Aerion [IC] Rated M
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June 2nd, 2013 (9:22 PM).
Raelus Part 2
Roland thought for a moment that he caught a tone of displeasure from Tamor as she described their journey towards the castle. He debated in his thoughts as to whether he should address it, as he had, to that point, learned very little of the nature of Tamor and Auden's relationship within Raelus beyond what he was told. If she didn't seem very eager, he wondered what it meant. He decided to ask a bit more about it as they proceeded inside the iron gates of the fortress. "So, is there any other information we should know about before we encounter your King? Anything unexpected? Any irregularities? Security around the area certainly seems tight."
"Best do to remember thy manners, but as a distinguished knights I do hope that much is already covered," Tamor stated, stricten with surprise that this Grey brother had spoke without being spoken to, especially to the likes of her. His occasional glances, as few and far in between as they were hadn't gone unnoticed. However they were the least worrisome thing that she had to think about, her travels with Auden hadn't set her mind at ease in the slightest. Luck lately hadn't been on her side, she wished to the Gods, primarily Kinath, they not encounter her grandfather this afternoon or any relatives that made their stake in His Grace's council, castle, or presence. "I wouldn't touch your weapon, nor would I mention the Nine, blessed as they may be, His Grace does not take kindly to such..." Tamor took a brief pause, and sought forgiveness for what she must to do next, "smut."
"Heh, I see," Roland stated as he walked forward towards the direction of the two towers erected in the center of the dark yet organized city. "I suppose he views himself as a practical man because of his lack of religious motivation. I have heard of the type before." He looked left and right at each citizen he passed. Most hardly gave them any attention, merely going about their business as before. If anything, stereotypes of the people of Raelus as a cold, bitter peoples seemed to be spot on. However, soldiers and guards stationed around the city monitored them more extensively. They glared upon the odd group, as if waiting for one of them to make one false move, break one meager law and pounce upon them. Roland wouldn't give them the satisfaction of such an option. He had often been the model of civility and propriety in his visits to other nations, especially when representing Reigncliff. His arrogance may seep in on occasions, but not to the extent of ever being a problem.
Up the cobblestone streets the knight went, their destination of the castle growing nearer with each passing step. It was only as they approached closer that one could notice the magnitude of its size. Indeed, there were few constructions in the world that could match the monumental castle and the two towers. Upon their journey thus far, the Tower of Oculus would have been the only such structure to compare to them.
"Is it just me or does everyone appear to have an ill temper?" Roland commented on the general disposition of the people of Raelus. "Perhaps they need to get their King's royal sceptor out of their sh*t holes." He added with a slight chuckle.
A sudden tug to Tamor's mage hood was brought on by the looming castle that was to be upon them soon, "Strangers are not to be trusted, no matter of their status or reputation." The truth had been told by Roland, Tamor herself would've chosen more appropriate wording, especially in the midst of the capital. Raelussians had taught this was the way to act for generations, herself included. The closer they drew to the castle the more chances, despite all her prayings to Kinath, Tamor had of being recognized, as well as Auden, but she had separated herself from his side. "With tensions from the northwest rising we refuse to take any chances." Niolas who had been settled in quite quietly took off into the sky until he was out of sight. Joyous as Tamor should be to have the luxury to have an audience with His Majesty she could not bring herself to allow such feelings to occur. "Might I add, when we get to the castle keep those... inelegant sayings to oneself. Otherwise you might find the King's spector in the same place. Unless, you are one who derives pleasure from such actions. It would surprise me not to learn that be the truth."
A look of surprise mixed with irritation suddenly made it upon Roland's face, somewhat surprised that the usually timid Tamor would speak in such a way. "I am no fool," Roland snorted in response to Tamor. "I am familiar with the King's moniker. I should like that my flesh not to be incinerated."
"You must not be an Anguin, I see," Tamor replied light-heartedly, The Children of Anguis also known as The Anguin were rumored to have base in the Hills of Fire. Eislynn had been adamant that as a user of the divine arts one must not only know their own religion but all others. The time she spent feverishly learning was about them had reassured her faith belonged to The Council of Nine. "You shall grow even more familiar with it by the time we depart this island, and I hoped that be soon."
