In the previous episode, Gremlaw, Huleta and Neevis, accompanied by Marshi, are leaving the fortress intending to leave Zhul-Quin to die. As they emerge from the fortress, readers voted that they find the Lavashian army with the Emperor at its head.
Gremlaw was initially unable to tell what the flashes of light were as the brightness cut into his retinas like knives of fire. Gradually the world resolved itself and his stomach flipped as he saw a host of armored, armed men, all bearing the Imperial insignia.
Slowly pushing the cart Mar-Tshi-Srin lay unconscious upon, he made his way down the short hill from Zhul-Quin’s crumbling fortress towards the army.
A single horseman, surrounded by a ring of steel in the form of massive Lavashian Imperial guards, approached Gremlaw and his small party.
The husband and father dragged his wife and daughter to their knees before following suit himself,
“Your Imperial Majesty,” Gremlaw croaked in Lavashian, “We are three strangers in your land and throw ourselves upon your mercy.”
Emperor Laz-Tuin-Kavash jumped nimbly from the back of his horse and slowly walked across to where the three Trathlainians knelt, he chopped his hand sharply to halt the guards who had followed him and took two further steps,
“This may be your wife and daughter’s first outing to Lavash,” Laz-Tuin-Kavash spoke softly in almost perfect Trathlainian, “However, you and I have been acquainted before, Gremlaw.” The kneeling man looked up to see a tiny smile play about the emperor’s lips, “You can get up now, it certainly looks as if you could do with a little comfort.”
“Thank you your Imperial Majesty,” Gremlaw whispered, “We managed to overcome Zhul-Quin who is tied up inside.” Laz-Tuin-Kavash’s large eyes widened marginally before he laughed. Speaking a few words over his shoulder, armed men swarmed into the old fortress like ants. Loudly, in Lavashian, he called out, “Come, my friends, we will dine well tonight.”
“We have had tiresome troubles with these Lost Ancestors,” Laz-Tuin-Kavash said as he entered the large pavilion which had been erected outside Gul-Maz. Waving the Trathlainians back down before they even rose he carried on, “Somehow Zhul-Quin managed to rise to power in the ranks and even had spies inside the palace.” He shook his head and took a goblet from a table before sitting.
Fixing Gremlaw with a piercing stare the Emperor of Lavash asked,
“Where are the rest, Gremlaw? Where are the Lost Ancestors?”
“Camped near the Trathlainian border, Majesty.” Gremlaw said with some surprise. The emperor groaned and grabbed his head theatrically,
“Ah, Gremlaw, why did you turn down my offer of ambassador?” he moaned in a mock serious voice, “You have handed me my most vile enemy and the whereabouts of her forces within an hour of us meeting! I need men like you!” Gremlaw thought he might come to like this man, who had a flair for the dramatic,
“There aren’t any other men like me,” he stated with a straight face. The emperor roared with laughter and thumped the table.
“No, you are right there!” Laz-Tuin-Kavash agreed. “Will you allow my army to convey you home?” he asked, “And possibly watch as we crush the Lost Ancestors once and for all?” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.