This is a short snippet I wrote a not long go, (about last week actually). Its set just before Garrik arrives in Madrigal in Myth II. The focus was to make Alric a more three dimensional character by adding his fears over his Levellerness to be and the fact that he has no heir, he fears that he is leaving the Province in a worse condition than he recieved it and it will not be able to defend itslef against him when/if he returns. Enjoy and tell me what you think.
King Alric of Madrigal sat in his study, adjacent to his throne room. He was at his desk reading documents and reports from distant regions of the Province. In his right hand he held a glass of brandy, which he sipped at occasionally, only releasing it from his hand to sign documents or refill the crystal glass.
He wore a simple red velvet robe, which, when he stood, reached his ankles. Adorned on it were golden sequins and threading, clearly showing his status. Upon his belt a short ceremonial shield hung sheathed. Around his head he wore the golden fillet which had imbedded upon it 4 round rubies, representing the four counties of the Province and a single oval diamond in the centre, representing his sovereignty over them.
On the corner of the table lay the true crown of the Province. It was a simple item, being made of only gold with no gems or jewels upon it. Having been passed down over the four and a half thousand years since the nations founding, it had been forged in far less plentiful times, unlike the headband which had been made only 50 years ago.
He rarely wore either, or even the robe, preferring simpler, more comfortable clothing. However today he had met with the nobles, his advisors having convinced him that to retain their respect he would need to act and dress like a king.
Alric deplored the nobles, he had little respect for them. However they were a necessity after the war. The legions ranks far too depleted to maintain the peace alone, and the nobles men were needed to police the lands he had fought to protect while they sat in their large town houses ready to offer allegiance to whichever side occupied their lands. They were now no longer necessary, since the armies had been rebuilt, but they held too much political sway for Alric to throw them from their lands, as he wished he could.
Alric himself had changed greatly since the Great War, sixty years ago, in both appearance and mind. His face had become long and narrow, his grey hair reaching his shoulders, kept back by the lesser crown, his grey beard neatly kept. His expression showed the years of hardship he endured in the war, and the rebuilding in the aftermath. Though his body did not show his age, his eyes did, to look on the eyes that had seen too many retreats, too many sacrifices, too many deaths.
A gentle knock smote the wooden door, Alric ignored it, continuing his reading. The knock was heard again, louder. Alric stood up and walked to the door, lifting the latch and opened it slowly. On the other side stood Mauric, who was leaning heavily on a cane. He smiled and said in a cheerful tone "Are you going to let me sit down, my legs haven?t the strength they used to." To which Alric responded simply by standing aside and letting the old man amble in.
Mauric was old, older even than Alric, though lacking the magic flowing through Alric's veins his age showed. It was not his eyes that showed the battles of the war, which had unlike Alric's, showed happiness and contentment, but in the many scars that were etched across his face. He was bent over a simple wooden cane, and he wore basic leather clothing, which did not hint in any way to his former position as Prince Regent.
He sat slowly into the large, comfortably cushioned chair in the corner of the room. He looked up and smiled at Alric, and said calmly "Rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated." To that Alric said in a low voice, "So I see." And he smiled.
The King and his predecessor spoke for several hours, reminiscing about bloody battles against Fallen Lords and political ones against Noble Lords. About the struggle to rebuild and the fruits of their labour. Late into the night after going through several bottles of Alric's fifty year old brandy Mauric spoke in a half drunken tone, "Bruin said that you had bars put into the window in your room, what does the great Avatar Alric fear, his window, twenty meters from the ground?" Alric's smile faded, he sobered, the darkness in his eyes returned, he seemed to age before Mauric's eyes.
"I am old Mauric, time is running out," he stood up and stared out the stained glass window, "for four and a half thousand years the line of Covenant has continued unbroken. Since our cities founding the kingship has been passed from monarch to child without fail. It survived Sorangath's wrath, Moagim, and even when the Myrkridia threatened to push humanity to extinction, our line survived, until now."
"Is that all you fear, the breaking of the line?" said Mauric, who had also sobered
"There is no heir, I have no child, nor have you." said Alric, turning his head around to look into Mauric's face.
"So, surely we will find a suitable leader, and besides you have plenty years yet."
"Have I?" he said it again quieter, more sorrowful, " Have I?" he sat down again once more, staring at a crack in the marble floor, a tear welled up in his eye and said in a whisper, "Have I?"
"That's not all, is it"
"I know what is coming, I know what I am to become."
"What" said Mauric, getting agitated by Alric's riddles "What are you to become."
Alric spoke slowly, calmly as if reciting a poem, but his eyes were filling with tears, "Each age is ushered in by the Leveller, the transient divinity that seeks only conflict, a hero will rise to counter this dark beast. And each age of splendour gives way to one of darkness, and from darkness, to light. And so Tireces who defeated Sorangath became Moagim who summoned the Myrkridia and ushered in the Wind Age, and Connacht who defeated he became Balor, who pushed humanity closer to extinction than ever before and thus ushered in the Sword Age, and he was defeated by Alric, who's destiny is still untold."
He trailed off and bowed his head.
Mauric shook his head and said defiantly, "We cast Balor's head into the Devoid, entombing The Leveller within it for all time"
Alric stared into Mauric's eyes, he stared back, and he saw the fear in Alric's eyes and shuddered.
"Is it, are we sure? Has the cycle been broken? It appears to have had, we have come from the Wolf Age, an age of greatness for the Cath Bruig, and we should be in a Dark Age, but sixty years have passed and all seems well." He moved closer to Mauric, until their noses were centimetres apart, "Yes, all seems well."
A noise muffled by the door was heard, as the source came closer the calls became clear, "Your Majesty, Your Majesty." A young man burst through the door, he was wearing the standard armour of the palace guard, a thick leather waistcoat with hard, well-polished mail beneath. In one hand he carried his circular shield, his short sword sheathed in its scarab at his waist.
"A lieutenant from the eastern patrols is here, he bears grim news"
Garrik strode in, he still wore his armour for he had no time to change out of it after arriving in the city but an hour ago, he held his domed and blood stained helmet by his side its sheen long since gone. His sword and shield had been left at the palace doors, as are the weapons of all visitors, unless they be guards or for ceremonial use, or wielded by the king himself.
He stood silently for a moment and then spoke in a sad and weary tone, "Your Majesty, Soulblighter he has-"
"-returned, yes, I had feared it was so" Alric replied in a tone even more solemn than Garrik's and he turned and faced the wall, his head bowed.