posted Jun 27, 2020, 12:04 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Nonotina 23rd, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

The pair sit on their beds in the infirmary pondering the reward from the city watch.
Perri Elastime: I think I need a short rest before going to the bailey.
Rael Octavius: Only a short rest?
Rael Octavius: You still look pretty beat up, Fenn.
Perri Elastime: Just a brief breather.
Fennimore: I think you should take a day or two before anything as strenuous as fencing with the High King.
Fennimore: I feel every hit from that mace.
Rael Octavius: At least a meditation period.
Perri Elastime: If I miss lesson one, lesson two is sure to be much more difficult.
Fennimore: I'm sure the King will understand.
Perri Elastime: I'll stretch the bruises out and then see how I feel.
Perri Elastime: I wouldn't want him to think I'm a kitten.
Fennimore: You nearly died back there, Perri!
Perri Elastime: I know. You and my new feather saved me.
Fennimore: Hmmph.
Rael Octavius smiles.
Fennimore: I wasn't far behind you.
Perri Elastime tries to stand up and winces.
Perri Elastime stretches a little and winces some more.
Fennimore: I'm staying here.
Rael Octavius: You really should rest. Take advantage of the King's Hospitality.
Fennimore: I agree.
High King Ran enters the infirmary.
Perri Elastime: Please, send my apologies to the King for missing training.
High King Ran: No need for apologies.
Perri Elastime: I have many things to learn.
Fennimore: Your Highness.
High King Ran: And you have plenty of time in which to learn them.
Perri Elastime sits on the bed.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
High King Ran: I have been informed that you have rid "The City" of a notorious murderer.
Fennimore: That's what the guard told us.
High King Ran notices the coffer.
High King Ran: You have already received the reward I see.
Perri Elastime: It is more money than I have ever seen.
Fennimore: Thank you, Your Highness.
High King Ran smiles.
Fennimore: It is a magnanimous reward. My mother will be well taken care of.
Perri Elastime: He is really sweet with his mom.
Fennimore: She's the only one I have.
Fennimore: I need to take care of her.
Rael Octavius: Mothers are important.
Perri Elastime shifts uneasily on the bed.
Fennimore: Perhaps Your Highness can impart some wisdom to Miss Perri to help her rest easy, relax, and heal fully.
Rael Octavius looks concerned.
Rael Octavius: What else is wrong, Perri?
Perri Elastime gives a sour look to Fennimore.
Fennimore: Our pleas have been falling on deaf ears.
High King Ran: Take as much time as the doctor suggests. I can wait.
Perri Elastime: I hate being helpless.
High King Ran: You may be helpless if you do not let yourself heal properly.
High King Ran looks to Rael.
High King Ran: Patch them up if you like. This one seems quite restless.
Fennimore: There, now that's proper wisdom. That's why he's the High King.
Perri Elastime: Rael, you never said shopping was dangerous.
Rael Octavius: I am inclined to let some time heal them. They are in a safe place right now.
Rael Octavius: You were halfway across town.
Perri Elastime: Checking on Fennimore's mom.
Perri Elastime: We didn't even get there.
Fennimore: And I had a purchase to pick up in the North Market. It's been waiting for me for days.
Fennimore: Ma's down in Star Plaza. We had quite a circuit planned.
Perri Elastime: His mama is a good cook. It would have been great for elevensies.
High King Ran smirks.
High King Ran: I could assign an escort or would having Rael along be enough?
Rael Octavius looks surprised.
Rael Octavius: Your Majesty?
Fennimore looks perturbed.
Perri Elastime: Ummm, Rael doesn't appreciate elevensies.
Perri Elastime: But we don't need to be guarded.
Rael Octavius: Elevensies sounds fine to me but I should be in court when my father is away, should I not?
Fennimore: I'm sure we can fend off The Knives the next time they come poking around.
High King Ran: The Knives? They are becoming quite a problem.
Rael Octavius: They have lost a lot of soldiers, lately.
Perri Elastime: The Knives are nasty.
Fennimore: They seem to have taken a disliking to me and the Lady.
Perri Elastime stands up again finding it still hurts.
High King Ran: Quite the stubborn one, are we?
Perri Elastime: I haven't done anything to anybody for them to dislike me.
Perri Elastime looks surprised.
Perri Elastime: Me?
Perri Elastime: I'm sure if I move around a bit, I'll feel better.
High King Ran: You are going to be a handful.
High King Ran: OK. Rael, heal her up.
