Lack Of Ambition


Max.jpg Kelarad.jpg Lord Elisser (NPC'd by Jaya), Lady Garnalla (NPC'd by Max), Crawl (NPC), Lawson (NPC'd by Max)

Date: April 12, 2011
Location: Chambers, Tillek Hold
Synopsis: Max and Kelarad ambush the Lady Tillek and the Lord Holder's brother as planned. Max gains his daughter while Kelarad gains a new fighter.
Rating: PG-18 for violence and language
Logger: Jaya

Tillek Hold

It's late at night. Far outside the confines of the Hold proper, Kelarad squints up at the sky to check the position of the pale moon. The way he was estimating, he was certain the Lord and Lady of the Hold had retired to their chambers - or maybe, the Lady had slipped into the bed of her current paramour. He holds the reins of his runner next to his second in command, Crawl, scanning the fireheights to watch the watchrider perched there. Everything was silent, unassuming.


He and Max planned to storm the Hold. It was to be quiet-like - Max with his contacts within the Hold, along with his own, getting them passed the watchrider and the guards and up into the Lord and Lady's chambers with little fanfare. The key was to pull it off without rousing any of the Hold's residents - something that might prove hard to do considering that there are those that find this time of night to be the most active about the Hold. Kelarad couldn't do anything about that probability. He was hoping that the whole thing pulled off smoothly enough so that those in his territory and beyond would realize that he - Kelarad of Tillek - was even a force to be reckoned with if he could shake up prominent Lord Holders. It was a prestige that could land him in trouble, but he had the means to quell that too.

It being discussed days previous, the plan was for Max to get his baby out before they stormed in and dragged the Lady Tillek with the Lord Holder's brother away. Then with Lord Elisser, they would exile both to parts unknown, freeing the Lord from the treacherous woman - and allowing Kelarad to perhaps move in one of his own people to be the next Lady Tillek. He just had to get past this night first. "Any moment now and we'll get the signal we're looking for," he mutters to his second, moving to mount the runner and be ready to play the outraged crimelord coming to the aid of a Lord Holder in his confidence. If they had any luck on their side, they would find the Lady Garnalla in the throes of bliss with Lord Elisser's brother as they had gathered.

It being discussed days previous, the plan was for Max to get his baby out before they stormed in and dragged the Lady Tillek with the Lord Holder's brother away. Then with Lord Elisser, they would exile both to parts unknown, freeing the Lord from the treacherous woman - and allowing Kelarad to perhaps move in one of his own people to be the next Lady Tillek. He just had to get past this night first. "Any moment now and we'll get the signal we're looking for," he mutters to his second, moving to mount the runner and be ready to play the outraged crimelord coming to the aid of a Lord Holder in his confidence. If they had any luck on their side, they would find the Lady Garnalla in the throes of bliss with Lord Elisser's brother as they had gathered.

Everything had been planned down to the last detail, Max having gone over the plan again and again over the last few days in a bid to satisfy himself that they had all their bases covered and yet…he was still on edge, his tension transferring to the runner beneath him, causing it to fidget and champ at the bit. His gaze followed Kelarad’s to the moons as if searching the dark skies above for something, a breath of air escaping in a silent sigh before lips pressed into a tight line and he banished such thoughts from mind. It was a dark sneer that twisted about his features next, relishing the idea of finally getting his chance to pay Garnalla back for all that she’d put both him and Little Bit through. Little Bit…his heart contracted and dread shot through him. What if it went wrong, what if she…? No, that was one rabbit hole he daren’t go down. Not if he was to be of any use to her or her stand-in father, Lord Elisser.

As Kelarad mounts up, the soft sound of hooves plodding through the undergrowth can be heard and then Waine emerges from around a bush, chewing on a stick of grass, apparently taking his own sweet time. “S’all set up, boss,” he drawls reining his mount in next to Max, giving a nod of head the way of the Tillekian pair. Just then a light blinks on and off three times down below, the signal they’d been waiting for and the southerner shoots Kelarad a look. “Time to pay the harper,” he states grimly and then with a nudge of heels to the runner’s sides he sets off down the trail heading to the side entrance of the Hold, their way in.

With both Crawl and Kelarad returning the nod, the pair appearing more at ease than Max does since they really had more to gain from this than lose, all it takes is that blinking signal to shift them to action. Passing Max a smile of cold intent, Kelarad rumbles off with his runner along with his second close behind, trailing catching up to Max in order to show the Hold – or at least those that happen to be catching an eyeful of them – a wall of threat. Playing angry was easy for the crimelord of Tillek, reaching the side entrance to slow his runner down and then dismounting with jerky movements before his mount even comes to a complete stop. Not watching what the others do, he storms through the doorway, passed the person that flashed the signal in the first place, and up the stairs that would lead to the upper corridors. So far there was no opposition, and that was good – he had his people bribe enough of the guards to lax their duties only until the last moment, which was when they all went in to lay claim on the Lady Tillek. Expecting Max to be at his side, he abrupt pauses his steps and turns back to mutter low, “The child first, correct?” he asks, stepping aside to plant himself here before the connecting door that opened to the corridor. “Me and Crawl will wait here until you get her out, and then come get us.” The rescue of the child was not his part in this, but he was going to watch guard of the side entrance for him to make the quick escape. Crawl was by him always, not asking questions or speaking at all as he checks the knife hidden at his side.

Boots hit the ground and Max’s hand drops to the scabbard at his side, a sword not usually his weapon of choice but given the training of Hold guards, he wasn’t about to take a knife to a swordfight, neither was he taking any chances with the guards bribed by the Tillekian. With Waine but a pace or two behind him, Max stops when Kelarad does and gives a grim nod of confirmation and then beckons his second forward, “Waine, see to it.” The burly second gives a curt nod and heads off down the darkened corridor on his own, it having been decided between the southern crimelord and his second that the former would stay clear of the child until everything was said done. Squinting through the dark, Max hovers long enough to see Waine re-emerge from the room he’d entered with Elia carrying a small blanket wrapped form, at his side. There’s a split second where his gaze locks onto that bundle and then he swallows hard and tears his attention away, tipping his head in the direction of the corridor that leads toward the Lord and Lady’s private chambers.

When Max moves passed him, Kelarad nods to Crawl to take up guard of the door. This allowed Crawl to watch Max and Waine as they move in to take out Elia and the child, his eyes moving for any sign of guards that suddenly decide to change their minds. Seeing Waine emerge, “So far, so good,” Kelarad murmurs close to Max, his own gaze now trained on the private chambers. “If we’re lucky, we’ll catch the Lady Tillek out of Elisser’s bed and into the bed of another – if we’re to believe our sources.” He was hoping that this night would be one of those nights. With Elia and the bundle disappearing, it was his turn to move. He nods to Max, hand falling on his hidden knife as he steps lightly into the corridor. He was relying on Max to lead him to the proper room – either the brother’s room or Lord Elisser’s chamber himself – with Crawl flanking close behind. This was the element of surprise, meaning the element of silence – Kelarad unnecessarily puts one finger to his lips before they amble along, nodding to Max to creep over and check the Lord’s room first. If they were lucky, Elisser would be asleep – alone. If so, the crimelord was planning to quietly wake him for his joining them to lay bust on his wife was crucial.

