Amelia took her place on the throne. It was a strange thing. She had never bothered to even enter this room before now. Two years and more, and this seat she sat in now was foreign to her. It was a tall seat with a purple cushion. High arm rests left her not knowing what to do with her arms.
Instead, she decided to lean forward with her Chronicler’s Book in her lap. She wondered if Aidan was right. Already she could see a great mass of people in the back of the great hall preparing for a feast. Tables and chairs were brought in. She sat alone for a few more minutes, just reconciling herself to the fact she wouldn’t get to hear any stories, when the first person approached.
She was a young girl that looked out of place. The guards had shown her in from the front since she didn’t have direct invitation to the palace. Her purple robe showed her to be some sort of craftsmen rather than a true adventurer. True adventurers wore the color of their classes in some form or another and purple wasn’t a listed color for wizards or warlocks. So she must be some sort of other high level Job class. A class she had leveled well past her adventurer level.
Red-hair fell from the place where her hood pooled at the nape of her neck. Her name was Restaria, and, in a quavering voice, she told Amelia about a time when she had been working on her Job, Alchemist, and a certain guild had taken pity on her because she was too afraid to battle and took her deep into Minthros, a place not that far from the palace in Elysium, so she could get a pestle and mortar for the Grandmaster Alchemist role. Amelia calmly recorded it all, a little bit taken aback with how interesting the story was considering it came from a source who hadn’t battled at all. The girl told about the brave people who were with her and about how happy she was that she got her Grandmaster Alchemy piece.
Next came a young man who strode in with a huge Sunhawk on his shoulder. Huge being somewhat of an exaggeration. It did sit a bit uncomfortably on his shoulder but he still managed it. He told Amelia about how he had journeyed into the mountains not even sure about what he should do with the new class he had unlocked, Specialized Humanoid Warrior. He had never really liked fighting animals or creatures and had done his best to avoid fights with them.
He avoided most parties because people didn’t seem to understand his reticence. When he had journeyed into the mountains he had run from every single combat with the deadly animals that awaited him there in search of monstrous humanoids like the Mountain Goblins or Yeti. When he had reached the peak he had found a young hawk struggling with a broken wing. Without thought he had picked it up and bound it’s wing, carrying it with him and ignoring the small amounts of damage it did to him when it pecked at him while he tried to care for it. It was then that he had unlocked Falconeer. Now his animal companion went with him everywhere and he had shared his knowledge as best he could. It was really a hard class to unlock and required a certain amount of travel and luck to obtain animal companions. Freed was his name, and he left after Amelia thanked him for his story.
They came in droves after that, waiting in line. Amelia must have taken the stories of 50 people before the last in the line slowly approached her. She had been aware of his presence for a while now. He had politely allowed everyone that came before him his place in line, always maintaining the last position.
When he finally came up Amelia was almost disappointed.
“I just wished to say hello to the Chronicler of the Heavens, the Empress of Elysium. The first mage of the Order of the Black. My name is Mordred. Suffer well.” Black and curly short-hair over violet hued eyes. He was some sort of wizard if she went by his staff. The problem was that he was wearing a doublet and cotton cloth pants without any real color scheme. White seemed to war with black across his clothing.
“Nice to meet you,” Amelia said wryly. She half-wondered if he’d get thrown out since he hadn’t actually given her a story.
“...and that’s the story about how I snuck into the palace,” Mordred winked conspiratorially, immediately causing Amelia to sit up straighter. There was something about his demeanor that was raising her virtual hackles and putting her on guard.
There was a slight commotion that momentarily grabbed Amelia’s attention. Forsythe had said something that had distressed Hunter. Something about going off and finding adventure. Hunter had apparently responded that she thought they should take it easy. It was someone else’s turn to go find adventure. They should relax and take it easy. There were so many people in the room now it startled Amelia. Hunter repeated it for the third time, saying something about how adventure almost always ended up sucking.
