Midnight RPG - Chapter 14.72
Kevin / Nazif
- [This scene takes place after Zal'Kazzir frees the imp-like Outsider from his bonding prison above Vrolk's bedchamber... Assume the imp speaks to you all with these words in public; if you have something private to speak with it about - do so in another Bluebook (please ASK me BEFORE beginning a new private article.]
The little imp... like a tentative diplomat. The look in its eyes speaks decades. It keeps eye contact with you, slowly moving to each "lord" in the room as it cautiously moves, as to not insite agitation, and it seems to be processing this new information all the way... Listening prior to being set free the Outsider coughs, clearing its throat in ever so untreatening a way... Recalling the tonalities of the Erenlander tongue, it speaks...
"Information is life in the land beneath the Shadow, my lords... My friends...", as if slipping into conversation...
It’s little belly swells and shrinks with each breath. Then it bows before you.
"How EVER may I be of service, ma-lord?", it asks in a soft, mature and courtly voice.
The imp has a courtesan manner about it as it collects those things taken from it when imprisoned, it continues...
"Forgive me, I have you at minor disadvantage ma-lords. While I can see that you have wonderfully disguised yourselves to no doubt fool the fools about Master Vrolk's Black Nail, I have the advantage of knowing your race and creeds, as would my mother know her own childlings... Forgive. You may not be familiar with such as strange fellow as I...
My kind was sent to Aryth in ages past, unkownable to even the eldest of fey, our roles... to play privy to kings, queens, couquerors and courtly aspirations. Quite pointedly to negotiate with the wizards and kings of the day.
Sadly as the Shadow fell, the mountain that was hurled from the heavens RIPPED the very fabric of the cosmos in such a was that a large number of my kin, kith and kind were stranded during that Sundering.
It is my sole wish, NAY - responsibility, ma-lords, to aid those that seek refuge from the Shadow and mallevolent minions of Aryth to make deals with whatever channelers, wizards, and collaborators will have us. We Outsiders remain natural ambassadors, bridging the divide between earthly mortals and unearthly evils.
"It is with newfound thanks that I must offer now, to you my new MASTER", it says looking at Zal'Kazzir.
"You have certainly let loose my perverbial chains, freeing me from my decades of torment at the hands of an elf, barren of elven sensibilities... Not to speak of his lacking in the manner in what makes mortal man into kingly might. Though it is with great sorrow that you have learned my True Name...", as his finger flutters a touch at the ashes resulted from Zal'Kazzir's burning of the skin marked with the word "NAZIF".
'Tis true you, good sir, have freed me. Yet in knowing the ture name of my kind you now hold me sway, beneath your benevolet brow. It is with this, MASTER, that my heart weeps... For rescued me from doom, you are my samaritan, my conservator, my deliverer, my knight, my liberator, my rescuer, my salvager, my hero, you are my salvation... You ma-lord, I would have followed unto the Shadow-Scar., the little courtisan looks away in humbled thought (at the same time glancing to see if your heart-strings are pulled as intended!)
For unlike many of my breathern, I would have followed a true pathwalker, a heroes-journeyman unto the Gates of HELL!
And now... bound as I am, I shall march, to your drum. Though, forgive my insolence MASTER, but I feel it is my duty to unveil my heart as much my mind - my mind grows heavy that it must be without choice in the matter. More a slave than a devout. I only wish there were way that you might see my loyalty to the cause without the necessity of the incorporeal shackles that tie my bond to you forever ma-lord..., Nazif looks up with whimpering eyes.
(ADAM, for your eyes ONLY, see below for a Sense Motive check on this)
Pushing the mist from his bulbous eyes the little ambassador nods to each of you.
Looking you in the eye - not to make ANY one of you feeling less than the other...
"As I said ma-lords, my TRUE name is Nazif how EVER may I be of service."
Hail and well met, small one! *Zal'Kazzir smiles warmly*
It seems I may have met my match in word-smithing, and certainly my better in garb and taste. *Zal'Kazzir gives a flourished half-bow*
Be welcome, but be mindful of such harsh words; you are no slave, no more than a Beeshi is slave to his Sussar, and it is ungenerous to accuse one's liberator of enslaving his friends.
