Chilly Conversation

With the slower pace of the little group, it does not take long to catch up with the Knight under the pennant. On the way, Kendall attempts to make himself more presentable. Shaking his head raises a cloud of dust from his hair, and he flips his robes straight, taking his hand off his sword hilt. No need to alarm the locals. He realizes then that he no longer has the wine, and glances about his person briefly before deciding it's gone. A shame, really. It was good stuff, and his throat was still scratchy.

The Amber Knight gives a respectful tip of his head to the Chaos Lord in greeting. Kendall's expression is calm, gracious and even faintly friendly as he nods back to the Knight. Switching to the King's Tongue, he inquires, "Your pardon, but do you know what manner of beasts those are that pace next to our party so… persistently?" He glances sharply out at the woods again, catching just a bare streak of movement out of the corner of his eye, and his hand wanders back to his sword. He turns his attention back to the Knight. "Will they attack, or are they merely escorts?"

The taller Knight looks down at the young Chaos Lord with disdain as he answers the questions put to him. "They are called Hellhounds, the pets of Prince Julian. Beyond them are his men, those that call themselves Rangers. As for their intentions… we are unsure at this time but we fear it's not for the best."

"Ah. Pets of Prince Julian." Kendall nods and relaxes marginally. Although he still maintains his alertness, he is no longer so jumpy. "Thank you," he offers politely to the Knight. He considers the two banners currently being flown for a heartbeat, and then asks carefully, "It would appear he is offering another escort through his territory. Is there a reason you suspect that he may have other intentions?"

"Besides their hatred for your kind, and their bitter thirst to avenge their fallen comrades and Lord?" The knight replies, his tone cool. His eyes scan the tree line. "So they could either be our escort to the Queen's Veil or to our graves. We will not know till we arrive at the border of our Queen's Blessed Gift."

Kendall responds to the Knight's tone with a cool look. "That is a point," he agrees, "but we are here with the King's permission, are we not? Would Prince Julian go counter to his King's wishes in pursuit of his own interests?"

The Knight considers his answer for almost a minute, and then leans close so as not to be overheard. "I hate your kind, and sooner would see you all dead. But the King commands us to bring your kind to him, so we do." His eyes glance at the tree line again. "Others do not share our level of devotion."

Kendall's expression does not waver at the Knight's answer, his blue eyes cold and carefully neutral. He measures the Knight with his gaze for a long moment, and then gives a thin smile as he answers evenly, "Such loyalty and obedience to your King is commendable. He is wise in knowing who to trust with such specialized assignments." He pauses a heartbeat before adding politely, "There was mention before of a Queen's Blessed Gift? What manner of Gift would this be? Is this the same as the Queen's Veil?"

The Amber Knight just points to the horizon as they come out of the blackened forest. "There… She conjured it up in just one night during a fit of anger to keep back the Forces of the Abyss."

The horses slow, hooves kicking up clouds of ash. In the distance to their right on a low hill are the remains of piles, great heaps of twisted blackened armor dusted with gray powder, as if they not only burned the bodies but ground-up their bones. Here and there, women and children go about planting seedlings in the charred soil. Ahead is what must have been once rich farmland, but is now just torn-up earth with several camps of soldiers positioned about.

To the rear of the camps lies a ribbon of mist, hanging in the air. Stretching into the sky, framed by the mountains, it is a wall of fog that gives Kendall the chills. He feels the hairs on his neck prickling as he stares in the distance at the wreckage and then the fog. Not just that, but he suppresses an actual shudder that threatens to shake his shoulders, not willing to show weakness to the Knight whose eyes he can still feel on him. He looks at the ruin of the fields and the soldiers for a long moment before turning back to the knight and inquiring blandly, "The 'Forces of the Abyss' were kept back by a bank of fog? What special properties does it posses to do such a thing?"

"You will soon find out, young Lord," the knight answers, a hint of satisfaction in his voice.

