Removing the Muzzle: General Galgarrath's Story - Part Two
“The reign of Kass? Ah yes, the reign of that feathered embodiment of evil,” General Galgarrath said, as if recalling an afterthought. “Do we really have to go through that? It was most undignified,” he said with a snort.
“I think it is only fair that since Master Vex’s story about being locked in his own dungeons was made public that you explain what you went through,” Lord Draconis Darigan said with a bitter smile. Ky jumped. It was the first time Lord Darigan had spoken since she arrived, and she had forgotten that he was there. She suddenly turned an odd combination of red and green as she blushed heavily. “Besides, it will make up for my story. After all,” he said with a wry grin, “I don’t think anyone will believe my account of the first war, and I was an amnesiac during the second.”
Galgarrath harrumphed. “Oh, very well... like Vex’s story, my tale of that begins with a speech...”
General Galgarrath was not pleased with the procession. The citizens could glorify Kass all they wanted to; he still thought of the Eyrie as an equal. Grimacing, Galgarrath angrily recalled the decision of the elders to elect General Kass as the new Lord Darigan instead of Master Darzul Vex. Kass had changed. In addition to rejecting the honorary title of Darigan that all former Lords and Ladies of the Citadel had carried, he conducted everything he did with an aura of force. Galgarrath shook his head and headed back to the Citadel dungeons, where he knew he would find his old friend, Master Vex, on duty. When he entered the dungeons, he was not pleased with the sight that greeted his eyes. Eyrie Guards were everywhere. Frowning slightly, the general entered the inner dungeon chambers, only to be greeted by the sight of more Eyrie Guards fleeing from the wrath of Master Vex. “Get OUT of here, you feathered nuisances!” Master Vex shouted, slamming his fist against a nearby Cellblock table. The two players that sat there were startled by the sudden appearance of the famed Mynci, and frightened by an uncharacteristic display of his temper. The last of the Eyrie Guards scrambled to leave as Haksol glared and began to get up from his seat. Sighing, Vex went over to the Yellow Knight and talked with him at length. His face changed from tired and annoyed to alarmed and defensive. Galgarrath became highly curious as to what had passed between the two of them.
Before he could ask, an Eyrie Guard burst in and glared at Vex. It was obviously no longer safe to speak one’s thoughts, Galgarrath thought with a grimace. It wasn’t long before he was proven correct in his guesses. No more than five days had passed when the interrogations began. They began informally, and he was caught unawares. He spent an ever increasing time in the dungeons, and would often answer the questions in the same visit as Master Vex. Even so, he was sometimes questioned when alone, and he slowly began to lose his patience. The first step came in the form of tourists from Meridell.
“This Kass person,” one would remark casually, “he seems to be quite an interesting character. Always giving all these speeches. What do you think of him?”
“Kass is a very articulate Eyrie, yes. By the way, you lose. Six hundred neopoints, please.” It was all he could do not to say that he thought Kass was very aggressive and not what the Citadel needed as a leader. When Citadel citizens began questioning, he became suspicious of a plot.
“General,” they would whisper, “Lord Kass just finished an inspection of the Eyrie Guard! He was really pleased- said that he would lead them in battle himself, he would, they were so well trained. Meridell won’t bother us in a hurry!”
General Galgarrath snorted, but managed to attribute the sound to a cold from the dampness of the dungeons. While he thought that the interrogations were unnecessary, and that Kass was starting to become paranoid, his only reply would be, “Ah, yes, Lord Kass formed the Eyrie Guard himself. It is only natural that he would want to lead them in battle. Six hundred neopoints, please.” By the time the interrogations were done in the open, he had completely lost his patience.
After an account from Master Vex of what had happened near the Chambers, the General didn’t want to see another feather again, let alone an Eyrie. For a while, there was little activity, as he spent most of his time in the dungeons with Master Vex. By the time the news that Kass had dissolved the Council, rearmed much of the Citadel, and researched some potent methods of destruction, it was too late. Kass was in complete control, and General Galgarrath felt like he was in a game of Cellblock, with only his skill, an attentive eye, and a few skilled moves to keep a distance between him and the swords of the ever-present Eyrie Guards. Shortly after the Council was dissolved, Eyrie Guards began to question key people of influence, and it wasn’t long before they came to try and persuade General Galgarrath and Master Vex. By this time, the prisoners had communicated through a kind of code via Clop, and every time a guard entered, they would begin to fight. It kept the interrogators away for several weeks, but one day an entire squadron showed up and subdued the prisoners by force. The captain of the squad then questioned them openly.
General Galgarrath lost his temper entirely. When asked if he would swear loyalty to Kass, he retorted, “Is that all, captain?” he barked. The Eyrie looked startled, but nodded. “Bah! Do not bother us with trivial matters. Leave us be!” he growled, slamming his fist onto the table. The captain narrowed his eyes but only commanded the guards to leave. When they were all gone, an uneasy silence encompassed the cells. A cough from behind him caused General Galgarrath to turn around and face one of the prisoners, the Yellow Knight.
