Chapter Seven: §1 Meanwhile, North

September – 1023 YD
Delus, Miggest

Some months after the inauguration of the Duke of Trialle, Vilsonius accepted the Custodia’s invitation to the region’s capital.
__He was admitted to the Great Hall and found it empty of attendants. Custodia Galluel sat on a platform above the vast space, leaning against the side of her throne, ankles crossed, bemusement folded in the corner of her mouth. The throne was ornate, and yet simpler than its Iulithan counterpart—here, the throne was low-backed, shallow and narrow enough for comfort, lined inside with a black bear pelt. The throne of his homeland was high, large, and cold.

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Chapter Four: §4

December, 1022 YD
Lirna, Lenyol

Princess Régan arrived at Lirna Palace in the evening, four days after departing the capital. The journey had been hot and rough, and she was relieved to be received by the Duchess in the outer gardens. The Princess alighted the carriage; the Duchess, Lady Ione, took the Princess’ arm and guided her inside, along a series of beautiful staircases into to the Dining Hall. It was cool, set with a fine meal, and free from servants.

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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.

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Chapter One: §2

Winter – 1012 YD
Gesula, Lenyol

The village of Gesula was speckled with lantern lights guiding the way through the fog.
   In the central street stood a large and popular house.
   ‘Bed time, everyone!’
   The house vibrated with excited feet; the children charged into the bedroom with shrieks of delight. All five crawled into one bed, snuggling up to Ànlisia. They elbowed each other to be closest to the story.
   ‘Prayers first. Come on, all together.’ Continue reading “Chapter One: §2”

Chapter One: Rising Ashes §1

Winter – 1021 YD
Gesula, Lenyol

Long as she had known, Otàmil had forced Kesia to wear shoes with no soles. Weavers need always be connected with the earth, he’d said, and there was no point starting with proper boots only to lose them later. In winter his edict was burdensome, for though no snow fell in the lowlands, there was fierce frost in the mornings from June on. It was the skin between her toes which smarted most, and no amount of exposure would ever harden those little sections of flesh. Her brother had caught her wearing socks one such morning. Her father learnt of this, of course, and for the whole of July made her wear shorts to ensure the soles of her feet were uncovered. Continue reading “Chapter One: Rising Ashes §1”