A Kind Greeting - RPLOG
A few days since the last council meeting when the next is called. The Good King is on his elevated seat, and looks better than the last. Health has returned to his features and life to his eyes. Perhaps the nightmares being gone went a long way to ease it.
Zevran enters the council chamber quietly, moving off to the side and standing back near the wall. He seems well-rested, and his expression shows a bit of relief as he spots the Good King in better health. He takes a moment to glance around the council chamber before focusing his gaze back on the Good King.
Rainer slinks in following the rhino. Why? Creators only know. He pulls down his hood and settles in, leaning on the wall not far from Zevran. "What's all this about, again?..."
There's a fair crowd, though not as packed as the last meeting. People are not expecting as big of news, it seems. The king smacks his own gavel this time, "A pleasure to see you all again. This meeting of the council shall commence." The first few matters are sundry affairs. ransacked farms from the Cliffsider incursion, a few small matters internal to the city, handled reasonably.
Zevran spares a quick glance at the wolf before looking back towards the Good King. "The King's got an announcement." He whispers curtly to the wolf, although not shifting his gaze from the King. His expression slowly shifts to one of boredom as the council deals with mundane affairs. "They never can get right to the point, can they?" He mutters to Rainer. He doesn't seem very happy to see the wolf, but at least he's trying to be civil, right?
Rainer flattens his ears and averts his gaze, rather easily picking up the rhino's thiny-veiled displeasure. "Politics, eh?" is all he offers in way of a response, drawing a deep breath and attempting to stifle a sigh.
There is a lull as a request is put out for any additional matters requiring the council's attention.(If you have something you want to bring up to king or council, this would be the time to do it).
At last, with the dailies out of the way, the king addresses the crowd, "As I was saying last, Mossy Stone is free of the shadow presence, but is harassed by a new menace. The Blackbacks, at great personal risk, investigated the matter, and we have a serious problem concerning a cult following on the western reaches of the kingdom."
Zevran seems a bit more interested as the king addresses the crowd. The mention of a cult has him curious, and a bit excited, since it might mean something else to fight. He wonders exactly what the cult is following, though. He waits silently, hoping the King will elaborate more.
"I am not one to judge a being solely by their superstitions, but their unwavering faith in these 'Old Ones' have led them to pervert math in strange, unnatural, ways, allowing them to do things not seen before. Mossy Stone's long dead walk again. They have no soul, their minds, thankfully, still departed, but their bodies are not so fortunate," speaks the King.
Rainer has taken to quiet brooding over the course of the proceedings, and he seems only barely able to rouse himself from it. He barely raises his head, lifting eyes to regard the regal hippo, but as the speech continues he begins to shift his shoulders and finally rises to his full height. "The heck are Old Ones?" he wonders quietly, sparing a glance to Zevran.
Zevran seems at a loss as well, as he merely shrugs in response to the wolf. "They sound like something to fight. Especially if they can make the dead walk." He mutters in response to the wolf, his gaze still focused on the Good King. He is quite a bit disturbed by news of the dead walking, but does his best to maintain an expression of neutrality.
"I advise everyone to be on the watch for strange features. Extra limbs, eyes. Very easy to spot, but it seems common with their perversions of the old Sacred Family rituals. There's nothing sacred about the result, of course." He bangs his gavel once, "I wish I could be declaring peace for our people, who deserve it so. These cultists do not yet attack our merchants or make menace of the capital, but their hold of Mossy Stone is not to be ignored."
"Well at least you don't have to worry about running out of things to hit." Rainer murmurs, once again directing his gaze away from the rhino. He sinks back against the wall once more and crosses his arms over his chest.
"With this said, I have good news. The people of Shralesta have already sided with us against the Cultists. Their way of life is especially repungant to those pious people, and they would gladly see them eliminated. They have signed a treaty of open borders with us, so if you see an armed unit of theirs, they are here at my approval, hunting those that would do my people harm." There is some murmuring of this. Foreign soldiers is always call for some concern.
Zevran smirks at Rainer's comment, seemingly about to say something. He stops as he hears the Good King speak, a bit surprised when the hippo mentions that there will be foreign soldiers within their borders. He raises his hand slowly, a question in his mind.
A nod from the king has a crier announcing, "The council recognizes Zevran, Private First Class of the Sweetwater Armed forces, Lightbringer Unit."
