silver goblet

Tevinter slave


She couldn’t count the syllables in her name, a battle with an ultimate defeat. She traced the lines of her strong jaw, wondering if she was gifted any of her mothers features.
She caught her own eyes in the reflection of a goblet, silver on silver. The curved surface hid the true expression of her face; showing only the glimmer of her decorations, fused into her skin and hair. Another defeat.

Atelas, her younger brother, shared the stormy clouds that found refuge in their irises, a moving sky reflected in a tranquil sea. She wondered if her mother really fell for her father because he had told her that the ocean in her eyes was where his world rested; this is what she told Atelas when he asked her, dirt on his cheeks and cuts on the soles of his feet.
She told him she could remember them, the smell of cherries in late summer rain.
But she couldn’t even remember her own name.

“Galain!” It bellowed like doom down the hall, bells ringing, a known desperation settling deep in her gut; a snake, hissing.
She allowed herself a moment behind closed eyes, reminding the nervous cells in her skin that atleast she still was.
She was and she would still be.
Actus me invito factus non est meus actus.

“Galain!” He shouted again, and she knew, she knew and she withered, twice for a crime commited in negligence.
“Venio, messere” she resigned, collecting heavy books in her broken embrace.
The hall was great, silent, but for the clinking of her golden cuffs rushing ahead of her in a humiliating crescendo.
She settled with the dust as the tomes fell open to the floor, lifted againg by the three enchanters circling a group of young elves, worth naught more than a trial of recently discovered magic.

“Altiora etiam petamus,” they demanded as they cut her skin, prying it open to weep.
She focused on the same sentence of the chant she was forced to recite, blood swirling around her in a growing fog, consuming the lives of the young men; her hands begging for forgiveness as they rose towards the ceiling.

Na via lerno victoria - Only the living know victory.

FANFIC * NESSIAN * PART TWO

Originally posted by felipemilckman


Nessian Part Two by L.J. Lafleur

Glasses and goblets clinked, bursting laughter filled my ears. I shook my head to rid the noise, at first it worked but then it only grew louder. A gurgling growl erupted from my stomach, an acidic churn twisted around my insides. Instinctively, my hands braced myself against the bed post. It wasn’t my power, just hunger. The laughter grew louder, knives cutting against vegetables and porcelain. A distant headache formed in the back of my head.  

My stomach growled again, this time louder than I had ever heard before. “Curse you,” I muttered to myself, staring down at my stomach, covered in a jade chiffon dress. My sleeves came down to my wrists, trimmed with embroidered golden leaves. It was my first time wearing a color other than black-since the war. Since everything changed…again.  

I tilted my head trying to remember when I last time ate. It’s not that I didn’t eat anymore, I just didn’t eat with company. I raised my chin, straightening my back and headed towards the dining room. They were all there, all enjoying one another’s company-even Azriel had simpered as he passed a plate of what looked like green beans to Elain.

The room hushed, even Elain silenced herself when I trudged closer. I hadn’t seen some of them for weeks… including Mor, not that I wanted to see her any sooner than necessary.

Rhysand, with an unwavering smile, gestured towards the empty seat saved for me. “Nesta, I’m so pleased you could join us.”

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Whys she looking through his sea chest? 👀

I know, right??

Nosy Swan!

You know what? I’ve just woke up and i’ve still got sleep in the corner of my eyes but fuck it! I’m gonna drabble it!


She digs the stray sock out from underneath the bed that had somehow worked its way towards the centre and tosses it into the hamper wit its companion.  She rises to her feet again and places the two stray books on the cabinet back on the shelf. 

Living here, she knew she’d take pride in it. It was her home she refused to treat it like one of her old apartments in Phoenix; this wasn’t some stopping pit she knew she’d barely take care of because she knew she’d bare;y be in it long enough to get attached. This was her forever home. And she was going to treat it as such.

She picked up the spyglass that perched on the windowsill and smiled, remembering the way Killian had eyed the waves two mornings before.

“Morning love. The waves are rather choppy this morning, i’d say harsh winds and a bit of rain might be on their way.” 

She moved across the room and opened his large chest to put it away, taking care of his small collection of worldly possessions. Emma was hit with the scent of Oak and leather as the lid creaked open.

She couldn’t help but be curious. This box was all him; his life collected in small artefacts in this chest and she wanted to know him more than she did- she always did.

She placed the spyglass to the side and began to take a peek. 

She smiled fondly at the old yellowed book filled with charts. Something told her this was Liam’s as she knew his cabin had been filled with charts just like this, yet he felt this one in particular was to be kept close. 

Her fingers brushed over the leather back of a familiar signet that lay next to it. 

A decorative dagger in a velvet box, two silver goblets wrapped in a chiffon cloth, a folded square of chick embroidered fabric - all these items looking so delicate and antique, with centuries of stories to tell.

A medium sized compartment sat near the bottom, plain and partially open. Emma lifted the lid to find it filled with gold doubloons. 

My pirate. She chuckled softly to herself, knowing this was probably nowhere near his complete loot, but knowing it was enough to keep them going for the year. 

A small black box sat on top of the coins. Emma could tell it was new; modern in design with no aged fading or damage. it held no otherworldly mystery to it. This box screamed ‘Land without magic’. She retrieved it from its hiding place and popped it open, gasping in shock as she saw the diamond ring that nestled inside.

Emma felt her heart race and her cheeks grow hot. she plucked it from its holding and held it; gazing at it with awe. It was a simple ring but beautiful non the less… but emma wasn’t focussed on what it looked like, it was what it meant. 

Killian wanted to marry her. 

And staring at this ring, she knew with absolute certainty that she would say yes.

She sat back against the footing of the bed and continued to play with the piece of jewellery, smiled widening as she dreamt. 

She was going to be Mrs Emma Jones. 

She was going to wear a white dress and say ‘I do’ with her family and friends around her. She was going to dance until her feet hurt with the love of her life, and drink champagne til she was dizzy. She was going to come home to the house they shared together and wake up together, as husband and wife. Her husband. The pirate. The hero. The lost girl was going to live, in her big white picket fence house, with her husband and her son, her family. Her happy ending.

“Emma, you home?”

Her heart stuttered its rhythm at his voice. She placed the lid on the chest back down and stuck the ring in the front of her jeans pocket. Thoughts about finding it while snooping flew out o her head - in that moment she didn’t care, she’d own up to it. She just wanted to get to him, too excited for the question she wanted him to ask, and too eager to begin the future that sat waiting in the pocket of her jeans.

