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World of Magi > A Meeting on the Mirennor Fields

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(Tagged: The Council of Abrazerei, )

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A Meeting on the Mirennor Fields

By Mr. Tex

 The Mirennor Fields were dank. It was the rainy season, and the skies pounded it during every day. By evening, though, the clouds lifted and the rains stopped, and the setting sun could be seen in the distant north over the Letian Mountains. It cast a golden light over the tall grasses and the many small pools that had formed. Alric frowned as he looked at the plains, crossing his arms over his chest and stopping in the fields. There was a wind blowing in from the west, ruffling his blonde hair.

Alric sighed. It reminded him of a home he had not seen in a long time. It was dry there, and he was not used to sweating so.

"Ser Alric!" a voice called up behind him. The older man turned, resting a hand on the quiver that hung at his side. He smiled, as he saw a man trotting up on a yellow-feathered chocobo. The man was younger - perhaps in his mid-twenties, with blonde hair that was pulled back in a ponytail and clear blue eyes. He towered over Alric; even when he stood on foot, the man was far taller than the old knight.

"M'lord Eadric," the knight said. "I have scouted the ground ahead. The path before us is clear, but if we mean to make camp tonight, then we had best plan on a damp evening. The rain is set in too deep."

"We may have to make do with a damp evening, then." Eadric Longshanks shook his head and patted his chocobo on the head. The bird nudged its head up against the man's hand, but it stayed in place otherwise. "You know as well as I do this plain goes on a good ways, and that we will find no dry land until this time the next day. I think some of our fellows may have a few things to say about sleeping in the rain."

A smile came to Alric's face. "Aye, m'lord."

Eadric nodded his head, then, and smiled. "Keep this place, Alric. I'll tell the rest of the caravan, and we'll make our camp here."

"As you command, m'lord." Alric nodded back to the younger man. Eadric returned it, and then wheeled his chocobo around. The bird began to gallop off. Alric looked after him; he could remember when the man was but a boy, traveling with them as a ward to be protected. Now, he rode at their head and fought at their sides. It was difficult, though, some days. When he rode off, he looked small - like he had as a boy.

-----

Eadric Longshanks looked up into the night sky, seeing the stars. He thought Alric was right; the heavy woolen blanket underneath him was thick enough to keep the water of the plain out, but it was enough to make it heavy. The air was heavy, as well, thick with humidity from the rains that had come and would come again. The stars above, though, were clear as could be and shined down on them. There, Eadric found comfort.

 Those stars were the same as the ones he had seen, years ago, in Figaro. The air was crisp and dry, then, and the heat and cool of days and night were untouched by the weather. But the same stars always shone down on them. He closed his eyes and sighed, trying to remember that far off home.

 After a few moments of his old castle's spires and the swaying palm trees of the oasis he spent all of his young life in, he was brought back to reality by the slish-slosh of boots into the muddy and wet ground around him. He opened his eyes, and turned them to find Gamlen Targenner, his squire, looking down at him. "M'lord Eadric," he said, hesitantly. The boy had never learned the confidence he needed. "There's, ah - there's..."

 Eadric raised an eyebrow. "Something, I should hope. Out with it, Gamlen."

 "My apologies, m'lord!" the boy said. "There are guests, in the camp. Alric saw them and directed them here. A little wagon."

He rose to his feet and he stopped being a prince, and once again became Lord Commander of the Fallowmen. He nodded and reached to the open crate that was used to hold some of his things. His sword belt was in there, sheath attached to it and his blade inside it. He buckled it around his waist and looked back at Gamlen. The boy's eyes were looking away from here. "Gamlen," he said, "look at me."

 "Aye, m'lord!" the boy said suddenly, looking at him. "What would you have of me?"

Eadric laughed. "I would have you take me to them."

"Of course, m'lord!" the squire said. "This way." He turned, and began walking through the camp hurriedly. Eadric followed, walking easily through the camp and moving after the boy. The camp was a collection of fires and tents. Food was cooking throughout, the smell of roasting meats and cooking stews tempting Eadric. That could come after her met with these guests. He expected merchants. Caravans were not uncommon here, in the border kingdoms.

These lands lay between the edge of the Jidoran Federation and the Divine Empire of Abraxas. Petty merchants knew that profits could be made here, carrying goods from one side to another and escaping the political realities that dominated merchants loyal to kingdoms and dukedoms.

Instead, though, Eadric found himself looking at a minor noble. He was a plump man, wearing fine red robes that were spattered with mud, and his wagon was stately and had wooden walls. He saw men in red and violet livery, carrying spears and wearing iron helmets. The man raised an eyebrow, and approached the noble. As he came close, he gave him a short bow. "M'lord," Eadric said, "your presence is unexpected in our lowly company, but welcome nonetheless."

The fat noble almost panicked, but tried to hide it. He waved off Eadric's bowing. Men like him often did, fearing that Eadric might one day remember the nobles who made them bow to him. He had met a thousand minor nobles, and he remembered maybe thirty of them. "Easy, Eadric Longshanks, you need not bow to me," he rumbled. "I am the Marquis Varos of Varilla."

Eadric nodded. "Well met, m'lord of Varilla. What is it that brings you to the camp of the Fallowmen?"

"I have heard from your men that you do not know of the great meeting," the fat noble said. His bearded chins trembled as he spoke. The fat and grease that had dried in them quivered.

"Great meeting, m'lord?" Eadric asked.

"Indeed!" the noble exclaimed. "An event unlike any other. Abraxas, in his infinite and divine wisdom, has opened the gates of the greatest city in the world to all. He has summoned the lords of all nations, lands, and kingdoms. Men of any stature and station are now welcomed there, for a meeting unlike any other. It is said that even the Jidoran Federation has sent a hundred of its greatest merchant princes and commanders, from all across its lands, to answer his holy call."

 Eadric doubted they would phrase it like that. He raised one eyebrow. "I had not heard," he admitted. "But, I beg you to tell me, m'lord. What is this meeting about?"

Varos of Varilla smiled thinly. "That is the source of much speculation."

Eadric laughed, but inwardly, he was forced to consider. A summon from Abraxas, God-King of the Divine Empire, was not a matter to take lightly. He was like to never see another event like this in his lifetime; indeed, his grandchildren may not either. The God-King had never done such a thing, and he would only issue such a summons if the situation were truly of great import. He would be foolish to ignore it. "What is your route there, m'lord?"

The nobleman blinked. "I intended to take a ship from Cyrune, on the southern coast. Perhaps two days from here."

"Then, if you would accept our company and our protection, Lord Varos, I would offer it." Eadric nodded, respectfully, to the man. "The Fallowmen would do well to visit such a place."

"That is an offer I would not turn down." Varos smiled broadly. "I would welcome such company."

 Eadric nodded his head, at that, pleased with it. He did not know what awaited them in the divine city of Abrazerei, but something that would be remembered for ages to come had to lay ahead. He looked towards Gamlen, then. The squire was looking back, dutifully. "Gamlen," he commanded, "go tell Ser Alric that I mean to move us southward come tomorrow, towards Cyrune."

Gamlen nodded fiercely. "Yes, m'lord!" He gave a little salute, and then took off. Eadric watched him go and wondered what tomorrow would bring.



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