The Awakening of Hawkmoon
Count Brass passed Dorian Hawkmoon a fresh cup of wine and murmured, “Please continue, my lord Duke,” as Hawkmoon told his story for the second time. In the hall of Castle Brass sat Yisselda, in all her beauty, Bowgentle, thoughtful of countenance, and von Villach, who stroked his moustache and stared at the fire.
Hawkmoon finished the tale. “And so I sought help in Kamarg, Count Brass, knowing that only this land is secure from the power of the Dark Empire.”
“You are welcome here,” Count Brass said, frowning. “If refuge is all you seek.”
“That is all.”
“You do not come to ask us take arms against Granbretan?” It was Bowgentle who spoke, half-hopefully.
“I have suffered enough from doing so myself—for the time being—and would not wish to encourage others to risk meeting a fate I only narrowly missed myself,” replied Hawkmoon.
Yisselda looked almost disappointed. It was plain that all in the room, save wise Count Brass, wanted war with Granbretan. For different reasons, perhaps—Yisselda to revenge herself against Meliadus, Bowgentle because he believed such evil must be countered, von Villach simply because he wished to exercise his sword again.
“Good,” said Count Brass, “for I’m tired of resisting arguments that I should help this faction or that. Now—you seem exhausted, my lord Duke. Indeed, I have rarely seen a man so tired. We have kept you up too long. I will personally show you to your chambers.”