Kingdom – Pride Castle
And finally they were three, the naga, the genie, the dragon, the three listening to each other and their lord in this time of crisis as their worried seemed to be the same. The three of them knew that an attack on the island would be something difficult to fend off from, they all knew that they had no allies outside this walls, and despite their combined power was great enough to rival the the other princes and perhaps even surpass them…what hope did they had if their numbers were smaller? Salem had seem some miracle battles during the ages, but it was among men, they were relatively fair in comparison, battles defined by intelligence, tactics, and not by the power they wielded, if anything such powers were just a trump card. But also something else worried him, something he had felt but not confessed for the sake of their lord…
Perhaps this is unimportant, given how perhaps my sensitivity to this is Master…but I had an strange sensation myself not too long ago
Genies were sensitive to the use of magic, and it was not something that came off as weird or unexpected since themselves were basically some strange incarnation magic itself took. Their power was well known, and even if Salem himself was unable to act as a normal genie should, it did not mean he did not packed the same power within his humble form of what seemed to be an elf that decided to spend his life on the deserts. In any case, the information he withheld was mostly something he found pointless, something that would bother their lord more than anything…but given the circumstances that maybe would help them
As you know already my kin have their own type of connection with magic…and not too long ago I felt an strange shift, something you could consider an small wave in calm water, as if somebody’s sands had been…tampered with
Salem never moved from his spot, as he began to ponder about the situation himself as he did during dinner last night, something that came off as normal due to the genie’s own silent nature when it came to any event that involved food. In the table he rarely uttered a word unless it was to answer something, and even then he always tried to cut himself off from conversations to be able to enjoy his food. Still this explained why half of the food he had remained untouched during the whole ordeal
I did not considered important at the time, but maybe it has some relation with your currents sensations…still finding the link between this two events is what worries me, but again as I said, it’s not so uncommon that such things happened
He placed his own grain on sand on the situation, so to say, as he tried to end by reassuring them that somebody messing with another’s life span, their own sands, was not an uncommon thing. Still one couldn’t stop thinking that it was strange that genies could perceive such thing, given that their own race was technically not capable of dying. As strange as it may have sounded, death for them only meant being later on, a continuous cycle which they were gifted with because of the most powerful of their kinds, creatures strong enough to make other more powerful incarnations of them, Ifrits for instance, tremble in fear at the mere mention of their name. To be able to say that this beings that ruled over all genies were strong enough to shrug off Death itself and defy it and win, was enough to understand where they stood
In any case, why would they decide to attack us now of all times? To our knowledge the other so called rulers were to busy among themselves…why would anyone risk a campaign against us? or even worst, who would be suicidal enough to go through with it?
And he pointed out something logical, despite their clear numeric disadvantage if the kingdoms remained in conflict why would anyone prefer to launch a military offensive against them of all people? They had a good defendable position, one that made up for their numeric disadvantage, and they really had anything really that valuable for them to come and risk their well being for taking. Not to count that they had not only the power of Astaroth defending this place but also a powerful Naga, a Primordial Dragon, and also a Genie…it would take some sort of strange obsessive and desperate reason for anyone to risk their neck in such a way. And it was this logic that Salem tried to use to reassure himself, at least more than the rest, that maybe it was their imagination. In the end while they all were certainly very well capable of death, what Salem feared for was a fate a bit worse in his own case, cause if losing them all, even the Naga who despite their trust issues he considered pleasant enough, wasn’t enough…Salem feared about what would happend if Astaroth was truly defeated. In the end unlike them, he was still bind by his own chains…if Astaroth’s visions were right, if someone came here and succeed in taking this place…sadly slavery would be Salem’s fate. And he wouldn’t go through it again, he couldn’t, he would prefer to turn himself into a mice and ask Alaric to have him as dinner
Razorbackwriter:Kingdom – Pride Castle
It was all easy to speculate. To put meaning to dreams, or to associate sickening feelings with the dread of impending danger. The Prince needed to have his wits about him, not be further stirred by the likes of Salem – who unknowingly was only adding weight to the Prince’s suspicions and thoughts. The nagas took to slinking into the background, as the arrival of the Prince’s other companion – Orimitsu. The Primordial dragon was known in all the realms for his enormous power and his intelligence was not something to be ignored. In fact, Alaric was hardly surprised by the Prince’s warm welcome to the dragon. Alaric simply nodded in Orimitsu’s direction and allowed him to speak freely. Especially when he mentioned about already having spies moving about in the outer realms on his orders. The nagas was on the money that intel was the best answer currently to confirm the harrowing thoughts that someone was planning to do the Prince in.
