Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 108,522,844 Issue: 217 | 18th day of Storing, Y7
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Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Rivalry - Part Six

by nimras23


What, in the name of all the flaming fire faeries was taking them so long, Mareian wondered irritably. She sat on one of the stone benches by the entrance courtyard of the castle where Jasagh had arrived, pretending to read a book. There were only three exits to the courtyard, two leading into the castle and the main gate leading to the outside. Poor Danner got to cover the main gate; hopefully his tail didn't get too solidly frozen, she thought with a grin. It had snowed pretty heavily the night before.

     Mareian sighed; Jasagh had arrived nearly 30 minutes ago. She knew Hagan tended towards formality, but this was taking formality to new extremes. If he keeps this up, Mareian thought, we'll run out of time before Lord Darigan and his nobles arrive for the ball tonight.

     Hearing Jeran's sharp whistle and the sound of quickly approaching foot steps, Mareian dropped the book she was holding and pulled the pair of small daggers out from her sleeves. Jumping gracefully to her feet, Mareian moved to the center of the hall, just in time to be in front of the entrance court yard's double doors as they flew open in Jasagh's race to escape. Quicker than thought, she stepped in front of him and raised one small sharp dagger to his throat. "Going somewhere?" she asked smugly as the royal Gelert skidded to a stop in front of her, his arms pin wheeling to keep his balance.

     For one moment, Jasagh looked as if he would fight, but his shoulders sagged in defeat as Jeran and Mirtah caught up behind him. Meekly, he didn't resist as Jeran grabbed him roughly and chained him. Mareian was a bit disappointed by that, the idea of the pompous royal Gelert getting beaten to a pulp by Jeran rather appealed to her; Mareian was like that sometimes.

     "Good job, Mary Anne!" King Skarl's voice boomed jubilantly.

     "Mareian, not Mary Anne," she muttered under her breath while rolling her eyes in exasperation. At least Mary Anne was closer to her real name than the 'Madeleine' he used to call her. King Skarl was very bad with names; according to Jeran, he'd spent the first two years living in the castle answering to the name 'Jamie' whenever the king spoke to him. The king rarely took such interest in the palace children anymore, much to the relief of the poor tutors who'd had to keep multiple names straight for each child.

     King Hagan was much slower to respond. Mareian couldn't decided if he was in shock from his advisor's betrayal, or just very sad. Looking around the room, Mareian saw that everyone else was busy; Rolan was busily talking with Skarl, while Jeran was giving directions to the knights Danner had just brought in, and Mirtah was busy glowering at Jasagh and just generally looking intimidating. Slipping her daggers back into her arm strap sheaths, Mareian put on her best little-girl face as she slowly walked up to the king. The last thing King Hagan needed right now was someone rushing up to him or waving weapons around.

     "Do you need anything, Majesty?" she asked the large green Skeith softly. King Hagan just looked at her blankly. Still in shock, Mareian decided. Turning slightly, she caught Danner's eye. "Get Lisha," she mouthed to him silently. Danner nodded and headed down the hall towards the library.

     Gently Mareian led the stunned king to the stone bench near the door. "I'm Mareian, Majesty, I work for Jeran," she introduced herself, grinning slightly she added, "My name isn't Mary Anne, despite what King Skarl may tell you." Hagan smiled slightly at that statement; apparently he knew of brother's trouble with names. Mareian kept chatting to him about nonsense topics until Lisha arrived, slightly out of breath from running down the hall with Danner. With relief Mareian let Lisha take over the care of the king; babysitting kings really wasn't something Mareian was good at.

     Now that she was free, Jeran caught her eye. "You okay?" he asked, his eyes concerned.

     Mareian grinned impishly up at him, "I'm fine, he didn't lay a finger on me. You and Mirtah were too quick on his tail."

     Jeran visibly relaxed; apparently her sitting so quietly with the king had worried him. "You know best about ways to escape from dungeons," he said to her quietly, "so can you make sure Jasagh doesn't have anything he can use to disappear again?"

