Shadows of Edessa, Journal 4.1

Session 3: Thorough and Thoros

Much later, the party of Abel, Lazuras, Mavrik and Thunkeroy found themselves in the throne room of Edessa.  It had only been a short night since the Antichan ship had fallen into the sea and they had been brought back to the palace carried in the clutches of the skylizards.  Lord Bowmund, the man responsible for the safeguarding of the city, and whom Gronk had threatened and negotiated with, stood before the now and once King again, Thoros.  His son, Xavier Edici, whose body was then lying on a makeshift table beside the old man, was covered by a linen featuring the Edessan coat of arms.  Several of the king’s court and commanders of the royal army were observing the body of both Thoros’ son, and Mavrik and Abel’s father. Thoros motioned for Bowmund to rise and he did. His moustache was long and wiry and his helm featured a flying serpent, similar to the one that had each rescued them just hours ago.

“My Lord, My King, Thoros,” began the commander of the guard. “It is with respect that I wish to speak openly with you about our night’s events.”

Thoros cleared his throat.  His many wounds suffered from the captivity of Gronk showed in several cuts and bruises on his face. He had refused to let the healers completely heal them. He wanted a reminder of how his people had suffered that night.

His voice was meek and shallow. Like a child, but each word seemed to carry weight despite this.  The room became silent. “I have not been involved in the politics of the land for some time, Lord Bowmund, you will have to help me with these matters.  You may speak openly, from now on until it is decided who will rule Edessa, now that my son….”

“Your Majesty,” Bowmund interjected roughly. “All will be decided soon for the good of Edessa.” He paused and motioned to the nobles gathered around in the chamber.  He raised his voice for all to hear, “But right now, I wish to remark upon the treasonous pact that is self-evident between the Antichans, our now sworn enemy and these traitors which stand before you!!”  He then pointed to the members of the party!

“Why you, dog…,” grunted Abel who angrily brought his hand to his axe, but Thunkeroy grabbed his hand.

“Not now, lad. Best to hear the charges first,” he whispered.

Bowmund continued in his obviously prepared speech, “Lords and ladies of Edessa, whilst I and your goodly troops labored and prepared to assault the fortress to take on these Antichan saboteurs en masse, this group of ragtag opportunists subverted our plan time and time again.  It was their involvement that brought the death of our good lord!” Bowmund went to stand beside the body on the table of the once king. “They then released prisoners in the dungeons below and destroyed the enemy ship that would have given us valuable information and evidence regarding the enemy’s intentions now that we are in a state of war with Antioch! My forces were waiting for the ship to depart and would have managed a safe rescue of his majesty, Lord Thoros, without their constant intrusion.  The deaths that we did suffer tonight can be attributed to their stupidity and their theft of our goodly castle!”

Several of the assembled nobles nodded their head and many others made gestures of anger towards the party.  All eyes looked to Thoros while Bowmund finished. “My Lord, I ask that these ruffians be patronized, in the honor of our saint, Jibral.  Their patral time has come to an end.”

Thoros looked as though he were about to speak. Bowmund finalized his thoughts, “I will administer the sentence myself, my lord, just give the word.”

Silence again. All waited. Finally, the old king was able to speak. ‘The word is…,”  the old man began; he reached up to stabilize the crown upon his head.  It had seemed to grow in size since the last time he wore it, many years ago. “The word is….granted.”

Bowmund bowed. He then stood and motioned for several of his men at amrs to take the party into custody. “Thank you my lord, it is a goodly choice.”

Two of the guard relunctantly grabbed the arm of Lazuras, whose helm revolved around to face them. His eyes glowed red from the darkness within.  But just then, Thoros’ soft voice continued.  “These four are now granted privileged placement into the Edessan elite.  They will serve as my royal bodyguards.”

“My lord! What? How can you…” Bowmund was animated, his arms spread wide beseeching the other nobles.

But Thoros had found his voice at last.  It rang through the hall, louder than it had in decades.

“These Edessans, pure of heart and pure from our land, owing nothing to me other than loyalty and owing no service to our guard, sacrificed their lives on numerous occasions to bring many of us, and myself to safety.”

The crowd became silent. Many of those the party had saved were clearly moved by what Thoros had just said.  Others, who clearly were soldiers under Bowmund’s command, were stupefied.

“Their service about others is what the Edessan Code Of Arms is modeled after. What our Patral Saint would wish for anyone of us!” He then called each of them up to the throne one at a time, and granted each the title of “elite guard”. This impromptu ceremony had not been performed in years.  No one spoke.  As the brothers approached, their grandfather said nothing of what he had discovered atop the lighthouse landing, but Mavrik could sense a deep emotion in his eyes.

When he was finished, he quietly asked to see his council the next day, and asked for the throne room to be emptied of visitors. The court and nobility moved to the grand hall. They would no doubt be discussing the politics of rule, now that Xavier Edici’s patral time had come to an end.

Bowmund stormed out and Thunkeroy couldn’t help but give a wink to the commander as he left. The look on Bowmund’s face said this was far from over.

“I wish to see my guard, alone in my study,” called Thoros to his servants.  He stood and walked out, stopping to lay his hands upon his son.  Despite his age, and physical weakness, he now looked resolute, and controlled. “Prepare us a meal worthy of a,” he paused, his hand on his dead son’s head, “a king.”  The party, led by his servants, followed.

“A meal worthy for my king, let’s to it cooks, I’ve just the…” but just as the little elf had arranged his chef hat and spun to frantically get back to his kitchen, he ran headlong into Thunkeroy. The elf struck his pointy nose on the old blacksmith’s breastplate, which caused Screech to caw.  Chantecleer simply tightened down his apron, gave a disapproving glance everywhere but in the direction of the blacksmith’s eyes, and returned to his kitchen. He muttered something about the disaster he would find there.

Thunkeroy smiled and followed the others into the study.

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