Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on 2005 May 20 |

The Queens Gambit

(321 Dolefaren 379)

The shadewatch mirror found Queen Morganae in her Garden with her Captain Herrick as an interesting visitor was ushered in. Evidently, as you will see from the conversation, summoned by the Queen.

Oh, and Baresh, I don’t want my name attached to this at all. I don’t know which of those women scares me more…Herrick said, “I had your foot stool recovered in fine dwarf skin.”

Morganae clapped her hands together and laughs heartily.

Morganae said, “How very thoughtful of you.”

Herrick said, “The old skin was in tatters.”

Herrick said, “And catching the dwarf was ….entertaining.”

Herrick smiled.

Morganae said, “Well, it’s seen so much use, and their hides aren’t all that thick.”

Morganae said, “Of that I’ve no doubt.”

Herrick said, “They make poor foot wear.”

Natashya arrived, escorted by a guard.

Natashya pulled down the hood of her cloak.

Morganae said, “Ah, here you are.”

With a graceful flutter of her hands, Natashya sank down in a formal curtsy.

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Natashya said, “Your Majesty. As requested.”

Natashya smiled.

Herrick stood near Morganae.

Morganae said, “I’m pleased you were able to respond so quickly.”

Natashya said, “How could I not.”

Natashya flashed a quick grin.

Morganae said, “Quite so. I trust you had an uneventful trip.”

Natashya gave a slight nod.

A shimmering mirror of shadows appears momentarily in the air above, briefly revealing Kelvena’s face.

Natashya said, “I am little more than ornamentation after so long with the Prince, your summons comes at an opportune time for some fresh air.”

Morganae said, “From my reports, you serve more purpose than mere ornamentation.”

Morganae asked, “You seem to accumulate influential friends, do you not?”

Natashya raised an eyebrow.

Morganae asked, “You have the ear of both Prince Vorclaf and Baron Gyfford, correct?”

Natashya said, “Accumulate is a interesting term, though I am unsure if it is accurate. And I do what is needed … as His Majesty requires usually.”

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Natashya looked thoughtfully at Morganae.

Morganae said, “You are no doubt aware of my meeting with Raenilar.”

Natashya gave Morganae a slight nod.

Morganae waved her hand.

Natashya said, “It’s been mentioned in passing, yes Your Majesty.”

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Morganae said, “I believe..”

Morganae said, “In everyone’s best interest, you may be of help in securing an agreement with both the Prince and the Baron.”

Morganae said, “It is my wish, that you speak to each of them for me in these matters.”

Natashya asked, “I generally do not classify my interests in the same category as “everyone’s,” but what is it you are looking for?”

Herrick coughed.

Morganae gazed at Natashya.

Natashya asked, “Something amiss?”

Morganae said, “I feel it best, if the Prince and Baron would both agree to allow Raenilar and his people to return to the desert.”

Natashya asked, “Surely you do not need someone as obscure as myself for that Your Majesty. Why not just say it must be so?”

Natashya smiled slightly.

Morganae asked, “Your familiarity with both of them, should give you the advantage, should it not?”

Natashya asked, “It gives me access to them, but to what purpose should I sway them in this direction?”

Morganae said, “Oh, but I’m sure your powers of persuasion can be used to advantage.”

Natashya said, “Of course they can, else I would not be here. But with respect Your Majesty, that was not my question.”

Morganae asked, “You need me to be more frank?”

Morganae laughed!

Herrick folded his arms across his chest.

Natashya asked, “I asked what the endpoint was, to what goal would it serve for me to intercede on this matter? You are influential in and of your own right, what need do you have of me?”

Morganae said, “You have their ears, you travel discreeting, and having a war at this time holds no interest for me.”

Morganae said, “If I can secure an end to the Outcasts in Shard, and a peaceable return for them to their desert lands, then I shall do so.”

Natashya raised an eyebrow.

Natashya said, “We may disagree on that Your Majesty, war can be most profitable. Especially if its cultivated carefully.”

Natashya flashed a quick grin.

Morganae laughed!

Morganae said, “You are quite correct. I agree with you on that score. However, at this time..”

Morganae shrugged.

Morganae said, “It’s more agreeable to make their return more swift, and easily accomplished.”

Morganae said, “You can assure both of them, I have secured agreement, that there will be no attacks from the Outcast armies. The will return quietly, and quickly if allowed to do so.”

Morganae said, “Yhaman will cease his attacks as well, pending his leader’s return.”

Natashya glanced at Morganae.

Natashya said, “The Baron I know would be glad of that … providing it’s true.”

Morganae said, “Raenilar has assured me of such.”

Natashya folded her arms across her chest.

Natashya pondered.

Natashya asked, “So I speak with His Majesty and His Grace, and you want this as coming from you directly?”

