Tamor Bellfiend, Percival Grey, Roland Grey, and Dulinhel Elenren
Ship of Captain Richard Crewe
The days and nights flashed by Tamor, she had awakened in a slightly groggy state alone. Niolas had refused to come beneath the deck, not that she blamed him, as he liked his freedom. Recalling brief moments of consciousness from days past enabled her to fit some of the pieces to her puzzle together. Before the Necromancer's inevitable defeat surprisingly by her own hands Tamor had managed to maneuver her hands into a position where she could snatch the jewel they were after. Unconsciousness seized her but not until after she watched the light glimmer off the surface of the precious shard. One of the other knights must have pried it from her hands as the next time she awoken it was gone, but at least they had retrieved it. Shock was still settling in, their foe, a tough one at that, had fallen at her might. Power had pulsed through her during those last few actions, a power that she hadn't felt before. Almost as if she had tapped into a different side of the same divine source, though Tamor didn't let herself dwell on it too much. The party had come and gone in a flash, The Knights of Ekilore had been chanted more times than she had imagined was possible. Not to mention the individuals that had thanked her and spoke kinds words, words she hadn't heard in quite some time. Yoshuro even had her robes repaired by the best seamstress in Shinguo. Happiness settled in, even though it wouldn't last long Tamor still soaked it in while she could. It hadn't lasted long at all once Yoshuro announced their next destination to his friend, his friend The Burning King. Enjoyment came in sparse moments after that, Raelus was a haunting memory that kept coming back to her like a nightmare. Anything enjoyable about Raelus had died with Eislynn her divine arts mentor. The Bellfiends were a prominent elven family in Raelus due to their military involvement, her grandfather, Tamnor Bellfiend, was very high in the chain of command yet Tamor's caring had stopped her from learning what position he was. While her mother, Anyine Bellfiend the Censmage (second in command), had taken stake in the Mage's Guild that was responsible for fireballs that gave the King his title. More Bellfiends took hold in other places, but Tamor hadn't had a lesson in her family history, either side.
Curiosity brought her to the deck, where she spotted some yet not all of the knights. Percival and Roland were conversing amongst themselves, would it be frowned upon to go up to them? A brown shape dove down from the vast, blue sky and perched itself comfortably on her left shoulder. Approaching individuals was a hard task for Tamor as she never knew what to talk about, and she doubted they wanted her company. She stood there idly lost in thought of the perfect way to begin a conversation with two armored men she should trust with her life in the future.
As Percival turned around to retire for some time, he almost literally bumped into Tamor, the hero of Shinguo. "Oh, hello there! Feeling any better?"
A minor collision snatched her mind from its wandering state and brought her back to reality, Percival Grey stood before her. “M-me?” Tamor stammered and then preceded to look both left and right before she determined he indeed was speaking to her. “I’m-I’m healing at a steady rate now, are-are you okay?”
"We shall be fine," Roland interjected, looking up and down the woman before staring off to the sea. "You should look to your own wounds, if you still have any. I'm not sure how the Rolstenians deal with pain." He said, forming a grin on his face, clearly insulting the woman. The extent of Roland's racism was beyond that for the elves and dwarves, but also for other continents and nations. In fact, he viewed more favorably those from Ethora than anywhere else, but perhaps most particularly in Bludrock. "Ah, but then again, you did quite well against the summoner of the dead."
"Ignore him. Roland tends to be judgmental of others. He considers you a valuable ally nonetheless," Percival said, trying to make up for Roland's lack of manners.
As if the golden hawk could sense the maliciousness behind the insult he puffed out his feathers in an attempt to appear threatening, while Tamor lowered her eyes instead of making eye contact with the other brother. The insult ingrained itself into Tamor, its roots taking hold of her emotions for an instant before she overcame it. “Once we get hom- to Raelus I’m sure The Burning King would be overzealous to show you, Ser Knight.” Tamor replied, and then nodded to Percival. “As I consider you both, and I thank you all for without all our efforts I-I couldn’t have…” Her voice trailed off as the battle memories flashed through her mind.
