Author Topic: Coins of Memory - Chapter 9  (Read 2856 times)

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Offline Laurna

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Coins of Memory - Chapter 9
« on: April 23, 2013, 04:58:45 am »

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Chapter 9 - WIC 9.19.985  4th Coin           

“Thank you, sweet angel of mine,” Washburn sent the mental note to the enchanting Deryni girl.  It was in the early morning hours, the sky had lightened, but the sun had not yet lit the valley of the Lendour Knight’s camp.  The wagon of nuns pulled away from the camp, Sister Jessa sat near the back her eyes downcast until she heard his words.  She looked up surprised.  For a brief instant, his gaze met hers. 

“What are you doing up?”  Muir’s voice called from behind him.  “Come away from the entrance, you’re in no condition to be up and about,” his brother sternly stated.  “Besides, if the physicians see you about, they will know something is amiss.  You don’t wish to compromise the girl’s secret, do you?”  Sir Washburn thus admonished turned away.  With reluctance, he followed his brother’s advice and return to the sick cot.  Only three others—Arty, Dillon, and his squire— knew he had been healed.

“She is an amazing woman,” the knight captain whispered.

“What’s this?” his brother exclaimed.  “I’ll grant you that,” Muir conceded after a thoughtful pause.  “Jessa Keryell is pretty for a sister of the convent, and I’ll admit that her being Deryni and Healer has some attraction.  However, she is a member of the Church.  Please tell me you noticed the habit in which she was attired?”  Muir tilted his head at his younger brother with a teasing smile.

“Of course,” Wash replied, heartening to the quip.  “But surely you noticed the novice robes and the veil, not the coif and wimple of a nun.” 

The Earl shook his head in disbelief at his brother’s tone.  He recognized a hint of earnest intent under the jest. A look of concern replaced his earlier smile of relief.  “It’s been three years since your sweet Camilla died,” Muir said the words with care, but still Wash ducked his head, feeling the pain of loss.  “Maybe it is time for you to seek a second bride.  My hope is that finally, after two years of battling Torenth, this war is decidedly finished.  At least, let us pray the new King makes it so.  I’m thinking that now is the time we should both start contemplating heirs to our family estate.”

“Your wife is two months from giving you that already,” Wash noted, hopeful for his brother’s happiness.  “I have not considered myself in that vein these last years.  I did truly love Camilla,” he said with a sigh.  His gaze went to the two rings upon his hand: the white gold ruby ring from his father and the thin gold band from his wedding day.  That day was nearly five years ago.

“I know that you did,” Muir said, pulling up a stool and sitting down opposite his younger brother.  “This maiden healer has saved you when I surely thought the worst would happen.  I owe her the world for that gift.  But if you wish to consider marrying again, it cannot be with her.”
Wash looked up, taken back by the blunt statement.  Muir continued on, knowing his words would hurt.  “I spoke to the Reverend Mother last night.  She believes Sister Jessa has a true vocation, which is a wonderful thing for a child who was orphaned from a pair of unmarried peasants.  I am sorry.  I have no desire to dash your ideals of the woman who just saved your life.  But years ago, the castle guard who brought her to the convent said her parents were murdered selling stolen goods from an estate.”  He took a deep breath, feeling his brother’s probe on his shields.  “Can you handle this, if I show you?”

“You must.  Otherwise, I will not believe such a tale.”

“Very well.”  Muir leaned closer, wrapping his hand around Washburn’s wrist.  They fell into a familiar rapport.  Muir shared a part of his conversation with the abbess the night before.  She had told him of the day the Deryni girl had been brought to the convent, and everything the guardsman had said.  The child had been found with a dead man and woman who carried stolen goods from a wealthy estate.  The child’s mother was with a man she was not married to, leaving the legitimacy of the child’s birth in question.  The orphaned girl had given her name as Jessa Keryell.  Letters had been sent to the Keryell family, yet no one would claim her.  In addition, the Keryell family was human, not a single Deryni in the family tree.  Over the years, the girl herself had not enlightened the abbess further.  “I’m sorry,” Muir finally said aloud.  “I know that is not a truth you wanted to hear.”

