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Isirion

The Bloodline of Torch

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Posted (edited)

With the Taifa Family's Young Lady unaccompanied after sending off her pygmy dragon, and the fact that the festivities were most definitely over with the announcement by her Queen, the young servant Königin had sent to invite Lady Taifa, approached from behind, her footsteps making nigh a sound and her breathing intentionally kept shallow, almost non-existent. She had picked Lady Taifa from the crowd using both the attire she had been described to have been wearing and a process of elimination, which young Lady attending this party appeared to be a newcomer, or at the very least did not come to the typical parties that were held by the powerful nobility. When she was within whispering distance of Lady Taifa, to the side of her body that seemed non-dominant, the servant returned her breathing to its natural state, to someone with powerful perceptive ability they may be able to detect her approach when she neared, however for normal people it would be as if she had materialized out of thin air, apparated even. "My Lady, this one is a servant of the von Gefallen House, bearing an 'invitation' for your Ladyship from the Queen for you and your companion to visit the Hive tomorrow." The way she accentuated the word 'companion', indicated that she was only referring to one companion, which reason would dictate, would be the one that the von Gefallen heir had met alongside Lady Taifa. Another noticeable point of her speech and body language showed that she held no sense of individualistic characteristics beyond her physical appearance and voice, a most eerie concept to grasp for most people, especially those who valued their own individualism over the collective. The servant made no other movements or sounds, waiting for a response from the Lady she had been instructed to deliver the invitation to.


Königin waited for a few moments, observing the chaos as it erupted all around the courtyard, what happened in these next few moments would decide who among the nobles were the sheep, the wolves and the dragons, the von Gefallen house was undoubtedly among the third category, as was the Blue Lady, while the Overtons and Hightowers where wolves and the lesser rabble were akin to sheep, confused and scared by the news and subsequent uproar that followed. As for the Marrovargs, even to the von Gefallens, they did not fit any of the normal categories, and all those of the von Gefallen bloodline had no doubt that even when the city itself crumbled to dust or fell to flame, the inheritor of the Marrovarg name and responsibilities would still be standing, and probably still burying the dead or what's left of them. Once she was satisfied she looked towards the drone she had planted to monitor the Blue Ladies house, and gave a near imperceptible nod, before turning to her son and holding out her arm while addressing her son "I do believe we are done here, it is time for us to finish preparations for tomorrow while the sheep bustle and panic."


Dämon had spotted the interaction between the servant drone and Lady Taifa, and although he could not see her companion he was satisfied enough, for he knew that as long as she came along he would surely follow. He turned to his mother and took up her arm to escort her out of the party, and with each step, the chaotic crown in front of them seemed to give way. the air of calmness and superiority that the von Gefallen family gave off causing the 'sheep' to instinctively take a step back, their panic momentarily paused by the confidence of the powerful family, before resuming once more as the realization of the coming destruction of the following day returned. As he walked he subtly nodded to the servants that had been taking care of his sister, and watching Nightfeather in the process as long as she did not try to run, as if to say without words "It's time to leave." Once they had cleared the courtyard a similar carriage to the one that brought Königin, rolled up right in front of the von Gefallens right as they stopped moving, driving slow enough so as to not kick up any water, dirt or other material that may be loose on the road, the drones having organized transport for their 'Queen' as fast as possible the moment the chaos had begun. Königin waved one of the newer trained drone servants, choosing the one with the least skill and potential, "Go give our host my sincerest condolences for the mess, and tell her I do hope it is not too difficult to clean up." Each word laced with sarcasm, her amusement at the chaos that her announcement had made during the Blue Lady's 'oh so precious' party was the perfect humiliation she could inflict, and to top it off, she had no intention of delivering a coup de grâce. The unfortunate man did not quite understand but the older drones seemed to grimace slightly. The poor, and quite possibly, depending on how vicious the Blue Lady's temper was at this point, soon to be dead drone servant, bowed to his 'Queen' and rushed off to deliver her words to the Blue Lady, only somewhat aware of the fate that had befallen him. It was not Königin's to sacrifice the drone, one could view this as a kind of test, if he can survive the Blue Lady's wrath, his status would increase proportionally despite his lack of potential, however, if he died, well that was it. She then turned to her son "Finish preparations, and make sure your sister is sober and ready before pandemonium descends tomorrow."

