Author's Notes: 872 words. The NaNo writing ends at "It was not reassuring." You can tell because the following writing is slightly better, slightly funnier, and has even more characters (I will never stop making them. :P).
It was mid-morning by the time the small gathering of some of the most prestigious people in that part of the world had commenced.
"The land of Haughein to the south will be yours, if you are so willing to move those in the area," spoke a gray-haired, blue-eyed orator, gracefully pointing to the spot on the map where the tiny state had been drawn elegantly.
At the front of the table, a massive, bipedal bear in a suit of armor that barely fit it, and had been partly ditched for a cloth around his waist, grumbled and gently scratched his chin. "If 'ou don't move all your victims there."
The orator chuckled gently. It was not reassuring.
The un-charming, un-charmed snake of Claec, Alsather Merione, rarely laughed in any form; it was not in his character. All bystanders froze, a shivering feeling working its way down their spines. His smile instantly turned into a frown, and he spoke slowly, deliberately. “It is costly and time-consuming to move my…resources…on such short notice, in or out of the land, as I should imagine your people will be entering that land quickly. I will do as I can, and you may deal with the rest; this has always been our agreement.”
The bear scowled, but waved in a man in armor and dark-blue leather, the latter carrying a metal chalice. Intimidated, he only thought of saying, “My children don’t want ta’ walk to your swamps and fight fools with pitchforks. Did ya’ know how long it took ta’ clear Rigismend?” He slurped the wine in the chalice.
A burly man beside the bear, wearing rugged and torn clothes underneath a few pieces of shining armor, sneered at the bear. “Kasimir won’t like the taste of that.”
That bear poked his head up, loosely wiping the wine dripping from the edges of his mouth and chin in a futile and lazy gesture. “What he don’t know don’t hurt him.”
“And how many snakes are there?” blurted out a small girl to Alsather’s side. Frail in her form, she wore a purple and black dress that stretched down to her knees, which were only partly covered by long, black boots. Blonde ringlets streamed from the back of her head as she stared up nervously into Alsather’s eerie stare. The girl had an unhealthy pallor in her face, itself too unnaturally smooth and pale. Her cheekbones were showing, and one of her ears wiggled slightly in what was a nervous tic. “A few dozen, I think. What about the people? How many thousands of them have to die or flee? Why are you harming my kind for the sake of yours? Aren’t we in the same country?”
The bear frowned at her. If it wasn’t for the fact she could barely look above the table, she may have noticed. As it stood, she was already cowering from Alsather. “Why da’ ya’ bring ‘er here?” he commented gruffly to Alsather after a few seconds. “She ain’t here but to hide under the table and treat ya’ like a king and master. Which you ain’t.”
Alsather’s frown grew deeper, but he ignored the bear’s commentary as he looked between the bear and the girl. “Cerin is the Queen of Claec,” he finally said, after some pondering. “I am her regent. Without her father and mother, she is but a naughty and inexperienced child. I bring her here to teach her a lesson for her irrational behavior. I would think that the leaders of Walenty would not resort to taking personal shots at their allies.”
In response, the burly man raised out his arm, palm outstretched in the direction of Alsather, his other hand gesturing to the rows of scars and cuts along the limb in question, including a missing finger. “I was a slave too,” he said simply, before rapidly shifting his form into that of a bipedal wolf. “And we’re allies, but the Mad King runs the real show. As for Kasimir, he made you give him your throne, even when he couldn’t take over the country himself. He is your ruler, and you don’t want to take shots at his men. Do you—”
“Enough!” The bear raised his chalice before slamming his fist on the table, rustling the maps in the center and causing Alsather to take a step back in surprise. Somebody struck their head against the underside of the table as he noted, “Our countries need each other, and I’m not gettin’ in the way of that. Just wanted to point it out, that she might be a child, and she was tryin’ to hold onto my leg a minute ago, but it’s like she’s always naughty, and the punishment is always somethin’ about lives.” Cerin, nursing a bump on her head, pushed her way out of the table and shivered as Alsather placed his hand on her shoulder. The bear sighed and set the goblet out in front of him, over the map. “He wants out ta’ lord over ya’ again, and I won’t argue anymore” – he switched from addressing Cerin to Alsather - “There ain’t any budging with ya’, so do what’cha will. I’ll get soldiers in there in a few days.”