Wash bowed his head sadly.  “No, it is not.”  He lay back on the pillowed cot and stared at the canvas above his head.  “I cannot see how such a giving, gentle mind can come of the background that you’ve told.”

“Just be glad, as I am that she was here when she was, and that the convent has taken her in its fold.  She will do well there.”

Wash was beyond tired from the trauma he had endured.  He could not understand that moment the day before, when he had opened his eyes, his pain suddenly gone.  He had been sure his soul was passing from this earth. His heart had been touched by a presence; his eyes had opened to an unexplainable vision.  He saw a vision of light in the form of a man leaning over him, whose eyes were softly grey, shinning with a countenance of knowledge.  The worldly apparition had floated upward revealing the golden beauty Wash soon learned had the skills of healing.  The vision had purposely joined their souls together in that moment accomplishing more than just the healing of his body. Something else had happened in that moment, something amazing.

Wash had spent the next sleepy hours wondering if the apparition in his vision had been the Angel of Death, but as he woke, fully healed and alive he realized it was not Death who had visited him, but the power of Life.  So, which angel then did the ghostly figure represent.  Washburn struggled to comprehend the truth.  The more he revisited that moment in his mind, the more he realized he had seen a semblance of this man before.  It had taken him all night to remember, but now he was certain he had seen his vision captured in a portrait within the pages of his mother’s prayer book.  The portrait had not been of an angel but of a saint, a Deryni saint known as Saint Camber. 

The truth of history often was a precarious thing.  Those in authority had deliberately skewed the facts of the high placed Deryni lord, who in his lifetime had instigated the overthrow of the horrific Torenthi domination of Gwynedd’s crown.  Washburn’s mother, Lady Lillian, had stressed on her two sons the importance of remembering the Deryni men and women who had risked everything to save the kingdom from tyrants.  Lord Camber was one man named for his heroic restoration as the defender of humans and Deryni alike.  Upon his death, Camber had been canonized for his deeds.  Nevertheless, human memories were short, it was easy for the non-Deryni hierarchy within the Church to redefine their power, and they condemned and discredited the Saint along with all Deryni for the Torenthi’s previous abuse of power within the kingdom.  Deryni memories, however, remained strong, and they remembered Saint Camber as their defender.  Heard only through Deryni channels, there were whispered rumors of other spiritual sightings of the man once known as Camber MacRorie.  The sightings had only seemed to serve the myth of the man.  Was it possible there was truth in those sightings?  He had not believed so before yesterday.  Today he did not know.  If it were true, then the immensity of it unbalanced Washburn’s ecclesial ideals.

Wash could sense that his brother understood the distress of his own inner turmoil.  As yet, neither man had spoken aloud what each had witnessed of the previous day’s miracles.  The strength of that experience was far more poignant than any angelic tale that the Church could offer.  Although he was recovering, Washburn was still weak.  Not only was his body fighting to quickly recover, but his mind was also struggling to understand his survival along with the emotions that a young woman stirred in his heart.  Displaying his brotherly protection, Muir reached over and covered Wash’s eyes with his palms.  The earl switched the triggers he had set the day before and willed his younger brother to sleep.  The Knight Captain did not fight the compulsion.  He let his mind calm and his eyes grow heavy.  The road back to Castle Cynfyn would be bad enough in a bouncing litter.  If Muir forced him to sleep through the whole of it, then at least he would keep up the charade of the wounded knight for a little longer.  As he dozed off, he realized how much he really did need the sleep to fully regain his lost energy.


WIC 11.4.985

Weeks passed, and the heat of early autumn ended.  The drought succumbed at last to a torrent of heavy rains that quickly drowned the dry riverbeds of the upper Molling River in mad flash floods.  A small village along its banks, at the foot of the Lendour Mountains, took heavy damage.  Rushing water and blocking debris turned the village’s edge into broken homes full of brush and mud.  Washburn accompanied the earl to assess the damage.  They had mustered a garrison of workers from Cynfyn and the nearby tenant estates.  By mid-day, the men had begun rebuilding the broken levee at the river’s edge.  With steady work, the repair would be complete before the next storm arrived.

