Royal Business

Royal Business

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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King Haroldris discusses his plans following their victory over the Imperial forces.

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36.

Royal Business

 

 

The King’s companions all returned by evening and they sat together in the bridge of the Autumn Maid, sharing a meal and discussing all that they had seen that day.   Aurei was sorry to hear about Khord, but was perplexed why Sophia seemed actually pleased that he was afflicted in such a way.

After dinner, Haroldris addressed them about the upcoming days.

“I received word today that 1,000 of my troops have arrived in Aegoppa.   I’ve ordered that they divide their force in half, leaving 500 in Aegoppa, with the other half coming here to assist in the rebuilding and to shore up the defenses.”

“The Duke is recovering nicely and informed me that he is fit enough to see to the reconstruction of his city.   I also received a messenger from the Imperial Senate informing me that they were immediately sending 200 craftsmen and laborers from the mountain villages south of Orc pass, to assist in rebuilding Southgate, with 1,000 more being dispatched tomorrow from Aeropolis, which will arrive in a week.”

“What about King’s Reach, Your Majesty?”   Alis asked.

 

“I have the Golems that I sent last summer to Westmark, now working on removing the rubble, and then they will be set to rebuilding.   Still, there is much work to be done in all three cities.   I am going to stay here in Southgate for several days until I see that the Imperial craftsmen have truly arrived.   The rest of you I want to send back home to Westmark.”

“But Your Majesty, we can help!”  Aurei argued, though in truth her heart longed for home.

“Don’t worry, Aurei, you will certainly have opportunities to help.   But all of you have fought valiantly and need rest.   Two of you have not even had a chance to enjoy your new life as a married couple.  Siris and my own Queen have babies coming soon and should spend their time joyfully preparing for their arrival, not surrounded by destruction.”

“I fear there will be no escaping that in King’s Reach.”  Eioldth responded glumly, thinking of the destroyed palace and heavily damaged city.

“That is why I am sending you to Westmark with our friends.”   Haroldris informed her, smiling at her frown.

“My place is with you, or at least amongst the people, assisting them.” She protested.

“There will be time for that, but you were poisoned by a demon and fought in fierce battle; your duty now is to our child.   I am resolved in this, my love; I want you to go to Westmark and rest - for our child’s sake.   I will join you in short order, as soon as I am satisfied that the reconstruction processes are proceeding properly.”

 

The lovely queen sighed in somewhat frustrated acceptance of the King’s wishes.

“Matron Zeatt, I have a question for you.”   The King said turning to her, “It seems to me that you are the last surviving member of the council of Bishops - at least that we know of-  and so the whole future of organized worship of Yesh seems to rest in your hands.  If I may ask; what are your plans to keep it alive?”

 

Zeatt seemed somewhat surprised with Haroldris’ question and paused for a few moments before answering as she wrestled with the sudden awareness of responsibility.

 

“Um, well, I hadn’t really thought about the future of the faith resting entirely on my shoulders.   Hopefully there are plenty of faithful believers in Yesh that will keep the faith alive.   Until I can locate the other bishops and we can decide as a group how to proceed, I imagine I’ll have to reside somewhere else.   I’m rather fond of Westmark, so that would be my choice.   I suspect that the apostasy in the Southern Empire will fade with time, but I worry greatly for the faithful still living there.   Will they be persecuted for their faith?”

 

“That would be under the Imperial Senate’s control.”  The King replied, “They will suddenly have a lot of decisions to make, whereas they have been, under Fendoris’ reign, nothing other then an audience for his will.   I hope they will not be so desperate for a new Emperor that they sweep into power someone far worse then Fendoris.”  

“Matron Zeatt, I would say to you this; you are the only visible leader in the hierarchy of the Church of Yesh right now, and if misfortune has befallen the other Bishops, it may become your lot to rebuild the church.   I know it remains very strong in Northmarch, but now our Clergy will be under your authority, at least temporarily.”

“I’d encourage you to strengthen the churches in Northmarch and set up your seat in Westmark.   Aurei will certainly not mind that.”

The Drow girl smiled at her Aunt, “I’m thrilled, actually, and can promise her all the resources that we have available to help her.”

Haroldris laughed, “You may be surprised to learn, Aurei, that your available resources have grown considerably over the last few days.”

She looked puzzled at his statement and asked, “What do you mean, Your Majesty?”

“Well, since Duke and Duchess Frampbrum have been killed, as well as their sons and other heirs, it seems that the Duchy of Dullerm is without a Duke…”

“Oh no!” Aurei stood up, waving her hands frantically, knowing what he was about to do, “Don’t you dare…”

 

Haroldris grinned mischievously, “… Therefore, I hereby place under your jurisdiction all the lands and territories of the Duchy of Dullerm, along with the Ducal Keeps and properties.”

Aurei groaned, her shoulders slouching, “No, Your Majesty, please don’t add more responsibility to me!   Westmark is big enough!”

“Westmark and Dullerm both are by far the smallest of my duchies, Aurei, and together they won’t even be the largest.   They border each other along the south and even much of the eastern sides of Westmark, and extremely close ties have existed between the Duchies for years, thanks to your father’s friendship with the Frampbrums.”

“Yes, but the people of Dullerm may not be too thrilled with a Drow as their ruler.”

 

Haroldris shrugged, “Well, you obviously can’t live in both duchies at the same time and most of the larger duchies have a steward that takes care of business.   Then the Duke just makes a visit once every month or so.”

