Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tales of the Rancid Blade: Part 25: The machinations of the Kabals

If one were to observe the machinations of the Kabals in Commoragh one might think that chaos reined in that dark city. The few humans that arrive there see it as such. Raiders tear through the city striking at will, yet some walk through the streets unscathed. Few put locks on doors in Commoragh, yet the Sybarites and their warriors seem to plunder indiscriminately. There are no souls in that bloody city that show compassion, yet Kabals and clans gather for mutual protection. Commoragh is governed not by laws or codes as we might think of them, but rather by the record of guiles and the codex of schemes. Everyone in the dark city knows about the deals that Archons make. Everyone knows that to cross those schemes at the wrong time would be death to them (or worse). Doors are barred not by force but because of pacts between Dracons that none dare to cross. Some people walk in places with no armor, and because they are protected by an Archon and his wiles, they have a greater armor than could ever be found. Those that know how to survive in Commoragh know how to bide their time, when to strike, and when to mutually agree.

Over the years Brugoyle had watched hundreds of ploys and maneuvers, dozens of fakes and gestures . He would keep his eyes on the politics of the Kabals as one might watch embers in a fire. He would benefit from the warmth the embers generated while all the time seeking not to be burnt by them. The red glow of the political embers would dance about, sometimes flaring, sometimes smouldering. He knew how to maneuver the eddies and currents made by the smoke of those embers and knew what was out of line and what was an opportunity. He now turned his eyes to the body before him. He knew that the significance of that which he gazed upon wouldn't be an ember but a blaze.

He knelt in the middle of an open street. Its once polished flagstones were worn and beaten down. Buildings about him, in the heart of the busy Yelimeli District, were well maintained if dark and lonesome. This neighborhood was in the heart of Rancid Blade territory. Only blocks away the mighty spires of the Achon's towers rose to dominate the skyline. Before him on the street ley the body of one who was mighty and now had been cast low. It was the body of the old one, his master, the great Archon of the Rancid Blade. Actev Nu was dead. He had been killed on some nameless world that humans deem worthy to fight over. The great man was slain by the blade of some lucky nameless human. The human would never know the havoc that his luck would now unleash within the dark city. That human knew nothing of decades of pacts and years deals made in the dark long ago that would now be over turned. That human knew only of terror and a lucky blow that slew the mighty knight of the Rancid Blade.

Brugoyle drew in a quick breath looking to his warriors who stood about, splinter rifles in hand, securing the scene. Somebody knew. Somebody understood the significance. Somebody knew to the dump the mighty Archon's body here, deep in what was once his own territory. Someone was sending a message. Somebody had scooped up the body of the old Archon from the field of defeat and had dumped him here to send a message that that the rules were about to be re-written and Commorragh would never be the same. Somebody's plan for revenge was playing out. Brugoyle drew himself upto his full height. He looked about the darkness. He new that others watched. He knew that they that had done this now looked on from the shadows.

He felt change was coming. He felt that the rules were being rewritten. Soon the old bonds would be broken and the old agreements would be asunder. A new rulebook was coming.

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