Roxie prepared a flame spell as she answered the knock at the door of Conor O’Neill‘s Dallas Mansion. It had been a difficult six months. Lord Dallas had vanished last September into a Nevernever Demesne of a powerful Infernal creature. It was now just after St. Patrick’s day, March 18th, 2014. The Summer Court, without one of its “Heavy Hitters” had been unable to check the reacquisition of territory by the Winter Court during the long cold winter. In fact, the Summer Court was basically under siege.
The House of the Lord Silverhand (an unofficial name as Lord Dallas himself never used that title) had weathered it far better than many other lesser Summer households in the region. Conor had established a network of allies and vassals that were able to fortify both the physical protections of the house and Nevernever defenses of the Demesne. However, six months of probing attacks, spells, spies, reconnaissance, and outright direct attacks to test those defenses had worn them to tatters, but they had not yet broken. In two days, the tide would change. The Spring Equinox was nearly upon them – which meant Winter would likely redouble their efforts.
So when she sensed a fellow Summer Fae beyond the door, she was surprised and relieved. Even still, her face was blank as she opened the door.
“Good day Ms Niheen,” it was Wakefield Summers; Conor’s Fae lawyer.
Roxie smiled, “Tá sé go deas tusa a fheiceáil arís – slán agus sábháilte – a chara.”
Wakefield looked slightly embarrassed “My apologies Ms Niheen, I haven’t got the Irish. I spent far too much time on Latin and French I’m afraid, and even those I speak poorly.”
“It’s nice to see you again safe and sound my friend.” Roxie stood firmly in the doorway. Her body language was clear – no permission had been given to enter.
“I am here to carry out orders from my client… your liege.” Wakefield subtly tapped the briefcase in his hand.
Roxie’s face turned hard, “Do you accept guest right and all that it entails?”
The lawyer Fae nodded, “I do, from the moment I enter until such time as I exit this building again, whole and sound.”
She stepped aside, “You may enter.”
Half an hour later, they were both seated at the long dining room table and Roxie had reread the document in her hand for the third time.
“When did he do this?”
Wakefield thought for a moment, “Last February he began the proceedings. There were other details for which he needed to arrange of course, including the contingency plan that I am now executing. The various matters were concluded by March 17th. It amused him to sign and seal the document on St. Patrick’s day. I remember it well.”
“A year and a day ago…” Roxie sat back. The vellum documents falling to the tabletop.
All three documents appeared to be pages from medieval illuminated manuscripts they were so intricate. One was primarily text with only a few special characters at the beginning of paragraphs picked out in artistic font. Another was similiar, but had an artistic map of some city streets prominently upon it. The last document was heavily illustrated with crests, shields, lines, and artwork and affixed with a large wax seal and ribbon.
At the top of that third document, one shield was larger than the rest and surrounded by intricate details. It was a black shield with four black rings on a white diagonal bar. In the top right corner was the open red hand.
Wakefield put a small box next to her hand. “This is also for you… Viscountess.” He very slightly held each syllable for emphasis.
A surge of power seems to flow through Roxie’s body. This was the first time she’d ever been addressed with a title of nobility of her own. She opened it and inside was a cloissone pin, just over an inch tall, of another shield.
"The Lord Dallas requested that, as your first act as Seneschal, to grant these arms to the Ogre Trouble Hammer as well as a knighthood, and The Greenland Hills manor for his fief."
Roxie studied the pin and smiled, sable, three bears rampant, gules, vert and or, langued and clawed gules.
“I see my Lord worked with the herald to create the most perfect arms possible for him.” It was a black shield, with three bears – one red, one green, one yellow. In other words they were gummy bears… as heraldry.
“Of course I shall do as he commanded. Did he have any other charges?”
Wakefield stood. "Only this, he trusts that as Seneschal of his House, and now a Viscountess of the Summer Court, with the fief of Mesquite as your own, that you will use your… and he was very specific about the word… freedom… in a manner you see fit to defend, improve, and secure his interests."
Roxie stood as well.
The lawyer bowed, “Allow me the pleasure to be the first to greet the newly ennobled Viscountess of Thorns and say that it has been my great pleasure to serve you…”
She extended her hand, and Wakefield kissed her knuckle.