Erath:The Messenger Part 2 by adorety ()
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Alfred of Woodshire was six feet in height. He had brown hair, neatly cut short and a goatee and mustache, in the typical Exador style, adorned his face. Grey, narrow eyes, looked intelligently from his face above weathered cheeks. He wore tough studded leather armor with plated arms and forearm bracers. He was well armed with two swords on his back and curved knife attached to his harness on his front chest. He was handsome, fit and had an unreadable face.
Alfred also had an uncanny ability to read people. He was not magical, nor did he have special abilities or mind reading talents. He just was good at reading people. This had made him a highly valued member of King Ogden's entourage of advisers and ambassadors. When Alfred arrived his six attendants were made to wait in the main entrance foyer of the audience hall, while he was escorted by two guards to his meeting. Alfred was nervous, but one would never know. He was nervous for his men, not himself and for the secret soldiers that were in the streets now getting a feel of the population of Messinia and Messinar in general.
He was guided down a wide and high ceiling hall, but instead of traveling to the main audience chamber, he was guided down a smaller side corridor that ended in a heavy oaken door flanked by guards. His escort left and one of the two guards opened the door and motioned for him to enter. Oddly he was not asked to remove his weapons. This did show a sign of trust, especially since you needed a special permit to carry weapons in the city proper. His royal credentials had allowed for this and his men while moving through the city.
He entered the room and was flanked by two guards and faced an imposing set of four figures before him. Two sat and two stood. Joseph he had met some years ago. The man to Joseph's right was his personal guard and Alfred had made his acquaintance before. The man gave a slight nod in acknowledgment. The other man standing was young and he guessed it must be the man Roland, whose name had become know through his rise to fame in spearheading the course for alliance with Gotodonia. The large seated figure on the far right could only be the Emperor of Gotodonia.
Alarm bells were going off in Alfred's head when he looked at this group. Despite his garb as a benign diviner, to Alfred there was no disguising what was surely a ruthless Emperor of a not so distant continent. In Alfred's mind the sea that separated Tirnerthol from Gotodonia was no longer wide enough.
He made this assessment in a matter of moments while his fists clenched beside him. After a moment he relaxed, bowed in greeting to his hosts, then stood at attention with his hands clasped behind his back.
Joseph addressed the man. 'Hail good Alfred, it is a pleasure to see you again and I hope things are well for your master, King Ogden.'
'Thank you President Joseph. My king expresses the same to you and yours.' Replied Alfred
'So what do we owe this rare visit from Exador's messenger?' Alfred did not miss the dig at being called a messenger.
Without missing a beat Alfred replied. 'The King of Exador is interested in the alliance between Messinar and Gotodonia and wishes to invite the Emperor himself to a visit to Exador. The Emperor may bring a contingent of guards he feels would be proper, so as to establish a trust between all parties. Further, the meeting could take place in the trade hall on Woodshire Bridge as neutral territory.'
Alfred's oufit is a combination of things from Xurge3D and DAZ. His skin is Carter from HandspanStudios, but his face morph I made with the morphing dials. The rest of the crew you should know by now if you've been following the story.
Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy the story. I am busy, but this will have a conclusion at some point.
