Title: 027 B'rayth's Becoming
theseus - March 2, 2006 05:36 AM (GMT)
B’rayth is perhaps dreaming, or perhaps waking in a different reality…
B'rayth finds himself sitting on a comfortable leather upholstered gold chair, raised high in an opulent but otherwise practical room. In front of him are two closed and immensely large wooden doors, intricately carved with falcons, harts, and unicorns. The walls are adorned with paintings of landscapes and hunting scenes. There is one smaller door set into the right wall. In one corner is a banner bearing a Unicorn reared, gold against a red background. The walls are lined with comfortable looking wooden chairs, though all of them are empty. The stone floors are immaculately cut, and a red carpet runs up to the foot of the dais that B’rayth’s chair is set upon. A beautiful shield and a sword sheathed in its scabbard, all etched with strange runes, are set against the right side of the dais.
B’rayth finds both his arms are resting comfortably on the leather upholstered arms of the chair. A beautiful gold ring is wrapped around the third finger of his right hand. He is dressed in practical though extremely well-stitched clothing, and he is wearing a large and warm cloak. He can feel a band wrapped about his head.
Jedric - March 4, 2006 10:59 AM (GMT)
B'rayth stands and slowly and evidently with great pleasure he throws his head back and stretches.
A secret smile appears on his face before he reaches up to touch the band about his head, his touch is tentative and for some reason he decides to leave it in place.
Slowly he performs a full three sixty-degree turn to take in all of the room. He frowns and shakes his head; a muttered oath escapes his lips before he calls out.
"Hello! Is there anyone near?"
Annoyance shows on his face at the lack of response, until his eyes fall upon the sword and shield once more. Taking a short step he moves closer and almost reverently takes the sword in hand, holding it near the hilt in his left hand, he draws the blade about three inches from the scabbard with his right.
theseus - March 4, 2006 04:39 PM (GMT)
The sword emits a pleasant hum as it is withdrawn from the scabbard. On its blade are the tracings of blue lines that seem almost on fire, reminding B’rayth immediately of the Pattern that blazes in the back of his own mind.
The small door opens, and a man rushes in. He is also wearing well-made clothing, though not quite as fine as B’rayth’s. His hair is slicked back. Although B’rayth finds his gait familiar, it takes him several moments to realise that this is actually R’shall.
“Your Majesty,” he stammers, “I apologise for the delay. Please forgive me. I was in the presence of the queen. We have been discussing the arrangements for King Uthor’s reception next week.”
"How may I be of service?"
Jedric - March 5, 2006 01:57 PM (GMT)
B’rayth looks at R’shall and frowns a familiar frown before he laughs aloud.
“You can continue with your preparations R’shall never fear. Is there a mirror nearby, my mind seems a little cloudy at the moment.”
B’rayth’s tone is light, almost bantering but his stance is tense. Perhaps sensing this R’shall answers in a slightly hesitant manner.
“Highness? I think there is a mirror in a nearby chamber, shall I get it for you?”
B’rayth nods slowly, “Please do that.”
He turns away and draws the sword from its sheathe completely, testing its balance as he waits.
theseus - March 7, 2006 04:50 PM (GMT)
R’shall’s footsteps can be heard as he leaves the room.
The blade feels electric in B’rayth’s hand. It is finely balanced with a keen edge, and it feels like an extension of B’rayth’s own arm. As he moves the weapon in a test sweep, it sings, leaving behind momentary blue after-images in the air.
Having turned to the back of the room, B’rayth sees a large mirror, with an intricately carved stone frame. The image of a slightly older B’rayth looks back at him, wearing a golden crown set with emeralds and rubies.
Jedric - March 11, 2006 05:45 PM (GMT)
B'rayth returns the blade to its scabbard and places it carefully where he found it. He then grins mirthlessly as he strides over to the mirror. He studies his own reflection for some moments, seeing the lines about the eyes, the fineness of the clothes the craftsmanship of the crown.
"Burraith by name, perhaps by nature too." he mutters to himself.
Satisfied with this he turns about and heads for the large double doors and throws them open.
theseus - March 16, 2006 03:55 AM (GMT)
On the other side of the doors is a grand room of marble, staircases running up the walls on both sides. Directly ahead are two solid looking doors of iron, currently closed but unbarred. Two guards in light armour with a unicorn crest, stand on either side of the doors. They simultaneously give B’rayth a perfect military salute.
