Here comes the fresh Chapter 9 of the story [THE DARK WARLOCK] from Darth2018. Let’s see together what happens
The keep was tense the next morning for the anger of their lord following his return spread like a contagion through Kraguaard. No one wanted to risk the ire of their incensed master.
Mirrell hurried across the courtyard to attend her lady within the Great Hall. She was the Mistress of the House but she chose to live in a small apartment in the outer wall of the keep. It was the only way she could get away from the strain of such a large household. Mistress she was but even she needed some time to herself, though since the attack and the maiming of her lady, that had come in short supply.
Entering the Great Hall, the servants were reserved as they laid out the morning table. She went straight to the kitchen.
“Nevroth?”, she cried, approaching the smoking stoves and the cooks hunched to their tasks, “Is the Lady’s tray ready? She needs food to heal!” Everyone jumped at her words. Nevroth, a stout woman of median age, came bustling over.
“Yes, yes, Mirrell! The tray is where you always want it. Didn’t you look?” Exasperation in the cook’s voice was pronounced this morning and no wonder with the atmosphere of the keep on such a knife’s edge.
Mirrell paused, sensing the disturbed aura of her staff. Since Ralnar’s return, his anger was so palpable none dared approach him. She shook her head.
“Sorry, Nevroth!” she said, reaching out to pat the cook’s arm gently. “I know he can be a trial sometimes.”
The stout woman seemed to sag where she stood. “Alas! The poor man and his lady so badly hurt! It’s no wonder his mood is so foul!”
Mirrell nodded. “Aye. We must be understanding just now. His mood will lift. Get a pot of kaff and come with me.” She took up the tray and left the kitchens to begin the climb up to the lord’s apartment. Three stories up, walking along the corridor, she nodded to the guards at the door.
“Careful, Mistress Mirrell!” One of the guards cautioned her in a low voice. “He’s not very sociable this morning.” The man was older than most of the watch, his grizzled whiskery face showing the price of being in the guard but he still stood straight and his stature was that of a hale and healthy man.
“Thank you, Staldorf.” Mirrell replied as the guard knocked gently on the door. Almost at once, the door was snatched open and a livid Ralnar stood in the doorway, his eyes ablaze at the disturbance, but he saw the tray and Mirrell staring at him and he backed away, his expression softening a bit.
“Ah! Breakfast.” He looked at Mirrell. “She seems a little hungry this morning.”
Mirrell moved to the bed and set the tray on a small table next to the bed, then turned to look at Aelynn. The woman looked drawn and fearful.
“My lady, it is Mirrell! I have your breakfast here and Nevroth has brought fresh kaff as well. Will you sit up this morning?” The house mistress reached down. “Let me help.” Aelynn jerked at her touch but then quickly apologized.
“Good Mirrell! Thank you for your kindness. I am a little hungry. What have you brought for me?”
Mirrell peered intently at her mistress and replied. “Why, Nevrorth has prepared biscuits so light they will melt on your tongue. Bacon also, for I know you love that. Butter and honey as well and fresh brewed kaff! If you will, Nevroth shall attend you just now, for there are matters of the house that I need to discuss with Lord Ralnar.”
Mirrell straightened and stared at Ralnar, nodding toward the door. He led the way out into the corridor. They walked to an embrasured window down the hall. She pointed outside but she whispered hotly to the man beside her.
“What are you thinking, Ral? How dare you put such distress upon that poor girl!”
The elf lord stiffened at her fury but had no chance to reply as she charged on.
“You aren’t the only one heartbroken for her! See what your ire is doing to Aelynn! She may not be able to see but she can still feel! Everyone can sense your mood, and she most of all!”
The house mistress clenched her arms around herself, tugging hard. Ralnar saw the woman was battling tears but when she glared up at him, he stepped back a pace.
“You are not the only one who loves her!” She growled quietly.
Ralnar trembled with anger for a moment, but then seemed to deflate and his face fell. Mirrell reached out tentatively to grasp his hand.
“Ral! Everyone cares deeply for you both. We would do anything you asked of us. We are as aghast as you about the lack of help from our neighbors. Neighbors! Maybe that’s too generous a description?”
Ralnar’s jaw stiffened as he pondered her words but his mood seemed better.
“You are right, Mirrell. I shall do better for her and for you all. And as for our neighbors?’ His face darkened as he murmured. “Something will have to be done about that.”
Mirrell said nothing but a chill coursed through her and she was suddenly afraid.