Lord of the Wolves Chapter Twenty

January 27th, 2018  |  Published in Haventon Chronicles  |  2 Comments

Start | LoTW Chapter Nineteen| Index | LoTW Chapter Twenty One

Maelin paused outside Morna’s bar and took a breath to quell his uncharacteristic nervousness. His methods had made him enough enemies over the centuries – most of whom he deserved – that he feared a scene, or worse, if he was noticed by her clientèle. He respected Morna enough not to want to bring trouble to her door.

It was Lucy’s suggestion that they appeal to the Unseelie ambassador. Morna was famously neutral but Lucy had an inkling that she had learnt about David and would be less neutral than before. He hoped she was right because he needed help to resolve this and Morna was one of the few people powerful enough to provide it. He took another breath and followed Lucy inside.

“Let’s wait here.” He leaned against the wall just inside the door rather than approaching the bar. “There’s absolutely no way Morna won’t notice us and we want some discretion for this conversation.”

“Good idea” Lucy agreed softly. “The local weredog pack are here.” She nodded towards a large, rowdy group near the bar clearly intent on getting as drunk as possible and Darren really hates you.”

“Darren’s father allied their pack to my mother,” Maelin said flatly. “I dealt with him and persuaded Darren to break the alliance. I wasn’t gentle about it.” He looked around the rest of the bar’s clientèle looking both for enemies and potential allies. A large booth in one corner seemed to hold several members of the Rebel Court who were plotting together, they would help if he could get them to listen long enough to know their potential Winter Warrior was in danger. The local Reynadine skulk was here was well and they were on good terms with Philip’s pack. They also didn’t hate him as much as many though they certainly didn’t like him. He eyed them thoughtfully and their red-headed leader turned and looked in his direction. Her eyes widened slightly in recognition and she inclined her head coldly before looking away but didn’t raise a fuss.

“Do you want me to talk to Angel?” Lucy asked quietly. “She’s Anna’s second cousin and she likes Philip so I think she’ll help.”

“Please do,” he said.

“Okay.” Lucy slipped away and headed towards the Reynardine just as Morna strode up to him.

“Lord Maelin,” she said tensely. “What do you want here and are you willing to abide by the rules?”

“I am, Lady Morna,” he said. “I have avoided your establishment only because I was not certain others would if I came here. As to why I am here – I need to talk with you urgently.”

She looked at him consideringly before leading him into a private room in the back of her bar. As she closed the door she relaxed visibly. “My apologies for the formality – it’s just for appearance.” She turned to look at him. “Your sister was here earlier. She left with Michael and Leisa.”

“I have heard of those two,” he said. “And that is… actually that is no bad thing at the moment since they seem to be mixed up in all this. Are you aware that there’s a potential Winter Warrior?”

Morna’s face tightened and she nodded. “I have met the young man, yes,” she said. “I have informed my queen of this development as well. She is not happy to find out that you and the Rebel Court were telling the truth all this time.”

“So, what is she going to do about it?” he asked.

“She and the Seelie Queen are making sure the other courts are informed and are discussing their formal response but they’ve given me carte blanche to respond as I see fit. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. Help the young man, obviously, but I’m not sure how yet. Why?”

“You need to make your mind up,” he said. “My mother intends to attack him before dawn.”

“Damn!” She scowled and began pacing. “You want me to help him even though he’s allied with his family in the local oathkeeper pack?”

“I do,” he said. “He’s a sign my mother’s power is waning and I promised my step-mother I would protect her successor.”

She paced some more and then nodded. “I will do as you ask, but I have only a few people available. My honour guard mostly. I will summon them and go. What will you do?”

“Wait it out,” he said. “I fear I would end up fighting both sides if I tried to help directly. Sabren and you will be a powerful allies for them at least and Lu is talking to the Reynadine. Hopefully they will assist you. I trust you to get them through this.” He hesitated. “There is something else you could do for me.”

Morna tilted her head at him. “You want me to try and get them to talk to you after, don’t you?”

“I do,” he said. “Well to Lu actually. They need to know exactly what’s going on here and even after so long I am incapable of discussing it rationally.”

“I’ll try.” Morna gave a strained smile. “Assuming the battle goes well. Let’s not count our chickens. But it’s best you wait here. They’ll want to meet you on neutral territory if they agree.”

“I know,” he said. “But I have a truce gift for them and I’m not sure you’ll allow me to give it here.”

