It seems unusual to me that the first thing a human comments on is my eyes. With all of their skin tones and clothes of colour I would presume that my ‘drabness’ as they say, would pull the first comment. Their own eyes with pools of black in their centers appeal to me. It is as if I look at a reflection of myself in each of their eyes. It is….calming.
My own eyes on the other hand, white with circles of light grey, nearly white themselves, instill fear into many humans I meet. They are, as the human trader Oleg once put it ‘inhuman’. As many believe that the Kayal, for ‘fetchlings’ we are not, are descendant from humans once lost on the Plane of Shadows, never have I received such a compliment as Olegs statement of my eyes being ‘inhuman’.
Mid-morning four days after the meet with Lord Alveen Aldori, the Kayal Zake Ge’Non found himself approaching an old run down fort west of Restov. The meeting with Alveen had ended amicably enough. Though the human had some odd thoughts of what it meant to be a Kayal.
When the Shadow Council had found a connection between the Plane of Shadow and the Material World they had been met by the Aldori Swordlords. The connection inside the city walls of both Drakthorn on the Shadow and Restov on the Material. Wanting peace between the two new neibours the Shadow Council had sent through the young Shadow Guard Zake to assist the Swordlords in one of their endevours.
Alveen Aldori had requested that Zake help bring peace to Brevoys southern borders and chart the lands as he passes through. This was better than expected for the Shadow Council as wished to know more of the Material Plane.
And so it was that Zake Ge’Non found himself four days west of Restov and facing the aged wooded palisade of Olegs Trading Post, his shadow close to his feet in the mid-morning sun.
Zake approached the fort with caution. Its walls were 20ft high and seemed strengthened by age.
Knowing only that the correct protocal for approaching a homes door is to knock, Zake did just that. Grey knuckles rapping loudly on the smaller single entrance door built into the forts larger double doors.
Zake adjusted his his cloak to cover his falchion, the weapon all Shadow Guard carried, and to reveal more of his face. He had learnt from his short time on the Material Plane that humans were prone to distrust those who hid their forms from others, instead of thinking it prudent, and Zake thought it best to start his off friendly with the locals of the Greenbelt if he was to be here for some time.
The door in the forts gates swung open on rusted hinges, groaning as it did. A tall, barrel chested human gasped with surprise as he layed eyes on Zake. On his part Zake tried to adopt an expression of friendliness on his heavily lined features but the effect made the man limp backwards. Zake could see now that the man leaned heavily on a crutch.
‘Desna preserve us!’ the tall man proclaimed in an accent Zake had not heard before.
Dropping the failed attempt at diplomacy.
‘Desna only protects the dead human and you,’ Zake ran his eyes over the man ‘are still alive.’
Zake stepped through the door, the man still gaping allowed him through. The interior of the fort was tidy if not in the best of condition. Zake could spot a stable, middens as well as several other buildings, including one he presumed to be the inn.
‘What do you be?’ The man asked.
‘A Kayal.’ Zake answered with some irritation and pulled out a Charter of Rights given to him by Alveen. ‘My name is Zake Ge’Non. I am here to kill bandits.’
The man stared for a second at the Charter than burst out laughing.
‘Svetlana, it is good! This man do be sent by Restov with rights to hang all the bandit!’
The door to the building Zake presumed to be the inn opened and a slim woman with the whitest skin Zake had ever seen ran to the arms of the older man. She looked up into Zake eyes and shivered, Zake was getting used to that, and read the Charter the man held, her own eyes widening.
‘The heavens do be looking down on us husband,’ she said turning to Zake. ‘It is just tomorrow that the bandits do be returning to take their tribute.’
A narrow frown appeared on Zakes brow. The thoughts of a stronger force demanding resources from another reflected too closely the plight of his own people.
‘They will be hear tomorrow?’, the two humans nodded in agreement. ‘Then show me the rest of this fort and I will plan for their arrival.’
The man gave a bark of a laugh and clapped Zake on the back hard enough to knock him forward a step.
‘This do be no fort! I be called Oleg Leveton and this beauty be my wife Svetlana, and we both do welcome to Olegs Trading Post!’