Thursday, July 2, 2015

And the River, It Goes On--Part 14

Grizzel Greedigutt sighed as he watched the little skiff making its way towards theirs.  "So... this is how they insist on doing the meeting. On a boat."

"Nothing wrong with doing things on a boat," said Sacripant as he kept their ship upright.

"You would say that," said the serjeant, throwing an angry glance towards the Marsh Erl. 

"Yes, I would," agreed Sacripant.  "Good place, everybody can see everybody else, and it'll be hard for one of us to overwhelm the other. It was a sensible choice.  I have no complaints."

"You sure we're not going to fall into this?" muttered Quiet, staring over the edge in fear.

"Yes," said Sacripant, rolling his eyes.

Grizzel gave a harumph, and turned to Justinian.  "Sigma!  You're the Easterling!  Is there anything I should do?"

Justinian coughed.  "Be... polite?"  He gulped as the skiff's other occupants stared at him.  "What?  I'm from the Breakers!  We may be Easterners, but the King really doesn't bother us very much.  Hell, we get more visitors from the Faith than from Trinovant!"  He shrugged. "Anyway--they're probably yenicari.  Slaves to the king. A very dangerous bunch with..."

"They're coming within earshot," hissed Sacripant. 

Grizzel nodded and stood up unsteadily.  "Greetings to you," he began.  "I greet you in the name of the Dark Lord of the Plains of Dread, Mansemat..."  He stared as the other skiff came more clearly into view, being steered by two figures cloaked in red and gold. Standing in the center was a tall Jotun his white beard reaching down to his belt.  Grizzel blinked and glanced at Justinian who simply nodded.  "Mansemat Cthonique," finished the Goblin.

"And I greet you in the name of Ilarion Skarvsky, Emperor of the Lands of Light in the East, Lord of Trinovant," said the Jotun, "Protector of the Holy Faith, Master of the Slaves of the Throne, and Grandmaster of the Holy Order of Saint Moines the Shining." The Ogre gave a slight bow.  "The slave Dmitri Moroz, Keeper of the Blue Tents, greets you in that illustrious lord's place."

"Well, that's... nice," spat out the Goblin.  "I'm... Grizzel Greedigutt. Serjeant-at-arms of the Cthonique Guard."  He winced, and made a desparate attempt to salvage the impression.  "Pleased to meet you," he declared, almost reflexively, and then wished he hadn't.

One of the cloaked figures lowered her hood.  "Well, that's nice," said the female Erl, grinning wildly.  "Isn't it, Dmitri?  Being pleased to meet a very dangerous bunch like us?"

Dmitri cleared his throat. "Tasha," he noted.

Tasha rolled her eyes.  "I was being nice!" she declared.

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