 

Dämon helped his mother into the carriage, out of courtesy despite her not requiring any assistance, before relieving the servants that had been caring for his highly intoxicated sister of the burden of carrying her. Once he had her in his arms he held his fingers to his lips to let out a shrill whistle, a signal for Sollaria that the party had ended and it was time to return home. Königin's carriage rolled away, needing little protection as the 'Hive Queen' herself was far more lethal than any number of trained warriors or assassins, even in her advancing age, which had done little to affect her physical abilities/appearance and mental state. After a few moments, the Golden Wyvern arrived and landed, not caring about how it might inconvenience the other dragons or carriages in typical Sollaria fashion. He turned to Nightfeather, having ignored her presence thus far while attending to his 'Queen', "You now have a choice, you come back to the Hive with us, or you run until your legs cannot carry you, until your feet are bloody stumps and the harsh sun of the desert has burned off your skin, because once you are no longer my charge, I will make good on my words." His tone as cold as ice, for to Dämon, disobedience from this point onwards was akin to threatening his sister's life, after all, Iris had already thrown herself into harm's way for this woman, and as long as there was even a remote possibility of her doing it again, Dämon had to make sure such a scenario would not happen again. He did not wait for a response.

 

Carefully Dämon half leapt, half climbed up onto Sollaria's back, a feat that would be impossible unless one had an exceptional physique and practiced it many times, or had superior natural talent, all the while keeping his sister in his arms, hence the need for such fancy footwork in the first place as his hands were not free to use. Once Dämon was solidly in place and had Iris secured as well he spoke quietly so that only she could hear "Its time to head home, tomorrow is going to be a big day," With that Sollaria took off, heading towards the 'Hive'.

Edited by FallenDiablo

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Sappo was hiding in a cloud of excited messenger pygmies, circling the courtyard and looking for Pride. He had tried the direction Alzira had indicated at first, but in all the commotion the former arena manager, although usually quite prominent, was not to be seen. So Sappo had decided to circle the slowly clearing area, using every possibility to stay unseen, which meant moving with the swarm or completely without it. Up to now he had chosen to be part of the crowd. If he couldn´t find Pride soon he would return to his keeper, for without him she had no proper protection. So he decided on one more sweep, scanning the area again.

 

Alzira was looking at the confused masses, hoping Sappo would be sucessful soon. In a way the scenery was captivating, her mind started wandering... but as she tore her eyes away, she noticed a change in her surroundings and then she heard the voice. If she hadn´t she registered something a moment earlier she was sure a gasp of surprise would have escaped her lips, but so she had the tiniest chance to compose herself.

 

She took a deep breath and turned towards the young servant, collecting her thoughts. This young woman, clad in the von Gefallen attire, had to be someone specially trained for Alzira had only just noticed her, which meant she had to be dangerous, regardless her common appearance. Furthermore the fact that she knew her name, a name only mentioned to the young heir which had definitely reached his mother´s ear by now, proved that. Such news travelled fast in this realm. There was no possible escape from this invitation, which she expected to be more of an inspection of her status. Isirion´s mention on the other hand... she could not predict his reaction to this szenario, but she would tell him about it as soon as they all had left these grounds.

 

After a minute of silent observation she answered."I humbly accept this invitation and I will inform my companion thereof." She then stated:"Given the circumstances, I guess our presence is expected before the end of the ultimatum?", she  added:" I will take care of more immediate matters now." She turned towards the children again, intending to propose finding shelter nearby, for these grounds were still their home.

 

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The servant had kept her face angled down towards the ground, her hair obscuring her eyes just as a mask covered her face. At first glance her clothes would look rather normal, however upon further inspection would reveal to be of superior quality and make compared to any common garments, denoting a sense of pride and distinction from the von Gefallen house, even the servants were not permitted to wear anything less than superior quality, even if it was on the lower end of the scale. "A pygmy will be sent at the appropriate time for you to come, as per her Majesties wishes." the servant's voice remained that steady, with that almost unsettling way of talking without any self-expression. Then the servant disappeared just as fast as she appeared, without so much as a word or sound, her movements carefully calculated to leave the least disturbance as she returned to the von Gefallen house.