"You hope that I should grow familiar with this nonsensical...'religion' soon, or you hope that we would depart this island soon?" Roland inquired, gazing intently at Tamor from beneath her hood as he tried to decipher her intentions. Their pace never slowed as they continued to approach the castle of the Burning King. Roland had a feeling since near the beginning of the entrance into Raelus that Tamor was reluctant to return home. He was unsure if it was true, but the way she acted in regards to her country seemed...off to him.
"My Knight, why not both?" She questioned, but simply for the rhetorical effect. How she longed to visit and lay flowers at the grave of Eisylnn and be done with this place, at least the capital. If she developed the courage in time Tamor wondered if there would be a moment where she could slip away to Yarne where her true father, not Kanien, kept shop. Would he take it as a disturbance, as the later years of her life his keenness toward her had severely lessen. A constant reminder of the mistake he had made those many years ago, her mother presented the same behavior, which left her truly alone now that
was gone as well. It was difficult to come back to a place Tamor felt so removed from not to mention how unwanted she felt. Everything was happening so fast, even the speed at which they walked seemed faster.
Auden was yet in the mood to deal with the guards, and as such kept his hood up as the group walked through the militarized capital towards the castle. Not much had changed since Auden had left the capital, he still recognized a majority of the guards as they got closer to the castle. Every now and then a guard would recognize him, leading to a slight nod in respect.
Ah, the capital.
The group had finally approached the gates to the castle. If it had looked impregnable from afar, then even more so that image resonate in close proximity. The castle walls were high, clearly a mix of stone and steel, much like its exterior counterparts. However, the taste of the kings of Raelus have decorated the castle with a distinct taste. The sigil of Raelus was draped over the sculpted spiked walls on large banners. The spiked walls were clearly a tactical vision, possibly from the Burning King himself to invoke fear, but also to make such a climbing of the walls nigh impossible. The castle itself appeared to have several walls, each encircling the next, constructing a large "superstructure" of a fortress. The inner walls appeared to be taller, yet not as thick. Regardless, imposing described them just as well. Looming over all the walls, at the heart of the fortress were the Twin Towers, decorated in the colors of Raelus watching over all.
At the door, a number of Raelusian soldiers stood guard. Roland visibly saw the grip of one of the gate's guardsmen over their lance tighten upon their approach. In as subtle movement as he could muster, his own arm cautiously crept to his sword hilt, and tightened around, if only as a precautionary measure.
"Ser Roland and Percival of the House Grey, along with Heva Azcadelia Erva, Dulinhel Elenren, and Sers Auden and Tamor of Raelus." Roland stated aloud to the guard. "We seek an audience with his Grace Christian Calason, second of his name, High Admiral and King of Raelus."
The Knights endured a very scrupulous gaze by the guard, intently watching Roland as he introduced each of them, before finally stepping aside and allowing them entrance into the fabled castle. The doors creaked, the sound of bulky metal as they grinded over each other and opening up. The Knights underwent a succession of doors before entering the castle courtyard. Unlike its counterparts in Ethora, Percival noticed a relative lack of plant life. Nothing but stone and steel. Tall marble statues encircled the central castle, framing the main entrance and went around it; artistic dedications to past legends in Raelus' history. Heroes, Kings, Princes, Admirals, Generals. Anything to immortalize the men and woman that constructed this castle. This fortress. This country.
Thanks to this artistic display, it made finding the entrance easily. The guards on watch opening the steel doors for the Knights, and they entered the main hall with some apprehension, at least on the part of Percival. The main hall was far different than the halls that Percival had grown up with in Ethora. They were often opulent, with rich decorations illuminated by grandiose writing. They had floral decorations and fine artwork from the greatest artists. Guards were often posted throughout these halls, but it did not matter. The music from the throne room even occasional echoes throughout the halls, producing a entrancing reason to continue. Robert Welm's was the only real exception, mostly because of Welm's reputation for more less expensive taste. Though Roland would have him understand it was because Welm's relative lack of wealth. Roland was a poorly educated man as well, at least his ignorance made Percival believe such a fact.