Irritation flickers across Kendall's face, but he controls his expression almost immediately, giving the Knight a stiffly polite nod of thanks. He then holds his horse up, waiting for Brisbane, watching the other Knights as they pass. When he comes abreast of the Ambassador, he moves his beast to keep even and switches back to the language of their House to give his report.

"Our honorable escort informs me that the beasts are pets of Prince Julian. Hellhounds, he called them." Kendall chuckles humorlessly. "How quaint. Also, Julian's men out beyond the Hounds are called Rangers. We don't know what their intentions are, for good or ill, and won't know until we reach the Veil. Presumably that means we could be attacked at any time. Regardless, that fog bank up ahead is called the Queen's Veil, which was conjured up in a night to keep the 'Forces of the Abyss' back. The Knight wouldn't tell me what the fog does because he thinks it much more amusing to see us squirm. Finally," he glances at Brisbane out of the corner of his eye, some grim humor appearing on his face, "he hates all of our kind and would just as soon see us dead. However he will do his duty to bring us to his King, although, and I quote, 'others do not share their level of devotion.'"

Brisbane listens thoughtfully, before saying. "Very good, Kendall."

Kendall nods at Brisbane's words, feigning nonchalance but still giving away his pleasure at the praise with a faint flush. He turns his gaze back to the scenery, though there is not much to see except desolation. "Do you know anything about this Veil, sir? And did Sawall or Hendrake really call up creatures from the Abyss, or is that just propaganda?"

"Likely… there have been some nasty rumors floating about the Courts that they did release a handful of the more vicious creatures that haunt the upper ranges of the Bottomless Abyss. Whether they did or did not is little concern to Chanicut and our mission. If the Amberites wish our help in knowing more about any creatures that haunt their woods, it only adds to the strength of our hand."

A pause to consider that answer, then Kendall counters daringly, "I mean no disrespect, Elder, but I think it is our concern." He looks over at Brisbane with a hint of challenge in the tilt of his head and the jut of his chin. "If these Amberites look upon all from the Courts as being the same, as our escort indicated to me, then they will assume all are responsible for the acts of a few. They may even think the Houses are all in league." He shakes his head with an involuntary snicker; the thought of all 200+ Houses actually getting together and agreeing on something was too absurd to contemplate. He smothers his amusement quickly though, clearing his throat, then turns his gaze back to the surrounding knights. "The thought of being held responsible for Sawall's or Hendrake's activities does not sit well in my stomach."

"Neither with mine, neither with mine…" his mentor answers solemnly.

"So then I suppose it's my job to try to, ah… educate them?" Kendall's inquiry is almost a statement. "That is mostly what I'm here for?"

"As in all things related to House Chanicut," Brishbane utters, "there's not a single simple answer to one's questions."

Another pause. Then Kendall suggests, "You could always try a single, complex one."

Brisbane lets that pass without comment. He takes a minute to lick his lips, a little nervous now, answering another query instead. "The Queen's Veil as they call it is a graveyard of our kind. It is empowered by their accursed Pattern. And few who have entered… have gotten out alive to tell what they saw. The only thing we know is that you must keep your mind empty or they or it will use your own fears against you."

"Powered by the Pattern?" Kendall repeats wonderingly. "Keep my mind empty?" He thinks on his meditations, and how even in sleep things swirl through the mind without conscious volition. "How are we supposed to do that? Isn't there a way around it?"

"Kendall, you have had the best teachers that House Chanicut has to offer. Simply fall back on your mental training in trump mastery," Brisbane returns, the edge back in his voice. "And if there was another way, I doubt we would be on this road. They may be just testing or trying impress us. But I have no reason to believe they wish to harm us even after this little incident." He looks to either side of the road.

"Well, it hasn't become an 'incident' quite yet," Kendall remarks, trying not to be too obvious in his attempts to spot the four-legged creatures still pacing them. Curiosity about something called a 'hellhound' had been piqued; he remembered the ones he used to play with as a child, and wonders if they're the same. "The impression I got was that regardless of the necessity of going this route, the Knights are looking forward to a show." He falls silent then, trying to dredge up his lessoning from when he was younger. It was a long time ago and he seemed to recall avoiding a lot of the mental training in trumps, as it was rather less than entertaining.