Her eyebrow twitched questioningly. “This truce gift is a person?” she asked. “That’s the only thing I can think of that you could offer them that might contravene my rules.”

“For a certain value of person. One of my packs caught a vampire who has been making revenants. He’s the same one who was responsible for Philip’s niece becoming a vampire.”

“Ah!” she said. “I was aware of that incident. I think I can make an exception for that one. Such behaviour endangers us all.”

“Thank you,” he said.

“I’d better gather my guard and go,” she said. “Please avail yourself of my hospitality while you wait.” She swept from the room regally.

Maelin sank into one of the chairs and closed his eyes. “Please let her be in time.”

***

David paced the room agitatedly as they waited for the attack they knew was coming. “Waiting for someone to come and try to kill you is…” he trailed off trying to think of a word for the situation that didn’t sound trite.

“Is what?” Kate asked.

“Excruciating!” he said. “This is excruciating.”

She nodded at that. “Yes, I know. Waiting for an attack you know is coming is always tense.” She patted his shoulder. “I won’t tell you it’ll be okay. I don’t know that it will. But I do promise that we will do our best to protect you and your protectors are not inconsiderable.”

“You still need weapons,” Tanya said from the door. “I bought gloves and some stakes. It’s the best we’ve got. She handed them to Anna, David and Laurel.

“I know Michael said this was the most defensible room,” David said. “But it feels like we could easily get stuck here if the enemy forces got into the farm house.”

“That is an issue,” she said. “But if the house is surrounded we’re stuck anyway.”

“We should ward this room,” Kate said. “Make it doubly secure.” She drew a knife. “Hopefully Michael won’t mind me carving his window frames.” She began to engrave a symbol in the wood above the window. “Let’s see… not just mistwalkers but werewolves since we have two sets of enemies to worry about.” She winked at Tanya. “I wouldn’t recommend trying to enter through the window once I’ve done this. My wards are pretty powerful and you’ll bounce.”

“I’ll warn the others,” Tanya said. “But it shouldn’t happen.”

“Did you catch the werecat?” Laurel asked.

Tanya scowled. “No, she hid her scent. It was Camellia as well. She’s the nearest thing the Clowder has to a leader. Dad is going to have words with her once this is over because we may not be allied but this still feels like a betrayal. The werecats are good people I don’t understand how they can feel they owe Maelin something.”

“Perhaps they really do,” Anna said. “Mother says that they do and says you can’t imagine the depth of it.”

Tanya stared at her. “I wouldn’t expect her to defend them for helping the one who had her murdered.”

Anna tilted her head as listening to someone and then her eyes widened. “What?!” She shook her head. “She says that he didn’t?”

“What?” Tanya echoed. “Who did then?”

“I’ll ask her,” Anna said then jumped as a mist seemed to pour out of her and solidify at the heart of the room into the form of a tall woman who resembled Anna enough that it had to be Karen.

“No time!” the ghost said. “She comes! I’ll help!” She lifted a hand towards the light bulb and it browned out for several moments as her form became even solider before she leapt towards the window passing through it and Kate as if they were not there.

“I think there’s definitely more than one conversation due if we get through this,” Tanya said. “But I’d better go and join the fight as well. Good luck!” She shot out the door and back down the stairs.

“Are you going as well?” David asked Kate and she smiled and shook her head.

“I’m your last ditch defence, David,” she said. “I just wish I had a warrior of my own to add to the contest but I don’t.”

“Yeah, from what I gather Liam killed him,” David said.

“That’s right.” Kate nodded. “He was a monster who deserved it and Liam did seek my permission but it still leaves us without one of our best defences,” She sighed heavily. “It’s an issue and we need to find a replacement but I’m not letting either of the local candidates near the day blade. He trained them both and they’d be just as bad if they had his power. Liam is watching them carefully as it is. I suspect we may need to look somewhere on the continent and if the damned blade won’t vet its holders, I will.” A loud crash from outside interrupted her. It was followed by an eldritch scream like all the fiends of hell yelling at once. “It has begun.” She said flatly, “You two had best keep away from the window.” She drew her gun again and took up station near the window where she could see out without presenting too much of a target.

Start | LoTW Chapter Nineteen| Index | LoTW Chapter Twenty One

2 Responses to “Lord of the Wolves Chapter Twenty”

  1. torvawk says:

    Does this need a preview split?

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