 

Back at the Hive

 

As Sollaria came to land at the front of the Hive, a couple of Iris' personal attendants came out to greet them, however, Dämon waved them off, choosing to instead carry his sister back to her room himself, making sure she was comfortable and giving the servants instructions to make sure her rest was not disturbed, and that there was a good chance that a person named 'Melidia' would be arriving at the estate and that she should be given a room where one could keep an eye on her. He then made short work of changing out of his fancy attire into something more durable and practical for his experiments and handling dragons, calling for a few of the more talented tailors among the servants, before heading down into the tunnels with them to his private workshop. He set them to work on preparing attire for guests that would be suitable for an audience with the Hive Queen, leaving the majority of the work to them and only working on the finer details while he went back and forth from the vault, sifting through the notes from his predecessors, looking for the notes on toxic substances relating to dragons, some of which had been found to have use in treating dragon products for processing, while others for more... specific purposes. After some rifling he found what he was looking for, an old faded document on several dragon toxins, whether venom or poison that the von Gefallen's had recorded. With the document in hand Dämon went to the storage for toxic substances, which was quite sparse as he had not spent the time looking into refilling or acquiring any toxic substances outside of what was needed for processing the materials they used for the family business, taking out a vial named Tarantula Hawk Drake, the last vial from that section as until recently, they had not acquired any or even had a dragon by which they could replenish their stores. As much as he would like to prepare more for the next day, his time was limited, as was his non-lethal resources as they usually were reserved for research, and he had not been doing many experiments lately. He then returned to his workshop, taking out a set of thin needles, much like sewing needles, however, these ones had a shallow groove carved into them in a spiral pattern covering the entirety of each needle. The groove on the needles was designed to hold a strand of absorbent fabric, making them ideal for use with liquid toxins.

 

Dämon spent a short while more observing the work of the servants preparing the garments, making sure they were living to the von Gefallen standard, and doing any of the finer details that he felt needed his personal touch, before heading to his room to sleep in order to be refreshed for tomorrow, after all when Death comes to your home, one must always be prepared.

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Posted (edited)

"I am Melidia now." "I am Melidia now." "I am Melidia now," Nightfeather repeated inwardly like a mantra to calm herself down on the way to the von Gefallen lair. When all hell broke loose at the party she had managed to exchange a single glance with her leader Nightblade, assuring him that she was still on mission and going with the von Gefallen family was for that reason only. There was nothing else she could do - if she had hinted that she was in fact a prisoner, she would have condemned her fellow assassins to a death far worse, than the one Death had promised if she went after him one more time. "I am Melidia now", Nightfeather repeated one more time, then she mustered all her courage and entered the Hive. At once servant drones appeared and led her away to be washed, scrubbed and clad in the attire fitting her new status now. Melidia banned every spark of defiance from her eyes, lowered her head and whispered with as much subservience as she could muster, like she was testing out the words: "I am ready to serve my new master now".

 

In the mean-time back at the Blue Mansion

 

The disposable drone, weaved his way with an occasional stumble through the dispersing crowd in order to deliver Königin's message to the Blue Lady. The faint sound of a whip cracking steered him in the right direction. When he arrived at 'The Sky', he gasped and almost retched, betraying his training. The whole floor around Cerulia Phirestone was covered with dead Nilia pygmies, bearing gaping wounds from the lady's famous whip. Some even had their heads cracked in, but despite that there was little to no blood around the corpses. "Is this what I will look like too after I deliver my message?", the drone thought briefly, before a blade stained with a lot more blood on it than the floor ended his life swiftly. Isirion let the corpse sink on the floor and gave an acknowledging nod towards the Blue Lady: "You were right, that Königin would send someone to rub ruining your party in. So what will you do now?"

 

Cerulia cracked her whip one more time and hissed: "Stirring up a Hive in return."

 

Meanwhile in the courtyard

 

A very, very upset looking Nilia Pygmia almost crashed into a very, very frustrated looking Dark Myst Pygmy and immediately shot an reproachful look, before frantically flying on. Sappo looked after Leal, torn between his yet unfulfilled task of finding Pride and finding out what had spooked his new pygmy friend. In the end not letting his keeper go unprotected any longer in the midst of the chaos won over both options and Sappo returned to Alzira. To his surprise Leal was there too, screeching in her face, trying to make her understand something that had happened. The two kids tried their best to understand too, but Leal was just too upset to make any sense and the courtyard filling with escape carriages and dragons to pick up the soon to be incinerated nobles became more and more dangerous. Celeris took a long look at the frightened blue-coloured pygmy, then she decided: "I will let a servant know that I am safe and that I will hide with the Marrovargs. In fact we will all go there now. It is a lot safer than being here with my mother after those walking dressing puppets ruined her party with their announcement. Unless someone or somedragon has a better idea - Pip, my mighty dragon warrior and newest Marrovarg adopt - lead the way!"

