Rest & Recovery

With a nod to the guards as he passes, Kendall steps into the suspended glass walkway as if this sort of thing was an everyday occurrence. The Captain comes in behind him and the iron door shuts with a loud thud. The enclosed hallway sways under their feet.

The Knight motions Kendall forward. "You need not fear, this hallway is very secure," he says.

Kendall gives the Knight a puzzled look as they walk, easily keeping his balance on the swaying floor. "Of course it is," he agrees.

Midway across the chasm separating castle from towers, he slows and then comes to a stop to gaze through the glass at the scenery. Blue waves roll in and crash against steep cliffs at either end of the walkway. Water sprays in the air, creating rainbows in the garish yellow sunlight, and birds fly above and below. Three large towers of white marble loom in front of them, linked together with identical walkways.

"These towers were originally built for Queen Rilga, but…" The Knight's voice chokes with sadness. "They are known by another name now. Maeve's Vigil."

"Why is that?" Kendall asks, curiosity pushing away the studied coolness of his expression.

The Knight studies Kendall for several stesps as if wondering something. "'Tis only a name, Lord Kendall. Best we reunite you with your party, for they have been asking about you since they arrived. But we ask that you don't stray beyond these towers without an escort."

"Might I inquire where I would acquire such an escort in the future?" the Lord asks. "Or are we to wait until summoned?"

"While there are no restrictions to your movement within the castle or city, we — the High Guard — request that you keep your travels limited," the Captain replies with a respectful tip of his head. "If you would be so kind. As for an escort, a simple knock on the iron door will do."

His formality disappears into a sudden grin. "Though I have a feeling that you will be looking forward to to seeing these towers after going to all the social events I hear Princess Florimel has planned to honor your visit."

Kendall shakes his head with a slight smile. "I am confident all the entertainments planned will be most enjoyable. Thank you for your assistance. May I know your name?" he asks politely.

"Sir Thomas," the Knight answers as they reach the next heavy door, this one bound in silver. The Knight turns to face the young Chaos Lord. "If you wish to attend dinner, you have till six chimes of the Grand Clock to prepare yourself. On the ending of the sixth, your escort will be waiting at the inner door."

Kendall nods and then opens the door. On the other side he is greeted by House Chanicut guards who slap him on the back in celebration of his arrival. Kendall's ears are filled with their questions, but he is not able to answer right away as a servant leads him away to see his superior. A quick walk up four stairs and a turn finds Ambassador Brisbane seated before a huge….thing.

Kendall spares a glance and then a second longer look at the huge, ticking contraption his Elder appeared to be studying. But his brain can't make immediate sense of it so he gives his attention back to Brisbane.

"Sir?" he inquires, unconsciously slipping back into the language of his House. "Tis a relief to see you arrived safely."

Brisbane glances at Kendall. "It should be me saying that to you… You had me worried," he replies. Returning his gaze to the ticking thing, he remarks, "A most interesting place, they are forced to measure time." He shakes his head in disapproval. "Most inconvenient to say the least."

Kendall turns his attention to the device, still not understanding it and not really caring at this point. "Yes, so I learned a short while ago," he agrees. He pauses, standing and waiting for two heartbeats, then adds, "I'm afraid I didn't have a very restful night, sir. May I be excused to change and rest? I will give my report later…" he suggests hopefully.

Brisbane absently waves a hand in dismissal. "Rest. And get some nutrition in you," he says, going back to his examination of the weird object in front of him.

Rory leads his master to a rather sparse but comfortable room. On the table is a full meal, and Kendall feels torn between the dual desires for a meal or a bath. Both sound incredibly appealing at that moment and he stands indecisively for four heartbeats before his itchy scalp makes the decision for him. He gives Rory an inquiring look, and the servant nods; knowing his master as well as he did, he had prepared a bath in spite of the warm meal. Kendall had eaten cold food on more than one occasion, and complained less about that than the feeling of grubbiness. The meal would wait.

Kendall follows the servant to a pristine bathing room, shedding his clothes almost before getting there and dropping them in the entry space with a muttered, "Burn them." He glances about with a mix of disapproval and disappointment, noting there was only one tub in the room. With a sigh over uncivilized Amberites, he sinks into the steaming water, submerging completely and then scrubbing body and hair almost savagely in an effort to wash away a certain contamination of the spirit along with the dirt.

The dirt is easy to remove, but the inner unease remains.

After scrubbing every part of himself twice, Kendall waits with commendable patience derived mostly of weariness as Rory lets the water out and then runs in fresh. He reclines with his eyes closed while the water fills up to his neck, and then simply spends some time floating and regenerating. It was amazing how distant such things could seem even after mere Turnings, even the events just before entering the Veil. His thoughts turned to Louella briefly, but that line of reflection led to things he didn't want to contemplate right now.

Yet the encounter with the Queen was also unsettling. Frightfully informal; with another Chaosian, he might consider her manner an invitation for more intimate relations, but he didn't know if such things were typical in Amber. He shivers again, feeling a chill even in the hot water. Giving up on the bath, he climbs out more slowly than usual. Rory appears immediately with towels and a robe, assisting his master as needed before showing him back to the table.

Kendall doesn't really taste the food, devouring it so fast and so completely — so differently than his normal precise habits — that Rory feels compelled to step forward with a murmured admonition. The young Lord ignores him, however, interested mainly in finishing the meal as soon as possible in order to allow more time for rest.

He couldn't later have told anyone exactly how his meal ended or how he got to his bed, things all blurring together in a haze of exhaustion. He wouldn't later remember collapsing onto the bed still half in his robe, or Rory carefully removing it and tucking the covers around him. The Lord knew only a deep and absolute blackness, a stillness untroubled by dreams.

Kendall returns to himself suddenly and completely but lies still, listening and waiting for… something. The bed was unfamiliar, yet there was more to it than that. He had awakened in strange beds plenty of times in his life, but never quite like this. Scents and sounds, both subtle and obvious, seemed out of place. Alien. And the very air itself felt different in some indefinable way. He waits, keeping his breath even, until memory returns with the mental impact of a fall into the Abyss.

No, it wasn't all a dream, horrible or otherwise.

He opens his eyes with a sigh, not even bothering to swear mentally. Sitting up, he looks out the window and notes the light had changed considerably in the time he had been out of things. Shadows had moved and lengthened, but there was also a certain golden quality that hadn't been apparent before. Softer and more subtle than the glaring light of "afternoon."

He glances about, listening for sounds of people nearby taking in the scenery around him. The room is "nice" in that sort of blasé way a blank wall might be nice. Various pieces of furniture, some rugs, and heavy curtains — all of obviously fine make — fill the room with decoration but no personality. The place felt cold even though the temperature was well within acceptable standards.

Having seen as much as there was to see from the bed, Kendall pushes the blankets back and stands up. Almost before his feet touch the floor, the door opens and Rory appears with a carafe of juice and glass, which he sets on the table nearby. As Kendall wanders over to the washbasin to bathe his hands and face, the servant silently begins laying out a change of clothes, knowing better than to speak to his master immediately after he had awakened.

Clothes were next after the wash, and then Kendall feels almost ready to face the world again. He sends Rory to let Brisbane know he is ready while finishing up the carafe of juice. A final check of his person — straightening a seam on his trousers — is all that is needed before venturing into the tower suite again, wondering what exactly he would tell his Elder.

Back to list of Kendall's game threads
In Amber: Calm Before the Storm

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