Turning in his saddle again, Kendall finally gets his first clear look at the honor guard of canine escort then. They had stopped at the edge of the burned forest, now several hundred yards behind them. But this breed looked, well… cuddlier then what was back home, missing the heavy plates and bone spikes of his childhood friends. He studies them for a time, wondering if there was more than one type of hellhound, or if these Amberites were just sadly mistaken. Perhaps Julian just got himself some scary dogs and called them Hellhounds in order to frighten people. He makes a mental note to inquire with Shreanth about different types of Hellhounds when he returns to Chaos.

Bringing his attention back to the front, Kendall watches the white wall approaching closer till finally they're just a few hundred feet in front of it. The Leader of the Knights calls for a rest, dismounting and striding back to talk to his guests. "We will rest here for a full span," the Knight says, still having yet to give his name. "I would advise you get some sleep and a hot meal."

"Thank you. We will." Brisbane answers, with a slight bow of respect. "See to it Kendall, if you would."

Kendall nods to the Knight and Brisbane's request, then dismounts stiffly and signals the rest of the Chaosian party to do the same. Walking with purpose over to the gaggle of servants, he directs two to make a light meal for the whole group, and another to arrange for Brisbane's rest. Half of their escort cares for the horses or goes on guard, forming a loose perimeter circle around the Chaosians while the other half rests, with arrangements to switch the groups off. All that taken care of, he paces restlessly around the confines of the Chaosian camp, at loose ends, studying their surroundings, the Veil, and the other Amberite camp. A thought occurs then and he stops to look about the small area, looking for the guard who made the quote right at the beginning of the trip, spotting him in the resting group talking quietly with a couple other of their escorts near the horses.

The three immediately fall quiet when Kendall approaches, coming to a sort of attention, which he acknowledges with a nod. The young Lord dismisses the other two with a gesture, concentrating on the first. However, his eyes rove over the camp regularly, keeping careful track of the activities all around. Brisbane had been accommodated, reclining in a camp chair brought along specifically for him, a drink in his hand, his personal servant standing attentively nearby in case he needs anything. The other two servants, having gathered all the necessary items, had begun cooking up two meals, one for the Lords and one for the rest of the group. Kendall smells the faint aroma of meat and vegetables frying, his stomach reminding him abruptly and sharply that he hadn't eaten in a while.

When the other guards had stepped out of earshot, Kendall opens casually, remarking in Low Speech, "That was a fascinating quote you recited earlier. About crushing the 'White One.'" He pauses a moment, then inquires, "What do you know of Amber? Where did that quote come from?"

Sergeant Edrick looks both ways before speaking. "I was there… the day we lost to those bastards. Only due to my presence in the rear allowed me to escape. They didn't trust us, thought we would run the first chance we got… so they put us in the back. Due to their contempt of my men, and me, we survived while they died. Shortly after, we where hired by your fine House."

Kendall looks moderately surprised by something Edrick says, but simply asks, "What happened, exactly? From what I understand, the Houses were nearing victory, with superior numbers and positioning. Yet they were pushed back…" He trails off a little with an inquiring look, inviting Edrick to continue, his empty stomach forgotten.

"It was the damn Silver Lady… She and this damnable fog were to blame. We had them, exhausted and with nowhere to go. Reserves committed, ours for the taking. Just as the jaws where about to close, we hear this horn and see this lone woman dressed in silver ride out of this fog. Here I'm thinking it was just another one of their tricks, but she threw her axe into the air and boom the fog disappears. I won't go into what I saw, but only in nightmares do you see such sights." He jerks his head towards the forest. "The bodies you saw there is just a drop to what I saw that day." He bites his lip. "Then out of nowhere comes 10,000 of the meanest sons-of-bitches I did ever see, riding at us. It was a slaughter, we where out of position and they just rolled us up like one big old bleeding ball of scarlet."