Please, sit and let us talk; there is much for us to discuss; have you eaten? *Zal'Kazzir gestures to a plump steak* There is food aplenty and I don't think our rudely absent host will miss it.
[Adam: I'm sure this conversation will probably confuse and/or annoy several characters, but I guess that's the price of diplomacy :P ]
Kevin / Nazif
The little imp... looks about as he slips on his cloak, a dull violet - that had formerly been the color of kings, now faded with filth, denoting that perhaps before he made his way into the insect-infested Spire, the tiny Outsider had walked his way through the Dead Marches as you did but a few days ago. The cloak's fur wreathes its squished neck - a lion's main perhaps, one as white as snow... (in reality this is the fur of some northern dire bear, the cloak of a Dorn or Dwarven king cut down to size, and showing its years)
"Harsh words MASTER? Oh, forgive. I did not intend to twist my tongue to make you feel as though I discredit your kindness. Nay, my liberator. Quite the opposite. I wish to dance in joy and share the day with you and your lovely companions. But it is with sad regret that I cannot dine at the MASTER's table. For I am now bound to you, by the name that your mouth does carelessly whisper. Yes, it is true that no better a MASTER you seem to be that I have ever had - but yet MASTER you are still.
However, it is with my most humble request that I beg, as it lowers to both knees, face to the floor I plead your forgiveness my MASTER. now a little garbled by the fact that its talking into the ground... I had not formerly considered the notion of Beeshi to Sussar... The ways of the Sarcosan people are wise and willing, are they not...? as its bulbous eyes flicker across the faces of Durgaz, then Kyuad, then the Erenlander, then finally resting on Eranon - before refocusing with his head raised, yet still in a kneeling position - as if waiting to be relieved to stand...
Humbled ma-lords, am I. I had not wagered that such a vigilant and venerable member of the mankind would be the one to let loose my chains. Forgive my insolence my MASTER, I knew not to whom I spoke. You have a cautionary tongue that I have not seen the likes of in one hundred and eleventy years. It was the error that my tongue fell forked for but that moment of accusation. I shall take forty lashes on the morn if I take a one for my ungenerous behaviour.
...thank you again for not beating my tongue, MASTER... There is much to discuss. You have told me you are not a king. We must yet discuss which nation you wish to become king of, which people you wish to call your subjects, perhaps we can discuss what your coin will read while I capture your likeness for the backside of your gold piece. As for the food, I will dine only after the MASTER has eaten. When at the heel of one's lord, so first must the MASTER be satiated.
Nazif recalls all that he has said, as if weighing his words but then lets slip something that he had not intended. The words prior were of natural training. But these are from the heart - perhaps even more genuine...
...hmm... wh...whaaat did you call me?... Ma...Master... did you utter and speak the word of bond... did you call me friend?", a tear wells up in the Outsiders eye as he looks up from his prone position...
*Zal'Kazzir's face becomes stern*
Speak no more of lashes and boot-heels!
I need neither fawning toady nor grovelling slave. I whisper no name carelessly, and my authority does not imply your servitude; Sarcosan ways, whether wise or not, respect freedom. They demand fealty and offer respect in just measure. I offer you my respect and yes, my friendship, but I demand your fealty.
Bill / Kyuad
Kyuad attempts to interject, "Erm, excuse me Za..."
If you would honour my generosity, however, know that it is gravely discourteous to treat my companions and I as though we were starry-eyed fools; you speak to us of kings and coins in a world where kings lie slain and coins are worthless. I understand the value of offering such things, and the intelligence you can gain from our responses, but spare us empty words and hollow promises; speak fairly and be welcome, but fork your tongue ungenerously and know scorn.
*Zal'Kazzir extends a hand to Nazif*
Take my hand and rise my sworn rider and herald, if you would accept my terms.