She bounced down the steps and launched herself into his arms, happy to welcome her future husband home. 

I Despise You - Edmund x Reader (Pt.3)

Warnings: none

Characters: Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan Pevensie and (Y/N)

Setting: The Golden Age, Narnia

Blurb (???i think???): (requested by @alwaysinnarnia) The reader is a Swordswoman/Knight of Doorn and visits Narnia, soon getting off on the wrong hand with King Edmund. She stays in Narnia and they train together, and they become friends and maybe something more…

*

There was only one thought itching at the back of (Y/N)‘s brain.

“Come on, you’re too slow.” The king laughed as she was once again knocked to the floor.

Killing King Edmund.

She huffed a piece of hair away from her face and leaped back up, her knees were bent and she held her fists in front of her chest. The young king, in response, positioned himself and began to throw punches towards (Y/N)’s upper torso.

Peter’s order for King Edmund and (Y/N) to spend some time together to train was an absolute waste of time. She could have more affective progress training by herself, let alone a king she despised.

(Y/N) had been planning to rest until at least until noon to catch up on sleep she had missed on her travels here. Yet, there was a thunderous knock on her door at dawn and she had opened the door to a wide awake and annoyed looking Edmund Pevensie.

“What are you doing?” The King had asked as if (Y/N) was doing something utterly disgusting.

“Sleep,” she croaked underneath the pile of blankets she drew over her head.

He had scoffed with one eyebrow raised and shoved a set of tunics, trousers and two pairs of training boots into her arms.

“Be outside in five minutes,” he demanded to (Y/N) who was half disoriented. “We’re going for a run.”

“For a what!” She whisper-screamed furiously. “At dawn?!”

King Edmund rubbed the bridge of his nose. “You’re helpless.”

(Y/N) obviously went with him to prove him wrong, only to see that he was a much faster runner than her.

There were certain things about this king that made her want to strangle him. She couldn’t think of any at that moment though, because he had just punched her in the gut.

(Y/N) tried to ignore the pain and keep fighting, but she needed a break. She held her side and began to limp towards the bench area of where they were training. With her mouth set in a straight line and her teeth gritted together, she took a seat and let out an exhausted sigh.

King Edmund approached the bench and wiped his face with the ice cold water he had collected from a river nearby.

(Y/N)’s stinging stomach made it clear that he had bruised her. But she didn’t say anything about stopping; then he would think she was a quitter.

“We could stop if you want.” The King said. “I didn’t mean to hit you that hard.“

“That’s what you want, isn’t it?” She winced as she pressed her finger around her bruise. “For me to give up.”

He lowered his head and chuckled, the rays of the bright sun caught in his hair and lightened his dark eyes. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat as he squatted down in front of her.

“No,” he replied, his lips slightly upturned. “I thought you’d want to check if you had any broken nails.”

(Y/N)’s eyes widened and her heart began to pound with fury. She shoved him onto his back and stood to keep a foot on his chest.

“Patronize me again and I swear I’ll kill you.” She said with a tone of terror in her voice.

“I was kidding.” He grunted. “Get your foot off.”

“No, no I don’t think I will.”

The king looked up at her, dead in the eyes, and said, “Are you seriously-”

“Edmund!” Someone called out, and Lucy approached them with a skip in her step. “Breakfast is ready! What are you two doing?”

“Sparring. With our fists.” (Y/N) smiled as she clapped her hands together. “Isn’t that right, King Edmund?”

He grinned towards his younger sister who also added, “Oh and (Y/N); a letter arrived from Doorn.”

“Thank you, Lucy.” The swordswoman responded with a wide smile on her face.

“Don’t be late!” Lucy called back as she ran towards the castle.

(Y/N) drew her gaze back to her opponent who now had his hands underneath his head. She took her foot off of his chest and unwrapped the bandages from her knuckles.

“You haven’t learnt to fist-fight in Doorn.” King Edmund pointed out.

“No, we haven’t. It’s pointless.”

“What if you didn’t have a weapon in combat?” He asked.

“I would use anything else but my fists.”

“But let’s say you don’t have anything else.”

(Y/N) pulled her boots on and stood in front of him. “I don’t need weapons. Give me one piece of rope and I could kill someone in more than five ways.”

“You really are up yourself, aren’t you?“

“You really want me to kill you, don’t you?”

He flashed a smile as he stepped forward, making the space between them slightly shorter. She kept her eyes trained on his dark, yet playful looking ones. She felt something brush her waist and soon realized it was hand. He felt the new bruise located there and (Y/N) held back a wince.

“Sorry about that…” he said quietly.

(Y/N) ignored her slightly rapid heart beat and drew away from him after stating firmly, “Think about where you hit next time.”

He laughed softly. “I will.”

She rolled her eyes and turned away from him to walk back up towards the castle.

She still felt his fingers on her waist.

*

(Y/N) took her time bathing and grooming herself. Her room began to smell like the fig and vanilla scented soaps, filling the air around her and making her sink deeper into the tub.

She hasn’t gotten around to reading the letter from Doorn yet, and her mind began to wonder as to what her parents could possibly want. (Y/N) had often taken care of businesses that her parents couldn’t solve. She was intelligent and an excellent problem solver.

Although, she couldn’t figure out why the young king was acting like that during their training session. When he touched her waist, it felt strange; and it wasn’t because of this bruise he created there.

(Y/N) was confused by that sudden action and why he did it. She had thought it was to catch her off guard, which worked.

She drew a hand through her tangled, damp hair and began to dry herself off and dress for breakfast. She settled on a long sleeved, white tunic and a crimson floor length skirt. The stitching of multiple flowers with a golden looking thread made it seem more vibrant.

(Y/N) shut the door of her chamber and pulled on her shoes.

“Lady- I mean (Y/N),” she King Peter’s voice to her right. A smile appeared on her face as she greeted him.

“You and Edmund seem to butt heads quite a lot.” He laughed as he guided her to the dining area. “I hope this training has done any good. You know, making you sort out problems between you.”

(Y/N) scoffed. “It’s difficult to talk to someone so ignorant.”

“I wouldn’t say he’s ignorant; just very stubborn.”

“Well, if you say that then you must be correct. I should make him a friendship bracelet to express how sorry I am.” she stated sarcastically, earning a laugh from Peter.

They arrived at the doors of the dining room and entered. (Y/N) was greeted by Lucy and Susan who both complemented her on what she was wearing.

“You know, if you really like the skirts I could get more for you,” Susan said kindly. “They look beautiful on you.”

(Y/N) smiled. “Thank you very much, Susan. I’d love that.”

