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Author Topic: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10  (Read 4532 times)

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Offline Laurna

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Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« on: April 30, 2013, 03:00:34 am »


Previous Chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1073.0.html


Chapter 10 - WIC 11.6.985   4th Coin       


“Are you certain these ledgers are correct?”  Lord Washburn asked Lord Ohlin of Glascwm.  “This cannot be the entire grain harvest for this year!”  He pointed to the numbers of bushels on the accounting scroll and let the castle steward look over his shoulder.

“Yes, my lord, those are correct,” said the old man who had been the hereditary steward for five decades.  His face was grim.
   
Wash ignored the old man’s attitude and continued his review of the ledgers.  “I know that all of the eastern estate fields were burned by Torenth last spring, and it was too late to replant after the victory at Rengarth.  But what of the west?  Most certainly, the Donneral fields were planted; there should have been enough grain there to support Lendour through the winter.  Yet there is no accounting of the harvest.”

Lord Ohlin gave a heavy exhalation.  He was doing a poor job of hiding his displeasure; that is, if he was trying to hide it at all.  “Lord Muir is well aware of the King’s tariff.  He sanctioned it,” Ohlin replied, his shoulders square, and his jaw tight.  He pointed further back on the page where it indicated the entire harvest of Baron Donneral’s estate had been granted to the crown.  Ohlin stood up with his back straight, defying Lord Washburn to comment on that.

Wash managed to suppress his own irritation.  Did Ohlin still hold a grudge after all these years?  What had it been, fifteen years, at the least?  What was the name he called Wash back then—a young ne’er-do-well?  Honestly, Wash never thought he deserved the old man’s disfavor.  Certainly, there had been a few pranks played on the old steward by both of the young Cynfyn boys, for he was old even back then and easy to irritate.  Lord Ohlin had charge of the whole castle, except for the boys.  They fairly much had listened to no one but their sword masters and their father.  Well, and Mama, of course. 

Wash could barely restrain a recalcitrant grin when he recalled the one event that had sent Ohlin into a rage.  He was age eleven and preparing to leave for Rhemuth the following day to begin his squiring within the royal household.  He had a huge deerhound named Rexxar that he was forced to leave behind.  The reddish-brown haired dog had chased something into the fields and had returned muddy from head to all four feet.  Washburn could not leave his companion looking so unloved.  It was Muir who suggested the bath spell.  Wash would not have tried it without his older brother egging him on.  The first little spray of water forming from thin air was not enough to clean the dog.  Muir had him change a word and a simple sweep of the hands and whooshed.  A torrent of water burst from the air near the ceiling and drenched the whole solarium, including, unfortunately, Lord Ohlin who was walking through the door with newly drafted contracts for the earl to review.  The contracts did not survive and the steward was livid.  Washburn left the next morning unable to win back Ohlin’s trust. After many attempts at contrition, that blemish still marred their working relationship.

Washburn stifled his smile with a cough and tried to explain to the steward in a more open tone.  “Muir is a newly made father.  He desires to take time away from his other duties to spend more time with his wife and newborn son.  You wouldn’t begrudge him that, now would you?” he asked.  He then continued, as the steward could make no further argument on that point.  “Muir appointed me this task.  There are problems that need to be addressed and decisions that need to be made.  Are you going to wait a week for Muir, or are you going to let me resolve the issues?”  Wash tapped the ledger, his fingers drumming an impatient rhythm.  He waited for the steward’s response. 

“Very well,” the steward said, unable to further defy his feudal lord’s brother.  He handed over three letters with a different ducal seal affixed at the bottom to each.  “Here are the letters that have arrived in response to the earl’s inquiries of purchasing additional grain.  These are from the Duchies of Carthmoor, Corwyn, and Claibourne.  All are feeling the shortage this year, and each has offered to supply our needs, but all with a price attached.  I need Lord Muir to decide if we should accept any of these offers or turn to the Duchy of Haldane for our needs.”

Washburn sat back with all three correspondences and read each in full.  The dukes of the realm were not exactly generous men.  Duke Angus of Claibourne was young, and still held a grudge over the death of his sister, Wash’s beloved, deceased wife.  His price for grain was equal to that of the sweet lady’s dowry.  Wash could understand the duke’s animosity, but the price was far too great.  Duke Jashan of Carthmoor was Lendour’s closest neighbor and should have had the largest harvest of the year, but their price too was exorbitant; evidently, Duke Jashan thought he could profit from Lendour’s shortage.  The last letter, from Duke Jernian of Corwyn, offered the most reasonable value for his goods.  The trouble was in the travel from Corwyn to Lendour due to the lateness of the season.  The east roads were already flooded, leaving only the south road through Carthmoor open.  He would have to send a contingent of guards to protect the goods while traveling through the open low lands.

Wash placed all three letters back on the desktop.  He would have to reply to each in turn, turning down the more exorbitant offers as diplomatically as possible.  “We can’t allow our people to starve come the middle of winter,” Washburn declared, as he pushed two letters aside.  “I will not willingly deplete our treasury paying the prices of Claibourne or Carthmoor.  Corwyn has much better quality goods than the others, at any rate.  I think we can deal directly with Duke Jernian and his Chancellor, Russell of Tendal.  The earl and the duke were strong collaborators during the war.  Let’s hope we can find an amiable deal before the winter closes the Cynfyn roads.”

