The Heart and The Obsidian Orb Part Seven

Chapter Six: Handy Masks

The darkness of the room was complete Ivak could not even see the tip of his nose.

Then, they appeared before Ivak and Claroosa, the Lords and Ladies of the Hands!

The only thing that was visible was their eyes and their masks. Each of the masks was a pair of hands forming a face with an expression. These masks looked down on Ivak and Claroosa from high above.

There was seven masks in total.

A red mask that was a face of fury, but looking out from it was a pair of quite peaceful fish eyes.

A blue mask that was a face of happiness, but looking out from it was a pair of bored grey eyes.

A tiny brown mask that was a mocking face, but it was a pair of kind bright lime green eyes beyond.

A turquoise mask that was an impassive face, no eyes could be seen from this mask.

An orange mask that was a face of sorrow, the eyes however were a mirthful glittering sliver.

A grey mask that was a winking face, a pair of emerald particularly dead fisheyes stared out.

A pink mask that was a sleeping face, in face Ivak thought he heard snoring.

“What brings you to the Hands?” asked Impassive, voice distorted, but heavy with authority.

“Hopefully something interesting, things have been kind of boring lately” chirped Happiness.

“Boring is good, interesting usually means something big and bad” Mocking rebuked.

“I’ve still not gotten a good answer as to why this bloodthirsty thug is a Lady” Winking complained.

“And you’ll likely never get one while you still think like that. Oh for Altia’s sake, someone wake Sleeping” Fury mumbled.

“It’ll be my pleasure, I want to know what a bearer of the palm of rejected greed wants from us”

Sorrow got up and the mask bobbed its way over to Sleeping. There was a thumping noise and Sleeping fell out of view.

“AHHH murder! BETRAYAL, the sanctum is pierced!” Sleeping screamed.

Impassive sighed.

“Just once, I’d like to do this properly just once, but nooo, it is always someone”

“Usually Sleeping” Happiness supplied.

“You are one to talk Happiness” Winking snapped “What about the time when the ruler of Lathinles sent someone to decide whether he’d make us all into frozen statues, you were eating nuts, not just any nuts but irontree nuts, I have no idea how you ate them but you did! All throughout the meeting, crunch, crunch, crunch!”

“Yeah? Well you are constantly complaining, in spite of the fact that you are the latest member here!” Happiness snipped back.

Ivak was wondering if all of the lords and ladies of the hand were like this or if it was just this particular group. He didn’t have much experience with shadowy thief councils, but he felt that this was not quite how they were supposed to be.

Abruptly, Mocking was between Happiness and Winking. There was a ghostly horrific chill in the room.

“I believe we have guests do we not?, a bearer of the palm no less, it would be such a shame if they came this way just to hear something… horrific, you two wouldn’t possible think of letting that happen would you?” Mocking threatened.

Happiness and Winking gulped.

“That never gets old” Fury murmured.

Sorrow finished lifting Sleeping up and convincing it that there was no insidious plot underway.

Sleeping looked at Ivak and Claroosa.

“What in the depths of Urlbris is the Crusher of Treahmahne doing here? Wait, did you have a kid? You settled down these past years? Can’t say I was expecting that”

“What? She isn’t my mother!” Ivak objected.

“Could have fooled me” Mocking whispered from atop Happiness’s head. Happiness was trembling slightly.

“Milord is not my child, Milord is Ivakilnah of House Vulk, I am his humble servant, so I suppose you could say I’ve settled down”

“Ah right, so you here to dispose of your master and be totally free to go adventuring again or whatever?”

Ivak made a strangled sound.

Claroosa gave Sleeping silence and a killer stare.

“Yeash, you never could take a joke”

“Oh, I can take a joke just fine, you’ve just never given a something that could be called a joke”

There was a laugh from Fury. “She has you dead to rights”

“Agreed” Winking and Happiness said.

“This happens to be the one thing they agree on” Sorrow explained.

Impassive coughed. “Well as nice as all this is, and I’m sure Sleeping is happy to encounter you gain, but I’d like at least some smattering of propriety, so, let us begin again.”

There was a moment of silence then Impassive spoke again.

“What Business do you have with the Welterine Lords and Ladies of the Hands?”

Claroosa thought about it for a moment.

“Milord can explain” She said.

“I can? I-i mean, Yes, I have come to ask for your aid, I have had stolen from me an artefact that I had just recently purchased, I wish for you to help me in finding the thief of the artefact, an orb of obsidian that transports one to a nice but tacky castle”

“Hah well, that wasn’t us! I’ll head out then” Sleeping said “This will be great, be like the old days Clary”

“This doesn’t seem like it would be suited to your skills Sleeping” Mocking proclaimed.

There was a chorus of ayes.

“Yes, Sleeping, I know you are glad to see me, but those days are over, and you’ve always been terrible at finding things” Claroosa said.

“Well then, what about that right hand of yours Sleeping, Fattening or whatever his name was?” Fury mused.

“Fatho Gubbluk” Sleeping said sadly.

“Oh, he’d be perfect for this” Winking raved.

Happiness grunted.

“Well then, I’d say it is decided, Fatho is the man for the job, now the details, pay and so on” Impassive cheerfully proclaimed.

“I claim the right of the palm” Claroosa said.

“In that case, what happens further from here is not for your master’s ears”

Mocking looked at Ivak, and he felt darkness take him.

His last thought was that he hoped this wasn’t becoming a trend.

Author: SnowyMystic