"And from that day forward, there were none who could say that King Verdannon did not try to save his people."
--- The Memoirs of Wissdonim
It was that day in April. The snows were nothing more than filthy piles that spoke little of their former glittering glory of months before, when perhaps the strangest thing in Kirhadea transpired. Some would call it the Meeting of Kings, but it was not that. Rather, in the beauty of blooming new life, it was a meeting of traditions. It was the result of one last great change, the dawning of a new age, the test of serpents in a conflict as inevitable as death itself.
Battle, war and conflict had raged so long between the two southern kingdoms, no one knew the source from whence this well of hatred sprang. But there it was, perpetually bubbling, boiling, seething up. Only the faces of the men destroying one another seemed to change much, aside from some other minor things. Thou
Delis, snippet 8
Gradually, Alexander nodded awake again. He started forward and looked around. The great clock in the corner betrayed a loss of hours. William remained where he lay, his position absolutely unchanged.
Alexander leaned over. His shadow fell on the blankets and tangled sheets. He could see that the coverlet moved ever so slightly. The old man's hand, too, on top of it.
The young man breathed a sigh of relief. He swallowed. A pit moved in his throat. Perhaps... Slowly, shakily, he reached his own fingers out. He took the old man's hand. It was cold and seemed so fragile.
There was a stirring, a ruffle of cloth against cloth. William's eyes fluttered open. "Alexander?"
The young man swallowed again. "I am beside you."
"Please... come close, I want to see."
Alexander left his chair, crouched at the bedside. He hovered over the old man's head.
A hand shot out of the sheets. William grasped Alexander by the lace at his throat, his fingers transformed into a claw by waste and disease. T