April 11th 1983  (Age 38)
Champion of the Crown.

The life of leasure is not for Stelam, so the Princess Vierna and Queen Benelux give him command of one of the most important garrisons in Illythiria. Can Stelam survive the foes inside to leave him able to fight the coming raid, or has the Royal family's faith been misplaced.

<< January 2022 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:

rss feed

Monday, August 22, 2005
Chapter 1: A Sisterly Chat.

Chapter 1: A Sisterly Chat.


Queen Benelux sat with a crystal glass resting on her delicate hands, the crimson liquid in the glass the same colour as her lips which were curled in a pleasant smile upon seeing her sister enter the room. "Dearest sister, it is always pleasant to have you visit. To what do I owe this pleasure?" She said in her musical voice, very much glad to have a visit from her sister and catch up on all things sisterly, as well as formal.

Vierna dismissed the servant that had escorted her to Beneluxís sitting room, the servant bowed to them before making a hasty retreat, leaving the sisters alone together. "Just a friendly visit, see how my sister is going, I do miss our little chats when we are away." Vierna said, before pouring herself a glass of wine as well and sitting opposite her sister.

"As do I Vierna. How are things with your husband?" Benelux politely enquired, taking a sip from her glass while waiting for her sisterís response.

"He is bored." Vierna stated.

"I hope it is not with you." Benelux replied slightly shocked at Viernaís comment.

"No, at his inactivity, He wants to be out in the field again. Sometimes I feel like I have a caged animal waiting to be released. He might be getting on in years, but he is still agile of mind and body." Vierna sighed dreamily with those last words. "But he feels that he might become complacent and lose his edge and mind if he does not become active again."

Benelux swirled the wine in her glass as she thought. "Do you think he is up to it?" She asked. "And are you willing to let him go?"

"Yes he is defiantly up to it, He still practices and runs drills and exercises with the our guard, they could probably give your guards a run for their money, if not win, through fear of what he would do if they lost." Vierna stated before continuing. "And if it shakes him out of his brooding, then yes, Iíll let him go."

"I have something that may just suit his skills. The garrison at the foot of the Dragonís spine Mountains, The autumn raids from the Goln will be soon upon us, while Pathfinder Vaul is a capable warrior in combat, his skills in leadership are somewhat lacking, the Garrison needs to be ready to fight, and I donít think he has the competence to lead such an important campaign." Benelux explained calmly to her sister.

"The Pathfinder is not going to like it." Vierna stated. "But I agree he is only there through the actions of his father, it is too bad some of his leadership qualities did not rub off on Rhistel."

"I agree, but Rhistel doesnít have to like it, if he challenges your husband, I expect him to be put in his place."

"What of Jolanar, you know Rhistel will run whinging to him once Stelam arrives, how do you plan on pacifying him?" Vierna questioned her sister.

"If he values his place on the council then heíll put up and shut up, but I have it on good authority that Jolanar is also tired of Rhistelís incompetence, he was hoping that some responsibility would shape him in to a valued addition of the command elite, but it hasnít happened. Besides I have other ways of pacifying the old man." Benelux smiled.

Vierna hid her smirk by taking a sip from her glass of wine.

"The best magic item is a male lover." Benelux said with a twinkle in her eye and both sisters sighed as they thought of their partners.

Posted at 05:41 pm by JohnnyB
Tell me what you think  

Chapter 2: Proposal.

Chapter 2: Proposal.



Vierna returned from the visit with her sister in a relaxed mood, she hoped Stelam would be receptive to the idea, perhaps she would just put him in a good mood first just to make sure. Slipping unannounced through her palace corridors she found her to the balcony that overlooked the courtyard, the ringing sounds of a mock battle rung out loud and clear as those guards that were not on duty trained with Stelam. Taking a seat she watched as they attacked her husband, his movements were fluid like water personified, as he dodged and weaved around their attacks. She marvelled at his skill, even unarmed he was an awesome sight to behold, his whole body was a weapon waiting to be used, well aimed kicks and punches laid low the guards whoís defences were left open.

The MÍlťe was soon over; soldiers injured in the training were attended too, nothing serious, the padded armour and blunted weapons kept most injuries minor, but accidents did happen, fortunately none happened this day.

Vierna watched adoringly as her husband stripped out of the padded practice leathers, gazing as his coppery skin, she never got tired of this sight, those strong arms that held so much power and could be so deadly, were also soft and gentle, they could strangle a Goln, cradle their infant daughter, or even caress with delicate touch. She shivered with pleasure at the last thought, but knew her own delicate touch was going to be needed to completely convince Stelam to do this task. As he left the court yard she slipped away to draw him a bath.

Stelam returned from the sparing session and headed to his private chambers, upon entering he was greeted cheerfully by Vierna, she sprung up and wrapped her arms around his body, before placing her head again his chest. "Hello husband." She said with melodic voice.

Stelam kissed the top of her head before replying. "Someone missed me. How are you dear heart?"