“Sorry I’m late,” someone stated from behind her. She rolled her eyes as she recognised it as King Edmund who walked to the empty seat across her.

Just as he took a seat, two fauns appeared into the room and began to distribute the almost unreal looking dishes.

“You make it look like you’ve never seen a pancake before, (Y/N).” Peter chuckled.

“I haven’t,” She stated truthfully.

The sound of sputtering surprised her and she turned to King Edmund who was choking on water, his younger sister patting him on his back.

(Y/N) sent a death glare his way and he responded with another cough mixed with laughter.

“Come on, Ed.” Susan sighed, exasperated. “You should at least understand that she’s new to a lot of these things.”

“Oh, yeah.” Edmund held back a laugh. “I know all about that.”

(Y/N) let out a bitter laugh. “Oh, do you now?”

“Mhm,” he hummed confidently. “You really are something special.”

Silence fell across the room as she gripped her fork tighter, all the while having a stare down with the Just King.

He took another sip from his silver goblet as the fauns disappeared from the toon. (Y/N) leaned forward and placed her elbows onto the table, a sarcastic smile on her face.

“Oh, then do tell, your Highness. Maybe you should also address how abnormally thick-headed you are.”

“Oh look!” Lucy exclaimed worriedly. “Eggs.”

The king retorted, “But you definitely outweigh that supposed thick-headedness of mine. It wouldn’t be fair to not address the queen of big heads.”

“Um, guys we should start-” began Peter, who has then interrupted by (Y/N).

“You’re inconsiderate and annoying, and honestly the only way that it could be worse is that you don’t know how to treat other people.”

“And earlier today?” He said, his eyes dark and the corners of his mouth drawn in a straight line.

(Y/N) stopped suddenly. She put aside her rage for a couple of seconds and remembered how he touched her. “What?”

He scoffed. “Nothing. Because apparently I don’t know how to treat other people.”

“Alright you two, stop it.” Susan demanded. “Whatever it is that is going on, you should discuss this later.”

“I’d rather not.” Edmund Pevensie said. “Definitely not.”

*

(Y/N) felt the day go by extremely quickly; her training and sitting in the library made her lose track of time. She was now sitting by the fireplace in her room with a cup of tea by her side, reading about the history of Narnia.

Of course, she knew her own history. But she didn’t necessarily know the history of Cair Paravel, and how the Pevensie siblings came around to becoming kings and queens of this country.

Sunset seemed like hours ago, and as soon as dinner was over she approached her chambers and hadn’t come out ever since. She definitely didn’t want to face ‘him’.

(Y/N) hadn’t seen King Edmund all day after breakfast what happened at breakfast, and dinner seemed much more quiet and peaceful. She did feel quite guilty about saying how he didn’t know how to treat others. But she also knew it was somewhat true.

(Y/N) closed the book and turned to her tea which, she noticed, had gone cold. She sighed and removed herself from her comfortable armchair with the teacup in her hand.

As she exited the room, she heard the sound of crickets and the coldness of the castle hit her hard. She shivered in her nightgown and hurried faster towards the closest kitchens of Cair Paravel, the candlelights along the wall guiding her.

Upon arriving, she noticed how large the kitchen was. With multiple benches made of marble and shelves filled with hundreds of cutlery and plates. As soon as she found a small pot, (Y/N) immediately began to prepare some herbal tea.

She began to wonder around the kitchen in search for biscuits and some sugar before she heard the door open. In a panic, she grabbed a small knife hidden under the sleeve of her nightgown and leaped towards the door silently. The figure who had entered had her knife pressed underneath throat. The swordswoman then discovered who it was…

“What are you doing here?” King Edmund whispered.

“What are you doing scaring me like that?”

“I asked you first.”

She let out a quiet sigh a removed the knife from his neck. “I was just making tea.”

“No, I mean what are you doing up so late?”

“What’s it your business?”

He moved towards a cupboard on the left, taking out something. He placed an intricately detailed teacup besides (Y/N)’s before jumping on the counter himself.

“You wouldn’t mind pouring me some, would you?” He inquired quietly.

(Y/N) still couldn’t see his face in the dim candlelight.

“Are there any more candles around here?” She asked.

“Yeah, in the cupboard beneath you.”

She found a small candelabra sitting in the cupboard with stubs of candles. It was just decent enough to last for a couple of hours. Not that they were doing to sit here for hours.

“You put sugar in your tea?” King Edmund asked.

(Y/N) nodded in response as she lit the candelabra. She placed it on a large counter in the centre of the room and noticed that the king was now off the bench and looking in a cupboard.

He was wearing a white shirt and a pair of breeches, and his hair was sticking up in all directions. (Y/N) noticed sweat marks on the back of his neck which plastered his hair down.

“Did you go for a run?” She said.

He turned around and looked at her calmly. He looked different; like he was off guard and tired. What happened to him? He doesn’t look like this usually.

“No,” he replied.

(Y/N) began to hear the whistling of the pot and rushed towards it, careful not to burn herself. She removed the kettle from the fire and took it out as the king asked her how much sugar she liked.

She didn’t imagine herself in this situation; pouring tea for someone she deeply disliked.

“I was reading.” (Y/N) answered his question from earlier in the dead silence as she stirred her tea.

King Edmund sipped his tea and began to break his biscuit into little pieces. “What were you reading?”

She shrugged. “Just some history.”

“Oh.”

(Y/N) peered towards him. “And you, King Edmund.”

He looked at her with his dark eyes that somehow looked golden in the candle light. “I was sleeping.”

“You’re sweating and it’s freezing in here. You probably had some dream about training. I reckon you were doing terribly.

He chuckled softly as (Y/N) added, “I was definitely beating you, I could tell.”

She smiled softly and felt her stomach drop a bit. This wasn’t a conversation she imagined having. Was he messing around with her to get her off guard?

“No,” he said in response, snapping her out of her thoughts. “It was just some nightmare.”

“Oh,” she said.

“Listen, (Y/N).” He began, scratching the back of his neck. “I apologize for today; I’m not usually like that I was just worked up.”

“Is that an excuse for every insult you’ve thrown at me for the past three days?” She said angrily.

“No,” he stated. “But I apologize. I shouldn’t have said stuff like that.”

His tone of genuineness surprised her and she brought up what happened earlier. “And when you touched me?”

“What?”

(Y/N) mentally screamed at her rapidly beating heart to calm down. “When you touched the bruise you gave me, why did you do it?”

