posted Sep 17, 2020, 7:40 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Sep 18, 2020, 5:32 PM ]

Decitina 1st, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

Back at court several days after helping Fennimore check on his Mum, Rael is beckoned to the halls beyond the throne by The Lord High Inquisitor.
Rael Octavius bows to Lord Grembar.
Rael Octavius: I am afraid I have been summoned away on urgent business by one of the High Lords, Lord Grembar. I would love to continue this conversation sometime soon.
Lord Grembar: Oh, really, my boy? Must not keep a High Lord waiting. I look forward to more discussion on the matter of City Watch coverage of the Heights. Off you go.
Lord Grembar bows.
Rael Octavius takes his leave and makes his way up the left side of the dias and exits the audience hall through the door hidden by curtains to the left of the thrones.
Entering the darkened hallway, a shadow shifts a few feet from Rael, and the face of The Lord High Inquisitor becomes visible.
Lord Grembar: Thank you for joining me, Master Octavius.
Rael Octavius: The pleasure is all mine, Lord High Inquisitor. How can I be of service?
Lord Grembar: High King Ran has a mission for you. Something your mother, Dae'Kliesys, would normally handle, but as she is already occupied, he thought you, given your ancestry, may be a fair proxy.
Rael Octavius: Of course. I am at The High King's beck and call.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort smiles.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort: Very good. The mission is this: You are to travel to South Town and take the East Road out of town to a hillock covered with lillies. It will be just north of the road. There you will meet with the brass dragon, Shorixlisys, and collect the information he has gathered about the area and return to brief The High King regarding this information.
Rael Octavius: Interesting. My friends have been wanting to have an adventure outside of "The City" for some time now.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort: What friends would you be referring to? The Iris or Fennimore and Perri?
Rael Octavius: Fennimore and Perri, of course, my Lord.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort frowns.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort: I am afraid I cannot spare your halfling friend at this time and Perri needs to keep training with the King. He believes she is entering a crucial phase of her training and His Majesty does not want to have her interrupted just now.
Rael Octavius knows Mosifort is not being entirely truthful in either situation.
Rael Octavius tries to hide his disbelief of the reasoning for his friends not participating in this mission.
Rael Octavius: A shame, my Lord.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort smirks, knowing Rael does not believe a word he just said.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort: And there is the famous Octavius family lie detection at work. The High King chooses his allies wisely.
Rael Octavius: Yes, my Lord. You operate in mysterious ways, which is your gift to The High King. You have your reasons, so I will make my way to South Town alone.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort: Alone? Not at all. Alasatar Segasi will be traveling with you as your personal escort. We cannot have our valued operatives endangering themselves. Always, always have a partner or some means of back up at your disposal, my boy.
Rael Octavius: Alasatar Segasi? Is he a member of the Castle Guards? The name sounds familiar.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort: That he is. He is on the fast track to Lieutenant and needs some experience beyond the castle walls. Stay close to him and you will aid each other.
Rael Octavius: Very well, my Lord. Arrangements are already in the works, I take it?
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort: They are. He will meet you here at the outer gate immediately. Gather what you need. A carriage will take you to the docks where you will board The Meskiline, one of the King's fleet, and sail to South Town. I do not know the reason for the urgency. The King was called away before he had a chance to explain it to me. Maybe the Dragonslayers are on to our informant.
Rael Octavius: Yes, my Lord. I will be ready shortly.
Rael Octavius bows.
Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort returns the bow.
Rael heads to his father's office where he has been filling in during his parent's journey and collects the gear he usually does not need rely on as he has not been out of the city himself in years and heads to the outer gate. There a tall, muscular, heavily armored fellow watches him approach.
Rael Octavius approaches the warrior.
Rael Octavius: Alasatar Segasi, I presume?
Alasatar Segasi: This is correct. Rael Octavius?
Rael Octavius: At your service.
Alasatar Segasi: As am I, at yours, sir.
Rael Octavius: Call me Rael. The formalities are for court.
Alasatar Segasi: Very well. Most call me Al, unless I am being a jerk. Then they call me Assy.
Rael Octavius smiles.
Rael Octavius: Let us keep it Al. You cannot possibly be as much of a jerk as most of the folk I deal with in court.
Alasatar Segasi unsuccessfuly tries to suppress a smile.
Alasatar Segasi: Shall we, Rael? The carriage is just around the way.
Rael Octavius: Lead the way.
The pair get their gear loaded into the carriage and take their seats. The carriage then pulls away from the castle gates.
Rael Octavius: So, I understand you working your way to lieutenant, Al.
Alasatar Segasi: The goal is beyond that, but yes, one step at a time.
Alasatar Segasi: You are the son of the Herald and your mother is the half-dragon, Dae'Kliesys?
Rael Octavius: Correct.
