The War of Kings

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by EquinoxSol, Dec 7, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Failen had been on the run for a month, his trusted personal guard the only other person with him. Together, the two had made their way through the countryside, avoiding his brother's assassins and the commonfolk, who all now believed him to be some sort of demon, which was why his brothe could try to kill him without being lynched himself.

    Miraculously though, just after the first snow of the winter fell, Failen and his guard Aleistar made it across the border to a neighboring country, where hopefully less of his brother's assassins would find them.

    Trudging through knee-high snow in their summer clothing, the two unused to such a cold clime, soon came upon a small town.

    "Aleistar," the exiled prince said, shivering, "Let's stop here...I want to sleep in a bed by a warm fire tonight...I'm done with trudging through the snow."

    The knight nodded. "Yes, my lord," he said, just as wanting for a warm bed and a full night's sleep.

    Finding a road, where there wasn't as much snow, the pair of elves moved to the town, though Failen couldn't read the signs. He could speak the language of these people just fine, but reading it was another matter. We need to find an inn, he thought, wishing he had worn a heavy jacket and sturdier boots for the escape, though in his homeland it was still mild an temperate. Damn the cold, he thought.
  2. An older woman was walking through the town when she noticed the two. They definitely looked like they didn't belong in the small town. They were hardly even dressed for the spring, much less the winter! Being the compassionate woman she was, she called out to them. "Oi! Do you boys need a place to stay tonight?" She walked toward them, carrying a basket of hidden contents. "The Inn's packed! Travelers 'ave been coming by the bucket-loads! But, if you need a warm fire to rest your feet near, my daughter and I 'ave a small cottage near the edge of town. You could stay for a short while, if you like?" She seemed kind, her worn and wrinkled face radiating enough sweetness to give twenty kids cavities.
  3. The two looked at each other warily. Should they trust this woman, who seemed so kind and generous, for now apparent reason? She must want something...Failen knew, but still...whatever she wanted, he would be happy to give as long as there was a fire to sleep by.

    A month spent running changed the prince, who had known only pampering and luxury all his life. Now, he had no shame. Throughout the month, he had needed to do many and more to simply survive, and any qualms he had about eating raw tree sap or even stealing had gone away the first few nights he had been hungry. Now he did all he could to survive. And if this woman wanted some sort of manual labor or something for a night by the fire or in a bed, then Failen would let it happen.

    "Please," he said, nodding his head. "We would both enjoy a fire...and would be happy to provide some sort of help in exchange." He forced a smile, his lips cracked slightly from the cold. The smile turned to a wince as a stiff breeze blew through, able to pass through his clothes as easy as if he hasn't been wearing any.
  4. "Oh don't you worry your pretty little 'eads, dears. I'm sure my daughter would just simply like the company." The older woman gave a wink to the two before taking their hands and leading them toward the very edge of town. "Aine should be coming back from the forge soon! She's always working so 'ard to give us a way to live by! The sweet thing." The woman's salt and pepper hair shook as she shook her head. "I just wish she would find 'erself a 'usband already! Oh! I'm sorry! I shouldn't be talking about none of this with you two!" The group arrived at a humble little cottage that was near a larger building. The sign on the building said, "Brennan Forgery and Amory." "Ere we are! Make yourselves at 'ome!" The old woman opened the door to let the two in.
  5. Failen found the old woman's chatter invigorating. Aleistar was never a good conversationalist, and Failen enjoyed having someone who would say more than, "Yes, my lord." Hopefully the woman's daughter was equally as talkative.

    The cottage they arrived at seemed cozy, and immediately made Failen long for a warm fire and some warm milk mixed with honey, like his mother would make for him when he would have nightmares. She would add a pinch of cinnamon to the milk, to make it taste amazing, and the mixture would almost always have Failen asleep in minutes.

    Oh, how he longed for those long past summer days, when his parents still lived and he and his brother still believed each other to be the only friend they needed.

    Once inside the cottage, Failen stamped the snow off his boots and tried to wipe off some of the flakes that had caught on his silken clothes. Still, he was warm now, and didn't care about anything else. Cheeks rosy from the cold, he wiped snowflakes from his dark eyebrows and the scruff of a week's worth of not shaving. The last time he had been able to was almost a week ago, when he had stolen a man's shaving knife and had gotten himself to look princely and as regal as a fugitive could be. The knife had been lost in the snow though, and now Failen was looking scraggly again.

    "I cannot thank you enough, my lady," Failen said, already feeling better.
  6. "Oh don't you worry yeself none! Just get warm, you two. I'll get the firewood from the cellar so I can cook you two a 'ot meal!" The old woman smiled and left the two in the warm room. A modest fire was purring in a metal fireplace. The fireplace had dragons carved into it and looked to be hand crafted. Two soft, but worn, chairs sat near the fire, waiting to be sat in. The wooden house was small, but cozy though woodwork was nothing to sneeze at.