“You should not have done that, General. You have greatly angered them. I do not think that will go over well at all,” the Yellow Knight said, shaking his head.
General Galgarrath sighed and nodded his head in agreement. A strange look from his old friend caused him to turn cold. “Is something wrong?”
Master Vex sighed. “I can’t agree with him more; that was not wise of you, my friend. I fear for you,” Master Vex said softly. He was unable to say any more, as Eyrie Guards quietly returned to the dungeons. The two resumed their posts, but each had a sinking feeling that he was being outsmarted at his own area of expertise.
A few nights later, the Zafara Double Agent came to his quarters. She asked him the exact same questions as the Eyrie Guards had, but offered him some advice in addition to the interrogation, as was her nature. “You do understand that your life is likely on the line, right?” she said slyly. “But let bygones be bygones! I am certain that if you can convince Master Vex to see how good Kass is for the Citadel, the both of you will be forgiven. Will you not swear loyalty to your leader?”
General Galgarrath exploded. “I will do nothing of the kind!” he roared, startling the Zafara. “His plans will lead the Citadel down the path of madness and destruction! I will not see the Citadel sent that way again! Leave, NOW!”
Out of nowhere, several Eyrie Guards appeared and attempted to pin his arms to his sides. In rage, he struck out, and they went flying. The following action was heard almost all over the Citadel, although very few had any idea that the large racket was caused by an entire squadron of Eyrie Guards fighting a much older Grarrl who was unarmed. At last, his age caught up to him, and he could fight no longer. As soon as he gave up, he was grabbed by Eyries with grips of steel. He heard a click as he was handcuffed with his arms behind his back. He swallowed back a snarl of rage, preferring not to give the guards the satisfaction.
He did gasp, however, when Kass himself stepped out from the shadows in full battle armor. “It is really too bad, General. I was hoping you might join me. I see now that you are definitely not worth the trouble. Too bad for you; it seems I have no other choice,” he said coldly, drawing out his sword. “Listen to me very carefully. You will go and tell Master Vex to join me, and then report back here for further instructions.”
Galgarrath snarled in fury. “Never! I will not trick the only sane person left on this Citadel into working for you!”
His tirade was stopped when one of the guards struck him across the head with his sword hilt. Through the sharp white pain, he heard Kass say, “Resistance is futile. Join or die!”
“I am not afraid of you! You couldn’t defeat me in hand to hand combat, and you know it! Slay me now, and let the cowardice within you be known!” General Galgarrath laughed harshly.
Lord Kass’s eyes narrowed and began to glint with fury. “Ah, but I am not a fool. I know that a Grarrl enraged has unnatural powers. It would be a waste if I had to use more than my pure strength to eliminate you.” He tossed his sword to his other paw and whiled it around with great dexterity, bringing the point to rest right at the Grarrl’s heart. “Consider your options carefully. Will you continue to resist me?” he said dangerously.
“Yes, I will,” General Galgarrath said coldly. To his great surprise, however, Lord Kass sighed and lowered his sword.
“Very well. It seems that Master Vex will have to face me in hand to hand combat for your treachery. Too bad,” he sneered, “I understood he was your best friend.”
General Galgarrath exploded with a rage that surprised even Lord Kass. Overcome with bent up fury and a complete disregard for his own safety, he snapped the chain in the handcuffs, knocked back the guards, and rushed at Kass. With the speed of lightning, the guards were back up on their feet and had once again captured the general. He was holding tight to Lord Kass’s left wrist, and when one of the Eyrie Guards brought down his hand on Galgarrath’s arm, there was a sickening snap and Lord Kass shrieked in pain. General Galgarrath had broken the wrist of his leader.
Lord Kass was furious. “Put him in a muzzle, and chain him up like Barallus! Tomorrow morning, he will be thrown off the Citadel!”
“...and after that, I was thrown off the Citadel,” General Galgarrath finished with a shrug.
Ky blinked. “But how did you survive?!” she gasped, completely absorbed by the story.
Galgarrath smiled wryly. “Ah, well, that is a very embarrassing point. I was rescued by a young daredevil Meridell pilot; the Aerial Knights were practicing maneuvers to fend off sky pirates. One of them recognized me from the first Meridell war, and consequently rescued me.”
Lord Draconis Darigan laughed. “You certainly have a sense of drama, Galgarrath!” Sighing, he looked over at Ky. “Do you have everything you need to write this story of yours?”
Ky nodded. “Yes, this should be enough. I’m glad I had the opportunity to talk with you,” she said with a slight bow of her head.
“Well, I hope you are satisfied, because I can’t give you anything of interest,” Darigan said with a wry smile.
Ky looked down at her notes. In dark purple ink at the bottom of a “to do” list, her brother had scribbled down the following: “Interview Lord Darigan- the duel with Kass”. She looked up and gave a slight smile. “Oh, I wouldn’t be too sure of that...”