Author Topic: An Old Cathayan Knight's Final Breath... and Sir (Duke) Ulwitt Dodd's Key  (Read 784 times)

Acarmiras

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You were attacked!   (5 days, 3 hours ago)
    personal message
    You are surprised by a dark figure suddenly emerging from the shadows just as you are going to sleep. Desperate, you take out a dagger, the only weapon within reach, and face your attacker.
    The attacker cuts through your defenses, and sinks the blade into your body twice before running away, seriously wounding you.
    The guards are unable to prevent the attacker's escape.

This wasn't the way his life was supposed to end.

The Old Cathayan gasped, and wheezed as his blood covered the floor.  He was, however, in the midst of grumbling to himself in his mind.

He had just finished a successful day's work in Leod, and what successful progress had there been that day!  Many of the government scribes, officials, and local administrative clerks in Leod had been working hard alongside the Old Knight for weeks, together plowing through hurdle after hurdle to raise the production of the region and restore morale to the forested lands south of Azros City, and slightly south-west of Taop City.

TNaismith wheezed again, coughing violently, and the lone healer who had been able to respond to the scene first, frantically bellowed for more assistance and additional healers to be sent up.  The first guards to have arrived, after the assassin had left the Old Knight gasping on the ground, were also shouting loudly up and down the stairs for more guards to be sent to the room.

The elderly noble closed his eyes and winced with an extreme expression of pain as another wave of near faintness hit, and he knew more blood had been lost than he had thought.

This wasn't the way he had wanted to go.  There was still administrative work to accomplish tomorrow, Leod had made great progress, and the populace and production had nearly reached a threshold of high stability, just another few days of planning and work through his efforts as a Courtier, and he could continue on with his plan to attend to other troubled regions of the Kingdom; many had been itching at the back of his mind for weeks such as Pates and Arrmol.

"We've got him cornered!  Here he come down the stairs!  Quickly, arrest th-- wait!  Lookout!  He's turned back up the stairwell!  Guards upstairs!  They are headed back your way!  The infiltrator is going to pass by Sir TNaismith's room again!"

One of the two guards in the room looked at the other with an urgent glance and nodded.  "Must be trying to escape through the windows further up on the top floors.  Quickly!  With me!"

Several shouts and screams echoed through as a dark-cloaked figure fled past, and the two guards ran out the door close behind.

The healer, now alone and continuing to apply bandages and stabilize the wound, bellowed in anger towards the door, "Get me more damn help up here!  Where are the other accursed healers!  He's bleeding badly and we need--"

A young scribe stumbled through at that moment, clutching several hastily gathered blank parchments and a quill.

"I-I--I'm here sirs, I brought the parchments and quill as requeste--" The young scribe, no more than a child, gasped at the sight of the bleeding noble and the frantic healer working hard to save the Old Knight's life.

The healer, without even looking up from his work for a moment, snapped at the young scribe in a no-nonsense manner.

"You there!  Don't gawk and stand there, get over here this instant.  Help me keep pressure on the bandages.  Here, keep his body stable, good.  Hold this.  I have to try and see if my bag has..."

The Old Knight had been drifting in and out of thought during all this, and one of the regrets he was having at the moment was that he wasn't going to die the peaceful death he thought he'd dreamed of; to reminisce calmly for hours before his final breath about all the old times and people from his past, no longer around, as most old, dying nobles of moderate reputation had seemed to have the cherishing pleasure of, besides him of course.

His first arrival in Ozrat decades ago, fresh from the East Continent... his brother... his dear twin-brother in Sirion still... the days of Lasanar... the tail-end of the Grand Lodge of Lunaria... the early days of Cathay's formation as a Lasanar Colony... all the years and history he had spent in Cathay... the people which had been part of Cathay's tapestry... Gemal Dekat... Hamish O'Ways... Ranulf Miles... Galiard Scarlett...

The Old Knight coughed violently and grumbled, pain sweeping through his entire body and mind.  So many others deserving to be remembered, for hours on end, on a calm and slow deathbed; so many other past days to cherish and bring to light again one last time with hours of memories of joy and tears to be had before he ever took his final breath.  And yet here he was, on the edge of death without that peaceful journey of long, mental farewells to fond memories in his life.

There were shouts from somewhere above, and in the distance.

"He's getting away!  They've jumped out onto the roof!"

"Guards!  Archers!  To the east windows!  The rogue is almost clear of the gates!"

TNaismith grunted and gritted his teeth as more pain permeated through his body with a sudden, but lasting bout.

How had that silly Galiard, that Grey One, managed such a peaceful sending off to a lifelong journey full of politics and time in government office, and grand diplomacy?  For all the rivals and enemies that Scarlett must have stirred up, none had successfully ended his life.  Yet now, here was a simple old knight of the realm almost certainly speeding towards his death.  The wounds were worsening by the moment, despite the healer's best efforts; the infiltrator had managed to stab deeply into the body, and it did not seem like even additional help would cure such in time.