"Oh, come now, none of that," Roland said, walking up to Tamor, and placing a hand upon her shoulder. "You are a Gods damned Knight of Ekilore. Have some pride for your position and yourself. You shan't survive if you do not develop some sort of amour-propre in your own abilities." He walked passed the woman, staring towards the back of the deck as a few sailors worked. The Captain shouted orders to them as he steered the ship. "Moreover," Roland began again, still gazing over the back of the ship as he addressed her. "I should like to know more about our next destination and its...respectful sovereign. Tell me, what can you tell me about Raelus, and the one who calls himself the Burning King?"
"The 'Burning King' is a pompous bastard who enjoys terrorizing his citizens, purely for the advancement of his nation. His nation being his own coffers of course." the elf woman, Dulinhel, spoke from where she sat unnoticed till now at the bow of the ship. Her whetstone scraped against the blade she held in her hand, the metal flashing as a new edge for the blade was honed. Sighing, she sheathed the blade underneath the cloak of hers, and stood joining the rest of the group. "As ambassadors from Ekilore, he shouldn't cross us. That doesn't mean he wont find some way to profit from our visit, however."
The sudden urge to defend her sovereignty was a feeling almost all Raelussians felt when their King was insulted in such terms especially from an outsider. "My King, my king is just. Our nation prospers, our people too. The citizens of Raelus are tough and with that requires a staunch King, his ways may be... unyielding or may intimidate but leading Raelus takes a Burning King." The meekness in her voice fell away, though Tamor did not met the elven woman's eyes for fear of her own identity falling away. Granted Tamor had only met the Burning King thrice, could she let his honor be questioned? His Majesty didn't take well to criticism that much was well known throughout the land. Auden was surely a better source of information, after all he served the King as a solider she recalled. "Efficiency, safety, and victory is what he has brought to our realm, each King has their own methods but lets not disregard the results."
Roland began to chuckle. "Spoken like a true drone embracing the doctrine of a madman. But I suppose you are free to believe what you wish. Although truth be told, from what you have described, his methods may be unconventional, but he is perhaps an effective ruler." Roland turned now to the elf Dulinhel. "And you? What of your story? I expect to be a bit more familiar with those I shall fight with, especially the ones who had not joined us in Ekilore."
The elf gave a slight smile at the knight. "My history is not particularly important, not to you at least. Most of it is long and boring, nothing you would be interested in. As for not being at Ekilore, the Elven Council and I have...not been on good terms as of late. I heard about your quest, and having nothing else to do at the moment, have decided to accompany you!" She started walking away from the group, down to the lower levels of the ship. As she strode away, she called over her shoulder, "If it helps, I could have killed you much earlier. Doesn't make much sense to tag along just to kill you later." And with that she was gone.
Percival frowned, "And here I was going to ask for a bit of a story."
"Elves do not have much to tell. They are too busy chanting prayers for the Gods' mercy deep in the woods, or something of the like." Roland said, ridiculing their new elven companion as she left the others.
"And you Ser Knights, what tales do you have for us?" Ethorian men they were, Tamor knew that much. "Or tales to spin in your case," Tamor turned toward the elder brother. The jest was lighthearted, but Tamor had no doubt Ser Roland Grey had plenty of tales to tell. In Raelus there was rarely news of Ethora besides the civil war they were on the brink of. Palaven, Ellessar, and Bredon were all that was told. An earlier memory came forth to Tamor's mind, hesitation gripped her as she didn't want to seem too prying. "Brothers, yet you wear... wore different sigils. Surely there must be a tale in that?"
"That is due to our differing allegiances," Percival began, not giving Roland the chance to speak at all. He already knew how Roland was going to respond, first with bias then with criticism. A story free of such, one of the truth was what Tamor deserved. "While it is true, we are brothers, you have no doubt seen that we do not see eye to eye on most issues. This is partially due to how we were raised, but moreso with a difference in personality. My personality and idealism was not welcome in the House of Grey or of House Reigncliff, of which House Grey is sworn to. I decided to leave and ally myself with House Welm because of that," Percival paused briefly. "Lord Robert Welm is a different leader than Lord Hector, lacking his ambition but he displays concern for his people. I much rather follow such a man like that, rather than a warmonger. Though being from Raelus, you may not have such an option, but I imagine you could sympathize at least."