Rael Octavius steps over to Perri and casts a spell, putting a hand on her shoulder.
Perri Elastime: Thank you, Rael.
High King Ran: I will meet you in the bailey in half an hour.
Perri Elastime takes a tentative deep breath and finds the pain has receded.
Fennimore: You have any more where that came from? If they're going to dance, I'd like to watch.
Perri Elastime: Yea!
High King Ran retrieves a small bottle from his robes and hands it to Fennimore.
Fennimore takes the bottle, tentatively.
High King Ran: I do not want to drain Rael too much.
Perri Elastime: I think we should buy some potions with our reward.
Fennimore: Bottoms up.
Rael Octavius: Not a bad idea.
Fennimore: Uncorks the potion and sniffs it.
Perri Elastime: Do you know where we can buy some?
Fennimore drinks the potion.
Perri Elastime moves and stretches.
Perri Elastime: That is much better.
Fennimore gets up gingerly and experiences not a twinge of pain.
High King Ran departs.
Perri Elastime experimentally jumps.
Fennimore: Oh well, I guess I can't spend all day lounging in bed and being catered to by the King's help.
Rael Octavius gives Fennimore a sidelong glance.
Perri Elastime: I haven't felt that injured in ages.
Perri Elastime: I don't think I will have any new scars.
Fennimore: Now, don't go reinjuring yourself before you start your classwork.
Perri Elastime: How much trouble could we get into here in the castle?
Fennimore: Quite a bit.
Rael Octavius: Depends on what you do.
Perri Elastime: Hopefully, no one will attack us here.
Fennimore: Hopefully.
Rael Octavius: Not physically, most likely.
Rael Octavius: Psychologically, socially, maybe.
Fennimore: Rael, you're not helping me feel better about this.
Rael Octavius: Just stay out of court and you will be fine.
Perri Elastime: An uppercut to the jaw usually takes the wind out of the gasbags sails.
Fennimore: I prefer to avoid their attention entirely.
Rael Octavius: Physical violence gets you removed to a jail cell.
Rael Octavius: Fennimore has the idea.
Rael Octavius: I would like to watch. May I?
Perri Elastime: Can we go to the bailey?
Rael Octavius: By all means.
Perri Elastime: I'll try to remember not to pop the gasbags.
Rael Octavius smiles and leads the way to the bailey.
Rael Octavius: This way.
Perri Elastime: What do we do about the chest?
Rael Octavius: You can retrieve it later. It is safe here for now.
Perri Elastime: Good, I wouldn't want him to think that I would punch his courtiers.
Perri Elastime: You can watch the lesson if you want, Rael, if that is what you were asking.
Rael Octavius: Oh, thank you.
The trio, led by Rael, make their way out of the keep and through a portcullis into the outer bailey. As Perri arrives, along with Fennimore and Rael, several guards are stationed around the bailey.
Rael Octavius: Security for the King. This is good.
The guards invite the visitors to ascend the stairs to view from the wall.
Perri Elastime looks around.
Fennimore: Should be a good view from up here.
Fennimore: I never get to see anything from above.
The double-doors on the main outbuilding swing open and the King flanked by two guards enter the bailey.
High King Ran sports a suit of his own studded leather and a rapier hangs at his side.
Perri Elastime tries to relax.
High King Ran [Elvish]: Greetings, my student of The Bladesong.
Fennimore (whispering to Rael Octavius): What did he say?
Rael Octavius (whispering to Fennimore): Greetings, my student of The Blade Song.
Perri Elastime [Elvish]: I await to learn, my Bladesong Mentor.
Rael Octavius (whispering): They'll speak in Elvish as is tradition.
Fennimore: Don't feel like you have to translate the whole session for me. I'll just watch.
High King Ran slowly draws his rapier and brings it up to his face, point up.
High King Ran [Elvish]: Repeat and mirror me, my student.
Perri Elastime slowly draws her rapier and mirrors the King.
High King Ran lightly steps in a circle to his right and slashes with his blade twice.
Perri Elastime circles right and slashes with her blade twice.
High King Ran thrusts at Perri, but not to pierce.
Fennimore is enthralled at first, but his attention starts to wander.
Perri Elastime can't help but bend a bit to avoid the blade. She thrusts in return at the King with her blade.
High King Ran smiles.
High King Ran [Elvish]: Again to the left.
High King Ran repeats the steps to the left.
Fennimore counts the number of guards atop the wall, gauging strengths and weaknesses, watching to see who is watching the session below and who is paying attention to the outer wall.
