The Oakwood door creaked as he pushed it open. Jarvan Hartengale V walked into the room where his brother sat. “So…he’s dead.” Said Jarvan V. Jarvan Hartengale VI stood up before kicking the chair across the room. “Ya…he’s dead!” Jarvan V inched closer to his brother with his palms out. “Did you read his will already?”.
Jarvan VI picked up a piece of parchment and threw it in his brother’s direction. “Read it for yourself. Father was such a vagabond, I’m surprised he even bothered to write one.” The older Jarvan glanced over the parchment with pursed lips. “Well? What do you think? That old fool finally showed us his hand in death!” Jarvan VI began pacing back and forth. “Well it says here that he believes neither of us deserve to be king. He says that I am too cold, calculating, and stubborn. But he also says that you are too rash, immature, and likely to die a swift death on the battlefield. I mean…he wasn’t wrong in his assessment…as usual.” Jarvan VI slammed his foot on the ground causing sparks of light to emit.
“Me? Likely to die a swift death on the battlefield? I am the guild’s pride and joy. He is the one that up and let himself die a miserable death, worthy of the cunt that he is! Enough about father, this talk is beginning to upset my soul. What do you suggest we do next?” Jarvan V grimaced but remained silent. “What? You’re upset that I called him a cunt? He disliked both of us equally yet you were ever the doting son. What thanks did you get for your dedication and commitment?” Silence swept the room as Jarvan V continued to glare at his younger brother. While his eyes burned yellow the temperature in the room began to rise.
“Fine…fine…I take it back. He wasn’t a cunt. Happy now?” Jarvan V softened his posture. “I will be happy when this ordeal is over and done with. I suggest we let the people decide.” Jarvan VI began to laugh uncontrollably. “You will let the people decide? You do realize they love me more than words can convey. While you…brother… you are about as loveable as a pet rock. About as malleable as one at that!” The older Jarvan raised an eyebrow. “You mistake love for your antics and generosity with love for you as a leader. I believe the people will see that I am the one most suitable to lead them to greater prosperity and glory.” The younger Jarvan smirked, his eyes gleaming. “Very well! It shall be something the common folk call an e-l-e-c-t-i-o-n.”
Struggling to breathe Jarvan V began to loosen the knot around his neck. The bag that covered his face tightened with each attempt. High pitched laughter began to fill the room. A squeaky voice murmured. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you…” Jarvan raised his hand displaying an obscene gesture. “Shut your mouth and unleash me at once!” The voice began to chuckle to himself. “I suppose even the cool, calm, and collected Jarvan Hartengale V has his limits. We will unleash you soon enough. We just have a few questions for you.” Jarvan stood up pulling on the chains that bound him. “I will not answer any of your questions while this bag covers my face. Nor will you get any answers of me while these chains restrain my hands. Above all I will not answer questions to a peon such as yourself. I wish to speak to your leader.” Whispering could be heard throughout the room.
A deep booming voice could be heard amongst them. “You are as clever as the people make you out to be!” The shackles dissolved in a flash of purple sand while the bag shriveled into a tiny speck. Jarvan surveyed his surroundings. He was trapped in a cursed circle which formed a barrier around him. Outside the circle he could see thirteen robed figures all dawning blue cloaks with a swan insignia on their chest. “Who are you people and what do you want from me?” One of the figures stepped forward. “We are the Swan Guild and it is not what we want from you…but what we can do for you!” Jarvan’s face manifested into a grotesque scowl. “I am in no mood for riddles, speak with purpose or hold your tongue.” The robed figures began flapping their arms about akin to a bird. “Spoken like a true Lion. We believe your guild has the potential to rule this world…with the right assistance of course. I mean first we would have to make you emperor.”
Jarvan stepped forward pointing at the robed figure. “You have not answered my question sufficiently.” The figure inched closer. “The Swan Guild is a guild unlike any other. We perform a special kind of magic.” The figure threw a gold coin inside the circle. “Bask in the glory that is the Lion Dollar. Our prized possession. A gold coin which will signify the reign of the mighty Lion Guild. Whether you will be at the helm of this guild during its prosperity is up to you.” Jarvan bit into the coin. “You mean to use this small piece of gold as a medium of exchange for goods and services?” The robed figures began flapping their arms once again. “Yes! Yes! You understand…for swan’s sake you understand. We have heard about those Lion eyes of yours and how they let you see things that others cannot, but we weren’t sure if the rumors were true!” Jarvan remained silent. “Ahh, yes. I suppose you want to know what the cost for our allegiance is. A better question is, what are you willing to part with to gain the world?”
Jarvan V stroked his beard for a moment. He began to pace back and forth. His eyes burned bright yellow as they threatened to engulf the room. “I am willing to do what is necessary for the good of my people. With me as their emperor I can lead them to greater prosperity, security, and joy. I am willing to give what you wish to take.” The robed figures began to clap their hands together. “Very well said. Is that your final response?” This question was met with silence.
Jarvan V awoke in his bed chambers to an unusual amount of silence. He turned to his side as he grasped the empty bed space beside him. “No…not her!” He rushed to the bathroom where he was met with emptiness. Getting dressed in haste he placed his gown on his person. As he ran down the stairs beads of swear began to pour down his brow. Jarvan Hartengale VI blocked his way with his spear. “Brother, I do not know how you managed it…but the people have chosen.” He lowered to his knees. “I pledge my spear to you for as long as I breath air on this earth. I pledge the spear of my children and my children’s children, for we will forever be under your command.” Sweat still pouring across the emperors face he dropped to his knees. “What the gods give with their right hand they take with their left.”
“What the gods give with their right hand they take with their left.”
Jarvan Hartengale V