H3

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H3 - DESECRATION

After Keri threw her virginity away, anyone and their dog can ride Demonstroke.

When Kari Stronghammer was near enough to reach Telan Blackseed, she said, The High Lord Advocate must give account for the loved ones each one of us have lost thanks to his lies! And she raised Dragonthorn to strike. It was such an unexpected thing that everyone was literally struck dumb. Aliwe Halil froze in the act of filling Lord Blackseed's flagon with wine.

The Queen was furious and found her tongue first. Hold! I gave my word to grant Lord Blackseed safe passage through Alodra for the purpose of attending this Council, and my word holds firm. Stand down, Princess Stronghammer! Put away your blade. Lord Telan Blackseed shall be sped to the border with all haste, and I decree that no harm shall come to him.

Queen Firegem, Blackseed began, I believe I know what is disturbing the Princess. But before he could continue to speak, Kari assailed the unarmed man with Dragonthorn, the blade that could not be turned by mail nor even the hardest stone. Instinctively, Aliwe Halil brought up a silver platter she was using to carry the wine as a pathetic shield to protect Lord Blackseed, knowing it would just be demolished by the legendary blade, but her impulse was to act in such a way that would carry out the stated will of the Queen. And to everyone's surprise the Dragonthorn shattered against Aliwe's makeshift silver barrier, and glittering broken diamond shards of the ancient blade fell to the ground at Kari's feet.

Everyone in the chamber (except Lord Blackseed) was horrified, Princess Stronghammer not the least of them. Baron Bayard Firegem marveled that this Aliwe girl seemed to always be exactly where she needed to be, when she needed to be there. Only Telan Blackseed found his voice. He said, You have been remiss in your education as well as in your duties, Menkal Princess. It seems they did not tell you that when the spell is broken with the loss of your virtue, Dragonthorn becomes nothing more than a diamond in the shape of a blade. Beautiful, yes, harder than anything known, but as brittle as glass! My own mail would have done as much as that silver plate.

More astonishing to Kari than the destruction of Dragonthorn was Telan Blackseed breaking her spell commanding him to be silent about her seduction of him, and Telan correctly interpreted the shock of this development on her face. Foolish girl, you never had the power to persuade anyone to do your least bidding, and if the King thought to make you believe so that your life might be a little more pleasant as you waxed in your spinsterhood, then more fool he, for it was the undoing of you both!

For none could withstand the pure white fire of the last surviving dragon Demonstroke and live. Keri was rapidly consumed where she stood as the dragon hovered outside the chamber on great strokes of his wings, harnessed by the sorceress will of the demigoddess Joy who rode upon his shoulders.

It would have been simple for Joy to command Demonstroke to reduce the chief Peers of the Land to ashes, yet Blackseed signaled to Joy that Kari alone should die. By this he showed his contempt for King Stronghammer's earlier claim that some of the nobles assembled there were worth many Republic soldiers. But he deemed it more important to leave them alive, that their minds might encompass the fullness of his triumph and their despair.

Later some of the royals thought Blackseed had done this thing out of a greater kindness, that Princess Stronghammer would not suffer the eternal penalty of her abomination, and certainly that peculiar tradition of the monarchies filled him with disgust. But foremost of all his reasons, Lord Blackseed had Kari slain out of an abundance of caution, lest she come to Demonstroke with a shard of Dragonthorn in her hand, and banking on the beast's trust after long acquaintance slide the shard into his brain.

With the dragon's smoking open mouth menacing the royals, none could stop the hysterically laughing Telan Blackseed from joining his lover Joy on the back of the immense dragon and making good their escape by air.

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