As Waine and Elia pass by, despite every part of his being screaming at him to do otherwise, Max very firmly turns his back on them and focuses on Kelarad instead, mouth twisting about a dark line as he grunts, “That was the easy bit.” Easy so long as Little Bit doesn’t cry out before her liberators are clear of the Hold that is. Leading the way down the darkened corridor, Elia having lidded all the glows save one beforehand, the southerner sends a wryly disparaging look Kelarad’s way for the finger to mouth gesture he gives, he in turn giving the Tillekian the finger with a dark smirk attached and then he’s reaching for the door handle, his other hand resting on the hilt of the sword, unsure of what he’s likely to find behind the closed door.

Easy bit indeed. Kelarad can’t help the small smirk sent Crawl’s way before he follows along, catching the return finger gesture from Max would have had a novice thrown into a fit of guffaws. Yeah, that’s exactly what he needs to throw this whole thing out of the water. Now at the door, he can feel his second tense beside him, but he does not. It was the moment he was waiting for, his eyes hard on the door to Lord Elisser’s chamber as he waits for Max to be the first one through. Once he is, they would find the elaborate room quiet and a bed made up where it should be messy. Elisser would be standing by the map tacked to his wall with hands clasped behind him until the sound of hid door being opened draws his attention away. There’s no Lady Garnalla in sight. “She’s been gone for hours,” he’ll speak in a hush tone, but one can’t be mistaken of the underlying authority and anger found there regardless. Crossing his room to meet them, eyes first on Max before taking in the Tillekian crimelord behind, “We’ll find her in my brother’s room, no doubt.” He could have cursed that woman to the skies if he was a lesser man, but even in this informal scenario he is maintaining his decorum. “Then we must make haste,” Kelarad puts in then with Crawl looking out the door in the case for guards. “The smallest misstep will alert them.” – “I am far too in this to mess it up,” Lord Elisser put in, moving to stand by them in ready. Jaw tightens on what he’s about to do on the woman he still grudgingly loves, eyes meeting Max’s with a sharp nod and a cold, “I’m ready.”

Just as well none of them are novices then. Crossing the threshold into a room unfamiliar to him despite his time spent at Tillek, Max stops short, his dark gaze taking in the made up bed and the distinguished gentleman standing dressed and at the ready. “My Lord,” the southerner gives with a faint dip of head, the words uttered in a low tone. There are some things that are just that deeply ingrained in the once stable manager, son of a Weyrsecond, now crimelord, such as affording the Lord the respect he deserves. Features harden a faint sneer touches his mouth when Elisser gives comment on his Lady having been gone for a while already. “Your…my…” a brief frown flickers in and out and he tries again, “the child has been taken to safety.” He reassures and then turns away, taking his awkwardness for the situation with him and gives a grim nod of head to where they might find the woman in question. Dark eyes meet the pale blue of the older man and in that instant, Max can almost identify with the older man. “Let’s get this over with then,” and without further word he leads the small group back down the corridor, coming to a halt outside of a door about midway down. There he stops and taking a step back sends a look Lord Elisser’s way, offering him the dubious honour of announcing their presence in any way he sees fit, his eyes then flicking passed the older man to land on Kelarad, a cold smirk darkened with relish touching onto his northern counterpart.

With Max affording him the proper title where Kelarad does not (which was expected), "Good," Lord Elisser gives crisply to the child being removed. "She does not need to see or be a part of this…this…" He could not go on. Turning from him to recover, he follows Max and Kelarad out, a determined glint in his eyes. Kelarad for his part remains silent, watching the exchange with a calculated air of one that was filing things away for later. Once out in the corridor, he nods for his second to proceed him and check to make sure that they still had the element of surprise. They all reach the door, silently, the crimelord noting the elegant carving of the rich door at that moment before catching the look Max sends the Lord Holder's way. He meets Max's gaze with a barely perceptible nod, and then Elisser is grabbing hold of the doorknob, twisting, and pushing it forward with such force that releasing the door would cause it to slam against the wall. Though the threshold is not wide enough for all the men to get through at once, Lord Tillek and Max would easily see that Lady Garnalla and his brother are on the bed, quite in the throes of their lovemaking session when the sounds from the entrance cause them sit up in shock - clearly naked.

It will be a while before Waine’s back from seeing Elia and Little Bit off and as such Max has only Kelarad, Crawl and the Lord himself to rely on for back up at the moment. As Elisser reaches for the doorknob, dark eyes sweep up and down the corridor, piercing the shadows, checking for the presence of any others that may be lurking. When the door slams open and the Lord steps through, Max is right behind him, sword half drawn, his gaze sweeping the room and then landing on the two tangled about each other on the bed. Slowly but surely a sinister smirk twists into place as his dark regard fixes to the raven-haired woman.

Garnalla had personally delivered her Lord his wine that evening, wine laced with enough fellis to put a watch-wher down for a seven and so it’s with a squeal of fright and outright shock that she scrambles away from Lawson when the door crashes open so abruptly, leaving the younger Lord blinking owlishly up at the intruders for a moment or two before an indolent smirk creases his handsome features.

Pale blue eyes ringed with fear snap first to Elisser and then dart passed him and land on…. “Lomaxin,” the name hisses out, foreboding starting to coil in the pit of her stomach as she snatches up a piece of the quilt in an attempt to cover herself. Recovering herself quickly raven locks are tossed back over a shoulder and Garnalla takes on a haughty air, as if she weren’t quite literally just caught in the act. “What is the meaning of this?” her tone imperious.

With Max half-drawing his sword, Kelarad and Crawl are doing the same once they file into the chambers. Eyes fall on the two people tangled in sheets, the crimelord carrying a small leery grin on his face. Lord Elisser, however, is not smiling. His eyes linger on his own brother rather than his wife, catching that indolent smile with simmering rage. Of all the things he’s done for his brother… “Garnalla,” he breathes the name when the Lady Tillek speaks Max’s own, trying to draw her attention to him. He will deal with Lawson later. “What is the meaning of this?” He turns her own question on her, throwing an imperious gesture towards the two of them still in bed. “Have you no shame? To act like a land-running harlot-“ – “Now there’s no need to call names,” Kelarad interrupts smoothly, fanning out in his position to see the pair better with his hand still on his concealed knife. “Even harlots behave better.” Bristling, “You drugged me,” he tosses the accusation Lady Garnalla’s way, his large finger pointing at her. “You drugged me like some wet-eared youngster that got knocked over by a whore in a tavern!” There’s injured pride in his eyes – to be shafted like this by his own wife, and to do so with a close relative of his! He could already see the rumors spreading to all the Holds, and he was certain Lord Ameris of Bitra would get a kick out of it. He’s been trying to catch the ‘high and mighty’ Lord Elisser in some sort of downgrading scandal for turns. Perhaps that was why he was more angry at this situation than hurt. A lesser man would have easily washed his hands of the woman otherwise. He stands there with two crimelords and a second, waiting to hear what the Lady Tillek had to say for herself for this ludicrous behavior.

