eldest, she had attended many Council meetings, and was aware of the tensions and the bristles that would likely be brought up.

She could only hope. There were so many burdens that had been placed upon her with her father's death, long in coming. He had lived long and well, and many missed him greatly. Including Elvira, to whom her father had not only been a father but a teacher, a mentor, and a guide. Oh, how badly she needed such a guide now. The war with the Orcs seemed to have intensified after the sage's death, but perhaps that was merely because of her own current aptitude for such a stressful ordeal.

The numbers of the fallen were only mounting, and it made her heart ache to know that so many of those she sent upon her way would never return to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It had led her to consider other options, and she had begun to reach out to the other kingdoms. However, its was Joseph whom she found was the steadiest of those, and together they had fleshed the possibility of their combines forces assisting one another, to both their benefit and their common enemy.

Although the newer Queen had gracefully spent her time weaving the proposition into fruition, there were still the advisory bodies that she must navigate through in order to make such happen. Her father had played parley with the Council of Laurels rather masterfully; every decree and discussion almost a game of chess that both sides respected regardless of win or loss.

However, now she had risen to her father's place; she, a fledgling yet still had still yet to have earned this same respect. And it certainly did not help matters that her propositions would so openly defy the notion of elven pride; the tradition, history, and culture that defined them as the sole protectors of Urdu.

In the audience chamber, she stood from her throne--entwined vines of platinum and gold laced with bejeweled flora, where her father once sat. It was time for her to speak, and for her to succeed, she must keep her composure.

"Brethren," Elvira began. "Good council. Our war is our difficulty. It is our struggle. The soul of the forest, and the Shrine, must be protected at all costs. Our people falter, and we need another answer, another approach." She paused, carefully choosing her words. "Our forces are formidable, but they would be more so if we were to join with another army. The humans of Jubilee, headed by their King Joseph, have been supportive with the idea of defending Urdu alongside us."

Lord Marcus Faerus listened to Elvira's words, a stoic expression on his face. He was tall - about 6'4" - with hair blacker than a moonless night and piercing eyes that were a bright crimson. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail, a large swath of it at the base of his skull shaved away; there was a large crop of bangs that covered his left eye. His wardrobe bespoke much refinement: An elegant silver tunic, black trousers, black leather boots, and a cape that could best be described as a matte green-gray color. At the front of his collar was a shimmering piece of black onyx.

The man was a bit of an enigma. No one quite knew how he had risen to power. That, coupled with the barest hint of madness in his eyes, secretly concerned a fair amount of his peers. He also trusted no one else on the council as far as he could throw them.
Despite this, he always seemed to keep himself composed and stood firmly in the corner of Elvish pride and tradition, which was why he was vehemently opposed to the Queen's proposal. He wasn't fond of Elvira in general, and when he addressed her and his colleagues, one could see some of the condescension he felt towards her in his eyes, contrasting his stoic expression.

"What are you even thinking?" he asked her, his voice deep and very smooth. "Do you really think bringing in this Human filth would aid us in any way?" He shook his head disapprovingly, almost incredulously. "His Majesty - may he rest in peace - would be turning over in his grave if he knew what you were trying to do."

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The Throne Room was surprisingly full this day. Normally it would be of a lessor crowd, thus rumors fell greatly upon deftly elf ears. Today, it had become a Council Chamber. Many were aggravated by the letters being sent between Elvira and Joseph. Then there was that poor pink faced Welden'eve boy, that they had seen riding back and forth every week as if he was sending off love letters. The Great Septims (The First Elves) even older than she and the Righteous Elvations of the Glades, all watched quietly from the golden ivory pillars that shined almost as clean as Caerthynna's visage. This ivory was not a taint made from primitive animal bones, but Ivory Ore: a resource that held magic within it. Such had made the Queen's Palace indestructible from any savages who sought to evade Haramon with siege weaponry. If the forest was to die, she knew at least these walls would forever stand.

Pneuma save them now.

She listened to Elvira address the brethren and would be attentive and fair to hear her case. Lady Filauria sipped her wine, elegantly while Lord Faerus ridiculed her like a child. Marcus meant well, and she understood his passion, but Elvira was always very wise, surely. Yet her rebellion was born when she listened to Gweyr's advise. She should have kept her fathers advisors.

