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“Let me out. Now!”
The words rang out through the Conclave of the Sceptre. They echoed down dusty passageways and through dimly lit hallways. The words were coming from one of the rooms nearly at the top of the Forum. Those where the rooms where the noble and the famous were often accommodated in.
“Lady Abina. Please, stop yelling.” begged the little ystin
“Get away from me, you creep. Just you wait until my father hears about this. Then he’ll have you diced up and fed to his pets. Now, let me out” she paused, waiting for the fury little ystin to give in to her demands “NOW!”
“Please milady, please stop screaming. You have nothing to fear. We are not here to hurt you, rather we are here to protect you”
“Protect me from what? I got here all by myself, without a single injury, bruise or fight. And as soon as I enter this wretched city, I got seized and locked away in some dungeon, stuck with some bug looking creature.”
“Milady, this is no dungeon. This is one of the best rooms that the Forum of the Sceptre has to offer. You will want for nothing here. Your every need will be accommodated for.”
“Every need? Every single one of them” Lady Abina looked closely at the ystin, trying to discern if she was being lied to.
“Yes milady” replied the ystin with a great smile. Happy that he was finally getting somewhere this rash Imperial lady “Your every single need.”
“Good. Then let me out….. NOW!”
The ystin finally gave up. “ By the Watchers, I swear that you are a hopeless woman. Enjoy shouting at the top of your lungs with only you to hear.” And with that said, the ystin turned and walked to the locked door, it’s body leaning down on its two front claws while its four remaining legs shuffled behind. The ystin raised its claw and tapped the door. Twice. The door jerked open and a large karuuni stepped into sight, armoured and holding large spear. The lady Abina, scared of its size and appearance, took a step back out of fear.
“Yes sir?” spoke the gruff karuuni, towering far above the ystin.
“She is all yours. I’m off to tell the Sceptre that they have no hope of cooperation from this lady…” the ystin paused “Pah. Has the manners of a gutter woman if you ask me.”
The feathery karuuni stood to attention as the ystin walked away and then proceeded to slam the great oak door closed. What sounded like a bolt, was placed across the door, causing a small screech to be emitted from the rubbing of the oak door. And then there was silence.
Lady Abina, no longer having anyone to scream at, walked over to the bed lying in the corner of the room. She sat down, and let out a heavy sigh.
Now what, she thought to herself.
How do I get out of here?
A heavy silence overcame the room, one that would not be interrupted by anything trying to make noise. And as Lady Albina lay on her bed, desperately trying to form an escape plan, the silence lulled her into a deep sleep.
Many people would say that a problem shared is a problem halved. However today, Lord Elushsir, Head Chairman of the Sceptre, would disagree. Today was the tenth Forumday since the summer solstice and tradition dictated that on any Forumday, anyone could present a case to the Sceptre as long as the case involved the people of Rudain as a whole. So far, the spice merchants had put forth their case, asking for more protection to be granted by the Sceptre, as their caravans were often falling prey to bandits and Aluyca Imperials. The fisherman and farmers of the coast had presented their case, reporting that their land was slowly being taken over the sea – which no one believed. And the head of the Sacellum of Ichohn was about to present his case, asking for military backing in his hunt to burn and kill Murkilid cultists.
Lord Elushir let out a sigh, rubbing his temple between his fingers. Murkilid cultists having nothing to do with the affairs of the Sceptre, he thought. Deal with th-.
“My Lords of the Sceptre” someone called out from the crowd surrounding the Forum podium, interrupting Lord Elushir’s self musings.”We have an important case for the Sceptre that needs to be addressed immediately”.
The owner of the voice came into view as he finally reached the front of the crowd. He was an old karuuni dressed in the garb of the Seaside Watch, his once large and powerful body worn down through the countless solstices he had seen.
The representative of the Ichohnites, disgusted at the thought of his case being postponed, was quick to respond. “My Lords of the Sceptre” he rebutted “Surely the matters of the Sacellum of Ichohn are far more important than that of the less-than-honourable Seaside Watch.”
The representative paused as if waiting for a rebuttal, but receiving none, he continued. “So, as I was say-”
“You would be wise to heed your words, Ichohnite.” boomed Lord Elushir, his voice silencing all those whispering in the crowd. “The Seaside Watch carry out an honourable duty, one which the safety and security of Rudain relies on. If, you do not believe so, perhaps we could arrange for you to join their ranks. Maybe then you would be convinced of their importance and honour.”
The Ichohnite representative stepped forth aggressively – his eyes flared in outrage. “Never has a humble servant of Ichohn been treated so….With such contempt” he yelled.
“And maybe it was about time that someone did then” replied Lord Elushir.
Upon hearing this, the crowd burst into fits of laughter and giggles. Even a smile leaked onto Lord Elushir’s face as the Ichohnite representative stomped off the podium, his face bright red from embarrassment.
“Quiet!” roared Lord Gaelin of the Sceptre, smashing his wooden gavel down repeatedly on the desk in front of him. The crowd fell silent, none of them wanting to be singled out by Lord Gaelin, for he had a reputation for conscripting those that did not obey him. Lord Elushir, quite unimpressed by the Lord Gaelin’s behaviour, looked back to the old karuuni who had silently remained standing there since he had first arrived.
“Present to us your case.”