“ The Doric family had three estates prior to the Exodus, each in what now makes the three Tyrian human kingdoms. The one in what is now Kryta became the castle of the Krytan royal family while the one in Ascalon eventually became the largest structure, outside the Great Wall, of Ascalon City. The one in Orr, which was the home of Konig Doric, was located along a cliff. Some would say it resided within Arah, and others would say it resided on its outskirts. This is because Herzog Doric, the one who commissioned the estate, desired separation from the “common person” and had a large, thick wall surrounding the estate.
The estate itself is comprised of six outlying towers and one larger central tower, each tower connected to the adjacent ones via a hallway and series of rooms. Each tower, save the central one, was dedicated to the Six Gods; the central one being dedicated to the Doric family. On the outskirts of the estate was a personal arena and a training ground. Due to being located along a cliff, one of the towers was placed slightly off, preventing a perfect hexagonal shape, and in turn unlike the other outlying towers had two connecting wings instead of three.”
– Journal of Xaphan Sariel
Grenth rubbed his eyes and yawned as he leaned up against a stone ledge. I’ve chosen the right place to take that nap
, he thought to himself before thinking over what he had just overheard. Konig will run away tonight, eh? Good for him. It’s about time he leaves those two.
Grenth stretched out and slowly stood up. Konig and Desmina had already rejoined their families. That woman was very talented in acting.
Grenth decided he should head to his study since he heard it was flooded by Konig. It would be best to check on the damage before anything else.
****It’s time to go get Desmina
, Konig thought to himself as he grabbed his dark red cloak. After grabbing a small bag of gold, he went out of his room as quietly as he could as to not wake up his sister whose bedroom was nearby. As he suspected earlier, Desmina and her father Joren were put into the south wing’s guest rooms. It would take a bit to get through to Desmina’s room.
Due to being on the third floor of the estate, Konig couldn’t jump out of the window and move around outside like he did from Grenth’s study or the library. However, thanks to his materialistic mother who collected anything of some worth, there were plenty of things to hide behind, or in, should someone come his way.
It was a long, boring, and way too silent trip through the Doric Tower of the estate, so inaptly named by Herzog and his overbearing self-conceit, and towards the second floor of the Balthazar Tower. As expected, Konig was easily able to bypass the one guard post that was in his path to Desmina’s guest room, as the guards were distracted with something, though Konig couldn’t tell what. When he got there, he saw Desmina awake and dressed in uncommon clothing.
“That’s an interesting look for you, Desmina. I’m surprised that you were able to get that kind of clothing into here.” Konig said as he observed Desmina’s clothing. She wore a long, heavy jacket with thick pants and a scarf that she wrapped around her face when Konig appeared in the doorway.
“Aren’t you a little early, Konig?”
“I figured that if we get more night time, we’d be able to get further with fewer chances to be seen.”
“Good idea. Let’s get going.” Desmina walked past Konig into the corridor then stopped and turned to him. “Well? Weren’t you going to show me the ‘safest route’ or something?” Desmina smirked at Konig as she waited for him to go on. With a small, barely noticeable huff he moved on back to the Doric Tower. As before, there were few guards on the way. But once they went down to the first floor they were quickly in the guards’ and servants’ dining room – and it was full of the guards who just got off duty.
Because Konig forgot to look into the guards’ schedules for the earlier departure, he was caught off guard. He acted quickly to get to the first piece of cover for the two. Konig knew there would be guards here, but he didn’t expect there to be well over twenty guards. And on top of that, they were all wide awake. Luckily, they were so busy getting drunk off of wine and eating their meal that Konig and Desmina were able to easily slip by. Though they thought they were caught once, and it took a while to wait for an opening, the two were able to get through the crowded room after hiding behind various large beams and vases.
“I thought you said you’d get us out of here easily, Konig!” Desmina whispered with a ferociously angry tone. “Do you know what would have happened if I was caught in this?!?”
“Seeing how you were with me, if we were caught, they’d probably think you were a prostitute that I got.” Konig said with a smirk. He could only imagine what was going through Desmina’s head at the insult he tossed at her and was expecting her to lose her cool within seconds.
“Me? A prostitute? That’s a laugh, ‘husband.’ Besides, you haven’t even gotten me in bed yet. Not like you’re going to.” she said, returning the insult in the form of a taunt while keeping her cool – or, perhaps, not even getting the insult.