A castle messenger galloped up to the company of workers.  No sooner had he dismounted than he handed a sealed parchment across to the Earl of Lendour.  Muir read the missive twice before his shaking hand held it out for Washburn to read.  Wash held his breath as he scanned through the message from Sir Thomas.  It described how the Countess Melina had slipped on the wet stone steps outside the main hall.  She had fallen some feet before those around her could stop her descent.  The earl’s wife had suffered a serious fracture of the ankle.  The castle physician, Rubin, was away, causing Sir Thomas to send for the physician from the cathedral.  He had arrived and was setting the ankle.  Soon afterward, however, the countess began experiencing abdominal pains.  Sir Thomas assured the earl that his wife was well cared for, but thought it best if he returned.  Washburn felt his own anxiety as he heard his brother shout out orders, his voice distressed.  Wash nearly missed the last words on the parchment explaining Sir Thomas’s greatest concern.

“Sir Artimus has taken it on himself to retrieve Sister Vivian and her companion from Saint Clair’s Convent.  I protested the need.  The castle midwives seemed not overly concerned and the cathedral physician, Father Pernal is here.  The convent women will likely arrive before you can be here yourself, so I am requesting that you be prepared to deal with this upon your return.”

What was Sir Thomas thinking?  Why would he call Father Pernal? 

“I’m returning to Cynfyn immediately,” the earl shouted to the five knights in his company.  “Sir Paulson.  You’re in charge here.  I should think it would not take more than two days to rebuild the breach in the river’s edge as we discussed.  Lambert and Ronald, you’re with Paulson.  Dillon, you are with me.  Wash?”

“With you, my lord,” Wash instantly stated.

“If you don’t wish to be around with the physician there, I will understand.”

“Do not think for a moment that anyone could keep me from my duty to you and your family.  I am beside you.  You should never question that.”

“Forgive me.”  Muir bowed his head.  “Of course.  I would be much distressed in the journey home without your presence.  Come, we have miles of climbing road before us.”  With that, the three men gathered their belongings and summoned their horses.  At the pace they set, they would reach Cynfyn by sunset.

They rode into the castle inner courtyard muddied and anxious.  The horses sweated and puffed from the three-hour ride.  Muir was off his grey in seconds, taking the stone steps up to the keep three at a time.  He had bolted through the main doors before either of his knights had dismounted. 

“Dillon, can you see to the animals?  Ah, here come the grooms now,” Sir Washburn said while dismounting.  He handed his sorrel’s reins, as well as the grey’s, across to old Karl.  “They have been overtaxed, Karl.  Please see them rubbed down and cooled properly.”
“Yes, my lord.  I’ll see to them.  These are like me own children, you know.”

“Good man.”  Washburn nodded.  Then he, too, was anxious for news up in the castle and took the steps two at a time.

Washburn entered the earl’s apartment on the third floor, interrupting the full disclosure Sir Thomas was relaying to Muir in the private solar.  “…she reset my lady’s ankle and has completed its healing,” he said with a flinch at the last word.  “It no longer gives the countess pain.  Not so for her other pains.  She fell on her left side, my lord.  Her pains there have increased.  Physician Pernal insisted she just needed rest, but the nuns from the convent state that she has gone into labor.  Rather than rest, they have had her walking around to encourage the oncoming labor pains.  The younger sister seems to believe the baby is distressed and should be born as soon as may be.  I’m sorry my lord,” Sir Thomas said with trepidation at the premature birth.

“She’s three weeks before her time,” the earl stated in shock.  He had lost an infant before.  It terrified him that he could lose his wife as well.  “How can it be safe to have the baby so early?”

Sir Thomas sighed in dismay.  “So I myself said.  I was supporting the good father in this but the older nun echoed the younger sister’s concerns.  They spoke of things I did not understand; somehow, they won Physician Pernal over to their way of thinking.  He has stepped aside and allowed the women to encourage the countess to deliver.  I am sorry, my lord, but it is out of our hands.”  Sir Thomas seemed to take the full responsibility onto himself.  Muir put his hand on Thomas’s shoulder, releasing him of that responsibility.  Without concern that he was a man invading the domain of women, Muir pushed on the inner door and rushed into his sleeping room.