Alasatar Segasi: This makes you a good fit for this mission then, being part dragon yourself.
Rael Octavius: This is true. My mother usually takes care of this contact, but she has been in Tesalurk with my father for the last several weeks.
Alasatar Segasi cringes.
Alasatar Segasi: That must be interesting with Tesalurk being the headquarters of The Dragonslayers. I suppose King Tesaylidal needs to be diplomatic as he swore fealty to High King Ran and is marrying his daughter.
Rael Octavius: Most definitely. The trip down there is kind of a feeling out of the environment to see if it is the right thing to do.
Alasatar Segasi: Well then, King Tesaylidal is sure to be on his best behavior.
Rael Octavius smiles.
The carriage arrives at the port in short order. Their gear is transfered over to The Meskiline while they board her. Within a half an hour, they are sailing down The Great Northern River towards South Town.
Rael Octavius: I understand you are new to adventures outside the castle.
Alasatar Segasi: Yes, sir. I have had plenty of combat training and the bordom of guard duty. I did get involved with the quickling incident, but did not actually engage any of them. I am hoping for some guidance from you. Your experience with The Iris will be very valuable.
Rael Octavius chuckles.
Rael Octavius: The Iris is still a bit disfunctional as a group, but they did give me some decent experience. We just need to stay close and work together and we will be fine. You swing that sword and I will sling my spells if necessary.
Alasatar Segasi smiles as he pats the pommel of his sword.
Alasatar Segasi: And we both stay behind my shield.
Rael Octavius nods.
The trip down the river takes most of the day due to a large amount of traffic between "The City" and South Town. Once the ship docks in South Town, the pair collects there things and heads to the nearest inn where they rest before heading out of town on The East Road.
The next day, the pair gear up and head east out of South Town on The East Road. They walk for several miles before Rael notices a disturbance at the side of the road and sees that there is a low hill off in the distance to the north covered with lillies.
Rael Octavius (pointing at the hill): That must be the location of Shorixlisys' lair. It looks like a group of people trod through here recently.
Alasatar Segasi: We better hurry. Hopefully, this group is not a threat.
Rael Octavius: Hopefully.
The pair follow the trail blazed by their predecessors who clearly made no effort to tread lightly in this wilderness. Their hopes are quickly dashed when the arrive at the mouth of a cave with a huge brass dragon lying to the right of the opening, unconscious.
Rael Octavius: Dragonslayers?
Alasatar Segasi: Seems to be.
Rael Octavius moves up toward the fallen dragon.
Alasatar Segasi follows.
Rael Octavius checks for signs of life in the dragon.
There seems to be no signs of life, but before Rael can check further, shouts eminate from the mouth of the cave.
An Unknown Voice: That was just brilliant! Let's get you out of here. The rest are lost.
Moments later an armored warrior dragging a cloaked figure in leather armor exits the cave.
Dragonslayer looks up to see Rael and Alasatar standing by the dragon.
Dragonslayer: Oh, no you don't. That's ours.
Dragonslayer drops the person he is dragging, hefts a greataxe and charges the pair.
Dragonslayer misses with the first swing of the axe, but nearly knocks Alasatar off his feet with follow-up blow.
Alasatar Segasi wastes no time and returns the attack.
Alasatar Segasi: The attack misses, so he gathers his second wind.
Rael Octavius realizes this opponent is a dragonslayer and decides to test his metal by breathing his own fire.
Rael Octavius expels a gout of fire that the dragonslayer manages to mostly dodge before moving behind Alasatar.
Dragonslayer continues to attack Alasatar, but smirks at Rael after he unleashes his breath weapon.
Dragonslayer again misses with the first axe swing, but lands a devastating overhand blow to Alasatar that sends him sprawling to the ground, unconscious.
Rael Octavius reaches down quickly and sends healing energy into Alasatar before unleashing another gout of fiery breath before retreating.
This blast is far more volumous, but the dragonslayer still manages to duck much of it.
Dragonslayer charges after the fire-breather, ignoring the fallen warrior.
Alasatar Segasi thrusts at the dragonslayer as he rushes by.
Dragonslayer avoids the thrust and continues after Rael.
Dragonslayer swings at Rael for a certain hit, but a shield materializes, blocking the strike.
The second swing completely misses.
Alasatar Segasi gets to his feet using his sword to assist. Leaving it in the ground, he readies his bow, aims and fires an arrow at the dragonslayer.
The arrow stikes the dragonslayer in the back of the neck, sliding between the coif and the shirt. Blood sprays from the exit wound as the arrowhead protudes from his jaw.
Alasatar Segasi grabs his sword and begins to close with the dragonslayer.
Rael Octavius produces another gout of flame followed by more fire projected from his outstretched hands.
Both cones of fire strike the dragonslayer point blank, engulfing him in flames.