He peered at her with kind eyes and placed his hands around his teacup, his long fingers intertwining. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, I just wanted to see if you were alright.”

(Y/N) stayed silent, debating whether she should apologize to him or leave it be. But she spoke up: “I’m sorry for what I said today at dinner; I didn’t mean for it to go that far.”

“You were only saying what was on your mind.” He stated moving just an inch towards her. “It’s alright.”

(Y/N) looked away towards the candlelight and sipped her warm tea.

“Thank you, King Edmund.” She muttered almost under her breath.

She felt his eyes on her but she didn’t turn to him, instead she looked down and smiled. “You still have a big head though.”

“Like I don’t hear that everyday,” he laughed. He then placed his teacup on the counter and stated, “Call me Edmund.”

khal drogo: stronger

ANON REQUEST: Hi! I read you are still taking in a few more requests, but I don’t want to overwhelm you anymore than you might be now, so I’d appreciate if you could accept my request when you’re not busy or tired 😊 I would like to request something like Khal Drogo in a duel with a man who flirted and touched Y/N. (In the end, it’d be so cool if Drogo would cut off his braid like the Dothraki do). Gahh I love your writing 😫


Riding through the night, you can hear the commotion of several khalasars in Vaes Dothraki. Khal Drogo looked at you, smiling. He nodded, and made his horse gallop and you did too. You were riding beside him and you were laughing, the wind in your hair as you went inside the city first. You rounded your horse, and waited for Drogo. You were amazed by the huge stallions by the gates that you didn’t see Drogo come up behind you.

“Khal Hol might be here,” he whispered in your ear. “Be careful.”

Khal Hol was a notorious Khal, and many people are scared of him, as his hair has never been cut. Some men has even said, that his hair is longer than Drogo’s. You nodded at Drogo, and kissed him on the cheek. “I will be,” you said. You walked with Drogo towards a temple and worshipped the Great Stallion. Afterwards, a feast erupted and tables after tables filled with numerous Khals and their khalasars. Instead of staying with Drogo you asked for leave to roam the city, to visit the markets and look for trade.

You felt comfortable walking alone and so you permitted your handmaidens to feast. You walked through the markets, amazed by the merchants. You have exchanged smiles with other Khaleesi’s and alley after alley there were small groups of loud khalasars. You walked through a narrow alley when a calloused hand wrapped around your arm.

Keep reading

Hospitality customs by flight

Earth: Earth flight favors the old traditions, and will invite visitors to stay three days and three nights, offering them bread and salt to symbolize friendship, and denote the protection of the lair’s leader for as long as they stay. To harm a guest under one’s roof is a grave misdeed in an Earth lair, and can get the offender exiled. For the guest to offer violence to anyone under that roof is an equal crime, and they will find themselves unwelcome in any Earth lair, for so long as the long memories of Earth dragons recall their crime.

Nature: Nature flights tend to be either welcoming and eager to share their bounty, or hostile and unwilling to allow outsiders into their lair, depending on how close they lie to the ever-changing and contested border with Plague. If they welcome you effusively because “You’re just in time to be the guest of honor at the harvest festival!” leave before the drums start beating and everyone dons their mask.

Light: While they graciously welcome any distinguished visiting scholars or aristocratic guests, more common visitors may find themselves shunted to the side, and snubbed from the guest lists for high teas, scholarly lectures, and manuscript viewings. Snobbishness is the unfortunate flaw of Light’s high society. However, even a common dragon may win their favor by demonstrating an excellent knowledge, be it of proper manners and customs, or the subject of their choice, and find doors opening for them. When given, their hospitality is lavish and impressive.

Shadow: Shadow lairs are infamous for pranks on their guests, usually under the guise of providing over the top hospitality, such as bursting in on a peacefully bathing guest to offer them a bathtime snack or perfumed oils for the water. The guests are fully expected to give as good as they get. Those who play along with good humor often find themselves “subjected” to the finest and most generous of hospitality when they least expect it, but the ones too inflexible and haughty to be anything but insulted rarely come back for a second visit. 

Plague: These dragons are often seen as rude and stingy hosts, because they will not offer their guests anything, neither food, nor drink, nor sometimes even a place to sleep. However, this is custom. Plague is a land of scarce resources, and no native Plague dragon would dream of being entitled to a scant store of food or fresh water, or even a bed where there may not have been the materials to make a spare one. They do not take what their host doesn’t have to spare, eating their own supplies and curling up on their own bedrolls. To bring one’s host a gift, or be offered one, is a rare and potent gesture of friendship, and clans will go to war in the aid of one who was generous to them.

Arcane: A quaint custom of Arcane hospitality is the riddle game. Guests are “gifted” with riddles and koans, and given the honor of presenting the first answer, after which their host clan will discuss their answer, and present possible answers of their own. Arcane dragons believe that their answers to the questions (some of which have been passed down and puzzled over in the clan for generations) tell them everything they need to know about the dragon, who will find that the food, room, and entertainment offered to them will all be based around what was gleaned from their answers, although no one but Arcane dragons has any idea what criteria are used.

Wind: Wind dragons are the most friendly and welcoming of all flights, and almost any passing traveler will be gleefully invited in. However, they’ll likely find themselves paying for their lodgings in stories, as Wind dragons are insatiable when it comes to travel tales. If a certain dragon is well known for always having a good store of fresh and interesting tales, clans where they pass through will compete with each other to provide the best hospitality in order to tempt them into staying with them the next time they pass through. 

Water: Every visitor to a Water lair is greeted with grave hospitality. Their hosts are well aware that an unassuming visitor could be a great hero or villain to come, or one doomed to die on the morrow. It’s considered in incredibly poor taste to read a visitor’s fortune before they are ready to leave, lest you see misfortune befalling them. When they depart, visitors are given a charm made of shells meant to ensure safe travel and protect them from the dangers of the deeps.

Fire: Guests are greeted with a traditional invocation bidding them welcome to hearth (the center and heart of every Fire lair) and home, and by extension everything the lair has to offer. The phrasing varies from lair to lair, where some may pledge that they will never go hungry or cold while the clan is there to welcome them, others pledging their sharp claws and strong armor to guard them, depending on what is most important to that clan. A guest must spend a night tending to the hearth, feeding the fire and making sure it doesn’t go out, but that’s no hardship. Rather, it makes it easy for anyone who wants to catch up to find them after the day’s work is finished, and they are plied with soft cushions, smoky tea and fine food, and sweet incense to throw into the fire. 

