Jump to content

Steven Page

Legends of Taltos:Crusaders

Recommended Posts

Rai dresses in the robes and seems to wear them as she is quite used to the feel of fine material on her skin.

 

Once back in the common room, she gives Ben a quick shy smile just before being addressed by Khowloon.

 

"You can inform them that Lady Rai and Master dwarf Rune will accompany Sir Erik this evening."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Khowloon bows in response to Lady Rai, signals the bearers to load any superfluous belongings in the basket, and lead the way to the Legation. Joe follows, axe over shoulder. The others follow either the bearers, or Khowloon, based on their destination.

 

At the Legation, Joe, Janara, Bhogmur ,Ben, Mal and Aridwyn find Freen doing a series of tricks with a deck of cards for the entertainment of Jasmine. She giggles like a child as he palms a card with his left hand and makes it appear from his right. Pitchers of fruit juices and water are on a table, and bread is in a basket. The room is comfortable, with couches and pillows spread throughout the area. Joe's atention is immediately drawn to a table, set with a board and carved ivory and jade figurines. He stares at it like it is the greatest thing he has ever seen......

 

Khowloon leads the delegation to the dinner, entering the palace by the main entrance. The same wonders that had greeted Erik, now manifest themselves to Rai and Rune. a captain opens the double doors to the dining hall, and the party is announced, in the Reptus tongue, and their own. The room seats over 500 beings. Hundreds of servants move with purpose. And at the head of the table, on a throne of jade, sits the Great Tyrant of the Reptus, Khong-to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Janara immediately rushes over to the game table that has grabbed Joe's attention. "It's Catch-The-King! Ol' Mother Superior Constance taught me it when I was really liddle. Wanna play?"

 

Joe mutters an "Uh-huh." and so Janara begins setting the pieces up for a game. Bhogmur is already entertaining himself by clicking two of the pieces together and giggling. One piece is a jade king that looks like a reptus, and the other a white common piece carved wearing a helmet. She cannot tell whether it is meant to be an Overlord or a Crusader knight.

 

"You be the green king..", Janara tells Joe as she arranges the white pawns around the outside edge of the board. "Bhoggy, you get'ta be the rest of the liddle green ones an' you gotta keep me from catchin' the king..arright?"

 

Janara continues arranging the board, placing the green king in the center square and forming a square two ranks deep with the smaller green pawns. Janara realizes that the room is quite warm.

 

"Joe, you gotta try an' get your king offa the side of the board b'fore I can jump over him....oh..an' all the pieces can jump over their own colour... like this.". Janara demonstrates by lining up three white pawns with an empty space in betwen each of them and then bounding a fourth pawn over each of them one at a time. "If I jump a green'un, it gets took outta the game...or if green jumps a white...oh..an' green ones only move on green squares an' white only can move on the white squares.... got it?"

 

Janara concludes from Joe's chin-scratching that he is confused, though Bhogmur seems to be eager to start the game. Again the boy is humming "The LadyRai Song".

 

While bread and juice are still in abundance, Janara goes to get enough for the three of them. When she returns, she finds that Bhogmur has arranged his green pieces into a line and Joe has already bounded his king off the board edge.

 

"But you can't do that. This is a I-go-you-go game. You gotta.." Janara throws her hands up in the air theatrically and groans loudly. "I forgot! It's Windsday! We gotta play Windsday-rules!"

 

Quickly she resets the board, making up the rules as she does so.

 

"On Windsdays the white ones can move on any squares they wanna.. ..an' the green ones hafta wait 'til the white ones move three or four b'fore they get'ta move...an' only the green king can jump... got it?"

 

Joe and Bhoggy both nod, at which time Bhoggy takes several turns moving the white pieces around with little regard for rule or reason as he hums his little song, then Joe takes his turn and illegally bounds the green king off the board edge a second time.

 

"Winner has'ta play whoever the loser picks next... an' I choooose.... that Marcus Freen."