Lawson is anything but perturbed, or so it would seem, and returns his brother’s look through a glimmer of a smirk, “Brother.” Swinging his legs over the edge of the bed he starts searching about for trousers long since discarded. Garnalla’s chin goes up and she draws the sheets closer about herself, she remaining exactly where she is, a cold mantle of scorn now in place but before she can answer Lawson cuts in as he hauls his trousers on, “Just performing my duties to the Hold, brother.” Offhand.

As to the charges of drugging her Lord, the raven-haired woman’s lips curve around a self-satisfied smirk that then melts behind a picture of innocence as she leaves the rumpled bed and dragging the sheet behind her approaches Elisser, ignoring the other men in the room for now save for a coquettish brush of eyes over Kelarad. She’ll even go so far as to try laying a hand palm flat against the Lord’s chest. “You work so hard,” she purrs looking up at him with pale blue eyes rounded with feigned concern, “I was merely ensuring you got the rest you need my Lord.” Yeah, that’s way she’d taken his brother as a lover? To afford the man his rest?

Max having watched the tableau unfold in heavy silence, takes a half step back as the Lady approaches, as if she were pure poison that might by her very presence, contaminate him. Speaking of which, eyes as cold and dark as Between fix to the woman as she tries to plead her case, and his words are spoken low in the dimly lit chamber, “How answer you to having tried to poison your Lord, hmm? Was that also to try and ensure he got his ‘rest’?” More like eternal rest if Elia and Lazerne hadn’t discovered what Garnalla had been up to and been providing Elisser with alternate meals.

“You will address me as Lord of this Hold,” Elisser says stiffly to his own brother, the man having now clearly lost his familiar status with him. It was necessary for what he was about to do this day. They all watched Lawson get up from the bed, but it’s Garnalla’s response that draws attention right back. Kelarad was the only one to the side that wasn’t looking digusted by the Lady’s behavior. In his estimation, and by the slight cunning look on his face, one can tell he thought this behavior was expected from women – and those close to him would know how high his opinion is of women in general, anyway. Lord Tillek says nothing when she speaks, visibly bristling with indignation by such wanton response. Then she gets out of the bed and approaches him, the man doing all he can to stay rooted to one spot when in reality he wanted to leave. When she places her palm flat against his chest, he stiffens, and Kelarad’s mouth twists with mirth. Breathing hard after letting the silence linger in the room longer than it should, “For you to display this dirty charm on me now, in front of strangers in this chamber, is quite telling,” Lord Elisser tells her coldly in a carefully level voice. “A mere kitchen maid would have lied to the charges put against her, but you…” and now he takes a deliberate step back, separating herself and her hand from his body. He looks at her as if the very thought of her just touching him was sickening. Clearly he was not falling for it, and the fact that he would treat her in this way in front of renegade leaders could be taken as high insult to her status. Then Max speaks the question and it tightens Elisser’s jaw, but it’s Kelarad that seems to answer. “Is it not the way of women to be duplicitous like this? To squander away their highly-esteemed positions on the mere account of spreading their legs to a hard rod?” Trust the crimelord of Tillek to turn a crass comment, but it was deliberately spoken to let those holders in the room know that they were not among civilized folks. Lord Tillek flushes at the content of the remark, but says nothing.

Lawson cocks a brow at the reprimand and then shrugs broad shoulders, seemingly unperturbed. “I will address you as I please; you are Lord simply by the happenstance of having wormed your way out of our mother’s womb a few turns ahead of me.” The younger Holder lacking in the niceties of social etiquette and eloquence that Elisser wears as naturally as the hair on his head. And then as he meanders about the room trying to find his shirt he catches Kelarad’s expression passing a low spoken comment to the Tillekian crimelord as if to try and get him on his side, “All this over a bit of ass. Seems quite ridiculous really.” Making light of what’s really at play, that being his making a bid for his brother’s title, which would be viewed just as badly if it were to happen amongst renegade brothers.

Garnalla initially takes Elisser holding his place as his being compliant and falling for her silvery words. So when he says what he does and in front of the other men as he steps away from her a complete change comes over the raven-haired beauty. Eyes narrow to pale slits from out of a cold and brittle visage. “If you were half the man I thought you were perhaps I wouldn’t have needed to supplement your…lack,” her icy gaze dropping pointedly to the Lord’s crotch before touching onto the southerner standing at his side, a cold smirk forming, “with those creatures no better than the porcine and runner dung they shovel for a living.” That last levelled directly at Max. Realizing the game was up she now seeks to cut even deeper as her lips curl back in a sneer, seeking to set Lord against former employee. “That…thing you so readily call daughter,” pale eyes drift back to the Lord, “was never yours but instead sprang from the loins of the man who now so readily stands at your side against me.” This has the effect of Max’s sword coming fully free of its sheath; his face contorted in a mask of savage fury and hatred as her barbs hit their mark and cause the desired effect, telling in the cold little smile of triumph laced with cunning that the woman now wears.

Kelarad’s words however, those have her turning her pale eyed gaze onto him and she saunters a step toward him, putting a haughty flow of eyes over the man, “And just exactly who would you be, hmm? One of his little stable boys?” Pretty head cocked to one side, before an entirely seductive smile wraps about her sensual mouth, “If you’re a good boy, I’ll let you stay and play with…my runners. I’m sure we could have a whooole lot of fun riding together.” Then her voice suddenly lifts and she calls out with more power than likely expected from such a delicately carved creature, “Guards!!”

Frowning heavily, “Father is turning over in his grave for this insolence you pay me,” Lord Elisser seethes through tight lips, trying to hide his shock at being spoken to in this way. “And do not bring our mother into this! You shame her with your presence tonite.” Lawson’s comment to Kelarad, however, has the effect of causing the Lord to take a step forward as if he had every intention of throttling his brother. Kelarad is less touchy, however. The passing comment draws an easy smirk, roguish in its intent before answering with, “Some would say the same thing in your direction. Surely there was an easier way to getting your brother out of the way without sorting to methods a woman would use.” A veiled insult, if one will, the crimelord as steady in tone as he is in his posture. He had no love lost for holders when the majority had an entitlement complex. Lawson was no better to him. Garnalla has their attention now, with Lord Tillek taking her sudden change in stride. Her insulting his physique garners no response from him, his face turning into a stone mask. He was not going to dignify that insult with an answer. However, the next that was directed at both him and Max seems to slap him hard across the face. He blinks, looking first to Max in time to catch him pulling his sword. Immediately, a hand whips out to land on the southern crimelord’s chest to stall him in the case he moves forward. If succeeding, he pins a hard look onto Max and demands, “What is she talking about? What is this about my daughter?” Kelarad and Crawl are already stiffening their postures, expecting a fight to ensue now between Lord and crimelord. The fact that both expressions does not register shock at this tells the Lord that this was expected news. Stepping forward towards Lord Tillek to diffuse the situation, “This is not the reason we are here,” Kelarad warns Elisser, but keeps his warning gaze on Max to catch his attention. Looking at Elisser then, “We will discuss this later.” Lady Garnalla then draws his attention away when she approaches, her words drawing a cold smile for the tone she takes with him. Drawing himself to his full height before her with a practice eye falling over her form, “I am the crimelord of this territory,” he answers in a condescending tone. “If you’re a good girl, you might walk out of this Hold with your life.” Of course he seems to be ignoring that call for guards, but his second isn’t. Crawl throws a look towards the door, his knife now unsheathed as he waits for the inevitable.

