LCC - "Meeting the Council: Akardelor"
A freebuild for the Lands of Classic Castle roleplay, and the continuation of Andared's story.
Andared felt a great deal of uneasiness after his meeting with Maladar. He felt it was possible that Maladar's attitude and the entire discussion was staged, but if the subtle hostility he conveyed in all of his questions was merely an act, the delivery was unnervingly flawless. In spite of all that, however, Andared's chiefest concern had to do with the last thing Maladar had said to him. How could Maladar possibly suspect him of hiding something? He had spoken with the man for mere minutes, and yet he had stated the accusation without the slightest doubt. He initially wondered if it had been a bluff, only meant to rattle his nerves and trick him into exposing his own secret. Andared felt that had to be the case, but he couldn't be sure, and that frustrated him to no end.
There was no more time to dwell on that, however. He had found the library. A man in black leather armor leaned against a stone table, intently studying the map which lay before him. There was nothing to identify him as the leader of the Shadow Dragons, but Andared had no doubt that it was him. As he walked up to him, he realized he had no idea what he should do. Bow? Kneel?
His indecision left him standing there awkward and unsure of himself. Andared could not have been more than 6 feet from the man, but he did not seem to take notice of, or acknowledge his presence. Andared gave a short cough, announcing his presence. It was met with silence.
He started to open his mouth and address Akardelor directly, but he did not get the chance.
"If you expect or plan for me to speak to a statue, you will not have much success," the man plainly stated, never bothering to look up.
"My apologies. My name is Andared, I'm a new re--"
"I know who you are," Akardelor swiftly cut him off. "Unlike my noteworthy compatriots and friends, Barrin and Maladar, who are concerned with who you are, and what you can do, I am interested in why you are here. You told Maladar that you joined the Black Dragons because you thought it gave you the best chance to defend Lenfald. I believe you were telling the truth, but I don't believe you are being entirely honest about your motives."
Andared was unsure of how he should respond to the accusation being levied against him. "My motives, I can assure you, are wholly devoted to the interest of Lenfald, and Lenfald alone."
"Oh, I don't doubt that it's Lenfald you are devoted to. I simply want to know why," Akardelor coolly replied.
"I am a Lenfel, should I need any other reason?" Andared countered, clearly flustered.
"In your case, yes. It is only natural for someone to be loyal to their own land, but you, Andared, are in a class of your own. You have already admitted to Barrin that you are not even known or recognized by the Lenfel government. You have no surname, and I could not find any record of you in Lenfald's birth or citizenship registry, which I meticulously poured over. Yet somehow, in spite of all this, you claim to have spent numerous years, possibly half of your life, in the defense of Lenfald. Your dedication is born out of something far greater than loyalty, or patriotism. It is obsessive. You have no purpose or direction apart from the safety of Lenfald. So, now that we have cleared that up, are you ready to tell me why you really want to defend Lenfald?"
Andared's jaw almost dropped. With barely a sampling of information about him, this man had somehow deduced the unthinkable, and not made a single inaccuracy. It was equally amazing and terrifying. Andared was so caught off guard that he didn't even bother trying to deny Akardelor's accusation. It would have done him no good.
"There is a reason for why I am not listed as an official citizen of Lenfald. My father and mother were dual citizens of Lenfald and Loreos, because they lived in Durrough, which until recently has gone back and forth between Lenfel and Loreesi ownership. During the second Great Purge of magic from the mainland, Loreesi officials accused my father of practicing magic, a treasonous act. However, because we resided in Lenfald, the Loreesi could not take action against us.
Nevertheless, in order to avoid conflict with the officials of Loreos, High Lord Wenseclaus II ordered that our family name be removed from all registries and books of lineage. That should have been the end of it, but a rogue group of bandits and thugs, hoping to collect a reward, sought out and murdered my father and mother on the road. For whatever reason, they spared me. I suppose that they though I would die as an orphan anyway. But I survived my childhood by begging for food in the streets of Stonewald. When I grew old enough, I promised myself that no child of Lenfald would ever experience such loss as I had. Since then, I've striven to keep that promise."
Akardelor didn't say a word, but he extended his hand out toward Andared.
"Welcome to the Black Dragons."
At first, Andared was unsure as to whether or not Akardelor was serious, but the smile on his face was undoubtedly real. Andared took his hand, and immediately felt as though a great burden had been lifted off of him. He fought back tears of relief and joy.
He had a family again...
This was a fairly lengthy chapter, but there was just no way for me to satisfactorily break it into two different parts, so kudos to you if you read the whole thing!