It had been decades since Atna had adressed any sort of audience as he addressed the council today. Glancing about, he could see the slight contempt they held for him. Despite his old friendship with Matrim, despite his aid, many could not look past the fact that he, an elf many still considered to be a legend, had avoided joining the Seanchanni for so long.
He closed his eyes. He could make out some of the quiet murmurs. They still questioned the gaul that he, a mere guest, despite his heritage, would call them to meet. His eyes shot open again, steel grey panning down the line. An intake of breath, and it began.
“You are all fools.”
The murmuring stopped. More than one gasp sounded.
“All of you, blind fools. You sit here now, chiding your Commander, your Chieftain, on her marital disconduct. Are you so petty? Are you so disconnected from reality that you think this matters? A would-be king raises the armies of Nuzalheim, raises the forces of Dearuhk herself, and you care that your leader may have slept around?”
The gasps stopped as well. Every face was overcome with shock. One went to speak, but stopped as he felt the Endraali’s cold stare focus on him. He adjusted his robes, head lowered. Atna continued.
“Going on two years ago, I finally came to you. I have helped train your citizens. I have reminded your rangers what they should be. And two days ago, Elarinya gave me their command. I stand before you as no guest, but the Ranger General of the Seanchanni. When the devils arrive, they will be met with the tenacity of our spirit, and the steel of our arrows. Today, I tell you that you stop clinging to the shadow of Alkor. Today, the Seanchanni cease to be the refugees of a dead civilization. We begin anew. My rangers make ready to set up outposts near what portals we can find. When they appear, we’ll be waiting. The shade-ridden corpses of Nuzalheim will pave the road to a new Golden Age for the elves.”
Atna made a grand gesture, encompassing the room, crimson cloak billowing to the side.
“So forget your fething squabbles, your petty cries of “adulterer,” and your crocodile tears for your lost civilization. You are elves. Act like it.”
With that, Atna turned and walked out. A grin, hidden from the council’s site, crept across his features. Nothing but cold silence met his back.