Lawson, ever the black sheep of the family merely utters a snort, far from intimidated by his elder sibling despite the title he bears, not even backing up as Elisser takes a step toward, simply holding the man with an arrogant and challenging lift of brow. The insult coming from Kelarad draws a brief flash of anger to cloud handsome features, the easygoing demeanour stripped away and then a slow smirk slides into place, “Easier perhaps but…” eyes slide Garnalla’s way, “not nearly as satisfying. Besides, what is a Lord without a male heir to continue his line?” His gaze landing squarely on his brother as he lays open claim to both title and son.

Garnalla fairly gloats as yet again, her words find their mark and the Lord looks to turn on his former employee. Max glances down at that staying hand set against his chest and then looks up and blanches when he realizes that he must have somehow misunderstood the contents of the Lord’s missive to him with regards to knowing about his daughter. As such his mouth opens and closes but no words come out and then he shakes his head in bewilderment, “My Lord…I had assumed that when you spoke of knowing of my daughter that you knew that…” and there he halts sending Kelarad a look of extreme discomfort when he steps forward. Perhaps it’s the poisons that have clogged the Lord’s mind or he’s mistaken the child of the cook of around the same age, whom he was known to be fond of, for being that of his former employee. Either way, Max is sent to silence, his frown heavy as his gaze narrows onto Garnalla watching the conniving bitch go on to try and flirt her way around the Tillekian crimelord.

The crimelord of the territory, he says? That stops the Lady short but does little to wipe the smirk off her face. “A pity, you’ll never know what you’re missing out on.” And then she lifts her chin and her attention turns toward the door and the sounds of at least four pairs of boots coming up the stairs.

Kelarad is not daunted. “And you canines call us the uncivilized ones,” he notes to Lawson’s return, frowning and shaking his head. “You don’t turn against your brother. Even if dragons were to fall from the sky.”The last barb, another one in kind now from his own brother, has Lord Elisser dropping coldly, “If you were so concerned about the line of this family dying out, then perhaps you were better off finding a better way of having me killed. All the same, this Hold is not your own. It was granted to me.” Possession strong in his voice, he looks hard at his brother as if daring him to challenge him openly into an altercation. And all the same, the look he sends Max is belying a plead - his indignation towards him being a ruse as he deliberately states for Garnalla’s benefit, “I guessed. Now I know. It’s good to have it confirmed. But he is right,” and he indicates Kelarad. Turning towards his wife, “We will discuss this later.” He lets a stony edge enter his tone as he says it with a steely gaze, continuing to play the part of an angry father finding out that his daughter was not his just now. Kelarad, for his part, is letting his gaze linger on Garnalla in the meantime to gauge her reaction. He takes a step back towards the door when Crawl touches his arm and sends him a meaningful look. “Unless we were planning to fight our way out…” he notes to those present, returning Crawl’s look before turning on the Lady Tillek. To her own last there’s a smirk, though it loses much of his warmth. “I don’t like my women to be the hold’s wheel,” he drops in return, the crass comment a practical slap to her face. He nods now towards Crawl, ordering him with “Take them.” He’s moving towards Garnalla now with full intention of dragging her out of the Hold naked if it comes to that. The nod to Crawl was meant for him to go seize Lawson. Eyes on them both with that cold smile of his, “If we have to fight our way out of here, then it’s only gracious for you two to participate.” Yes, Kelarad is that cruel, but then, he’s a renegade. He’s not brokering any arguments with Lord Tillek nor Max on the matter, either.

If Lawson had his sword at hand, you can believe its blade would now be laid flat against Kelarad’s throat for what he views as the man’s continued impudence. Instead having finally found his shirt he slips it over his head and sets the crimelord with a dark smirk, “Keep talking, renegade, for the longer you do, the shorter the rope on your noose.” Nevermind that they’re the ones with weapons and he not, for he seems to be putting his faith in those guards just called upon. Elisser is given a disdainful look, “You never were one to appreciate the subtlety of things, brother.”

There comes a subtle shift in Max’s expression as he catches the Lord’s look, his chin going up as he in turn sets the older man with a defiant look in keeping with the ruse concocted now that he’s caught on. The tip of a pink tongue peeks out and sweeps across Garnalla’s lower lip in anticipation as the two seem set to fall for her trap and stand off against each other. That is until Elisser declares the matter to be discussed later. Irritation flares and is then chased by outright shock as Kelarad gives the order and moves toward her. “Don’t you dare! Get your hands off me you slithering excuse for a tunnelsnake!” Indignation pitches her tone upward as the crimelord grabs a hold of her, the sheet already starting to slip as she struggles, “You’ll live to regret this Elisser! Mark my words I am not done with you yet!” she spits. Lawson starts to back up as Crawl approaches, eyes darting about the room, trying to find where he’d discarded his belt knife. And as to Max? He wears a dark grin of relish, revelling in Garnalla’s discomfort, “Havin’ fun darlin’?” Clearly not caring one iota that Kelarad plans to use the woman as a human shield. And then his attention is to the door, standing just out of line of sight as the four men come rushing in lead by none other than his man, Lazerne.

