Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Plains of Llyrian (Part 2)

Thrice she knocked on the door. Thrice, none came to answer it. The fourth time, she struck the door into the hall of Llyrian with her black bog wood stave. A great noise akin to the shattering of a tree when struck by lightning came from it and the doors opened of their own power. Silence descended among the Kordid and they made ready to defend their handsome King from this unknown threat.

Outside in the storm, a coal black horse screamed. When dawn came, no sign of the horse's presence would be found though signs of struggle would be apparent and the other noble beasts would shy away from that place in the pen. Thus, the one known as the haruspex of the Kordid's grief entered. As she looked over the armed warriors and their shield-maidens, a great many of them avoided a direct gaze in her eyes.

"Who disturbs my rest this night" she demanded, "With shrill horn, restless drum, and shrieking whistle? By whose order did the quiet of my rest be broken, unable to be soothed even by the storm's lullaby?" Eyes the color of gory icicles looked over the assembled from within that pale, seemingly bloodless face. At the high seat at the head of the groaning board, Llyrian stood. Some say that the mad god Kaileth whispered to him great glory stood in challenging this diminutive woman of strange power. Others say that the evil of Morgoth invaded his mind for a time and made him break the customs of hospitality and summer peace. Still others suggest that Llyrian was far too deep into his cups to speak sensibly by the late hour.

What ever the reason, Llyrian looked at the dark haired woman dressed in winter's clothes during the summer's heat and laughed. At his laughter, she frowned and the Kordid looked to him in askance. "Girl-child of the black marsh, your mother beckons you home. The hour is late and you trouble the men with your foolishness," he said with a hearty laugh. The harbringer of sorrow raised her head slightly, scenting the air for a moment as her expression turned grave.

"Two pups whelped by the alpha bitch lay nearby," she says, looking back to Llyrian, "and the mate antagonizes the great cat as the alpha bitch lay weak in childbed. Be wise, Wolf of Sigurt, recant your prideful words. Let silence descend here." At her statement, Llyrian's people drew back uneasy. Llyrian turned and bellowed for his hunting horn. A wary thane brought it to him as the fey woman watched with gimlet eyes.

"Your words are nothing but empty noise on the wind, spoiled daughter of the storm," Llyrian replied, "here is my answer." He took his gold banded horn and put it to his lips. He blew a loud and lusty blast that rang in the hall. A sound that awakened his newborn sons and set them to mewling as their mother drew them to her breast to comfort them. The small woman took her stave and struck it on the floor. Again, a great echoing crash sounded. Those closest to her covered their ears and fell to the floor dumbstruck.

"When the elder's star rises higher then the younger's," she intoned, "all of the Kordid will lay abed in weakness as the alpha bitch does now. Your boldest men will have no rest for the shrill scream of pipes and whistles. None will stand to oppose the storm that comes and all that will be left of you shall be your name." Silence trailed in her wake as the Kordid watched the strange one leave their presence.

"Words of an angry child timed to the storm," Llyrian cried as the doors were shuttered against the rising fury of the storm, "Drink. Eat. Let her sulk out in the night's cold." As the people of the plains returned to their celebration, some watched the night uneasily.