Third Interlude: Fates

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Many are the necromancers
Consorts of the dead.
One, only, is the Necromancer,
Queen of the dead

-Adrienna deVorcace,  The Wings of Silver

***

Zael had been a guide to many, but the two who followed him around the city of Beldran were the strangest clients. And his last.

The goblin saw the carriage roll up to his small booth, out of the myriad of booths on the street. Immediately, he sat up, though he still kept the wool blanket around his shoulders to ward off the cold. That carriage was not a cheap hire; it was built with costly materials, silver on the handles, silk curtains in the windows. This was the carriage of someone who would pay handsomely.

The door opened, and a massive figure stepped out. He must have been six and a half feet tall, and wore armor. Not the silly gambesons of the Danaan Talisian Guard, but real plate armor, lacquered deep black. There was no decoration to it, but somehow that made it more threatening. He wore a cloak lined with black fur.

His skin had the consistency of charcoal, and the color too. It was cracked, and the cracks issued forth fire, deep blue like sapphire. An Erinyan. His eyes shone with the same deep light, and his hair shone like fiery, molten gold.

The second person who stepped out of the carriage wore her hood up, but Zael caught a glimpse of alabaster skin and dark, true black hair. Human, definitely. A Caeldari? She was well-dressed, that was for sure. Her dress was black silk with velvet, a shade of black that made midnight look bright, with a ruffle of purest white satin at her neck. Her hood turned to Zael, and although the goblin couldn't see her eyes, he knew she was staring right at him, studying and examining him.

"Milady," Zael said, rising to his feet. "Do you need guidance? For a modest fee, I'll be yours for a day, to show you around this wonderful city. And," he leaned in, "I'll make sure to keep you safe. There's a street or two here that happen to not be the best to walk around in." 

"Name your price, then, Sidhe," the Erinyan said. He had a deep voice, a few octaves lower than Zael's. "And do not try to lie." He tugged his cloak, and suddenly Zael noticed the hilt of a greatsword sticking from above one shoulder. He didn't doubt for a moment that the black knight could use it.

"I wouldn't dream of it," Zael said, backing up slightly. "I can't do it, actually." He stated the price for them, and waited. "May I ask where I'd be taking you?"

"Faircourt Manor," the woman said. "And quickly." She tossed him a coinpurse. A heavy one. Zael resisted the urge to count it right there. Instead, he pocketed it in his vest and stepped outside the booth.

"This way, then, Miss...?"

"Leonastael." Aha. Definitely a Caeldari last name. It seemed oddly familiar. Zael must have heard it before. Leonastael. He definitely remembered it, but he couldn't for the life of him remember where it came from.

"Ah, well, Miss Leonastael, please, this way. Faircourt Manor is only a short walk through here. And could you please tell your guard to look less like he's about to kill someone?" The Erinyan scowled. "We're in gang territory, and I'd rather not have him spook them. He may be able to defend himself, defend you, but he can't defend you and I as well."

"You cannot defend yourself?" the Erinyan asked. 

"Well, Sir... what is your name?"

"Vanzhar." An Agyar name.

"Well, Sir Vanzhar," Zael said, "I do not have the skills with a sword, nor the money to get one. And concealable knives are illegal in Danaa Talisia." He didn't say he had one tucked away in his boot; being Sidhe, for some reason he had to speak the truth. Every word he said was true. "Our defense here is making sure they don't attack us to begin with." 

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