Reality Skimming
10Aug/12Off

Golden Souls by Lynda Williams – Post 6

Vretla sizing up Chandad
Golden Souls by Lynda Williams, is a story of Amel's envoy period. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.
Dela learns how her husband died.
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Chandad challenged Liege Vrel?!

"I am sorry to break such ill news in such a clumsy manner, Gracious Golden," Ronan barged along, mangling courtly airs. "I am even more sorry that the evils of this day cannot end there. Chandad has been slain at the capital by the liege of Vrel. The Emperor’s court was witness to it, as were the Dem'Vrel, lead by Pureblood Amel and championed by Liege Vrel, who is vassal to Amel's half-Vrellish mother. The stake was your title, to be given over as demesne to Amel, and to serve henceforth as the base of our Dem’Vrellish conquerors here on Demora."

Dela's eyes grew very wide. Chandad was many things, including unfaithful to her, but stupid about whom he dueled? Never! He was canny about picking his opponents. It was one of the things she had quarreled with him over.

"Did you say the liege of Vrel killed Chandad?" Dela asked, incredulous that he could be so stupid. It was like taking on pure evil. That was not at all like him. "The actual liege of Vrel? Whatever possessed him? Was it over some questionable business of Chandad's? The Eyes of Morning know there have been plenty of those! But the liege of Vrel! Chandad should have conceded!"

"Your husband had cause to think Liege Vrel might be ... over-confident," Ronan defended his late cousin's gamble, getting very stuffy looking.

How men decided such things was beyond Dela. She was flabbergasted.

Ronan went down on his knees before her.

That was unprecedented.

"Princess," he appealed to her clumsily, "there is no remedy for this within my power! All Demora is in vassage to the House of Dem'Vrel. They have sent Amel to mock us with his shame, and to set the boot of foreign domination on us."

Dela tried to wet her lips with a dry tongue. "I need some water."

Ronan took a moment to grasp that she had said something so banal. His expression shifted through irritation to a stable frown.

"Of course." He struggled up stiffly and sent for a servant through the intercom.

When he came back he showed no inclination to kneel again. No doubt he felt he had discharged the obligation.

Vretla sizing up Chandad

Vretla sizing up Chandad, thinking "This is going to be fun."

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