Kendall listens avidly, storing the words away for future reference. His eyes flick over to the forest, following Edrick's gesture, and he stares into the woods for a time thinking, gaze distant. Then he shakes his head a little, coming back to the present, and turns his attention back to the merc. "I'm not sure I understand," he remarks when the other man had finished speaking. "Were there two fog banks, or are you speaking of the Veil here?" He indicates the eerie grey-whiteness that hovers nearby with a small gesture of his hand. He glances about the camp again to make sure all was well. One of the servants was taking something to eat to Brisbane. A group of resting mercs was gathered around the other servant to get some food as well. Kendall tries his best to ignore the crawly feeling on the back of his neck that had started at Edrick's hints of what he saw that day. Maybe he wouldn't eat anything after all.

Sergeant Edrick points at the Veil. "That hole to hell, whatever they call it. Only name I can think of to properly call it, is Death."

Another quick and nervous sweep of the camp shows everything still appears okay. Brisbane, while not enjoying his meal, is wolfing it down so he can get some rest. Kendall sees his servant Rory now walking over to him with a covered plate. The Amberites for their part are also resting, though Kendall notes with apprehension that some appear to be praying. He keeps his expression neutral, however, looking back at Edrick and nodding. "You should go eat," is all he replies, gesturing to the rest of the merc group gathered, eating and talking, near the cooking fires.

Rory reaches them at that point, bowing and handing the plate to Kendall who takes it without much enthusiasm. Kendall takes it back over to where Brisbane is working on his meal. Seating himself on another camp chair, Kendall nods to Brisbane and then looks at the plate. Not being an old campaigner, he doesn't find the prospect of eating right now all that appealing. He pokes at the food, pushing it around the plate without eating, then looks to his mentor. "Do you think we should let the rest of our group know what little you know about surviving in the Veil?" he inquires quietly in their House language.

"Only if you believe that it will help?" Brisbane pointedly asks back.

Kendall is silent for two heartbeats, framing his reply, before venturing, "It always depends on how one defines helping." He looks down at his plate as though seeing it for the first time, then glances about for something. Rory, ever prepared, is there almost immediately with water and a towel so Kendall can wash and dry his hands thoroughly before he gives eating a shot. He takes a couple bites, chewing and swallowing carefully with the air of someone trying not to think too closely about what he's doing. Once the first couple bites have been successfully consumed, however, the prospect of continuing the meal seems more appealing. He eats for a time with his usual precise manners, making good use of the napkin Rory also supplies, before turning back to Brisbane to continue his thought.

"What I meant is that if there is a way suspected or known to help prevent… dying in the Veil, perhaps it would be helpful for our escort to know it. Unless you think ignorance is bliss," he adds. "I'm sure the Amberites aren't going to share anything."

"Kendall, it does you honor to think of those in our service. But we are here seeking favor, and need every advantage we can obtain. Be it by a kiss, a bribe, a knife, or a death… I will use every means at my disposal to be sure that it is not our House that fades into history. I have seen the death of a House. It is not a pretty sight." He frowns. "The lines, standing there on the edge of the Abyss… the victors pushing each one in, one by one." Brisbane looks at his protégé. "I do not want to see you there… in that line."

Kendall looks faintly dissatisfied with that answer. "Your concern for my welfare is appreciated, sir," he answers first, getting formality out of the way. "However, I may have mis-stated my question. The loss of any resource is always something to be avoided, and thus it would behoove us to try to assist those who have been brought to escort us to Amber. However, more importantly, I am hesitant to end up in Amber with a very small or even nonexistent escort. It seems to me that one or two frightened guards would not impress all that greatly." He holds out his half-empty plate, which Rory takes with a bow, then drinks some wine, sipping carefully in measured amounts. The other servant takes care of any of Brisbane's needs as well, ensuring both Lords are as comfortable as possible. Kendall notices the changing of the guard then, the mercs previously resting trading off with the ones standing watch. He dismisses Rory to his own rest with a gesture.