Perri Elastime circles left and repeats.
High King Ran [Elvish]: Again, right then left, matching me.
Perri Elastime does her best to follow his directions.
High King Ran [Elvish]: Good.
Perri Elastime smiles.
Fennimore brings his attention back to the mock duel below him.
They repeat this pattern twice more and then move on to a more complicated pattern, repeating it until Perri is comfortable. It does not take as long as she might expect.
High King Ran [Elvish]: It should start feeling natural.
Perri Elastime relaxes into the training, allowing her body to move with the rhythms of the pattern.
Perri Elastime [Elvish]: It is becoming easier.
Fennimore (whispering to Rael Octavius): Looks like Miss Perri is handling herself well.
Rael Octavius (whispering to Fennimore): Indeed.
High King Ran leads Perri through a half dozen patterns over the next hour, crossing blades and dancing faster and faster. By the end, their blades are unmistakable singing as they whirl around the yard.
Perri Elastime laughs breathlessly as their blades begin to sing.
Fennimore (whispering to Rael Octavius): Those Knives will be surprised the next time they cross paths with her.
Rael Octavius (whispering to Fennimore): Definitely.
The lesson continues on for another half hour before they bow to each other and sheath their rapiers.
High King Ran [Elvish]: Most impressive, my pupil. It has been an honor.
Perri Elastime [Elvish]: It is my honor to learn from you, my Mentor.
High King Ran: It took me three lessons before my blade managed to sing. This was a special treat.
The strange feeling of being watched overcomes Perri and Fennimore again.
Fennimore, with his eye for detail, checks the bailey for hidden creatures.
High King Ran: There will be some contact as we progress, but not the first lesson or even the second, most likely.
Perri Elastime (whispering to King Ran): Someone takes an unusual interest.
Fennimore: Forget-me-not? Is that you?
Perri Elastime rubs the back of her neck while looking around.
High King Ran moves his eyes about, scanning, but not showing any other sign of awareness.
High King Ran makes eye contact with one of his guards and scowls.
Perri Elastime grins up at her friends.
Fennimore (whispering to Rael Octavius): It feels like we are being watched. Do you sense that?
Fennimore waves at Perri.
Rael Octavius (whispering to Fennimore): Sense what?
The guards all suddenly spring into action and move to surround the King.
Perri Elastime tries to feel where the gaze is coming from.
Fennimore: Um, that?
Fennimore points to the guards.
The guards have the King back up and exit the bailey through the double doors. A couple of other guards direct Perri and the others toward the portcullis where they entered earlier.
Fennimore: Looks like the castle is on lockdown.
Fennimore: I wonder what raised the alarm?
Perri Elastime: I got that prickly, hunted feeling again.
Fennimore: Me too.
Fennimore: Rael? You didn't feel anything?
Rael Octavius: No, but something is going on.
Fennimore: Perri and I felt the same thing shortly before we were attacked this morning.
Perri Elastime: Well, at least I'm all warmed up.
Fennimore: And healed up too.
Perri Elastime: Yes, that too.
Rael Octavius: We should be moving out of here.
Fennimore: Lead the way. We're right behind you.
Rael Octavius moves towards the portcullis, head on a swivel.
Perri Elastime looks for danger.
Fennimore: Where's that damned bard when you need him. We need someone to draw fire.
There are no enemies visible in the area but you do start hearing the whizzing of arrows overhead.
Perri Elastime: Let's stick close together this time.
Perri Elastime draws her rapier.
Perri moves toward portcullis and sees a tiny, indistinct creature round the corner.
Perri Elastime: What is that?
Perri Elastime points with her rapier.
Perri's blade begins to sing as it was during the training.
Fennimore moves close to Perri to get a glimpse of what she saw.
Fennimore sees the same indistinct creature.
Fennimore dashes ahead to close with the strange creature.
Fennimore sees three of these creatures who begin to dart towards him.
Fennimore: Ah, there's 3 of them!
Perri Elastime: Hey, I thought we were sticking together.
Fennimore: Well get your slow, singing rapier up here.
Perri Elastime: Alright, you rotund maniac.
Now that one is right up on Perri after it quickly dropped Fennimore to the ground, she can see they are quicklings...of the Winter Court.
Perri Elastime: Ah, damn. Winter Court quicklings.
The first one that was seen moves forward and throws a dagger at Perri, but if flies astray.
Rael Octavius fires a guiding bolt at the nearest quickling, but it misses.
Rael Octavius moves up behind Perri as the double-doors burst open.
