Desteen WIP possibility

8 12 2011

Chapter One

The hall quieted when Graben the IV entered, as if the forty foot ceilings, and woven tapestries to match, weren’t breathtaking enough. The Shell throne on the dais was empty, still the room itself was imposing. Scattered through out were items and artifacts, some dating back before Draga Shell or Draga the Conqueror on the common tongue. Raised on pedestals, to either side of the throne, were exact replicas of the ships Draga had sunk or destroyed in his quest for control of the seas. Draga had always required an artist on board for every voyage, to chronicle the events emblazoned forever on the canvases. Draga Shell had left a legacy. The kingdom that he controlled, and later passed down, was the largest of the five found in Desteen.
Now, Graben was of that line and he was feared. When he entered a room the hush was immediate. Years spent on the throne had left him ruthless and arrogant. The First Watchmen filed in behind him. Two by two, their black cloaks flowing behind them, they marched to the front of the dais, taking up positions to either side of Graben. The cloaks of the tall and broad men were embroidered with the golden seal of house Shell. The same seal was used to clasp their cloaks to their body armor. They were imposing, as they stood at rapt attention. Graben, on the other hand was slight of build, Tall, and fair skinned. His red-gold ringlets, cut in the traditional, shoulder length fashion of the shellians, rested on top of an emerald tunic. Once Graben was seated, the commencement of the meal began. Servants immediately sprang out of their hiding places, carrying voluminous platters on their shoulders. The food ranged from sea caught fish, fried, smoked and seasoned, to delicacies from the northern shoals. Fine fare for a name day gathering, but this was no ordinary event. Today, Graben heir was become of age. It was finally time for the boy to put away his toys and steam contraptions. Today his titles would be bestowed and the child would become a man, if they could find the scamp.

Lucian, a council adviser, stepped up to the right of Graben, leaning close to whisper in his ear. Tugging sharply at his right earlobe, Graben summoned one of the First Watch to him, with a crook of his finger. A garish looking guard, named Kronus, knelt before him, his multicolored shells,in his ebony hair, cracking against each other as he stooped. “Find the boy. Clean and dress him according to his station and deliver him to the solar.” Graben growled. “Lucian, You will alert me of his arrival.” Lucian and Kronus replied in unison “Yes, your Excellency”. As they departed to do his bidding, Graben pulled at the lobe again and stood addressing the crowd. “Today’s festivities may begin. Enjoy my catch, ale and shelter from the winds.” Resuming his meal he brooded on the boy. As if his name, Drago, was not bad enough. His father, Graben the III, had insisted on the name, which was uncomfortably similar to that of Draga the Conqueror. He had pleaded with his father against the name, citing the trouble that would ensue from the commoners. One battle amongst many he had lost with his sire. When the old king had died, Drago was two. Graben promptly sent him further inland, where attentions would not be on him, with his wife Farla. She died a year later with the blood cough. Graben had began to loath the boy in earnest, at that point. It would appear that Farla had chased the young Drago into an icy river, in the dead of winter. She never recovered.

Shell was steeped in tradition and the seat must be held. The boy of six and ten had to be brought back in time for this ceremony. Drago had been in his presence only three days and he was already sick of him. With the city and gardens to see, the boy had been hard to find on the second day. The third day was not turning out to be any better. Of all places and sights to see, The watchmen had found him at a local smiths. “Commoners all around him, What was the boy thinking?” Graben muttered under his breath. Drago was dragged back to his rooms and locked away for the evening. Graben had Lucian do some questioning about the boy’s life spent in the country. As it turned out, he had been quite fond of metallurgy in Cascada, the village Graben had left him in. Cascada had only one blacksmith so finding Drago when he turned up missing had always been easy for the guard there. But, here in the city of Shell, there were at least five and twenty blacksmiths. Early on, Graben had decided it best not to let the child know of his lineage. He had the story spread that the child in Cascada was of noble birth, but a bastard. Graben had a great fear of the people, sensing their dislike of him and the way he ruled, so keeping the child hidden and forgotten had been what he thought was best. How the rumor had spread like wildfire that his son still lived, he had yet to discover. With his name day in the offing, the last few months had made it evident that the boy must return.

He was awakened from his brooding by Lucian “The boy has been found and is awaiting your pleasure in the solar, your Excellency.”

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