Dragonslayer howls in agony as he presses his attack against Rael.
Another two desparate swings are deflected by Rael's shield.
Alasatar Segasi takes advantage of the flanking opportunity by charging up and bring an overhand swing of his sword down on the dragonslayer's head.
Rael Octavius maneuvers around the dragonslayer to be next to Alasatar and unleashes another double blast of fire.
The dragonslayer falls burning to the ground.
Alasatar Segasi leaves nothing to chance and performs coup d'grace on the dragonslayer.
Rael Octavius rushes back to the dragon to attempt to spare it from dying.
Rael Octavius: Please be alive, Shorixlisys!
Shorixlisys stirs but remains unconscious.
Alasatar Segasi limps after Rael.
Alasatar Segasi: Is he going to make it?
Rael Octavius: I believe so. I think I got to him just in time.
Alasatar Segasi: Should we wake him?
Rael Octavius: I think he may be violent when he does. I can heal him from a distance where we can duck out of sight.
Rael Octavius moves to the other side of the cave mouth, around the hill a bit.
Alasatar Segasi follows and stands further around the hill.
Rael Octavius expends some of his font of magic and casts a healing spell from a distance on the dragon.
Rael Octavius backs away out of sight.
Shorixlisys opens his eyes and raises his head, looking around frantically.
Shorixlisys gets to his feet and extends his wings threateningly, surveying the bodies lying at the cave mouth and several yards away to the south.
Shorixlisys moves toward the dragonslayer slain by Alasatar for a closer look.
Convinced there are no other threats, Shorixlisys retreats into his cave unaware of Rael and Alasatar's presence.
Rael Octavius: Once the noises from the cave calm down, Rael uses his magic to clean off the blood from the dragonslayer's throat shot.
Alasatar Segasi: What now?
Rael Octavius: I think we should camp back near the road and let Shorixlisys heal a bit. We can also prevent anyone else from using that trail.
Alasatar Segasi: Sounds like a plan. We can come back tomorrow when we all feel better.
The pair quietly retreat back to the road and sets up camp. Rael tends to Alasatar's wounds and they converse, eat and sleep until well into the next day.
Rael Octavius: It has been all quiet, so far. We should make our way back to the cave mouth. We can use that rock outcropping as cover while I try to get Shorixlisys' attention.
Alasatar Segasi: I doubt he will be very amiable. I hope you are a very convincing negotiator.
Rael Octavius: This will definitely put my skills to the test.
Rael Octavius and Alasatar approach the hill of lillies again, stopping behind the rock outcropping.
Rael Octavius: Stay down, Al. I will try and get him to talk. You may need to help me retreat if necessary. I'll form a bond between us, so we can better assist each other just in case.
Rael Octavius says a prayer to Lehnbor and lays his hands on Alasatar's shoulders.
Rael Octavius: OK?
Alasatar Segasi: Have at it.
Rael Octavius [Draconic]: Lord Shorixlisys. A representative of High King Ran wishes to parley.
The faintest of rumblings can be heard from within the cave.
Rael Octavius [Draconic]: Lord Shorixlysis? May I please have a word?
Shorixlisys [Draconic] (from deep within the cave): It is too dangerous.
Rael Octavius [Draconic]: The danger has been eliminated. High King Ran seeks your knowledge.
Shorixlisys [Draconic]: Be off! Too many have passed between "The City" and Tesalurk.
Rael Octavius [Draconic]: Too many of who?
Shorixlisys [Draconic]: Be off!
Shorixlisys roars from within his cave.
Rael Octavius: OK. We will need to try another day, Al.
Alasatar Segasi nods.
Rael Octavius and Alasatar Segasi trek back to South Town and stay there for a couple of days before returning to the cave.
Rael Octavius [Draconic]: Lord Shorixlisys, it is Rael Octavius, son of Dae'Kliesys, requesting your presence for a conversation.
Shorixlisys [Draconic]: You have returned. I recognize your voice, Rael Octavius, son of Dae'Kliesys.
Rael Octavius [Draconic]: Are your wounds healing, my Lord? I am a healer and can speed your recovery if you would join us on the lawn.
Rumbling can be heard within the cave shortly before Shorixlisys emerges.
Rael Octavius rounds the outcropping, coming out into the open.
Shorixlisys [Draconic]: I could do with a bit of mending. We can talk while you work.
Rael Octavius [Draconic]: Very good, my Lord.
Rael Octavius approaches the dragon.
Rael begins healing Shorixlisys' remaining injuries, introducing Alasatar, as well. He explains how they found him moments from death and brought him back after defeating the one surviving dragonslayer. Shorixlisys imparts his latest observation of the area, especially the heightened presence of The Dragonslayers, though there are half a dozen fewer now. With the information in mind and farewells made, the pair head back to South Town to board the yacht back to "The City."