The halls of Castle Eldur were dark, with ironically little lighting in the blackened stone halls. Red carpets mapped out the floors while red tapestry hung on the walls, all decorated with the sigil of Raelus. The walls were decorated in paintings documenting the proudest moments in Raelus' history. Epic battles mostly, including the the founding of Raelus by Lord Bryce Drake and first grand victory of the Burning Fleet.
But then the throne room. The words of Raelus are "Trial by Fire." Undoubtedly metaphorical, representing Raelus' desire to grow stronger through direct challenges. Tests of strength and resolve. Words to live by, no doubt. Raelus has proven time and time that trials by fire make you strong. Raelus has risen through the flames to be amongst the elite. But this metaphorical guide, the closest thing Raelus had to any sort of organized religion, had take a literal vision in the throne room of Eldur. Built at the base of the Twin Towers, the throne room was a large room, vacant of any opulent decoration. A single red and gold carpet was placed at the center leading towards the elegant pair of steel thrones (with red seat cushions to tie together to Raelus' limited choice of royal colors) seated at the back of the room, the flag of Raelus draped behind them. Leading up to the thrones were two rows of blazing torches; the titular trial by fire. They illuminated the room with pure excellence, revealing the room to truly have little decoration aside from the banner of Raelus and the steel thrones of the King and Queen. Plain. Practical. Efficient.
Percival and the other knights accepted the trial, walking forward with some spirit in their step. They finally got the audience with the king of Raelus, the man that is to help them. He was seated in his throne, talking with his advisors briefly as the Knights approached. He appeared to be a tall man, being a few inches taller than Roland with a broad build, clearly taking care of himself despite his growing age as indicated by his slightly graying black hair. The gray had yet to dominate his hair, but the gray streaks were readily apparent even in the poor light. His skin tone was of a light tan, possibly a result of early days on the boat in the constant light of the Trader's Waters. Percival joked in the privacy of his own head that it was because he spent too much time by the fires in the throne room, but he would never say that aloud. His eyes appeared to be dark brown, with little life in them. They were stern, cold even. Ironic really, but there were clearly the eyes of a warrior. Now, they were ones of a king. King Calason's face had few impurities. A single scar slashed across his right temple and he had a little stubble for a beard. The features did not seem to age his face too greatly, but he still appeared to be a man in his 40s, looking no older than expected to be. In fact, he may have been appeared younger due to the excellent condition he kept himself in. He wore no crown. He didn't need one. Instead he wore, a dark red cloak, with his black plate mail underneath. Paranoia perhaps. More likely, habit. His bastard sword rested by his side, in easy reach of his sword hand. They were little accessories on. Some pleasantries did not seem in his nature. His wife, the Queen, sat beside him in a slightly smaller throne for a far smaller person. She paled in comparison to her husband, but seemed just as frightening. She was distinct blonde, appearing younger than the King by a few years, yet her eyes were a cold blue. They carried the same intensity as the King. Perhaps more so. That or Percival was reading too much into it.
"Hail Calason, second of his name, High Admiral and King of Raelus. We are knights, venturing from Ekilore to Shinguo and now to your Grace's Great Hall for counsel in our noble quest. We come at the behest of Yoshuro of Shinguo to seek guidance from your Grace," Percival said, taking the lead with a kneel as they reached the King. Roland followed suit, with the other Knights presumably following as well. Proper manners in the presence of royalty were needed to guarantee any degree of success.
King Calason rose from his seat, grasping his bastard sword as he descended down the stairs to meet them. Percival raised his head ever so slightly to meet Calason's eyes for a brief moment. The King moved to his head to the guards around him. With a single swing of his hand, the Knights of Ekilore were surrounded, grasped tightly in the powerful arms of King Calason's elite guard. Grunts of resistance were overcome from the silence of strength. "I don't know any Yoshuro of Shingou. Take them to the dungeons."
"But your grace, this is Auden and Tamor of Raelus. Shouldn't we-"
"Did I stutter? Take. Them. Away."
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