26 The Request of a Certain Ex-Knight*
Knight General Quince Turney had had to deal with many strange and fantastical requests in his long and successful career. He believed above all else that his his career had been so successful in this peacetime because of these requests. The noble class of the Eldovian Empire was something to be marvelled at, though, those in the right position would know that their position also gave them certain priveleges.
These privileges came in all shapes and sizes. Some were as simple as requesting a little extra force for a sanctioned mission. Others were eccentric to the extreme, such as escorting several crates of an unspecified substance to a particular location, and then turning a blind eye to a particular lords...fetish.
In short, nearly all of these requests at Fountain Ridge had to be sanctioned or disposed of by Knight General Turney. His success had weighed on the fact that he was capable of judging which of three categories these requests fell into:
Menial Tasks - those which could be carried out without impact to the economy or social order of the province
Disposable Tasks - those that were not worth doing nor reporting.
Impactful Tasks - those that were reported to the local Duke for him to have a say in matters.
Whether or not the requesters approved of the Knight General's sharing nature or not was not a matter he concerned himself with. He had been in this role for twenty years, the last thing he was going to do was make a decision that could very well bring the weight of the entire Kildare Family down on his shoulders.
That is, until he received a certain letter from a certain exiled man.
The day that Quince Turney received that letter was quite plain. A typical spring day. The sun was shining, interrupted intermittently by white fluffy clouds that decorated the sky as they saw fit. A light breeze was blowing into his office through the window, rustling the documents and forms weighed down by various weights and trinkets.
With his reading classes sitting delicate on the bridge of his nose, Knight General Turney had been busy going over a report from a recent feud in the market place of Fountain Ridge's capital, Agua. The feud itself seemed trivial at first, there were two vendors who were fighting over rights to own a certain stall front. The problem was that this storefront was on a corner that was considered prime real estate. The previous owner had left the establishment to his son, one of the fighting vendors. But this Vendor's uncle had sold the stall to the second Vendor in the disagreement, then run off with all the profits. Needless to say, the report detailed how Knight Captain Harding had had quite the headache after listening to the dispute for nearly four hours the previous morning before insisting he bring it up with his Knight General. It other words, Turney can have the pleasure of dealing with you.
As the General decided on a way to resolve the matter, his Scribe, a young man named Sam, entered with the mail.
"I have the mail for you, Sir," Sam said.
Turney barely glanced up, "Yes, yes, put it on my desk, anything urgent?"
"Not that I can see, Sir, though there is one letter that has made it quite the distance, the return address says it is from Cordon, that tiny village on the edge of the Greenvale Forest in Arkia. It must have taken at least a month to get here-"
"Give me that," Turney said immediately, completely abandoning the report before him and standing to walk swiftly to the table where the Scribe had left the letters. Sam was quite taken aback by this. What would the General have to be so concerned about from someone in such a middle-of-nowhere remote town? Nevertheless, he handed over the letter, and the General looked at the address intently.
It read simply: The home of Phillip & Anna, Cordon, Arkia.
"You are dismissed, give me some peace," Turney said softly.
Sam was still quite shocked by the General's behaviour, so with no other choice, he bowed quickly then exited the office, shutting the door behind him.
As soon as Turney heard his Scribe's retreating steps, he tore open the letter and began to read:
To my old Mentor and Friend, Knight General Quince Turney,
I know you have no reason to trust me, and even less reason to read this letter, but know that I would not send it unless my situation was dire. I have no way to combat the current threat to my home, and am so forced to admit the fact that in this case, I need the resources my previous name can provided. Recently, the Hunters came back to town with the body of a dead Stag who had bled out. There were no wounds or signs it had been attacked, none bar one: a human-like bite mark with two distinct punctures through skin and muscle and into the bloodstream upon the neck. Since this discovery of an unknown creature hunting in the woods, we have discovered over one hundred grave sites of animals with similar wounds. There is something new in Greenvale, my friend, and it threatens my home. While the Baron has called upon Varkevia to send a knight squadron and hunters to aid in this quest, I cannot say for sure it will be of any help. But don't assume from this that I am asking you to send your elites, no. Honestly I doubt they would be much help either. I only need your help in one thing, though I fear even it will be too much to ask for.
I need Anthrite Chains, as much as you can get, and an Anthrite Mask which covers the mouth. I cannot tell you how I know it will help, only that I will use it if the situation calls for it.
My father will no doubt refuse this request and see my claims as the folly of a boy who wishes to once again claim his name. I have no such desire. I am happy here, and will continue to be as long as my family is safe.
Yes, family. If you must tell my father, tell him that. I know that none of my siblings have been able to concieve children, even in Cordon we hear of the Kildare Curse.
My son, Rassa, will no doubt be of use to him, though I cannot promise Rassa will be a willing participant. He is much like his father in that respect.
I wish you all the best, friend, and await your reply eagerly,
There was silence in the office for a long time before Turney folded the letter once more. He sighed heavily, as if the weight of the world had been placed on his shoulders, then he squared himself and exited the office.
"Sam!" he called.
The Scribe appeared near instantly, "Yes, Sir?"
"I'm going out and won't be back until evening," Turney informed him, "Give all urgent matters to Knight General Deputy Kulai".
Then Turney left without another word.