The Path of Kings

Out of the Fire and into the Ice Maze

Azkathe Unseelie Trouserless

So that happened AFTER Milon got blinded and Neega got affected by the sickness?

Emrys sharpened his quill with a pen knife as he studied the man in front of him. He was a young member of the Baroness’s crossbowmen and a keen observer, that was why the druid had chosen to interview him.

So, let me recapitulate. Nadrim Quimm’s carnival turned out to be nothing more than a vile illusion meant to kill and maim as much as possible and when Quimm’s dance cum ritual culminated, the evil fey magic took over and the hells were unleashed.

The younger man, Corwen, stared blanky at Emrys and shrugged hesitantly.

I…I guess so…

The old druid frowned, his bushy eyebrow knitting together and he let out an indignant harrumph.

Yes, well, never you mind the finer details, I’ll work something more tangible of it. And then Baroness Stonemark and her companions wandered the fair ground, trying to save as many civilians as they could from the Unseelie that were causing them harm. Everyone got gravely injured in the process and THEN they decided to venture into the ice maze?

Yes, Lord High Diplomat, just as I told y…

A dark look from Emrys silenced the boy and the druid dipped his quill into the ink well and continued writing.

Then they ventured through the ice maze and fought the ice critters…surely there must be a better name for those, are you sure you can’t describe them any better?

No, sir, the Baroness’s party had severely mauled the creatures and it looked like they were me…melting too and then there was the Minotaur…

First of all, I’m knight nor soldier, lad, so can drop the sir right there and secondly, I know about the Minotaur, you told me, several times. I may look older than your grandfather, but it doesn’t mean I’m a doting, trouserless lunatic.
Emrys inspected his robes briefly and smiled.
Well, apart from the trouserless then…

And then Azkathe appeared and almost single-handedly destroyed the Barony. If it hadn’t been for the timely intervention of your unit, sergeant Corwin, and the brilliant leadership of Lord Leveton, that is.

The crossbowman stood at ease in the uneasiest way imaginable and tried a smile, not sure if he’d just been complimented or insulted.

Yes, Lord Cadarn, that is correct. When we appeared there was no sign of this Azkathe, but Lady Hegelinde was barely out of the maze when the ill news came about Lord Varn’s disappearance.

Emrys looked at the young sergeant with sad eyes and nodded slowly.

Ill news indeed, sergeant, ill news indeed…But that is a tale for a different time, it appears I am out of ink again.

The druid took a handful of sand and sprinkled them over the ink, waiting a few moments before blowing them off and closing the book.

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