 

Satisfied with her own mischief, Janara takes her slice of bread and finds a nearby couch to curl up on and see what happens next. She wishes she had her pack with her so she could write in her journal while she was still able to remember most of all that had happened this day. It dawns on her that she could ask Ernesto for loan of his pen and a page from his journal, but she is not sure where Ernesto is. She does not recall seeing him accompany Rai, Rune and Erik to the dinner with the Reptus king.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The longer she thinks about it, the more Janara worries about Zeke and Ernesto.

 

"Anybody wanna come with me an' find Ernesto?", she asks, looking around the room for a volunteer or maybe two. "I don't wanna go all by myself after all what happened this afternoon."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the way to the palace, Rune dons his armor and weapons, even his battered helmet. He is unsure of Reptus customs, but is no stranger to meeting royalty, and in the Dwarven kingdom, full battle dress is proper when having an audience with the king.

 

The palace itself is a marvel to the dwarf. The stonework is indeed grand, not Dwarven, of course, but beautiful nonetheless. The hugeness of the dining hall is also impressive, and the number of beings inside causes a bit of alarm. He whispers to Rai, "How will we be able to speak to the king with so many present? Surely they too have business with him."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Anybody wanna come with me an' find Ernesto?", she asks, looking around the room for a volunteer or maybe two. "I don't wanna go all by myself after all what happened this afternoon."

 

Aridwyn shrugs and stands. "I'm game. Let's try not to miss dinner, though."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I never miss a dinner if I don't hafta.", Janara assures Aridwyn as they start wandering the corridors of the legation. "I wanna write in my journal but it's in th' wagon. I was thinkin' Ernesto migh let me borry a page of paper from his book, or maybe Zeke would show us where they took the animals an' wagon to."

 

Once away from the others, Janara turns the topic of conversation to girl-talk, something she generally had little use for but suddenly finds herself needing counsel.

 

"I don't know what's s'pposed to happen next about Joe.", she whispers to her friend. "He arready gave me presents, an' he still has that ol' blue sash from my dress...but now what do we do? I don't wanna be unproper, but ... but..."

 

She looked left and then right, fearing that Ernesto or Zeke might be around the next corner.

 

"I wanna ask him if he'll marry me...jus' like Yvette did. If I keep on waitin' on Joe to ask, I'll be as old as you before... er.. I mean, I'll be awful old... not that you're old.. but you'd be old if you was a hafforc."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Khowloon leads the delegation to the dinner, entering the palace by the main entrance. The same wonders that had greeted Erik, now manifest themselves to Rai and Rune. a captain opens the double doors to the dining hall, and the party is announced, in the Reptus tongue, and their own. The room seats over 500 beings. Hundreds of servants move with purpose. And at the head of the table, on a throne of jade, sits the Great Tyrant of the Reptus, Khong-to.

As his name is announced, Erik bows as formally as he can. After the others have been announced, Erik looks around for their place. Seeing several places, but unsure where to go, he turns to Khow-loon.

"Where do we go? There's so many places. And what is the proper etiquette?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before Khowloon can answer, the Tyrant rises from his seat and gestures the party forward. Seats are available, two on each side at the head of the table....

 

***

 

Janara and Aridwyn have hardly left the room, and the turmoil of Freen attamting to play Joe and Bhogmur, when the hear excited muttering from a small room. Peeking in, they see Ernesto running his hands over a shelf full of scrolls, books and maps. Janara had never seen so many in one place. Not even at the convent. He kept reading off titles:"Scroll of Darius", "Lives of the Lairds of Galen", "The War Against Khargir", and many others. He handle them with reverence, and seemed at first to take no notice of them, finally turning with a huge smile. "Young lady, if you want to be a true writer, you nmust read some of these....they are not just history, but fine literature, as well."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Janara's eyes almost pop out of her head when she follows the familiar yammering voice of Ernesto into the room full of books.

 

"It looks like ev'ry book that's ever been writ is in here!", she says to Aridwyn excitedly. She darts to Ernesto's side and starts reading titles from the shelf.

