May 14 2015

The Green Rogue Volume IV – by enderandrew – narrated by Asclepius and Sophi

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the next instalment in a wonderful story by enderandrew. It is entitled
The Green Rogue Volume IV
Told by Joorus the Scribe
I am also delighted to welcome Sophi to the narrative team.
Background music “No More Regrets”, by Smartsound

Lady Vash put down her napkin, though she was still chewing and savoring the last bite of pork roast as long as she could. “Let me say again that I am truly sorry I never visited before your wife passed. I hear she loved to cook. But the cook you’ve hired is most excellent as well. That was a wonderful meal!”
Lord Zolaas set down his chalice with a grin. “I do not wish to be rude, but now that our meal is concluded, I hoped we could get down to business. I’m not a big fan of decorum when something is left unresolved.”

Lady Vash took a sip of her wine before responding. “You’ve gone to great lengths though, and I do wish to express my gratitude. How did you know I loved Midmaer wine so much? You rarely go to court in Valhold other than to dispute these lands, and you’re not one to pay gossips or spies.”

Lord Zolaas changed demeanor. The affable host in him was disappearing quickly. “There is no dispute other than what you make. You wish to steal my lands and I am supposed to just hand them to you with a smile?”

“Please, steal is such a harsh word and I do not wish to fight. We both serve King Granus faithfully and we both want what is best for our vassals. Through the years, both of our families have laid claim to those lands. They have gone back and forth. If we wish our subjects to believe we can bring this war to an end, we must first demonstrate we can put an end to small internal feuds as well. That is why I proposed a final accord that we both agree will settle this for all time.”

“Why would I risk that which I already own and give you a chance to take it from me for all time? Do you think I’m a fool?” Lord Zolaas did not look pleased.

“No, I see a loving father and a grieving husband. There are those who question you in court, and your ability to lead men to victory when your heart is burdened with loss.”

“I’d cuff every one of them, smacking some sense into them! How dare they question my conviction after everything I’ve lost?”

Lady Vash very carefully set her drink down. “Please, calm yourself. I am not one of them. I am a friend, and your guest. I am here to support you and offer you an opportunity to prove yourself. This is a question of our families as much as ourselves. We need to prove for all time which family is best suited to rule and thusly claim those lands and leave no doubt. You can silence all your critics and secure your son’s future. Imagine if he never had to worry about land disputes and could focus solely on the war efforts?”

The thought of Alex seeped in. Lord Zolaas would do anything for him. “What would you have me do to prove our family worth? Whatever it is, I am up to the task. I do not fear failure.”

“I would never suggest as such, but it isn’t you. After all, we’re talking about our descendants for all time. My son has become something of a master archer, and I think those hunting grounds are well suited to my family. Some have said your son is burdened by loss and lacks the appetite for hunting. If so, then maybe this land would go to waste with your family.”

“I haven’t taken my son hunting yet. He is 14, and our tradition is to do our first hunt at 15. It is when we first celebrate a boy becoming a man. Do you wish him to hunt a bear to silence those who would call him a coward?”

“My political adviser urged against that. If I invited your son to hunt in these lands to prove his worth, I’m symbolically conceding the land to you by default. A Kobold however-”

“Are you mad, sending my son into combat at 14?”

“Is that not always the concern, that we might all face a Kobold at any time in this kingdom? What parent hasn’t prepared their child for that moment, just in case? Men need to follow him, not just because he can claim a pelt from some animal, but because they believe he can defeat the Kobolds in war. If you don’t trust in your son’s ability-”

Lord Zolaas was done with these polite insults. “I will hear no such challenge to his name or mine. Very well, we will silence these nameless critics. My family knows only courage and if we need to demonstrate that in Kobold blood, then so be it.”

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM

Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
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Posted May 14, 2015 by Lord Asclepius in category Echoes from the Caverns, Fan Fiction

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