Bill / Kyuad
"Excuse me, Zal'Kazzir? The old beast makes a point. Perhaps this is a good time to bestow a new name for the creature. Both to mark a new era of service and covenant, and to give it a less personal name in order to protect it from your enemies."
*Gently and Sincerely, to Kyuad* Yes, a fine idea, thank you Kyuad.
A new name... a new name...
*Turning back to Nazif, quickly as if inspired* I have it! Your name is as it is, and we have no power to change that, however a title we can bestow! If you would rise as my sworn-rider and herald, then be you known as Belal, the First, just as it was in the old legends; the first and most faithful.
*Zal'Kazzir looks to Nazif, called Belal, questioningly, hand still extended*
Kevin / Nazif
The little imp... with water dripping from its bulbous eye, looks up pupils darting back and forth between the Channellers. The Imp looks at Zal'Kazzir's extended hand and remembers...
"It is with genuine hope and heart that I take solice in the open offer, Nay - reward of your hand MASTER. However, forgive, that I must protest the nature of your preception of my intentions and falsehood. Not, did I seek to sew hollow promise in the ears of starry-eyed fools. There are no seeds of deceit and deception in my flowery speak. Nay, ma-lord - I have given my service to lords and lieges, kings and queens, sinners and saints over the centuries and never have I made the hastey assumption that any were less than I.
I give you this first foray of advice and advocacy ma-lord... I cannot be of better service if my mind is not spoken of full prescription. Were I to twist my tongue to hold back caution and the advices of sages, sorcerors and centuries, then it is the disservice that I portray consultation. Would you have that lack of forewarning of your 'first and faithful herald'? Should I take your hand, it is with the telltale conceit that my will is my own and I give you the words you do not WISH, but rather the words you NEED. At times you will hate me. At times I will hate myself for making it so. But were I to do less, I would rather roam the ethereal planes above Eredane with my less fortunate Outsider brethern.
I ask you MASTER, is it wrong to have wings on your heart, to hope for a new tomorrow?
Is it wrong to cast dreams and wish for fulfillment?
If that is wrong ma-lords, I cannot follow where you tread.
I MUST seek the things of yester-year. I must think of times less VILE. I must take care for the things that mortal forefathers once dreamed of.
Is the thought of kings and coin so lackluster in the veil of Shadow that we cannot hold steadfast to thought that which would make men glorious in the eyes of ancestors and descendants alike?
Make no mistake MASTER, I donot speak lightly when I speak of such wish-fulfillment.
I speak of intention and action. I speak of valor and victory. I speak of that which men fear to speak in the pale dark...
I speak true. In the eye of the beholder. Pray and pennance that my master's eye has room for hope.
If you, Zal'Kazzir Ghulvenne, have the heart to walk with me, we will see a day when men do not fear. We will see a day when dwarf sings song again. We will see a day when the fires on Erethor are no more. And forbid the day that I see you lay down for such goals, I will tell your children's children of the man... the Sarcosan Lord that walked with me into the firey chill of the heart of darkness.
So you ask, Zal'Kazzir Ghulvenne, and I answer...
I kneel, Nazif Kor'ahn - though if you lords have heart I accept your kindness and rise just as it was forseen in the old legends as Belal, sworn-rider and herald of hope, first of the faithful.", as his head dips for the last time, standing to take up this new duty.
Bill / Kyuad
"Belal, I like it. Belal, you spoke of kings as if you have served them in your time. It would be very interesting to hear of this, as I would personally like to see restored the Erenland to what it once was before it's current "king" took power. Not just to have the hand of Shadow off of this land, but so men can rule themselves.
"If you have any insight on how one rises to power, old beast, I would be interested to learn from you and to record as much as possible. My friend's connection with rulers is tainted by the current situation among the Sarcosan people, I think. But I've read diaries and tomes of history that show that just three or four generations ago we Erenlanders had good, strong kings. If we are ever to unite again to drive out the Shadow's minions, men especially need the leadership of legitimate, benevolent rule."
"Indeed... a wise and noble monarch would be a great triumph for all of Erenland, and all the races of men; It is a noble goal, and one to aspire toward."
