Medievia Mudslinger

March 24th, 2002

No Rest for the Wicked - by Allyrellia

Stretching wearily, I stood up from my comfortable bed inside the beautiful palace of my clan's town. Sunlight was streaming in through my diamond-paned windows and sending bright little rainbows all across the marble floor tiles. Basically, it was another beautiful morning in our town. Groaning grumpily, I pulled on a plain pair of brown leggings and a soft cream tunic and opened the door to the hallway. With a soft swoosh, a knee-high pile of notes delivered by the round-the-clock imps fell around my feet, burying them completely. Muffling another groan, I got to work, pulling all the notes into my room and sitting down amidst them to begin to read.

Hours and exactly sixty-seven notes later, I stumbled out of my room and down the long flight of spiraling steps into the main lounge in our palace. Much to the amusement of my fellow guild members, several of the smaller notes had somehow gotten lodged in my hair and at least two were sticking out of my boots. Quietly cursing to myself, I pulled the little papers off of my person and threw them at Alkanar, the town's new leader. He chuckled good-naturedly, and there was yet another difference between us; he was an early riser and tended to be the cheeriest of people in the mornings, whereas I wouldn't be alive again until at least mid-afternoon. Perfect as his timing is, he waited until I was seated with a strong mug of herbal tea before he decided to break his news upon me.

"I'm going to be gone for a week." he stated calmly, watching my shock and dismay with great amusement. "I'm going to travel to the edge of the lands to watch the habits of the glorious baenlyrs and write a good documentary on them, possibly to submit to the Mudslinger as a wonderfully educational column. They are really quite amazing creatures you know, and so little is known of them that this is really quite a chance."

Calm and business-like as ever I replied serenely, "WHAT? What are you thinking? I just stepped down and gave you my job as leader of the town so I could just assist you as leader of our new little clan and possibly even semi-retire at the ripe old age of 18 and you're going to go off and write about some overgrown SNAKES? No way! You're out of your mind, you can write about the little snakes we have in the wilderness not two feet outside of our town's gates! That's it!"

Alkanar's reply was full of respectful obedience, as should be from someone who had received so much of my time and care ever since he had entered the lands of Medievia. "Nope, I'm going, and you have to watch over stuff again. It's not as if you don't know how to lead, you're the one that taught me."

Glaring uneasily at this young man I had officially adopted into my bloodline, although he had several years on me, I decided to try calm reasoning with him. "Be sensible, Alkie," I began logically, "you can't leave me here alone, I'm supposed to be retiring remember?" I gave him my sweetest and kindest smile, "I trusted you with this clan that I started and you can't possibly want to go chase after some yucky old snakes as opposed to staying here with us, now can you?" Seeing him begin to nod vigorously, I quickly changed tactics. "Besides," I snapped, "if you go I'll absolutely gut you from foot to toe with the dullest sugar spoon I can find! And a rusty one at that!"

Much to my annoyance, Alkanar simply grinned and waved at me, then promptly walked out of the lounge door after picking up two large bags I hadn't noticed when I walked in. "Seeya!" he called cheerfully as he raced down the stairs. Shocked, I listened to his pounding boots until I could no longer hear them in the halls below. Burying my head in my hands, I proceeded to verbally abuse his ancestry and his intelligence for a good ten minutes before being interrupted by a rather loud burst of laughter. Offended, I looked up into the mirthful face of Roirdei, one of the more friendly immortals of the realms. He was gripping his sides and repeatedly bursting into gales of laughter at which I could only presume to be my circumstances. Giving him my most haughty glare I stood slowly from the table and walked over to face him eye to eye. Or rather, given my height, or lack of, eye to his middle shirt buttonhole. Rather put out by this, I glanced up to see a calm face, even if I could tell that his mirth was just barely being contained. I raised a royal eyebrow at him, daring him to tell me what he was thinking.

Obviously unaware of my morning moods, Roirdei cheerfully exclaimed, "Hah! Looks like you don't get to retire and rest after all! After all, there is no rest for the wicked!" At his own wit, he lost control of his somber fašade and laughed heartily, completely unsympathetic to my feelings.

I sniffed a bit huffily, and I must admit in all honesty that at that point, immortal or not, I was about to order that impertinent imp of a god out of my palace. However, I caught a glimpse of several curious faces of my clanmembers at the door behind Roirdei, so containing myself professionally, I smiled sweetly at the shining example of an Immortal before me, I curtsied and stepped neatly around him to face the growing little crowd.

Mustering all of the self-control I had learned after nearly two years of leading a bouncing group consisting mostly of males, I smiled and bade them all good morning. As it turned out, most of them had known what their new leader had been planning to do, and smiling even more brightly to them, I secretly vowed to dump a few dozen of the most prickly sea urchins I could find into his baths before he returned. However much I wished to simply return to my bed and lose myself in another hour or five of slumber I knew that that would be impossible. Therefore, I forced myself to lead the entire group into the armory, suit them all up in some of the best armor and weaponry and lead them all into the wilderness outside of the town. As we continued down the slightly worn path towards the City of Medievia, the men and boys behind me joked merrily with each other about various important topics. Of them, I had a feeling that the most important were the worth of rabbits or cats by the pound and the mysterious magical uses of the newly found fruit, the kumquat. Allowing myself a small sigh, which was well hidden by the heavy helm I wore, I trudged steadily towards the City of Medievia, wishing myself the best of luck with every step.

