Jaukoehai Skyâ€™ki slumped back into a chair, closed his eyes, and started massaging the bridge of his snout. After a moment, he turned his purple eyes on the man in full plate armour sitting across from him. â€œSo, twenty years. And you were doing what, exactly?â€
Jaukoehai Ironskin looked at his â€œbrotherâ€ pityingly under his helmet. â€œWell, mostly starting a family.â€
Skyâ€™ki let out a humourless laugh. â€œOh yes. So, you show up at the gates of Qeynos begging to be let in after you fake your own death, run off with an Iksar seductress, and hide from the world for twenty years cooking for your family and reading bedtime stories to your Iksar daughters. How the hell does that even work, by the way?â€
Ironskin shrugged. â€œI didnâ€™t fake my own death, I really did die, weâ€™ve definitely established that by now. And I dunno, I think Erollisi blessed our union or something.â€
â€œWell, that does sound like something sheâ€™d do. She certainly does have a fondness for you. But then, so many people do.â€
Jaukoehai Ironskin chuckled. â€œYeah, I seem to have that effect on people.â€
â€œSo, brother, you really expect me to believe that you were hiding in Tâ€™narev for 20 years doing nothing, then.â€
â€œBrother, you have never been able to sit still before, for as long as I have known you! So unless dying turned you apathetic, which I doubt, you were not just sitting still.â€
â€œWellâ€¦ I mean, I was training my daughters. I think youâ€™ll like them, by the way. Also, went on a few adventures in disguise, to get equipment for my daughters.â€
â€œUh huh. I like your daughter Issaâ€™s spear, by the way, that was a good choice. But come on. You may have cruelly destroyed our mental link and neglected to reestablish it when you came back to life and hid, but I still know you better than anyone else in existence, and that includes your Iksar lover. What else were you doing?â€
Jaukoehai Ironskin sat and stared at his brother for quite a while. â€œI was engaging in clandestine operations to uncover information about the end of the world as we know it.â€
â€œOh, you too?â€
Ironskinâ€™s eyebrows shot up, though nobody could have seen it under his helm. â€œWait, what?â€
â€œYeah, I figured out about that a couple years ago, thanks to a bit of a conversation with Nagafen.â€
â€œWait, you and Nagafen just got together for a chat?â€
â€œYouâ€™re not the only one whoâ€™s made new friends.â€ Skyâ€™ki said with a smile. â€œHelps that Iâ€™m a Sarnak. Anyway, weâ€™re not really friends, he had me do some stuff for him, and part of my reward was learning about the prophecy. I learned a little more in Kunark, from a weird moppet peddler and the shade of that bastard Mayong Mistmoore. By the Tribunal, how many times am I gonna have to kill him before he stays down?â€
â€œOh, that was you? Yeah, uh, I heard about that.â€
Skyâ€™ki smiled. â€œIt was kinda nice having the advantage over him, though. He was scared of me, I could tell. He was even resorting to cheap mind games to throw me off. He actually told me that before you died, you were aligned with him.â€ Skyâ€™ki laughed.
Ironskin shifted in his chair uncomfortably. â€œUm, yeah, about thatâ€¦â€
Skyâ€™ki was still chuckling a bit. â€œWhat?â€
â€œLookâ€¦ I went after Mistmoore, not too long after I found you and brought you to Qeynos. I wanted to bring him justice for turning the people of my birth city into a bunch of zealous nutjobs. I chased him down and such, but when I finally tracked him downâ€¦ he explained some stuff to me. He told me about the prophecy, about my place in it, about all he was doing and would continue to do to learn moreâ€¦â€
â€œWait. Wait, wait wait. Are you going where I think youâ€™re going with this?â€
Ironskin sighed. â€œHe and Iâ€¦ we struck a deal. I would no longer interfere with him and his people, and in exchange, he would bring me in as a full partner in his operations to prevent the end of the world. Everything he learned, I would learn, and vice-versa.â€
Jaukoehai Skyâ€™ki slammed his hands down and stood up. His voice was deadly calm. â€œAre you joking?â€
â€œNoâ€¦ no, Iâ€™m not. Look, we need him, brother! Heâ€™s got the information, the resources, the--â€
â€œAre you KIDDING ME?!â€ Jaukoehai Skyâ€™ki bared his rows of razor sharp teeth. â€œNot only did you just let him walk free, you partnered with him?â€
Jaukoehai held up his hands. â€œOnly in matters of the prophecy and related things!â€
â€œSo you spent twenty years in hiding, raising an Iksar family and running errands for !@#$%^& Mayong Mistmoore?â€
â€œNo, like I said, we operated as partners--â€
â€œMarrâ€™s mercy, you fought people alongside that disgusting bastard?â€
Jaukoehai Ironskin stared up at his brother, a little stunned.
â€œYes. Yes, there were occasions where I fought alongside him.â€
Jaukoehai Skyâ€™ki roared with fury and smashed a chair against the wall.
â€œDO YOU KNOW WHAT HEâ€™S DONE?â€ There was smoke trickling from Jaukoehai Skyâ€™kiâ€™s nostrils. â€œHe abducted countless innocent people! He held Elves and Dwarves as thralls, little more than caskets of blood! He performed countless cruel experiments! I wonder how many families, how many lives he has destroyed! I wonder how much misery he is responsible for, and that is why I killed him, and I will keep on killing him until he gets the message! But more than that, now I wonder how much misery you are responsible for.â€
Jaukoehai Ironskin struggled to find the right words. â€œI know, it was despicable. But by doing it, I managed to gather lots of information about the prophecy, and at least I could keep an eye on him! Isnâ€™t that worth something? Itâ€™s worth it to possibly save all life on Norrath, right?â€ It was a sincere question. Jaukoehai Ironskin himself was no longer sure.
Jaukoehai Skyâ€™ki, on the other hand, was quite sure. â€œStop. Talking. I do not want to hear another word out of your hypocritical mouth. Everyone has some kind of bullshit justification for the evil choices that they make. But do you know what? In the end, itâ€™s always you, alone with your actions! I was told that once by an honourable knight, one of the few men I trusted implicitly. I wonder what ever happened to him.â€
With that final, barbed comment, Jaukoehai Skyâ€™ki turned and stormed out of the house, slamming the door on his way out. Jaukoehai Ironskin was left in the living room of his house.
He tore his helmet off and buried his face in his gauntleted hands.
Ongoing roleplay and fiction.
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