A quick post up of some RP/discussion between the elves that Doug and I had yesterday.
"I need to beauty up for my conquest of this Dwarven city," Decima remarks almost off-handedly. She springs to her feet, leaving the trio of adventurers - Iris, still trying to formulate a reasonable, politically appropriate response, and Nylislaele staring daggers at Demica's exiting frame.
"May I show you out then?" Kazon asks most politely.
"Master Kazon, If I promise you the evacuation of the undead forces from the city under my means, will you order Decima to withdraw her troops? So long as Tiandra's wishes are seen to, yes?" Liz offers.
"I am afraid it will not be so easy. A blade once unsheathed, must draw blood before it can be sheathed again. If I were to give her that command, I will need to face her in duel. Would you go in my stead?" Kazon replies, smooth as slik. Liz is unsure if he is amused or mocking her. Perhaps both, she decides. The decision to duel an unknown warrior was harder to make.
Kazon takes Liz's silence as an opportunity to send the group off.
"Tell you what, ladies and gentle-dragon. I'll escort you out, and you take until morning tomorrow to inform me about your decision on your... proposal, and I'll see what I can do for you. Come now," he waves his hands to shoo the group from the tent.
Diamante's broad shoulders looked a little slumped, as if tired, weighing the Kazon and Decima's words in silent brooding as he walks back to regroup with Twilight, Lukas and Gambol. Behind him the two elves follows with equally heavy hearts at the thoughts of more civilian casualties and a possible duel against an unknown opponent.
"Nylislaele, I would know what you are thinking. Pray tell," Iris' voice was steady despite echoing the heaviness her heart felt.
"I was just considering our options. Dueling seems best. Any conflict involving the undead will likely see those foul creatures throw more Dwarven bodies as fodder. I'm all for dealing swift retribution to Iron Lake forces, but not slaves and any who've surrendered," Liz responds.
"..and we know from Diamante's agents that Paul Morgan's forces are keen to establish a foothold here," Iris adds.
"Yes," Liz agrees. "So, if we cannot deter the Drow, battle is imminent... with Dwarves getting the front row seat where they would rather have the back. And then there is the blood tax after."
Iris nods sagely. "I am prepared to face Decima against all she stands for."
"Nay, princess. In such matters, it is more fitting for a servant than a lady. Plus, you have a title to live up to," Liz shakes her head slightly.
"You ever think I see you as a servant?" Iris tone was severe. Was she angered? "I have stood with you, and know that people are willing to listen to you. I am willing to entrust to you, to complete what I need to do, should the fight not favor me."
"Nay, princess. I am but a servant to the Elven people, but you... you are by bloodline a princess. What name I hold is granted that I may serve in my stead, just as your title holds you to serve in yours. You have a duty to your people, a duty you have sacrificed much to fulfill. This, I believe, is not your fight."
"A good leader leads a charge and does not cower behind others. I will not stay my hand against such atrocities."
"Aye, I agree. But I see to that a good leader knows how to delegate to people they trust. There is a time to lead a charge, and there is a time have others lead that charge while more important matters are seen to. Which, would you think this is?"
Iris falls silent in deep thought. Their eyes lock, seeing the fierce determination in each other.
"Besides," Liz continues, "...and I mean no offense saying this for I respect your prowess, Iris, but your duel would be a quick exchange of strikes. Either you fall, or she does. Mine would probably be a more drawn out affair of attrition. I would think a contest of endurance a safer bet, than risk it at the flip of a coin. Plus, if I do fall, she will then open to you as next challenger."
Iris nods slowly in agreement at that assessment, lips tightly drawn.
To herself, Liz thinks, "That is only an assessment of our combat styles, of course. We have absolutely no idea of this Decima's abilities. Is she a warrior of blade and steel? Or a mage of spells and cunning? That would affect the choice of the champion, as well as the outcome."
In front, Diamante's large frame slows to a stop before a somber Lukas, a brow furrowing Gambol, and a grim Twilight.