Wandering Through Terran–Chapter 21

January 22, 2010

Here’s chapter twenty-one.  If only because I feel it might be a bit easier to update and navigate, I’ve posted revisions on the first dozen or so chapter of Wandering Through Terran on Writers’ Cafe.  Here’s a link to check it out.

Link to the rest of the story here.

Chapter Twenty-one: The Preparations

Where Sydney Leads

an Army to Tryps…

Sydney gathered his generals and the leaders of the recently arrived force in the Audience Chamber. The group rapidly compared notes on what they knew of the enemy forces, bringing one another up to speed. They fell silent as Merf returned from the Guardian Citadel with reports on what they had heard from the other kingdoms. He nodded grimly to the High King.

Our suspicions have been confirmed,” he said without excitement. “The Goblin Lord has established an alliance with the Dark Elf in Tryps. An uneasy one, but an alliance just the same. While we fought the goblins here, Duneway took power in Tryps. King Lang has fallen in battle.”

And he had no chosen heir,” Lothgar said.

That’s not entirely true,” Slant said.

What?” Sydney asked. “There is an heir?”

puup

Dayspring sat with Eseen as Lady Ashley treated the mage’s wounds. Asleep, Eseen had been sedated as the healers treated the various wounds she had endured during the battle. He gently held her hand as Ashley finished with the bandage.

She’s going to be fine,” Ashley said. “A bit sore, likely, but she will be up and about in no time.”

How are the others?” Dayspring asked.

Patracolus was badly injured when he carried Viktor back. It made many of those injuries worse. Viktor… all I can do is make him comfortable at this point. It’s a testament to his strength that he still breathes now.”

There is not much hope?”

Ashley looked across the chamber to where Viktor’s charred and burned form lay in traction. Galic sat beside him, whispering silent prayers. Nearby, Patracolus watched his adoptive father with the young man.

I do think it would be better for him to die now,” she said. “As he is now, he only suffers.”

Of course.”

Vera entered the room, rushing over to Eseen’s bed.

You might want to go to Court now,” she said.

What?” he asked. “Why?”

The King of Tryps died,” she answered softly.

puup

Olaf was sought out and brought to testify before the High King. Nervously he stood in stood in court before Sydney and the rest of the observers and officials. He looked to Dayspring, who merely looked away as Sydney called the court to attention. Olaf dropped to a knee before the High King.

I would know the status of ascendancy in Tryps,” Sydney said. “I am informed that you are an authority on this matter.”

Olaf nodded as he stood up. Pulling up his sleeve, the knight revealed the tattoo on his forearm of a large iceberg.

It stems out of the original accord between Tryps and the tribes of the Tund,” he began. “As it was regularly amended, the elders of the Tund negotiated in a special provision. When five hundred years had passed since the Tund annexes came under the control of Tryps, the right of succession would be reformed to include the people of the Tund. Ancient code in Tryps dictates that if the King had no blood heirs by the age of forty, a candidate will be nominated to fulfill that position. The elders of the Tund amended the pact so they could submit their own candidate for ascension to the throne. It was a formal gesture to affirm that the Tund was in fact a part of Tryps. So the provision was extended to fully include the peoples of the Tund. As King Lang was nearly fifty had no heir, blood or otherwise, it fell to the candidate.”

I see,” Sydney said. “And who was the candidate?”

Sir Dayspring of the Nord clan.”

The recorders and attendants turned to regard Dayspring. He simply nodded and signaled for Olaf to continue.

Legally he is the rightful king of Tryps at this point,” Olaf said. “This was part of my assignment as his companion when he set out from Tryps.” He held up his exposed forearm. “This tattoo signifies my allegiance to the elders of the Tund, and therefore the protector of the heir. King Lang was opposed to a person from the Tund as his heir, so an assassin was dispatched. I was assigned to… ‘deal with’ the assassin. If you wish to review the charter, I’m sure that could be arranged at a later date.”

I don’t think that will be necessary,” Sydney replied. “We have other concerns. I mean to pursue the goblins and defeat them once and for all. If you’re familiar with the charters and pacts, you probably know the issue at hand.”

Of course. Foreign armies are forbidden to enter Tryps without the permission of the king. Such an action would be an act of war. A result of Tryps not agreeing to the Pact of Terran after the wars with the Dragons. Fears of our sovereignty being threatened.”

A minor issue that I was planning to ignore given recent events, but one that might have a simple solution at hand.”

Dayspring stepped forward, out of the crowd. He nodded to Olaf, who stepped back. Dayspring dropped to a knee before the High King.

There is a minor issue of coronation,” Dayspring said with a slight smile. “However, as the appointed heir to the throne of Tryps, I hereby request aid from the kingdom of Aven and all the kingdoms of Terran that can answer the call.”

And so Aven will answer the call,” Sydney said. He stood, the crowd shifting in the silence. “Prepare the horses, find every able bodied man who can still raise a sword. The army of Aven will ride to Tryps.”

puup

Eseen hobbled out on a crutch as Dayspring finished setting up his saddle. He turned and caught her just as she was about to lose her balance. Laughing, she straightened herself in his arms and leaned against him.

What are you doing out here?” he asked. “I thought you’d still be sleeping. You should be resting.”

I’m actually going to ride back to Falston with some of the men and dwarves,” she said. “I’m just going to be lounging around anyway, so I’m going to lounge around there. Thought a shrine there might be a good idea too. Some kind of marker if the forest fades out again.”

That sounds nice. I’ll be sure to come visit when this all laid to rest, if you’ll have me.”

A visit from a king? What girl could resist that?”

puup

Dayspring rode out at the side of Sydney, the force of dwarves and men following close behind. Barnack had assigned five hundred dwarves to stay behind in Aven and another five hundred to go to Falston to aid with rebuilding, with a small group returning to the dwarf kingdoms in the endless mountains to report on what had happened while in Terran. The Kingdom of Aven was left under the stewardship of Lothgar, Patracolus and Merf for the duration of Sydney’s time away.

The city took some significant damage,” Dayspring observed.

There were actually some concerns about the foundation work of the city,” Sydney said without great concern. “I had been listening to reports on their failing integrity since I was crowned. It was going to be a difficult project to do the repairs, but since it’s all been destroyed we might as well just rebuild the whole thing.”

Worked out well for you then.”

Yeah, actually it did work out nicely. Avoid taxation because this was a state of emergency and use the emergency reserves of the treasury to pay for it. Works out perfectly.”

I guess so.”

Vera rode up to the other side of Dayspring. She smiled at the High King.

Your highness,” she said. “Myself and all the people of Bris were saddened to hear of the loss of your father. He was a great man.”

Thank you Vera,” Sydney replied. “He will be missed. And it is a pleasure to finally meet you. I see the tales of your beauty greatly understated the truth of the matter. I’m quite surprised your father would let you journey this far from home without more in the way of protection.”

Dayspring laughed as Vera told Sydney about her flight from Bris and subsequent quest. The High King laughed as well. After their laughter ceased, he turned his attention to the Gem.

Do you have any knowledge of the Gem’s nature?” Sydney asked.

Only that it was used in ancient burial rites,” Vera replied. “Something about how it allowed the dead to rest more soundly. The information I consulted was a bit incomplete and implied it was of little power. Slant seems to think it will prove valuable in the coming battle though.”

It just might,” Sydney said. He looked along the road at the path before them. “We’re crossing into Tryps. Prepare yourself. The power of the Dark Elf will be strong and the goblins will likely be positioning themselves for battle as we arrive.”

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