The First Act, Your Excellency

Left within the reaches, if only you will take it.

Soft hands carefully stroked the page of the book, tracing the black letters as if he could feel the sentence on his fingertips.  He could hardly breathe.  Filling himself up with every essence of the words as if that one sentence were the very boon of life, he could barely even move, save the careful caress of his elegant fingers.  His life was here.  It was all here.  Every word was true.  Every word was fact.

"Your Imperial Majesty."

He was ripped from his thoughts, but made no hint at this except by drawing in a long, deep breath.  Soft hair fluttered over his eyes.  He never looked up, never raised his head.

"Yes?" he asked softly.  "What is it?"

The servant was quiet for a moment, as if studying his master's reaction, "Your...  The coach awaits you, Your Imperial Majesty."

"So then...  it begins..."


Water splashed up onto the cold cobblestone street as the car rode by with agitated horses.  Nimorian carefully wiped the spray from his face and ran across the street to the small, dimly lit store on the other side.  He'd never been this far into the city before.  Even the square didn't look this nice.  Still, he tried to think less about the sights he was seeing and more about getting a place to rest out of the way of the rain.  He assumed the shop's porch would be the best place for this.

He found a nice warm hollow where he was out of the sight of the windows and curled up in a ball to sleep.  The rain behind him fell in sheets and soaked everything beneath.  The shop's porch itself was damp from the rain, but the door was cut into the wall, and this created a nice niche that remained dry.  

Nimo had just closed his eyes to sleep when the door burst open with a force hard enough to drive the customer's bell into the wall.

"What in the name of heaven is a rat doing sleeping at my door!?  I'll not give out scraps, you scurvy dog, so get the hell off of my step!"

Nimorian jumped and stared backing out into the street, stuttering, "I-I-I'm s-sorry!  I didn't know!  I j-just wanted to sleep out of th-the rain!"

The man standing above him had crimson red hair and ruby eyes.  His skin was a fair apricot, and his dress was clean and intricate.  He wore a black, double-button coat with a black waistcoat and a white shirt beneath.  Around his neck as a frilled cravat and from his sleeves protruded equally frilly cuffs.  He wore deep black silk slacks and shiny new spats.

"You're a kid, aren't you?" the gentleman observed.  "Where the hell did you come from?"

Nimorian glared up at him, "The country...  I'm...  I have no home..."

The clerk studied him for a time, his hand clasped over his mouth, and contemplated the child.  Nimo felt like a specimen under an alchemist's looking glass.  He'd hoped to gain a place to stay, but perhaps boarding with such a rude person wasn't such a good idea.

Finally the clerk removed his hand from his mouth, "Why is a country boy in the city?"

Nimorian turned his eyes down to the dampened porch, "I...  I wanted to create a better existence for myself..."

The gentleman chuckled, "And for this you entered the city?  I doubt that.  Not even the most wretched of fools would come to the city to better their life.  However, I have certain ties to a certain organization that could help you.  They create better lives for the unfortunate every day!"

Nimorian didn't like his host's tone, but he felt he had no choice at this point, "Which is...?"

The red-headed clerk extended his hand to the boy, "Allow me to introduce myself:  I am Gilithrande dok mon Trasule  Veldir.  I am the leader of the Lance Captial, and the leader of your salvation!"


The powerful wind flooded the sight and thew back Trabidar's scarlet cloak.  The dreaded wind tossed the noble's hair about violently so that he appeared as a terrible gorgon striding from the craft.  As he reached the ground and made his way towards the door, the airship lifted into the sky and took to its next destination.

Trabidar was greeted at the door by an old man who had known him when he was younger, "Traban!  It's so good to see you again!  What on earth has brought you to the Capital?  After your family received their status, we never heard from you again!  Surly you don't mean to return to our services, do you?"

The young noble waved the elder off as he passed, "I mean to make the Capital an important and accepted part of society.  And I mean to learn your spells, old man."

The senior stroked his beard thoughtfully, "I see...  But this is grim.  I cannot have someone so reckless knowing my spells."

"I'll get them one way or another."

"You need to learn some manners, young buck!  I tell you what, you stay here for a spell and take in our environment.  Get used to it again.  Then I'll test you to see if you're worthy or not."

Trabidar laughed, throwing his head back, "Ahaha!  Come now, you old coot!  I already know I'm worthy!  Stop beating me back and give in already!  You know I could handle those arts better than even the students here!  And anyway, was it not you who offered my parents your knowledge?  Give me the instruction."

The wise old man looked over Trabidar and knew well that this was not a good plan of action.  There was something dark in the young man's eyes that offered more than he seemed willing to tell.  There was something malevolent in his gaze and a blackness undoubtedly in his heart.

He shook his head, "Okay okay.  However, you must at least first meet the man who leads us.  It is to him who you will be taking your knowledge, for the most part.  Does this sound fair?"

Trabidar smiled, "Of course, sir.  That will be perfectly alright."

The old man wrung his hands once the boy left...  This foreshadowed terrible events...

The End

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