Paladin 2 Dragoon 5
Siegfried Ishala was weary. Weary of the weight of the gleaming silver, spiked full plate he wore. Weary of the worries for the common citizens. Weary of the slow, painful rebuilding of devastated capital. Weary of burying the dead. Weary of the endless, incessant bickering of his advisors. Weary of battle. But mostly Siegfried was weary of climbing the winding lazy spiral of the tower keep.
Siegfried pondered what the servants scurrying about the castle would say if they had bourn witness to the Baron kneeling on the stairs, silently praying for the strength to reach his bed chamber. Most likely the servants would gossip amongst themselves about the Baron’s incredible if untimely piety.
His cloak rustled in the sudden breeze that blew through the small windows periodically lining the wall. The cold air was crisp and could be felt through the thick furs lining the Baron’s armor. The wind carried with it the sweet smell of smoke and… “apples? Yes Apples” the Baron thought to himself. No doubt the crop was being set to the noble purpose of ale production.
With renewed inspiration the Baron began to hasten his pace up the stairs. The climb was a lengthy one providing Siegfried ample time to reflect on his rapid rise to power. His life could almost read as a story book. Siegfried Ishala, Born to a noble retainer family of the sword-lords. His Mother dies in childbirth whilst the father is off fighting a campaign ground to a bloody standstill. Left to be raised by his grandmother Lenala, who not only spoils the young boy, but also fills his mind with stories of angels and demons. Such fascination leads the young man down the difficult path of the Paladin but lenala’s smile beams like the sun the day of Siegfried’s knighthood. Siegfried retains one vice that refused to be exorcised, a nearly insatiable lust. Lenala reminds the young man that he has “fire in his veins and that you took no vows of chastity” Siegfried takes comfort in the words even as such actions are “atypical” of a noble paladin. And then more than a year ago, sent to a tiny kingdom on behalf of the sword-lords to make something of the both of them.
“Your Armor m’lord?”
A young squire wakes Siegfried from his musings with the question. Siegfried realizes that he has reached the Solar (the top floor of a castle where the royal family and personnel attendants reside) located at the top of the tower. Nodding his head in agreement Siegfried moves closer to the armor stand and weapons rack located deeper with the chamber. Another servant begins to throw wood upon a large circular brazier centrally located to disperse heat throughout the room
Today something is different though. Numerous servants crowd the room carrying large chests as exotic perfumes swirl together in an intoxicating cloud which fills the room. A line of servants, move to and from the Bower (Private rooms and a bedchamber for the lady of the castle) occasionally struggling with particularly heavy trunks.
With Armor only partially removed, Siegfried stops the nearest servant demanding “By the gods, what transpires here? Last I was aware there was no lady of this castle. Or perhaps there is a person who dares my wrath this day?
“Would that you had such conviction to resist the punch bowl or the young maiden who tended it at your first Midsummer’s ball, my little prince.” cooed a voice brimming with joy and more than a little teasing.
Of course Siegfried knew the voice of his grandmother Lenala, but could scarcely believe his eyes as she stepped out the Bower doorway. Despite being more than twice his age, Lady Lenala could easily pass for a woman of 30 winters. Her seemingly endless youth was often the source of multiple, sometimes vile, rumors within the noble circles of home.
The two shared several striking features, most notability particular eye coloring and silver hair. Siegfried was known to be quite handsome but even he looked unremarkable next to Lenala. They locked gazes briefly before Siegfried turned to the squire, a smile forming on the Baron’s lips.
“Inform the other servants that tonight we shall celebrate the unexpected, but safe arrival of the Lady Lenala with much revelry! And Wine!”