Lord Joyde The Madman: Heylo, everybody! How are you all doing?
Not much to say this time.
Considering that it hasn't even really been a whole day since I wrote the last chapter.
Oh well, initiative and inspiration are always welcome in my brain.
Anyways, here comes the next chapter of Destiny: Infernal! I sincerely hope that you enjoy, let us begin!
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break..
A few hours later... - Road To Axilar - Alice's Point Of View...
"Flying so far above the ground really gives you a new perspective on things..." Muttering out as I watched the world below stretching out as far as my eyes could see, I took in a great breath, feeling the sheer cleanliness of the air deep within my soul.
Flying was an amazing thing. I just hope that Fluffy's existence does not cause me too much trouble cause I'd really like to keep him around."Huh, looks like the guys are really working pretty hard down there."
Looking downwards revealed my great castle, built into a mountain-range and stretching out, reaching all the way down to the forest below. It is an ancient thing, built and rebuilt countless times to fit the desires and needs of its occupants. A thousand different types of stone and metal, brought from all the different corners of the world, made the structure up.
The materials that it was built out of and the incredible, tactically advantageous posistion it was built into are what made Castle Pendragon an unassailable location. Any fool that tried to besige this castle would sooner have his army starve than manage to break through its defensive layers, foundations and towers. Granted that said army isn't broken by heavy artillery and numerous magical traps.
Come to think of it, without mother being here to actively care and document said traps, maybe I should hire someone to do this in her stead before my own people begin setting them off.
This is also why I am more scared of assassins than anyone else, considering that sieging me would doom whomever tried it, an assassins blade is still fully capable of being sneaked straight into my poor, chaos-bound heart. Suddenly, a vision of Mother forges itself into my thoughts for seemingly no reason at all.
Yet, as Fluffy continued flying towards the castle, I realized once more that I was flying on top of a gaint bat monstrosity who would need to land somewhere. Mothers laboratory, which had been cleaned out by my servants in order to find things worth selling, was a currently totally empty location within my castle.
It was once filled with bookshelves and chests and artefacts of all kinds. Now, it is a decrepit room full of cobwebs and cave bats. Kind of perfect for Fluffy's new nest or hideout, now that I think about it.
Steering Fluffy to the left, I command the varghulf to fly into the tower through mothers gigantic window. She made this window in order to have a safe direction to which she could send any miscast spells towards without blowing herself up. Ironically enough, it was through this very window that she flew out of when Chaos blasted her to bits and pieces.
A myriad of cries and panicked shouts suddenly entered my ears as Fluffy came closer to the ground, making me remember that there were other people here and causing me to let out a massive sigh as I thought on what I was going to tell Yvain about this...
In the end, I figured I might as well tell him the truth, with the exception of Chaos' undisputed influence. Fluffy made his landing, somehow managing to not crack the stone beneath even if the lightless towers ceeling shook, dust and ash falling from it in the process."This'll be your new home, okay Fluffy?"
He sniffed and looked around, his golden eyes briefly flashing with magic before he nodded in approval. Ah, vampires are usually attracted to placed with high mana content... as an Arch Mage, mothers continuous usage of spells, alchemy and strange incantations has transformed the room into just such a location!
How incredibly convenient. However, my musings were broken by Fluffy suddenly laying down onto the floor and rolling and rolling and rolling around, seemingly never finding a good enough place to lay down. Then again, rough stone isn't exactly something I'd figure to be comfortable to sleep on."I'll uhh... get you some hay soon, okay?"
He purred in response, yet continued rolling once again. As he did, he rolled into one of the towers walls which was built into the mountain... and through it."FLUFFY?!"
"Groaagh?!" His panicked responce vibrated as if he was inside of some form of small cave. I approached the wall he phased through and placed my hand onto it... it felt... real."Spell Break!" Channeling my mana into it nonetheless, I found myself being nearly completely drained of magic in the process as the illusion shattered.
The masterful runework that fueled this illusory wall was clearly of mothers design. Yet what I found on the inside were... not precious artefacts, forbidden tomes or strange potions... No, it was a corpse. A well-withered corpse at that. It appeared to be a male humanoid with horns and bat wings... a demon? Here?
What the hell was mother doing with this de-ah.
Looking around the cave, I found a whole plethora of knives, hot pokers and good gods I do not want to know what that phallic shaped pole is for."Torturing a demon for information? But... what kind?"