 

'A History of the Ruling Houses of Rack--Ra--Racheau?", she reads, eventually working through the more unfamiliar words. "On The Evil Rites of Karrr--Khardullis", she says, shoving the book aside in disgust. "Oooh...Customs of the Dwarves of Thargall!" Janara carefully sets the large book aside to show to Rune if he should happen to find this room. "Rocks and M-M-Minerals of Taltos.... The Life of Yongha Khan......Songs and Lore of Ti--Tiri---Tithi---Thi---Tirilith---Tithirillia?". She hands the beautifully bound book with silver lettering on the cover over to Aridwyn, suspecting it's to do with elves.

 

She finally settles on two books to read for herself. One is entitled The Clan Rowan, Lineage and History and the other Complete Study of the Reven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Before Khowloon can answer, the Tyrant rises from his seat and gestures the party forward. Seats are available, two on each side at the head of the table....

Erik bows again and makes his way to the seats indicated by the Tyrant. As he approaches the seat, he looks around to make sure his companions are following. He waits fro Rai and Rune before seating himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ben awakes with a start, not realizing that he had dozed off in the chair that he had sat down in for a brief rest. He must have been more sleepy than he though. Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs, he looks around for something edible to munch on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"I don't know what's s'pposed to happen next about Joe.", she whispers to her friend. "He arready gave me presents, an' he still has that ol' blue sash from my dress...but now what do we do? I don't wanna be unproper, but ... but..."

 

Aridwyn listens eagerly. She had had a feeling this conversation was coming.

 

"I wanna ask him if he'll marry me...jus' like Yvette did. If I keep on waitin' on Joe to ask, I'll be as old as you before... er.. I mean, I'll be awful old... not that you're old.. but you'd be old if you was a hafforc."

 

Aridwyn's eyebrows shoot up, but she tries to hide her surprise. She had known of Janara's feelings for Joe for some time, but had not realized Janara was thinking this seriously yet.

 

She furrows her brow in thought, searching for the right words. "Hmmm... the thing is, Malachias is a soldier. He's used to taking orders... not that Yvette gave him an order, exactly... at least, I don't think so..." She sighs and abandons that line of thought before Malachias can wander in upon them. "Joe, it seems like he's used to doing his own thing, even with the Crusaders. I'm not sure how he'd react... not that I think he would react badly, but, you know, sometimes men like to think those things are their idea." Aridwyn pauses for a second, reflecting on the supreme irony of advising Janara on matters of the heart. Janara, if you knew how badly I mucked up my one and only romance, you'd not be asking me for advice. "Remember, I've not known Joe for very long. Perhaps someone who's known him longer could advise you better. But what I think is, we still have a long journey to the dwarven lands, and you and Joe will have much more time together. Wait for now. Oh, I don't mean don't talk to him or flirt with him... do those things, definitely... but give him a chance to ask for your hand himself. If by the end of our journey he hasn't come to his senses, well, Sir Erik can be counted on to defend a lady's honor." She giggles at her own joke, however ill-advised.

 

Janara and Aridwyn have hardly left the room, and the turmoil of Freen attamting to play Joe and Bhogmur, when the hear excited muttering from a small room. Peeking in, they see Ernesto running his hands over a shelf full of scrolls, books and maps.

 

Aridwyn gazes in wonder at the room, which rivals the finest elven libraries.

 

Songs and Lore of Ti--Tiri---Tithi---Thi---Tirilith---Tithirillia?". She hands the beautifully bound book with silver lettering on the cover over to Aridwyn, suspecting it's to do with elves.

 

Aridwyn decides not to bother with correcting Janara's pronounciation right now, especially seeing as Janara is already rushing on to other books. She begins to leaf through the book, turning the pages with care so as not to damage them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rune does not take a seat as is expected of him. Instead, he walks up to the Tyrant and bows low. "Your majesty, Rune Dannek at your service. May your scales ever sparkle." There, that seems like a proper greeting for a lizard-king.

 

He takes his seat, then, on the other side of the table from Erik, leaving the chair closest to Khong-To for rai.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rai seems to be mesmerized by her surroundings and does not hear Rune speak. As she enters, she makes her bows, the act seemingly to come naturally as if she is accustomed to such, and takes her place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×