"I missed you." She said softly, taking a deep breath, inhaling his scent before breathing a happy sigh as he returned her hug. "I have something to ask you." She stated.


"You know how you say you want to be active again, do more than just sparing?" Vierna started to gage his reaction.

"Yes why?" Stelam replied with his own query.

"What if I was to say I could make that happen, even if it was only temporary?" Vierna replied.

"Vierna just spit it out." Stelam replied shortly but his curiosity was peaked.

"How would you like to command the garrison at the foot of the Dragonís spine?" Vierna asked. "Benelux has asked for you specifically."

"No doubt as a result of your prompting." Stelam replied flatly.

"I thought youíd be happy to be out again, this is an important assignment, if I did not think you could do it, I would not have said anything, and if she did not believe me she would not have asked."

"I wish you did not go behind my back and do this, I will accept though." Stelam replied with softer tones reflected in his voice. "For Nuhir and you."

Vierna gave a happy sigh, before kissing one of the scars that lined his otherwise statuesque torso. "My warrior, my champion, my prince, my husband." She whispered losing herself in his deep brown, almost black eyes.

Stelam smiled before shifting his arms slightly and picking her up unexpectedly, Vierna let out a squeal of surprise and joy.

Posted at 05:55 pm by JohnnyB
Tell me what you think  

Chapter 3: Ritual.

Chapter 3: Ritual.



Stelam stood before Vierna; he was bare to the waist wearing only black trousers tucked into high, black leather boots. Vierna ran a long slender finger along his sculpted torso and along each scar that lined his chest with loving care. She picked up the fine spider silk tunic and slipped it onto his body with loving care, starting the ritual dressing of her champion. Stelam then held out his arms, Vierna slipped the engraved braces on his wrist before softly kissing his wedding band for good luck then his hands as a blessing for the fighting to come, before adding the black leather gloves.

Stelam closed his hands into fists, and the stiff leather creaked before folding his arms across his chest. Vierna draped the thin woollen cloak over his shoulders before clasping the pin in front of his neck that kept the cloak in place. Standing on her tiptoes she placed a further kiss on Stelamís lips which was returned just as delicately by him before the final part of the ritual took place.

Vierna reached beside her to the table and removed the blade that lay there, the Sword of a Royal weapons master. Genuflecting before him she held the blade across her open palms and raised them with head bowed in an offering to her husband. Stelam gently took hold of the grip and lifted it respectfully off her hands, as she felt the weight lifted off her hands she stood again before him. Holding the blade before him Stelam offered a salute to his wife before sheathing the blade in its well oiled scabbard. The ritual now over Vierna hugged him tightly. "Come back to me alive my prince."

"I promise my love, death shall not take me yet." Stelam replied softly kissing her forehead.

"Good, I think it is time to go, Benelux is waiting for you."

Stelam didnít reply, he didnít like goodbyes they always seemed so final, so with out another word he led her to the portal chamber where he would be taken to Kilsek palace in Ched-Nesad.

Stelam kissed Vierna one last time before stepping through the portal that would take him to Kilsek Palace, his war chest would be sent through later. A servant met him in the chamber that linked the two palaces and quickly ushered him to Beneluxís private meeting chamber.

Posted at 05:55 pm by JohnnyB
Tell me what you think  

Chapter 4: Before the Queen.

Chapter 4: Before the Queen.


Benelux once again sat in her high backed velvet armchair, the fine porcelain teacup resting in her fingers. "Good morning Stelam, can I offer you some breakfast before we start?" She asked waving her free hand over a tray of fruit, pastries and other breakfast foods.

"Just some spice tea will be fine, Thank you." Stelam replied. "Iíve already eaten"

Benelux smiled and thought to herself Iím sure you have, lucky sister before setting her own teacup down and pouring Stelam the piping hot spice tea. "I suppose you want a little more information on why you are chosen for this task, instead of one of the many capable commanders we have."

Stelam accepted the cup with a respectful bow then sat in the chair opposite Benelux.

That would be appreciated greatly, your majesty." He replied politely.

"Alright then, the commander you will be replacing has a history of intimidation and bullying his senior officers if he doesnít get his way, his father has a seat on the council and was quite a capable leader in his time, So when ever Rhistel doesnít get his way he runs straight to his father." Benelux explained. "I want someone who isnít afraid of Jolanar, and who is outside his sphere of influence."

"That person being me." Stelam replied with a sigh. "I know this game all too well, Iíve had to deal with upstarts like him all through my life, those using the success of their elders to get where they want to go, instead of building their own."

"Good you know the game, so you know how to play." Benelux stated. "Iím going to give you this one last chance to back out, because once you leave those doors you will be in this until the end."

"No, I will see this through, for Vierna, for Nuhir, for you." Stelam said.

