|Matters of Trust
Author: Aura PM
Sand/OC. Set after the events of the main campaign. Sand is accused and set on trial for the murder of Qara during the final battle with the Lord of Shadows. His assigned representation isn't quite what he expected...Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 11 - Words: 29,721 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 10 - Updated: 04-03-09 - Published: 03-15-09 - id: 4923531
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Chapter One: Never A Philanthropist
"The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him un-trustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust."
-Henry L. Stimson
"Sir Nevalle, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" Sand drawled as he eyed the knight entering his shop.
"Sand Violeigh. You are under arrest for the murder of Qara Malyguard. You will be allowed a few minutes to collect yourself and lock up your store. There is a platoon of men outside that will escort you to your cell in the Royal Prison." The human was all business despite the accusations he was tossing so easily the wizard's way.
The announcement had been the last thing the moon elf expected when one of the King's personal guard entered minutes after he'd unlocked his door for the morning. Starting at the human from his place behind the counter as if the knight had grown an extra head, or two.
"-Do- tell me this is your ill placed attempt at a joke." He managed after a moment to adjust to the allegations. His tone remained carefully neutral but the way his eyes had tightened showed his displeasure easily to those more familiar with the moon elf.
It apparently wasn't enough for Neverwinter that he had been with the group that defeated the Lord of Shadows; and with him the many threats the creature had posed. Or, that the members they did lose in the final battle were in part the fault of the worthless woman he was being hassled for.
"I'm afraid not Sand. Her father is causing quite the ruckus at the courts as well as the Academy." The Knight explained calmly with a small shrug. "Given the history that you and Qara have there are many of the council that seem convinced of the tales he is spinning. With the lack of survivors, and therefore witnesses, to the woman's death the laws are cloudy on this matter. I left the men sent to escort you outside, I wished to break the news myself."
"Your consideration for my well being is fortuitous." He quipped sarcastically, his lips already drawn into a scowl. "What of the others that did survive? Elanee, Khelgar, the tiefling?"
"Khelgar and Neeshka are both in custody. The dwarf is being transferred from his station at Crossroad Keep and the tiefling is already in prison." The knight replied dutifully. "We have been unable to contact the druid. I don't agree with this but my hands are tied."
"You mean anything that keep the King's hands un soiled of course." the moon elf observed distastefully. Running his hands along the back of the counter as a way to distract himself from his own frustration. "You are both well aware that she turned on the shard bearer and we were given no choice but to fight her."
`"Don't Nevalle." the moon elf interrupted, outright rudeness wasn't commonly his way but he wasn't used to being unjustly imprisoned either. "I am aware of when I'm being used. You need not patronize me with counterfeit sympathy. If you'll wait outside my establishment I will settle things and join you momentarily."
He ignored the heated glare the knight was offering him and moved into the stockroom to begin checking the locks on windows and doors. He had no intention of rushing the safety of his shop or it's order while he was being forced to play along with this farce.
Generally he didn't mind the law, it had offered him much protection over his years. Though the politics that hounded any court often turned any appropriate rules into bothersome and archaic fights over the meaning of exact words and statements. Some could interpret Qara's death as murder, she was killed for her choice to side with the Lord of Shadows and stand against all of Neverwinter. However, it was no different than the death of any wretched traitor.
His views of essentiality in the law would always differ from those of the nobility. Those changes of opinion are why he failed to get along with Nevalle or any of the other lap dogs of the king.
"Excuse me?! Mister Sand?!" He didn't recognize the female voice interrupting his mental tirade by calling for him across the building. He assumed it was one of the guards sent inside to rush him.
"You can inform Nevalle that he'll simply have to be patient." Sand called back. """"It wasn't as if I had a plan in place for being wrongfully jailed."
"You misunderstand, I'm not here to hurry you along." The voice paused when the woman speaking came into the back area and then readjusted from yelling to speaking accordingly. "I am here to represent you against Archmage Malygaurd."
Sand resisted the urge to teleport away from all of this and start anew somewhere else. It would have only been giving the bastards at the Academy what they wanted. He managed to keep his tone mostly neutral as he replied. "I do not require representation."
"You are as withering as I've heard." The woman seemed to fail at understanding she was being dismissed.
After finishing the activation of his wards on his back door he turned to consider whatever dolt they'd sent to further exasperate the situation he was facing.
Mismatched blue and silver eyes watched him in return as he eyed the woman over. Pointed ears poked from strands of midnight blue hair, which would have been prettier if it wasn't pulled tightly away from her face and shoulders. Her face was elven in nature but her features were softer than usual for any race of elves he'd come across. She was a petite thing, barely over five feet and likely not weighing more than eighty pounds with her gear on. Her skin was pale even for a member of the people, an unblemished milky white that made her seem like an ivory statue that had stepped down from it's pedestal. She wore a set of robes crafted to easily double as a dress when she took off the outer coat of sorts. Teal and silver made it a match of colors that marked her as somehow related to working for the King of Neverwinter.
"As I previously stated." Sand repeated, unconcerned with the girl's unique appearance. "I do not require someone to speak for me."
"You aren't allowed to speak for yourself in this case." She pressed despite his further protest with a dismissive shrug. "Archmage Malyguard has expressed that he believes if you were allowed to freely meet him that he would be the next to disappear."
"What nonsense is this?" The latest addition to a day of poor news. His composure was steadily declining. "The king agrees that I'm enough of a danger that I cannot even speak for myself?"
"You are powerful enough to be considered a archmage yourself Sand, you shouldn't be surprised that Malyguard would evoke the right of protection." The girl was measuring him over, taking mental notes of his reactions and words. "He has been banned from coming to the courts as well until the trial is completed. I argued that if you were such a dangerous individual bent on revenge that he was himself a archmage and given his belief in your involvement with the death of Qara he had more reason for such feelings."
"Is that suppose to be an effort to reassure me? He has the whole of the academy to fall back on and I've been sent a greenhorn girl likely not out of her second season of study. Forgive my misgivings as to the state of affairs that I'm left with." He commented in frustration, the scowl was back in an instant. "If you'll excuse me, I need to finish locking up so that I can be paraded over to my cage."
She stepped in his path when he went to move by her and go upstairs. Her expression was mostly serene but there was a underlying ire behind her eyes. "I had heard that you were wise enough to keep your emotions from getting the better of you. Don't be so quick to presume anything about me. I am here with the intention of saving you from that lot of fools at the academy so perhaps it would be in your best interest not to start tossing insults before you've so much as asked my name."
He paused as she moved into his way and schooled his own face into his usual neutral expression, his tone becoming dry with his next question. "What is the inspiration of this show of charity then? I don't believe that you are simply a philanthropist that happened to wander by in my time of need."
"My uncle asked me to step in and do what I could to aid you and the other accused." She took a step back and out of his way when he didn't appear as if he'd let up at all himself. Apparently uncomfortable with close contact.
Sand didn't move when she did, instead waiting to see if she'd finish her explanation as opposed to him needing to drag it out of her.
"I am Sana Natal Alagondar." Her bluster faded some as she said her name and the last part was soft-spoken enough that if he didn't have sharp ears he likely would have missed it completely.
"Wait." Sand paused as he added it up, his brain quicker than most but he still wasn't immune to being shocked, and today seemed to have it's fair share of surprises. "-You- are the King's niece?"