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A Turn For the Worse
Anon, Lord of the Council of Mages entered the meeting chamber late, ignoring the irritated glances of his peers and the thinly-veiled sneer of Clainin. Offering not even a hint of an apology, he sat down in his seat heavily and looked straight at the Knight-Regent, Lord Martel Nevarre. "I have not changed my mind. This is the last time I will speak at this Council. I will not waste another minute in useless discussion while the entire kingdom collapses around us! I understand Cove has been overrun by Orcs and you all sit here and do nothing!” he barked.
Clainin's anger was palpable. Martel raised his hand to stave off the barrage he no doubt believed his emotionally volatile colleague intended to unleash upon Lord Anon. "That is not entirely true, Lord Anon. We have been attacking at every opportunity. The odds are against us. The Orcish hordes seem limitless. Something drives them and we are seeking answers as to exactly what, or who, that is. Have you any ideas or information from your own sources?"

Anon looked surprised, "My sources? Do you think I have spies lurking in every backwater town in the realm? Unlike you, I have no rangers or paladins to gad about in shady taverns hobnobbing whilst they guzzle free ale."

"I will assume that is a 'no'."

"You assume correctly. Is that all you wish of me? If so, I will take my leave. I have better things to do."

Martel sighed. "Please do not be so hasty. I asked you here to once more entreat you... no, beg you, to reconsider leaving the Council. This is no time for such a move. It will weaken us further, demoralize the leadership and people, and send a message to our adversaries that we are ripe for attack. Can you not see this?"

"You all have brought this upon yourselves. I spoke of pursuing offensive action months ago, but you refused my counsel. You thought that you could simply react to each threat as it reared its head, instead of seeking out and destroying our enemies before they could strike. While you all have had your heads in the clouds, I have been fortifying Magincia, and there I intend to make a stand, for better or worse." He pushed back his chair and stood up, turning to look at Clainin. "As for you, sir, we are completely at odds on every level. I will not sit at this Council table as long as you are a member of it!"

Clainin opened his mouth to reply but Martel quickly interjected, "Clainin is not the problem here. His words and counsel have always been useful and timely. You know that. Besides, the whole point of having a Council is to hear divergent views on any given issue. When honest debate is no longer permitted, we have only a dictatorship."

Anon glared at Martel, "Is that what you think I want?"

"I do not know what you want, Lord Anon. I want you to be a member of this Council. We need you and you know it," Martel countered. "I ask you once more to stay with us. Help us determine who is behind the attack on Cove."

Anon calmed noticeably; he stood up straight and turned to leave. "It is too late. The die is cast. I wish you all good fortune," he stated icily and left the room.


Published: September 2004
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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