The cryer stepped into the cavernous meeting hall, and spoke, his voice carried perfectly in the manicured acoustics of the chamber.
“Presenting the Herald of the Kingdom of Berid, Hektor of Beris.” He bowed his head and a man in a purple and blue linen tunic walked out, flanked on each side by men bearing flags, one of the Kingdom of Merid a blue and purple swirl of color, the other flag was a similar vomit of color with a mountain of green coming from the bottom edge. The three men strode confidently down the central path towards the thrones. He gave a pause at the floating ominous red crystal that floated to his right above a pool that looked to be filled with blood. He didn’t let his confusion and growing apprehension stop his journey.
At the odd hour, only three of the seats were filled.
The Helian cryer had walked up the side and looked at the Berid herald and nodded his head.
“Presiding over your message today are; Helvarin, Squire, Adam Vansen, son of Helvarin Dame Sivian Vansen, the Blood Drenched.” He gestured to the rather thin pale man who sat with one leg lifted so that his foot was in the seat of the wide throne.
“ Helvarin Gerit Mazlan, Squire, son of Helvarin, Sir Ursa Mazlan the Fifth, the Stonesword”
“ Helvarin Kalo Auratavia. The Pantera”
“I was told I was to speak with the heads of the house of Helios, not...children, and their sitter.” The Herald said with some disgust in his voice. His language was close enough to low Helian that they had only small issues understanding him. “I cannot-”
Garit slapped his hand against the arm of the marble throne, his ornamental bracer clanged against the stone work and he stood up. He was easily the youngest of the three, still a young teenager, but built like his father, broad and strong. “Know your place herald, you speak for your lord but you are not him.” He pointed. “Either speak what you know, or leave. This is not a place to lay trivialities.” He shot air from his nose and lowered himself back down to seated. He was every bit his father’s son, all fire and screaming.
Adam smirked. “As my Lord has stated. We who sit, are the court, either you have a message for us or you do not...but know, others may not be so receptive to a herald who disrespected titled nobles of this land. My mother, and his father least of all. So perhaps you should relay your message and we can leave such harsh words in the past.”
Adam was far more eloquent than Gerit, but his speaking betrayed a menace.
The third member remained fairly silent, the banner of Auratavia was draped behind them but they made no move to be as vocal as the other two, giving the youths the experience they so desperately needed in seats of such power.
The Herald cleared his throat at the admonishment of the two but didn't lose the stiffness of his back.
“The lands of the Kingdom of Berid request an Akent.”
What smug smiles the two youths had quickly faded and were replaced with far more serious looks.
“We are aware that you are embroiled with an insidious enemy to the west, and that your efforts are pointed in that direction, we also know that to the far north you are embattled with savage peoples from the mountains. As such, Berid could see this as an opportunity, but because we share blood and some culture a request for Akent is we think the best course of action.”
Akent, an old word and a dire request. Akent was akin to a bribe or tribute to keep an enemy from attacking. It is an acknowledgement that they could attack, that they could sack but they aren’t and deserve some sort of prize for their perceived benevolence.
There was a long silence, Adam and Gerit knew well to let their elder lord address it.
Kalo cleared his throat and leaned back into the hulking marble throne seat. His eyes were cold where the two younger could barely contain the burning rage that boiled inside of them.
“And what make you think Akent is in order? What threat is Berid to Helios?”
“We have five tho-”
“You have nothing!” Kalo roared, silencing the herald with an echo that bounced across every stained glass pane in the hall.
“You have nothing to deserve Akent. March into Helios, and ten thousand will be your welcome, with ten thousand more to wash over Berid. Go back and tell your king the joyous news, that you received your Akent. A most generous gift, that your words have died in this chamber. And that no story of this will find its way to generals waiting to spill blood, or knights looking to respond to any slight.” Kalo took in a deep breath and waved the back of his hand at the herald, shooing him away.
“Your audience is ended. God with the grace of the six.”