Brisbane waits till the servants are out of earshot before continuing. "Wasting resources is something to avoid, but really… only you and I matter in this affair. I would dearly miss my aide Siorys." He places his half-empty plate to the side. "I fear more from the other Houses, than from Amber. I have heard whispers of dark deals." Brisbane looks this way and that. "So be even more on your guard."

Kendall nods, accepting the wisdom of Brisbane's words, wishing he could get more out of him than vague premonitions and veiled secrets. But instead of pursuing the issue, he stands, stretches, and looks around at the camp again, making sure all was as it should be. Or as close as was to be expected of a camp consisting essentially of hostage foreigners in a hostile land surrounded by "escorts" who would as soon cut their throats as take them to their destination, sitting mere spans away from a cloud of potential death.

Kendall feels another chill up his spine and turns his thoughts away from those dark paths, looking back at Brisbane. "You should rest, sir," he suggests solicitously. "We'll be moving on soon, I would imagine, and we don't really know how long we'll be riding through… there." He gestures with a finger in the direction of the Veil. His stomach was starting to feel dissatisfied with the food he had eaten as nervousness begins to set in again. He felt suddenly antsy. "I think I'm going to wander a while. See what I can see and hear."

With a small bow to his Elder, he departs. But even after a period of restless prowling about the camp, Kendall doesn't feel any better, nor has he learned anything new. Remembering Brisbane's suggestion about mental exercises, he decides to try a different approach. Finding a spot away from everyone else, he kneels on a blanket and attempts to calm his mind. It's a difficult process; he had always had trouble keeping focused on intangibles. With effort, he works to ignore his physical discomfort and begin routing his mental focus towards meditation. He tries every trick he knows, and a few he didn't know he remembered, to get centered, but to no avail. His stomach has gone past simply fluttery and unhappy, to downright queasiness and aching.

Opening his eyes, he looks about wearily and then climbs carefully to his feet. Seeing that none of the other guards are showing any sorts of discomfort, such as looking green, falling over, holding heads or stomachs, he looks instead for Brisbane. Once on his feet, the queasiness eases, but only marginally. Locating his elder after some heartbeats, Kendall carefully and slowly, with as much dignity as possible and trying not to make it obvious that he's about to double over or fall, heads in Brisbane's direction. While his walk is not the steadiest thing in the world, neither does he fall over as he nears his mentor.

Brisbane opens his eyes, as he hears Kendall's footsteps. Jumping to his feet as he notes the boy's condition, he guides his attaché to his chair. Checking Kendall's eyes, pulse and doing a quick look into his mouth, Brisbane calls for his gray case and a bucket, and the servants to hold up blankets to hide what is going on from the Amberites. Once all is set, he directs Kendall to vomit into the bucket as he unpacks his vials and jars.

It doesn't take much to convince Kendall to throw up. He obediently leans over the bucket and gives his full attention to his stomach; that's more than enough to bring everything he had eaten back up, and he spends several unsatisfactory heartbeats retching. When all is done, he pushes the sloppy mess away, not inclined to think anymore about such things, his stomach still not entirely happy for having gotten rid of its contents. A cloth had already been set nearby, which he uses to wipe his mouth, grimacing with distaste, and then looks around for something to drink to kill the flavor in his mouth.

"Am I the only lucky one?" he finally manages to ask Brisbane after all this. "We had the same thing, didn't w-" He falls silent abruptly, while his body tries to decide if it's going to go into a fit of dry heaves. He relaxes again as the sensation passes for the time being, but then notices Brisbane's vials and jars, and looks apprehensive again. In his experience, usually such remedies were just as bad if not worse than the original condition.