"And why do our people falter?" Her voice was soft, yet serious. "You seek outside answers, yet it is no mystery why the Noble Houses have all withheld their swords to fight for you. My husband Noldar'n Filauria, the Duke of Haramon, who fought beside the Great Jhahardis Navishiëne, for many centuries will not fight for you. House Essellé will not fight for you. Even Parya'theïn Teliek'vhran, Duke of Welden'eve has vented discontent with your decisions. He is against you. And you have found even more cause to divide us. Your father had many enemies, many faults, even rebellion in his own council, whilst he still found a way to bring everyone together. You have done the opposite, sending these embarrassing letters to Joseph Henry." She spat those last words. "I am so very disappointed in you. Not that I did not believe in you, because I so wanted to. But now you sit here before us and tell us that the humans are coming to our Forest. Well, what is next then? Soon we will have dwarves marching here with their heavy axes, hoping to sever our virgins like tender melons. I would rather die by an Orc's sword, deep within me, then to see those little terrifying creatures stench our Glades again."

At the far end of the table, furthest from Elvira, and indeed anyone else, sits a small, thin, frail woman with long, lank, silver blonde hair and eyes clouded by age. Duchess Talindria Navishiene, sister to the former king and aunt to the current queen, sits quietly through her niece's proclamation. She does not stir a finger when Lord Faerus evokes the memory if her dead brother as if he were some sort of god that might swoop down from the heavens and smite Elvira. The tips of her lips twitch, however, at Lady Filauria's rather lurid and graphic descriptions.

Even as the person beside her begins puffing out his silk and medal covered chest in order to speak next, no doubt to echo the sentiments already expressed by the council members so far, Talindria clears her throat. The sound is soft and dry and weak yet somehow carries to every ear in the room for that is a part of her elven magic that has not faded with age. She does not turn her milky eyes upon Caerthynna'n, for there would be no point in doing so. She does however tilt her face in the general direction of the woman's chair so there can be no question as to whom she is addressing.

"Indeed, my dear? Is that truly your preference? I am sorry to say it but it rather sounds to me as if you have some sort of obsession with extra-racial weapons." They way she pauses and emphasizes that last word can leave no doubt in anyone's mind what she truly means by it. "Perhaps that is something you might wish to speak to your husband about next time you see him." Her tone is solicitous in a motherly way as if she were truly concerned for the well being of the younger woman's marriage bed. Of course that is not the case and none here would be stupid enough to think it was and the Duchess knows it. Old and respected as she is, Talindria is willing to say many things that others will or cannot, but she does so detest Caerthynna'n's tendency towards the over dramatic.

As for this matter with the humans, however, she will hold her own council for now. She is curious to see how Elvira deals with this rebellion in the ranks. She knows her own mind however and nothing these spoiled and petulant children can say will change that.

“I do not believe that fault should be found in attempts to be resourceful,” another calm voice spoke. Lord Ildris Nazael’s appearance mirrored several of those in the council: pale ivory skin paired with long blond hair, even if it were not so silvery or radiant as Talindria’s. Ildris was a well-respected elf and perhaps was best known for being able to keep a level head amongst the other men in the Council. His son, Damian, sat aside him; Ildris had been bringing his son to the council meetings with some increasing frequency over the past few years, as Ildris was quietly ill. Despite the dignified composure he carried himself with, he was weary and unwell. Yet still his mind remained sharp. “This war is a dire need. Would it necessarily be wrong to seek outside assistance if those within refuse to give it, regardless of reason?”

“What is wrong is expecting significant support from chaff, of all places,” another male voice snapped, almost cutting him off. With sandy, long hair and amber eyes, Lord Mal’luch Erranth’var could be as imposing as he was haughty. As the overseer of many entrepreneurial ventures in both Haramon and Esselé, he was a meticulous figure despite the hubris. “As cudgel fodder, perhaps. It might cushion our losses. But please do not even give the facade of equality. Assist, perhaps if they wish. But an alliance...” he nearly shuddered at the thought of stooping so low.

“If we must, then do place them at the front ranks,” the cold and radiant Lord Kalkas released a small scoff with a dismissive flick of his wrist, resting his chin lightly in his other hand. Being that he was one of the generals of the elven armies during this time of war, this is one of the few Council meetings he ever attended, which attested to the reproach that he too seemed to have towards the situation. “With luck we may even overwhelm the Orcs with numbers alone, if the humans don’t get crushed underfoot first.” He seemed thoroughly uncaring as to the welfare or the validity of such an alliance, focusing merely upon the tactical advantage that it could give them. But that didn’t mean that he approved of the measure either.

