At the end of King's Road, outside the gates of the crumbling city, a rider and his horse lumbered. The rider was hunched over and sodden, his garments dripping with water. The horse was of strong build, but weary nonetheless. It bore many bags and packages upon its back.
"Oi, look at this one, here..." mumbled one of the gatekeepers to the other. He pushed his rusting spangenhelm back onto his head and stood up, using his spear as a crutch. "What business do you have here?"
At the guard's call, the traveler stopped his horse. He dismounted slowly, sore from a long ride. The guard spoke up again:
"It is past curfew. We cannot let you pass."
As the guard held up a hand in warning, the traveler retrieved a sheet of folded parchment. He walked up to the guard and handed him the sheet to read. The guard skeptically took the sheet from the traveler, who shifted his weight to one leg impatiently.
"...Halr, do you read?" said the first guard, addressing the other. Halr shook his head. Turning back to the traveler, who had now steepled his fingers over his forehead, the guard gave him a shrug. "Neither of us read, sir."
"Great Gods..." said the traveler, rubbing his temples. "Look, you need to let me in. I have a very important job in the city."
"I'm afraid we can't do that, sir," replied the guard, who had straightened his posture now that he could understand the man. "Past curfew, sir. Can't let anybody in."
"Please, this job is very..." begun the traveler, but the guard cut him off with a shake of his head.
"Can't very well let you in, sir. Rules are rules." said the guard. The traveler scowled, sick of this nonsense.
"Look," said the man, "I am an emissary from Kiev. I need to speak with the Lord Protector about a few problems my Lord Ivanov is having with his people, among others." the man explained. But still the guard did not understand. Indignant, the traveler spoke:
"On consequence on wrath by the hand of my Lord Ivanov or Kiev, I, Garret Ironshield, Emissary of the Collective Ruslands, command
you to let me pass!"
Garret held out his Lord's Royal Signet Ring to the guard. Terrified and slightly confused, the guard pushed open the heavy oak doors and let Garret in. Scowling at the guard, Garret passed into the city, and headed to the Council Hall.
"Zeus preserve me..." mumbled Garret.
After a bit of a walk through the soggy, cobblestone streets of the city, Garret finally came up to the Hall. Seeing more scale-armored, spangenhelm-wearing, spear-bearing guards, garret did not even wait for permission. He flashed his signet ring and shoved open the front doors.
He entered upon a curious scene: a dozen or so emissaries, diplomats, and warriors were yelling at each other, pointing and calling out their grievances, over a thick table.
But Garret was wholeheartedly surprised when he spotted Rainen, Milo, and Dralcos at the table. Shedding his soaking over-garments, Garret straightened his civilian clothes and walked quietly to Milo, poking his head over Milo's red-robed shoulder.
"Many greetings, Fabricator General. How goes it at the Guild?" says Garret quietly into Milo's ear.