Archive for August 12th, 2011

Dealing with Allies

“I am forced to wonder what you thought that little display in the bazaar would accomplish.” Then’liath Firebloom continued to pour tea for Lord Suncrest, as she waited for an answer to her question.

“Should I simply allow the woman to prance around Silvermoon?”

Then’liath gave a soft sigh as he raised his voice again. Dealing with her old allies reminded her how she had ended up taking a fortunate exile in the first place. She was surrounded with the young and impetuous. There were so few of the older nobles that were also members of the Magistrate. Though Suncrest could barely call himself that. “Yes.”

“Yes?” Lord Suncrest puffed indignantly, filling the overly decorated jacket a bit more fully. The popinjay ignored the cup of tea she placed before him. “You would have had me say nothing to the power grubbing flauntings of that harpy?”

“I would have you think before you act, Lord Suncrest. I do not think you are incapable of such. Your intemperate actions have cost you.”

“Cost me?”

Then’liath suspected that Lord Suncrest would be scandalized if she compared him to her hotheaded sister, Dorri’tow, but the only difference between the two of them, was that Lord Suncrest was merely ignoring her tea, rather than destroying the furniture. “You were witnessed threatening another Magister in public over a personal matter. Worse, it appears that the only reason you did not actually strike Magister Dayfire was the timely intervention of some passing Blood Knights. Though we can all be grateful for Silvermoon’s brave warriors for coming to your rescue.”

“My rescue?”

Belore, the fool sounded like a parrot. She could remember the days when she once found him dashing and handsome. Now he was just a tedious boy, hardly worthy of the power granted to him by both his birth and his luck at leaving through the Scourge attack. “You nearly struck a magister in public. Had you done so, she would have been free to retaliate. Then you would have been dead, your house masterless and I would be without a valuable ally.”

“My apologies, Lady Firebloom. I had not realized the gravity of my actions.”

“Apology accepted, my lord. I am so glad we had this little talk.” Then’liath watched Lord Suncrest leave and then flopped down into her seat with a sigh. There would be days of that fool visiting the allies of his house and making simpering apologies. It was truly unfortunate that his apologies would not erase Biara Dayfire’s knowledge of at least one of her enemies. More unfortunate for the headstrong Lord Suncrest though, since he was going to find that his former friends were keeping him at a distance.

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“Where the hell is he?” Dorri bellowed as she shoved the door to the sitting room open with her foot.

Then’liath Firebloom looked up at her sister from a small couch, pausing just a moment before returning to pouring a cup of tea. She placed the filled cup across from her on the table; an invitation for Dorri to join her. “I assume you are still demanding to see my husband?”

Then’s calm demeanor in the face of her anger was insulting. “Yes, I’m still demanding. I assume he still is your husband since the Silverdawn banner is still displayed on the spire.” Dorri’s lip curled into a sneer as she spoke. “And your husband, Lord Silverdawn, has been following a member of my order.” Then merely raised an eyebrow. Enraged, Dorri drew her sword and slammed the blade through an upholstered chair. the blade stuck in the applique wooden floor. “Why are you watching us, Then?”

“Why do you think? You are my sister.” Then poured another cup of tea and sipped from it. “I am trying to protect you, from yourself if need be.”

“I don’t want or need your protection, Then. I want you to leave me alone!” The blood knight wrenched her sword free, glaring at her sister.

“You are a member of this house, Dorri’tow. You are a Firebloom and it is my duty to make sure you don’t get into trouble. You should be grateful that you have a House!”

“What has House Firebloom ever done for me? Tell me! What has the House done for me? My father only wanted me when I could touch the arcane, My sister only cares when I might bring down her name. Mother… when was she ever around? And our brother, need I remind you what dear Razkiel did to me?”

“What Razkiel did has nothing to do with our House!”

“Doesn’t it? Why did he do it, Then? Out of desire to rule it. The Houses are a blight. This one is no better than House Shadedpath.”

Then placed her cup on its saucer and put both on the table with less care than was typical. The china cracked ever so slightly. “Don’t be ridiculous, Dorri.” Then paused. “You wonder why Veec and I are watching you? You don’t even understand what you are doing; what kind of danger you are in.”

“Not this rubbish again.” Then sighed. The resignation in it, turned Dorri’s vision red. “Is this where you remind me that I can’t make my own decisions, again? Where you imply that I dance to Keltyr’s tune.”

“What Razkiel did, Dorri…”

“Oh shut up! Kel doesn’t control me. I make my own decisions.”

“I know you want to believe that, Dorri. But a lowborn Sunsworn…” Then shook her had sadly. “His father was a social climber too. He turned his back on his family, refused to do his duty as a member of the Sunsworns. Refused to follow the prince to Dalaran. Do you really think his son is any different? He’s only with you to get a foothold into our House.”

“Light, Then, you’re an idiot!”

“Watch your tongue, sister mine.”

“Keltyr’s not interested in the House.”

“He clawed his way up to the head of a military order, Dorri.”

“Hells, that’s all he wants. He’s not you, Then. He doesn’t like having to hide how he feels to make bargains for power. He hates being all smiles and friendly with people that he would rather gut. Kel doesn’t like pretenses or illusions. He likes things direct and honest. It’s why he loves me!”

“He loves you?” The scorn and pity in Then’s voice filled the room. “He loves you? Is that what you think? Has he ever said so?”

“What’s that got to do with anything? How many times did you say you loved the priest? Saying something doesn’t make it true. Not saying it doesn’t make it not true.”

“You leave Destril out of this!” Then’liath shot to her feet and the room darkened as the shadows gathered around her.

In response, Dorri called the Light, felt the warmth of it strengthen her, feeding her anger. “How many times did you tell him that you loved him?”

“I love.. I did love him, damn you. It just… He.”

“He what? He wasn’t important enough?”

“He didn’t understand! He was always telling me how wrong I was, always correcting me. ‘you’re being rabid, love’ or ‘you’re wrong, love’.” Then’s hands clenched into fists. “I was tired of being wrong all the time and he would never have been right for this. And this is what I want!”

“Sounds just like you!” Dorri shouted back. “‘You’re wrong, Dorri. You can’t be controlled, Dorri. You’re too dangerous.’” Dorri slammed her sword back in its sheath.

“It’s not the same!”

“The hell it’s not.” Dorri took a step towards her sister and did not bother to hide her pleasure as Then’liath’s attempted retreat caused the shadow weaver to sit back heavily on the couch behind her. “You just wanted him to change, like you want me to change.”

“I never wanted to change him, you selfish spiteful little girl. I wanted ME to change!” Then’liath looked as stunned as Dorri felt after that shout. “I wanted to be more like him. None of that matters any more. I made a mistake.” Then’s voice had lost the raw angry edge. “And when I realized I made a mistake, I corrected it.”

“Too bad you can’t correct the mistake of being related to me, Lady Firebloom.” The crack in Then’s near perfect facade was gone. The blood knight felt another surge of anger as Then’liath refused to rise to the bait. The table between them was easily overturned. The sound of breaking china finally drew in Then’liath’s guards.

“Escort Dame Firebloom outside.” One of them tried to put a hand on her, and Dorri put him on the ground within seconds. She looked Then’liath in the eye, but her shadow drenched sister showed no expression. “And then let the staff know that I will be receiving Lord Suncrest in Lord Silverdawn’s sitting room, since this room has been made unsuitable for civilized quests.”

Then’liath rose to her feet and the shadows fled down her body and vanished into the cracks of the floorboards. “Thank you for bringing me your concerns, Dame Firebloom. I assure you that my husband and I will take them under consideration. Good Day.”

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