B’rayth walks forward and opens these iron doors as well, and finds beyond them a pebbled courtyard, enclosed with high walls topped with battlements. A large wooden gate with heavy bolts stands open directly ahead, revealing a magnificent view. This place is on a steep hill that falls into an expanse of verdant green forest. A river flashes blue highlights as it snakes and twists through the trees. Cirrus clouds scud across the impressive, clear blue sky. In the far distance beyond the forest lie lush farmlands. To the right of the forest is a cozy looking hamlet composed of cottages and other buildings, a solitary gold spire rising up from what may be a temple at the centre.
A paved path leads from the courtyard, taking a right turn out of sight shortly after leaving the gate. The courtyard itself contains elaborate fountains, low hedges, and flower gardens, and seems to stretch out to both sides.
Jedric - March 19, 2006 08:21 PM (GMT)
B'rayth acknowledges the salute offhandedly before turning back into the chamber he just left. He studies the place he sees, the design the colours.
"Why am I here?" he murmurs before striding off to follow R'shall.
theseus - March 20, 2006 05:04 AM (GMT)
When B'rayth returns to the throne room, R’shall is carrying a mirror with an ornate silver frame.
“Here you are, sire,” he says. “Where would you like it?”
Jedric - March 21, 2006 08:23 PM (GMT)
B'rayth looks at R'shall quizzically, looking for sign of what? Falsity, fear injury even. B'rayth smiles and shakes his head.
"No, no my friend forget the mirror please." B'rayth places his hand upon R'shall's shoulder for a brief moment.
"Come, I would speak with you if you will."
R'shall seems a trifle uncertain but places the mirror aside.
"Certainly sire. How may I serve you?" he enquires.
B'rayth snorts, then with a grin asks, "Are you happy R'shall, have I done well by you?"
theseus - March 22, 2006 06:25 AM (GMT)
R’shall looks startled by the question, but nods vigorously. “Well, yes, of course you have. I don’t know how many times you’ve saved my life. And when you headed off for Klaythe that time, I thought I’d never see you again. But even though you moved up in the world, you came back for me, and brought me here. I’m happy, and the wife and kids are doing great. There’s nothing I could want for. So yes, you’ve done very well by me.”
Jedric - April 1, 2006 07:56 PM (GMT)
B'rayth nods and smiles, although a hardness around the eyes betrays some tension.
"That is well R'shall, excellent... Very well, I'm sure you are busy so..."
B'rayth trails of and takes a step back waiting for R'shall to withdraw. R'shall does so with a bow and a slightly confused smile. When R'shall is gone B'rayth heads off to explore this place, confidently he strides toward the iron doors fully expecting the guards to open them.
theseus - April 6, 2006 06:15 AM (GMT)
In the marble room stands Yeesha, framed by the elegant marble staircase leading upwards on either side of her. She is dressed in regal clothing of reds and blacks, her posture is elegant though somewhat haughty. She regards B’rayth with some curiousity, and smiles coyly.
“You seem somewhat confused, dear husband. Is there something my talents can help you with?”
Jedric - April 9, 2006 08:37 PM (GMT)
B'rayth smiles, after brief hesitation he shakes his head slowly.
"No, I'm fine, just a little contemplative today. I can't help wondering how I managed to become King sometimes. Don't you ever feel that way?"
theseus - April 13, 2006 07:04 AM (GMT)
Yeesha laughs delightfully. “No, my dear. But then, I always was aware of the great heights my family could ascend to… as well as the great depravity some of its members were capable of. You, on the other hand, grew up ignorant of your true heritage and destiny.”
“Or is it that you are once more questioning the choice you made in the place of light and darkness?”
Jedric - April 20, 2006 07:34 AM (GMT)
B'rayth shrugs and smiles, an odd expression on his face, almost sheepish.
"I don' know what's bothering me Yeesha, perhaps I'm just feeling contemplative, I've been wondering a lot, I aasked R'shall if I've been a good friend you know, he seemed surprised by the question. I must admit I'm also wondering whether I've been a good king... a good husband?"
theseus - April 20, 2006 09:17 PM (GMT)
Yeesha grins. “You have kept your throne, have you not? You have crushed your enemies, been good to your allies, and executed those who betrayed you. The people worship you and fear you, and would not dare to rise up against you. So yes, I think you make a fine king.”
She smiles seductively. "If there is more you wonder about, you know how to find your answer..."
Jedric - April 25, 2006 02:30 PM (GMT)
B'rayth raises and eyebrow and then grins right back at her before kissing her lightly on the cheek.