Lighting a stick of incense, Brisbane drops it into a bowl and gives it a quick fan to blow the smoke in Kendall's direction. After a few good lungs full, Kendall's headache starts to fade. Handing the lad a small vial of sky blue liquid, Brisbane opens a large jug and dumps a handful of white grubs into the bucket that Kendall just threw up in. Looking at it for two dozen heartbeats, he turns back to his case for a set of tweezers, which he uses to pick up each grub one by one till he finds a lifeless one, the once snow white grub now a bright red and brown with a touch of yellow.

"Mmmm… Interesting," Brisbane murmurs. "It is not fatal, merely a dose of merephant root."

Kendall breathes deeply of the incense, feeling welcome relief of his head problems. Then steeling himself for something terrible, he downs the contents of the vial in one gulp. It turns out to be cold, but fairly tasteless, and his stomach begins to settle. He concentrates on not thinking too closely about what Brisbane is up to in order to avoid upsetting it again, huddling miserably in the chair. He does look up at Brisbane's words though, looking at the colorful grub, then turns his glance to the servants for a moment, considering he hadn't had an eye on the food the entire time. "How do you feel, sir?" he inquires. "Or was it just my food, do you think?"

Brisbane looks again at his little book, digging into his case for the antidote. Once the materials are laid out before him, he starts to mix them into a glass of wine. During this whole little medical show, he continues talking to Kendall. "I feel fine, but I will take some of the antidote just to be safe." Brisbane takes a second to look at all the servants holding up the blanket wall. "I'm sure someone slipped you something before we left. " He winks, signaling to save the talk for later. "We are lucky that we caught it here. I would have hated for you to fall under its influence in the Veil."

"So there is an antidote," Kendall double-checks, sounding relieved. With both his head and stomach feeling better, life seemed to be rather more optimistic. He sits up straighter, looking more closely at Brisbane's medical paraphernalia. "How long will the antidote take to work? Will we have to wait here for a while?" He looks at the blankets again briefly before adding, "I'm hesitant to keep the group waiting…"

"Not quite sure, the book doesn't say exactly. But judging by your weight and youth, likely not long. Perhaps 500 heartbeats at the most." Brisbane looks up, following Kendall's gaze. "As for them, we can simply delay with some minor repacking accidents. House Chanicut's honor can withstand a few snickers in matters dealing with your health." Brisbane returns to his work, lighting a candle to heat the potion. "It will be ready shortly."

Kendall nods gratefully and waits patiently for the antidote to steep, then downs his portion in one gulp again and counts the time out, focusing his attention on that rather than the knowledge that they would most likely soon be heading into the Veil. Then he observes quietly to Brisbane, "It seems that the Veil isn't always completely selective about who it takes." He is quiet for a beat, listening to the sounds of the camps' increasing activity around them. "Many of the Amberites were worried as well. I wonder what criteria the Veil uses to decide who lives or dies. Do you suppose there's some sort of active consciousness involved, or just like a certain set of… guidelines?"

"Those are questions that we can only find out once we are within it." Brisbane answers, putting all the stuff back in his case. "Once in Amber proper, you can address those questions to the one who raised it."

Kendall gives Brisbane an ironic look, starting to feel much more himself. "I doubt the Queen will be inclined to share that sort of information with the 'Forces of the Abyss.' But," he forestalls Brisbane's expected response, "I shall endeavor to find out anyway." He grins then, discomfort, tension, and apprehension disappearing from his face momentarily and aquamarine eyes dancing in amusement. Without the pinched look of worry about his mouth and the studied coolness in his eyes, his youthful charm appears briefly. But the joke doesn't last long; a curse nearby from one of the mercs reminds him where they are and why.

Brisbane looks around, seeing the camp broken up and packaged away and the Amber Knights mounting their steeds. "Looks like you have a talent for understatements today, Kendall. But never let pride get in the way of common sense."

Kendall stands. "Yes, sir. I, ah… I believe I am ready, Brisbane," he says quietly. He sees a guard standing near his horse, ready to help the young Lord mount up. Brisbane places a hand on Kendall's shoulder and looks closely at him for a beat. Then he nods and turns to walk over to the leader of the Amber Knights.