Upon reaching the gates of the city, I quickly scanned over the members of my group, taking a good head count and pausing to briefly issue instructions. "All right," I spoke, loudly and clearly, so that there could be no mistaking my words, "You have exactly two hours to wander the city and do whatever it is that you do in your time. At exactly high noon, we will regroup here at the eastern gate, with a warhorse. Each and every one of you must attain your own mount. From there, we will buy some freight and take a run towards the Temple of Thanos to earn money for our wonderful guild. There are no exceptions. I shall personally remove all rank bestowed upon any of you who dares to be late!" On that firm note, I nodded at them all and finished up with a brisk, "Dismissed!" Upon hearing my dismissal, the entire group disappeared without any order at all in various directions, most clutching moneybags as they ran. Passing a weary arm across my face, I trudged wearily to the Inn to allow myself an hour of repose before I must begin to assemble the necessary items for what I had planned.

Exactly three hours and five minutes later, I awoke to the screaming of an angry babe in his mother's arms. At first, this interruption of my rest was met with complete disapproval and annoyance on my part, but after glancing at the sun's location from the window, panic ruled me. Barely remembering to toss a nice bundle of coins upon the front desk, I grabbed up my armor and ran down the streets of the city, pulling on boots and leg plates as I hurried. I arrived, panting and red-faced at the eastern gates, expecting to see my group waiting there with disciplined patience. Instead I was met with a sight of exactly two separate games of dice among my wonderful men, and several young ladies who looked to be of ill repute reposing amidst the group. Affixing my most stern look upon my face, I stood above the assembled group silently, waiting for them to come to attention.

After a good ten minutes, I realized that I was by no means going to get anyone's attention in that manner, so I picked up my trusty dagger and smacked the nearest helmet I saw. And of course, it was not my fault that this helmet was attached to the head of the coleader of my new little guild. As Essej sat on the ground scowling up at me and rubbing his ringing head, I cast my scornful gaze across the others.

"Disgraceful." I pronounced concisely as I eyed the little group and its guests. "Absolutely disgraceful. Why, when I was leading this town of guilds, such things would never have happened! This type of party would have stood at attention, showing firm discipline and outstanding training coupled with a good deal of patience. Alkanar has been too lenient with you, allowing you social hours to simply laze away in the company of." I trailed off there, letting my gaze rest pointedly upon a scantily-clad young woman who was lounging in the lap of one of my men. Zehr met my look with one of embarrassment as he scrambled to push the lady off his lap.

They finally got my point. Quickly, they assembled their gear and within two minutes were all at attention, horses neatly packed and saddled, ready for departure. The men stood in neat lines facing me, arms straight at their sides. I surveyed this scene with smug satisfaction. I gave the order to mount up, and soon we were well on our way with wagons in tow towards the distant Temple of Thanos.

However, we had only traveled a score of miles when a small purple imp appeared in a cloud of thick smelly smoke and handed me a dirty message scrawled on cheap parchment. Without waiting for a reply, the imp sneered at the men behind me and disappeared with a small clap. Disgusted with the imp services yet again, I unrolled the note and read it, annoyance building like the pressure beneath the volcanoes of Medievia as I got further into the letter. Of course, it was an express imp note from Alkanar, telling us of the wonderful accommodations he had acquired in the distant village at the edge of the realms where he was staying in pampered luxury as he studied the baenlyrs. Not to mention the beautiful women he was working with. I glanced around at my clanmembers; they were as dirty and tired as I was I could see. I silently handed the note to the younger Prince of the head clan, and coincidentally, another of my adopted sons, Lotas. He read the note quickly and dropped it upon the ground, reining his mount in to tread upon it heavily. I looked at him and saw that he was just as annoyed as I was and I grinned suddenly. Clearing my throat, I eyed the group behind me.

"Well, as you may have surmised," I began, in a carefully calm tone, "I have just received notice that Alkanar has arrived safely at his destination. He is having such an amazing time that he has instructed me to make arrangements for the entire clan to enjoy a week in the luxurious baths of the City of Trellor, and staying of course, in the very finest of manors there as well."

Lotas gave me a look of pure mischief as he continued for me, "He has also offered to foot the entire week's bills himself, so do not hesitate to enjoy all of the wonderful luxuries that are offered in this amazing City."

While the group chattered excitedly, I quietly gave Lotas detailed instructions for the rest of the week, and left him with our merry group of men as they headed cheerily towards Trellor. As for myself? I patted my horse fondly and released it, watching as it happily galloped off into the forest, doubtless after its own little vacation. Putting two fingers to my lips, I whistled softly and winced as a little fire lizard appeared upon the toe of my boot, burning a dark hole through the leather. Grumbling quietly, I handed him a good amount of gold and hastened to mount the enormous dragon he had summoned for me. Soon I was well on my way to the pretty little town that my clans called home.

The next six mornings had the most beautiful sunrises ever seen in our parts; full rich crimsons and golds blended with sapphire blue and creamy white across the expanse of the horizon. Or so I am told at least, since I spent the morning snuggled happily in my beautiful chambers beneath several layers of feather comforters. On the morning of Alkanar and the clan's scheduled returns, I lounged lazily upon the balcony, nibbling at several tasty fruits and sipping the sweetest of ambrosia nectars, Roirdei himself returned to the mortal realms with a slightly guilty look upon his face.

He stood before me and scuffed his godly shoe upon my marble tiles as I regarded him silently and suspiciously. Finally, he broke down and told me that he and Alkanar had gone together to a distant island of the realms where they spent the week wooing beautiful women and relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, enjoying the bachelor life once again. He seemed to be bracing himself for my anger, which of course, is always slow coming. I merely smiled at him, knowing that he would have at least several mountains of mail standing outside *his* doors, and that Alkanar would be working just as hard paying off his bills. Sweetly, and in my kindest tone, I simply remarked to him, "There is no rest for the wicked!"

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