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Turbulence
11-23-2009, 06:40 PM
Vinter stretched his arms wide in the morning air as he walked out onto the terrace. The bite of the brisk morning air cold against his skin, tickling through the graying hair on his chest. He looked over his kingdom, its style and esthetic not his own. In self honesty he didn?t care for it at all, but their character their humble brutality appeased him greatly. With but a simple battle he had taken their entire nation as his own. Probably his new legions greatest weakness was their ability to underestimate their enemy. It was how he took control.

Looking over the balcony he saw forces of Praetorians and Cataphracts below. Some were simply this structure?s protectors, having moved to this citadel closer to the nations of western Immoren. He had reasoned he could lead the efforts better being closer to his target, but he wouldn?t lie to himself. These scorned people were alien to him, their look and feel like something from a bad dream. He would never openly admit how deep the cut was that had been left by tearing him apart from his homeland. And even worse how the dead themselves had risen to push him away from what would have been his triumphant return. There were those who were still loyal to the true crown, but they were hidden deep far and few between.

?Liege?? the call came from behind him. He turned to find Vighta, his steward and personal bodyguard standing under the curtained arch which led out to the balcony. Vighta had once been a general under his own army. He had stayed loyal after the betrayal. He had stayed loyal even after his own father?s death. Trust, he had found, was a rare commodity indeed, and one not to be squandered.

?What is it Vighta?? He asked with no tone at all, as he walked back into his chambers.

Vighta followed him in, ?Asheth is here, he has the package.?

He stopped in his tracks and slowly turned back towards Vighta. He didn?t say anything at first, tasting the words in his mouth. When he did speak it was but a simple command. ?Send him up.?

Vighta popped up straight, ?By your command.? and then quickly moved out of his liege?s chambers.

He moved over to his bed, taking a robe he?d carelessly dropped over the railing the night before. He slipped it on easily enough, calmly, but inside he could feel that excited tingle begin to rise. This cog in his plan brought home one stepped closer. He stepped over to the sharp dresser picking a piece of thick skinned fruit from a bowl. He pulled back the hardened rind taking a bite of the meat within. It was bitter and sweet, and a smile came to his lips as the taste met with his mood.

He heard the metal hiss of the artificial arm as his onetime commander now turned mercenary came up the hall. Multiple sets of heavy footfalls followed him. He tied his robe closed and turned towards the open door.

Asheth Magnus entered the royal chambers only a moment later with two trollkin in tow. Between the two was a cloaked figure, her hands bound in front of her.

?I see you still employ the trollkin dregs.? It was a statement, not a question. Both the trollkin stood there, visibly upset at the statement but impotent to respond or react. Instead they stayed at their post holding their hostage, looking stupid.

?Boomhowler and his men work well?? Magnus looked back at the two behind, and shook his head in disgust as he faced his king, ?when thoroughly instructed.?

?Guards.? He called. Several praetorians entered the room in only seconds. ?Take the girl,? He waved his hand offhandedly at the hostage, ?show her a seat.?

They responded in their native language to their liege, and while Magnus had begun learning this twitter of a language, Boomhowler and his men couldn?t be bothered. As the praetorians stepped towards the two mercenaries, the trollkin raised their axes. In return the praetorians drew their own weapons.

?I wouldn?t do that, boys.? Magnus told his hired guns, although they did not respond well to the instruction. One began to raise his axe?

?Enough!? Vinter commanded, his voice raised. Everyone in the room came to a sudden halt. ?Asheth, tell your men to leave.?

Magnus turned towards his men, ?Get out of here! Tell Greygore I?ll be out soon.? The two trollkin took a moment to process the information, but then conceded and left. One of the praetorians stepped forward grabbing a stool, forcefully the praetorian force the bound woman down on the stool. She yelped as she was man handled down onto the seat, but then became silent again.

The Praetorian sheathed his blade and pulled the cloaks hood back hard. Underneath the woman had a sack over her head, it too was forcefully pulled off the woman?s head. Her eyes looked out with hate and disdain, her mouth gagged. Her head spun around taking in her surroundings, her mind spinning quickly assessing the situation.

Vinter looked down upon her, silently judging her. He could see what his brother saw in her. She was a beauty to be sure, but it was more than that. Her she was outnumbered and lost, and yet her strength beamed out from her eyes. She wasn?t showing fear. Looking at Magnus he nodded towards the girl. The man who was known as the traitor back in their homeland, the man who was now Vinter?s personal warlord, moved towards the woman. With a quick movement of his iron hand he ripped the gag from around her face. Her head ****ed with the momentum whip lashing painfully.

She stretched her neck around, cracking the vertebrae noisily. She looked past Magnus towards her betrothed?s brother with pure hatred in her eyes. A wry smile crept up on Rhaelthorne?s lips. ?Lady Danae.?

