This is going to be the last War of Nytefall: Eulogy teaser for a while. I wanted to end with part of the peace talks scenes. Give Alexis Nucian time to shine. Again, this was really tough because there were spoilers everywhere as I combed through for safe teasers to share. Hope people enjoyed enough to buy a copy.
“For obvious reasons, my friend is being overprotective,” Alexis explains when he senses the mortals are about to leave. Standing on the bench, he bows to each noble in turn and keeps his hands clasped in front of his stomach. “As you know, I am not a fighter. If you wish to release your tension through combat then I suggest calling over Sir Winthrop. He is very nervous about the situation, so he would appreciate the release. Personally, I prefer to use discussion to find peace. I hope that is why you are here.”
“My friend and I have some concerns, which can’t wait,” the barbarian states in a voice that grates on the vampire’s ears. A clearing of the fireskin’s throat causes the man to mutter a curse before putting his drawn axe to his forehead. “I am King Taryon of the Hooded Lion tribe and this is my friend, Lady Solia Harper of the Fireskin Nation. We know it is bad form to discuss things outside of the talks, but it is difficult to get our points across when so many people are talking at once. Would you be kind enough to speak with us here?”
“Such a request is fairly unorthodox and I fear it would be seen as me playing favorites,” the diplomat calmly admits. A quick movement in the trees catches his attention and he spots the glint of metal armor. “It would appear you are a bigger group than I realized and you two are here to speak on behalf of everyone. Very well. My experience with fireskins and barbarians are rather limited, so I apologize in advance if I make any cultural or social blunders. First, I must say, King Taryon, that I am impressed with your manners. I was led to believe your people were wild brutes, but it appears I was mistaken. Thank you for educating me.”
“A few of the barbarian tribes are adopting a more philosophical way of life, so you are looking at an exception to the rule,” Lady Solia explains with a toothy grin. Taking her staff off her shoulders, she plants it on the ground, but keeps the weapon tilted to aim the purple quartz in the top at the Dawn Fang. “The reason we are speaking with you here is because we are part of a faction with a specific fear. The situation with this supposed imposter committing atrocities has led to more joining our side. While we understand the need for peace with your people, we are afraid of the trouble you will bring to our kingdoms. How do we know the war between your factions will not consume the rest of us?”
Releasing a breath to make it appear as if he is relieved, the halfling glances from one noble to the other. “It is a shame we were pulled away from these issues because they are the ones I can answer with my utmost confidence. Clyde believes our war is our own and none of your kingdoms should be involved. That has been his rule since the beginning. Originally, the plan was to finish the war before revealing our existence to the rest of Windemere. That did not work, so we have agreed to end this conflict as soon as possible without putting any of you in danger. I ask that you consider how long the two vampire nations have been battling and realize you were unaware of the conflict until recently. Clyde and his inner circle believe events will move faster now that they do not have to worry about hiding their presence. I am not saying the battles will spill into your cities, but we have more freedom of activity to bring peace to our people.”
“Too many words to say you won’t drag us into your mess,” the barbarian king angrily grumbles. He gets closer and leans forward to place the diplomat in his shadow, but backs away with a brief look of dread on his face. “Almost forgot that your queen is able to appear out of the darkness. Look, your word is one thing, but we need physical proof and clear guarantees. Our people can get hurt, especially if your enemies decide to use us as bait and shields. We can’t tell which of you will drink with us and which ones will try to eat us. It would put all of us at ease if you could have Clyde come here to answer our questions.”
“Is that the crux of your growing faction?”
“I don’t know what that means.”
“Is the real purpose of your group to get me bring Clyde to the talks?”
“His presence would help.”
“We are in agreement with that.”
“Then, you will summon him.”
“Sadly, that is impossible.”
“But we are afraid!”
“All of us are, King Taryon.”
“I seriously doubt that.”
“My apologies in advance to both of you.”
Stepping down from the bench, Alexis walks around the barbarian so that he can see the mortal and Titus at the same time. Noticing that Lady Solia is ready to cast a spell, he takes several steps back to includer her in the emotion transfer. The Dawn Fang’s eyes become mesmerizing gems with the right one reflecting the two nobles and the left doing the same to the unaware Vengeance Hound. A brief disturbance in the trees nearly breaks his concentration, but whatever is happening is over within seconds. Alexis’s eyes switch sockets and all three of his targets fall to their knees in quivering fear. The mortals gasp for air while Titus awkwardly tumbles out of the window, the Dawn Fang having been infected by the anxiety and worry of two hearts. Quivering limbs struggle to follow orders, but all three of Alexis’s targets can do no more than get on their hands and knees. With a clap of his hands, the diplomat breaks the connection and goes back to standing on the bench while everyone recovers their senses. He bows towards the distant warrior, who is dragging himself into a sitting position against the dome. The chance to shout an apology is stopped when an axe is pressed against the halfing’s neck and the top of the fireskin’s staff is tapped against his temple.
“My power is only to show the emotions of others and I switched both of you with Sir Winthrop,” Alexis calmly explains.
Wow that is an interesting form of diplomacy! 😀
Enjoyed it, Charles. Thanks.
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Those are some different negotiations.
Vampires always have to be different.
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