His opponent’s blade flew towards him, cleaving the air in two. Perane raised his weapon to block its path, the two swords clashing into each other, recoiling the attacker. Perane fell back a few steps, holding his blade close to his chest, fingers wrapped tightly around the grip.
His rival’s sword came in for another attack, Perane swept the blade aside, sending it flying to the floor. He pressed his tip to the opponent’s flesh.
Perane backed away with an amused look on his face. His rival picked up the ruined wooden sword and followed him in setting it upon the rack.
“Should’ve gone for the head.” Perane spoke, boastfully. They marched through the marvelous palace of House Staldirs. The floors made of marble and the walls of centuries-old stone, but the engravings still as fresh as the day it was built.
“It’s not because…” his squire, Edward, responded, rising quickly to defend his honor, even though they were both smiling in agreement. He was quickly interrupted. A courier, a young Nord clad in green robes came rushing up the corridor. The sound of his footsteps echoing through the great, long hallway, have been announcing his arrival even before he was made visible.
The courier bent down to his knees, panting. After Perane’s nod, he rose. Perane could finally see his face, it was full of sweat and grease, as the sunlight reflected off of it, his formerly-pale skin was now tan, just like the rest of the servants in the palace.
After an awkward moment the courier spoke:
“My lord, your father has requested your presence in the Great Hall." The courier spoke promptly without stopping, until he finished talking.
“I’m going then. Get some rest in the servants’ quarters, boy.” Perane spoke, pitying the young man, yet still disgusted, steering clear of him before continuing on towards the Great Hall.
The wide, large wooden doors, occupying half of the entryway, opened to allow Perane and Edward’s arrival. Seated in the center was his father -Baron Mordoryan II- upon a wooden throne he rested, intricately adorned with gold, to his side an empty one sat, supposedly belonging to the now-dead wife of Baron Mordoryan.
The proud banners of Daggerfall and the Empire, surrounded by those of House Staldirs flew behind the Baron’s throne. Guards adorned with ebony plate and steel halberds stood ever watchful. The Baron’s Guard they called it, although, in truth, they were nothing more than fancy mercenaries.
With the appearance of his son, the Baron raised, silently walking to the back of the hall. Perane and his companion followed through a back door which led to yet another hallway. Its walls lined with sophisticated golden ornaments, with doors and torches hanged from metal posts. Through one of these doors they passed, a long winding stairway greeted, upon which they continued.
After several more turns and detours they reached the War Room. Its walls were lined with banners, and in its center a circular table made of stone adjoined to the floor. Five noblemen and generals stood around the table. In the corner of the room lay a man named Ardjack, he snickered at the sight before him. The men were discussing the battlemaps and the plans that lay upon it, but how they could read them, Ardjack didn’t know, for the only torch in the room cast a dim light.
“My Lord” They all chanted at once as the Baron entered.
“We have just received further orders from Daggerfall, sir.” One general spoke. He was a gruff old, wrinkled Breton with a short, grey mane, he would always insist upon wearing his arms and armor to meetings such as this one.
“They've declared war.”
The room fell silent as each one of the members have been reflecting upon the grave news for some time now.
Perane knew of the small dispute between Daggerfall and Sentinel over the small island of Betony, but he had underestimated them, he didn't think that such a small thing would lead to a war between the two most powerful factions of High Rock and Hammerfell.
The Baron’s voice broke the silence.
“Perane, you are to represent House Staldirs in the war. I have already arranged everything you need as well as a hundred to accompany you into battle.”
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