?Are you truly this foolish Vinter?? Her words spitting forth like venom.

Vinter Rhaelthorne pulled up another stool and sat across from his beautiful hostage. For the moment she had no more quips, but those eyes of hers would have burned holes straight though him if she had the ability. He just sat there, across from her, a small smile on his face. He was taking in the pleasure of the presence of a beautiful woman. His new people were scared and pock marked. They had survived something terrible, but the scars were more than emotional, they were physical as well. The idea of what was beautiful to this race of scarred mutant elves was still lost on him. He could take this woman, but :ph34r: was beyond his style. Magnus might, even his inquisitors had probably taken whatever physical pleasures they wanted during an interrogation, but Vinter had never had to take a lady by force. He was a king, and female accompaniment had always charged towards him. He could probably have his choice of these scorned peoples women but they did not appease his appetite.

Magnus just watched Vinter?s wordless assault began to unnerve her. She was strong willed to be sure. Her capture had not been easy, and Boomhowler had lost two of his own men in the attempt. But as Vinter just sat across from her, he watched as her armor began to crumple under Vinter?s silently scrutiny.

Vinter relaxed, sitting back slightly on the backless stool. ?Welcome to the marches dear sister.? Vinter chimed with a friendly smile on his face.

?I am no sister of yours, despot.? Lady Danae hissed.

Vinter reached out to brush her hair away from her face, she snapped away from his touch. ?You are engaged to my brother, soon to be his wife. That would make you my sister-in-law in even the most uncivilized of environments. So when I call you with familiarity you should be gracious with it. You are not exactly in the best of circumstances.?

?It won?t work.? She spat.

?What won?t work my dear?? Vinter questioned never losing his friendly tone.

?This!? She held up her bound hands. ?He won?t trade a kingdom for one woman. No matter how mu?.?

Vinter tilted his head playfully, as if to imply ?whats that? I didn?t quite get that?. However the look stoked her own fires, when she spoke again her vigor was slightly renewed.

?No matter how much he loves me. He wouldn?t be the man I love if he would do something so stupid.?

?So stupid? Stupid to risk it all for the woman, his lady fair? No child, I know he isn?t stupid. He is of my blood. His head in books all the time. My brother is no idiot. No, I know he would never trade the kingdom for your life.? Vinter continued still smiling. ?No ruler would ever do something so foolish. No you don?t seem to see the larger picture.?

She said nothing, but her expression was confused, and a hint of fear might have been creeping in there as well. Vinter rose from his seat, moving back over to the fruit bowl picking up something that looked like a cross between an acorn and an apple. He took a bite and walked back over to the arch that looked out over the balcony. He was waiting for her curiosity. It didn?t take as long as he thought it would.

?What picture?? she asked quietly.

Vinter turned from where he was. ?I plan to offer my brother something he can?t resist. Hope.?

?How could you ever offer something like hope? You?ve never cared for anything in your life. And you think you can bring Leto hope?? She asked angrily.

?You don?t understand yet do you?? Vinter?s smile turned wicked ?You?re already dead. Even now they search the whole kingdom for you. And you know what they will find? Nothing. Well?? he paused to chuckle, ?not until I want them to. Then they will find evidence of your death.?

Turbulence
11-23-2009, 06:41 PM
Her face had gone pale. Fear had pounced and captured her. When armed with death, fear usually won easily.

?Oh no, you misunderstand dear sister. I have no intention of killing you. No you are to be my guest. Here.? And he spread his arms out wide. ?Asheth cut her bonds.?

Magnus pulled a dagger and slipped it between her hands. With a swipe of the blade her bonds were cut.

?No my dear sister,? Vinter sat back across from her on the stool. ?My brother is beset on all sides. Khador, Cryx, the Protectorate. They all want something, and they all think Cygnar has it. And now he has lost you. His gem, so now his world looks a little darker. His enemies close in, a little darker. No solace, even darker.?

And it began to dawn on her what Vinter might really be up to.

?And when Leto is at his lowest point, he gets word you live. And he?ll send rescue, but they will fall. He?ll try again, and they will fall to.? Vinter continued.

?Might even send in his pretty boy Stryker too.? Magnus chimed in.

Vinter tossed him a look to shut up. When he turned back towards his sister-in-law his wicked smile had returned. ?And finally when he can stand to wait no longer he will lead the charge himself to save his precious light, you.? Vinter leaned back head tilted to one side, smiling.

The look of absolute horror had taken over Lady Danae face. She would rather take her own life than be used against her beloved like this.

Vinter rose and walked back over towards the curtained archway that led to the balcony, looking past the curtain towards the horizon, towards the not so distant future. He turned towards the woman who thought she would someday be queen, ?Don?t you just love family reunions my dear?? he asked with his wicked smile, and then stepped out onto the balcony once again to view his kingdom.