High King Ran [Sylvan]: Back to the Feywild with you!
High King Ran bursts through the doors and launches a flurry of magic missiles at two of the quicklings, dropping the one in front of Perri. He then charges up to the one nearest Fennimore to engage it, blade singing as he approaches.
The last quickly charges up to the King, stabbing at it three times and hitting once.
Perri follows the King's lead and casts her own magic missiles, one at the injured quickly, hoping it is enough to stop it, and two at the remaining on. The one missile proves to be enough, so there is one quickling remaining.
Perri Elastime moves between the remaining quickling and Fennimore.
Rael Octavius rushes forward to help Fennimore.
Rael Octavius lays his hands upon the halfling and heals him.
Fennimore: Oh, that hurt. Thanks, Rael. I think I'm going back to bed now.
High King Ran skewers the last quickly with his rapier.
Perri Elastime: We gotta stop finding trouble like this, Fenn.
High King Ran: I should have known Mab would be this way about it.
Rael Octavius: Can you walk, Fennimore?
Fennimore: I think so.
Fennimore stands up.
High King Ran: Back to the infirmary with you then.
Perri Elastime: Mab's an icy bitch.
Fennimore: That sounds like a great idea, Your Highness.
High King Ran nods and smiles wanly.
Perri Elastime: I'll help you, Fennimore.
Fennimore: Um? Who's Mab?
Rael Octavius shrugs.
Perri Elastime: The Queen of the Winter Court.
High King Ran: Yes, not a very nice one either.
Fennimore: And she's upset that you're from The Summer Court and being trained by the High King?
Perri Elastime: Someday I'll show my scars from my time there.
Fennimore: Feels his wounds. I think I got a couple today too.
High King Ran: Come this way.
High King Ran leads you through the double doors.
Perri Elastime: Here, lean on me.
Fennimore leans heavily on Perri to try to keep pace with the King.
High King Ran: I am sure there are more of those infernal critters lurking around. They showed up all around the castle.
Perri Elastime: They like to hurt people.
Perri Elastime: Inside too?
High King Ran personally escorts the trio back to the infirmary.
High King Ran: They could not enter the palace but they appeared throughout the rest of the castle.
Perri Elastime: Hopefully that drained the Winter Lady's magic for a while.
As you enter the infirmary, you find that there are several beds already occupied by wounded guards.
Fennimore finds his bed and crawls back in.
Fennimore: I think I'll stay here for a while.
High King Ran: I lost many, but they were no match for my High Lords. I am sorry that I left you out there, but my guards were doing their jobs.
Perri Elastime: Fenn, you just rest.
High King Ran: Please do stay, and thank you for defending my pupil.
Perri Elastime (to King Ran): I'm sorry I brought trouble with me.
High King Ran: It is troublesome but not unexpected. I will put up some more defenses against the Fey. I will need to devise a way to vail you so they cannot keep targeting you.
High King Ran: At least until you have grown stronger.
Rael Octavius: I would be more than willing to assist.
High King Ran: I would appreciate it, Master Octavius. Keep some protections around them both if you can.
Perri Elastime: Do you think she sent that murderer after me too?
Perri Elastime: I guess you are stuck with us, Rael.
Rael Octavius: Stuck? No. It is an honor.
Fennimore groans quietly.
Rael Octavius pats Fennimore and releases more healing energy into him.
Rael Octavius: That should help you sleep more comfortably.
Fennimore: You'd best save that in case any of those things are still lurking about.
Fennimore: Thanks, Rael
Perri Elastime: We have to get better at working together.
Fennimore: Wake me for dinner and supper, and maybe midnight snack too.
Rael Octavius laughs.
Rael Octavius: Can not have you miss a meal, especially when you are healing.
Perri Elastime: Of course. You might waste away to nothing.
Fennimore: We can't have that happen. Mother would be so worried.
Fennimore: Besides, eating is the best way to heal up.
Perri Elastime: And recharge. I feel quite drained.
High King Ran: I will leave you to it. I have things to attend to as you can imagine.
High King Ran departs the infirmary.
Fennimore: Looks like the healers have a few cots open. I think they can make room for you too, Perri.
Perri Elastime: I'm just tired. A nap before tea would be good.
Rael Octavius: I am drained. I think I will take a chair here and rest for a bit.
Perri Elastime climbs into one of the empty cots close by. I'll watch over you. You sleep, Fennimore.
Fennimore drifts off to sleep.
Perri Elastime rests but stays aware to fend off danger and make sure all meals are accounted for.