“Whatever. Now that we’re out of there, we should only have to avoid one more guard post in the building and another at the gate.” It wasn’t long for them to reach the last place in the building that the guards were in. With the west wing being full of the food and other commodities, it had never needed many guards, so they met fewer than there should have been in the north and south wings.
It took another several minutes to finally get outside the building. At this time of night, not only are most guards either tired or drunk, but they didn’t expect any thieves – though the latter is mainly due to the near non-existent crime rate in Arah, the City of the Gods which neighbors the estate. But nonetheless, Konig and Desmina kept a sharp eye out.
As they slipped outside, the two observed the mostly emptied yard. They headed west towards a gate to the estate’s outer wall that led to Arah. Approaching the gate, they ducked over a bush just before the last guard post they would have to get by. “Three of them tonight it seems… Lucky us.” Konig said.
“Lucky? There are three people blocking the easiest path out of here!” Desmina said, doing her best to keep her voice to a whisper.
“There are usually five people at the side gates, and seven at the main gate. So yes, three is lucky.”
“You know, youngin’s, there is
a better way.” An old, almost sandy, voice suddenly sounded behind the two, startling them. The old vizier Grenth began to chuckle at the look of Konig’s and Desmina’s faces. “You two should really find a new place to talk about secretive things; you spoke right next to me while I napped!”
“Grenth… why are you here?!” Konig said, attempting to keep his voice low so the guards didn’t hear them – which Grenth didn’t seem to care about.
“I came to help you out. I think it’s about time you leave this place, though I do think you and Desmina would make quite a lovely couple.” Grenth chuckled again, once more not caring about his voice’s volume, making Konig grimace. “Hmmm? Heh, I think you should take a closer look at those guards, Konig. Maybe that’ll help remove that scowl from your face.” Grenth noticed Konig’s dislike for Grenth’s loudness.
It was rather obvious to tell once Konig took a good look at them. Though the three guards were moving as if nothing was wrong, he saw their slow movements, and what made their state obviously unusual was that a little bird flew onto one of the guards’ head and began pecking at the guard’s hair. The guards were in some kind of trance, most likely Grenth’s doing.
Grenth, the aging vizier of King Doric with no history going back further than 63 years ago, had just appeared, as if out of nowhere, behind Konig and Desmina. It’s unknown why he decided to enact his duties the king from the Orrian estate of the Dorics, many suspected that he had an interest in Konig, whom he spent a lot of time with, and others thought he couldn’t stand Ascalon, King Doric’s favorite land. Desmina realized that the former was right. There was no other reason why Grenth would appear out of nowhere, aid Konig and her in leaving, and put the hardest obstacle in a trance. She couldn’t get the thoughts out of her mind as the three left the estate grounds and entered Arah.
“Why are you looking at me like that, Desmina?” Grenth asked her with his sandy old voice, peering into her eyes as he spoke.
That stare, those eyes… it was like Grenth was looking into her very soul for some reason. Just what on earth is he? Or what, for that matter
. Desmina thought to herself. Though he looked human, he moved way too easily for someone who should be over ninety years old.
“Why are you helping us, Grenth? Isn’t it your duty, as vizier of King Doric, to act in the best interest of the royal family? Since King Doric has no children, wouldn’t that mean that you should act to keep Konig here to sire an heir should the king have no children before death?” Desmina quizzed Grenth. Just what are you up to, vizier?
She never trusted any kind of ‘advisor’ – they always seemed to advise in their own interest. She needed to know why Grenth was helping them.
The two have been following Konig into the streets of Arah. He apparently knew some of the city, but soon Desmina would have to lead. “You’re right, I should be stopping you. But Hara would be a better queen than Konig would be a king. How I see it, I am working in the family’s best interest!” Grenth said into the silence after what seemed to have been him contemplating the answer. He could have thought of the best answer and lied. “Besides, I like Konig – and of what little I know of you, I like you too. I want you to do live how you should, rather than be bound by the chains of others. I just hope Hara won’t mind.”
“Just Hara? What about Herzog? He may have your head if he finds out, you know.” Desmina was not satisfied, and probably never would be. But Konig stopped and looked at Desmina – it was time for her to lead. “We’re going to have to stop at a friend of mine’s place before we leave Arah. I trust you won’t join us for long, Grenth?”