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Morganae said, “Of course, I am judging by how cowered Raenilar became in my presence. He seemed sincere enough in his wish to leave these parts, and return to familair lands.”

Natashya asked, “Cowered?”

Natashya raised an eyebrow.

Herrick pondered.

Morganae said, “Well.. perhaps that is not quite the right term, but I do seem to have that effect on so many.”

Morganae smiled slightly.

Morganae said, “He reiterated his wish, proclaiming sincerity repeatedly.”

Natashya shrugged.

Natashya said, “So the players change again, it goes as it will.”

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Natashya said, “Your Majesty, I prefer to operate on terms which are mutually beneficial.”

Herrick raised an eyebrow.

Morganae gazed at Natashya.

Natashya said, “Debt of any type is an onus I cannot afford, so I do not indulge.”

Morganae said, “Perhaps I need to remind you, you aren’t doing this for Raenilar’s benefit.”

Natashya said, “No, I’m not.”

Natashya smiled.

Morganae said, “But because I ask it of you.”

Morganae said, “Certainly with your charm and intelligence, you are up to the task.”

Natashya said, “And I will honor your request with my consideration, but surely someone as wise as yourself realizes that influence is never without cost of some kind.”

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Morganae asked, “Of course I understand that. However I believe we can leave your personal benefit for another day, can we not?”

Herrick adjusted his recurve bow.

Morganae said, “You must make certain, that Vorclaf and Gyfford understand this request comes not from Raenilar, but myself.”

Natashya said, “Of course Your Majesty, I understand that this is a time sensitive matter. I will be happy to offer my assistance, once we are in agreement.”

Morganae asked, “And what do we need to secure this accord?”

Natashya asked, “I assume Your Majesty, that should all go as you wish and Shard is thus returned … that you will support the new government?”

Morganae nodded.

Morganae asked, “I have said as much to Kulainik, have I not?”

Natashya drummed her fingertips lightly on her arm as she chooses her words.

Morganae gazed narrowly at Natashya.

Natashya said, “In return for … assistance, the current government has given certain allowances to some distant acquaintances of mine. If the government were to change hands again, I would prefer that those allowances continue.”

Natashya said, “Thus my first term would be access to the new government, under your standard if it’s needed.”

Natashya smiled.

Natashya said, “It may never get used in my lifetime of course.”

Morganae said, “Continued..allowances.”

Natashya said, “But should I require access to Shard in an official capacity that I do not already have, that I may ask it of you.”

Natashya asked, “Your Majesty, nothing thrives without deep roots to support it. Leave them in the dark, neh?”

Natashya smiled at Morganae.

Herrick chuckles.

Morganae ponders.

Morganae laughed!

Natashya said, “It is a small thing surely.”

Natashya smiled at Morganae.

Morganae said, “Growth in darkness, yes, you intrigue me.”

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Morganae said, “That seems a small enough thing, providing you are successful in this matter.”

Morganae said, “Naturally not.”

Natashya said, “But I do like to keep my options open.”

Morganae said, “Always a wise path.”

Natashya said, “The only thing I would ask for, is a token from you as proof of our agreement. And your word upon it of course …”

Natashya said, “A ring with your seal, or some such item as immediately identifiable as yours.”

Natashya said, “We have long lives, I would not wish our discussion to be lost to the winds of time.”

Natashya asked, “Perhaps something made from the bones of your enemies?”

Natashya flashes a quick grin.

Morganae laughed!

Morganae said, “Certainly, that’s quite amenable to me, and understandable.”

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Natashya smiled.

Natashya said, “Excellent, I look forward to it. Though to be honest, if I do not get a token as my insurance, the results will not be as you intend.”

Morganae said, “I’m sure I have something suitable, that’s undoubtedly mine to give. You shall have your proff.”

Herrick smiled.

Natashya said, “My last term does not require an answer, just …consideration.”

Morganae reaches into the pocket of her robes, grasping a small item in her hand. She slips it discreetly into Natashya’s grasp.

Morganae asked, “Will that suffice?”

Natashya laughed!

Natashya said, “Quite, Your Majesty. I will not abuse the privilege.”

Morganae said, “I trust there will be no doubt as to where you acquired it.”

Morganae smiled slightly.

Natashya said, “It occurs to me that despite your prodigious resources, that at times you prefer to remain on the fringe of such tedious things as the provincial politics.”

Morganae nodded to Natashya.

Morganae said, “That would be an apt asssumption.”

Natashya said, “Your fame precedes you, making it terribly difficult for you to move with complete freedom.”

Morganae said, “Yes, well..”

Morganae asked, “The peasants are always curious, are they not?”

Natashya said, “Of course Your Majesty, of course.”

