RP:An Unlikely Ally
Part of the Rest in Pieces: Vailkrin! Arc
Summary: An unexpected ally approached Larewen in the Hanging Corpse with an offer she can't refuse.
The Hanging Corpse
Larewen stood with several guards clad in House Dragana colors, encircling a table. Hushed, sharp voices echoed from the circle. It's clear the establishment is held presently by the House, if the placement of guards within and without were any sign of such. Westward, near the fountain, the sounds of battle can be heard picking up once more. A skirmish amongst Dragana and Trintus forces, no doubt. "We need to push Trintus; give Marcus the ultimatum. Join with us, or fall," the necromancer hissed to one of her generals. "Trintus forces under our control will make a difference in pushing Nasar toward defeat or surrender. I don't care which one we get from them, as long as Colette learns her lesson."
Kelovath hated Vailkrin. Almost as much as Rynvale, but the elven island had a bit more history involving the paladin. Vailkrin made him feel uneasy. Made him think of how strong the other side of the world really is. It also brought back memories of Kasyr, Redovian, and even Satoshi. Like most, the Hanging Corpse was the first place you'd think of visiting. And that's what he did. The sooner he could see the state of the city and move onto Cenril, the better. The guards were a new addition to the outside of the building. Purposefully, the paladin radiated an aura of holy magic. It was bright. It was golden. And if you were an undead of an kind, it would be painful. Whether the guards cleared out of the way or not, Kelovath would make his way into the tavern and ask very plainly, "Is there a plan for that fight taking place over there?" He was curious, really, and based on how the majority of people were dressed, a plan was being put in to place.
The guards allowed Kelovath to pass easily enough; he was living and wore no colors of opposing Houses. Within the establishment, Kelovath would find more - and Larewen, at that table. Her dual-colored eyes lifted, fixing Kelovath in a cool stare as a low hiss left her mouth. "Of course there's a plan, Kelovath." Bitterness clung to his name, weighed with distaste for his holy sort. The necromancer inhaled unnecessarily and waved her generals to silence. "What brings you to Vailkrin?"
Kelovath scanned the room as he spoke, "I was looking for the leadership currently holding Vailkrin. Kasyr is missing or plotting something dangerous and exciting, Redhale has all but vacated his castle on the hill, and now the houses are fighting more openly than what I remember them doing. Used to be mostly politics." Distain clearly in his voice at the mention of politics, but he wasn't one who cared much for fighting either. In the streets included. "I'm not the King of Larket, but that title seems to carry a hint of crazy and a whole lot of pointless execution. If I am able to gain your favor, then maybe we can turn things around here. And in Larket." In his increased visits to the local and distant cities, his extensive explainations of his intentions grew shorter. Everyone was involved with politics and behind door meetings, but from his personal experience, the leaders prefer honesty and straightforwardness. He was done beating around the bush.
"Kasyr abdicated the throne sometime ago, and Redhale along with him," the necromancer stated matter-of-factly. As she spoke, she circled the table, a gesture given to one of the guards that sought to move alongside her. "You're looking at the future Queen of Vailkrin," one of the others said, as if it were fact. Truly, it was something not yet set in stone, but Larewen would do whatever necessary to take that throne. "And no; Larket would have done better had it remained under your leadership. I have refugees in my home, from after Valrae's execution. People that once looked to you for guidance." Her tone was wary. "You wish to help me in my taking of Vailkrin?" she queried, arching a delicate, dark brow. "Larket is already an issue I wish to see dealt with. Even I would not slaughter my own people so mercilessly." She holds up a finger to cut him off pre-emptively in the case of a possible remark. "The Houses brought their fate upon them, when they chose to slaughter innocents. Tell me, Kelovath. What reason have I to trust a paladin? Wouldn't you rather we were wiped out?"