Edited by Isirion

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Posted (edited)

Alzira was at the end of her ropes. No-one of the little group was to be found, although she was sure Isirion had his ways to find all of them, given enough time. But time was as usual  one of the problems. This whole day had been quite nerve racking, filled with almost more improvising than the whole act beforehand and it seemed it would go on like that. She was worried about Sappo, who was still out on his errand. The little one had escaped her view as soon as she had engaged in conversation with the sneaky servant.

 

Her worrying was briefly interrupted as a little blue dragon arrived, fluttering between her and the kids, screeching and frantically gesticulating. Together they tried their best to calm him down, but it seemed useless. Alzira´s worries grew, Leal was mostly fixated on Isirion and tried to impress him by beeing extra calm and brave, but now? Something horrible must have happened. She doubted that her "bodyguard" was in imminent danger. It stood to reason that their second goal, freeing Leal´s swarm had gone rather wrong. Finally Sappo arrived as well and together they managed to steady the pygmy to a level where they could communicate and get at least pieces of the story. Alzira sighed silently and fed Sappo a cricket. Leal seemed much too agitated to accept anything of her, but at least the hectic zooming and screeching around had reduced. Nevertheless she offered him one too. Maybe he would pick it up. She trusted her feeling that all that agitation took a lot of energy and his stomach would demand food sooner or later. Maybe chewing on  that morsel was enough to calm Leal down a bit more.

 

What should she do now? She was out of contact, probably abandoned by at least Fingers, who would most definitely use this chaos as a chance to get away. Pride and Felicia on the other hand had been onboard with every version of the plan, but nevertheless not even one noble had dropped dead from poisoning. Maybe, with the threat of their home city burning to the ground, their focus had shifted on getting out of harm´s way. Alzira could perfectly understand that. They all had been living too close to the edge for the past few days. She wished she could disappear as well, but that was no longer an option, Königin von Gefallen knew about her, which meant she certainly had a very close eye on her.

 

Celeris´ proposal seemed reasonable and the perfect chance to at least get out of here, so she agreed to accompany them to the Marrovarg´s underground domain. Despite the grave circumstances she looked really forward to visiting the infamous funeral empire. There she could sleep for a few hours and decide then if she would stay and wait for Isirion to catch up with them or try to reach Susurro. The White Dragon's composure usually settled her mind and she really missed that. Imagining the dragon's soothing presence, Alzira concentrated to stop her thoughts from moving in circles until she was ready to follow Pip´s lead into the Marrovarg´s territory.

 

Edited by Alzira

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Albeit proudly leading the way, Pip seemed a bit miffed, that Alzira hadn't asked about his new Marrovarg title, but where they were going, grave silence would probably be for the best anyway. A minute later he had reached his final destination, the pile of presents in the courtyard. He pointed at the elaborate casket the Marrovargs had arrived in and declared: "I haven't known my new foster nobles for long, but I am dead sure, they would not let this exquisite piece of craftsmenship go to the worms. If we hide in it, we can catch a ride back - or at least we already have our coffin ready, when the Hellfires come." Celeris acknowledged Pip's witty string of grave jokes with a series of giggles and promptly helped him out, pulling back the lid. When the two-person casket gaped open like a grave, the both turned towards Alzira grinning like skulls and declared in unison: "After you!"

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Alzira was staring at the casket, not because she thought it morbid, but admiring the craftsmanship. Then, hearing Pip´s declaration, it dawned on her that she had just ignored information about the boy´s new status and finally realised why he had been disgruntled on the way. She was definitley out of training. She knew such things happened, but not to a Taifa!


Well, time to make up, she trusted that the little trust exercise she had thought of would please the kid: She beckoned Sappo and together they entered the casket. When the kids had entered, she lowered her head and said sincerly: "I regret not properly acknowledging the new member of the Marrovarg family. I hope you will accept my humble appolgy." With these words she offered Pip a few crickets to feed Sappo, who was instructed to sit on the boy´s shoulder for this. Sappo liked the boy, he was a fine and adventurous playmate, for a human at least, and so he almost immediately did as he was told, awaiting his snack.