And then that other relative of the Scarlett name, a princess of sorts, as well as that Queen from the line of Kain... both had disappeared from the realm and left the Kingdom without leadership for a long time before Queen Stephanie had begun her rule, and eventually run Cathay through the course which led to the current reign of King Bofeng... and speaking of disappearances, where had that Dodd gone off to...

Old Knight TNaismith sat up with sudden awareness and alarm.  Or at least he almost did, but he didn't get more than a few hairs off the ground before he fell into a coughing fit of violent wheezing and breathless waves of pain shooting throughout his upper body and head.  But a more important, foremost thought, had taken over his mind.

By the fates above... the key!  The key!  The shield!  Ulwitt Dodd... by the fates, Duke Ulwitt Dodd's shield!  What a fool I am!

The elderly knight sputtered and hacked, pushing aside the healer's hands attempting to urge him to lie down again on the floor, now rapidly decorating the floor a colorful red, despite all the bandages and wrappings.

If the Old Knight was frustrated and grumbling before at his missed chance to enjoy a peaceful death of remembering fond days and memories, he was now next to livid with anger and desperate hacking coughs as his life continued to drain away.  But he managed to utter words to the closest one nearby; the young scribe helping the healer.  The healer himself had returned back to his urgent duties of trying to save the patient's life, despite his charge's refusal to lay back down calmly, and was not in any state of mind to hear the words next uttered from the Old Knight over the next few minutes.

TNaismith looked at the young scribe and nearly choked with painful coughing and grimace after grimace of searing pain throughout his body, he may have had all his future hopes to continue his work being a simple courtier for the Kingdom until a peaceful, old death, dashed perhaps forever more, but by the fates above, he was not going to die with this other weight upon his soul!

"...t-the....the key......."

The young scribe looked fearfully at the noble, but was stopped from glancing away by the fierce, determined stare of the Old Knight's eyes, despite the rest of his body hacking and wheezing with convulsions of the pain from the attacker's successful wounds.

"...k-key.... sh-hield... ... ... must...  be... reunited... with...  the Duke...   D-Duke.... Ulwitt... ... ... Sir Dodd..."

TNaismith growled, and grit his teeth against the increasing pain of his wound, but he was not going to die like this quietly, not while holding this still.

"...his... Shield... .. must... ... m-must... be reunited... with... Ulwitt Dodd... ... .. locked... .. iron chest... ... .. s-seek... Percy... ... the clues... find... ... surviving ... ..  family.. ... ... Th-The Key..... must... ... the Shield... .. of Ulwitt Dodd... ...reunited... ... must.. ... ... be... united..."

The Old Knight was fast losing the strength to speak further words, and he could feel the faintness of his head beginning to even overcome his stubborn refusal to readily admit to pain.  How foolish had he been to not have done this earlier in his years after Galiard had passed!  And now it was nearly too late, curses on himself!

Fighting even the last urges to let his body collapse to the throbbing pain and faintness of his grievous wounds, the Old Knight, growling and grunting, with shaking but quick hand, reached into his shirt and quickly pressed a small, unseen by the healer, object into the young scribe's hands.


~


The news to first reach the rest of the Kingdom would be that the Old Knight had been seriously wounded by an attempt at assassination, and that no further news was available at the time.  For several days in fact, the truth of the matter would not arise until about five days later, when an official announcement was made:

Suffering from severe injuries inflicted by the infiltrating assassin that night, the Old Knight was pronounced dead, having not survived what was identified later as mortal wounds.

There would be rumours later that the assassin had been possibly identified as a Sartanist by the name of Miskel Hemmings, of the realm of Sorraine, but it remained to be seen.

The young scribe that night of the assassination would be affected by what had transpired in that room with the wounded noble, and would disappear from the main eye of society, courts, and nobility of the Far East for many years, perhaps even more.  The last words and small object the young scribe had received from the old noble would go on to successfully fulfill their quest, one way or another.

Upon the news of the old Cathayan knight's death, all his personal papers, documents, belongings, and assets known to be in his possession during life was taken into custody by his family's estate on the Far East, and his body was said to have received just a small, private funeral of only immediate family retainers and servants who had served under him in life.

The dawn was rising as the final words were spoken and the ceremony came to a close for the Old Knight's funeral, and the brilliant beams that burst forth from the horizon in the distance, over the small gathering that day, was a reminder that life continued onwards; that new adventures and stories were to be had by the inhabitants of this world still yet living; and that for every ending, there was a beginning just begun.

Logar

  • Noble Lord
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I have just rejoined the game.....for good this time. Although I will miss TNaismith, I do hope you will come back in some form or another. I need another RP'er to bounce ideas off :)

TNaismith was great to RP with, thanks for the fun in the past mate.

Usul/Logar Soul
"...Together We Stand, Divided We Fall!..." -- 'Hey You', Pink Floyd