Sitting at Elvira’s right hand as he had done for Jhahardis before her, Lord Elmtree raised a quiet hand to quell the bickering tides of the rest of the Council. "Enough," he released a small sigh before turning back to Elvira, never for a moment allowing his own opinion to be expressed or even inferred. What are to be the tenets of this alliance, if such is to come to pass?"

Elvira had already been expecting the deluge of protests when she had spoken, and had already braced her heart for them. Although the brashness of Lady Filauria had made her scoff lightly in the smallest trace of amusement, there was otherwise little reaction as the council peppered her with their disapproval. It was this composure that had earned Elvira respect, shortly before the stain of taking in the drow Dezus--now her brother in name only--had brought this scorn upon her.

The wood-elven, or Elvatian as they were formally named, culture believed firmly in their superiority over many of the lesser species, including other elven subspecies such as drow, and Elvira's compassion may have easily been interpreted as disregard for the regality of their society. It had been her father's wish to take in the drow, and she had kept that fact to herself, unwilling to stain her father's good name and taking the blame on her own. It did not assist her that Dezus was often reprimanded for dabbling in magics considered to be forbidden.

The Queen bore the comments patiently, and upon Elmtree's quieting of the wolves at last, gave him a small nod of gratitude. She allowed a small breath of a moment to elapse before she continued. "It would seem that we share common enemies with the humans. The Orcs have redoubled their efforts after Father's death, as they have now allied with the Northern Empire. In exchange for our assistance with an extraction and rescue mission of his sister, who has been captured by the northern ruler Jovina, he agrees to send contingents of his men to assist us with the Orcs."

"Our correspondence has been ultimately brief; in consequence the final details have not been refined. However, I am certain that he is the sort of being that would like to discuss the matters in person."

Lady Filauria snorted, softly when the old harridan jested with a point that was far impertinent, considering it may be a reality for the both of them if they did not get real allies. Did Talindria think the Orcs would show mercy on her because she was old? No they would lift her high and penetrate her with foreign sword; just like the lonely biddy that she was; relishing in whatever waste or innards fell from underneath her severed insides. Caerthynna sipped her sweet wine, thinking these thoughts in her own sordid amusement. "Joke about it if you will, Lady Talindria. None of us are impenetrable anymore. Not even an old fusspot like you." She courted her wine like a side lover.

Out of all of the lords here, Marcus Faerus , Mal’luch Erranth’var and Kalkas had the strongest ideals. Albeit Lord Ildris Nazael was weak to her, so she was glad to hear real males speak among this council. Thus Lord Elmtree was one they all respected, even she. And when he said "Enough," she was almost encouraged to drop her wine to the floor. Instead she held her petite goblet still while he asked his most critical question.

After Elvira explained the tenets of the alliance, her eyes became more strategic than before. As brass and honest as Caerthynna was, she still cared for Elvira and loved her like a daughter. Even if she often spoke things that may go against the Queen, she was still loyal to her best interest and had proven to be a tact member in this Council of Laurels. Ever since the end of the First War; when King Jhahardis led their people to victory and pushed the Orcs back from this forest, and even before then; House Filauria has always served The Eagle Banner.

"This changes things now that you mention more detail of the canon. My only concern is who will aid Joseph in getting his kin back, if we have no allies to defend our boarders? We can barely protect ourselves now, but if you make promises you can not keep, Elvira, I am not sure our alliance with the humans will sustain. It will only complicate things further."



Before Elivra could answer, a familiar group came from the halls, to join late. Dezus Iba'ahalii, the adopted brother of the throne was among them. A few of Elvira's Blood kin had come with him. Parya'theïn the Duke of Welden'even, who was not present and had opted out for his own personal reasons; he refused to support this matter. Dezus was different, he loved Elvira and believed in what she was doing for her people. Many despised him in the council because of this. They also disapproved of his dark skin, and crimson eyes; not to mention his heinous choice of clothing. Some wanted him tried for his dabble in the dark arts, but such was not proven. He wore all black today, with a hood that covered most of his visage. Elvira loved him as an equal. The Drow took his sisters hand to kiss it true, always showing open affection and enjoying the look on the council's faces when he intruded on their fair skinned Highness. Afterwards he leaned in to whisper inside Elvira's ear.

"King Joseph has arrived, your grace. Our Elvatian Scouts have spotted General Illy’vana and her Rangers escorting the knights about a mile south of Haramon, as we speak."