Natashya said, “But just think of how you might benefit … with a tangible presence in the mainland courts.”

Natashya smiled.

Morganae asked, “Oh, you wish that enviable position?”

Natashya pondered.

Natashya said, “In a manner of speaking …”

Morganae said, “You do have an interesting mind.”

Natashya said, “Even the Eloths come forth, willing to give up their identity for politics. Why not retain the identity in favor of the politics.”

Natashya said, “Your son Fayne …”

Natashya gazed at Morganae.

Herrick shifted his weight.

Natashya trailed off, letting the implication hang in the air.

Morganae gazed more intently at Natashya.

Morganae asked, “What of my son?”

Natashya said, “I have access to the three courts, am far more diplomatic than he could ever be and have the obvious advantage of being … Elven.”

Natashya gazed at her fingernails.

Herrick chuckled.

Morganae asked, “And?”

Natashya said, “If you were to consider a consortium if you will, between he and I — instead of the Eloth. Well one might think there are alot of advantages in that. For both of us.”

Herrick blinked.

Natashya said, “I asked only for consideration in the matter Your Majesty.”

Morganae said, “I’m not certain why I should even concider such.”

Natashya said, “You are wiser than I could ever hope to be in several lifetimes, please allow yourself time to see what advantages or disadvantages that could bring.”

Natashya said, “He marries the Eloth, sullies the bloodline and gives you a throne which — let’s face it, you already control.”

Morganae said, “However you are correct in believing that I always take time to weigh all advantages and disadvantages to any agreement or alliance.”

Morganae chortles softly at some secret joke.

Natashya said, “You consider me and now you have access to the entire mainland, as well as the … meager resources I have as well.”

Natashya said, “And your bloodline remains intact.”

Natashya smiled slightly.

Morganae said, “It hurts me not to give it concideration. You indeed have a crafty mind.”

Morganae said, “I’ll concider the various.. possibilities, you can be assured.”

Herrick gazes down at the ground with a slight smile.

Natashya said, “As I said, please consider it. As to the rest, it is agreeable enough to me that I will relay your messages.”

Morganae said, “Good. See that they do, understand.”

Natashya said, “At least I will … as soon as you give me your personal word that you will adhere to the terms we just discussed.”

Natashya smiled.

Natashya said in Ilithic, “In Ilithic of course.”

Natashya smiled.

Morganae said in Ilithic, “I believe I already agreed to give your requests consideration.”

Natashya said in Ilithic, “You did agree, and I am most grateful for that. But in one as esteemed as yourself, your word would be inviolate and it would be a boon to have it given.”

Herrick frowned.

Natashya said in Ilithic, “Just as there is always much said of me, you have centuries more heaped upon that. If you give me your word, then I know that it will be good for a lifetime to come. And to us… that is a long time indeed.”

Morganae asked in Ilithic, “You have my token, do you not?”

Natashya said in Ilithic, “I do Your Majesty, I ask but a small thing.”

Natashya said in Ilithic, “If your word is as good as your token, then it should be little more to say it aloud.”

Morganae said in Ilithic, “I believe I’ve agreed to what you asked. You have my word to the terms we’ve discussed here. I shall concider the rest.”

Natashya smiled broadly.

Natashya curtsied gracefully.

Morganae said in Ilithic, “Now I believe our meeting has concluded.”

Natashya nodded.

Natashya said in Ilithic, “Of course Your Majesty, I shall set off at once.”

Morganae nodded dismissively.

Natashya gave Herrick a slight nod.

Herrick nodded.

A guard just escorted Natashya out.

Herrick shook his head.

Morganae paced along the wall.

Herrick said, “She reminds me of certain animals..give them a hand a
d they take the arm entire.”

Morganae said in Ilithic, “That one thinks quite highly of herself.”

Morganae smiled at Herrick.

Herrick said, “And as for Prince Fayne…”

Morganae said, “Excellent observation.”

Herrick said, “She would either make him a lap dog or try to put him your place.”
br />Morganae said, “She does intrigue me though, I like the way her mind works.”

Herrick said, “In my opinion.”

Herrick said, “And no offense my Queen but Fayne has no spine of his own so he would be pliable in her hands.”

Morganae asked, “Captain, I believe you should attend me. Shall we?”

Herrick asked, “But how amusing would it be to see the elotheans faces when he marries elsewhere?”

Morganae nodded to Herrick.

Morganae laughed!

Herrick said, “I will attend you my Queen.”

Herrick smiled.

Morganae said, “It does have possibilities, however, it shall require I give it much more thought.”

Herrick said, “We have time.”

Morganae nodded to Herrick.

Morganae laughed!

Herrick said, “I will go have things prepared for you.”

Herrick smiled.

Morganae said, “Excellent, Captain.”

Morganae smiled at Herrick.