Ringer

Ringer

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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The King explains the strategy behind Aurei's advance in rank.

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26.

Ringer

 

Immediately following the ceremony, Aurei rushed up to the King, and before he could say anything she grabbed his arm.

“Please, your Majesty, you’ve got to find someone else!   You can’t put me in charge of your army!   I don’t know the first thing about commanding troops! “

Haroldris put a finger to his lips and with a glance to the Queen, took Aurei’s hand and led her through a door in the Knight’s Keep which led to a small storage room.   The King glanced outside to make sure no one had seen them and closed the door.

“Aurei, relax, let me explain all of that.”

“Okay, please do.”

“It’s a ruse, Aurei - I’m very certain there are several Necromancer’s Guild spies here in Westmark, and probably some from the Emperor as well, though they now are all working together, I guess.   Westmark is important to me as a base of operations for our airships and I don’t want any actions taken against it by the Necromancer’s Guild.   I’m sure they’ll know that we’re training airship crews here, but if they think this is the headquarters of my Archduchess who is in charge of my forces, I hope they will be hesitant to try what they tried here last summer and fall.   They should assume there will be large numbers of troops here and that should deter them."

"Also, if they perceive that you are too inexperienced to be put in charge of armies, then they won’t consider you a threat to them.   In fact, they will probably want to make sure you keep your title, as they will figure that your inexperience will be easily overcome by them when the day of battle does arrive.   So rather then give you experience by harassing you, I suspect they will instead want to leave you alone so you will remain inexperienced, and simply monitor through their spies what progress you are making."   

"That is why I don’t want you to really do much of anything.  I want it to appear that I have made a seriously poor choice by selecting you.”

“Thanks,” Aurei sighed.

Haroldris laughed, “Aurei, I didn’t mean it like that.  You are only a young woman by Elven standards - a ‘teenager’ so to speak.   Honestly, I suspect you probably could quickly gain enough knowledge to be a military leader.   You are extremely intelligent and possess an incredible charisma, both of which are most important to generals.   I suspect you will one day easily be able to lead armies.   But for now I confess that I’m using your youthfulness to hopefully fool the Necromancer’s Guild.”

Aurei nodded, “Okay, but won’t the spies wonder why there are no troops up here?”

Haroldris smiled, “Oh, we have that taken care of too.   I’m going to march here 2,000 members of one of the new regiments I created last fall.   They’ll train here and that should be enough soldiers moving around to hopefully throw off the spies, at least for a while.  They’ll march as soon as the spring thaw allows it.”

Aurei sighed, “I’m not sure where we’ll house them.”

“I’ll have them build a camp outside of town; that will give the air of permanence to any spies.”

Aurei just nodded, and the King noticed something still bothered her.

“Is that a problem, Aurei?”

“Oh, no sir; I’m just trying to take it all in.   There have been so many changes here this past year.   It is a bit much for a small town girl to take in.”

The King laughed at her self-description, “You are doing fine, Aurei, and I have complete trust in you.”

“I wish I shared your confidence, Your Majesty.”

The King just patted her on the arm and slipped open the door then slipped back out into the hall.   Aurei waited a few minutes then also slipped back into the hall, relieved to find that most of the townspeople had dispersed.   Alis stood talking to Sir Aeric, and Aurei was very pleased to see that the handsome young half-Elf Knight still showed a great interest in her friend.   She was debating going over to them or allowing them some time alone, when someone tapped her on the shoulder.   She turned to find Sir Eleazar smiling somewhat guardedly at her.  

“Archduchess,” he greeted her.

“Earl Eleazar,” she countered, and he seemed surprised by the title.

“Oh yeah, I forgot that.”

“You’re one of us now.”  Aurei teased, “One of the important snooty people.”

“It’s just a title.”

“Yes, but people expect you to act the part, I’m afraid.  I’m quite sure you’ll do fine.”

“As I am that you will with your new title.”

“Don’t count on it, Laz.  Or is it ‘Earl Laz’ now?”

He smiled at her flirt.  She couldn’t help it when she was around him, it was natural, somehow.

“Well before we both assume our new jobs, I have something to ask you.”

She noticed his uncomfortable expression and her heart raced in excited anticipation at what he wanted to ask her that made him so nervous.

“Okay, what is it?”

Eleazar looked around, “Is there someplace we could speak more private?”

“Well, it is YOUR Keep, but I happen to know for a fact that there is a storeroom over there that is empty.”

He looked puzzled at her words, but didn’t ask her anything, and together they went into the little room.

Eleazar closed the door behind him, “Aurei, I had a strange dream last night.”

“Oh yeah!   You dreamed about your mother, Sialia and she sang to you about Nitthum, Illyania and Baella.”

Eleazar stood there with his mouth open, in total shock.   Aurei smiled shyly, wondering if she should have told him that she knew.

“H-How in Yesh’s name…”  Eleazar at last stammered.

Aurei shrugged, “I don’t know, I dreamed it too.   I saw you and your mother talking in a forest clearing.    My goodness she was so beautiful!   She looked like a queen! She sang Nitthum’s Lament and I’m not sure how I understood it because she sang it in Faesidhe.   I didn’t hear what she said to you, but after you disappeared, she spoke to me.”

“My mother spoke to you?”  The half-Drow seemed very alarmed.

