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Galan poses in the mirror and admires the flattering effects of the armor on his figure. He flexes. Muscular arms strain the blue fairy-forged steel. The King's armor matches that of the royal guard, enabling him to blend among their numbers in times of emergency. The helm hides his silver hair from view and frames his eyes, those silver grey orbs mirroring clouds against a clear blue sky. Stray ribbons of light flash onto the polished steel to reflect bright spots against the wall. The familiar weight of his two handed sword rests casually against his thigh. Galan places a hand over the long hilt and smiles indulgently at his reflection.

One must be at his best when he meets his possible future Lady for the first time.

He's watched the Lady from afar, preening inwardly as her skill against swordfighters improves measurably each session. She no longer has any shortage of opponents. Soldiers flock to the training grounds to test their mettle against her strange mix of styles. Daystorm rises to each and every one of their challenges, perhaps not besting them all, but certainly learning from them.

His people, albeit unknowingly, are taking responsibility for the development of his champion's skills. When the time comes, she will be his greatest asset!

And today is truly her lucky day.

It's high time he officially meets this otherworldly wonder. No more observing from afar, no more reading dry reports on her progress. Let's see if she's worth his time.

The King pulls his gauntlets over manicured fingers, pausing mid-motion when someone raps on his chamber door. There's only one person who stubbornly refuses to be announced. Only one person pretentious enough to expect the King to see him at a moment's notice.


"Oh come in." The mage's hooded figure slides through a gap in the open door, which he shuts with the quiet stealth of an assassin. Without warning, Loth lifts his staff and places a protective spell over the room. The magic settling into place sends a shiver through Galan's wings.

This is "other" business then.

"Going somewhere, Sire?"

"I haven't trained in a while and fear I may become rusty. I intend on getting in some sparring before this afternoon's council session. What is it you want mage?" He isn't required to be a polite or caring ruler in the present company.

"Ah yes, training. I'm sure the hybrid will be relieved you no longer plan on spying on her activities."

Galan rubs his temples with a thumb and forefinger and silently counts to ten. For the thousandth time he reminds himself of the promise the mage extracted out of him. Do not question the sources of my information. I shall not reveal my methods, only use them for the good of the realm and my King.

"Loth, it's none of your business."

A hissing laugh emerges from the void beneath the hood. "Of course not, Sire."

Galan brushes off his discomfort and resigns himself to the delay. He sprawls onto a wide chair adorned with red and silver pillows, spreading long limbs indolently across the cushioned surface. "Did you discover anything new on the mark? Or are you simply here to inform me of my personal activities?"

The large pendant on Loth's neck swings gently, glinting in the dappled light filtering in from the balcony window. "Nothing of use, Sire. The mark emerges whenever there's some form of imbalance, good or evil. Habitually during times of war. I don't know what to make of its sudden re-appearance. I did, however, find a few useful spells. I've tested one on a couple of my guests. It was most informative."

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