Aurei still looked worried, “But I don’t have any stewards!”

“Well, I know of two newlyweds that would fit the roles nicely.   With the strong Elven population in Dullerm, they would fit in extremely well.”

 

“But Allis is my friend; I don’t want her moving a day’s ride away!”   As soon as she said this, she realized how immature she sounded right then and felt very silly.

“I don’t want to ride all the way in to serve in the Muddy Boot, then ride all the way back home.”   The Half Elf girl joked, getting laughs from everyone.

“You know,” Sophia spoke up, “I’m sure I could find a way to let you move instantly between Westmark and the capital city of Dullerm.  There are things that mages use that they nickname ‘Benders’.   They are doorways that open out onto another location.   You go through the door and when you come through it, you come out of a doorway in another location.”

“The neat thing is that they set them up so that for them to work, the person wanting to move through them has to be wearing a medallion that is keyed to the Bender doorway.   If someone tries to go through without this medallion, they just walk into the wall behind the doorway.   They do this to keep their Bender private.   They’ll have a handful of activation medallions made and only the person wearing the medallion can go through the Bender.”

“Some mages even have towers built with no external doors and only those with the medallions can access the tower.   Now, they wouldn’t be cheap, and the medallions can only be programmed… ah, I mean, ‘enchanted’ for one specific person.”  

“So if Alis gives her medallion to her servant to come to Westmark to ask Aurei something, she won’t be able to use it.   Plus, all the medallions must be created before the Bender enchantment can be cast, so you can’t add new medallions later.  It would be costly, yet it is far cheaper than trying to set up teleportation pads in both places.   It would make travelling back and forth easier.   Then you both could see each other all the time and even live in either city.”

Aurei and Alis looked at each other for an instant and then Aurei asked her and her new husband, “Well, if we could do something like that so I could see you quickly and often, it would be fine by me.   What would you think about that?”

 

Alis spoke to Aeric briefly, then she turned back to her friend, “Well, we don’t know anything about running a duchy, but if we would have a way to travel back and forth to Westmark quickly if we had any problem, we’d be willing to try.   As long as you are the actual ruler and we are only stewards.”

 

Haroldris turned to Sophia, “What would two ‘Benders’ like you mentioned, cost?”

Sophia shook her head, “I’m not sure, but they are not nearly as expensive as having teleportation platforms made.”

“Could we have these Bender doorways put in each duchy so all my nobles could have access to each other and to me in King’s Reach?”

“I’m afraid not, Your Majesty.   You see, Benders are not actually teleportation devices.   They work through principles the Mages call Quantum Mechanics.   I couldn’t hope to explain all of that to you as I don’t even understand a fraction of it myself, but let’s just say that space can be bent or folded over like a piece of parchment, allowing a person to jump from one place to another distant place by just moving a few feet.   It sounds like magic, but it isn’t, really, though we use practical magic to create the effect.   That is why they are called ‘Benders’ because they bend space over so you can move between distances.”

“The problem is; if you have multiple folds that cris-cross the path of one another, it causes distortions and terrible things can happen like going through a door and coming out the other side split in half or something.   So a Bender has to be kept far distant from other Benders.   You can’t have two Benders within several miles of each other or they will create this distortion.”

“But I could have a Bender that moved between, let’s say, King’s Reach and Southgate, if there were no other Benders at either location?”

“Yes, that would be possible, but you couldn’t have a Bender for there, and one for Westmark, and another one for Dullerm, all in King’s Reach.”

“I see.   Well, that still might be a good thing for Aurei’s situation.   If I offer to pay for the construction of these Benders between Dullerm and Westmark, could you make inquiries on having them created?”

“Yes, Your Majesty, I think I know of some wizards in Flux that might be able to help you.”    

“Excellent; let me know what you find out.”   He turned to Sir Alvis and Eleazar, “Gentlemen, another concern is the status of the Knights of Northmarch or the seemingly defunct Knights of the Blood Cross.   With the devastation in King’s Reach and the war in Aegoppa and Southgate, there will not be enough funds to adequately pay for the needs of order, yet I want it to continue in either guise.”

 

 

“With St. Kinnis gone, I’m not sure what that will mean, so I would suggest that you keep the order we established for the time being.   I will have Sir Davit and that young Knight, Sir Beotur, establish a branch of the order in Aegoppa and gather recruits.   We need to build up a strong order again.   I also want Sir Aeric to gather any new recruits that are interested in Dullerm.   Though the Necromancer’s Guild appears to be defeated, we still need a strong army, especially with the chaos in the Southern Empire.”

Both Paladins nodded in agreement and the King clapped his hands together once, “Wonderful!   I think our business is concluded for now.   Our recent struggle has drawn us all close together, and I am certain this fellowship will continue even when peace is restored to Northmarch.   You all have shined with bravery.    Now it is time to rest and return to your homes.”

“Tomorrow the Autumn Maid will sail for King’s Reach to pick up Brandi, Krys, and the two children, then you will be taken home.   Take time to rest and recover, but be assured that there will be plenty of work for all of you to do soon.   Goodnight, my friends.”

Haroldris stood and took the hand of the Queen and took his leave of the weary company.





© 2014 Eddie Davis


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Added on February 1, 2014
Last Updated on April 21, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elf, Fantasy, Adventure, King, Undead, Knights, Paladins, war

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 3: Bane of the Necromancers


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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