"That is your problem, Percival," Roland interjected, crossing his arms as he glared at his younger brother. It was a conversation he would have rather had in private, but he couldn't contain his disappointment with his brother any longer. "You think and speak like a philosopher when you should act like a knight. I care not your personal feelings for Hector, or House Reigncliff. Why do you not understand that as a knight, your duty is bound to your House, and to the house of your master? Even if you do not agree with their politics, you must service your lord, with your life if need be! It is not about preference, it is about loyalty." He turned, glaring at Tamor for a moment, before returning his gaze to Percival again. "And even if it was, I see no problems with Lord Hector to begin with. He is a fine leader, and a man worthy to be called King of Ethora. In fact, I intend to make it so."
Percival sighed, holding his head, dragging his fingers across his face, before looking over to Roland. "Loyalty has blinded you more than I can hope. Truthfully, I suppose this is expected of you. You never once considered that Hector is not fit to be king have you? The man is nothing more than a glorified general, fighting Eliwood's wars and protecting his self-absorbed pride with axes and armor. The man is no king, brother. You would see that if you did something else with your time other than fight in tournaments and bend your knee."
Roland gritted his teeth angrily, but decided to conclude the argument, figuring later they would have a chance to continue it should they choose to, and he was certain they would. "Bah...enough of that. I am more interested in your... companion, Auden. You two seem to be on quite friendly terms. Did you know of him before the arrival in Ekilore, or do Raelussians naturally develop bonds that quickly?"
"He's..." Not Human. Sadistic. A demon spawn from Infernum. All of these in one, but Tamor knew she couldn't speak a word of it. At the exact moment of the mention of the name "Auden" Niolas body posture became aggressive in manor. Her body, small in frame, began to show her utmost uncomfortableness, Tamor continued, "An old family friend, and a protector of sorts, much more than I could ever ask for." It was weird, she never thought of how much Auden truly meant to her, but he had sworn an oath to protect her life in exchange for his secretive nature being kept and just that. Tella only knew the fate that was in store if she accidentally let it slip, Astrum nor Tella were things she wasn't quite ready to be introduced to just yet. Any such feelings to the same degree were very unlikely, Tamor knew, rather convinced, that only she was only a continuous nuisance to him and a means to further fulfill his urges. "Raelussians only truly trust their king, you're below a low-born fool to believe anything else."
"Hmm..." Roland hummed, looking intently at Tamor as if wondering in which way he should reply. He eventually shrugged. "I suppose 'tis luck that drew the pair of you together on this quest, then. I suppose since the two of you are among us, I imagine your influence in Raelus will be beneficial to our ventures there? You would have some influence in your own country, I expect?"
A bite on her lower lip temporarily paused her reply, graciously giving her time enough to ponder her response. "We-I..." Tamor thought it best she only spoke for herself given loss of Auden and hers relationship had for seven years, "Yes, of the military persuasion." Given that Tamor had introduced herself as Tamor Bell from Raelus as a poor attempt to conceal her background. Baring the last name Bellfiend was a sizable weight to carry, especially in Eldur. "You only matter in Raelus if you're from a strong, victorious military family or high born," Tamor stated matter-of-factly.
"Hmph." Roland let a grin spread across his face as he stepped over to the front of the ship, looking toward the sea to the direction of the country Tamor described. "I am beginning to like our destination more and more."
"Yeah," Tamor sighed, whatever events that happened in Raelus were bound to have her encounter various obstacles and challenges. What the Nine had in fate for her, specifically Tella, Tamor only wish she knew. But a seer she was not, and Raelus was her home no matter how much a distaste she had for it at times.
"At least someone is..."
YOUR RETRO BUG EVOLVED INTO VINTAGE ARACHNID!