Of course, Salem was not ready to give up in issuing further concerns and even questioned as to who might want to harm the Prince of Pride. The nagas may not have had the insight to read the minds of others, or see into the future – but he was more than happy to allay the Prince’s fears one way or another.
“Who needs a reassson to attack? I asssk you. We are dealing with the other six sins and all of them are unpredictable and at sssome point, mad enough to attack another realm without warning. Take Wrath for example. It isss sssaid that Mammon, the Prince of Greed went after that realm sssimply because a woman took the throne. Isss there any clear logic to that? No…..none whatsssoever.”
The Nagas was trying to make a point, and continued, though he wanted to make one thing completely clear to all in attendance.
“This issland casstle is a virtual fortress dessigned to make invassion incredibly difficult for any army. Not only that, you…my Lord are guarded perssonally by three of the mosst deadly creaturess in all the realms. I won’t sspeak for the othersss, but I will gladly lay down my life for you……and I will take a good number with me, sshould any dare to try and mount an offenssive.”
Alaric looked to Salem and Orimitsu to see them both swear to lay down their lives to protect the Prince….come what may. Kiri:
Kingdom – Pride Castle
Ah Orimitsu loved hearing the optimism of Salem so very well, and with the Prince having his knickers in a twist, things couldn’t get much more annoying to the Dragon; however, he wasn’t in the mood to really deal with the idiocy that would follow, and he didn’t understand the need to point out the fact that it wasn’t understandable as to why someone would target them. Since when did anyone in Hell care enough to make sense at all? Orimitsu sure as hell didn’t, he was a dragon, he did as he pleased and nothing more; however loyal he may be. Orimitsu was going to have to take Alaric’s side this time around.
“As Alaric said, they don’t need a reason… this is Hell, no one cares for sense.”
Orimitsu was being blunt about that fact, and wasn’t afraid to do it again if he so needed to do so, but it didn’t change the fact he wasn’t about to show mercy to the idiots that may challenge Pride. While Astaroth may be a child at heart and be the worst embodiment of Pride in the history of this damned kingdom, Orimitsu wasn’t the type to give loyalty without reason and his was slowly wearing thin. Perhaps that is what brought on his next words in response to Alaric.
“While I am loyal and ready to defend him, Alaric, make no mistake about my character; if Astaroth, if you, show any weakness. I will not hesitate to kill you.”
Kingdom – Pride Castle
Pride castle throne room
“A wave?” he sat up with his attention directed at Salem. He was aware of the connection genies had to magic, but he’d thought Salem’s connection was weak due to his situation. Perhaps the magical disturbance was that of such massive proportions that no genie would go without feeling it. Or Astaroth had simply been wrong. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time and probably not the last.
He stood up again and placed his hand softly on Salem’s shoulder in an absent minded gesture as his mind had already wandered off to think of what might cause this shift Salem mentioned. He quickly drew his hand off the genie’s shoulder as he was walking towards Alaric and Orimitsu.
“Alaric, friend,” he stopped by his side with a smile, “The day I ask any of you to die for me will be the day the me now would consider myself truly fallen. If that ever comes to happen, I wish Orimitsu take my life and the three of you move on to your own lives.” he turned to face Salem. “That day you will be free at last. I’ll somehow find a way to free you once your contract with me ends.” he said before spinning his body around to take the last remaining steps to Orimitsu. Knowing the dragon’s dislike for his antics, Astaroth took those steps in a bouncy manner and ended with his hands on the dragon’s shoulders as he moved around him as if he were dancing.
“My dear friend, Orimitsu, I pray-“ he stopped himself. He’d come to dislike most words relating to the heavens since he’d been thrown out. Sometimes he avoided them like the plague, other times he just frowned at the sound of them. On rarer occasion he used them himself and usually managed to bring himself down by doing so. “I hope,” he corrected himself. “That the day you need to kill me never comes.” he winked on his way back to his throne.
“No, I’m not surprised someone is coming. It is just the manner of which I am feeling and the vision that bothers me. I expected this would happen once I was given the title of pride and I’m rather surprised it hasn’t happened sooner.” he sighed and let himself fall down on the top of the three steps leading to his throne. “But it seems like these demons take more issue with women than they do with angels.” he shook his head. “It has been very long since I stopped trying to understand them and began trying to live in their world.” which wasn’t so difficult since he lived on top of a hill on an island surrounded by deep waters that could very well be considered an ocean in the human world. Not to mention the water dwellers and forty legions he had on land. Neither were many but all were powerful enough for Astaroth to consider him safe with them.
