(Havensbridge Council Chambers, Havensbridge, Sessenne)
For the second morning in a row, the Havensbridge Council was meeting and it seemed that nothing more would be accomplished in the second day of debate. Everyone agreed that the fall of Falcrest was troubling, but no consensus could be reached as to what to do about it.
Lord Falcrest arrived midday on the first day of debate, and immediately moved to retake his seat. Lords Trator and Creste wanted to shore their city defenses. Promagai Rianna believed that nothing was more important than the locating and recapture of the stolen galanti, and the Havensbridge army commander, Lord General Wrothion supported her, but only in so much that he wanted to take the flight to the Isktari.
Most distressing however was the Viceroy Havensbridge himself, the rotund man sitting at the head of the table. At any moment he could call an end to the arguing and do what he wished with his army, but at the moment he seemed more interested in the roast duck on the platter in front of him than with any possible solution to the problem at hand – so the six remained at the table and the debate rolled on.
Wall and Mila, having been called as witnesses to the events in Falcrest, remained in the council chambers. Lord Falcrest had summoned them after his arrival to thank them personally for their efforts in his home, and to get more information about what had happened in his city. Falcrest was at first skeptical of the tales of the giant sand breathing creature that had laid waste to his seat, but as the story was corroborated by multiple others he had accepted this ‘dragon’ creature to be a real threat. He was at the same time proud and dismayed to hear of the city guards attempts to hold off the orc army, and was more than disturbed to hear that the galanti were in enemy hands.
“Enough,” Falcrest screamed as he slammed a fist on the table, overturning Lord Creste’s cup, “this bickering is getting us nowhere. As we stand here my city burns!”
The promagai sighed, “Yes, Lord Falcrest, it is so. But as I’ve said repeatedly, the greater danger must be dealt with first. The galanti are a focus, capable of amplifying the magics cast into them 100 times over. If we are to believe the stories of these ‘dragons’ that Ser Walgrin has entertained us, an army of these creatures could lay waste to Sessenne, Telontara and anywhere else the Isktari wish to conquer.”
Viceroy Havensbridge coughed, took a deep draught of his mulled wine, and groaned as he sat up in his chair. “I grow tired of these fairy tales, Promagai, just as I grow tired of hearing your voices.” He took another drink, some of which spilled out on his tunic, and coughed again. “Falcrest, I assign three brigades to you. Take your city back so your council rather than me can listen to your pratterings. I will send men to Trator and Creste as well, to ensure your defenses are suitable.” The viceroy rose from his seat. “As for the Isktari, I will not fight a war. They will be dealt with when and if they are found in my borders. Havensbridge has never fallen, and will not do so now. Dismissed.” Despite the clamor of disagreement that rose from the table, the viceroy turned and walked out the door of the chamber with out a second glance.
“Fool,” the promagai spat as the viceroy disappeared down the hall. “He will be the doom of us all.”
“Indeed,” Lord Creste added, “he sits fat and pretty in his keep, refusing to do anything that might take a beast off his table. Falcrest, I will support your campaign to take the city back. You have my word.”
“Thank you,” Falcrest replied then pause for a moment. “Three brigades… Less than a fifth of the standing troops of Havensbridge. He sends me not to get my city back, but to fall of the field of battle.”
“And none of it will matter if the galanti and not retrieved,” the promagai reminded them, “yet he does nothing to facilitate their return.”
Walgrin sighs at the proceedings, he’d forgotten how annoying people tended to be when they didn’t know you were capable of destroying them. He rubs the bridge of his nose, checking to make sure they’re alone with the promagai, and Lord Falcrest.
“His worming… Normal for rulers of your land, or signs of his cooberation with our enemies?” He shakes his head, “Forgive me for being so blunt, but he seems content with his enemies being in power, and your ports belonging to them.” He sighs as he tries to recount the city and its fortifications to offer sound strategy to Lord Falcrest and help him make the best use of the sparse forces he was lended.He then looks to the promagai, “Marching an army after the galanti would only provoke your enemies, but a small group sent out to find them would most likely have more luck, and attract less attention.” He offers a plan using himself with the best of intentions.
Mila listened to roaring arguments with a sense of disdain. When summoned to the chambers she had been sure to dawn her cape to cover her ears, not sure how those whom she had not yet encountered yet would react to a halfling in their midsts. Though as each voice fought to rise over the next, her ears began to twitch so much she feared they would fling the hood of the cape off at any moment.
When Havensbridge made his command, she let out a deep unsatisfied sigh and followed the group out silently. As Walgrin spoke with the Promagi and Lord Falcrest, she reflected and organized in her mind the situation that had just happened, and without a word to any of them- turned back and marched back through the door at the back of the chamber where Havensbridge now sat at another table, picking at parts of the pig.
She stood at the opposite end of the table, eyeing him for what seemed like forever- hoping he would acknowledge her pressence. WHen it was clear he had no intention of doing so, clearly more interested in stuffing his face then speaking to an audience, she drew a dagger from her side and slammed it so hard into the table it shook as if in an earthquake, knocking over his goblet to spill his wine over his pristine clothes. The action seemed to get his attention as he now stared at her with a mixture of confusion and anger. He opened his mouth to speak but her words quickly overtook any of his.
“Lle naa haran e’ nausalle. You give orders when you weren’t there! You send men to their death as you sit there and stuff your face and refuse to listen as they tell you that there is more to this then just swords and shields!”
She grabs the dagger by its hilt and removes it from the table, pointing the tip of the blade towards him. “You don’t believe in fairytales, hmm?” With her free hand she pulls her hood back revealing her elven ears tangled in her mess of hair. “I suppose you don’t believe that elves still wander these lands then, either. Well Ascarer, you better start believing. They speak the truth on these ‘dragons’. They speak the truth on the utmost importance of the Galanti. And most importantly, they speak the truth on war! You may not want to fight but the fact is there will soon be one to be fought and you will have no choice in the matter if you do not act now!”
She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes, trying to regain composure. “You will give Lord Falcrest ample troops. More then you issued him. That is not enough for what he needs to accomplish. And then you will send a specialized team to seek out the Galanti. And all the while…you will begin preparations for war. Understood, Havensbridge?” Her eyes meet his as she awaits an answer, determined to get a brighter one from him then earlier.
Two guards stepped forward and levelled their polearms at Mila. The viceroy stared in what could be read as amusement for a moment, then the stare quickly changed over to confidence. “I’ll do nothing of the sort. I’m to believe an elf, a stranger with a tall tale, and a coward? No. I care nothing about Falcrest and his paltry lands. Falcrest is a pittance, barely worth keeping at all, costs more than it’s worth. The Isktari can have it as far as I’m concerned.”
“And as for you… elf, if you ever speak to me like that again… no, if you ever speak to me again, you’ll not see another sunrise. Begone.”
The promagai thought over Wall’s proposal. “You just might be right. Give us a day to formulate a plan. I’ll send for you.” She bowed, then turned to leave.