Lightning: Because of the high native population of ridgebacks, honored visitors will often find themselves subject to reverse thieving, in which they’ll find certain possessions of theirs stolen, and replaced with nicer version. Water fixtures, a rare commodity in the desert, are another way of honoring guests, and elaborate fountains that show off both the clan’s innovation and how much water they can afford to waste often decorate the guest quarters. In a similar vein, to be surfeited with fresh fruit, and fresh fish, is a mark of esteem, and it’s a grave insult to turn them down or worse yet leave them half uneaten (but considered generous to offer to share them, a saving grace for dragons with small appetites.)

Ice: Ice and Earth are the two flights who hold fast to the old traditions the most, and in the Southern Icefields, hospitality is held sacred. In a landscape where a deadly blizzard could blow up at any moment, any guest who comes knocking must be offered shelter, and treated with generosity and respect. They will be invited to share a cup of mulled wine with the clan leader out of a special silver goblet, each drinking from the same cup to symbolize friendship (and a leftover from long ago when clans so distrusted each other that the only way to prove the wine wasn’t poisoned was to share the cup, made of silver which was said to tarnish where poison touched it.)

Breathless

“Ugh,” You grunted as you scowled in the mirror, adjusting the rigid corset tied around your middle, “I don’t know if this is right.”

“Huh?” Dis turned to you, her dark hair shone with a sprinkle of grey but still lush as it hung down in perfect braids across her back, “Oh, Y/N, I told you, it’s supposed to look like that…though it could be a bit tighter.”

“Tighter?” You whined and set your hands on your already constricted waist, “I don’t—Oh!”

Keep reading

Sirius Black x Reader- Only Twice?

Warnings: mentions of alcohol

Summary: The reader is a recently transferred Ilvermorny student and is friends with Lily Evans and Y/F/N. Little does she know about Sirius’s feelings for her

Word Count: 1421

A/N: This lovely fic is not mine, it’s actually the wonderful @about–seven–screaming–birds ‘s work (because her writing is more fun to read). It’s all hers and not mine and I will be posting a little more stuff from her soon.

Originally posted by nellaey

It was the morning before Christmas and because you recently transfered from Ilvermorny you really didn’t have any friends. It also didn’t help that you were in Slytherin and no one really liked you. You were sitting in the library reading a book when you heard someone calling your name.

“(y/n)!” (y/f/n) shouted.

Madam Pince shushed her and in return your friend gave her a sharp look back. (y/f/n) was a Hufflepuff and a quite popular one too along with her friend Lily Evans. You and Lily got along quite nicely which was, of course, frowned upon throughout the school but you three didn’t really care. The two of them decided to stay at Hogwarts for the break when they found out that your parents went back to America and you had nowhere to stay.

“(y/n)” she whispered.

You look up from your book and rolled your eyes. “Do you really have to bother me right now? I’m kinda busy.” She stared at you in confusion and eyed your book.

“You’re reading.” she said.

“Yes but it is quite a nice book and I would like to continue reading.” She opened her mouth to say something when you continued your thought. “In peace.”

She nodded and bounced away when loud laughing filled the library. You look towards the doors and saw a group of boys come in not paying any mind to the angry librarian staring at them. You steered your glance away from the bunch when a voice came in your direction. “I can’t believe them” Lily said.

“I can’t believe you lured them in here.” you fired back

“What is that supposed to mean?” She said sounding a bit offended. You closed your book with a sigh and stared up at the confused red head.

“Do you really think that it’s a coincidence that James Potter, the boy that continuously is asking you out, appears in the library when you happen to be here?”

She looked towards the group of boys and shrugged “I guess they aren’t really the type to read.”

You rolled your eyes and started reading when voices interrupted your focus. “Hello Evans. (y/l/n).”

“Hello Potter.” you said “I guess I’ll be leaving. I know how much room you need for your ego.”

“You know (y/n) if it weren’t for that attitude maybe people would like you.” You stopped in your tracks and looked over your shoulder towards the boy with glasses.

“I don’t need people to like me, I like me.” You quipped, earning a laugh from Sirius and Remus and an angry look from James.


Later that night you were sitting in your common room alone because all the other Slytherins were at home with their pretentious pure-blood families sipping wine from their silver goblets and planning how they were going to take over the world. A knock came from the direction of the entrance interrupting your thoughts.

You got up and walked over to the door and opened it. Standing there was a very excited looking Lily and (y/f/n). “What is it now.” you groaned.

“James is throwing a party and he wants you to come.”

“He wants me to come?” You asked, fully aware of the answer.

“Fine. We want you to come.” (y/f/n) said.

“Well forget it.” You said “I’m not coming.”

“Why not?” Lily whined.

“Because,” you started “I don’t want to.”

“Well that’s not a very good reason.” She said. And with that she grabbed your wrist and dragged you to (y/f/n)’s room where they put you into an incredibly tight, and short, dress and did your makeup.

“Why (y/n), you look beautiful!” Lily exclaimed.

“I look like someone stuffed a potato into a cocktail dress.”

“Oh don’t be like that.” She said slapping your arm lightly. “Let’s go we’re going to be late.”

“And we can’t have that now can we.” You mumbled sarcastically. She gave you a stern look and you three walked out the door and headed to the Gryffindor tower.


You arrived at the portrait hole and Lily mumbled the password and the portrait swung open to reveal hundreds of people squeezed into the small common room.

“Why are there so many people here?” You questioned.

“Well it is a party.” (y/f/n) said.

“There are too many people on this earth.” You said “We need a new plague.”

“Oh don’t be like that.” Lily said. “Look its James!”

“Don’t show your excitement.” You mumbled.

“Well hello ladies.” James said. “Aren’t we looking beautiful this evening?”

“Oh don’t flatter me.” You said throwing your hand over your heart. “You’ll make me blush.”

“Ha ha.” He said. “Drinks are over there. Don’t get too carried away.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” You said and walked over to the table where all the drinks were. In the corner a couple was heavily making out and not too far from that there was a couple people doing a keg stand and playing beer pong. You grabbed a plastic cup – classy, you thought – and poured yourself some fire whiskey. You went to turn away when you felt a hand on your waist.

“Well hello love.” Came a familiar voice. “Haven’t seen you around before.” You grabbed the hand and threw it off your waist and turned to face him.

“You sure Black?” you said to the astonished man. “Because I’m pretty sure we’ve met multiple times.” You looked at him and awaited a response but he couldn’t find his words.

“I – I’m so sorry I didn’t –“

“It’s fine Sirius.” You assured. “I’m sure that you have plenty of other girls to remember.” You say as you turn to walk to the sofa.