Kendall takes some time to rinse his mouth out with water a few times while Brisbane talks to the Knight, wiping his mouth carefully with the cloth again and watching the two converse as he heads over to his horse. He doesn't mount up right away, observing Brisbane's expression grow darker, a frown appearing on the older man's face. He dismisses the merc waiting to assist him, taking the horse's reins, and waits for the Ambassador to return. Brisbane still does not look pleased as walks back to his attaché. "They wish to blindfold and bind us," he states, a hint of anger in his voice. "They say that it will keep us safe."

Kendall's expression registers shocked outrage for a brief moment. "What?!" His exclamation, not precisely a shout, still rises above the general noise of the camp activities. Vanya tosses her head and shifts uneasily at the outburst, ears going back. Several heads turn their way. Kendall's glance flicks to the Amberites briefly and then back to Brisbane, quickly settling his expression to something more neutral, but with an intensity in his eyes that betrays his agitation.

"They must be delusional, Brisbane," he continues much more quietly, but with force. "To think we would actually agree to something so patently outrageous. To keep us safe? This from the same person who admitted outright that he hated all of those from Chaos and would rather kill us? I think it likely they would be pleased to blindfold us and ride us off a cliff." He looks at Brisbane closely. "We will not submit to such, will we?"

His Elder thinks for a moment, fingers digging into his chin. "No blindfolds, that's for sure. But I will agree to at most a guideline." Brisbane looks at Kendall. "Shield wrist only…" The older man nods to himself. "Getting lost in the fog would not benefit any of us."

"You're going to agree to being bound?" Kendall's low voice sounds distinctly displeased with the notion. "What possible good would being bound be? Do they mean to our horses, or just tying our hands? Did he say why that would be safer? Will they be binding themselves?" He pauses briefly in his tide of questions, and then says more calmly. "I don't like it, sir. This whole business with going through the Veil makes me very nervous, more so than just going to Amber in general."

Another pause. "Then I will deny their request," Brisbane answers at last. "They can post riders on each side of us, to prevent us getting lost or led astray."

Kendall considers that suggestion for several moments, absently pulling his horse back over and laying a hand on her neck to calm her. Much activity in the Chaosian camp had ceased, the members of their group watching the intense discussion between the two Chaos Lords, unease apparent on their faces. Kendall looks over at the Amberites again, and glances at the Veil. "I think that would be an equitable compromise," he finally agrees, turning back to Brisbane. "Will we be setting out soon?"

The only response Kendall gets is a nod, as the older man returns to talk to the Amber Knight. Kendall mounts up while they talk, not taking his attention from the Ambassador and his conversation. It doesn't look friendly, but it's soon over. Brisbane mounts and then guides his horse to take a few back steps, giving the order for his party to fall into single file. As they do, Amber Knights move to either side of each Chaosian, so close that one has to be careful with their feet, so as not to kick the other person's horse.

Kendall directs his horse over behind Brisbane's and watches, trying to conceal his nervousness, as the Knights approach and pull their horses close next to him. He couldn't seem to do anything about the tightness in his face that indicated he was pale. He swallows with difficulty, but doesn't dare take a drink for fear his hand would shake and spill the water. Instead he turns his attention back to the front and the Veil with attempted nonchalance, gripping his reins with white-knuckled hands. One positive thing was that with the Amber Knights so close, Vanya could not react to the tension in her rider since she was boxed in so closely. Kendall frees one hand and pats her neck in an attempt to soothe one of them, although it's not clear whether the effort is on behalf of the horse or himself. Once the groups of three are lined up, the order is given to head out.

The misty form of the Veil beckons before them, and the thought runs quickly through his mind that one thing about getting this worked up is the Veil may actually be disappointing. He keeps himself from snickering at the silly thought by taking a deep and calming breath, keeping his face straight as they pass across the barrier into the milky whiteness….

Back to the list of Kendall's threads.
Into the Veil

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