“If you think your words are meeting any purchase with me,” Kelarad tosses back undaunted, his self-assuredness present in his words, “then you clearly have no clue the lengths a renegade will go to achieve an end.” – “It is you who do not appreciate the subtlety of things, my poor brother,” Lord Elisser tacks on behind the crimelord’s words, finally letting some true sadness enter his tone. He was harboring his weariness with this whole matter for a long time now, and now he was letting some of it show. Shaking his head slowly, “Truly you must have known something like this would not have worked, that I have a lot of powerful friends and informants on my side,” and there’s an imperceptible nod in the direction of those flanking him without taking his eyes off of Lawson. At that moment Kelarad has Lady Garnalla by the arm as she shrieks, the man ignoring her as she hurls insults his way. “I can see the appeal of her now,” he drawls openly for all to hear, the only one seeming to find humor in this grim scene. “Feisty without the youth.” He can hurl veiled insults right back, and as he starts to tug her firmly towards the entrance as she spits at Lord Tillek, her husband’s resolve that seemed to wither now tightens back up. He’s the only one not making any moves, seeming to care less that there were guards coming to stop them. He looks on at her in silence before finally answering her with a grave, “But I am done with you, Garnalla.” There’s tired tint to his tone now, as if what he has to say now was going to age him before their very eyes. Pulling himself to his full height and speaking over the sounds of running boots, “Lady Garnalla, you are hereby exiled from this Hold. You are no longer to use the title of Lady Holder to those of your peers, nor will they refer to you in such a deference. The crimelord of Tillek will mete out your proper punishment for the wicked ways you instituted in this civilized land. Since you used methods befitting a tunnelsnake in heat to cause me grief, I have no choice to but to do the same.” Turning stiffly and nodding towards Kelarad, “You are now his to be dealt with,” he states, meeting her gaze, and then adding in clear dismissal of her to Kelarad, “I do not care what you do to her, sir, but I do not want to see her presence in Tillek ever again.” In response, Kelarad tugs on her forcibly, the smile one of pure malice as he inclines his head briefly and answers back, “It would be a pleasure, Lord Tillek.” Sure, dispense titles now to show they were a united front. While he tries to pull her out of the room, Lord Elisser finally turns back on his brother and declares, “As for you, brother, you as well are now hereby banished from this Hold, and this territory. Since you, like she, have ingratiated yourself to means befitting renegades, then I find it fitting that renegades should be the ones to deal with you.” Turning to nods towards Max, “Max and Kelarad will mete out your reward, as much as it pains me.” Lazerne and the guards arrive then, blocking Kelarad and Garnalla from leaving. Crawl, recognizing Lazerne instantly, “This tunnelsnake’s betrayed us!” he shouts to those at large before he lunges with his knife.

“And just what,” Lawson gives back to Kelarad pointedly, “is it that you hope to gain in this, hmm? Marks? A place at the Lord’s table on high days and holidays?” Sardonic to the last until Elisser speaks on the renegades at his sides and a cold smile falls into place, “Why brother, there may be hope for yet.” Unable to find his knife belt, his eyes fall on a discarded bottle of wine and he makes a bid for it, his hand closing over it and then breaking it hard against a bedpost thus providing him with the jagged edge of what remains as a weapon.

Garnalla struggles to get a hand free, every fibre of her being goading her to slap Kelarad hard across the face for his comment. “Such a sad little man,” she continues to deliver insult, “with just the porcine herders and tired old men to play with.” Max and Elisser. However as the Lord addresses reply to her, the woman’s struggles ebb and then go still, porcelain skin paling to a deathly cast as he announces her exile.. And so the pleading begins, terror for the unknown horrors she might suffer at the crimelord’s hands setting her light frame to trembling, “Elisser you can’t do this to me. I am your wife. What would your people think?” and then she makes a fatal error, “Would you tear a mother from her beloved daughter? Don’t do this, think of Larissa.” Casting a desperate look Lawson’s way, but he seems to be fairing no better as he weaves the broken bottle back and forth before himself in an attempt to hold Max and Crawl off, “You’ll live to regret this, brother.” The threat growled out in Elisser’s direction as his sentence for his traitorous actions is passed.

With the doorway now being blocked by guards led by none other than Elia’s brother, Max’s expression takes on a thunderous cast. “You son of a watch-wher,” he snarls at Lazerne, “I should have known you’d be the one to sell us out. You always were short on brains and big on stupidity!” Lazerne’s mouth curls around a sneer, but his retort is cut off as Crawl lunges at him, he countering with a swipe of knife aimed at the man’s midsection. Max has no time to do anything but engage the guard that comes through the door hot on Lazerne’s heels, his sword swinging down and across, slicing toward the back of the man’s knees and then immediately lifting and arcing through the air in backhanded motion to meet the next guard.

The smile far too bright now, “Oh, I’m just here to cause trouble,” Kelarad is easy to answer Lawson, though Lord Elisser says nothing for the return quip from this brother. At this point, he doesn’t trust any of the words that could come from himself. His eyes widen when he sees his brother with a jagged bottle in hand, taking a step back and looking hastily around for a way out. With the door now barred by guards…. When Garnalla gets a hand free, Kelarad is quick to tighten his hold on her – even to wrap an arm about her naked waist. If a slap comes, he takes that in stride but it does little to get him to loosen his hold. Her pleading words seem to fall on deaf ears, especially on the crimelord’s. “You should have thought of that before you started sleeping with my brother,” Lord Elisser tosses her way, not looking to be defending her. “You should’ve thought of that when you were poisoning me. You should’ve thought of that when you were passing off another man’s child as my own.” This last was sent over bitterly, seeming to show no sympathy at the notion of separating mother from child. Even at Lawson’s threat – thought he still keeps his gaze on his now former wife, his response to Lawson is, “I already am in regret for the last few turns of my life. There’s no bigger regret than to see my own brother betray me in this way.” Crawl, meanwhile, manages to duck from the swipe aimed at his midsection, coming up to aim a thrust that could severely damage an arm if it connects. “Dream you don’t survive this, boy,” Kelarad is warning Lazerne for his treachery, his own hands occupied with that of holding the Lady Garnalla. He was even seeming to hold her in front of him as a shield should any of the guards feel they want to tangle with him. He starts to move backwards with her, heading back towards the bed where he could find something to tie her hands up with. Max was on his own with Lawson, especially since it was looking like Lord Elisser wasn’t going to be much help in the current throes of his grief.

Lawson obviously seems set to go down fighting for his freedom, or die trying if need be quite happy to leave Garnalla to her fate for he’s doing nothing to try and free the woman from Kelarad’s grasp. Edging around the side of the room toward the door in the hopes of ducking out, he comes up against the fight going on between guards and renegades and the point of Max’s sword suddenly pressed to the vulnerable hollow of his throat. A heavy look passes to the Lord as he speaks of having been duped into believing that Larissa was his daughter and then Max looks away again and presses the tip of the blade harder against Lawson’s throat. “Drop it,” the southern crimelord growls out with a flick of eyes to the broken bottle. Lawson’s hand opens and the bottle falls to the floor, shattering as he lifts his hands in surrender. “Brother,” he sends out a last plea to the grief stricken Elisser, “we are of the same blood,” trying to appeal to familial ties.

Garnalla is not quite so willing to follow suit and continues to struggle against Kelarad, even going so far as to turn her head and try sinking sharp teeth into his neck when her slap does little to have him loosening his hold on her. The fact that she’s as naked as the day she was born, of little consequence to the woman right now. It does however; serve to distract the last two guards that come barrelling into the room, making it easy for someone to subdue them with little effort required. Her plea having fallen on fallow ground with the Lord, tears start to streak down Garnalla’s cheeks and she starts to become desperate shrieking obscenities as she’s dragged ever closer to the bed and what she surmises to be unwanted attentions of the worst kind from the Tillekian crimelord. Viciously she kicks out and then grabs a hold of one of the sisal ropes that holds the drapes back on either side of the bed, hoping to use it as leverage and little realizing she’d just shown Kelarad what he was looking for.

