The ceremonial dagger dripped with blood.
The Sl?kaprii (sull?kapree) could be described as a weapon wrought by Dark Gods to be wielded by their godlings and flesh-born children. It was over seven inches long and the weight of it was solid. Along the top if it, where a ground edge was not meant to be, jutted out metallic thorns along its spine. These barbs were meant to do more damage when the attacker pulled out the weapon from its victim. The blade of the dagger itself was mottled a grayish blue, named after Valkspar?s smallest of its three moons: the Isforaə (Isz?fore-ah).
This one had black and brown leather firmly braided at the grip and the symbol of the three moons at the pummel. It did not lie on the table in the Hall of Strife where wars were remembered through artifacts and tomes collected, but in the fist of Aegus Stonecreed.
Aegus of Stonecreed was a name spoken in the Hall of Strife, and had been since he was old enough to saddle a horse. He was a hardened man to look on with scars on his face, a nose that had been broken decades earlier, and a manner about him the disallowed anyone to get close unless it was something he allowed. His dark hair was starting to mix with white and lines at the corners of his eyes had deepened in the last few years. He was a hard man that had seen plenty of hardships.
Those of Stonecreed were an honorable but hard line of men and Aegus was no different in keeping The Rift Oaths. But in the Hall of Strife, where blades were laid to rest, except for on the days of tradition and ceremony to remember those who had died, one had been picked up and put to certain and deadly purpose.
Lord of Stonecreed heard the clamor of voices at his sides and behind him. There were arguments breaking out between the Great Stays* of Porshen, belonging to the desert continent of Saribek. He could hear a couple of his younger brothers fiercely defending the act that had left one of the scribes dead. Aegus stared at the man that lay dead on the heavy black stones. The youth was half Aegus? age, at best, with his head shaved cleaned like the rest of scribes. Tattoos were pattered on the boy?s face to mark him in his place among the scribes. The dead, young man had only been a scribe for a few years, by the scarcity of those marks.
Aegus reached over to the robe the boy wore and turned over the large, inverted leather pendant to see what name was there: Moen Ril. Blood from the knife?s wound crept slowly from the body to eventually start pooling around the base of a stone and tiled stanchion. The warhawk?s eyes followed it away from the horrific hole he had left in the man?s belly. Then he stood straight again and stepped over the path of blood to reach down to pick up a small object.
?What is it you?ve found, Aegus??
His back was turned to the one asking, but he knew it was his brother, Kaes. Kaes was shorter than Aegus, but only by about an inch. His build was brawny and where Aegus was leaner. And his hair was red by the starkest of contrast. To look upon them, it was not obvious that they were brothers at all.
Aegus? hand was still in its thick glove when he handed the thin tube of metal out to Kaes. The item was in-ornate, approximately six inches, and had a large splinter of wood in it that was ended with a tuft of something to keep it in flight long enough to make its mark. Kaes frowned and narrowed a blue eye at it, then at his brother. ?Poison?? They both had the sense about them to know it to be the case without the communication, but one voiced it and the other nodded.