Image Comments (26)
adorety () 8:10PM | Sun, 27 May 2012
Joseph replied with a loud 'Hah!' as his head tilted back. 'If the King were sincere, he would have come here himself instead of sending a messenger.' Alfred barely scowled and began to open his mouth in a counter reply he was instructed to offer if such a response were given to the invitation. But Jael held up his hand and spoke in his soft, deep and commanding voice. 'My good man Alfred, please tell your King I accept his invitation. I am not here to impose my will and I am happy if we could all meet under open circumstances.' Joseph gave Jael a look, but said nothing. Roland/Kavalla had yet to move or say anything. Alfred was a little surprised and thus a little suspicious. It was clear Joseph was not expecting this response and so it must have been sincere on the Emperor's part. Still looking at Jael, Joseph asked, 'Is that your wish Emperor? It is a long journey to the border of Exador. It could take a few weeks.' 'It is my wish and it will give me a chance to see the countryside of Messinar as well.' Jael smiled. The smile looked warm and sincere to Alfred, but it seemed to hide an insidious evil that was biding its time, waiting to be released. He was bound by his master, King Ogden, though, and accepted Tabor Jael's response as an affirmative. King Ogden wanted to assess this Emperor himself and have Alfred and some of his other talented observers by his side when this occurred. A war with Messinar was one thing. But a war with Messinar and a whole other continent was too much of an unknown. There was no useful intelligence on Gotodonia at all. For years all outside ships were turned away or sunk. 'Very well.' Joseph said. 'Arrangements will be made. When do wish to leave Emperor?' 'Two days from now. My men are always ready. Get the necessary supplies ready in the next day and we will leave in the early morning the following day.' Alfred noticed the man Roland's eyebrow raise at that, but he said nothing. 'That is short notice, but can be done. Very well. Alfred, I expect you and your men to accompany this caravan and Roland here is current liaison for Tabor Jael and Messinar, so he will witness in my stead. I have too much business here to attend to, so I will not be going.' Again Alfred noticed a slight reaction from Roland, but no more. 'Very good Mr. President. Two of my men will ride ahead so preparations can be made for the Emperor's arrival.' Replied Alfred Jael added in. 'Two of my guards will accompany your men, so everything is seen to properly.' Alfred paused, then offered, 'My men ride fast and are quite tireless, I would not want to burden your footsoldiers.' Jael smiled. 'I assure you my men are more than capable on or off a horse.' 'Very good then.' Alfred had no other choice. He smiled, bowed and then left the room. Again he was escorted away and back to his waiting men in the main foyer. As he had left the room he could hear a flurry of conversation erupt, but the walls and door were too thick to hear anything. He had not heard Jael's distinct voice, so it must have been Roland, Joseph and the bodyguard. Alfred talked to his men of what was going on and as he did, two of Jael's guards appeared and said they were here to accompany Alfred's two riders. That was quick, thought Alfred, but convenient. Those four men headed to the stables and Alfred and the rest of his men were escorted to some very comfortable chambers for their two night stay. Alfred did not like any of this. The sooner they got back to Exador, the better.
SidheRoseGraphics () 9:48PM | Sun, 27 May 2012
Hmmm, Alfred seems to be being somewhat thwarted. Then again, it may partially be a 'show' for him - altho it's not really sounding like it. Hard to tell. It will be interesting to see what happens on the journey! As I said, it's great to have you post some more Erath, Art! Been missin' it, but I understand :)
CrownPrince () 12:19AM | Mon, 28 May 2012
Very interesting facial morphs.. And Such an suspenceful image and story!...
flavia49 () 6:32AM | Mon, 28 May 2012
wonderful writing and story!! excellent scenes. Zoom is a must
mikeerson () 7:29AM | Mon, 28 May 2012
lots of reading... it's 6am, I fell asleep in a chair in front of the tv for a few hours, I need to go to bed - I had to skip the reading, sorry... a couple years back I did a story call Bondage - I use to write alot like this - lol... I got complaints I wrote too much.... Ya gotta find a happy medium to where you get everything out that you want to say, but not overwhelm the viewer - just some thoughts.... cool image, kinda has a Conan or Crow feel to it.
FaeMoon () 12:11PM | Mon, 28 May 2012
Pay no attention to Mikeerson. Some of us have longer attention spans. LOL I love the story and the flow of the dialogue is really good, Art. Very super render and I really like the angle you chose to show the guys up on the dias. I like the morph and outfit, you did a good job of mixing and matching armors to make something unique!
RodS () 5:03PM | Mon, 28 May 2012
An engaging story and excellent render, Art! Like Alfred, I'm thinking there's a whole different world awaiting the chance to emerge in Jael's persona. It only needs the right moment and circumstances.
vitachick () 4:30AM | Wed, 30 May 2012
Great job with the story and render! Your writting skills are outstanding.
KnightWolverine () 8:45AM | Thu, 31 May 2012
Captivating scene layout and reading with this particular installment Arthur....Most Enlightening!...(smiles)...
brewgirlca () 12:02AM | Sun, 03 June 2012
Well done. I know you will ignore Mikerson so no need to say more. I am glad to see you have recaptured your energy to continue the saga.