[RP Episode] The Flower and the Frost


#81

”The King has returned. I think you should be there.” Malvor said seriously. ”The banner at the head was trimmed with black, something bad has happened.”


#82

‘‘Oh! Of course. Give me just a moment.’’ she said, and vanished from the door, leaving Malvor to Que-Yu, who looked down on him.

Que grinned, ‘‘You look good in armour, boy.’’


#83

”Only in comparison.” Malvor smiled maliciously. He waited outside, glancing down the hallway frequently. It would not have made a more perfect picture of impatience if he was tapping his foot.


#84

Soon enough, Rhae returned to the door. She had been making herself presentable to the king, combing her hair, washing her face, putting on her earrings, bracelets, jewellery in general which matched her formal robe perfectly. She wanted to at least mirror the same level of grace she had when she first arrived in Helcar. She tried her best, but it was not the same, especially in combination with the cloak she was given by the Sorni, and the fact that her once beautiful robe has hardened and dulled with days of travel in this climate, she looked more like some barbarian princess.

‘‘Lead on.’’ she told Malvor.


#85

”You look more like one of us now, that’s for certain.” said Malvor approvingly. ”But come, we must meet them at the gate. Hurry!” He started walking swiftly down the corridor.


#86

Rhae followed Malvor in quick pursuit, with Que-Yu close behind.


#87

They arrived at the gates just in time. The great doors opened, while an old wizened elf in armor accompanied by several dozen others awaited the entry of the horsemen. Horses snorting restlessly, the Teranor returned.

Sorrow was etched on each rider’s face, beneath the white tassels of their winged helms. Armor was dented, weapons notched, makeshift bandages around arms, legs, and heads, the once proud company made a sorry sight. In their midst, rode the High King, his arms wrapped around a body in blue and white armor. His helm was gone, his hammer was missing, and a large bandage was wound around one eye.

As soon as he entered through the gates, half a dozen of the waiting warriors rushed to him, helping him gently off the horse and relieving him of the body. “Get him to the infirmary, quickly!” Macil shouted, his voice hoarse. Now dismounted, he walked back out to the gates, and fell to his knees. None of the soldiers moved. All except Malvor, who rushed after the departing medics with a cry of pain and anguish that tore through the stillness.


#88

Rhae watched Malvor run off, shrieking in pain after what she assumed was his father, Magor. She turned to look at Macil on his knees, on the ground, in pain, beaten.

A silence prevailed over the entire grounds as soldiers stood still, giving their King room to reflect, awaiting either his next command, or just to see what happens next. Rhae stood among them. She was unsure what to do, her instincts were pushing her to run after Magor, maybe she could help save him, but she doesn’t know how these people would react to foreign magic. Besides, she was brought down here for the King, she could not just leave without addressing him first.

The moment of silence persisted with Macil breathing heavily, but ever slower. Rhae summoned the courage to break the silence, and stepped forth. Very, very slowly, she took gentle steps towards the King until she came up behind him, she kneeled with one leg to lower herself to his level, both of them facing the gates. She tucked one hand inside of her robe, and pulled out a tissue. The same tissue Macil had given her when she was emotionally fragile, and holding it in hand, she extended it out towards him in offering without a word.


#89

The King took it without a word. He swiped the cloth at his tearless eyes, and continued staring out into the distance for what seemed like an eternity. Then in a low emotionless voice, he told Rhae the news.

“Verel ambushed us on the third day after our departure. He destroyed the vanguard. Magor tried to rally the troops, and fought Verel face to face. Verel rides a wolf. Magor’s throat is slashed, and his leg is in ribbons. I brought up the reserve, and counterattacked. I fought Verel. Arrows fell about us like rain. Someone knocked me aside. It was Landro. She died in my arms.” Macil’s face did not change, but tears began to run down his bloody cheeks. “I could do nothing. There is no vengeance I can take. No name I can hunt down. I do not even know whose archers loosed those accursed shafts.”


#90

‘‘I am sorry for your loss. I feel for Landro as well… she and i… she was good to me.’’ Rhae told him as her own heart took a blow, ‘‘I may be able to save Magor, if you would let me, my king.’’ she humbly told him in whispers.


#91

He turned his head to look at her, his face a ruin but his one uncovered eye gleaming with hope. “Can it be done?”


#92

Rhae nodded, but her eyes betrayed her worry, ‘‘What do you know of magic?’’ she asked.


#93

“No more than anyone else.” The light faded away, to be replaced with skepticism and a hint of curiosity.


#94

Looking out the gates, her worry faded as she remembered what took place here not two weeks ago. ‘‘He will live.’’ she declared, stood up, and rushed off the same way Malvor ran. The infirmary had to be close to allow for swift treatment of the injured.


#95

Macil made no movement, but stared back out onto the snow, looking north with his tears frozen on his pale cheeks. His right hand tightened into a fist, flexing open and closed with tension.

As Rhae flew down the hallway in search of Malvor and his father, she skidded past a doorway. As she raced by, she spotted a table with Magor lying on it. Turning quickly back around, she moved inside.

Magor was still in his armor, which was so badly smashed that the elves inside were wholesale cutting the straps that held it in place. His helmet was in fragments on the floor, and his sword was standing in the corner with a notched blade. Malvor was standing at his father’s head, holding one of his gloved hands in his own.

Magor’s proud, fair face was as when last Rhae had seen him, but blood was spattered over his mouth, and a hideous gash bound up with a torn cloak was wrapped around his throat. The armor that covered his left leg was covered in blood, rents in the leather and steel displaying hints of havoc underneath. He breathed slowly, each gasp of air more labored than the one before.


#96

‘‘Cut his armour off, quickly!’’ Rhae commanded, as if she had authority, ‘‘I can save him.’’ she announced, looking at Malvor.


#97

The elves looked to Malvor for confirmation. He tore his eyes from his father’s deathly face, and turned to Rhae, grief stricken. “You can?”


#98

‘‘Yes! Now quickly!’’ she said, urging the men besides him to finally rid Magor of the iron shell that encased his body.


#99

”Lasto!” barked Malvor. The elves continued their cutting at a renewed pace, tossing pieces of armor and formed leather aside onto the floor.

Beneath his battered hauberk, Macil’s body was covered in a slashed tunic soaked in blood, which rose and fell with his breathing. There was a gap of blood between his throat and sternum. The wolf’s fangs had missed his jugular by a hair’s breadth, but he was now bleeding profusely without the pressure of the bandage.


#100

Rhae shut the door, and came to Magor, taking one of his hands in to her own, and laying the palm of her other on his forehead. She closed her eyes. Magor did not react, as he was struggling to draw breath alone hard enough, while the others only looked at her in confusion. This would be the second Helcelene who’s life Rhae would save using her channelling magics.

The room suddenly darkened, and to the surprise of the Sorni, out of nowhere, a breeze picked up and circled the room in a calm and smooth path. Candle light went out, and the torches dimmed, the room darkened considerably, and when Rhae suddenly opened her eyes to stare in to the blankness before her, they were glowing green.

Green Glow