“If there’s a regret I have about the war, it’s how far-reaching it was. If I’d have known how much it would have changed Scale – would have changed me – I’m not sure if I’d have made the same choices.”Journal excerpt recovered from archaeological site, year 968 6E
The heavy doors began to ease open, and the messenger stood to attention from his seat in the hallway, before rushing to the doorway as the old scalar wrestled his way inside with the basket of vegetables. The messenger held one of the thick oaken doors open, and the old scalar grunted, unclear whether in thanks or annoyance. He readjusted his grip on the basket and continued walking, paying no further heed to the visitor. The messenger shut the door and straightened his shirt, following after the elder.
“Ah, excuse me, sir,” he called down the hall, the words echoing off the high ceiling.
The old scalar grunted again.
“I’m looking for Iakim Baelun, sir, would you know where he is?”
“You found him,” came the reply, delivered with the same characteristic grunt as before. The messenger had to jog to keep pace as the patriarch of Scale’s great brass clan continued on through the halls and passages of the building.
“I’ve a missive from the capital, Lord Baelun. From the Scalelord himself, sir.”
For the first time, Ormak Baelun turned to face the messenger. He was short, and certainly wouldn’t have been described as youthful, his brass scales thinner and paler with old age, and with a prodigious pair of horns that spoke to his many years. Even still, the messenger could clearly see the elder scalar had no shortage of strength and vigor in those old bones, and behind the icy eyes fixing him in their gaze, it was plain to see an intellect as sharp as it ever was still lurked.
The iakim adjusted his grip on the basket so that he could outstretch an empty hand. “Let’s see what he has to say then.” The messenger handed over the letter, then Ormak turned and continued on his way. After a few moments, he stopped and turned again. “You’re still here.”
The messenger scratched his temple. “The Scalelord said I was to await a reply, sir. He was very particular about it.”
Ormak grunted. “Alright then,” he said, placing the basket on the ground and unsealing the envelope with a stubby claw. He spent a few moments reading its contents, the messenger standing nearby, hands clasped firmly behind his back.
As the iakim was finishing, a door further down the hall opened, from which emerged a slender scalar dressed in a simple, beautiful dress, who began to approach. Ormak and the messenger turned to look at her.
Ormak turned back to the messenger. “You may tell the Scalelord I shall be present.”
The messenger blinked once. “Is that…everything?”
“Very well, sir,” said the messenger, nodding. He turned and nodded once at the Ormak scion now standing by the iakim’s side, before turning and departing.
“Message from the capital?”
“Aye. The Scalelord has requested a meeting of the clans,” said Ormak, picking up the basket once more and continuing through the hallways.
“About the war?”
“Not the mainland war, dear.”
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