The Devil's Darkness
A Georgian AAR
Featuring a cast of kings, queens, Bagratunis, plotters, rogues, Rurikovichs, murderers, saints, Seljuks and sinners.
On indefinite hold. However, any comments whatsoever are still always appreciated, and indeed are actively encouraged!
BOOK ONE: Demon's Peak.
Part 1 (Seven Chapters): Pax Romana
Part 2 (Three Chapters): A Knife in the Dark
Part 3 (Ten Chapters): The Red-Eyed Prince
Part 4 (Eleven Chapters): The Blind Theban
BOOK TWO: Five Against Rostov.
Part 1 (Five Chapters): Kill the Russian
Part 2 (Seven Chapters): Into the Gates of Hell
Part 3 (Five Chapters): Living Amongst Shadows
Part 4 (Six Chapters): The Greek Victorious
Part 5 (Five Chapters):Affonso's Wrath
BOOK THREE: The Rise of the Armenians.
Part 1 (Nine Chapters): The Lairs of Demons
Part 2 (Six Chapters): The Turkish Wars
Part 3 (Ten Chapters): The Whisperer's Tale
Part 4 (Six Chapters): Fiat Lux
Part 5 (Five Chapters): Firestorm
The throne room was eerily quiet at this time of day. Most of the nobles were out hunting in the fields near the city, and the council responsible for the realm's regency was discussing the Islamic threat from the south.
Which just left little Henrique all alone in this quiet stone chamber, idly stroking his chin as he stared into the gaps between the stones of the floor.
One crack had little ants crawling out of it, a long, long line of them dragging breadcrumbs from the larder, across the floor, and down into their nest beneath the cobblestones. Henrique viewed this with mild interest, before turning his attention elsewhere.
On the left-hand wall of the room was a tapestry showing the Fall of Constantinople to the Turk. There was the Sultan, surrounded by a sea of blood, while the Emperor of the East stood in a tower, a tall and ferocious man, gazing in righteous fury down at the man invading his great city, with eyes of fire and divine retribution.
Of course, tapestries never told the whole truth. Like the fact that the Sultan was a good and honourable man, and the Emperor an incompetent fool.
Henrique smiled. He'd met the Emperor before, back when he was in the east – he was just as incompetent as the last. The Romans didn't deserve their realm.
At only 12 years, Henrique's face was an odd mixture of races – A blend of Asiatic shape and a Western paleness. Even alone, he sat with a regal bearing, reflecting his upbringing in the City of Good Fortune. Even now, he could still hear the sea's sigh, lapping at the shores of the Black Sea, below his ancestral homeland...
He shook his head, dispelling the thoughts. He had plans to concoct- for when he left this little backwater to return home in the East, he would need to act fast.
Oh, for the East. That distant, far off land where all the delights of the world lay waiting for him, where Greeks, Turks, and Georgians lay locked in perfect balance – and where his inheritance rightfully lay...
“My Liege!” The cry of a messenger interrupted his reverie. “My Liege!”
The messenger entered the room, and kneeled before him, giving all the customary introductory prostrations. “I bring a message from your grandfather's court, sir!”
The letter was full of mere trivialities: the affair between the King and a young courtier, the Queen's scheming, his father's powerlessness to do anything about it. Yet there was one interesting point- the king was apparently growing weak with age.
“You have not told me who the author was, messenger. Somebody Portugese, judging by the language?”
The messenger blushed, and after mumbling some fearful apologies, said “ Your mother, sire.”
Henrique smiled. “That will be all.”
After the messenger had gone, Henrique moved over to the window. It was a little tall for somebody of only twelve years to look out of properly, but he could still see some of the little city he had inherited; it was just a dull collection of hovels and houses. Nothing compared to his homeland.
Henrique Bagratuni, Duke of Porto, the Portugese grandson to King David II, and second-in-line to the throne of Georgia, smiled.
The world would be his.