Each of the known and accepted Teliek'vhran siblings had taken an active role in their kingdom. After his bow, second-eldest Prince Hiram'nyar looked over to Lord Kalkas to grant his mentor a small nod of quiet greeting. The Prince had been groomed to become a fine and fierce warrior who currently served as a lesser general commanding the armies, one with promise. The successful campaigns that he had led had given a ray of hope in this difficult time, and many supported him. However, he was less ambitious than some might hope and deferred to his elder sister's judgment.

Princess Vaëllesméra in turn gave a small curtsy to Lord Nemoto Aislan, who had not yet voiced his opinion and had remained silent and contemplative during the tumult of the other Council members. Lord Nemoto was the arcanic innovator who served as the head of one of the most prestigious mage studies amongst the Elvatian. He in return offered a small smile to his former student. Vaëllesméra served as one of the priestess-guardians of the Shrine of Mystalion, the ancient altar that was believed to be the access to the 'heart' of the forest and its power, as well as the authority of the Crown. She currently held tutelage from the head Shrine maiden Euria.

Prince Parya'theïn, the second youngest, had been granted the dukedom of the city of Welden'eve, where he remained currently. He retained his correspondence through letters and couriers only, but it had been several months since he had last visited Haramon in person, and was not present amongst his other siblings on this day.

The youngest, Princess Lillenærhune, was still by elven standards considered a child. However, that did not halt her own desire to contribute. Despite the initial timidity of her countenance, once coaxed out of her shell, she was a seasoned orator with a good organizational insight, and she served as the overseer of the palace's operations in her siblings' absence.

The rest of the Teliek'vhran siblings present wore a variety of wardrobe as was suited to their role: Hiram in plated armor, Vera in her embroidered maiden's robes, and Lilly in simple yet formal noble dress.

Elvira smiled at the Drow. For the years that he had lived in this castle, Dezus was her brother in all but blood. Such had been the wish of her father. The Queen had borne the burden of standing up for him when the Council criticized him for his race and his tastes for magic, even as she tried to steer him gently towards more acceptable standards. "Thank you, Dezus. Kindly tell Ayura standing outside that she can head to the southern grounds of the palace to meet them, before you join us," Elvira replied with a small nod as she indicated for him to sit with the other siblings, possibly to some of the Councilmembers' chagrin. Ayuraïmé, even younger than Lilly, was an esteemed servant of the family, even if in record she belonged to Lady Talindria.

"Our apologies for our late entry, good Council," Hiram's deep voice resonated humbly across the table as he and his sisters took their seats. He had departed from Haramon a week earlier to fetch Vera personally from her reclusive and mystic studies so that she would be able to attend this gathering to support their sister, and had only recently returned with her. "Please do not allow us to interrupt."

Elvira nodded to acknowledge him, her warm smile like a gentle sunset as she tented her hands comfortably on the table. "Now that we are complete... Lady Filauria, I understand your concern. In terms of numbers, I perceive that this alliance falls into our favor. If my understanding is correct, then our task force is needed to be an effective and poignant one, capable of stealth and yet able to defend themselves if so needed. And in exchange for this task force, he is willing to give us a full contingent of his men, led by one of his finest generals."

"However, if you still so doubt the sincerity of this proposition, then perhaps you would like to ask him in person, as, yes, in fact, he is on his way here as we speak and will arrive momentarily." She remained composed even as he inwardly possibly braced for another verbal lashing. She had endured the ire of the Council even since her father had taken in Dezus. She did not falter then and she would not do so now.

Even as Elvira whispers her response to Dezus, quiet and low, on the far side of the room Duchess Talindria's long pointed ears twitch. The mild sneer she had been forcing into a pleasant grin falters. Though her eyes are near useless at this point, her ears are as keen as ever, mostly thanks to what little magic she has left. Her head tilts towards the south. Oddly she seems to have suddenly lost interest in the discussion being carried out among those at the table.

Gripping her ironwood cane in one wrinkled hand, she pushs herself out of her comfortable chair and begins making her way towards a south facing window. Despite the need for the cane, frail as her body is becoming, Talindria still walks straight and upright. Her gait is as elegant as ever as befits her royal status. It is simply slow and slightly laborious as well. Once she has arrived at her destination just standing at the window does nothing for her, of course. She cannot see down into the courtyard, partially because this window's view is blocked by a tower and a wall and not just because she has trouble making out anything that is more than a foot or two away from her face. These days the royal matron exists within a faded and distorted bubble that extends no further than the reach of her arms, but that does not keep her seeing the truth of things. That is what magic is for, after all.

