Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Meetings and Conferences--Part 10

Sarvar glanced at the Devs assembled in the courtyard and frowned.  They were not so good as the group he had lead all those years ago, across the river with Lord Shaddad. These were young men--untried, who probably had known only personal duels.  Indeed, he did not recognize a single one of them.

But what do you expect?  You've been out of circulation for too long, Sarvar.
  One hand began to idly stroke his greying beard.  The Ashurana haven't needed you for a long time.  But now they do.  The whelp's dead, and you're all that's left. All that's worth anything, anyway...  He took a deep breath, and walked out before them.  "All right," he declared, crossing his arms.  "I'm not going to ask if you know who I am.  Largely because I know not a one of you does.  What I ask of you is do you realize that I am the man your Dark Lord has placed in charge of you since Serjeant Trufaldin's... untimely demise?"  He leaned forward.  "Because I most assuredly am."

One of the young men smirked at this, and let out a chuckle.  Sarvar nodded.  He'd known something like this was coming.  To an extent he welcomed it.  "Something funny, young man?" he said, stepping before the smirking.

"Yes.  Your speech," said the young man.  He stepped forwards, hand on the hilt of his blade.  "I don't know where Belberith dug you out of, but somehow the idea of a fossil like you taking the place was amusing enough before you made that sad little attempt to be intimidating.  Now it is downright hilarious."

"Ahh."  Sarvar stepped away, turning his back.  "So, you wish to ignore Lord Belberith's orders, mmmm?"

"Oh, noooo," said the young man.  "He says you are the Serjeant, and I, Lord Mitokht of the Amber Mountain, agree.  I simply find you exceedingly amusing."

Sarvar nodded.  "Well, it is unadvisable for a Guard to laugh at his Serjeant."

"How unfortunate," said Mitokht.

"And so I demand you take action," continued Sarvar.  "Attack me, Lord Mitokht.  Demonstrate how laughable I am."

The young Dev stared at him in bafflement.  "You're joking?"

"No," said Sarvar.  "Funny as you find me, I rarely joke, young man."  He drew his weapon.  "Come at me.  I'll even give you the first strike.  And I am fighting with nothing more than a practice blade--nothing more than a stick.  You have every advantage..."

Mitokht stared for a moment, then darted forward.  Sarvar watched him, and then watched him flicker out of sight.  He chuckled to himself as he felt the familiar flutter of air, then pivoted and struck.  He smiled slightly as Mitokht produced an ear-piercing shriek.  "Every advantage, save ability and training, that is," muttered Savar.  He turned to the remaining men.  "I am well aware that the Ashurana Guard has become nothing more than a place for young dandies to gad about and practice their... ineffectual swordplay.  That changes now. I am in charge, and I will restore this unit to its former ability, starting today."  A thin smile came to his lips.  "The Ashuranas have need of us.  And I will make certain that they are not disappointed."  A hand began to idly play with his greying beard.

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