- Episode 38 -
"I see the sun still shines upon the Silver Hall King Rainborne," Mal hadn't forgotten the customary greeting used when arriving before the king. Never one to waste time or bow to empty formalities he only did so out of respect for Tonniel, a boy who now king had proven his mettle to him long ago. He still wore both his steel studded coat as well as his trusty old blade at his side even though anyone else would have been forced to surrender such things before even being considered to set foot before the king. The truth of the matter was that none still served the king who probably could have managed to force him to comply, or quite honestly could have even had the courage to try. Even though it had been years since his booted steps had echoed across these hallowed halls, his name was still revered in whispers and his deeds talked of with wide-eyed wonder.
Now, Malthurion Abardeen, the storied knight himself was standing before them and so far none had been able to find their voice in his presence. The king himself was hard pressed to resist a grin himself when his eyes finally settled upon Mal, and allowed a half grin to mark his face. It was truly a gift to see him once more, and oddly enough he didn't look to have changed much to Tonniel's eyes.
"I hope you have been finding the quiet life of a farmer a fitting reward, old friend," the king spoke first to break the momentary pause of silence. "You have indeed been missed, what brings you before me now in such array and calling for an urgent audience? What could trouble a simple farmer so that he should take up arms and demand to speak before the king?"
Mal had known the man whose level gaze was trained keenly upon him since he was little. He had seen the measure of him and judged there was more cautious wit reserved behind his words. No longer a knight of standing within the court, Mal would have to be addressed as such.
"The Vault of Echoes has failed, it's guarded secrets loosed upon the world. I have witnessed it with my own eyes, myself and 2 other agents acted to preserve it. We only succeeded in securing a single guardian of the vault, while being beset by a hostile sorcerer and his forces. Fortune alone provided us with salvation - my companions intercepted items stolen from the Vault allowing us to at least thwart their plan if only barely. The Vault is no more and while the treasures it held were destroyed, their heinous magic has corrupted it somehow allowing it to escape."
As Mal briefed the king every ear in the court listened in shock and disbelief save for the king himself. He alone marked his trusted former knight's words attentively and allowed himself to contemplate both what he was saying as much what he wasn't. Whoever these two 'agents' were, if they had stood with Mal against such dire odds they must possess at the very least some portion of his courage.
And it desperately was sounding like they were going to need all the courage they could gather.