“Orimitsu… You scout, what are you sending him after?” he asked, in thought.
Kingdom – Pride Castle
Even in chaos there is always something that starts it all, a motivation of sorts that I’m sure any creature down here would require to do something like this…and trust me, sometimes even among other beings, in other times and places sense and logic become a luxury
He answered back at them, still firmly believing that even behind any action, there had to be always a reaction and always a reason for said reason. He did not said it to those two, not to anyone, but it was the way he was raised, the way he explained the unfortunate incident that happened to him…even in madness there had to be a semblance of order just like in order itself was chaos…or so the genie tried to believe, just to justify what has been asked off him during this many ages, by both Astaroth and all of his master
And don’t worry Alaric, it won’t have to come to death if they reach our shores with that intentions…in the end I don’t have a life to lay down in the line, but I do have something much more terrible waiting for any attacker that come this way…in the end I don’t take kindly when my place of residence, or the ones of my allies is threatened
He did not promised something he couldn’t give, he knew well that genies were not cursed with a real sense of death, and he was sure Alaric knew this as well. The genies did perished, but for them perishing was nothing more than a mere step back, a return to the sands just for them to rise again in another form…painful indeed, but giving them a semblance of eternity. Nevertheless, despite this condition Salem would still defend Astaroth for as long as this incarnation of him lasted, for he knew allies were not normal now days, and friends were even more rare and valuable. So he stood there, tensing himself as he felt a hand on his shoulder and listened to what his master had to say
I just hope he is right…going back to a life of servitude like the one I had…I doubt I could continue with it, without losing myself in it
The genie remained as usual, only nodding as he watched them with the same calm and yet serious expression that was always upon his head even the day the merchant arrived to sell him. It was a trait that everyone had to admit that was impressive, that no matter what his expression would remain unchanged and he would keep worried and pain deep inside, but it was a trait that came with age for him. Nobody in this domain knew what he had gone through, especially in this room, since he was sure that both Alaric and Orimitsu in his position would have lay swift death to any of the masters that Salem had on the past as soon as they bothered them enough, but he did not enjoyed that luxury. The life of slave he hated, it took away much of him only to leave a hollow shell of a former being free as the winds, and it was strange that at the mention of his freedom he reacted so poorly, but it was not his or Astaroth fault. He was happy, but also afraid like nobody else in this room…in the end if they ever failed for them death awaited…but for him…it was a lifetime of slavery again, something much worse, and humiliating altogether
He might had felt some sort of inferiority complex…below the waist Master, in the end many of those who have power do it in those situations…they feel castrated when someone they consider lower do their task just as they do, or even better
He pulled off a joke, now of all times, and about that of all things…but always remaining his calm tone and serious expression as he decided to be silent for now, trying to hear what Orimitsu had to say. He knew of the cunning this creature had, so it was no surprise his spies were crawling around outside, in the end by this point every single one of the people in the room had some way to know about the events on the outside, or at least, part of the events anyways
Razorbackwriter:Kingdom – Pride Castle
Alaric had only so much patience that he could muster during this meeting with the Prince. But after a while that was starting to wear paper thin. He didn’t wish to blurt out and say it, but it was already feeling like someone had in fact died, and they were at a wake. Why not just raise the black flags now and begin the period of mourning? Alaric had tried to use sense and logic to allay the Prince’s thoughts, but it had now gone way beyond that, and though Astaroth was waiting on word from Orimitsu about his spies, the naga decided that the time for talking had long since passed. As much as he would rather be in his secluded hideaway meditating, he knew that they had to prepare for war. Not stand around speaking platitudes as they waited their fate.
Raising up, with his massive coils now moving to gain him extra height, the Naga could not hold back any longer.
“We could sstay here all day and sspeak of possible threats and impending invassions, and that to me is like sitting on one’s handss. I say that we become pro active. If this really is an island fortress, we put her to the test. Get her ready.”
It was like the Naga was tired of the social niceties, and wanted the Prince to man up. To stop lounging on that all too comfortable throne and be entertained by his servants as though he was a boy at the circus. The Naga would be the first to make his move.
“I shall start by going to the blacksmiths and seeing that our armies will be well equipped, and what is needed. It would be better for me to do my job and ensure that the army is ready for any sort of attack.”
At this, the Naga bowed, and excused himself.
“M’lord….Salem…Orimitsu.” He acknowledged each in turn, before slithering out of the room – his long tail taking a while to actually leave the throne room completely. This would leave the three remaining to talk about battle strategies, and what news….if any from the dragon’s spy network.