As the door opened, a woman was heard giving forth a deep moan, followed by breathless puffing, and then a deep moan again.  Wash followed behind Muir, but he stopped, frozen at the portal of the doorway.  His chest constricted as his eyes beheld what men were not meant to witness.  On a stool between the hearth and the bed sat the robed figure of the countess.  Sister Jessa sat behind her bracing the countess as she leaned back.  The healer’s hands extended over the lady’s belly, her eyes dilated with focus.  A nun had taken the position as midwife.  She sat before her ladyship near the floor, her hands holding the hem of the voluminous robe, and her steady voice telling the countess when to breathe.

The chambermaids turned toward the men in surprise.  They scowled at the arrival of the castle lords and then purposely moved around the countess blocking her image from the door.  This was not a place for men.  Wash took a step back.  Only his eyes followed his brother as the anxious lord blatantly ignored the stares of the women and strode around them all to grasp his wife’s hand and sit on the bed at her side.

As Wash turned away from the scene, his eyes caught the figure of a black clad priest, who seemed forgotten and left to stand in the farthest corner of the sleeping room.  The father’s arms were folded in his sleeves and though his eyes were mostly downcast, Wash twice saw him look upward and stare intently at the women across the bed.  No, not all the women, the priest stared at Jessa.

Anger flared behind the knight captain’s eyes.  Was this the Father from the Abbey, the one named Pernal?  Wash did not know him by his looks but he had little doubt that it was the same priest.  He stepped into the doorway bent on confronting the man.

“No Wash!  Not here, not now!” The hard focused words from Muir brought him up short.

 Washburn was about to voice a word of defiance, just as the Lady Melina let forth a heart-wrenching yell.  The priest was forgotten as all the attendants turned their focus toward the distressed noble lady.

“Don’t push!” the nun called out.  “Grab the earl’s hand and squeeze tight, but don’t push!  Not yet.”

The anguish in Lady Melina’s cry caused the younger Lord Cynfyn to turn away tortured.  All too clearly, the painful memories of his wife’s death in childbirth came to the forefront of his mind.  The woman he had learned to love and the son he had dreams of raising to manhood had both been stolen from this world.  Hearing those same sounds all over again tore him up inside.  Wash turned away from the door and then away from Sir Thomas who paced and mumbled responsibly in the center of the outer room floor.  Wash could not watch that restless motion.  He retreated to the far hearth, staring long and hard at the fire set within.  For a time, the sounds of the woman in labor retreated to heavy breathing and soft moans.

All too soon, the strained voice of Sister Vivian could be heard through the open door.  “My lady, it is time.  On the next contraction, I want you to push.  You can do this.  Your husband is beside you, and a healer will control your pain.  Your baby is coming.  This is it—my lady, push!”  Wash cringed as his brother’s wife gave forth a huge yell.  After a moment, all quieted except for the mother’s whimpering cries.

The tension from the room forced Wash to race back to the open door.  He saw what the new mother could not see.  The Sister Jessa had come around to kneel beside Sister Vivian.  She held the newborn in her arms; her head bowed over his small form.  The Deryni healer was in full trance with a soft golden glow emanating from her hands.  Washburn had to blink as his eyes focused on a faint shimmer of a ghostly being kneeling at her side.  The newborn with a hint of blue about the lips lay unmoving in the healer’s hands.  The energy from the healer’s fingers caressed the baby’s chest, and instantly Lord Muir’s son took his first breath.  The intensity of the moment dissipated as the newborn’s mouth, fingers, and toes warmed with a healthy shade of pink.  The vision of the saint faded away as the baby boy cried lustily for the first time.  At the sound, cheers of joy and relief echoed through the room.

