Kai's POV is here to stay. Hopefully I can alternate POV's without messing up!
|Archmage Kaimana strode quickly down the hall, rapidly putting distance between himself and the pretty little halfie girl he'd just managed to acquire. There was a distraction he definitely didn't need right now! What had possessed him?
He slowed his stride, remembering the heat he'd seen in those sapphire eyes just moments before. He'd been drawn to her when he'd first seen her standing there in the courtyard, so exotic and out of place, waiting to be auctioned off in that barbaric human tradition.
Touching her then had been a mistake. It only enforced that instant bond, forming a link between them unlike anything he'd felt before. Through that link, he'd sensed such powerful waves of distress that, like an impulsive boy, he'd rushed to her aid. He'd recklessly ported himself out of the middle of a war council with Baron Powell and jeopardized his whole mission.
At 35, while still considered little more than a youth in mage years, he was far too intelligent to act the fool over a pretty young thing! He chuckled to himself softly. The gods knew that he did not need to give the mages yet another reason to regret his ascenscion to Archmage. They were already upset that the quiet, biddable young scholar they'd expected him to be, had instead turned out to be a rabble rouser of the highest order. Although, they'd probably be pleased if his mission failed. Then they could return to their isolation, only interacting with lowly humans when collecting tithes and taking commissions from rich lords.
How could they not see that magic alone would not be enough? Especially after the tragic death of his predecessor in what had been little more than a testing of their borders by Goranga. Like it or not, the mages needed the Baron and his warriors alive and whole to help fight the Gorangan scourge that was coming. And it WAS coming, even if he was the only mage to foresee it. This is what he needed to be concentrating on now, not some pretty slip of a girl. Sternly, he shook himself out of his reverie and quickened his pace again.
He approached the Baron's strategy room. "Game face on now, Kai. Time to convince one stubborn baron that he needs to open his mind and see the true enemy. And to make this even harder, now you have thoroughly insulted him by popping out of view in the middle of one his self-important speeches..." he muttered to himself. On went the smooth smile, the bland mask that gave nothing away of the uncertain young scholar beneath it. Breezing past the guards with a flippant wave, he entered the strategy room.
The Baron stood up at the Archmage's entrance, an expression of extreme annoyance on his face. His impressive bulk showed all the evidence of his warrior training, little softened by age. At well over six feet, he towered over the Archmage. His closest advisers fluttered about him, whispering calming words, try to forestall the explosion of the temper their lord was famous for.
"So very sorry, my dear Baron Powell! One of those urgent magical duties that simply could not wait. Do sit back down! Shall we get back to our discussion? You were making several shrewd observations when I was called away. I await with all eagerness to hear more of your words of wisdom." Kaimana inwardly winced--laying it on a little thick there, Kai...
"Urgent magical duties? You think them more important than these rumors of war you like to keep spreading about? This frivolous behavior does not inspire confidence, Archmage!" Powell growled. "Here are wise words for you, young pup! Goranga and Tiassa have been at peace for generations. There's not been so much as a border raid in my lifetime." Powell's voice rose with each word he spat out. "I will not muster my troops and create a panic in my city without more substance than the mystical imaginings of an unfledged Archmage!" He slammed his fist down on the table, causing those sitting closest to flinch.
"Our mystical imaginings, good Baron, have warned you of drought and plague, and helped determine truth from falsehood. We have been useful to you in a thousand ways, fulfilling our obligations and earning our tithe. Why now do you choose to doubt our warnings?" Kaimana kept his tone reasonable, his voice calm and cool.
"Everyone knows that you mages have a bone to pick with Goranga and those priests of theirs. I am not going to stir up a war with them just because their priests kill your kind. So long as they commit no violence on my side of the border, what they do outside my lands is no business of mine!"
"I only wish to extend a warning to you and your folk, Baron Powell. The Scourge is coming soon; we have seen it. Blood is going to flow--human blood and Mage blood. If we do not unite, all is lost!" Kai's voice was rising as well, filled with all the frustration of the past few weeks of struggling to make a series narrow-minded, witless warriors and vain, self-centered mages listen to reason.
"Enough, I said! I've had more of this mystical claptrap than I can stomach for one night. This discussion is over!" Powell roared and abruptly swept out of the room.
The sound of an advisor clearing his throat broke the silence that followed the Baron's dramatic departure. "Archmage, give him a few days to compose himself and consider all the words you have said tonight. He will see the wisdom in them. We will speak to him as well and urge him to take heed. We have a long and trusted relationship with your people. The council will reconvene in three days to discuss this threat further."
"I only hope we have that long, wise friends. Time grows short." Kaimana bowed and left the room.