    The door behind them opened to reveal a figure covered in a large coat and a scarf. The figure didn't seem to notice them as a feminine voice called out, "Mum! You forgot to lock the door behind you, again. You really need to work on not leaving it open! Criminals and dangerous people could just walk in and..." The voice trailed of as the hood of the coat was pulled down, revealing a young girl around the prince's age. She had long red hair, braided into a large braid. She turned around, pale skinned cheeks full of freckles and bright green eyes. Those eyes narrowed as her hand reached to her belt. "Who are you? And where is my mother?" Her accent was as thick as her mothers, though it was easy to understand.
    #6 The Writing Owl, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  7. Failen walked to the fire, wanting to just lie down in front of it. How people lived in the cold like this, the prince would never understand. He sat on the left of the two chairs, gesturing for Aleistar to follow. The older elf did, his dark eyes taking in the room, undoubtedly checking the exits. Failen, seeing this, whispered, ", my name is Naer. You're my uncle Leonah and we are traveling north to find join, a mercenary group. I'm not 'my lord' or your prince. My brother cannot know we're here. I don't want him to destroy these people just because we've been here."

    Just then, the girl walked in. As she noticed them, he spoke. "Er...I'm Naer. Your mother went to the basement to get firewood...she invited us in." Seeing where her hand moved, he noticed Aleistar's hand moving to his own sword, and placed a hand over his. "W-we're just travelers...nothing more." Failen had never been a good liar, and he could tell that he wasn't doing any better of a job than normal.
  8. The girl glared at the prince. "You're a 'orrid liar, you know that?" She left her knife alone, not sensing any hostility from the prince. The man next to him, however... "If you don't want whatever is chasing you to find you, you need to get a whole lot better at lyin'." She was making guesses now, but she had been known to have a great instinct and this instinct was telling her that these people weren't just mere travelers. She may not be good with math numbers, but she had a way with people.

    The young girl's mother walked up with the firewood just as she had finished her accusations. "Oh! Aine, you're 'ome, darling! Come, 'elp your mum 'eat up the oven. We've got guests with us tonight! Boys, this is my daughter, Aine. She's quite the looker, isn't she?" That comment got a growled out 'Mum!' from the red haired girl, whose face was now as red as her hair. She finished taking off her clothes, revealing soot covered arms and a bit of soot that was hidden on her face. She moved to wash off the black so she could help her mother.

    The two disappeared into the kitchen where a washbasin was nearby. If the elves listened, they could clearly hear the conversation whispered between mother and daughter. "Mum! 'Ow could you let them in! They could 'ave been serial killers and you wouldn't 'ave known it! I could 'ave come 'ome to a dead mum in her bed just because she was being a bit too generous!"

    "Sweetling, give me more credit! I can take care of myself! Besides, those boys were just looking for a warm meal and a nice fire to stay near. If they were planning on 'urting either myself or you, I would 'ave never offered to let them stay."

    "That's what Da always said and now he's gone! I don't want that to 'appen to you, Mum! I don't want to be alone..."

    "Oh, my little pumpkin... You don't 'ave to worry. Where do you think you got your sense of instinct from? I promise you, nothing's going to 'appen to me. That younger one is quite 'andsome though... 'E might just be the right 'usband for ya!"

    "Mum! Please, I don't need a 'usband! If you want grandchildren so bad, I'll take in an orphan and call him my own!"

    "You're lying to yeself, Aine. Now, clean up and go get those two men some blankets!"

    "Yes, Mum..." The young girl walked out of the kitchen after helping her mother put the firewood in the stove to start cooking. She walked down to the cellar where they kept most of their extra supplies.
  9. As the girl and her mother spoke, Failen couldn't help but listen in. It was rather interesting, learning about those two. Still, a light redness crept onto his cheeks when he head the part about him being married. Technically, he was betrothed, but he suspected his brother had killed her after he learned that Failen had escaped.

    By the time the conversation had finished, Failen had scooted as close to the fire as he could get without catching fire himself. His clothes were practically dripping melted snow, creating a little pool on the fine wood floors. Slowly, feeling returned to his fingers and toes, and for the first time in a week, he didn't feel like his ears were about to fall off. Brushing dark hair from his eyes, he sighed contentedly as he slowly started feeling warm again. His thin silk clothes were no match against the stiff winter gusts that blew through the valleys of this country.