Forsythe paused, as was his way, and smiled at her gently. “As you wish. Wife.”
Hunter’s shoulders shrank, and then she looked really put off. “You! You… that’s not fair!” She dropped her elbow and wrapped her arms around his waist, pressing her face to his chest. She literally rubbed her cheek against his chest in a very coquettish sort of way. “Stop being so manly!”
“Mom.” Elisha yelled, scandalized. Her eyes darted around the room. Most people had the good grace to look away with just the hint of a smile.
“Yeah, we’ll figure it out later.” Amelia shrugged. “Everyone go back to the party stuff. Sen was going to tell me a story.”
Amelia glanced around slowly and confirmed that Mordred had left at some point while she was distracted.
“Sen?” Rat looked around for a moment, looking baffled. She had appeared nearby wearing resplendent black leathers lacquered in gold. She had really been working hard in their absence, it seemed. She was also hauling around Gilduirn, who looked sheepish, behind her at a respectable distance. There was a story there as well Amelia was sure. “Who is that?”
All eyes slowly settled on the blonde girl as she moved forward. She didn’t know what to make of the thousands of eyes on her, and shrank beneath them. Surprisingly, Shade had appeared at her back, blocking many of those who were looking at her with his body. He stood up straight, looking completely unruffled by all the attention. Raven cackled darkly, probably already planning all sorts of social tortures.
“Sen and Shade are my new underlings. We’re going to go on many grand adventures together. They have potential so they might as well serve me, Raven the magnificent!” Raven danced around them, and cast dark eyes at the guild members who were now looking sympathetically at Sen and Shade. With that one comment everyone in the room was rooting for them.
“That’s the worst.” Tempest muttered. “Suffer well you two.”
“Get!” Amelia made a hand gesture. “Shoo!”
Reluctantly, everyone started to move away, and after a few moments and making sure that Sen was alright, Shade reluctantly peeled back with them and started moving around the tables. He appeared to be staring with quite a bit of fascination at all the tableware and food that was being placed out. Well, Amelia reflected, he was still pretty new to the game.
Sen moved forward slowly until she was standing in front of Amelia. She had haltingly moved up the stairs like her legs were full of lead. Amelia didn’t understand her fear. She just wasn’t frightening enough to earn this kind of response, or so she thought.
“Do you want to hear a story then?” Sen asked shakily.
“Uh? It’s kind of my thing.” Amelia grinned. She waved expansively “Please.”
“How was she?” A woman stepped out from the street as Mordred exited the palace gates. She was wearing black robes.
“Easier to talk to than I expected,” he admitted with a shy smile.
“I suppose your next question will be how things are proceeding?” She smiled back.
“My next question was going to be whether it would be too suspicious if I decided to stay for the food. I hear Forsythe is quite the talent. The question after that would be how things are proceeding,” he was already shaking his head. Having obviously talked himself out of staying for food.
“Things are proceeding,” she grinned unhelpfully.
“You’re great at putting my mind at ease with your meaningless reports,” Mordred said dryly.
“Thank you, sir,” despite his casual rebuke she didn’t seem to take it to heart.
“What about Khiafin?” Mordred tilted his head in inquiry.
“His answer was as you predicted,” she shook her head. “I’m not sure if I believe him actually. He didn’t really even listen to the whole plan. When I asked him at the beginning he just said ‘I’m in’ and kept hand-waving to get me to shut up when I tried to tell him about his part in the plan.”
“You’ve done well, Vie. When I’m Emperor I’ll make sure you get a high position. Something with a really big hat.”
“Thank you, sir.”
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Bio: I'm not by nature a very courageous person. If you have been around enough you might have surmised as much on your own. I started writing these gaming books because I was frustrated, and in desperate need of a way to give voice to the ideas and concepts that I hope to see in a game some day. I'm also trying to write a book about a former dragon without making him into too much of a murder hobo. I hope you enjoy them. If you don't, that's alright too. :)