Thrace, Chapter II


The thief was wrestling her way through the despondent crowd that held it's mass over the slums at all hours of the day when she noticed the silver reflections of the second companion's plate mail in the distance. Her eyes brightened as she picked up her pace and fought her way through the blackened mass of laborers with new meaning, but the crowd only grew denser and the glittering in the distance only grew further. He was nearing the manor Bleur, nearing the hearth and home of the bard and his companions. She couldn't have that. The first of the companions to bear and return the news of the Circle from their Castellan Mijael, proprietor and representative of Thrace who carried out the will of the Circle, would be a sort of executive within the manor for the season. She had always won before, why must the second make this winter any different? Did he not believe her a fine and fair leader? When had the others decided upon this? She ran now, clear of the black mass that restrained her, arms in swing and legs in their mechanical rotary spin. The second walked with his hands at his sides, plates shifting upon one another in a sort of symphony of bells, ringing out in their mockery of her as he neared the manor gates. She leaped over the walls as he calmly shifted his arm to the gate, pushed it aside, and stepped through. She caught a sight of him as she reached the door, grinning and staring towards her. She remained uneasy as she knocked out the rhythm one must know to pass through the manor entrance. She dipped her head into the damp air of the manor, looking about the lobby for whatever the second was so proud of. As she stepped inside she caught sight of that very thing. Two smirking figures stared from the den. The third and fourth had arrived before her. She sighed resignedly and stepped slowly towards to den, proud grins flanking her from each side as the second trailed behind her, the ringing of his armor letting out one final measure of laughter before he dropped himself into one of the wooden chairs. “Who is it, then?” she asked sullenly, eyes dropping to the cracks in the floor. “We haven't decided. Since it, regretfully, cannot be you this season, we must decide on the one among us who is at least a reasonably comparable candidate.” the third said with a triumph parading across his eyes, his small figure shivering with the prospect of the throne they found themselves upon. He was the charlatan of the companions, an orator and alchemist. His body reflected his skills, with long, steady fingers and a noble face, all seated upon the build of one who spent much of his time in comfort but little of it eating. She bit her lip at his sarcasm. His smirk widened with this power over her that he could feel in his lips and his hands. Their competition, which took many forms, had begun when the bard recruited them in youth as company to him in years of learning. Twenty cycles they had been in his service, and shaped his growth more than any tutor and their books. “If it is battle against the Deakins, the second will lead. If it is battle against the policies of the Circle, it will be I. We will bide our time and decide.” he said after a time. “What? You cannot wait and decide, what are we to do until we learn of the circumstance? Sit in this den and wait?” she said passionately, rising from her seat. “We will do just that. As I believe I know the one who may be best suited leading ours and the manor's efforts this season of war.” he said as the door creaked agonizingly in the lobby, allowing another man enter. “Tell me, why do we assume the bard needs aid in leading his men?”

The End

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