“She asked me if I’d heard and understood her song, and I told her that I had.   Then she looked at that Feather Fall Ring you loaned me.   I told her it wasn’t mine and that you’d given it to me, but she assured me that it was mine now.   She said it had been her mother’s ring.   Why in the world didn’t you tell me that, Laz?   I totally forgot about it.”

Eleazar just shook his head, “Don’t worry about it, it is indeed yours now.   A gift.”

“She seemed pleased that I had somehow got into your dream.   She said it was called ‘Aleiryid’, which I guess means to share a dream?”

Eleazar went noticeably paler and didn’t answer for a moment, “It’s something like that.   What else did she say to you?”

“She said that you were going on a quest soon and that I was supposed to go with you.   I told her that I would and she seemed really pleased.   She told me that she was happy for us and said, ‘Goodbye, daughter of my heart.’, then kissed my forehead.    She really seemed to like me.   Weird dream, huh?   So do surface Elves share their dreams a lot?   Is Aleiryid common?   It’s an Elven word I’d never heard of.”

Eleazar again just shook his head as if overwhelmed with thought.

“It’s not common.” He finally replied.

“Well it is the first shared dream I have ever experienced.   How about you?”

“The first.” He replied, his voice distant and distracted.

“So what did you want to ask me?   It’s the quest, isn’t it?”

“Huh… oh, well, um, yeah, I guess it is.”

“Well then, Earl Coldburn, do explain, please.”  

Eleazar seemed uncertain how to start, but after a few moments of pacing, he finally began.

“Aurei, I need to go back to the Emperor’s airship.”

“Really?  Last night you were against it.”

“That was before the… dream.   My mother told me in the dream that there was something of hers that the Emperor has that remains on that craft.”

“Something of your mother’s?   How would he get something of her’s?”

“It’s a ring, much like the one I gave you, only this one has a protection from drowning spell cast upon it.   I promised her that I’d get it before the Necromancer’s Guild retrieved it.”

“That’s a lot to do just for a protection from drowning ring!   Is it valuable?”

“More than you think.   It’s… a family heirloom.  As it was my mother’s, I want to get it.”

Aurei tugged at the Feather Fall Ring she wore, “Well, take this one; it was your mother’s too.”

“No!” he pulled her hand away from the ring.

“Why?”

“I gave you that as a gift.   The other one… the protection from drowning ring… won’t work unless I gave the other one to… a friend.”

“So the two rings have to be worn by friends to work?”

“Yes.”  Eleazar replied, uncomfortably.

“Well that can’t be right, because this ring works great right now.   Thank Yesh for that, or Aunt Zeatt and I would be splattered all over the snow east of here.”

Eleazar shifted, frowning, “There are other enchantments that only work when both …friends… wear both rings.”

“Such as?”

“Healing.   They act like rings of regeneration when both of them are worn.”

“Really?   How neat!”

“So for your ring… and the other one… to work, I have to wear the other one and as long as we are near each other both will heal.”

“That sounds like the rings in the story.”

“T-they are similar.”  Eleazar stammered nervously.

“So that is why your mother sang that song?”

“Uh… yeah.   And since I had given you one of the pair, you saw my dream …since it was about the two rings.”

“So these rings are sort of Rings of Friendship?”

Eleazar seemed to greatly relax at her question and nodded happily, “That’s it!   Rings of Friendship.”

“Well that makes sense, I guess.   That’s why your mother said I had to go with you on your quest?”

“Right.   Both… friends… have to be present for the rings to work.”

“So they were made to behave just like the rings in that song about Nitthum?”

“Just like the rings in the story.”

“And you gave one to me!”

“I… y-you… um, you… I-I thought you needed it most… I don’t have any other friends… like you.”  Eleazar seemed nearly overcome by nervousness and would not look at her as he spoke.

“So I’m the most pathetic?”

“No!  You’re the most… um… important.”

“Really?” her eyes sparkled.

“I-I-I mean, you are the Duchess and THAT is important!”

“Oh… okay, I see what you mean.”

“Since you are now an Archduchess; that is even more important, so it is my duty as a loyal subject of King Haroldris to make certain his duchess remains safe.   Getting that other ring will ensure that, and you need to come with me.”

“Okay.”

He seemed very relieved at her agreement.

“Laz, why did your mother say that she was ‘happy for us’?”

“Uh… w-well, it… um… she was happy that we were such good friends that I felt I should share one of the rings with you.”

“Oh, okay.   Thanks for thinking of me.”

Eleazar just nodded, wiping a bit of sweat from his forehead.

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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Reviews

I'm trying so hard to keep myself from laughing. Your use of language and character development are so fantastic that I could just see the look on Eleazar's face when Aurei mention the Aleuryid. This is great!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

Thank you Erin, I am very glad you are enjoying it.
Haha! Oh, poor Eleazar...how terribly awkward for him.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

I enjoyed writing this section of the book most, I think.

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322 Views
2 Reviews
Added on November 21, 2013
Last Updated on May 28, 2014
Tags: King, Drow, Elf, Fantasy, Adventure, Undead, Necromancer, Knight, Paladin, romance, relantionship

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 2: The Knights of Northmarch


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

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A Chapter by Eddie Davis


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A Chapter by Eddie Davis