CHAPTER 2.11 - LORD CROSSTENMARCH'S STUDY

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CHAPTER 2.11 - LORD CROSSTENMARCH'S STUDY

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:12 pm

Wulfram is seated comfortably in the study in a plush armchair facing Lord Viktor Crosstenmarch. The study is lit dimly, by candlelight and also by the warm glow of a roaring fire, set within the massive stone fire place. The room imparts a sense of antiquity. Above the fire place, upon the thick stone mantle piece, rests the blessed pure silver sword.

Wulfram feels the blade's presence and knows that any contact would be harmful to him. It radiate warning, not malice. But the feeling does not last long and it does easily subside.

The tall man servant offers mulled wine which Viktor and Wulfram both accept. Viktor stares towards the fire place and Wulfram senses that his thoughts are elsewhere and perhaps not very focused.

"So how well do you think Viktoria is, really?" Viktor asks.

"..." Wulfram is unsure of what to say. Viktor simply keeps talking.

"I think Viktoria is truly better, but afflicted all the same and that fact will not be changing. You have helped her and I am most grateful for that, as will be our people."

Wulfram senses that Viktor is truthful, then says "Thank you. You asked for help and I gave it. Forgive me, but it seems that something here is not quite right."

"I'm a little confused when you say that - what do you mean?" Viktor asks him, suddenly serious and looking at Wulfram intently.

Wulfram regards him sternly and says "In your strictest confidence, by our oath?"

"Agreed. Speak your mind. Tell me your troubles."

"I sense your wife was intrigued by me, because of what I am. She may wish to share something that she will not share with her husband. I need you to tell me what you might know of that Madenstadt family."

"Go on," Viktor says.

"I understand you wish to protect your wife. Perhaps, in the past, this has been respected. I need to know about that family because I am willing to go and destroy them. Why did this happen to you and her when you are surrounded by so much power?"

Lord Crosstenmarch turns away and gazes longingly into the flickering light of the fire. He appears wistful, lost in thought and is not speaking. Then a single tear trickles down his face, on the side closest to Wulfram.

The silence is awkward and uncomfortable. Wulfram is unsure of Viktor's mind. Is he disconnected, or is he 'waiting' for an answer? Neither speaks to the other for at least two minutes.

Wulfram stands and says "I am no threat to you, unless you are a threat to Haastenmord's people."

Viktor then rises and faces Wulfram, open handed. "You have nothing to fear of me, Wulfram, for the true evil we are all facing is the influence of the Madenstadts. I have vowed to protect Haastenmoord and all its people, even the strangers who come and join us. You are one of us now and so therefore you are equally under my protection."

"Then tell me more of the Madenstadts, Viktor. Let me help you."

"The Madenstadts have always been there. They are an old family and my own family has faced them before in the Old World. They are my enemy." Viktor says, his eyes narrowing. "There is nothing more to say of that."

"I see-" Wulfram says, sensing Viktor's strong reluctnace to be more forthcoming with information.

"-there is nothing more to say of that." Viktor states quite firmly. Then, his eyes soften and he says "Viktoria is safe now and you good help made that possible."

Wulfram takes his leave and makes plans to see the Aranberghs. He returns to his lodgings to gather his leathers and equipment for the day.
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