Lazerne gives a cry of pain as Crawl’s knife finds its mark and slices through sinew and tendons, rendering his arm useless as blood pools and stains his shirt, his knife clattering to the floor from nerveless fingers. He’ll not give up though and lips pull back in a snarl for Kelarad’s comment, “You’d better hope I don’t.” he foolishly sends back in counter. The four that had stormed the room are now reduced to just the two staring at the naked and struggling Garnalla for Lazerne is out of the fight as is the guard lying on the floor with the tendons at the back of his knees cut clean through.

Oh, now his brother wants to plead. After having been insulted by both relative and wife over his inadequacies and whatnot, the last thing Lord Tillek wanted to hear now was pleas for mercy. That time had long walked out the door the moment Lazerne and the guards showed up. Standing in the midst of struggles around him, not having moved an inch since the ambush began, “Remove this man from my sight,” he commands to any that is close to hear, seeming to make the assumption through watery eyes that the guards were there on his orders. He seems to care little that they were fighting the wrong people. Shouting over the melee, “I suggest you move yourself out of the way before you get stabbed,” Kelarad sends as he continues to struggle with the Lady Garnalla. He was going to add another suggestion before he suddenly feels Garnalla twist in his grasp and sink her teeth deep into his shoulder. The crimelord cries out, trying to shake those teeth loose without letting her go. “Bitch!” he throws the word her way and wrenches her further back towards the bed, looking for all intents and purposes like he was going to take advantage of her right there and then. Really, when she darts her eyes towards the drapes, grabbing for the very thing he was looking for, Kelarad maneuvers to try and slap her hand away, force his body in between her and the drapery before moving to retrieve the sisal ropes. “Hold still, little lady,” he drawls while he works to try and free the ropes so he could tie her up. “Da’s gotta go fight some guards, so you’re going to need to be a good girl for me.” He could use extra hands, really, but the only free hands in the room was still standing in the middle of the room – apparently in shock still. He looks toward Crawl, finding his second wounding the leading man lunging again at him to try and knock him to the ground. Lazerne still looked to be a threat despite the arm wound, but with two guards still about, “Crawl! Get them!” he calls to him needlessly, not yet in a position to intervene. At that moment, life seems to come back into Lord Elisser’s face, abruptly turning towards Kelarad and Garnalla and moving swiftly over to their side. He moves to help release the sisal ropes from the drapery, nodding towards the melee before stating, “Take care of that. Let me deal with Garnalla.”

Being as how it’s Max that currently has Lawson at sword point, Elisser’s command to remove his brother has the young southerner putting a heavy look onto the older man, a frown pressing brows toward each other for the pain and grief exhibited by the Lord. “Gladly Sir,” he intones with a touch too much relish and then using the press of blade to throat he starts backing the younger Holder in the same direction Kelarad is dragging Garnalla in, he being of a similar mind in wishing to find something to tie the man up with.

This of course currently leaves Crawl to deal with Lazerne and the other two guards, not that Lazerne is too much of a threat just now as evidenced when in trying to avoid another incoming slice of knife from the second, he stumbles and slams his temple hard against the corner of the ornately carved dresser and goes down into a unmoving heap. Seeing their so-called leader put out of operation and their Lady being forced into submission by Kelarad, one of the remaining two guards decide it’s not worth sticking around and makes a dash for the door, leaving his compatriot to face the Tillekian crimelord and his second on his own, unless he’s stopped. The guard left behind is an arrogant sort and makes a beckoning gesture with his hand, taunting one or both men to come at him.

A shriek of anger pierces the air as Kelarad slaps Garnalla’s hand away from the sisal rope. “Fuck you!!” she snarls back in very unladylike fashion when she’s told to be a ‘good girl’. When she’s looking to be released into the Lord’s care and realizing he likely isn’t up to physically battling the woman, Max moves to his side and tilts the hilt of his sword being held at Lawson’s throat, the older man’s way, “Here, you watch him. I’ll take care of her.” For his part, Lawson licks his lips nervously and sets his brother with a wary look and then darts a glance over to Garnalla, “It was all her idea. I swear brother.”

If Elisser does as suggested, the southern crimelord sets a menacing grin onto the raven-haired woman and closes in, shoving her down to the bed where he straddles her hips and ducking the incoming blows she tries to land on him eventually manages to grab both her wrists together. His voice fills with scorn, “You always did like it rough, you pathetic bitch,” addressing her on a personal level for the first time since entering the room. Her expression white with fury, the woman continues to struggle, trying to knee her captor in the back even as he binds her wrists together with the sisal rope, “Worthless piece of shit!” she spits back, fury blazing in her eyes.

With Lawson now being dealt with, and Crawl stalking the one arrogant guard that decided to stay, Lord Tillek hears the offer from Max and complies. He switches places with the southern crimelord taking the sword and keeping it to his brother’s throat. “It was all her idea,” he seems to repeat with a sarcastic tilt, frowning heavily as he presses the tip of the sword deeper against Lawson’s throat. By the look on his face, one would think he was a stone’s throw from spearing him with it. Kelarad sends Garnalla a roguish wink for her sharp words as he leaves to join his second, both giving each other one brief look before rushing the arrogant guard in the hopes of catching him off-guard with two threats instead of one. Kelarad could hear the shrieks from behind him and sends a brief look over his shoulder along with the loud words, “And this is why I prefer my women to be more compliant than feisty!” – “I want to know one thing.” Lord Elisser’s words cut through the struggling sounds like a knife. His eyes blaze on Lawson now that Max has his wife on the bed, the Lord moving with the sword so that he reaches the sisal ropes on the drapery. He seems to be going for distraction through words, for he really does not want to fight his brother unless he has to. “Why did you do it?” he asks as he moves, that tip of the sword not seeming to lessen. “Was your hatred and envy for me too much to bear that you would draw in the attentions of my own wife? Did you really think that once I was put out of the way, that she wouldn’t have done this to you as well?”

“That’s Lord Worthless Piece of Shit to you, darlin’,” Max gives in return, he being deliberately sardonic on the misuse of address with regards to his more nefarious title of, crimelord. With the woman’s hands now tied securely in front of her, the southerner shifts off of her and sets her with a dark smirk as he steps away, “And if you’re really nice to me, I might even consider throwing in a blanket to cover your ass with.” – “I could be of use to you,” Garnalla gives with a suggestive flow of eyes over Max. A sound of disgust comes forth at that. “Whores are a mark bit a dozen, darlin’. Used up old ones, even less so.” His tone cold, he being heedless of what Lord Elisser might have to say about him talking to his soon-to-be former wife in such a manner. Sidestepping the kick the raven-haired woman aims at him. “You just lost yourself that blanket.” A grunt then follows in response to Kelarad’s comment on feisty women, “Compliant, is tantamount to jerking off.” That his opinion on the matter.