Kilsa steps into the meeting a little late and flustered, A priest in the back whispers in her ear to get her up to speed as she loosk at the King with wide eyes. "Really?!" She whispers back at the priest in shock.
Zevran steps away from the wall, standing up to his full height as he prepares to ask his question. "Good King, you have said that the Shralestans will be lending us support against these Cultists, who they want exterminated. But are we going to attack these Cultists now? Or will we wait until they have attacked us first, whatever the costs of that may be?" He asks, looking the King in the eye.
"Really." Rainer answers on behalf of the priest, giving a slight wave to Kilsa, before directing her with a nod towards Zevran as the rhino steps forward to speak. For whatever reason, the question draws a disgruntled snort from the wolf, and he turns his head to the side, drawing his arms tighter around himself.
The king huffs indignantly, "Have my injuries wounded my people's faith? I am not one to lead from behind. We are studying this threat, to launch an attack where it will injure them the most. There is never good call to waste the lives of my faithful soldiers, yourself included, in unprepared moves against an unknown threat."
Kilsa listens to Zevran while whispering to Rainer, "What kind of monster uses the dead as soliders don't we get enough of that from the shadows themselves?" She look at Rainer while shaking her head, "I swear by the time we knock some sense into one enemy another dozen appear. Well," She nudges Rainer, "Means that we won't be out of a job for a long time."
Zevran nods his head at the King's response, appearing satisfied at the answer. "I meant no disrepect to your abilities, Good King." He says before stepping back to lean against the wall again. Spotting Kilsa, he gives her a small wave before looking back to the King.
Rainer closes his eyes and keeps his head down, "They're called Old Ones, I guess. Whatever that means. Disgruntled seniors? How should I know." He shuts up when Zevran rejoins them at the wall, pulling the flaps of his hood further up over his face.
Kilsa waves at Zevran with a small smiles, She raises a hand up with a question on her mind. Her face was one of frustration and a slight bit of confusion. She waits patiently for her Kings attention.
A crier announces, "The council recognizes Kilsa Ironsoul, Lady of the the house Ironsoul."
Zevran remains silent as he sees Kilsa raise her hand. He waits to hear what she will ask.
Kilsa smiles and gives the Good King a polite curtsy before speaking, "My King, How much do we know about these Old ones? And for the record my king, Your injuries haven't wounded our faith we would just like a king as good as yourself to be around for as long as possible." She smiled trying to sooth the king.
"Creators allowing, I have many good years left in me," A pun perhaps? "As for these cultists, our intelligence is, of yet, incomplete. We know they are quite fanatical to the 'Old Ones', that they claim existed before even the Creators, if such a thing could be believed, and are natives of the planet."
Rainer snorts a laugh, but the explanation's gotten his curiousity perked, and he has a difficult time hiding it. "Before the Creators, eh?" he wonders aloud, bringing a hand up to give his chin a few thoughtful strokes.
Kilsa shakes her head, "I mean its possible they where native to Promise before us but I doubt that they were before the creators." She says and bows to the good King, "Thank you for entertaining my question." She says before moving back to allow others questions.
Other questions are risen by those attending, "Should we kill a cultist on sight?" asks one.
"No. We do not know if they are all party to the crimes against our people. The First Text commands us not to punish for superstitions, so let us not execute on that fact alone."
Rainer raises his voice to call his own question across the chamber, without even the slightest regard for decorum or procedure, "So how do we even tell when someone -is- one of these... Old Ones cultists, anyway?"
Kilsa look at Rainer, "You do raise a good point, Do they have uniforms or anything similar?" She asked looking about the room, "I've not even herd much of any Violent cultist groups until this discussion."
The king inclines his large head towards Rainer, "It seems that the higher one ascends in their order, the more unnatural features they collect, as some strange 'mark of honor'. Outside that, no uniform is known. Their is one known operation of their kind, Kindcraft Mining, just before the desert. You are free to harass that place, if you are armed and prepared, but it is a fortress of their kind, and they do not treat guests kindly. A bounty will be paid for every one you can prove had some leadership position, and tenfold that if they are alive to be questioned."
Rainer settles back against the wall with a huff. "Kindcraft, huh." As an afterthought, he gives the slightest bit of a nod in the king's direction, as some token display of respect.