Sadly, there did not appear to be any form of book or diary around that could give me an inkling of information about this... curious place. My musings were once again broken by several shouts from the outside."Alright people, be ready! On three, two, one, GO GO GO!" A strange, unfamilair voice echoed from beyond the door.
Soon after, the giant doors were broken through and a mass of men and orcs alike burst into the room, only to stop, see the giant bat monster and promptly piss themselves in the process.
Fluffy, to his credit, paid the soldiers no heed and just continued rolling around, apparently finding the cold mountain stone to be far more to his liking than whatever marble was used to create the first part of the room."What are you doing men?! Focus and reform the li-... milady?"
A man dressed in full plate armor bearing the mark of my noble line walked into the room. He had a black sash over his belt which had three stars woven into it, indicating his rank of Sargeant."Uh, hi. I'm back.."
"With a bat monster and a missing left arm to boot." Yvain walked into the room and sighed greatly before continuing."Sargeant, I believe our milady is fine... and the bat.. thing.. I think we should all just ignore it for now."
The yet-to-be-named soldier nodded, bowed and left the room, his men eagerly following behind him."Crazy nobles..." One of them could be heard muttering and I honestly couldn't blame him.
Approaching Yvain, I waved at him in jest."Hi."
"Hi." Was his rather expected response.
We sat there in an uncomfortable silent for a good long time, breaking free out of it only once Fluffy gave out a massive burp, bless him. This caused me to turn around just in time to see him swallowing the last bit of bone from that corpse we just found. And there goes my future investigation... oh well."So... where do I even begin?"
"Let us deal with the titan in the room, milady. What the fuck is that giant bat monster doing here?!" Yvain exclaimed with a straight face, causing me to give him my best smile and back away slightly."I uh... My carriage got attacked by this guy, his name is Fluffy by the way, he threw a tree in front of the road. Horses knocked over, carriage sent flying, Alex fell into the spinning wheels mid flight, I was slammed back-first into a stone and then a tree afterwards."
"And the bat?" He repeated, getting somewhat angry as I swallowed down and raised my right arm."He uh, attacked me and ate my left arm, had to stop the bleeding so I used a makeshift torch to cauterize the wound, next thing I know Fluffy is rolling in pain... then.. he stopped doing that and ever since then, hes been... uhhm,... friendly?"
Yvain let out yet another massive sigh."Ah what the hell, that sounds crazy enough to be believable. And its not like taming vargheists is something thats never been done before."
"A-actually, this is a varghulf, not a vargheist." I casually replied as the mayor quirked an eyebrow."The difference being?"
"W-well, vargheists are made when vampires are forced to give into their inner beasts due to hunger or whatever, varghuls are vampires who do it willingly." I turned back around in order to look at Fluffy, who appeared to have found himself a good spot to sleep, which strangely did not involve hanging from the ceeling... though that may be simply because of the lack of anything strong enough to hang onto."Plus, this guy has white skin and fur... for all I know, he could be an ancient thing. Also sunlight didn't appear to bother him much, or well at all, actually."
Sunrise came and went away, Fluffy didn't even flinch. I said nothing about it because I figure that his connection to Chaos must've made him alive again or something."So how do you know that he is a varghulf for sure?"
"Oh come now Yvain, vargheists are barely the size of an adult horse, this guy is about as tall as a bloody siege weapon!" The good mayor blinked in response."Well, you've got a point there."
"Anyways, this isn't important right now. What is important is the obvious expenses which will come along with having a ... mount, like this." Yvain continued as he pointed towards my stuff which was still bound to Fluffy's giant back."Ehh, how much would two... no, four piglets a day cost?"
"A decently sized piglet is around five silver each, milady." I blinked in utter confusion."Eh? Thats stupidly cheap."
"I agree but I don't think that your pet would like eating piglets." The mayor responded with a smile of pure evil, something to which I replied to with a beaming smile of my own."Actually, since he devoured my two horses, I think he would indeed... although we may need to throw in something other than piglets on the menu from time to time."
"Is that so? Then maybe this isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Anyways, getting supplies will be easy as I've already established a proper supply line in order to get the city started. I presume some hay may be required as well?" He asked me as he saw Fluffy shifting uncomfortably, though that may be simply because he was trying to sleep and we were disturbing the poor guy."Yeah but, lets leave the room before continuing the conversation, shall we?"