Benelux smiled. "I am glad to hear that, you will be there until the first snows of winter. By the time that happens the mountain pass will be blocked and the Goln will no longer be a threat until the spring. Rhistel will try to go over your head, but you work directly for me, donít worry about Jolanar I will keep him pacified. Once he realises that his father can not help him, watch your back, because he may try more subtle measures to remove you."

"I understand, you need not explain that to me. I didnít get to where I was with out knowing the anger signs." Stelam replied as he sipped his tea.

Benelux placed her now empty cup down on the saucer and clapped her hands together. "Excellent! She exclaimed before standing up. "Follow me."

Stelam stood up and followed Benelux out of her sitting chamber and off towards the stables. There was a youngish boy, no more than two decades old saddling up the impressive riding beast for Stelam. "Your mount and your squire." Benelux stated.

The young boy looked to Stelam and bowed respectfully. "Sir, I have your mount ready when you are ready to leave."

"Thank you." Stelam replied politely.

"The reinforcements requested by the Garrison are waiting for you too; they are waiting at the docks." Benelux said.

Stelam bowed to Benelux, before climbing up onto his war horse, his squire did the same and led him out of the stables, through the palace gates and into the streets of Ched-Nesad.

From the palace gates you see across the Ched river valley to the other side of Nesad. The sprawling city had been built on the high sandstone cliffs either side of the wide Ched River that split the city in two, and giving it one of the most impressive ports anywhere in the world. They headed down hill to the docks where a flotilla of barges lined the water front waiting for their cargo or passengers to take them back up the mighty river to the tri-villages of Nithsdale, Chandar and Macot. That was their destination the tri-village Garrison, last stop before Dragonís spine Mountains.

Posted at 05:58 pm by JohnnyB
Tell me what you think  

Chapter 5: First Impressions.

Chapter 5: First Impressions.



Stelam stepped off the barge; he looked around at the largest of the three villages, Macot, It reminded him of the village his family lorded over, not really a village, but a large township, or small city when compared with the other two villages further away from the River Ched. Paved streets, instead of dirt showed that you had entered Macot from the lands surrounding, and all of the major buildings were quarried stone and shingled rooves instead of wood and thatch, even some of the larger more important looking houses were stone.

As the various equipment and belongings were unloaded from the barge Stelam looked around, and surveyed the landscape, the road leading off to the mountains followed the River Ched, and on the other side there was dense forest too thick for any invading force to penetrate without great difficulty, the great trees followed the road past the garrison and into the distance as far as he could see, he was counting on their density. Plans were already forming in his head for defence of the region, there was really only one way in for the enemy and one way for them to go, they would roll up like waves upon the cliffs against his defences.

By the time they arrived at the garrison, twilight had descended upon the land. Stelam headed for the officers mess hall where he hoped to meet the other officers that would be under his command. Stepping in Stelam suddenly found all eyes trained on him, he stopped momentarily looking around at the assembled officers.

Rhistel Vaul stood up and marched towards Stelam, "I donít know who you are, but I think you are in the wrong place Iblith!"

"I know I am in the right place." Stelam replied ignoring the insult from Rhistel. "You must be Rhistel Vaul."

"Yes I am, I command this Garrison, now get out before I have you thrown out." Rhistel huffed.

"Not any more you donít." Stelam replied. "I am taking over, by order of the Queen herself." Stelam handed Rhistel a scroll case with the royal seal embossed on the wax, that had not been tampered with. "For those who donít know who I am, I am Stelam tríRadaik-Kilsek; I am now in command, if you donít like it tough, if you have any thoughts of disobeying my orders or questioning them, Iíll kill you on the spot, I do not need that kind of behaviour." He stated firmly getting their attention.

"Some of you are older than me, two three, perhaps even four times older than I." Stelam said looking towards two richly robed battle mages. "And I am counting on your experience but I wouldnít be here if the Royal family didnít think I could do this, if you have a problem with my appointment here take it up with them." He finished.

No one said anything, the elder officers looked at Stelam with daggers in their eyes but none would dare question Royal orders openly, and defiantly not in front of one so well connected to the Royal family.

Rhistel read over the parchment that had Stelamís orders on it, Stelam could see Rhistelís jaw clench as he read the words that relieved him of command of the Garrison. In a fit of rage he scrunched up the parchment and threw it at Stelamís feet. "I will take this up with the council you canít do this!" He fumed before marching back to his seat. What makes him think he is so great, why the royal family would send an Iblith to command us! He thought as he sat down to eat his evening meal.

Stelam picked up on the thought, shrugged his shoulder and dropped a Kailune into his hand, with one fluid movement his arm lashed out and threw the Kailune towards Rhistel, striking the table between his hands. "Watch your thoughts." He said, all eyes now looking at Stelam with fear, shock or awe.

"Good night Gentlemen, Iíve had a long trip and it is time I retired for the evening." Stelam stated turning on his heal and marching from the mess tent to his own for the evening.

Posted at 06:00 pm by JohnnyB
Tell me what you think  

Next Page