"We may have some time later for... leisure. Unfortunately as of this moment I'm afraid there is work to be done."
B'rayth stands straight, his face becoming serious once more.
"Would you care to accompany me my dear or have you affairs to attend to?"
theseus - April 26, 2006 04:46 PM (GMT)
Yeesha links her arm into B’rayth’s. “I have time to finish arrangements for King Uthor's reception later,” she says. “What was on your mind for this morning?”
Jedric - April 29, 2006 10:12 AM (GMT)
B'rayth grins and pats Yeesha's hand.
"Excellent. I'm sure you'll enjoy my review of our army."
He walks on for a second straight faced, but then he grins, only for a second before becoming serious once more as he remarks.
"I think my mind is all straight lines and boxes, I need someone who can think around corners, that's why you're such a blessing to me. I'd like to check on the security arrangements for Uthor's visit, but I was thinking we could do that surreptitiously, if you get on with your arrangements I can observe."
theseus - May 3, 2006 04:46 AM (GMT)
“Very well,” Yeesha says, “There is one matter that I should deal with immediately.”
She claps her hands and two soldiers wearing clean-pressed uniforms enter. The two soldiers are keeping their swords trained on a third scraggly looking man, whom they throw onto the ground in front of Yeesha’s feet. It is obvious that this man has been badly beaten.
Yeesha nods to the guard on the left. “Captain Rishtar, report please.”
Captain Rishtar stands at attention and gives a salute with his sword. “We found this man attempting to steal supplies from our storehouse.”
Yeesha nods in thought. “A thief. I see. And is there anything the thief wishes to say in his defence?”
The man on the ground moves a little in pain, but stares up at Yeesha defiantly, remaining silent.
“I guess not,” Yeesha says with a wry smile.
Yeesha makes eye contact with the man, and his face becomes pale and sweaty. He starts screaming in agony. His screams then cut off abruptly, and he collapses back into a heap, barely breathing, eyes wide.
Yeesha turns her attention to the Captain and his underling. “I’m done with him. He doesn’t represent a security threat. He wanted food for his children. You may kill him now.”
Jedric - May 3, 2006 07:30 AM (GMT)
A stony quality appears in B'rayth's face, his face pales to near whiteness.
"Hold!" he says quietly.
Captain Rishtar freezes in position for a second, letting loose of the thief's arm he looks up, and straightens to attention.
"Majesty?" he says in some confusion.
B'rayth walks forward and crouches down beside the unfortunate starveling before him, checking him out to see how he fairs.
"Bring him food and water Captain... and Captain bring a healer!"
B'rayth takes the man in his arms and carries him to any nearby chair or table and sets him down carefully. He turns to look at Yeesha, his face remaining pale almost clammy as he studies her.
theseus - May 3, 2006 04:27 PM (GMT)
Yeesha looks steadily back into B’rayth’s eyes. “I would prefer it if you didn’t contradict my orders in front of the men,” Yeesha says, with a hint of anger. “It is bad for morale for us to appear divided. But no matter. I assume you have some use for this man, then?”
Jedric - May 4, 2006 06:02 PM (GMT)
B'rayth's expression doe not falter he merely glances at the man and shakes his head.
"No, no use at all."
He moves to Yeesha's side and takes her arm, he leads her away to a nearby alcove.
Once they are out of earshot he whispers fiercely.
"How can you stand there trying to take the morale high ground, with anger in your eyes even after what I have just witnessed?"
He shake shis head in disgust and disbelief.
"I remember a woman of compassion, a different Yeesha, a woman who became annoyed with me if I even treated people with disrespect, and I stand now beside my wife, who has just ordered a man killed because he tried to steal food, not gold or treasure, food! And why does he do this because they are starving."
B'rayth releases Yeesha's arm and stands back slightly.
"This will end today. There will be no more of this, if a man is willing to work and support his family he will be allowed to do so, if that means trampling on a few rich men's toes then so much the better."
theseus - May 5, 2006 05:44 AM (GMT)
Yeesha glares into B'rayth's eyes... There is a sudden and sharp stabbing pain in his head… it is Yeesha invading his mind, forcing him to submit to her will…
”You are obviously confused, dearest husband. Yes, this does end here. But I am the one in charge. It is time you remembered that!”
B’rayth stumbles, his strength ebbing… the pain in his head transforms into a piercing throbbing… his mind feeling like it is being shredded to pieces…
And then mercifully, he wakes…
theseus - May 5, 2006 05:47 AM (GMT)
B'rayth is continued in 028 Awake...028 Awake