Chapter Three: The Castle §1

December – 1022 YD
Offenure Castle, Lenyol

‘Régan?’ Royal Consort Bridget called for her daughter. ‘Régan?’
    Princess Régan flinched, waving her lady’s maid to the doors. The servant went quickly to them, pressing her weight against the heavy oak, admitting herself to the hall. ‘Your Royal Highness,’ she curtseyed, ‘the Princess is a little indisposed, though she is pleased to receive—’ the Consort brushed past— ‘you.’ Crimson, the poor maid laboured with the handle to close the door.
   ‘I am bathing, Mother,’ the Princess stated, keeping her back turned. ‘Perhaps you could leave me in peace?’ Continue reading “Chapter Three: The Castle §1”

Chapter Two: §4

Winter – 1022 YD
Gesula, Lenyol

Until winter, Kengar taught both girls the essentials of their trade. Mellena had less aptitude than Kesia, and less obeisance, and Kengar tended to teach them separately. Kesia eagerly learnt the history he taught her, while Mellena hungered for practical instruction, and he catered for both with the dedication he had promised. Once fortnightly he left the village, leaving them to be instructed by his wife. Tàvae enjoyed expanding on her husband’s tendency for overviews and summaries, and her fireside lessons were a welcome reprieve from the cold. Continue reading “Chapter Two: §4”

Chapter Two: §2

(Continued)
Gesula Forest, Lenyol

Kesia stood by Kengar at the edge of a large and perfect circle carved in the earth. In it stood a ring of large standing stones socked with moss, their diameter no less than thirty yards. Though Midsummer was past, the grass within the stones was thick and the earth moist.
   ‘What kind of secret is this?’ Kesia asked, stepping down the embankment with care. ‘It must be almost the size of the Claes!’
   ‘Not quite.’
   Kesia shivered at the energy vibrating between the stones. She followed her uncle’s lead and took to the ground in their centre with crossed legs. Continue reading “Chapter Two: §2”

Chapter Two: Beginning §1

January – 1022 YD
Gesula Temple, Lenyol

Months passed. Kesia stood nervously at the entrance of Gesula Temple clad in bronze ceremonial tunic and trousers. Beside her in identical garb were Lasair and Toran. A dragon of golden thread was embroidered both on their chests and the right leg of their trousers, the first coiled, the second stretched to the knee. Mellena was with them also but, unsure of etiquette, her mother had embroidered the same fabric with flowers instead.
   Priest Caleb ascended the hill near the temple carrying a basket of candles. He came upon the four youths and smiled. Inside, villagers and their parents smuggled excited waves. Continue reading “Chapter Two: Beginning §1”

Chapter One: §6


Spring – 1021 YD

Offenure, Lenyol

Brennan gave a servant’s tour of the castle, showing them through the labyrinth of kitchens, service passages, larders and keeps. His only reprieve from duty were the hours in the early evening, during which the Princess dined with her family. His position was a taxing one, he told them, rewarded by an untaxed wage. ‘Perhaps the only benefit of being a foreigner!’ He added quietly: ‘Many dislike my presence in the Princess’ retinue. Perhaps I was chosen for my origin; the Princess enjoys being contrary.’ Kesia smiled, suspecting even at her age that his appearance had been a prevailing factor. Continue reading “Chapter One: §6”

Chapter One: §4

(Continued) Offenure, Lenyol  

The city was a wonder to Kesia. Along the route to their inn she absorbed the scope of city life, with all its noise and haste and sensory onslaught.
   Castleknock was an impressive place. Three levels in height with gilded windows—each fitted with stained glass—its interior and furnishings had the opulence of nobility. It was a relief to Kesia that by the time of their arrival most guests were asleep, and that the innkeeper recognised Mitchas with warmth. His beautiful horses were taken to the castle stables, and they were shown to their rooms.

Continue reading “Chapter One: §4”