The Citadel of the Capital City of Rowardar
King Matus watched from his richly appointed throne as the Thyconian emissary was escorted into the Great Hall. The king sat erect, making certain that he kept an expression of calm control upon his face; he wanted to show no sign of weakness in front of the rarely seen islander. For this occasion King Matus had chosen to wear his most formal robes of state, all heavy and richly constructed garments with yards of hand stitched embroidery. Around his shoulders he again wore the Alpine Bear fur cape, and upon his waist he wore his battle sword, its well-worn and battered state clashing starkly with the crisp grandeur of the rest of his attire. All of the six council members were present within the Great Hall as well, seated in their official chairs on either side of the raised throne dais, and all were projecting similar airs of righteous composure. The king did notice however that High General Talige had not removed his hand from the pommel of his own battle sword since the foreigner had been escorted within the Great Hall, and the king whispered a silent prayer to Ermaidh that the young warrior would be still throughout the audience.
The Thyconian stopped at a respectable distance from the throne dais under the watchful eye of the King’s Guard. The emissary did not hesitate, bowing deeply he said, “Your Highness, I’ve come with an offer from King Uindar. He seeks an alliance with the United Clans of Atrusyr.”
King Matus waited a moment, allowing the emissary to remain in his prostrate position. As he did, the king wondered for perhaps the thousandth time why the Thyconians had chosen to seek his audience with such urgency. He had been mulling over the reasoning for the last several days since the news of the emissary’s visit had been given to him, and the ache in his bones had increased every day since. King Matus genuinely hoped that the two were not connected.
Finally he stood, his flowing formal robes and fur cape draping over him elegantly, “Rise Son of Thycona, you are a guest within this hall. I presume you are the Chief Negotiator Alo?”
The emissary answered affirmatively and respectfully.
“Very well then, I am King Matus of Clan Hourd, son of Epitus, and once General of the III Corp. I will begin by saying Chief Negotiator that your visit comes as quite a surprise to The Clans. It has been some time since a Thyconian king has called upon the Crown of Atrusyr. Let us have the reasoning for your King’s proposal.”
Just North of the Walls of the Capital City of Beltanhjold
General Altus sat astride his warhorse Dehanur, and found himself marveling at the site of the Tuah’thane capital. Being a son of the north, wood was a prized material used only for the most necessary of applications, but the apparent artistry and abundance in which the material was used here set his curious mind afire. The palisade walls of Beltanhjold were in themselves marvelous examples of lumber engineering, rising dauntingly before the approaching delegation of Atru, and Altus made a mental note to try and formally seek a tour of the city and its foreign grandeur. Riding beside him, Altus could tell that Lieutenant Brord was experiencing the same feeling of awe.
“Quite the wood pile isn’t it my friend?” said Altus, forcefully smacking Brord in the arm.
The cavalry lieutenant grunted at the blow, and smiled at his commander through his thick beard, “Aye it is General. The engineers in Rowardar would have feinting spells if they had access to but a fourth of this amount of timber.”
Altus nodded in agreement, “Ah but you must remember that it’s hard to build a proper sword out of a stick, and armor a soldier with tree bark.”
“Indeed. I find that keeping an edge upon such weapons is quite a chore.” Brord said, chuckling heartily before the pair lapsed again into silence.
Adorned in his most formal armor and regalia, Altus couldn’t help but think how out of place he and his men must look in their current surroundings. The entirety of the one hundred Clan heavy cavalry was adorned in the same fashion as their general, and to a man they were all sweating profusely in the bright mid-day sun. Even discounting the heavy armor, the Atru themselves seemed particularly out of place with their thick braided beards, fair skin, and bright eyes. The voyage from the north had been a long one, taking over three weeks of urgent riding to reach the edges of Beltanhjold. Despite all of this, Altus was proud of the resilience of his men, as all had remained diligent and positive throughout their trek. It was now as the end of the journey loomed closer with every hoof fall that Altus could feel the flutter of anticipation within his stomach. The king had sent him instead of one of the numerous Clan bureaucrats that generally handled such matters. Such a far removed action meant that this trade agreement was an important one, and though Altus was ever confident in his abilities, the majority of foreign relations that he had been trained for involved the use of a sword, and not a tongue.
The column was now within a half a mile from the gates of Beltanhjold, and Altus signaled for a stop. Brord turned in the saddle, facing the majority of the cavalrymen, and whistled loudly. Almost instantly the sounds of hammering hoof beats could be heard from down the line, and soon an Atru on a stout gray horse was skidding to a stop beside the two officers.
“Yes My General?”
“Send up a call for our arrival,” said Brord to the cavalryman.
With a nod the man brought up a horn trumpet, adorned richly with enameled gold. Taking in a deep breath, the man brought his lips to the trumpet and bellowed out a long and resounding blast. The echoes of the horn could be heard for several moments reverberating through the dense forests that flanked the main road.
Altus made certain that the standard bearers were holding the mark of the United Clans high before drawing in a deep breath of his own.
“Now we wait.”
-King Matus greeted the Chief Negotiator and asked why the Thyconians were interested in making an alliance with the Clans.
-General Altus and his delegation reached the Tuah'thane capital of Beltanhjold. Upon their arrival outside the city Altus had a signaler blow a horn to announce the arrival of the delegation.