Arrival of the Toten
Arrival of the Toten
Winter of Zayl 4 (21 SC)
The new High Court Hall was quiet and lantern light washed every surface in flickering shadows. The stained glass windows that normally depict scenes of great Helian warriors were black with only brief moments of illumination from the torch of guards who walked the perimeter of the Hall. A rare meeting of the High Court had been called in the dead of night, the five nobles were seated in the large marble thrones at the far end of the hall, while late, all appeared to be wide awake and anxious.
A herald walked from the far door and past the five reflecting pools that were in the center of the Hall. His boots clapped against the stone floor audibly echoing in the passive open chamber.
"Presenting the...Um." He cleared his throat, the echo made the gesture even more embarrassing. "Presenting, Mother Lorelai A-Sa-la-ni, representative of the Toten people." The butchery of her surname was noted but the court all raised their hands accepting the presentation.
With little fan fair, three women walked through the far door. Unlike the herald, their steps were silent, and they moved with a grace that made them look to be floating. They were much smaller than Helian's with dark grey skin and black hair and pointed ears that slipped through the silken tresses. Their eyes held a shine in the low light, and gave them the appearance of looking at the reflective lenses of a cat. The woman in the lead took a few steps forward beyond the other two and bowed her head. None of them looked beyond their twenties but the one who bowed held a weight behind her eyes that betrayed her youthful features.
"Hail, Humans. I am Lorelai Asalanni. Mother of the Toten people, although in your words I would be a Lady. I come to you from the western wood, and to put it lightly beg for your aid." He paused, waiting perhaps for word, but it never came.
"I know our people have had only rare meetings, and even then, many have been unpleasant, but this threat is not only to my people. The Iron Moon orc tribe is coming, fare more organized than ever...they come with a threat far beyond what we can defend alone. We wish to join with you to defeat them, and in payment join with you as a people."
She lifted her head and looked at each of the five seated. While all met her gaze one man had a look of only scorn.
"Why should we help you, your people have been slaughtering ours for centuries. Leaving house and village as nothing more than a graveyard. We should let the orcs sweep you away and deal with them on our own." Ursa Mazlan was not one to mince words, he was a many of unwavering personal moral.
"That is not us Lord Mazlan. Although the creatures do come from our ranks. They are lost, and we do what we can to quell them but we cannot stop them all. I wish I could offer a more reasonable apology but we suffer to them as well."
Ursa grumbled and looked to Sivian who was sitting next to him. "They are speaking of our borders Vansen. What say you..."
Sivian crossed her arms over her chest. She knew well the plague that the Totenwen were, but they were not these women. "I'm skeptical, but were you like the monsters that plague our people you would have never been allowed in front of us. I apladue you for stepping from myth to stand with us. If what you say is true, I would be a coward not to stand with you." She cast her gaze slowly back to Ursa Mazlan, who grumbled, knowing the slight was aimed at him.
"Thank you Lords and Ladies. I will tell you all I know of the Iron moon, and the wolfmen who march with them."