Friday, February 15, 2008

The Crow King

(At the end of the second year of the Barons of Isselunde.)

The Crow King sat in his iron throne, deep within his ill-lit stronghold. His chest was bare, and marked with a dozen scars, one circling the heart. The rest of him was armoured; even here, in his darkest stronghold. Minions surrounded him, cloaked in shadow.

A servant approached with wine. The Crow King seized the glass and smashed it to the ground, sending the servant fleeing.

The Crow King was not pleased.

Seemingly to himself, the Crow King began to rant. "That king. Fool king. Stupid king. Makes barons. No good. Will fail. Ruin himself."

A whisper came from the shadows behind the throne. "No."

The Crow King corrected himself, suddenly, violently. "No. Stupid. Will not fail. Barons will profit Isseland. Make it strong. Make it powerful. I must - invade. Now. Before it is. Strong."

One of the Crow King's minions moved his lips. "No."

The Crow King froze. Then, slowly, he said, "No. Can't invade now. Isselande still - too strong. Kill barons. Assassins. Poisons. Knives. Secret."

Another whisper came. "Corrupt."

The Crow King froze again. Then, seizing his head in his hands, the Crow King banged his head against the arm of the throne, thrashing. Slowly, he subsided. "Killing them - wasteful. Won't kill. Will corrupt. Offer money. Land. Power. Turn against king. His most loyal men against him. Yes."He straightened. Blood trickled from the side of his head. He ignored it. "Yesss... and what a blow. What a blow. It is the only way. I should have... thought of it first. Ahh."

Without warning, the Crow King stood. "Minions!" he cried. They emerged from the shadows, bowing before the King. "You will go. Find the Barons of Isselunde. Promise them what you need to. Wealth. Power. Turn them to Our side. Win a great victory for Our realm."

Obediently, the minions vanished; all but one, who vanished back into the shadows, whispering dark lullabies to the Crow King, far below the light of the sun.

1 comment:

King Kessler said...

But will he fulfill his promise?