I am Serious Jest’s flask. Okay, I am actually an elven spirit condemned by my former lover, Morathi, Haq Queen of Khaine, founder of Ghrond, and mother of Malekith the Witch King, to live for eternity in this gaudy-but-deceptively-light vessel for containing…well, the other kind of spirits. Morathi gifted me to one of her newer lovers–the only one that she allows to continue living, for the moment…unless you believe the rumors about Malekith–when she “hired” (coerced) him to manage and coach the newly formed Bellboys, Ghrond’s first Blood Bowl team. As he does not know that I am sentient, I am commanded to keep watch over him whenever I am in his presence (which is even more often than I expected; the human loves his spirits, especially since Morathi provides him with an infinite, ancient supply preserved by magik) and to report any relevant information to her whenever I temporarily return to her possession (which is usually briefly after he is laying prone and unaware after their personal–or sometimes joined–“sessions”).
Today, my prison is filled with an ancient champagne called Veuve Clicquot Rose. The wretch appears to enjoy it, as he’s had to refill my chamber several times today. He’s also sharing with another character I’ve never seen before. They seem to be old friends, and they keep toasting to a “beautiful partnership,” but also nervously joking that Morathi is going to kill them both before night is over. It doesn’t feel very humorous, though.
They’re both now standing in front of Morathi, in her inner chambers. This was an extremely bold move by Serious Jest, not only arriving unannounced, but bringing this unknown guest–a male, at that!–with him and asserting his authority as General Manager of the Bellboys to push both of them past the deadly Witch Elf guards. I am not sure that the GM has any such authority, but the human uttered it with such casual confidence that the guards were too confused to kill him and his guest on the spot.
Morathi looks somewhat amused, and I know her well enough to know she’s considering whether she should be impressed, kill Jest and his guest on the spot, or both. Jest knows her well enough to know this, too. Nevertheless, he begins, with the unwavering assertiveness of someone who has been summoned for his expertise, “My Queen, I introduce you to one of my greatest adversaries that I have ever faced on a Blood Bowl pitch, Coach Alma.”
The stranger displays a confident bow, and says, “Queen Morathi, you are as beautiful and formidable as Jesty told me.”
Morathi does not look impressed. She looks first at the stranger, then back at Jest for an explanation: “Why is he wearing the Key to Hell’s Bells around his neck?”
“When you and I first began our…partnership, we agreed that it wouldn’t be forever.”
“I told you that if you didn’t win me a Blitz Championship, I’d probably kill you,” she casually replies.
“After a brief, awkward silence, Jest retorts, “But I did win you a Championship, and now it’s time to move to the next Chapter of our relationship.”
Morathi flashes a quick look at one of her beautiful Witch Elves, who sharply pulls a dagger out and begins playing with it. Morathi looks back at Jest, emotionless.
Jest, with a touch of nervousness betraying his voice, meets her stare, while motioning towards Alma. “I’ve brought you one of the greatest coaches in the world to replace me. He will win you another Championship.”
A long silence follows, their gazes unbroken. Jest’s face shows that he is pleading with her to be reasonable. Finally, she curtly states, “Great. Well, thank you for your service, Coach Jest.” The Witch Elf with the dagger is now advancing across the room towards him.
“I’m still your GM!” blurts Jest. The Witch Elf stops and looks back at Morathi.
Morathi assumes a bored visage and waves the Witch Elf back. “Fine. Thanks for stopping by.”
After another few awkward, speechless seconds, Jest begins backing out of the room, and Alma begins to cautiously follow him. “Coach Alma will stay,” Morathi declares, “We must…get acquainted.” Alma looks back at Jest half helplessly, half intrigued, as a couple of Witch Elves begin skillfully removing his clothes with daggers.
Jest nods back at Alma, as if to say, “Go with it,” Then he retreats back to his chambers the way he came, emptying the rest of my prison with a couple of long swigs. I suspect he’ll be replacing it with a much stronger liquid very soon.