At Washburn’s side, Thomas stood frozen, staring wide-eyed at Jessa and the baby.  Jessa smiled up at both knights, tears from the moment’s stress on her own cheeks.  At the corner of his vision, Washburn saw the priest step closer; his eyes were as wide as Sir Thomas’s.  After a brief hesitation, the priest uttered a prayer and crossed himself, and then quickly he departed the room passing very close to Wash.  It took every ounce of resistance for the knight captain to not grab the man and question his motivation.  This, however, was neither the place nor the time.  He assured himself that the priest had fully left the apartment before he came back to the sleeping room to see Jessa place the newborn son in the arms of his awaiting mother.  His heart wrenched, knowing what would have been if the healer had not been here.  Once more, they owed this girl another life.

Sir Washburn wanted neither to leave in case he was needed, nor to intrude on his brother’s privacy.  There were still many goings and comings of maids in and out of the room.  Melina was still in pain, and Jessa was seeing to her needs.  Wash turned to watch Thomas give a distressed huff.  The older knight could not handle the pressure within the room any longer.  With a decisive turn, Sir Thomas left.  Washburn watched him go, questioning his attitude.  His musing was cut short as his own personal squire entered the solar carrying a fresh set of clothes in his arms. 

Wash could always count on Robby to see to his needs.  The young man had just turned fourteen.  Washburn would have knighted him on the fields during this last campaign if the boy had been older.  Robby had seen Washburn through the worst of this last year.  The growing young man’s dedications to his responsibilities and to Wash were unshakable.  Washburn enjoyed training Robby in swordsmanship and jousting.  The son of Baron Donneral was proving he could hold his own even amongst those peers who did get knighted this last year.  Wash acknowledged the young man with a grateful smile.  Taking his duties seriously, Robby exchanged Wash’s muddied boots for kid-leather house shoes and removed his outerwear for a warm, fur-lined tunic emblazoned with Wash’s personal coat of arms.  The squire waved a servant over with a tray of warm food and a decanter of wine.  Wash accepted the wine, saying a word of blessing for the newborn in the next room.

Taking a comfortable seat before the hearth, Washburn stretched his legs enjoying the bristling fire and the warmth.  He smiled as he heard his nephew’s soft cry.  It was about time there was a new heir to the Cynfyn line.  His mind, unedited, revisited the all too short romance he had enjoyed with Camille.  The king had betrothed her to him; she was the third sister of the Duke of Claibourne from the north.  They had not met before their wedding day.  He was half expecting the girl to be like her brother, with his heavy highlander looks and mannerisms.  Her gentleness had taken him back.  She was not a beauty to behold; a little too square jawed, a little short of leg.  He found, however, it was easy to lose himself within her dark eyes.  It had taken them months to learn each other’s ways and fall in love, but fall in love they did.  It was a year before she announced to him she was with child.  He thought he was the happiest man in the land.  And so he was, for eight wonderful months.  Then tragedy struck.  He had lost her.  How could he ever love again?   

He dozed off in the cushioned chair before the hearth, and dreamed of what might have been with a loving wife and children on his knees.  With the dream easing, a soft voice called his name, and gentle fingers caressed his hand.  His eyes opened to a golden beauty standing before him, just as she had in his dreams.  Had he really substituted this fair girl for the dark haired lady of his past?  Her veil was gone, showing strands of wheaten locks escaping the blue ribbon that bound her hair.  She was tall and refined with her figure enhanced by the firelight behind her.  Not a girl, he corrected, but a woman grown.  Her voice fell in sweet tones upon his ears. 

“The earl and countess wish to present to you their son, your nephew.  Will you step inside?”

Jessa Keryell bowed her head as he took her right hand and raised it to his lips.  He kissed the back of her hand, not releasing the long fingers as he rose to stand before her.  He did not move on as she urged him to.  Instead, his left hand touched her chin and turned her face up to his.  He stared into her shining grey eyes, marveling at the power hidden behind them.

“Once more I sense I am in your debt,” Sir Washburn said.  She cast her gaze up to his and held her breath.  He felt the tendrils of her mind briefly touching his.  Then ashamed, Jessa pulled her thoughts away, though she showed no sign of releasing herself from his touch.  Unsure, he pulled her closer to see what she would do.  She did not pull away.  If anything, she leaned into his hand seeking the comfort of his strength.  He fumbled for what to say, afraid he might scare her away.  “Thank you for healing my brother’s wife and his new son.  I would not like to think of what might have happened if you had not been here.  Twice now you have been a miracle for the house of Cynfyn.”

