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Guest Chamber <Vozhd Keep>


Bathed in candlelight, the guest room of the mansion is quite beautiful, far more so then the master bedroom of lesser homes. The spacious accommodations are styled in darker hued colors; a small fireplace against the far wall with a reclining couch set in front of it.
The bed is large and covered with thick, warm wool blankets - the pillowcases of satin damask. Upon one wall is a full-length mirror, upon another, a portrait of a Kahar nobleman, long since deceased. Tucked away in a corner is a handsome chest-of-drawers composed of a rich mahogany wood. A small chime next to the door can be rung to summon a servant, and various books rest upon a table near the large, well-crafted windows.


Gell Mikin is currently standing at one of the windows, gazing out over the Vozhd farmlands.


There is a soft knock on the door, a voice seeking permission to enter. Dianna waits patiently outside the door until given some sort of permission.


"Come in," the Emperor's Hawk calls from the window.


There is a slight pause before the door slowly opens, revealing a hesitant looking Dianna Lomasa. She steps into the room quietly, closing the door behind her.


The Surrector smiles faintly. "Lady Lomasa. A pleasure." He gestures to the couch in front of the fireplace. "In your condition, perhaps it is best if you sit."


Dianna Lomasa bows slightly, "Lord Mikin." she says politely before nodding her head, taking a seat on the couch. "Thank you." she murmurs, fiddling with a strand of her hair.


"And to what do I owe the honor of this visit?" Gell Mikin inquires, striding toward the seating area. "I don't believe I issued a summons."


"Duke Kahar spoke to me this afternoon." Dianna says quietly. "You are here to prove that I am Shadow-Touched?" it's almost a question, but almost a statement as well.


Gell Mikin nods. "That is so, I am afraid. It is the most likely explanation for the bizarre behavior of your former husband, your former lover, and your former husband's uncle. They all seem caught in your spell."


"And what happens to said people if I am proved Shadow-Touched?" Dianna asks. "I am pregnant, and do not wish to see my baby harmed in any way."


"You would be neutralized," the Emperor's Hawk says simply. "Your hands, your eyes, your tongue - all would be removed. You would be imprisoned until such time as you gave birth to your child. The child would be put with a respectable family. You would be sent to the mines to live out the rest of your days."


Dianna Lomasa blinks a little bit, looking slightly horrified, "How exactly would one work in the mines with no hands, or no eyes?" she asks quietly, slightly shaken. "And why would the child not go to it's father?"


"In the deepest depths of the mines, eyes are useless as it is," the Surrector replies, smiling faintly. "But, your question is valid. Some muted mages are fitted with troughs worn around their necks - sort of like pack mules, hauling ore on their backs. Others are sent into passages to check for stability or poisonous exhaust gases." He clasps his hands behind his back. "And, given that the parentage of your child would be uncertain under the circumstances, I would think it better to put the child with a new family, where it must not grow up with the stigma of your memory."


Dianna Lomasa flinches slightly at the word stigma, "How exactly do you plan to prove that I am Shadow-Touched or not. There has been no prove." she frowns slightly, "What about Lord Adaer, Lord Cygony, and Duke Kahar? Would they be left alone?"


"If you were removed from the equation as Shadow-Touched, then, yes, all three would be left alone," Gell Mikin says. "If you are blamed for manipulating them with magic, how can they be to blame for it?"


"What happens to Lord Adaer if I am proved to not be Shadow-Touched?" Dianna asks calmly, tucking back some of her hair carefully.


Gell Mikin shakes his head, lips pressed together thinly. "You *will* be determined as a Shadow-Touched aberration. I am only looking out for the best interests of Lord Adaer's House."


Dianna Lomasa frowns, "I am /not/ Shadow-Touched. What proof do you have showing that I am?" she shakes her head, "Or do you merely try and prove me Shadow-Touched, since you hate me, like the rest of your kin?"


"I have three sensible men from two noble houses acting like absolute scandalous buffoons, with you at the center, Lady Lomasa," the Emperor's Hawk replies. "I do not hate you. I pity you. But I must do what is best for the realm. If Adaer Kahar faces the Church, he will be excommunicated. If Markus Kahar defends him and Adaer is condemned, then he will lose his status and his lands. House Kahar has been scandalized enough by your manipulations. I merely seek to put an end to them and restore some credibility to this branch of the Imperial family."


Dianna Lomasa becomes rather pale, dropping her eyes down to the ground, frowning slightly. She rises slowly from her spot, "I thank you for your time, Lord Mikin." she says quietly. She bows politely before turning to leave the room.


Gell Mikin nods. "I will call on you soon."


Dianna Lomasa nods her head, "As you wish, Lord Mikin." she murmurs before leaving.

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