Kingmaker: A Lone Journey

Diplomatic Beginnings

The Material Plane. Such colour. Such brilliance. Such Light.

When first I stepped from the Plane of Shadow to this world that touched ours, it was all I could do to stem the fear. No comforting darkness to embrace me or shadows to cover my form, just the Light. If it wasnt for my training in the Black Tower and techniques of Que’sha, the Blades Edge, I think I may have turned and fled.

But with my honor and that of the Shadow Guards still intact, I entered this world of Light to fulfill my duties to Shadow Council, the Black Tower and my people, the Kayal.

Shadows played down the cobblestone streets of Restov. The chill night air was all but silent, the echoing sounds of one last tavern song faded away as the last of the drunken revelers made their way home.

The shadows bounced off the two story, white washed walls close by to the flickering street lamps. Restov was a wealthy town and on each street corner, lamp posts pushed back the night but gave more room for the shadows to play.

One Lone Shadow did not play. It walked with purpose from the High Market to Upper Homes. It turned down Valea Street, past Settlers Keep that was home to Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius, and then right onto Wash Road.

The Lone Shadow strode down the sidewalks as noiseless and silent and an owl in flight.

An observant viewer would have noticed that at the times when the Lone Shadow had to enter the street lamps lights it would take a more solid form. That of a hooded man. Face long and creased with many lines. Skin grey as ash, and his head and face devoid of all hair.

An observant viewer may also see that, during the few seconds the figure of the hooded man was visible in the light, he cast no shadow of his own.

It was into the doorway of three story white stone house that the Lone Shadow formed in the hooded man, oil lamps chasing away both darkness and shadow. A grey had emerged from the fold of the black cloak to firmly rap upon the heavy wooden door.

The hooded man did not have to wait long before the door opened and the warmth of a roaring fireplace somewhere in the mansion billowed out into the cold.

It was the Lord of the Manor himself that answered. A thin man nearer to twenty than thirty, he dressed in expensive blue silks and jewelry. He also had a long thin dueling blade strapped to his waist. The Lord gave the hooded man a friendly smile and inclined his head. The hooded man returned the gesture.

“You must be Zake Ge’Non,” the Lord addressed the hooded man, “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Alveen Aldori, Protector of the city of Restov and Lord of these humble dwellings. Please come in an let us get more acquainted over some wine.”

As Alveen Aldori stepped back to allow the hooded man known to pass a large form stepped out of the night. As big a wolf, the monstrous creature stalked forwards to stand at Zakes side. Its head was like the skull of a giant rat, fore-teeth sharp as daggers, and its eyes were no more than balls of yellow light sunken into lidless sockets. A mane of tentacles encircled the creatures neck and continued to writhe as its flanks slowly rose and fell with each deep breath. Dark grey skin covered the beast and paws shaped like human hands scraped the ground with long black claws.

In an instant Alveen held his dueling sword, the face of a gracious host fallen away. The stone face he now wore and fighting stance he’d taken gave no doubt that he could wield the blade he held.

“To me Chuull,” commanded Zake. His voice was soft yet firm and he kept his light grey, pupilless eyes on the tip of Alveens sword.

The beast looked up at Zake before giving a cough like a lion and walking into the hooded man. As Chuull walked into Zake the mans shadow began to return, extending out behind him as the beast disappeared into him.

“Do no mind Chuull. He is merely my shadow.” Said Zake.

“Of course.” Replied Lord Alveen as he sipped is sword back in its sheath and his courtiers smile back onto his face. “It would seem that I still have a lot to learn about Fetchlings, please come in.”

“Yes you do,” replied Zake Ge’non “for we, are the Kayal.”



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