Garnalla taken care of for the time being, he moves to where Elisser is trying to get the sisal ropes off of the drapery and makes a grab for one of Lawson’s wrists as brother faces off against brother. Should the Lord decide to drive his sword through his sibling? He’ll not find Max attempting to stay his hand.

Lawson’s chin goes up as the tip of the blade presses harder against his throat, threatening to break through skin. But even in the face of such threat he doesn’t make it easy for the southerner to bind his hands. “Hatred? Envy?” he seems to question the accusations and then utters a snort, “Your wife was only too willing to spread her legs for promise of wealth and power beyond your lack of ambition, brother.” Sounding very much like he might have been another Lord Fax in the making.

The Hold guard that remains is trained in the traditional style of combat and so as Crawl and Kelarad rush at him, he stands his ground until the last minute before stepping in and cutting first to the left and then the right, seeking to wound each man before coming in with strokes cutting harder and faster.

Despite how Max is speaking to the former Lady Tillek, her husband doesn’t seem to be coming to defense anytime soon. Instead there’s laughter coming from the crimelord of Tilek for Max’s return on the woman. “I know men that would find her to be a blast,” he tells the other, as if her fate was not yet decided. He even made sure he says it loud enough for her to hear. Lucky for her that Kelarad is not as cruel like some renegades. Once he finds Max at his side and helping him hold his brother, Lord Elisser now moves to grab the sisal ropes and work them on Lawson’s arms. Responding to the answers given as he and Max work, “Seems like you and her are made for each other,” he states, the words nearly sticking in his throat. “You both missed your callings in the lands you look down on. Keep them apart, however,” he turns these words aside to Max, nodding. “Whatever is to be their fate, they must suffer it alone.” Looking Lawson in the eye, “So you did it for the ‘spread of her legs.’” It’s more a statement of mockery than a question. Meanwhile there’s still a fight going on, and the remaining guard was clearly skilled. His feint knocks Crawl back, and Kelarad immediately shakes off his cocky attitude once he realizes that. Stepping into fighter mode despite it being turns since he’s thrown a punch, he blocks the slower hits and cuts, his knife now free and held out. Crawl gets back into the melee with blood on the side of his head and rushes the guard again, looking to try and pin him against the wall while Kelarad tries to distract him with parries and blows. Already some of his clothes had slashes in them, showing that some of those cuts have gotten through his defense. Still, there’s no cries or sounds from the crimelord, a feverish light entering his eyes now as he continues to square off with this opponent.

“Ah,” Max seems to take Kelarad’s words as sincere suggestion and he twists a cold smirk onto Garnalla who is now trying, with both hands tied, to wrap the quilt around herself, “Looks like we might have a use for you after all.” The raven-haired woman shoots the Tillekian a mutinous glare tinged with a shot of fear, unsure of whether or not the man would be so cruel as to subject her to such a thing.

Lawson tries to jerk a hand free and without hesitation, Max balls a fist and punches him square in the face, splitting the man’s nose open. “Quit it!” he growls and yanks the man’s wrists back together again so that Lord Elisser can bind them. With a heavy curse of pain, the younger Holder instinctively tries to lift a hand to cup over his nose only to find his hands jerked back down again. And so with eyes watering and blood starting to drip down his shirt he sniffs hard and trains a cold look onto his older sibling, “I did it,” sniffing again, “because I could.” To the order given to keeping Garnalla and Lawson apart, Max gives a grim nod of head and then remembering something asks, “What of the boy?” Referencing the baby born to the conniving pair a few months back.

With some of his parries and thrusts finding purchase and Crawl stumbling backward with a cut to his head, the guard prematurely senses victory within his reach and focuses on Kelarad, going in for the kill. His sword angles upward aiming for the soft spot just under the Tillekian crimelord’s breastbone but the action is never completed for Crawl recovers quicker than he’d assumed he would and he finds himself slammed up against the wall. “Mercy,” the guard croaks when he gets his breath back, dropping his sword and both hands lifting in surrender. Not a shrinking violet by any means but a man hardened enough by life to see opportunity when it presents itself, he being very aware of exactly who Kelarad is and prepared to throw his lot in with the crimelord.

Kelarad would have added more insult to the woman except his life was now hanging in the balance. Before he could recover himself long enough to brandish his knife, his second had dropped the man into a position of surrender. Both of them breathing hard, the men exchange a quick glance before Crawl swiftly steps forward and kicks the sword far out of the surrendering guard’s reach. His knife still in hand, he looks ready to silence the man forever save for that one word command from behind: “Wait.” Kelarad takes a labored step forward, now starting to feel his injuries once fever of the fight was dying down. He shoulders to stand beside his second, looking down on the one sole guard that didn’t bolt and actually had put up a good fight. Even though this was hardly the time or place, “How good are you with your fists?” he asks, nodding towards his hands regardless of the shocked look being sent his way from Crawl. He even tacks on then, “Do you know who I am?” Meanwhile, Lord Elisser literally has his hands full binding his brother’s wrists together, not reacting one bit to the punch Max sends Lawson’s way. At this point, the man saw him getting everything he deserved for his behavior. Now, once the wrists were effectively tied, the Lord Holder can finally step back and away from him to admire his handiwork. Lawson’s answer was taken like it was full-blown insult, for he swiftly steps forward and backhands his brother with a loud smack. “And because you could, you will be banished,” he returns, his tone too grave and low in contrast to the delivered backhand. He steps back again and takes a look around him – the battle at the entrance was effectively over, and his wife was tied up on the bed. They had succeeded, but he was not happy. When Max asks after the boy fathered by is brother, he looks in Max’s direction, then towards Lawson. A happy man would have granted the boy to stay with his mother, but Lord Elisser was not in that state of mind. Garnalla’s slights and behavior had stung far too deep for compassion. “Neither parent is fit to raise a child,” he says slowly, alluding to where he was leaning in his ruling. “Especially their own.” Looking to Max then and nodding decisively, “He is Blooded, and even if he’s not mine, he will be raised as such. The boy will remain here to become my heir.”

Horyce, the surrendering guard sets Crawl with an implacable stare, watching the man’s knife hand without appearing to do so. While he was prepared to surrender, he certainly wasn’t prepared to die just yet. Flat green eyes flick to Kelarad as he approaches and as if in demonstration of reply to the question put to him, a fist balls and strikes out at the second with lightning speed, pulled at the last second and stopping short of making contact. Horyce then gives a nod to knowing who Kelarad is, “You run the lands.” Neither awe nor fear in his tone, just a simple statement of fact.

Lawson’s head jerks to one side from the backhand received from his brother but he doesn’t cry out. Instead he brings his gaze slowly back onto Elisser, a sneer evident in his expression as a silent vow is made not to rest until he’d made his brother pay for the punishment about to be meted out. Mocking, as he dips his head in feigned acquiescence, “As you wish, my Lord.”