The paladin lowered his golden aura to a subtle glow, but remained still. If anything were to happen, it would be remembered that Kelovath did not make the first move. "Reasons for you to trust a paladin? I believe most in this position would be asking the opposite. But, I am not like the paladins of old. Redovian, for example. He was a friend of mine, I admit, but the man was misguided. Vampires, Undead, and even Necromances. They are all...People, in their own way. They want to work, live, and be with those they care about. As long as they aren't causing unorgianzed chaos, then there is no reason we can't all live peacefully. Or, at the very least, claim ignorrance that the other exists." The paladin locked his gaze on Larewen. "I do not know your feelings toward Kasyr, or even Lady Satoshi who would have tentative claim to the throne, but they were my friends and at one point this was their home. Kind of. I seek to reclaim my own throne, just as I helped Hildegarde do the same. You'd be wise to accept my assistance, My Lady."
"Kasyr was a friend of mine," Larewen replied. Enough so that he'd given her a heads up regarding the abdication of the throne so that she could begin her claim. The woman had listened to Kelovath's words attentively, to say the least. She mulled over his words and then, finally, extended her ungloved, heavily scarred hand to the male. In response to his holy energies, the necromantic runes carved into every bit of her flesh, save the right side of her face, flared to life with fel magic. It was a self-preservation sort of thing, and all the paladin would feel is an immense wave of heat rolling off the vampire. "I know who you are, and I know your history. I would be indebted to you for your aid in gaining control of these Houses; we will consider it paid when you're returned to your throne. Do not cross me though. I have a bite far worse than my bark."
The paladin lowered the aura completely, but only around the hand that would reach out and grasp Larewen's. One time, back in the days of Kelay Tavern being the place to be, a similar situation was struck between Kelovath and another undead being. It was Tiphareth and like a foolish, young paladin, he attempted to shake the Lich's hand. For whatever reason, the powerful Lich declined the handshake. A touch from that specific Lich was powerful enough to kill any man and yet Tiph stopped himself from ridding the world of a palaidn. It was surely more of a political play, as the topic was a mutual ignorance between each other. But, this time around, a handshake was made and an agreement was struck. "You have my word. And my sword." Now, with that out of the way, the robed paladin took a step back and waited for Larewen to dish out new orders.
Despite the agreement, Larewen was still wary of the paladin. She eyed him for a long moment before finally returning to where she'd stood at the table before hand, a gesture made for Kelovath to join them. "It looks like we've got a new ally," the necromancer stated coolly to the ones that had not been paying so close attention to the exchange between herself and the paladin. The Dragana guards regarded Kelovath much the same way as their mistress, but she continued anyway. "As I was saying," she began, more to Kelovath. "House Trintus provides the majority of the forces for Vailkrin. By knocking them out of the game, preferably by gaining their support - by force if necessary - we will fortify our hold on the City and thus bring the Houses to a very precarious position. Daermon and I have already decided that a small attachment of forces, himself and me included, will slip through the lines to corner Lord Trintus. What I need is a few more willing to join us in that endeavor. The stronger, the better."
The paladin was less wary of Larewen and more cautious toward those that follow her. She could be quite the ally, but any of those who believe himself to be too dangerous for the lands of Vailkrin were a different story. Each of the generals received either a nod or just a mutual look of understanding. He listened to the plan as it was explained and gave yet another nod. The city of Vailkrin was somewhat unfamiliar to him, so any advantage or disadvantage was unknown to him. Kelovath would have to follow Larewen's lead and hope it was the best course. "By small attachment, how many are you thinking? I am volunteering myself and I have another that would accompany me. He needs the experience." Marcel is currently somewhere nearby and if he heard that he was being volunteered, the young man would probably groan loudly.
"No more than five or six, preferably," the necromancer answered, and a brow arched at his statement. "Is he capable? I can't promise things won't turn horribly violent. House Trintus fought in the wars."
Kelovath replied with confidence, "I can protect him if things get difficult."
Larewen's features twisted into something akin to a sneer, the expression fleeting. Instead, she lofted her chin slightly. "Very well. I will send word when it is time to make our move. I have something I need to take care of prior to the ultimatum. As my men typically reside here, I must ask: where best is it that I send word for you?"
Kelovath appeared to be lost in thought after the question. It was a good question and he wasn't completely sure where he'd be at next. With a shrug, "Cenril, probably. Maybe Kelay." He assumed that would be the end of the meeting, so he started toward the door. "See ya soon." Partnered with a casual wave goodbye.