“No it’s not like that.” He called after you. “I’ve just never seen you like,” He sat down beside you. “This”

“Wow how reassuring for a girl to hear.”

“No!” He yelled “I’m trying to say you look nice is all.”

You looked over to him and couldn’t help but giggle. The way his hair fell in his face when he looked down and the way his fingers were fiddling with the hem of his shirt. He looked like a child who just made a wrong decision and hoped no one would notice.

“I’m sorry but are you, Sirius Black, embarrassed?”

“I have no clue what you are talking about.” He looked up at the fire and sighed. “You scare me sometimes.”

“Well if you don’t terrify people a little bit then what’s the point.”

He looked at you and laughed. “Clever as the devil but twice as pretty.”

“Only twice?”

“You know what I mean.” There was a comfortable silence between you two when it was very quickly interrupted by someone squealing. You turned towards the noise where you found a familiar red head pinned to a wall by who other than James Potter. You were about to get up to save her when Sirius grabbed your wrist and pointed out that she didn’t seem stressed. Just then you saw him press his lips to hers and a small smile appeared on your face.

“Bloody git did it.” You heard Sirius say from beside you.

You turned back to him. “How long has he been planning this?”

“For forever.” He said, eyes still on his best friend. He turned back to you and smiled. “But not as long as I’ve been planning this. At that moment he smashed his lips to yours. There were butterflies in your stomach and you couldn’t have been happier. You didn’t realize you had the feelings that were being expressed at the moment. He moved his hand to your waist and the other to the nape of your neck. You reached your hand to his neck and intertwined your fingers in his hair. You two broke away and you rested your forehead on his.

“I’ve only been here for 4 months.”

“Yeah, but what I said had a nice ring to it.” You both started laughing and you heard James whistling in the background and cheering for his friend. “I love you.”

“I love you too Black”

The Bible and Witchcraft: Part Four

Last time we talked about Joseph and his use of oneiromancy. This time we continue with talking about Joseph and another type of divination. Strangely, this is the one occurrence of witchcraft in the Bible I have seen anti-witchcraft preachers and bloggers actually flip out over and try and explain away. I’m not sure why the earlier mentions from Parts 1-3 don’t get the same treatment.

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Family Traditions

Trigger Warning: Implied rape. 

My mother is a terrifying woman.

She has never hurt me, nor do I think she ever would, nor has she ever directly frightened me. Any fear comes from observing her with other people, people who have wronged her or me or someone else she loves in some way. It’s like a switch has flicked and she becomes a totally different person. Her voice becomes sharp and cold, it’s enough to make goosebumps prickle my skin. Her eyes become cold too; a dark void that show nothing but accuse their target of all. I’ve watched grown man crumble under her, a woman who barely scrapes 5'3" and has very little in the way of muscle. Yet there is something about the absolute rage that consumes her, that quiet, frigid anger, that makes the stutter and surrender. They give in to her will, or she shatters them.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t admire that ability. Though I’m a good three inches taller than my mother, I am equally as devoid of muscle and have none of her rage. I’m quiet and always have been meek. My mother never mocked me for this, nor did she try to change me. She has always been content to come to my aid, protect the thing most precious to her.

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A Royal Mess

Imagine being Erebor’s Royal Maid and walking in on Thorin naked.


Another day of chores as monotonous as the one before and the one to come after. When you had thought of returning to the Mountain, you had never expected to do so as a maid. Though what could you expect. Before you had been nothing but a servant and Erebor had enough smiths as it were, so you were not of much use to the Forge.

The only grace was the dwarf you served: the king. Thorin was an admirable king and his character was much the same behind closed doors. He was kind to you, kinder than any you had worked for before. He had his days when his mood was darkened and you bore them quietly and patiently. It was not so bad being a royal maid, even if it was quite dull.

You knocked at the door of the king’s chambers and received no answer. Likely he was still in council which meant you could do your work swiftly and be on your way. You pushed inside, fresh linens stacked in your arms and crossed to the grand bed which stood against the far wall. You stripped it, though not easily, as the blankets were nearly heavier than you, and then pulled on the clean sheets.

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The wealth of the North

@gabsarc asked:

Hi! I’m wondering, why are the Starks so frugal? I mean even House Martell, which has a lesser income, is more ostentatious. Is it just because the northerners are so frugal, or are they (and everyone else) so aware of their status that they don’t deem it necessary to flaunt it like the other great houses? 

Hi! A lot of this apparent difference has to do with the culture of the North, which is primarily due to their climate. The northerners tend to be frugal because their focus during the warm seasons is to prepare for winter, which will kill people who aren’t ready for it. (It will also kill people who are ready for it, such as the old men who’ve “lived too long”, who announce to their families that they’re “going hunting” and set off into the snows and never return, just so that other people can have more food to survive.) And even the warm seasons aren’t that warm compared to the south – summer snows are not unusual, for example. Where the south has winters (even years-long, though note snow is infrequent south of King’s Landing), the North has deathly mini-Ice Ages, where 10-foot blizzards and winds that freeze your nose and ears off are not uncommon.

And so, “Winter is coming”, say the Stark words. Also, “the north is hard and cold, and has no mercy,” as Ned told Catelyn when she first came to Winterfell, a soft southerner dealing with the culture shock of the austere north. And so the usual northern clothing is made of wool, and leather, with heavy wool or fur cloaks. And all the more so, the crown of the Kings of Winter: “of gold and silver and gemstones, it had none; bronze and iron were the metals of winter, dark and strong to fight against the cold.”

(Now, not only does Dorne almost never get snow, but in general they have a mediterranean or desert climate – so they grow dates and peppers and grapes and citrus fruit, and wear layers of silks and other light clothing. Their buildings are open, with courtyards and fountains. And that’s all because their focus is to survive the sun’s heat, but it appears ostentatious in comparison.)

