Bloody Kithicor: The Council Vol. I-II
Lord Tephys of the Koada'Dal and Carson McCabe of Highkeep stared at each other with long faces over the council table in Highkeep. The meetings were not going well. Upon hearing of the Teir'Dal plans of conquest, Tephys had immediately dispatched word to Felwithe petitioning help. He had yet to hear a reply.
Carson's biggest problem in drafting forces for Highkeep was that most of the merchant lords on the council were just that, merchants. They spoke endlessly of buying their way out of the fight, that the goblin was lying, or that they should just cut their losses and leave. Carson and Tephys held no such disillusions. They knew that the Teir'Dal would not bargain, and those that surrendered were doomed to a quick death at best, with a long life of torture and servitude being the alternative.
"Have we received any word from Antonius Bayle yet?" Tephys asked, not for the first time since the council had convened.
"I'm afraid that my messengers have returned with the same news we expected Lord Tephys," Carson explained. "He cannot lend us much support, if any, in our struggle. He is afraid, and with good reason, that were he to make any attempt to do so the rival factions in and around Qeynos would be quick to take advantage of the city. He invisions everything from the gnolls to Blackburrow overrunning the city to the Bloodsabers taking it from beneath him. And the sad thing is, I can't really say I blame him."
"What of Freeport?" asked Taliman Yurick, the leader of the cities brewing merchants. "Surely they're in the best position to help us, practically bordering Nektulos and all."
"Freeport is in no position to help us either," Lord Tephys was quick to point out. "The Militia and the Paladins keep each other in check constantly. Both know that if either were to support us the other side would only use it as an excuse to try and take complete control of the city. No my friends, I'm afraid it looks like both of the great cities of Antonica will not be aiding us in this fight. And we can count the dwarves out as well. As I suspected, my emissaries to King Kazon were met only by the damned dwarven logic of, 'all the more reason we should stay here and prepare to defend the shores of Butcherblock'."
"I too, have contacted my people across the sea," spoke Pracil Micus of the Erudite. They have agreed only to bring it up in the next High Council meeting for discussion, at which point they may decide to send some sort of help."
"Great!" shouted Thubr Axebringer. The prominent dwarven smith from Kaladim jumped up from his seat fuming, "The way ye blasted Erudites discuss things in yer meetins we should be getting help just about this time next decade!"
Indignant, Pracil Micus retorted, "Why you little bearded retch, I suppose I should expect such manners from a.."
"SILENCE!" bellowed Carson as he banged his gavel upon the table. "I'll have no bickering between us, especially at a time like this. You think the Teir'Dal are fighting over which of them are going to attack us!? No, they're not because they ALL want to attack. And if the stories I've heard of late are indeed true, that the Teir'Dal have indeed united under this prophet, this 'child of hate', then we may not just be facing a few Teir'Dal war parties, but rather the whole of Neriak itself!"
"But Carson!" Taliman protested, "IF what you're saying is true then we're doomed already. We have no armies save the guard of Highkeep, no allies to call upon, and all against an entire nation of Dark Elves!"
"Perhaps you are not alone as you think my friends," said a voice from the crowd. Two high elves step forward, resplendant in their ornate armor. One, an older male with lines of battle etched into his face, the other is a younger female with the beauty of a goddess herself. Both appeared to be a bit travel worn but fully armed.
Lord Tephys stood, an obvious wave of relief flashing across his face. "Ladies and Gentlemen of the council, allow me to introduce Galeth Veredeth, High Paladin of Tunare and chief advisor to King Thearis Thex." The members of the council were impressed and quickly invited the newcomers to join their meeting.
"Thank you Tephys my old friend," Galeth said with a look of sympathy for the tired elven Lord. "The young lady accompanying me is Firiona Vie, Paladin of Tunare and my finest student yet."
Firiona bowed politely to the table saying, "The honor is mine your lordships."
"Ah yes!" said Tephys with sudden recognition. "You have truly grown in the grace of Tunare since last I saw you young Firiona, we welcome you to our table. Now, please tell me you bring good news Galeth."
"Indeed I do," replied the Paladin. "I'm pleased to announce that the entirety of the Paladins of Tunare are at your disposal."
Cheers erupted from the council and the crowd. Galeth holds up his hand for silence and continues, "As we speak our legions are sailing across the Ocean of Tears and should arrive in a fornight. The remainder of the Koada'Dal forces shall have to remain in Faydark however, as we are constantly besieged by the orcs of Crushbone. This is all King Tearis can spare. The only stipulation we insist upon is that Lord Tephys must lead the armies defending Highkeep."
Lord Tephys attempted to argue against this at first, but was quickly and unanimously outvoted as the entire council, led by Carson McCabe, insisted that it was a grand idea. A messenger stepped forward and whipsered something in Carson's ear.
Carson stood with a smile on his face and spoke, "In addition to this most fortunate news, I've just been informed that adventurers from all over Norrath are volunteering by the dozens to aid our cause!" Again the crowd and council were swept away by rampant cheers of thanks.
Lord Tephys once again stood and addressing everyone said, "With that said gentlemen, I believe this council is adjourned. We all have a lot of plans to make adn little time to spare. By the grace of Tunare, we just might have a chance."