    "Er..." he began, slightly nervous. "Excuse me, my lady, but is there anything you wish for me to help with? I--we--do not wish to intrude upon your hospitality, and would be more than happy to assist you." Shuffling a bit in his chair, he swiped his tongue over his chapped lips, wetting them in anticipation for what he might need to do to earn his keep there.
  10. "Well," The young girl started, coming back up with a blanket and some old clothes. "You could start by drying yourselves off and putting on new clothes. I just cleaned these floors so I don't want to 'ave to clean them multiple times. Just leave your wet clothes by the fire to dry out." Aine noticed the young prince's beard and nodded to the door to the right of them. "The washroom's just over there. You and your friend can shave also. We 'ave a spare shaving knife." She set the blanket and clothes down on the chairs for them. She waited before turning. "If either of you makes one unkind gesture toward my mum, well, the wolves would enjoy such nice fatty meats." Aine turned back to the kitchen, helping her mother cook a meal for four people.
  11. "Never, my lady," Failen said, standing. Leaving Aleistar by the fire, he took the dry clothes and retreated to the washroom, smiling when he saw the knife. Wetting it and his face, he was thankful for the mirror when he held up the knife to his cheeks.

    By the time he was out of the washroom, he was in clean, dry clothes and was clean-shaven, making him look a bit younger. Nodding for Aleistar to go, he sank down into his chair, pulling the blanket around him and hoping that he didn't catch a fever. That was the last thing they needed, and he didn't want to spend more than a night at these people's house. He couldn't have his brother find them and kill them dr nothing more than good will.

    Sighing, he let his clothes dry by the fire, hoping that once the color returned to them as they dried that the girl wouldn't know how expensive she was. The older woman might think nothing of it, but he was certain that the girl would, which would mean trouble for the two fugitives.

    Not for the first time, he wanted to be at home, in the castle. Sometimes, Failen felt like he would give up his life just for a night at the castle again. Sighing softly, he longed for home as he sat before the fire, his pale blue eyes starin into its depths.
  12. Soon enough, Aine came out with two bowls of stew. "Supper's ready. You better get eating before it gets cold." She handed one bowl to each of the men, sitting down on the floor with her own bowl. Her mother walked in with a chair and set it down, sitting on it to rest her old weary bones. The two had a quick silent prayer before starting to eat, Aine studying the two carefully.

    "So, where are you boy's from? Obviously somewhere rich and warm considering you 'ave such nice clothes." The old woman smiled as she asked, looking over the clothes then the two men. She studied the younger one, hoping he would be a boy her daughter finally grew attached to. If not, she had a few matchmaking plans with some of the men Aine's age coming over to see if they were compatible.

    Aine could tell from the silk clothes that the two men were obviously from money. What they seemed to be running from, though, she wasn't sure. Maybe it was a loveless marriage or maybe they simply were sick and tired of whatever large house they lived in. She doubted the latter. If she lived in a castle she would visit the forge whenever she could and never leave. The most likely answer was that someone was trying to hurt them. Why would they need to lie if not for that reason?
  13. "We came from an elven country south of here," Failen said, bringing the bowl to his lips, having not been given silverware. Not realizing how hungry he was until he began eating, he chewed pieces of carrot and meat, the stew warming him from the inside out. The prince decided not to say anything more; these people seemed nice, but with what his brother was giving as a reward for him alive, who knew what the two women would do.

    "I cannot thank you enough for this hospitality," he said, bowing his head. "We h e been traveling for far too long, and a nice night inside will do us both wonders...especially my uncle...I fear he's been getting sick." Praying that his skills at lying we're better than earlier, he eyed the girl, seeing if she saw through his lie. Right at that second, however, he started coughing, he chest heaving as he tried to stop, one hand covering his Mouth as the other struggled to keep the stew from splashing everywhere.

    When the fit of coughing passed, he muttered, "We'll, maybe I'm the one getting sick..."
  14. "You're "uncle" sure seems 'ealthy for such a frail man..." Aine said. When he started coughing she immediately stood up and went to go grab something from the kitchen. She had finished her own stew and was going to wash it anyway. She came back with a black bottle and a large spoon. Sitting in front of the prince, she poured enough of a dark liquid into the spoon to fill it but not make it overflow. She set the bowl of stew aside and held the spoon in front of his mouth. "'Ere. This will 'elp with that cold you're getting." She waited for him to take it. Up close, her eyes seemed a lot more innocent and pretty, despite her paranoia about the two.

    The old woman cleared her throat and looked over to the prince's 'uncle'. "You don't talk much, do you dear? I never did get your names. My name is Elga. You know that that's my daughter, Aine. I 'ope your nephew feels better in the morn. It would be 'orrible for the poor thing to fall sick."
  15. Failen looked at the liquid uncertainly, trying to read the label on the bottle and failing. His blue eyes scanning the girl's face for signs of deceit, he found none, and drank the liquid. Making a face, he gagged, but swallowed it. Wanting something to wash away the bad taste in his mouth, he mumbled, "Gods, thank you."