But truly, the Starks aren’t that frugal? For example, the harvest feast:

Dancer was draped in bardings of snowy white wool emblazoned with the grey direwolf of House Stark, while Bran wore grey breeches and white doublet, his sleeves and collar trimmed with vair. Over his heart was his wolf’s-head brooch of silver and polished jet. […] Beyond the wide oak-and-iron doors, eight long rows of trestle tables filled Winterfell’s Great Hall, four on each side of the center aisle. Men crowded shoulder to shoulder on the benches. “Stark!” they called as Bran trotted past, rising to their feet. “Winterfell! Winterfell!”
He was old enough to know that it was not truly him they shouted for—it was the harvest they cheered, it was Robb and his victories, it was his lord father and his grandfather and all the Starks going back eight thousand years. Still, it made him swell with pride. […] He bid them welcome in the name of his brother, the King in the North, and asked them to thank the gods old and new for Robb’s victories and the bounty of the harvest. “May there be a hundred more,” he finished, raising his father’s silver goblet.
“A hundred more!”  Pewter tankards, clay cups, and iron-banded drinking horns clashed together. Bran’s wine was sweetened with honey and fragrant with cinnamon and cloves, but stronger than he was used to. He could feel its hot snaky fingers wriggling through his chest as he swallowed. By the time he set down the goblet, his head was swimming.
“You did well, Bran,” Ser Rodrik told him. “Lord Eddard would have been most proud.” Down the table, Maester Luwin nodded his agreement as the servers began to carry in the food.
Such food Bran had never seen; course after course after course, so much that he could not manage more than a bite or two of each dish. There were great joints of aurochs roasted with leeks, venison pies chunky with carrots, bacon, and mushrooms, mutton chops sauced in honey and cloves, savory duck, peppered boar, goose, skewers of pigeon and capon, beef-and-barley stew, cold fruit soup. Lord Wyman had brought twenty casks of fish from White Harbor packed in salt and seaweed; whitefish and winkles, crabs and mussels, clams, herring, cod, salmon, lobster and lampreys. There was black bread and honeycakes and oaten biscuits; there were turnips and pease and beets, beans and squash and huge red onions; there were baked apples and berry tarts and pears poached in strongwine. Wheels of white cheese were set at every table, above and below the salt, and flagons of hot spice wine and chilled autumn ale were passed up and down the tables.
[…] Much later, after all the sweets had been served and washed down with gallons of summerwine, the food was cleared and the tables shoved back against the walls to make room for the dancing. The music grew wilder, the drummers joined in, and Hother Umber brought forth a huge curved warhorn banded in silver. When the singer reached the part in “The Night That Ended” where the Night’s Watch rode forth to meet the Others in the Battle for the Dawn, he blew a blast that set all the dogs to barking.

–ACOK, Bran III

At this feast (which would have been the first of several in a years-long autumn, if not for the war), the Starks are “flaunting it”. Bran is dressed unusually extravagantly, and there’s food (so much food) and wine, music and dancing. But this ostentatiousness and luxury, this performance of generosity, it’s all done for a purpose. It’s not a careless, casual waste of food and wealth (compare Joffrey’s wedding) – it’s to share the Starks’ resources with that of their bannermen, to build morale, to conflate the Stark legacy with the bounty of the harvest. The wealth of the north is not in art and gold and gems and silk and shiny things – it’s in food, and the gifts of the land, furs and fish and oak and iron, friendship and camaraderie and loyalty, everything needed for survival.

And there’s the richness of Winterfell itself – ok, so it’s not ostentatiously decorated and filled with knickknacks – but it does have hot springs, and thick stone walls heated by the hot springs, to stay warm even in the depth of the coldest winter. It has the glass gardens, greenhouses that grow food and flowers that could normally never survive in the cold climate of the north, and can grow food in the middle of winter. And outside the castle is the winter town, which is 4/5 empty during the other seasons, but in winter takes in hundreds, thousands of northmen from all over, even clansmen from the mountains. That too is not frugality, it’s pure generosity… but again, saved for the winter when it’s really needed.

And all this is why “the north remembers”, why the Manderlys “know about the promise” made after “the wolves took us in and nourished us and protected us against our enemies”. It’s why the “faith of Greywater” is pledged, “hearth and heart and harvest”. It’s why, even though they don’t appear to be as wealthy or ostentatious as other great houses, everyone wants to be a Stark.

September 17, 1916 - Manfred von Richthofen’s First Kill

Pictured - At left, the first two victims of the Red Baron, Tom Rees, 21, and Lionel Morris, 19.  At right a later photo of Manfred von Richthofen, who was at the time 24.

A young Prussian aristocrat named Manfred von Richthofen scored his first aerial “kill” on September 17, 1916, downing a British two-seater plane.  Born into a Junker family, Richthofen naturally joined the cavalry as a young man, serving in a Uhlan regiment on the Eastern Front as well as in France and Belgium.  However, the onset of trench warfare led to his regiment being used as couriers and not much more; bored and frustrated, he was motivated to transfer to the fledgling German air service after examining a downed machine he saw behind the lines.

In spite of the fact that he wrote on his application “I have not gone to war in order to collect cheese and eggs, but for another purpose,” Richthofen was accepted into the Imperial air service and trained as an aerial observer, manning the gun in a two-seater plane.  He claimed one French machine downed over Champagne, but it fell over enemy lines and could not be counted.  Eventually he became a pilot, flying both single and two-seater planes, but without much luck.  Young Richthofen did display, however, great skill and daring as a flyer, which was witnessed by ace pilot Oswald Boelcke, friend of the late Max Immelman, who invited Richthofen to join his own, newly-created fighter squadron, Jagdstaffel 2, one of the first of the “flying circuses”.

Flying with Jasta 2, Richthofen finally found some luck  On September 17, 1916, the pilots of Jasta 2 in their Albatross single-seat fighters went on a cruise over Allied lines to establish air superiority, encountering a flight of Royal Flying Corps light bombers and two-seater fighters returning from a bombing raid.  In the dogfight, Richthofen got behind a British FE.2B, a two-seater “pusher plane” (a plane with its propeller on the rear rather than in front) flown by 19-year-old Lionel Morris.  21-year-old Tom Rees was the observer, and fired back at Richthofen over Morris’s head with his front-facing machine-gun. 

Richthofen, however, had the better aim.  “In a fraction of a second I was at his back with my excellent machine,” Von Richthofen wrote of Morris and Rees in their two-seater plane.“I gave a short burst of shots with my machine-gun. I had gone so close that I was afraid I might dash into the Englishman."Suddenly I nearly yelled with joy, for the propeller of the enemy machine had stopped turning. Hurrah! I had shot his engine to pieces; the enemy was compelled to land, for it was impossible for him to reach his own lines.”

Rees was killed by the burst, and Morris mortally wounded.  The young British pilot died soon after he landed his plane.  Richthofen landed and examined the British machine.  When he returned home to his aerodrome, he put in an order for a silver goblet to drink to his enemy’s memory, starting a tradition which became is trademark (a practice he had to stop in September 1917when Germany was running out of silver).  Rees’ and Morris were the first documented kill for Richthofen, who would go on to be the famed Red Baron, achieving 80 aerial kills before his own death in April 1918 and becoming the ace-of-aces of the Great War.