"However, we have an deranged and ignoble ruler now, and if we would enthrone a true king, we must first de-throne the old one... a tricky proposition, but I don't believe its an impossible one. With the Usurper *Zal'Kazzir spits the name out in disgust* Jazhir distracted in his wars against the fey, the heartlands of the south are indeed ripe for revolution... But that is a dangerous game to play, and much would need to be done to weaken the grip of the Corpse-God and his false sussars before the people could rise, and such an event would be fruitless if uncoordinated...
*Zal'Kazzir looks weary, face contorted as if strained in thought*
So many decisions... so much risk... but what option do we have but to hope?
...the little ambassador, smiles a toothy grin of thanks - both to his new MASTER and to the mystic-companion Kyuad. A wise and old look glazes his bulbous eyes, the imp strokes his head - long spindly fingers scraping his reptilian-like hide from the back of his neck up and over his scalp, finally reaching the space between his eyes as they blink slowly while the little courtesan's mind-gears tumble...
"...ma-lord Kyuad, you speak of times before the Shadow fell... you speak of times when men united with elf, dwarf and dragon to battle side-by-side in the great wars prior to the veil cast only a short time ago at the dawn of this... the 'last age'. I have walked with rulers, kings, queens, and those that should have been as much or more. I would be honored to share the lives of the respected dead and the ancestry of long gone lines of hope. Perhaps, once this nasty bit of business with my former master, the Vile, is done we can look into those that are seed to the crowns - both of Sarcosan, of Dorn, of their Erenlander unions, of the men of stone, of Elf-kind, and of the lords on scaley-wing. Perhaps together you and I can look into that book of your... as the imp points at Kyuad's lorebook that he has seen used much... ...perhaps we can search city and country-side to find the lords of legacy and remind them of their duty to country and continent. I DO have insight into the rise of power, but I fear that some of it may not be of liking... for in this time of Shadow, deals must be made with perverbial and literal devils to seek the greater good. It is true that you, your kind - the Erenlander had your own seats in power. While the Sarcosan heart rings with a style of power and brevity, the Erenlander too shows heart - but in a more subdued tone. But none the less compelling. What areas would you like to begin in our study sorceror? We will retreat to corners where a light can be given to your book of lore and we can dream of times gone by into the wee-hours. I have not spoken of kings in a century. That was not a subject for which the Vile cared to hear. He preferred hearing of flights of the future, as I could only guess... ...the imp, formerly fixated on Kyuad - glances over to his MASTER and takes interest to offer Zal'Kazzir the forum of thought, talking to his new MASTER's points...
...'tis true, de-throning the old king SHALL be a tricky proposition. Yet forgive, ma-MASTER, but the Night King Jahzir can hardly be thought an old king. Giving him such discredit would undermine any hope of defeat. The current King of Erenland is strong, his rule is iron. His naming of the generals on the Spring will solidify his power for a new age. The failures of his former and current generals will be brought to fire, and the failure that MIGHT be seen as HIS will be pressed on the necks of those that fail to take the Kaldrunes and the Erethor. Three Oaks, Caradul, and the unfound Dwarven forges that plague the Spine of the World are HIS failures but this king will not have them. And perhaps THAT is his undoing... His reluctance to accept responsibility. In a manner of speaking, The Priest of Shadow has given the Vile a plot in which to play that speaks to the King of Erenland's greatest weakness. Should those outside or inside of Shadow find a way to exploit these failings the king will be unhinged... If it is true that the heartlands of the south are indeed ripe for revolution how is it MASTER that these seeds will be sewn, may I beg your guile? And should it become a goal of would-be world rebuilders, where would the construction begin? Surely should this revolution beging in the deep south, the usurpers would be backed into the corners of the continent with the sea to their backside and the more dangerous sea of Shadow-Minion to rain down on such cities like waves on the rock. What place would be legitiment realities for revolution? ... the little advocate looks confused and unsure of himself, as he paces back-hunched over with a fist stumping the ground as a makeshift cane now and again as his kingly cloak drags the wooden floor. He then slows and stops looking up to the humans...
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