 

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Pip who's grin had seemed frozen in place like on a real skull, suddenly grinned in earnest, feeling the weight and the warmth of the 'Fierce Beast' on his shoulder. He put a cricket on his open palm, prepared to offer it to 'Dark Myth', only to find his hand empty in a flash. Next to him Celeris giggled and offered the cricket to Sappo in his stead and told him to loose the mechanism that held part of the coffin lid open. The boy reached out and and unhooked the metal rod with his feet while catching the heavy lid with his hands stretched out high, so it neither crushed the pygmy on his shoulder nor it's owner. The lid shut tightly and for a moment inside the coffin was total darkness. Celeris couldn't resist making an eerie spooky sound before releasing her Magelight once more. Pip strained to remember when the Pygmy had stopped announcing the game had a winner and crawled under Lady Death's cloak again, but it was futile. With all that had happened Celeris could have hidden a whole Royal Crimson without him noticing. Grinning once more, Pip used the light to find a special panel in the coffin's side. He pressed slightly against it and slid it to the side revealing air-holes, Celeris, picking up on the trick, searched for the matching mechanism on the other side of the coffin and quickly uncovered the corresponding air holes. Pip rapped his knuckle against the lid in a heart-beat fashion and soon the casket started moving. The quartett of burly man that had carried it before marched their precious cargo towards a waiting pair of Grave Dragons and fastened it between them. Trained to walk and fly at the same somber pace, both dragons took off with barely a disruption of the precarious balance of their load and flew towards the Marrovarg Graveyard Complex. Everyone close enough to an airhole could see rows and rows of graves laid out to form the Marrovarg Crest - which was nothing more and nothing less than a grinning skull. In place of the right eye hole an open grave waited, which gave the skull the impression of winking as well as grinning. The dragons landed softly beneath it and waited for the Marrovarg Funeral Service assistants to attend to them. None came and so Pip opened the coffin lid from the inside, steadied it again with the metal rod and crawled out. He smiled towards the headstone bearing in old-fashioned, carved out letters the Marrovarg Motto: 'Laugh in the Face of Death'. Then, grinning up towards his ears, he helped everyone else out of the coffin and pointed towards the open grave: "After you"

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Glad that her appology had been accepted so easily, Alzira relaxed a bit. Then the casket close and she was captured in utter darkness with the kids. Celeris´ intermezzo made it clear once more that she had nothing to fear from them. As soon as Pip had opened the air-holes, she was looking outside, enjoying the view including their morbid destination. She admired the serene flight of the dragons as well as the macabre art that was decorating the carriage. So much care had been given even to small detail that her respect towards the Marrovarg family continued increasing.

 

After their arrival, she followed Pip almost awestruck. Her exhaustion had almost been replaced by the excitement for the Art Macabre. So much funeral art! She didn´t know where to look first. Nevertheless as soon as she had read the motto a smile grew on her face almost immediately.Then she entered the dark opening, the maw into darkness, Sappo following close behind her.

 

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Posted (edited)

Celeris, quickly hogging the other pair of free air/viewholes, stayed glued to them the whole flight. The farthest she had been off ground so far had been the occasional tree, hayloft or back of a stabled dragon. Her mother had never allowed her to fly, claiming her body was just not strong enough yet to hold onto a dragon midflight. But this, this was the opportunity of a lifetime as they were inside a closed wooden box with no possible way to fall down, even if she tried to. The worst that could happen was bumping into Pip or the other passenger, but as the dragons outside flew so smoothly, there wasn't even the slightest disruption of the breathtaking view. Celeris knew the other parts of the city had all those dragon trophies stuffed on their roofs and walls and everything, but here it was all skulls and bones and beautifully carved tombstones. In short she loved it and was actually disappointed when the flight ended and Pip asked her to go underground. Reluctantly Celeris followed Alzira down into the grave and very soon called out in pure mirth. She had climbed into the grave believing there would be a stair or ladder leading down into the Marrovarg Home, but it turned out to be a slide. Loosing not a second Celeris jumped onto the slide for more speed and enjoyed the ride down even though the view was mostly tight packed earth and a few maggots. Pip followed without delay and greeted the familiar pair of 'Vampire Dragons' that waited at the end of the slide with a hearty: "I present you Celeris Phirestone and Lady Taifa, I bet you were dying to meet them." Both Marrovargs chuckled and gave the boy a hug, before their expression turned slightly more serious: "You have all heard the grave news, the Queen Bee choose to share with us, killing the mood of the party. While we do not like Königin von Gefallen, we believe her words, that a host of Hellfires is coming for us. Thus we offer you sanctuary here and a cremation discount if the Hellfires can't be repelled, knowing that they will do most of the work for us. We have prepared rooms for you where you could rest, but since time is of the essence, we would like you to follow us to the room of offerings where we can talk while feasting on funerary goods. Will you sleep like the dead or eat their food with us first? Celeris, remembering the common courtesy of letting the adults speak first, made sure she hadn't accidently crushed her Magelight Pygmy during the slide down while pointedly waiting for the Lady Taifa to give a response.