“Damned thing won’t come off,” Nerea grumbled as she picked at the ruby encased in the silver goblet she had stolen from a nobleman’s chambers. The goblet bore the family crest, so it would be difficult to resell it as it was. She’d have to remove the jewels and sell them individually. It was a shame she didn’t have a way to melt the silver to trade it in the market. Maybe she could use one of the pots in the castle kitchens…. 

Blood Stained Glory - Part 3

Alastair Morden was sitting at a wooden table set for a warlord’s lunch in the centre of a small patch of grass that served as the town square. Silver plates were holding a loaf of bread and slices of ham and various cheeses. The centrepiece of the table was a grand silver carafe made by his favourite artificer. Beside him, a squire was roasting a set of meat skewers over a hastily erected fire pit using bricks from a nearby broken well. On either side of his Lordship three knights were standing in markedly less fine armour to their liege, but all were holding the same silver goblets and chatting away causally. None of them were wearing helmets.

When Morden saw Agatha approaching he stood and raised his goblet.

“Sir Agatha!” He yelled. “Congratulations are in order I believe.”

“Absolutely.” One of Morden’s knights echoed. “Congratulations on a battle hard fought.”

“Thank you, my Lord.” She replied delicately.

Morden picked up the carafe and poured the contents into an idle cup. He held it out to her and she accepted it readily. Red wine. Real red wine. Such a rare luxury she had never seen in the hands of anyone other than the priesthood.

“A toast I say!” Morden called out.

“Aye!” The men all chorused.

“A toast, to Sir Agatha, and her boats!”

“Sir Agatha!” The men all shouted, and drained their cups.

Agatha drank half of hers. It was immediately intoxicating, diffusing out into every limb and seemingly filling her to her crown with a sense of warmth and rich pride. She wished to savour the thick red liquid as much as she could, it was her first ever sample of the precious substance after all.

Morden suddenly clapped Agatha on the shoulder as he shouted some line of praise about her that she was too distracted to hear. The sudden force had caused her to spill most of what was left in her goblet onto her gauntlets, forcing her to shake her hand free from the red liquor. A moment later one of his lordship’s knights approached and refilled her cup with wine.

“I told you all, didn’t I” Morden boomed at his knights. “When you all laughed at the idea of knighting a woman. I told you that when pushed, a woman can be every bit as vicious as a man. Weakness is a choice I say, and why not include women among our ranks? Well, today Agatha you proved your ferocious tenacity before us all. Remember this day Sir. The day you truly earned your title.”

Sir Agatha raised her eyes to her lord’s and forced herself to speak. “Thank you, my Lord.”

“The day was not all her doing, begging your pardons my Lord.” The speaker was another ambitious young knight in Morden’s employ.

“Oh?” Lord Morden said, folding his arms in mocking contempt. “How so, Sir Cassius?”

“I don’t doubt Sir Agatha’s bravery my Lord. Crossing that moat in full plate mail must have been a terror on the nerves.” Sir Cassius had no idea, she thought. Her mind flashed back to the feeling of pure unbridled terror as she had led her men onto a set of ramshackle boats hastily thrown together in order to carry twenty four men and one woman, all armed and heavily armoured, directly towards the main keep in total darkness. The thought chilled her in that moment, and for a while the fires around her were forgotten. The wine in her belly seemed to turn cold. A lump formed in her throat. She looked down at her empty right hand and flexed the fingers. That morning she had become a killer for the first time in her life.

“… ballistae were a nice enough distraction with all the fire bolts, but the real fighting was done by the infantry.”

“And you were doing all of the ‘real fighting’ were you, Sir Cassius?” Lord Morden asked with just the faintest hint of a smile.

“And those with me.” Sir Cassius replied. “We were fifty against a few hundred, and we took no more than a handful of casualties.”

“And you, Agatha?” Morden was looking right at her.

“Eleven of my men are dead, my Lord.” She replied. She knew all of their names. They were brave men to the last.

Morden looked over at Sir Cassius. “Learn to think, Sir. You faced many foes this morning, but they were not their best fighters. They didn’t send their seasoned warriors to put out a few fire and loose a few arrows at your courageous company. Those they saved for the keep. The very beating heart of the castle. And those Sir Agatha faced with an inferior sized force, after scaling the walls with grappling hooks and no doubt shivering with fear. But, they pulled through in the end. And the day was ours!”

Every man raised their hand and cheered. Agatha held her tongue. Lord Morden didn’t have that tale quite right. True enough she had led the men who scaled the walls and Prayed that no one could see them approach. The Pyromancer had made short work of the door to the keep, but when she had rushed inside it had immediately dawned on her that the garrison were not warriors. Inside were those who couldn’t fight. The old, the young, the infirmed. They all fought with the desperate fury of those who had seen their death walk through the door.

A puffy red faced sergeant in a red gambeson approached the knights. He saluted his Lord and relayed the message he had been given.

“Begging your pardons my Lord, Sir Walter has the survivors herded together a street over and wishes to know what your intentions for them are?” He said.

Lord Morden glanced at Agatha. “Excuse me one moment Sir.” He was ever the man of courtesy.

Agatha nodded politely, lost in the memory of slaughter.

“Tell Broadshield to arrange a detail of 10 bowmen and have them loose an arrow each into the crowd. Anyone who can make the journey is to be brought back to the castle.”

With his orders relayed Alastair Morden retrieved the carafe of wine and refilled Sir Agatha’s cup.

“My apologies Sir.” He muttered. “The trivialities of war. One must find a use for these creatures I suppose.”

“Of course, my Lord.” Agatha felt her heart flutter for a moment once again as she tried to bury a convenient conscience that refused to be silent.

“The latrines are overflowing again. Good work for this lot.” Agatha didn’t hear who made the joke, but she heard them all laugh. She smiled at last.

“A final toast!” His Lordship commanded. “But what should we toast to?”

“To victory?”

“To war?”

“To us?”

Lord Morden waved his hand dismissing them all. “All far too common.” He paced around for a moment. “How about something far nobler. To knighthood itself, perhaps?”

“A grand idea my Lord.”

“Aye.”

“An honourable office to drink to.” Agatha said. Her face was stone. A mask of lies. Her Soul was ablaze.

One street over Sir Walter Broadshield barked his orders. “DRAW!”

Lord Morden raised his cup. “To knighthood!” he said.

“FIRE!” and ten people screamed.

“To knighthood.” Agatha muttered as she drank the red liquid.