Asura Honours a Most Loyal Servant

Dear Krabz,

I am writing to inform you that following a review of your performance the ruling on your continued employment has been fully logged and filed with the Department of Dismissal, Severence and Discharge.  It was deemed, under the Act of Constructive Commission (982 AD), Section A, exception 2(ii)a, that you are unfit for continued service to the realm.  The actions requested and unsuccessfully undertaken by you are hereby declared:

1.  On the date of third moon, Krabtz was deployed to the Elven city.  His mission was to pollute the Elven queen’s divining waters.  The Imp duly added lotus veritas to her divination bowl.  The Imp clearly lacked the skill of stealth necessary for the appointment of Sentinel and was duly challenged by a ranger.  In a state of seeming panic, the Imp, in order to arrest his interrogation, drank from the divination bowl, hence incurring the ingestion of the truth-telling properties of the Lotus.  The private plans of Pasithea and Her Eminence, etc. were hence revealed to the enemy.

2.  On the blue moon of the fourth rising, Krabtz was deployed to the Human City to feed misinformation to the townsfolk about the true father of their Queen’s unborn baby.  The purpose of the mission was explicitly stated as “to create discord between the townsfolk and the Bradach clan by inciting the fourth of the sins of Solomon: a jealous heart that devises wicked plots.” The resulting outcome of the Imp’s endeavour was ridicule, The Bradach are still singing songs about our Illustrious Emminence with the suggestion that her womb had been infested by repulsive human seed.

3. On the last day of the fifth moon, Krabtz was served with a final warning to prove his worth as Sentinel and commissioned to serve three missives.  The first to the Archmage of the Caemantarii, the second to Lue’iten, Shadow Elf and the third to Aoife, Bradach Ace.  The aforementioned imp proceeded to muddle the missives, resulting in a war that Pasithea would have lost, if it were not for the intervention of the White Wolves.

Your incompetence has raised questions as to your loyalty and whether you are indeed a traitor to the realm.  You will be aware of the penalties if such were found to be true.  However, I do recognise the loyalty of your intention and accept your apology.   I have also considered your request for the respect of the realm.   I have deemed it fitting to provide you with an honour as befits your service and duly summon you to court for a judicious ceremony in your honour.

Yours sincerely,

Her Illustrious Eminence, Asura the Adamant (The First)

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The letter was duly sealed and handed to a trusted goblin bureaucrat.  The goblin awaits patiently for her orders, knowing well not to interrupt the devious thoughts of the demon Queen.  Finally, she uncurled her fingers to reveal the beauty of her talons, an expression of the inner workings of her duplicitous mind, and she pronounced her decision:

“Prepare for the Honour of Loyal Maladroit, and upon the closure of the ceremony, assign him to the Commission for Complaints.  His ineptitude will serve us well in that department.”

Asura extended her leathery wings and floated above her throne.  As the goblin shuffled off to undertake the dispatch, she disappeared in a vapour of abyssal quickening.

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© Safar Fiertze, 2015 (includes image).

Based on the Day 14 challenge of Writing 101 – to write a post in the form of a letter.

Asura and the King’s Seals

Asura looks up from examining her talons and appraises Lord Rai intently as his gaze wanders around the lavish throne room to which he has been summoned.  She clicks her fingers to draw his attention back to her diminutive frame.  She was no less intimidating for her lack of size.

”I have missed your way with ink and parchment.  It is greatly needed – we have a whole new set of departments to establish as we seem to have acquired a king.”

Lord Rai is quick to appease her.  “The goblins are engaged in the implementation of the necessary amendments to law.  But the Chamber of Orderance fails to understand why the king would have need of two signatures, Your Eminence.”

“Three,” she corrects, “actually.”

“The goblins will enjoy the torture of the added complication.”  He comments. “Might I recommend a new faculty of forgery? I am correct in my assumption, Your Emminence, that the third signature is for your use only?”

“I am gratified by your return, Lord Rai.  The Interim had difficulty in understanding the nature of bureaucratic law.  You have a particular comprehension of my exigency.  The northern quarters of the fourth floor have been refurbished and should meet your requirements.  However, the department will need a more suitable name.”

“The Office for Reproductive Graphology?” He suggests.

“A little pretentious, don’t you think?  And still obvious.  An obscure abbreviation, like Repro ….. graphics perhaps?”

