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his chin should have been.
"Yars," Agreed count Bentwistle, his blubbery lips smacking unpleasantly, "damn poachers"
This was greeted by a chorus of agreement and much slapping of thighs from the rest of the troop.
"Damn those poachers!"
"Kill 'em all, I say "
Dane watched in awe, as in the excitement of the occasion Crayfondle had developed a new and interesting twitch.
The entire left side of his face seemed to spasm, and his eyes rotated in a disturbing manner, this was accompanied by his head whipping back and a bray of manic laughter.
Tearing his eyes from this spectacle he focused on Grimpin, "get them into the shrebberidders, Grimpin"
"Oh, and someone remove Crayfondle from my sight, quickly!"
Dane smiled a chill grin, he was getting uncharacteristically annoyed.
The diplomat, once he had started to twitch seemed unable to stop, he was limping in a circle, squeaking while his head writhed back and forth like a malfunctioning construct.
Count Bentwistle strode forward resplendent in his motley finery, and seemingly with a death wish.
"hey nonny nonny, sirra! This one is waking, shall I commence torturing? " he shouted inches from Danes face, spraying him with spittle and chunks of a recent repast.
This was the last straw.

Rhomina woke slowly, to the succulent smells of crispy Pocroot fritters. Rising out of bed, she strapped on some clothes. She preferred comfortable work clothes to the long gowns as worn by most of the womenfolk of Prendersbard.
She strode in to the main room to grab the last of the food.

Lobsang awoke.
Through the haze of sleep he saw a tall man of commanding aspect -who seemed very familiar- strangling what appeared to be a jester. Around him stood a crowd of fiends, some brandishing weapons in a threatening manner. Leaping up, he launched himself into a back flip that brought him some distance away from the group. He crouched with both fans splayed, to await developments.
"Ho, there!" the tall man said, flinging the dead jester and wiping his face, "we mean you no harm."
Lobsang closed his fans guardedly. "What goes on here?" he inquired eyeing his friends were they lay in the snow.
"Sooth!" the man laughed. "I was about to ask you the same." He strode forward and bowed in greeting, "my name is Darkion Dane, lord of this duchy, and you are?"
Lobsang staggered as the memories hit him. He regained his composure quickly and began to fill his pipe nonchalantly.
"I am Lobsang Wut, we have met before, a long time ago…"
"Of course! But you did not have a beard then." Dane smiled as he spoke, however his smile did not reach his crimson eyes as they flashed coldly. "You have aged."
"As you have not" Lobsang replied, pouring out a measure of Seng tea from his clockwork thermos.
"There were not many survivors of that day." Dane seemed to shift closer without apparently moving his feet.
"No," Lobsang replaced the tin cup onto the thermos.
"Just you and me in fact." Danes grin had widened and the tips of his hair were giving of blue sparks. He shifted closer.
"Indeed" Lobsang replied, inserting each hand into the opposite arm where his fans lay concealed.
Suddenly the air was alive with power and there was a great crack of thunder from the direction of the gorge. They both turned in surprise. Dane ran to the edge of the plateau, his form blurring as he sped forward. In moments he reached the edge in a slither of liquefied snow. When Lobsang reached him panting from the exertion, he was staring down into the gorge. Lobsang looked over the edge. Boiling up from the valley was a vast cloud of snow, in the centre a sphere of energy could be seen. Lobsang's eyes widened; this was unexpected.
"A Cholan!" Dane breathed in surprise. The howling wind whipped his words away. "Quick to the steeds," he shouted
"We cannot outrun it," Lobsang struggled to make himself heard over the din.
Dane, enmity forgotten in the face of the new peril, looked around swiftly. "Quick get your companions into the cave, we can hide there."
Lobsang nodded in agreement, and they both sprinted back to the cave.
"You!" Dane thundered, pointing at his servant, and gesturing at Twado, N'one and Luna. "Carry them into the cave." He turned. "Lobsang, can you neutralise the Favros?"
"Yes" stated Lobsang taking a vial of purple liquid from under his robe, and moving towards the cave. His mind whiled, the cave would not stop the Cholan, they needed a diversion. He unstopped the vial. The liquid evaporated and the cave cleared instantly with a crack of displaced air.
"Take them further up the cave" he shouted at the servant who had carried his companions. The noise was getting louder. He ran back outside. "Quick, inside the cave before it's too late. I have a plan!" he skidded to a halt in the slush. The courtiers were cowering in a circle, and before them crouched Darkion Dane, brandishing a large rust red sword. He was growling. They were all focusing on something behind him.
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