With a light push of her hand, the Duchess opens the window before her just a crack, then closes her eyes, useless as they are to her. She is still keeping on ear open on Elvira's throne room. She would not abandon her niece to these hide bound vultures for all trees in the forest. There is one, however, that she believes needs her guidance and care more than Elvira ever did. Her handmaiden Ayura. She does not appreciate Elvira using the girl to run errands and most especially to fetch foreign dignitaries, but now is not the time to fight with the woman about it. They can have that argument when this matter has been dealt with. For now she simply extends the range of her senses so that she can hear with remarkable clarity just what is going on down in that courtyard.

Thin, woven sandals of straw padded across the gleaming floors of the palace as the handmaiden walked down the hallway, the airy folds of her simple white dress gently flowing behind her. All this time, she still drew stares from others as she passed by. Raven hair was rare and easily recognizable amongst the Elvatian, and so it was a simple matter to spot her even from afar. Well...maybe she should be grateful. People would stare all the more if they found out the truth. The truth that her father had hidden to protect all of them from the ire of the people and Council alike.

There was always a strange feeling of displacement whenever she saw the Princes and Princesses assembled in one place. Just a feeling of longing. The feeling that, I should be there with them. Instead, she was here...not that she wasn’t used to doing a servant’s work. She’d done just that for much of her short life in order to keep up pretenses. Her whole family—her whole blood family anyway, had agreed, in one way or another, that this would be for the good of everyone.

Maybe she should just be grateful. She was going to be taken care of. She was already betrothed, for goodness’ sakes, at her age. However, even as she knew in her mind that this must be so, the elfling could not help the feeling in her heart.

The central court gave way to the southern wing, and soon to the dewed grass of the grounds, where she strode past guards as well as other servants carrying out a litany of tasks. She had only heard whispers, and of course had been informed by the Drow of her task but, with the Council speaking in such varied tones it really must be something important. Important enough for a foreign entity anyway.

As Ayura approached the southern gates of the palace, she absently placed a hand upon the ivory to wait. As it had taken her some time to reach the courtyard, she did not have to wait long before the sound of slowing hoofbeats reached her ears. Her sight soon fell upon the shapes that were rising gently up the hill to the palace at the summit, which she soon made out as a company of mounted rangers fanned out to cover and guide another company of twenty humans, mounted. The elfling had never seen a human before until now. They were not so polished and lithe as the average elf, nor so graceful, and of course there was the lack of the distinctive, batlike ear.

The party slowed as they approached, and Ayura gently placed her hands behind her back. "Commander Illy'vana," her soft voice acknowledged with a nod. She then peered back towards the humans, towards Joseph who was apparently their leader at point. "Welcome to Ivory." She offered a soft smile, remaining formal as any raised in court were so soon taught. "If you would please dismount, your horses will be taken care of. Her Majesty awaits you all in the Laurels' gathering."

The Queen’s Talons had returned home. It was a huge risk having their Commander and all of Elvira’s royal protection gone on this escort to bring back these humans. Dissension was no doubt the common gossip in the capital streets, because of it. Albeit no assassin would dare try Dezus—as long as The Queen had the Drow’s love, she was safe. And now that the Pyschic Ranger had returned successfully, this made Elvira the most powerful person in Haramon.

“Lady Ayura. Good to see you.” Gwyer bowed after being acknowledged. She dismounted as requested. “Ilya dismount. I' stable tura will elea lye rokko attended.” She said the Talons.

They all listened to their commander and dismounted; they offered their horses reins up to the stablemasters. Gweyr’s famous brothers Ewing and Akosh chuckled to see the humans looking uncomfortable and yet to dismount even after Ayura kindly asked them to.

“The red haired one looks kind of mean. But he is an honorable warrior.” Ewing said.

“They are all honorable. Ayura I also want you to meet them. Commander Delilah and Gloria DeVore, The Glory of Jubilee: Joseph’s Personal Guardian. Bruce Legends, Anjaliku The Souless, Boris the Mute and Craftman Kinley, they are the Steel. Then there is the Finesse: Lars The Scout, Lady Anne the Bowmaster, Erik The Beastmaster, Stephan the Rogue Nightblade and Nicolas the Swordmaster. Lastly, the Magic, Brendan the Battlemage, Donovan The Templar Mender, Naled The Translator and Sarah The Witch of Jubilee. They represent King Jospeh’s legendary Sixteen.” She shared.

“But I do not intent to keep our Queen waiting. Come Joseph, let us move with haste.” Gweyr finished.

Commander Delilah would not dismount until her King did. And when he humbly stepped down, so did the Sixteen. Reins were offered and stablemasters took them into the fine Haramon city.