Zevran remains silent during the rest of the questions, but upon hearing that the King is giving permission to harass Kindcraft Mining, a small grin spreads across his face. It seems he now has something to hit again. And he might even get paid for it.
Kilsa shakes her head again, "I think I've been there once but I didn't go inside I think I was lost at the time. But Permission to harrass sounds like a good time. We will smash their operations as much as we can, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say a threat to one of us is an enemy of all of us. Though I won't kill anyone that surrenders as per your orders my king." She says softly.
The king seems satisfied at this response, but another question raises, "What is the plan to retake Mossy Stone."
The king frowns at the question, "I'm afraid there is no such plan at this time. The army must recover from its tasks. We have waged, and succeeded, in two campaigns. I could not ask more from my people at this time. Those who have been displaced will be assisted, as best we can, to adjust in the interim."
Rainer sniffs, and once again finds himself tugging on the folds of his hood, trying to cover his face further than it already does. "Don't see what the fuss over that place is, anyway."
A bear rises, wearing a heavy folk seal, "I have a question," she says, "When will you bow before the incalculable power of the Old Ones, instead of wasting your life, and those you supposedly safeguard, for your pride?"
Kilsa looks at the bear a curious expression, "Are you insane?" She asked a little shocked at the bear, "These Old Ones sounds like nothing more than something as annoying as a powerful shadow, and we've killed those before." Kilsa smiles in an almost threating manner, "We are not weak or afraid." She mutters viciously.
Zevran looks towards the bear, a bit curious as well. He remains silent as he steps forwards from the wall, waiting to see what the bear will do next. He takes a moment to crack his knuckles though, part of him looking forward to demonstrating exactly how strong he is.
Rainer pushes off the wall and to his full height, with a flick unbuttoning his cloak and casting it aside, and with another drawing his swords. "Thank the Creators." utters the hairless wolf, giving his blades a little twirl. "I was about to pass out from sheer boredom."
The bear deforms and twists, back exploding with flesh tendrils as her eye becomes a hive of eyes that can't, or won't, look in the same direction, "They send their regard, naive mortals," Her voice becoming more distorted towards the end as she gains in height and swats the person closest several rows of seats back to land in a crash.
The fight is intense, driving most of those witnessing to vacate the hall. The bear cultist is put down though, knocked down and bleeding quite powerfully, all things considered. Life is not long for it, just as well. The king has not fled, just putting his own blade back across his back, "Monsters. It is only the word of the Creators that stays my hands."
Kilsa grins almost a like a cat that caught a mouth, "If this is the best they can deliver, I think the old ones should retire." Kilsa removes her brass knuckles. "I would have expected more from assassination attempt." She looked around carefully her bare hands still enough to cause some damage to any attackers.
Rainer twirls his blades with a flick of his wrists, keeping them trained towards the thing that used to be a bear. Just in case. "Hah... Old Ones should retire. You ought to write that one down."
Zevran sheathes his own sword on his back and shakes his hands a couple of times to get rid of any excess gore before looking around the council room for any other threats. "If the Old Ones are so powerful, why are their followers so weak?" He snorts disdainfully, flexing his hands to display his claws.
"Do not be too hasty," speaks the king, "We know not what position this attacker resided in. A shame it is dead or dying." He pushes to his feet, "This meeting is adjourned. My thanks to you, good people, we will rise above this challenge."
Kilsa smiles as the king dismisses them, "Hey Zevran and Rainer, We make a good team. I wouldn't mind having you at my back if you wouldn't mind some action, I plan on going on a little explorative trip tomorrow. My father sent me a letter of a ruin." She grinned, "I would appreaciate the help and would pay." She winked at the both of them, "Might even take a side trip to a certain mining area."
Rainer returns his weapons to their scabbards at last, and wanders off to retrieve his cloak, drawing it tight about himself and pulling the hood over his head. "Um ... thanks. For the offer." the wolf murmurs, seeing his way past Kilsa and Zevran and towards the exit. "I'll think about it."
Zevran nods at the King as the group is dismissed. He looks towards Kilsa at her offer. "Ruins? Count me in. Especially if we're going to pay a visit to Kindcraft afterwards." He replies eagerly, returning the badger's grin. He watches the wolf leave, a little bit confused at Rainer's sudden departure.