      "Can I keep whatever I take from him?" she asked with a grin, visions of new toys dancing in her head.

     "I'll think about it."

     His answer was better than a 'no', so Mareian decided to drop the matter. Besides, she had to think of suitable way to handle the dungeon's newest Gelert resident. "Danner," Mareian called sweetly, "could you see if we have anything in Lord Jasagh's size in a nice pastel pink?" The royal Gelert's glower at Mareian because of her request was nearly as nice of a present as her new opal jewelry.

     Much to Mareian's disappointment, Danner did not have any pink jail uniforms. Uniforms were only given to the most dangerous of criminals; normally prisoners got to keep their own clothes. Mareian was taking no chances with Jasagh, however; who knew what kind of stuff he could have stashed in his clothes, especially if they were modified in similar ways as how Mareian liked her clothes.

     His jewelry was confiscated too and inspected by Mareian. His necklace pendent opened like a locket, and held some sort of bitter smelling white powder that she wasn't going to mess with. The enameled broach on his cloak was hollow, and held ground glass; which Mareian shuddered at what would have happened if the glass had found its way into someone's drink.

     Satisfied that she had found everything, Mareian placed Jasagh's processions into a small locking box, and sealed it. Handing the locked box to Squire Athless, Mareian watched him place the box in Danner's security room. With that finished, Mareian had just enough time to get ready before the ball started.

     Hurrying up to her quarters, Mareian hastily changed into her lilac and silver ball gown. She was clipping on her new opal necklace from Jeran when the door knocked. "It's open," she called, grinning at Jeran and Mirtah as they walked in. "What," she teased Jeran when she noticed he was wearing a silver and black tunic, "no full, formal armor?" Sir Jeran's dislike of formal events was legendary.

     "I tried," he sighed, "but his Majesty wouldn't let me." Mareian carefully hid a grin at his dejected look.

     Danner's voice came from the doorway, "You're not still grousing about not being able to intimidate everyone away from you by wearing armor, are you?" Danner looked like he was going to say something else, but he caught sight of Mirtah, now dressed in her dark red and black formal ball gown. His eyes widened, while his jaw opened then snapped shut with an audible snap. Oh dear, Mareian thought, it's a good thing we dealt with Jasagh before Danner knew Mirtah was his partner. Otherwise he would have been completely useless.


     All across Meridell, Day of Giving parties were going strong. How sappy, Jasagh thought in disgust. On a brighter note, because of the holiday, his loyal servant within the castle had been able to free him after only a few hours within the dungeon. Jasagh was sure the look on the Lord Sheriff's face tomorrow when he realized that his prized prisoner was gone with all his processions, would be priceless. He must be sure to have his servant describe it to him. Perhaps he could be very lucky and hear about the large Lupe Champion's reaction as well.

     With a sigh, he sat on a worn stool. Foiled again; and for the second time by that runt of a Lupess. The first time had been understandable, she was a thief and he was imposing on her Council's domain. At first he'd thought she worked for the usurping King Skarl, but all the warriors she'd brought had been from the same thieves' council. So he'd ignored her, yet this second time there was no mistaking her for working for anyone other than the king. Not and have free access within the castle, like she apparently did. He'd known that it would be impossible to remove Skarl from the throne while Jeran was still alive, but now he was beginning to suspect that he couldn't remove Jeran while this Lupess remained in the way.

     Well, he thought with a satisfied smile, that was easy enough to fix. He knew her type; they worked for the person who paid the most. Loyalty could become flexible with the right incentive. It was vital that this Lupess work for him instead of that overgrown mutt of a Lupe. Yes, he must give serious thought to this problem named Mareian Mahkra.

The End     

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Other Episodes

» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Rivalry - Part One
» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Rivalry - Part Two
» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Rivalry - Part Three
» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Rivalry - Part Four
» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Rivalry - Part Five

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