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(RP) The King of Second-Chances


Seasoned Veteran

He wore an off-white tabard with his crest in red prominently centered upon the breast. A red cape was draped across his shoulders and spilled out behind the throne grazing the white marble floor. On his head was a golden, gemless crown.

King Blackthorn smiled as Jepeth approached.

In Lord British’s stark marble throne room King Blackthorn appeared like a blood red spot of wine on a white table cloth. Jepeth approached Him, bowed at the middle as much as his armor would allow, and then took a knee before his King.

“Thank you for coming my friend,” said Blackthorn.

“My lord,” replied Jepeth looking at the ground.

“While I am glad to see you, Governor Jepeth” began Blackthorn. “We must first deal with a most unpleasant situation arising from your actions on Verity Island.”

Jepeth remained silent, with his head bowed.

“The Council of Mages is quite cross with you,” said Blackthorn. “It seems you and they cannot come to any mutual understanding.”

“Understanding comes from trust, Sire,” replied Jepeth. “I do not trust them.”

Blackthorn smiled again.

“Your prejudices are well known to the Council,” said Blackthorn. “And to the Crown.”

Jepeth grimaced at the obvious rebuke.

“I have been attempting to take the Gazer’s prophecy seriously,” said Jepeth. “As you commanded the day it made itself known to us.”

The King folded his hands in front of him.

“And thus far I have little to fault about your actions,” said Blackthorn. “Aside from this recent matter with the Council of Mages.”
“I waited as long as I could,” said Jepeth. “The Abomination appeared and I entered the fray when I saw the need.”

“Councilor Jaanin asked you to hold back,” Blackthorn said. “The Council of Mages demands a moderate amount of self-determination on their island.”

The tone in Blackthorn’s voice sharpened considerably. “As apparently do you Skara Braens.”

Jepeth shook his head. He knew the correct thing to do would be to beg forgiveness. And in truth, Jepeth had broken his word and approached before he should have.

“I,” began Jepeth. “I did what I felt was right, sire.”

Jepeth rose his head and connected with Blackthorn’s gaze.

“I would do it again,” he said.

“I know,” replied Blackthorn.

The King appraised him for a moment.

“Governor Jepeth, see this from my perspective,” he said at last. “I rule a Kingdom not because of this uncomfortable golden weight upon my head but through the goodwill of others.”

Jepeth turned his head in confusion.

“As you are aware,” said the King. “I did not unify this world. My good and very missed Friend did. He was the one who joined the cities through roads. Whose mages tied the land together with the moongates. Who saw,” the King sighed, “things that I refused to see to my own regret.”

“I opposed him,” said Blackthorn, “Always. On everything. Right up those steps,” he gestured behind Jepeth to a stone stairway leading up to the next level, “he and I played the game of Chess that killed many, many brave men and women.”

“Death,” said the King. “That is what my stubbornness has always reaped.”

Jepeth was silent.

“I know what they call me,” said King Blackthorn.

“Aye, Sire,” Jepeth replied after a moment.

“The King of Second-Chances,” said Blackthorn.

Jepeth nodded silently.

“My experience has humbled me,” Blackthorn said. “Humbled me to the council of others. Heed my council now.”

“What would ye have me do, Sire?” asked Jepeth.

“Put aside your distrust,” Blackthorn said. “Go to the Council of Mages and coordinate on this danger. Work together.”

“Is that ye command of me?” asked Jepeth.

Blackthorn shook his head. “No. I will not command this. You must do it on your own volition.”

“Do they even want my assistance?” Jepeth asked, trying to hide his disbelief.

“They do,” said the King. “For it has reached me that the foe you faced at the Moonglow cemetery is one of their own.”

“Aye,” said Jepeth. “It was Willibrord the Mage and... more.”

Jepeth looked down again at the floor, bowing his head to his King.

“I do not know how Willibrord came to be this way,” said Jepeth, looking back up. “But it was clearly my doing.”

The King nodded his head slowly, solemnly.

“They may have need of the man who last defeated him,” said Blackthorn. “The need of one who thinks differently than a mage.”

Jepeth nodded.

Blackthorn extended his right hand and pointed past Jepeth.

“Go,” the King said. “Do this not as I’ve asked, but in my example.”

Jepeth rose, bowed again, turned and left. As he walked away his metal armor echoed through the mostly empty hall.

King Blackthorn watched him leave, and then steepled his fingers under his chin in thought.
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