    Aleister, meanwhile, was dealing with the older woman. "Name's Leonah...nephew is Naer." Despite being a knight, Aleister didn't know too much of the language of these people, and he had trouble not stumbling over the clunky words. Finishing his bowl, he folded his arms over his chest, uncomfortable amongst so many strangers.
  16. "It tastes nasty, doesn't it?" Aine chuckled. "It's a brew from the local witch doctor... at least she calls 'erself that. She's more of an apothecary if you ask me. That should help you with your cold there." She put a hand up to his forehead, checking his temperature. Despite her suspicions about these people, she couldn't turn down a sick man. She pulled the blanket around him after feeling a slight temperature on the prince. "You better get up to bed. You'll need the rest." She pointed toward the staircase. "There's a spare room upstairs for you and your... uncle to use."

    Elga smiled. "Don't know much of the language, do ya sweetie? Don't worry, I won't make you talk if you don't want to." She took the bowl from him and brought it to the kitchen to clean it. Just as she was doing this, a knock resounded against the door. "Aine? Could you get that?" Elga called from the kitchen, busy with the dishes.

    "Right on it, Mum!" Aine walked over to the door and opened it. "Who in the hells is-Oh... It's you." She glared at a man in front of her. He was a very tall man, blonde hair and tan skin. His brown eyes were hard, yet showed a strange charm.

    "Oh don't be so 'arsh, Aine. I simply wanted to pay my two favorite ladies a visit." The man said, walking past Aine into the home. He noticed the two men and smirked. "Visitors? Foreigners it looks like. You take in a few more strays, Elga?"
    "They simply needed a warm fire. I would suggest you leave, Jaque, before you poison the young one's air. 'E's quite sick and doesn't need you to bother 'im right now." Aine retorted, pushing the man toward the exit.

    "Oh, but my lovely Aine! I thought you liked me more than this?" Jaque pouted. "We are valuable business partners after all. Do you have the orders done for this week?" He poked her head, further annoying the young girl.

    Aine growled before letting out a small sigh. "Yes, now go away so I can let our damn guests rest you perverted bastard!" She pushed him out the door before slamming it behind her, locking it so that no one could come in without breaking it down.
  17. Failen watched the conversation with great interest, his grey eyes scanning over the faces of the woman and the man who had come in. He wasn't sure in the end what their relationship was, but once she had gotten the man out of the house, he frowned a bit.

    "A friend?" he asked once the door was shut. He shared a glance with Aleistar. The more people who know we're here means more people to tell my brother we were here, he thought. Hopefully, he and Aleistar could leave these people soon, so when his brother followed them, they wouldn't be there.

    He was about to say more when he started coughing again. Covering his mouth with a hand, he hunched over, his shoulders shaking. When he finally stopped, he felt Aleistar's hand on his back, rubbing it softly. He muttered, "Careful, my lord..." When Failen stopped, he glanced at Aleistar again. What if the two women spoke their language? The knight could have just given them away...
  18. Aine's eyes narrowed at the different language, recognizing vaguely the terms from different customers. So the man was some important person in his homeland. "Business partner that came from the bowels of 'ell itself." She growled, irritated and tired. Things were just not looking up for her today. She wished she had a nice cup of gin.

    "Sweetie, calm down. We'll 'ave the doctor come look at your nephew tomorrow. For now, you two get yourselves up to bed! It's nearly midnight!" Elga ushered the two up to the stairs, making sure the younger one was being supported by the older man. Aine sighed and walked to the kitchen to grab a bottle of rum. She needed a drink after a long day of hard work.
  19. Failen coughed the entire way up the stairs, Aleistar supporting him as he slowly put one foot before he other. The knight was worried for his prince; he had been coughing for a week now, and would sometimes be sick in the mornings. When he finally stopped, the prince smiled appreciatively to the woman before asking, "Which room will we sleep in?" Once he had his answer, he nodded his head and said, "Thank you for your hospitality. Not many others would take two people like us into their home. I will find some way to repay you, my lady."

    Aleistar simply nodded his head, still holding up the prince. It was odd, seeing him without the crown on. At the castle, he and his brother both wore a crown of silver while their father wore one of gold. Ever since they had been on the run, Failen had never worn his, though it was tucked safely in his bag. Even now, Failen couldn't seem to part with it. A danger to the both of them, but Aleistar wouldn't object.
  20. "Don't you two worry yeselves none about that. I will go tell the local doctor about your sickness and she'll come and fix you right up! Now you two just rest! And if you need anything, Aine's room is right next door." Elga smiled as she ushered the two in and left to go find the witch doctor's house. Aine stood awkwardly before moving to her room.

    She stopped at the door and looked over at the two. "Um... if... if you need to talk... or anything just let me know, alright?" She sounded concerned for once since the poor boy was sick. She quickly then walked into her room and stripped down to a sleeveless shirt and some thin pants. They hid barely anything as she got into bed to get some rest before a busy day tomorrow.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.