Sahna Nillu is seated on the main podium in one of the council seats, fanning herself in the still, cool eveningtime air. Dressed in her favored and austere grey-blues, the frail assessor watches the empty podium area with narrowed sage-green eyes.

Oren Nillu is sitting on the platform as well, by himself, lost in thought as he watches the arrival of noblemen and commoners alike.

From Tournament Ground, Luna Grey steps into the tournament area, glancing around tentatively as she looks for the place where the address is to be held. With a quick shrug of her shoulders, she follows the crowd, remaining along the outskirts as she drifts along.

Zolor Zahir is sitting on the main podium in the seat that would normally be occupied by Aiden Zahir, Spymaster of Fastheld. His impassive gaze takes in the growing crowd as anticipation builds for the Regent's address.

Sahna Nillu toys with her fan for a bit, before tucking it away. She flashes a somewhat curious glance to Zolor, purses her lips, then looks out at the crowd.

"We shall start soon," Oren tells a young vassal who approaches him, bows and then departs with the reply to his softly spoken question.

"The Lord Regent, Oren Nillu!" a herald announces, his cry taken up a few others also stationed around to make the alert reach all ears.

The night is cold, part of a lasting winter that seems eager to remain and remind the people of Fastheld of the recent atrocities that have been plaguing them. It is almost as if the chill mirrors the glum within the hearts of those who've had to endure the pain and loss of the Imperial family and the devastation of several homes. The Ravager has departed, but in its place a new threat looms with promises of doom, a creature that many believe bears a name worthy of its word, a dragon born of Shadow and sin that vows with the mere hint of its existence to be the instrument of destruction across the land. Such a story seems to succeed against some, if only with the corrupting rumors that spawn from it. The passing hours have brought darkness, forced away only by the effulgence of torches scattered across the area.

"There are flames," a voice announces, its source the old man who now takes a place at the front of the large Imperial platform -- the very man who has now been tasked to take the helm of the realm. "The night is cold... but there is always fire. People of Fastheld, I stand here and now to address you. I stand here and now to state, first and foremost, that we shall prevail."

As Oren speaks, the frail Assessor turns to watch him unblinkingly, her posture held rigid and attenative.

From Tournament Ground, Duhnen and Gabriella Seamel make their way, slightly belated, into the Tournament Grounds. The Earl carefully carries a wrapped up infant in his arms as he moves along with his wife, turning his attention to the Regent.

From Tournament Ground, Gabriella stays close to Duhnen's side, an anger apparent in her eyes as she leans in to whisper something to her husband. A hand reaches out to touch the child in his arms, brushing lightly against the wrappings.

Zolor Zahir puts a fist to his mouth, stifling a yawn as his gaze shifts from the Regent to a passing Bladesman on patrol.

From Tournament Ground, The crowd in the tournament grounds below turns toward the sound of the regent's voice. The chatter of the crowd doesn't end entirely, but it lessens as Oren begins to speak.

"Doubtless, you have heard stories about creatures who have sworn that Fastheld will fall. Doubtless, you have indulged fears of impending doom upon us all. Listen to me now. Heed my words. We have survived attacks in the past, even wars with the foul Wildling. Now we have even seen the departure of the Ravager," the Lord Regent says calmly, keeping his voice as loud enough possible to be heard over murmurs. "We survived in the past and we shall do so again. This so-called Instrumentalist is gone beyond the Aegis and should it return, our courageous Bladesmen and defenders of Fastheld will fight, for there is power in union and trust. Soldiers who hold the Light dear to their heart and do battle, not for their own gain, but for the common good. Soldiers who will fight now that we are not as unprepared as we were when the first Shadow-spawned creature came. Brave men indeed, guided by Blademaster Hartnek Lomasa -- the experienced military leader who has also organized the efforts that will recover our beloved Emperor while he remains here to serve the realm. These efforts are underway and we shall soon hear tidings of His Majesty."

From Tournament Ground, Duhnen shakes his head slightly in response to Gabriella's words, though doesn't comment immediately. He considers the viewing platform, before finally speaking to her again.

From Tournament Ground, Gabriella's reply comes immediately, her head dipping in agreement. A smile is giving to the Seamel before she reaches for his hand. She holds her gaze, however, on the newly named Regent.

Oren Nillu says, "I intend to deal with the bandits and brigands who have been plaguing the southern regions and the rivers. These groups have become a great problem and the Council will make sure the Bladesmen rain upon them -- a cure for this spreading illness."

Sahna Nillu winces visibly at the mention of brigands, steepling her fingers with a frown.

Zolor Zahir lifts his eyebrows, but nods in agreement.

From Tournament Ground, Making her way through the commoners with a small frown of disgust, Laoya holds a silk handkerchief to her nose and points her small retinue towards a platform away from the stench, preferrably upwind of any unwashed bodies.

From Tournament Ground, Duhnen leans his wife towards the platform, moving to bring her to a seat and causing as little a disturbance as possible.

The noblewoman leans in to whisper to Duhnen once more, a look of concern on her face as she takes in Oren's words. A glance is given to the familiar face of Sahna, and a curious investigation of the stranger, the Zahir, follows.

"Efforts to rebuild the places destroyed by our foes in the past also begin. We must walk forth. We must keep strong." Oren Nillu's gaze travels across the crowd. "Where there is cold, there is also the fire to drive it away -- the flames of hope. The Council has chosen me to lead Fastheld until a member of the Imperial bloodline can take over. They have invested their hopes in me. Now I must ask all of you to do the same. Fear is a blade that cuts deep and weakens us. We must stand up and face what the future may bring, looking forward for the peace that will indeed come. Together. As one. We are Fastheld and steadfastly must we hold. I have been chosen Lord Regent and I ask for your trust, for I promise you -- and this I vow, Fastheld -- that regardless of the storm..." The old man makes a small pause. "We shall prevail."

Sahna Nillu shifts in her seat on the platform, glancing over at Duhnen and Gabriella as they move to the council seats. With a stifled sigh, she looks back at Oren, nodding along with his final words.

From Tournament Ground, There's a guffaw from some drunken commoner in the crowd, then a quick yelp as his wife whaps him. "Quiet, ya fool!" she admonishes, and quiet he does.

Duhnen nods his head approvingly to Oren's words, before responding quietly to Gabriella.

Gabriella widens her eyes at Duhnen's admission before reaching to take their daughter and whisper a flurry of words in the Quarrymaster's ear.

"Fear not," the Lord Regent says. "I thank you all for coming and bid you a good eve, filled with the pleasent dreams of assured peace. Light keep you all."

Return to Season 3 (2005)

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