As Lord Elisser steps back, so too does Max, shooting a brief glance Kelarad’s way and seeing that his Tillekian counterpart has everything under control, his attention goes to the older man before him, a hand reaching to reclaim his sword. A dark brow lifts from out of an otherwise unreadable expression when Elisser makes oath to raise the product of Garnalla and Lawson’s treachery as his own, “You are a better man than I, Sir.” Says the crimelord but he doesn’t produce any argument on the matter simply giving a grave nod of head before asking, “And Little Bi…Larissa?” Only now does he allow the barest flicker of a father desperate to have his child back, to show briefly in dark eyes. Leaving the Lord to think on his answer, his next is addressed to Kelarad, “We should be leaving soon, dawn approaches.” And they still had the matter of depositing the two traitors to their exile to deal with.

When it looks like Horyce is about to strike his boss, Crawl is there between them in a flash. The fist stops inches away from him, but it was clear that the guard’s point has been made. Kelarad didn’t move an inch, watching the play between the two and finding it hard to hide the fact that he was impressed. Crawl, however, was not feeling such sentiments. The crimelord of Tillek nods and takes a step back. “Rise and we will discuss your future,” he states then sending Crawl a look that brokers no argument. He was a man that recruited in the most unlikeliest of places, and if the man could prove loyal, then Horyce will be another asset for him. It was common that Crawl disliked those that entered into the organization, anyway. Lord Elisser, meanwhile, is meeting his brother’s gaze steadily until he finally hears him acquiesce. The look he sends will tell the other that he in no way believes him cowed, but for now this was enough. He turns over the sword to Max with a brief, “Thanks.” Beat. “If I were a better man,” he adds, turning to send Max a rueful look, “then I would have had no need of help from renegades. I would not have a wife and a brother that would dare betray me. No,” and he shakes his head, looking away with resolve. “Raising the boy is the least I can do for being so blind all these turns. If not for the fact that I need an heir…” then who knows what darker fate would befall the son of his brother and wife. “All this had proven to me that we are living in darker times,” he states with a barest flicker of a glance towards his wife. “My complacency almost cost me my birthright…and my life.” On the matter of the daughter, he turns to regard her father fully for a moment. Blinking, “She’s yours, of course,” he answers then, stiffly. “I think I’ve been cruel enough, today.” He turns stiffly towards the entrance, then sweeps a brief glance about the chambers – his gaze landing for the final time on his brother and wife. His gaze lingering on Garnalla the longest, “Now I need to prepare the Hold for the day,” he states formally, now verbally wiping his hands from this event. He was still Lord Holder, after all, and he had much to clean up in keeping this from becoming a scandal. Sweeping out of the room then to put action to words, he passes by Max and Kelarad and states, “They’re all yours,” before he is gone. Once Lord Elisser departs, “The sooner the better,” Kelarad agrees to Max’s words, nodding for Crawl to take hold of Garnalla before he, too, prepares to depart.

Given leave to do so, Horyce pushes to his feet and stands, there being no reaction to whatever antipathy might be levelled at him from Crawl. He does move to retrieve his sword unless stopped from doing so, and if not, crimelord and second will find that he merely re-sheathes it and looks about the room as if awaiting further instructions from his new employer.

With his sword back in his care, Max sheathes it and merely nods to the thanks given before stating in quiet return to the Lord, “Everything…is not always as it may seem, my Lord.” Referring either to the difficult situation of the man’s wife and brother, or to himself and the mantle of crimelord that he now wears. Perhaps both. Lawson, who had fallen to silence, now speaks up, “The boy is mine,” he growls out taking a step toward his brother, “and I will come back for him.” Garnalla who in the meantime, has finally managed to half drape the quilt about her person has nothing to say to having her children taken from her.

Max meets that look coming from Elisser with a level one of his own that shows edges of him being prepared to fight for legitimate custody of his daughter. When the older man concedes to his parental claim without objection, relief strips away all barriers and for the barest hint of a moment, the crimelord is gone and in his place, the same young stable manager who had come to Tillek all those turns ago with the hopes of a new start in hand. “Gratitude,” a sombre dip of head and then the moment is gone; layers built back up and a hard impenetrable fortress back in place. Garnalla has no such show of vulnerability for her former Lord, meeting his gaze with cold hatred and then deliberately turning her head and eyes away from him.

Dark eyes hold to where the broken yet still dignified Lord exits, Max’s expression unreadable and then its back to business as he gestures for Horyce to come forward, if Kelarad allows, to take a hold of Lawson. “Gag ‘em.” The order given in curt tone for he’s heard about enough from the two to last him a lifetime. Moving to his Tillekian counterpart’s side he tips his head in the guard’s direction, “He’s a good man to have on your side. Trained under Nedderon,” aka Yaron, thus lending hint that he was well aware of the exchange that had occurred between the two. Once everyone is gathered together, and the prisoners gagged, the small party leaves as quietly as they’d arrived.

Neither Crawl nor Kelarad stop Horyce from retrieving his sword – if another row was what he was after, he would find the two men ready to give it. “I only deal in absolutes….crimelord,” Lord Elisser is answering Max’s words, stopping himself from calling the man the title he had carried while under his own employ. Then Lawson’s words fly by him, causing the Lord Holder to look in his direction without so much as seeing him. Cold in delivery, “If you’re found in any part of Tillek, you will be killed. That I can promise you.” Max’s open gratitude is taken in proper stride, the man nodding silently before he is gone. Once alone, Kelarad does not negate Max’s orders for Horyce, the crimelord keeping a trained eye on both prisoners until Max is by his side. Watching the guard now, “Let’s hope he proves more loyal than he did for Lord Elisser,” he notes, sending Max a lopsided grin before his gaze slips away. “He can fight though, and you know I can always use more fighters.” Talk is then cut short once the prisoners are ready to leave, and the crimelord of Tillek sweeps out of the room with the rest of them without a backward glance – pleased in the gain that he made.


With Kelarad in charge of the nature of both Lawson and Garnalla’s exiles, he confers briefly with Max on the matter before a decision is reached. Lawson was promptly sent off to one of the numerous private islands in the southern continent to live out his days, guarded by some of Kelarad’s men should he choose to escape. He was let known by the crimelord that he was indeed, lightly guarded, but that his name was also placed on every mark list from South Boll to Nerat. Effectively, should Lawson ever decide to leave the south for the north, he would become a marked man. Borrento did owe Kelarad a favor, after all.

As for Garnalla, she received the same sentence on a far, separate island, but with a twist. The island bearing a cothold of a southern family in need of help, Kelarad offered for the former Lady Tillek to help them with the fields and the fishing. Since the woman was so used to ordering people around, perhaps some work herself would prove more useful. The family was tough enough not to succumb to her charms, them being farmer folks with a contempt for those used to soft fabrics and having the best of everything. It was a better torture than she had inflicted on the Lord Holder of Tillek.

Disturbed - Deify

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