Fluffy shifted once more."Y-yes, I think that would be for the best."
We walked out the door and closed it, much to Fluffy's approval as he finally pulled his wings back into his body and relaxed."Might need to put up a do-not-disturb sign somewhere on the door. Prefferably somewhere extremely visible."
The mayor wholehartedly agreed with my assessment."Anyways, we have more important subjects to discuss. I have called my fellow mayors to the castle in hopes of helping you form a regional council to help rule the county in your absence..."
"Trying to dig out more power for the people, eh?" My quirked eyebrow had the mayor in chuckles."The power is nice, yes. But if I really wanted to make myself more powerful, I'd never even consider getting the others to come. Rather, I'd be your sole advisor."
"Somehow, I get the feeling that even if you tried to go that route, the people would make it impossible without me doing anything." The mayor merely nodded in response.
We eventually reached a rather long, hallway sized room with an oval table in the middle with a myriad of servants running all around. The table was set with food and drink aplenty. My, oh my, Yvain has outdone himself, hasn't he?"Are you entirely sure that we can afford this kind of feast right now?"
"Do not worry, milady. In an effort to present their high hopes for both you and your ... ahem, profitable, personality, the mayors and myself have come together to organize this feast." So basically, they're paying for it.
A tiny part of me feels somewhat insulted as they are paying for the food that they'll be eating as guests in my home, but I swallow it down simply because the people I'm about to meet are going to be very important for my future."Good morning, ladies and gentlemen! I am sure that you are all very tired from your night-long trip here, so please do treat yourselves to the foods. Also, may I be granted the honor to present our lady of the castle, miss Alice Pendragon!" Yvain did the introductions with a very curt bow, something that the other lords in the room mimicked without pause.
Each of them then rose from their seats and came over to greet me. The first was a rather old lady dressed in rich, crimson silks and wearing a somewhat strange hat with what looked like a birds feather on top of it. She looked outright ridiculous, but I do not exactly have the right to complain. The old lady however, knelt in front of me with a horrified look on her face."YVAIN!? WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!"
The mayor shook as the woman screamed at him in outrage."A-ah... right. These people are sane." He muttered out in realization.
I'm still missing an arm.
My clothes are torn to shreds.
I probably smell like a dragons backside on a runny day.
My hair is a mess.
My dress is full of drying blood."Ah, I think I should have bathed and re-dressed before coming here, Yvain."
"Y-yes, that would have been the correct way to do things. Sadly, the time I have spent in this castle seems to have forced my sense of normalcy to commit suicide. Forgive me, milady." Yvain replied to my assessment with an anime-like sweatdrop.
Er, what the fuck is anime?
Anyways, back to reality."Uhm.. please don't blame the may-"
"BLAME HIM?! Little lady, I am about to castrate him for his actions. What the hell is going on here?! Last time I checked, you still had your left arm and what is going on with those clothes?!" She continued rambling semi-coherently.
Well, as an old lady, shes probably the mother of a few children so seeing me in this state has sent her in a rage. One of the other lords, a rather ahem, larger but also much younger man approached me only to turn towards Yvain in spite."Clearly, our friend here has been abusing our lady and making her live her life as some peasant. She probably wounded her arm somehow, it got infected and then was promptly poorly amputated. Yvain, I knew that there was something very wrong with you but this is too much, don't you think?"
"Errr..." To his credit, the mayor did not start slowly backing off and merely looked on in absolute stupefaction.
The other two members merely looked on in utter shock and horror, along with a number of paralyzed servants. I let out a massive sigh."Calm the fuck down, all of you."
My cursing seems to have managed to catch their attention to the fullest, especially the grannys."L-little lady, what is that lan-Uhgdh?!" I shut her up with my one remaining arm.
Then, taking in a deep breath, I began my explanation."I was on my way back here from Sorcierre. My carriage was attacked and that is how I lost my arm. I just got back home. You are right, I should have bathed and made myself more presentable before coming here but other than that, I am perfectly fine. And don't you dare diss on the mayor, for unlike the rest of you, he has been here since the start to help me make some sense of my incredibly dreadful and dangerous situation. Thank you for listening and please, do enjoy your meal while I go clean myself up. Capiche?"