Edited by Isirion

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Although it wasn´t her favourite means of transportation, the slide proved to be quite enjoyable. When Alzira had reached firm ground again she composed her clothing so she would look suitable to her hosts.


Seeing how the Marrovargs hugged the boy, enforced her confidence that she was in trustworthy company. Considering the circumstances they got quickly to the point. The mentioning of food made Alzira´s  stomach growl, she hadn´t eaten in a while, just nipped on a few beverages at the party and was now eager for some food, and the kids probably needed some nourishment as well. So she answered: "I gratefully accept your kind and compelling offer and choose the refreshments. Let us eat and talk." She beckoned Sappo to her side and together they joined their hosts.

 

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The Marrovargs ditched the parts of their Vampire Dragon costumes, that would interfere with eating human food and lead the small group to the mentioned room of offerings. An embalming table had been covered with sable cloth and laden with rather cheerful looking food. There were apples with fanged smiles sliced into, potatoes with funny faces and the meat was carved into the shapes of different animals. Pip, apparently already used to this, sat down and grabbed a 'Vampire Apple', a piece of red meat shaped like a fish along with a 'droopy' and a 'grinny' potato and put them all on his plate. Then he took a pitcher filled with red berry juice and helped himself to a glass of 'blood'. Celeris inspected every piece of food clearly fascinated by the craftsmanship and finally settled on a slice of dragon shaped venison and a skull face potato. Lord Marrovarg grabbed every ear-to-ear-smile potato he could find and passed on the meat, his lady passed on the potatoes and grabbed a big piece of butterflyshaped roasted meat. Both Marrovargs put their haul on the same plate and started eating, their knifes and forks never bothering each other.

 

Pip looked a bit puzzled until he understood and carefully reached for the unused plate to set up a nice dish for the dragons. He selected two 'Vampire Apples', one for each pygmy and a floundershaped piece of meat and cut everything into easily chewable bits. Celeris beamed that her dragon was apparently allowed on the table and fed her a few apple slices before munching on her own food. A few seconds later she remembered once again her courtesy training, swallowed and chirped: "I thank our graceful hosts for this meal, that is...uhm...to die for." Lord Marrovarg bellowed a laugh that made a fine set of dust fall from the earthen ceiling, his wife chuckled into an especially cheery potato and said: "No thanks necessary, you all look like you don't have enough flesh on your bones." Her husband grabbed a napkin from a small casket and brushed away the dust he had caused to fall. While he fidgeted with the napkin, Lady Marrovarg suddenly focused on Alzira and stated: "We have to talk about your companion. What do you know of him?"

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Alzira was still studying the the generous meal, while picking bits and pieces for Sappo and Leal and placing them on small plates near them. While not unexpected, the question put her off balance. She reconsidered. What did she know about him? Well, she knew his name, and his actions during the last days and small pieces of his past. She couldn´t even begin to fathom his motivations. She had her suspicions, and revenge was the obvious one, but then? what about Celeris and his paternity? Did the girl know about him? Was it even her place to tell?
 
So she said:" I don´t know much about him, except that he is a very dangerous man, trained in the arts of fighting and survival. I can tell you what I saw of his actions, and to state the obvious, he is an efficient pragmatic. But I guess you already know that, since I´m sure you have seen his work." She paused, looking at the quite unusual pair of hosts. She continued:" Based on my experience, a lot of the rumours about him seem to be rooted in the truth.  I believe he is trustworthy, but you have to earn his trust beforehand, and any further assessment is just speculation. In the end, his story is his to tell and I guess he will find us here soon enough." As Alzira stopped she looked at the door, almost expecting a knock or someone entering...

 

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