Sarah’s eyes had lingered longer on Gweyr as it had been hard for the Witch to stop admiring the Psychic. The women in Joseph’s fellowship did not understand Sarah, nor like her, but Joseph did. She just had a love for nature and did not find pleasure in most worldly things. She was a spiritual woman, deep and cunning, but even Joseph thought Sarah might have lingered in that forbidden fruit far too long. Boris surely thought so.

“Thank you Gweyr, for that lovely introduction. And you are by far one of the more finest scouts I’ve seen in the northern region.” Joseph said. “Good to meet you Ayura.” He nodded. “I will follow you in.”

Lars frowned at his King’s words but understood why he complimented her. Gweyr knew the forest better than any man or elf he’d come across so the compliment was with mutual respect. When the horses were gone, Joseph would humbly follow Ayura inside, thus not before he pinched Gloria on the skin of her arm when Delilah was not looking.

“If anyone is to betray us...and I am not saying Elvira or Gweyr will. But the Queen is not the most liked by her people. If anything happens you protect your wife and worry not about me. You have a divine obligation that supersedes ours.” He whispered to her.

Delilah finally turned back, having sensed some whispering going on. “Are you two okay there?” She smirked.

“Uh, yes, Commander. I’m just telling your wife to behave herself.” He chuckled softly. “Remember we are Peacekeepers and we are here to protect and aid the Queen.”

“Good, your grace. You speak wisdom to her. As much as I do love killing orcs, I enjoy peace. It is a worthy cause to fight for, don’t you agree my love?” She leaned in to kiss Gloria’s lips...

Marcus internally bristled at Dezus taking his seat near Elvira's siblings but made no outward indication at his disgust for the Drow. It was one of the few things that Jhahardis had done that quietly enraged him, and it only further compounded his dislike of Elvira. Not only was she inviting filth into Urdu, but she embraced filth as a sibling; filth that had been caught dabbling in forbidden magics. On top of that, there was the fact that she had Joseph come anyway, without seeking their clearance first, perhaps to make her proposal the only possible route.

Marcus had to hand it to her. It was an underhanded play, but a rather clever one nonetheless. However, no scheming on the Queen's part would ever get him to change his mind. He drummed his fingers on the arm of his chair, seemingly lost in thought before once again speaking to Elvira. "So...it seems that this meeting was called under somewhat false pretenses," Marcus said, the resentful respect at the ploy lightly touching his tone of voice. "Perhaps you lacked confidence in your ability and chances to negotiate the outcome you wished to achieve to the point where you decided to bring the Filth to us in hopes to better aid your chances, as if you felt that we wouldn't be able to deny him to his face."

The scholar laughed softly, not opening his mouth. A smirk tugged at the corners of his mouth. "I dare say, Your Majesty, well done," he said. "However, no matter how clever you get, my answer will remain unchanged."

The pinch to Gloria's arm turns the warrior's attention from admiring the elven architecture to smirking with amusement at her King's childish tactics. His words, however, cause her eyes to widen and the edges of her lips to tug themselves into an angry frown. The very idea that he would attempt to order her to go against her vows to himself, Jubilee and Ecru himself, which she took long before she and Delilah had even met, causes the woman's blood to boil, her cheeks to flush and her icy blue eyes to flash. She opens her mouth to tell him exactly where he can shove that idea of his, namely where the sun doesn't shine, but then their little tet-a-tet is being interrupted by the very subject of it.

The press of Delilah's lips to her own helps ease her annoyance somewhat. She even reaches up to touch the red head's cheek with her sword calloused fingers, brushing a bit of hair behind the woman's ear as she does. It isn't enough to keep her from retorting entirely, however. "He speaks hogwash and twattle. But yes, ultimately peace is the only true reason to do battle," she agrees with her wife with a small smile.

Joseph's pale haired body guard throws him one last slightly dirty look before they all turn to follow the newly introduced Ayura into the castle. Naled seems especially interested in their surroundings and their hosts. Eric sends Balthazar with the horses, both to watch over them and to keep from unnecessarily frightening the delicate sensibilities of the elven nobles, though he keeps Beeko close at hand, the little monkey jumping from one willing head or shoulder to the next as it chatters excitedly. Sarah, however, lingers in the courtyard, her eyes upon Gweyr. Boris waits with her a moment before finally placing a hand upon the witch's lower back and guiding her along behind the others so that she isn't left behind and lost. This is no place for a lone human to wander unattended.

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