She ducked her head, blushing from his praise.  “Then you must thank Sir Artimus for racing to the convent and convincing the abbess to let me come.  She had denied his request at first.”

“Why would she refuse Artimus?  Your gift was absolutely required.”

She shook her head, not able to answer him.  “I, too, am glad I was allowed to intervene.  I have not healed since that fateful day when we first met.  It pains me to see people suffer needlessly.”

Washburn brushed a tear from her cheek and felt the healer’s concern for others.  It seemed that she felt alone in her concern.  She lived in a religious house where the women were supposed to support one another.  How could she be so alone?  “I don’t understand, the convent must be overjoyed to have a healer in their midst.  Don’t women in need enter your halls regularly?  I should think you would be quite busy.”

Jessa turned her back to him and stared into the fire.  “I am Deryni, my lord.  Others have begun to suspect my heritage.  My duties are frequently in the cellars, working alone.  I am only allowed to be with the others during prayer.  At night, I am locked away in my cell.  I have been told that it is for my own protection.  At first I believed what the abbess told me, but I suspect I am being punished for this healing gift that I would share with others, if I were allowed.”

“That’s madness!”  Washburn pulled her back to search through the pain in her eyes.  “You saved my life; Thomas’s and Ronald’s too.  And they punish you for that?”  He pulled her into his embrace and felt the tears of shame fill her eyes.  He held her for a long while, remembering that moment of oneness they had shared two months before.  “You’re not alone,” he whispered brushing her tears away.  He looked down into her eyes.  In the next moment, he kissed her.

Surprising even himself, he half expected a slap across the face.  Instead, to his amazement, she melted in his arms without resistance.  They held their embrace, both experiencing the comfort of their closeness.

At last, Wash broke the silence.  “Who are you?  How did you come to such a place as Saint Clair?”

The healer gave a great sigh, and turned her face toward the fire, once more her mind lost in the flames.  “It matters little,” she whispered.  “All that matters today is that the gift that I offer has seen your brother’s wife through what few others survive, and that your nephew is strong despite the earliness of his birth.”

“I owe you so much for this miracle of your healing touch.”

“No, you owe me nothing.”  She looked back at him, honestly giving of herself.  “I am a servant of the Church, and happily use the gift the Lord has passed down to me.”  She pulled away, straightened her back, remembering her place.  She would then have turned to lead him back to where the newborn nephew lay with his parents, but Washburn’s hand brushed her elbow, drawing her grey eyes back up into his blue ones.

“Tell me true, my lady.  Is it truly your destiny to be a servant of the Church?”  He took a deep breath, searching for a better understanding of the feeling she evoked in him.  “I will not bother you further if it is a real vocation that you feel.  But if they treat you so poorly, how can you wish to be their servant?” 

“I—”  She hesitated for a long moment at a loss to explain.  Torn by her own mixed emotions, she finally looked up at him and softly said, “I believe my healing talent is a gift from the heavens.  I cannot deny what is part of my soul, but I….”

“I suspected your vocation was true,” he said with a great sigh.  “It would explain why Saint Camber has graced his presence upon you.”

She stopped and stared up at him, surprised.  Her shields until this moment had been closed to him, but now they brushed up against his, questioning his words.  “Saint Camber?  Camberus?  The name on my medallion?”  She fingered the silver chain that lay against her neck and pulled the heavy medal from under her gown.  “I am allowed to wear this, but only if I keep it hidden.  The abbess will not tell me who Saint Camberus was or why I cannot find his description in the basilica.”

Washburn took the outer edges of the silver medal between his fingers.  Turning it slowly in his hand, he read the engraving along the rim.  “Sanctus Camberus, libera nos ab omnibus malis.” He nodded his head, confirming in his mind what he had suspected before now.  “Did you not know you wore the medal of the chapel of Saint Camber?  There are very few of these left.  Most were melted down when his name was stricken from the Church.”

