5. THE CHILDLESS QUEEN

5. THE CHILDLESS QUEEN

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson
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It seems there is to be a third party to Jackiss's journey

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Jackiss was ready to return to the northern lands as soon as maybe, but Mirelin had things to collect, herbs and crystals and firing powders to stash into his luggage where they would only be known by himself. Therefore it came as an annoyance to both men when the Queen, the beautiful Amyheart, and only living wife of King Jasper, called them to her suite.

She was clad in great finery, the feminine and fur lined robe that she wore being the richest shade of emerald and the gems that sparkled from the brooch that shone below her throat where it clasped the hems together were like a myriad stars set in blue-black sky. On her head was a circlet of silver glittering with beryl and other rich green stones. There could be no doubt that she was a Queen and that her wealth was immense, or if not her own wealth, that of her king and consort.

But there was about her the look of a woman in distress. The clarity of her skin aside, there was no doubt that beneath the finery that adorned her she was troubled, and Mirelin guessed why. King Jasper had a habit of disposing of unwanted clutter, and as she had been his Queen for well nigh twenty years, since her twelfth birthday when they had wed in a fabulous ceremony attended by five hundred guests, and had produced neither son nor daughter to inherit his throne, it seemed likely that she would follow Princess Zinga out of the king’s affections, become his second wife and be replaced by any one of the high born beauties that adorned the castle.

When they were in her quarters and seated on a bench that was possibly as uncomfortable as any bench can be, and she was on a pearl-adorned throne with her robe falling open to reveal silken and sparkling garments beneath it together with their own adornments that glittered like suns, she turned to the two men.

“You are to travel to the northern lands given you as a reward by my liege lord the king?” she asked Jackiss, addressing him and ignoring Mirelin, who she knew as a camp conjuror who, by reputation, had little or no talent in the bedroom.

“It is my plan, majesty,” he replied, a half smile touching his lips as he thought he knew what she was about to suggest. After all, it was common practice for a warrior to be treated to something special as he set forth on a noble venture, and although Jackiss was merely going North and remaining within Jasper’s lands, the journey was long and thwart with unsuspected dangers. An hour between the sheets with a mighty queen might well help them on their way, he thought, but without Mirelin watching on!

“Then I have a gift for you,” she said, and she reached into her robes, delving deep as if to her own skin, and she pulled out a silken corset that had encircled her own waist.

“This is for you,” she said, “in remembrance of this day.”

“It seems such a precious thing for such a mundane day,” he replied.

“My liege Lord is intent in replacing me as his Queen,” she said, “and rather than be demoted to Princess I wish to leave his bed and his service as soon as maybe. As holder of my corset I order you to take me with you as you journey through the wilds. Two strong men like yourselves can guard me and keep me safe no matter how treacherous the road, and I believe you will have armed companions?”

“Perhaps, highness...” stammered Jackiss, unsure of what to say, “but our destination, should we succeed in the journey and not fall prey to some wild beast or fell warrior tribe on the way, has no glorious halls or even a throne room as humble as this...” He waved his one arm to indicate the room they were in, which was far from humble yet in no way had the grandeur of the Castle’s main areas. He continued his speech, “indeed, for what may seem an eternity we will only have the clothes on our back for warmth and a crude wooden shelter for protection from the elements, and winter is almost upon us, and that is when we arrive!”

“If I remain here I fear for my life,” she said, wistfully, “for my liege Lord despises failure, and I have failed him by not producing an heir for him, neither male nor female.”

“Then it might cross his mind that the fault is with his seed rather than with his bride,” snorted Jackiss, careless of who he was talking to.

“He has no seed, but who would ever dare tell him?” sighed the Queen, “so I am going to depart before departure is forced upon me!”

Mirelin was listening to this debate with some interest, largely one that had a selfish origin, for he had been looking forward to weeks alone with his old lover, Jackiss, and believed he might rekindle some of the passions they had felt for each other in the past as they journeyed through wild lands and skirted unknown dangers. But with a woman at their side? A precious, highly decorated woman at that, glistening with wealth and clad in furs the like of which shallow uncouth men in tawdry villages could never have dreamed of?

“Your Majesty, rather than deflect danger, you may draw it to us,” he put in, determined to have his say.

“I didn’t ask for your opinion, trickster!” snapped the Queen, “and if danger comes our way I’m sure you could scare it off with your sparkly flames and herbal spells!”

“I dared say I could summon a demon,” sighed Mirelin, knowing argument against a high born lady like the Queen was pointless. After all, he was employed more as a joke than anything, and largely because in those days most kings and monarchs claimed to have magical protection courtesy of their wizards, and King Jasper didn’t want to feel out if step.

“Thne all is well,” smirked Queen Amyheart, “I will come with you and the three of us will have your pet demon’s protection in the wild!”

“The wizard Mirelin speaks the truth,” said Jackiss thoughtfully, “There might be the problem of marauding gangs intent on seizing the treasure you carry with you,” he added,, seeing Mirelin’s objections as a real problem. For he had travelled the lands between the Castle and the North and knew full well that there are many beings, both human and bestial, hiding from sight when warriors pass through their lands, and this time he didn’t plan on taking many warriors bristling with their obvious weapons. Wars were once more afoot and he guessed that if he begged the King for soldiers he might find himself enlisted himself once more, and this time such a conflict might cost him his one remaining arm.

“Then I will impoverish myself, dress only in a sackcloth and leave my gems behind,” replied the Queen, “for there is one thing I know. I am coming with you, and of that there can be no doubt. Now go! I must prepare for our adventure. The three of us to a wild land where we may sit on wild thrones and command the world as we will!”

 Then I must collect my spells,” muttered Mirelin, shaking his head.

©Peter Rogerson 20.11.18



© 2018 Peter Rogerson


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Added on November 20, 2018
Last Updated on November 20, 2018
Tags: queen, wizard, warrior, riches, wilderness


Author

Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom



About
I am 76 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..

Writing