“I’m just escorting you out of the city. As for Herzog, Dhuum can take his soul and Diana’s for that matter.” Grenth sped up to catch up with Desmina, instead of trailing behind like he was. “We’d best stop by a friend of mine
“Why bother? We’re here.” Desmina pointed to a tavern they were next to as she stopped walking. “You’ve been rather quiet, Konig.”
“I’m not fond of being told what to do, Desmina. But since it is necessary, I’m just keeping it to myself. Besides, you two are busy it seems. So why don’t you continue your talk inside, I’ll stand watch.”
“Why are you so nonchalant about Grenth helping us?” Desmina asked. With only receiving a shrug from Konig, she sighed and said “fine then, why don’t you come meet my friend, vizier.” Desmina walked into the tavern, noticing it nicely cleaned and empty, and was shortly followed by the old man.
“Looks like your friend is sleeping, youngin.” Grenth chuckled, just standing there.
Desmina sighed and looked around; having found stairs, she walked up them and knocked on the first door that she passed. “Hey! Wake up, you slob! It’s Desmina! I said wake up, Banton!”
“I’m awake!” A voice cried out from behind the door. “And you’re early!” The door opened up, and a shirtless hairy man with a large round gut appeared.
“Ugh. Couldn’t you have had the courtesy to get a shirt?” Desmina quickly closed her eyes and looked away. “Did you at least get things ready? Where’s the caravan at?”
“Yes, yes. The caravan’s been paid for and will leave in an hour. It is five streets north from here, just as you asked. Now, my debt is paid, so can I please go back to sleep?” Banton asked, rubbing his eyes.
“Looky what we have here, bro.” A broad man in a dark gray cloak who just came around the corner of the tavern said as he looked at Konig.
“And dere’s two more. I heard ‘em myself. An old man and a woman.” Another man appeared behind the broad man. This one wore a brown robe and looked identical to the first.
“Heh, easy pickins. I told you those ‘gods’ are nothing to worry about! This place is full of unsuspecting people.”
“I say we kill dis one, den off dat old man and do what we want with dat woman. I bet she’s pretty good lookin’ from how she sounded.” The one in brown said as he pulled out a dagger as the one in the dark gray cloak pulled out a hand ax.
“You two are laughable and weak.” Konig said with a slight laugh in his voice. “Not only do you not know who you’re dealing with, but you think you can take me on.” Konig reached for where he usually kept his short sword, but nothing was there. He cursed to himself at forgetting his favorite weapon.
“You foget sometin dere, boy?” The man in brown asked, smiling as he moved his hand up the ax’s handle.
“Not at all, you dull rock.” Konig taunted the man in brown, who was puzzled at the insult. Though it wasn’t intended, Konig gave himself enough time to remember the time in the study and how it felt to cast the spell. All he needed was to recall a spell from the scroll, and he knew just which one to use.
“Acies a calxen”
“Lasses zu air vereisen”
“In laqueus my fein”
“Und tribuos sie erfrierun.”
The two stopped coming towards Konig as he began chanting, looking at each other then back at Konig. “What the heck was he sayin,’ bro?”
“How de hell should I know?”
“You don’t think he… Why is it so cold?” The air around the three began to get cooler and cooler. Then, out of nowhere, around Konig’s feet, the ground began to freeze and it spread, quickly, towards the two brothers shaping into small spires and spikes around the two. The spires wrapped around them as it continued to spread, and their feet became entrapped in ice that spread from under their feet.
“He works magic!”
“You think! Gah! Get us out of here! Let us go!” The one in the dark grey became hysterical as the one in brown hacked at the ice with his dagger.
“Konig! What’s going on out here?” Desmina shouted as she rushed out of the tavern, shortly followed by Grenth.
“It would seem that our friend here has learned some spells since he flooded my study this morning.” Grenth chuckled as he finished. “That’s pretty well done, Konig.”
“Do you have what you needed, Desmina?” Konig asked, ignoring the two who were screaming and cutting at the ice behind him.
“Uh… yeah, there’s a caravan five streets north from here that will take us to Port Amnoon.” Desmina said staring at the ice and the two trapped in it.
“I think you two youngin’s will be fine from here. I’ll take these two to the authorities,” Grenth said as he stood at the tavern’s doorway in a ponderous position.
“Let’s just go.” Konig and Desmina said together; Desmina chuckled as she looked at Konig who rushed north to the caravan. I need to get out of here...