Lord Rai almost laughs at the irony of the queen’s concern with pretention, however, he quickly commands his reaction.  “It is a prudent choice, Reprographics.”

Asura looks satisfied.  “However, the King’s own seal should take precedence.  He will know that he has no proper authority until his stamp is in order.  He should not be held back from such matters as war simply because he lacks a seal.  There will need to be witnesses of course, the humans will insist upon assurance of its authenticity.”

Lord Rai inclines his head respectfully, “As you wish, Your Emminence.”

The queen stands and stretches out her wings, watching her chief of staff leave.  He appeared changed, more ingratiating than when he first worked for her.   She prunes the leathery texture of her bat-like pinion while she reviews the encounter.  Her long-taloned fingers beckon a goblin to approach.

“I wish to know if we can trust him.  He is of human blood, after all.  Request the services of Lue’iten, Sentinel of the shadow elves.”

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Based on the Day 7 Writing 101 Challenge at the Blogging University.  The twist was dialogue, but my attempt at contrasting viewpoints meant that Lord Rai would have lost his life, and I wasn’t ready for that yet!  I don’t think I followed dialogue advice too closely either.  I feel the need to embellish the characters when they are talking.  Constructive critique welcome.

Pirates dun’ cry!

The cold mist enveloped him as his green mantle could not.  Pushing himself up to a sitting position, Astraes gazed warily around him.  Shivering, he pulled his mantle tight and began to chew its collar nervously.  The fabric had frayed from the acquisition of this nervous habit.  Now heavy with the chilling mist, the mantle did little to warm him or ease his growing fear.  The glow of the morning sun had been veiled by the icy droplets of stagnant air around him.  Any light or heat it might provide had been absorbed by the chill atmosphere.

Astraes closed his eyes tightly and then flashed them open.  It was something his friend Alex had taught him to do.  It helped you to see better in the dark.  Beneath him was a soft peaty island upon which had slept the night.  It was surrounded by the purple haze of fetid swamp water.  Turquoise and lilac gasses emanated from the water creating an eerie vapour above the marshes.  “Pasithea,” he was about to whisper to himself, but he’d made a pact with Alex never to speak the name of this place.  To think it instilled a fear within him that almost made him cry.  He shoved the threatening tears back stubbornly with the back of his hand, stood up and challenged the eerie quiet of the swamps with his voice.

“Pirates dun cry!”

His voice startled a nearby toad and it bounded away into the murky depths, croaking as it leapt.  Astraes was now shivering from fear as much as he was from the cold and he quickly settled into a crouch, hiding in the grey-blue grasses that offered meagre shelter.  He covered his face with his cape, hoping that when he peered out again that the scene will have changed.  He was only four, and although in faun years that made him as old as the human boy Alex, he didn’t feel the maturity of those years now.

He wished Alex was with him.  Alex knew how to turn fear into an adventure.  Astraes took courage from this thought and determined to stand again and assure himself that this was just another pirate adventure, but the moment his head peered above the grasses he sensed the looming shadow of a winged being above him.  He daren’t look up.  Something that size in this realm had only one identity.  “Asura” his mind screamed.  He cowered in sheer terror.  Astraes wanted to call for help, but his voice caught in his throat.

His head turned about in panic, looking for somewhere to run.  As far as his vision reached, all he saw was how well exposed he’d be to the demon queen circling him.  He thought it was his fear clouding his eyes as his view was gradually impeded by a swirling shadow which took shape around him.  Was this Asura’s magic?  Astraes tried to remember what he had been taught.  He knew the songs of the trees, they might help him.  But there was no living tree in Pasithea.   He gulped back his desire to cry helplessly when a diminutive grey-skinned figure appeared.  Her ice blue eyes peered at him intently through the inky blackness of the shadow.  She pressed a single figure to her mouth, hushing him.  Moonlight ogham engravings upon her skin glowed in the onyx drape and she beckoned him to follow her through the shadows.  Transfixed, Astraes followed her silent command, his heart leaping, not knowing if he was stepping deeper into danger or if this elfin creature was to be his saviour.  All he knew was that Alex had been wrong about what creatures were real and which were myth.  This Shadow Elf was as real as he was a faun.

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Based on “A Room With a View” challenge – Day 2, Writing 101 at the Blogging University