Peace Talks

The cold bit his nose as he stood in the center of the blizzard that had raged on for centuries- that would perhaps rage on for centuries more. That would all depend on the pride in which he would hold during their negotiations.

He faced forwards, despite the wind that buffeted his face. It would do nothing to turn away. To meet his adversary in any other manner would be unfitting for him.

His lungs tensed as he breathed in, drawing on every muscle in his chest. Before he exhaled, a gulp settled into his throat.

“My lord, what is on your mind?” His attendant, gently touching his elbow. “Are you in need of anything?”

It was easy to shrug off such a feeble man- the attendant had been serving his family for as long as long as the fae had ruled. To conquer his nagging he would need more than a cold shoulder.

“I’m more than capable of caring for myself, attendant.” He muttered under his breath, jutting his chin out ever so slightly. “Perhaps you could stop mothering me and spend your time better, be of use to us.”

There was an icy pause between them. The attendant nodded dejectedly after long moments filled with wind and snow.

“My apologies, your majesty.” He lowered his head. “I did not mean to suggest that your majesty is in need of a caretaker- I simply meant to suggest that if you cannot find peace within your mind, you may find it in the world around you.”

“I need no advice from a weathered old man. If you wish to stay by my side, you best be quiet.” He sniped, huffing out a breath. “Look alive, attendant. Our opponent has arrived.”

From across the field, a small orb emerged from the darkness of the blizzard. A golden shell encased a party of brightly-clothed individuals, holding staffs and crooks. So much for a passive approach.

As they grew closer, one member of the party came to the front- a tall, heavily muscled man with a grin like cracked pepper on his face as he looked between his subordinates.

One of his hands rested on the shoulder of a younger, more gangly woman who seemed to be intently listening to everything he was saying- one of the wizard’s own attendants, he could only assume.

“-you can’t really trust any of it, y’know. They’d do something like that.” A laugh erupted from that. “Really, they would. You gotta keep your wits about you.”

Their conversation trickled to a stop as more and more of the party saw him listening. It was odd that despite centuries of keeping the kingdom of fae contained in this prison, they still forgot their capabilities.

The leader of the group cleared his throat, in what he was sure was an attempt to cover the group’s sudden coyness.

“Wonderful weather out here, your majesty.”

“Yes, thank you for that.” He glared daggers into the man in front of him, and seeing him stumble for half a second filled him with a new energy. “And I suppose the handful of you are Magistus?”

The man looked between the members of his group for a moment, as if he had forgotten who was by his side. Then, a simple nod.

“Very well.” He stood up a little taller. “Would you care to head in, then?“

A few of the younger members of the group stepped forwards, only to be stopped by their leader. He tilted his head at him slightly, before clearing his throat.

“We agreed that neither parties would use magic, didn’t we? If you’re not holding to your promises, we should reexamine how much we all want to be here.”

It was difficult to suppress a scoff or an eyeroll. A fool, to make such criticisms of him while showing such disrespect. If he had free reign, every one of the sorcerers would be in his goal in a second.

His advisors closed closer to his side as the majoris spoke, taking a protective stance. At least he could instill some fear for that.

“Yes, my apologies.” His tone turned from a dull knife to a gleaming axe. “Then it would be best to start negotiations. Before anyone does anything- foolish.”

In a moment, a sigil flared on the icy ground between them. The glass domes that he often used in his crafts work formed around them. Both sat, crosslegged, and a feeling of dread ran through him.

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