The novice stared between Washburn and the medallion for a long minute.  “Deliver us from every evil….” she whispered.  “I often wondered what was the ‘evil’?  The Church believes that Deryni are evil, but I could never reconcile that, as this token was highly cherished by my father, and by his father before that.  This medallion is all that I have of my family.”

Sir Washburn’s left hand caressed her wrist.  He invitingly dropped his shields, opening a link to share his knowledge.  He showed her the history of the saint as it had been taught to him by his mother.  He then shared with her, his own vision of the man of soft light as he saw him knelling beside her today, and before, when the same spirit rose between them that day he thought he would die.  He no longer doubted the visions were that of Saint Camber.

She gasped aloud.  “You saw him today?  I was not sure if you did.”  Trusting this knight in a way she had never allowed before, Jessa deepened the rapport between them.  She openly shared her own experiences of her heaven-sent angelic visitations.  She considered his words and wondered if her healing angel truly was the Deryni Saint, Saint Camber.  She had never put the name and the holy angel together.  “Was Camber a healer?” she finally asked, always believing that he must have been so.

“I have never heard tell that he was,” Wash answered uncertainly.  “I will look into it and see what I can discover.”

Rashly, Wash leaned into their mental sharing, hoping to learn more of Jessa’s past.  But suddenly she shied away.  The link between them closed.  Wash cursed himself for his own stupidity and apologized to the maiden, who whipped back tears of embarrassment.  She gathered her wits and bravely stood tall.  “Come, you have family waiting.”  She bade him toward the earl’s private room.  “They want to share their joy with you.  It would please me most to witness this happiness of a caring family.”

Willingly, knowing he could not learn more today, he let her lead him into the earl’s chamber.  On the bed wrapped in coverlets, and leaning into the shoulder of her husband, the lovely Melina held the little baby boy affectionately in her arms.  He was bundled tight with a small red face, puffed cheeks, closed eyes, and a tuft of blond hair over the top of his head.  He had the strong family chin. A Cynfyn indeed.

“We will name him Euan, heir to the Earldom of Lendour,” Muir pronounced, beaming with pride.

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« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 03:03:30 am by Laurna »

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 9
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 08:40:29 am »
Nice chapter!  I suspect the storm on the horizon is beginning to roll in, and its name is Father Pernal.  What was Sir Thomas thinking, and why does he seem to be reacting oddly?  Looking forward to the answers in future chapters.   :)
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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 9
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 11:02:14 am »
Nice to see Jessa learning more about her Deryni heritage and who her "angel" actually is.   And I'm sure Wash was thrilled for another chance to see his own "angel," despite the frightening circumstance behind it, and was glad that his sister-in-law and her newborn son came through.  Not just for Muir's sake, but getting pushed further back in the Cynfyn succession gives Wash a little more personal freedom as well.  As much as any second-born son of a nobleman can ever hope for, at any rate.  :)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline revanne

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 9
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 07:04:13 am »
Poor Jessa not allowed to use her gift. My vocation was denied for a while and I know what agony it is. I do suspect though that she is also disturbed by thoughts of a certain handsome nobleman.
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 9
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 12:15:38 pm »
Poor Jessa not allowed to use her gift. My vocation was denied for a while and I know what agony it is. I do suspect though that she is also disturbed by thoughts of a certain handsome nobleman.

I am sorry to hear there was a time when you were denied your vocation. and I am heartened that you are denied it no longer. I believe you have often said that this is why Duncan McLain's circumstances have spoken to you so earnestly.
Revanne, I love that you have joined us over these last years. I am a little surprised that Pretender's Gambit has brought you back to my first story, as even I have not reread this in a very long time. Gads! I feel sorry for Evie when she first saw my rough draft and how ever patient she was with me to edit my mess.  So I thank your for you comments and I will enjoy the fact that you find this story is still good enough to read.

Offline revanne

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 9
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 03:17:15 pm »
Definitely good for several rereadings.

Yes, as a priest who has had my calling to priesthood challenged for something I cannot change I do definitely empathise with Duncan. In fairness I should add that no-one was trying to burn me!
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)


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