The four lords nodded in utter shock, yet a tinge of respect could be seen in their eyes.
Thirty minutes later...
"Okay, so back on track, I'd like to welcome you all personally to the castle. Now, as I am sure that you all already know who I am, please introduce yourselves one by one." The lords each nodded, their previously shocked faces replaced by ones of respect.
Only the granny remained uncertain, yet she was the first to rise and the others allowed it, indicating that she was the most respected of them all. Nevertheless, she bowed towards me once again and spoke."I am Elaria Rehn, mayor of the City Of Verdia and guild master of the Farmers Guild within your county." She then turned to look at Yvain with spite clear in her eyes.
The man in question smiled uncertainly before his eyes momentarily widened."A-ah! Come to think of it, I never told you which city I was mayor of, milady. Let us fix that; I am Gerald Yvain, mayor of the City Of Yarrin and guild master of the Merchants Guild."
"Tibald Bertin, lord and mayor of the City Of Marrowdorf. I am no guild master of any guilds, but my hunting parties are well known throughout the land and my city speciallizes in the trade of meats, fur and wood." The fat man who tried to slander Yvain half an hour ago rose, bowed and said. I guess his hunters must truly be skilled if he can allow himself to stay so... large.
The next in line was a much younger woman who was wearing full plate armor and had a sword on her waist. She did not bow, but saluted me instead."The name is Letice Cognat. I'm the mayor of Hail's End. I'm not a merchant or a farmer, but you can expect my soldiers and me to join you on any battlefield you may need us. My lands are close to the western edgelands and thus experience many orcish raids throughout the year but we pride ourselves in preventing the orcs from going any further."
Disciplined and hardy soldiers, eh? Something tells me that I'm going to like this woman in the near future."Let us hope she will never need you." Granny Elaria spoke with equal spite.
Does she just... hate everybody here? Yet, everyone also seems to be taking her insults quietly. Maybe its because shes the one whose land provides theirs with food and supplies?
That is the only plausible reason why."Faro Clauss, lord of Kilnchapel. At your service, milady." The last person in the group bowed and said.
He didn't say anything else, which caused me to take another look at the man... to find out that he isn't a human at all, but a dwarf!"A dwarf? How odd."
He chuckled at my antics."Hah, not the reaction that I was expecting, but I'll take it."
I quirked an eyebrow at him."Pardon me if I offended you somehow, master dwarf. This is just the first time I've ever seen one of you."
His eyes widened and he nodded in approval before replying."Aye? Is that so? Well, no offense taken, little lady."
He steadied himself, a large orange beard as long as I am being stroked as the man did so."I suppose I should tell you something 'bout me city, den? Hmm, what to say... well, unsurprisingly it is a blacksmiths city. We trade mainly in iron and other such metals, but also in furs as the boreal forests around us offer a plethora of rugged and dangerous beasts."
"I see... say, is there any chance that you could forge me a new arm?" The dwarf, whose age I honestly could not tell but I guessed he was old simply by his beards length, closed his eyes for a moment before replying."Aye.. thats something I had on my mind from the second I saw you but.. well, I neither have the skill nor the theonite required for such a feat."
Ah, theonite. Otherwise known as the living metal or the blood of the gods themselves, theonite is a material with numerous mythical applications. It has been used in both divine and demonic swords, to raise living statues of gods and devils and to create whole new races, such as the original orcs. Incidently, there are also stories of it being used to create artificial limbs, which is why I asked this of the dwarf.
"Yeah, I figured as much... but could you maybe ask around for someone who could do this?" He nodded somberly."I'll do ma best for ya, milady."
"Thank you." My reply caused the dwarf to offer me a happy nod just as Yvain coughed into his fist, taking away our attention."Ahem, now that the introductions are done, perhaps we should get to the business at hand?"
He then waited for a moment as the servants took away the food, leaving only my portion as I still hadn't eaten and then clicked a hidden button beneath the table which allowed him to take the upper portion of the round table off and reveal a map of my county.
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
Plan is ruined. Cant post map in chapter for some reason.
The image just shatters.
Please, oh please work in the comments section.
EDIT: Yes! I made it work somehow. Anyways, sry for the chicken sketch, I don't do draw but this is something I made in order to help myself properly write the story in the future.
Anyways, read and review! And Good Morning/Day/Night to you all! ADIOS FOR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!