The decision made, Sir Washburn put pen to ink and drafted letters to each of the dukes of Gwynedd who had offered aid.  He was pleased at Lord Ohlin’s surprised and appreciative look as he reviewed each letter.  It was not easy to dismiss Washburn’s expertise gained from leading an army of 3,500 men, with duties that required more than just war strategies and fighting.  He was ranked Captain and held multiple duties very similar to that of the stewards: maintaining discipline, ordering supplies, repairing equipment, and appropriating food, tents, and bedding, all within the meager funds he was allowed.  He was well trained in ledgers, accounting, and correspondences.  When one was out in the field, failure meant death, either by starving, freezing, or losing to the enemy.  There was no room for mistakes or coming up short in the things his men truly needed.  Currently, Lendour needed grain to survive the winter.  This is why Muir had asked Wash to review the accountings for him.

Ohlin left the earl’s office with the drafts looking far more pleased than when Wash had first informed the steward he would be performing Muir’s duties.  At least he was making some points with the castle steward.

Feeling satisfied, the Knight Captain left the confines of the earl’s office and went in search of friendlier faces down in the training yards.  He had not yet crossed the main staging room when his glance spied Father Pernal’s black cassock and tonsured brown hair exiting the hall, heading toward the kitchens.  He stared after the man, aching for a direct confrontation to discern the priest’s true motivations.  His brother had made concessions for the priest, stating the physician’s presence had been valuable after his wife’s fall.  Still, Washburn had little reason to trust the man.

His feet started toward the kitchen when he came up short, suddenly breathless.  The novice Jessa exited the same hall the priest had just entered.  Her hands held before her a tray containing jars and a pitcher of steaming water.  The white veil covered her silken hair and her glance was on her path through the throng of people before her.  Feeling his presence in the room, she looked up, and her cheeks blossomed to a warm shade of pink.  Her lips smiled shyly even as she bowed her head and curtsied her greeting from across the room.  She stood quietly, waiting for his approach.  Without conscious thought, he was halfway across the room to speak with her. 

Sir Artimus intercepted him before he could reach his destination.  “Wash, I’ve been looking for you half the day.”  Arty stepped before his captain, blocking Washburn’s sight of the woman near the back of the room.  Only then did Arty realize his mistake.  He stepped back following Washburn’s gaze to the departing figure in the cream and blue gown crossing the floor to the main stairs.  Arty could not resist a knowing smile, and waited for the maiden to be out of sight before clearing his throat to get his commander’s attention back. 

Washburn finally turned to his friend.  “Artimus, I thought you were supposed to escort the sisters back to the convent this morning?” 

“Lady Melina still requires the services that the younger of those two ladies can provide.  Lord Muir requested that she stay on.  I did intend to escort Sister Vivian back this morning; however, Sir Thomas happily volunteered his services.  It seems Thomas has made a couple of jaunts back and forth to the abbey of late.”

“What?  Why is that?”  Washburn asked, bringing his full attention back to his friend.  For the first time, he noted his squire was in Arty’s company.

Artimus merely shrugged his shoulders without concern.  “Robby and I were heading to the practice grounds.  Care to join us?”

Washburn smiled at that.  “Indeed, this I will have to see.  Artimus, don’t be surprised if this young man puts a sweat on your brow.  I taught him a trick or two that just may challenge you.”

“Hm.”  Artimus looked from Wash to his squire.  “Your mentor is boasting of your prowess.  Are you prepared to make good on that boast?”

“I am,” said the fourteen year old, who had grown a foot taller in the last year.  He looked over at Lord Washburn, prepared to do his best.

“Very well.  Five bouts with the blade on the field,” Arty challenged.  “When you lose, Washburn will take us both to Chambery Alehouse in town.  I understand the new ales are properly aged and ready for tapping.”

“I’ll take that deal,” Washburn said for the young man.  “Arty, I think you better have your purse about you, for there is a possibility that you may be paying the brewer.”  Both men shook on it, leaving Robby a bit nervous.  But the camaraderie between them was a pleasant jest.

In the end, Washburn paid for the night’s ale, but not before Robby had put the thirty-two year old lieutenant through a work out.  All three were quite happy by the end of the day.

*******

In the following days, heavy rain came again, forcing everyone indoors and near to the hearths.  Between the wars, floods, and the cost of feeding his people, this was proving to be a costly year on the earldom’s ledgers.  Sir Washburn prayed the new king would understand come spring taxes, but after the tariffs on the grain stores, he was sure the worst was yet to come.  Prince Cluim had been the General of King Jasher’s army before his Majesty was killed in battle earlier this year.  In early September the noble Prince Cluim was crowned King in the city of Valoret while en route to his capital of Rhemuth.  Both Muir and Washburn had ridden to the coronation before returning to Rengarth the next week to bring the Lendour armies home.

The rumors coming out of Rhemuth suggested that the new king was interested in securing the peace for his people.  This was good news for the battle-weary east.  Even peace, however, could become quite costly, especially in the beginning when rebuilding was necessary.  Wash knew that Lendour had the funds to survive a costly year like this one.  Nonetheless, come spring, the demands from the king would likely diminish the treasury close to its emptying. 

He was glad Muir was a better politician than he was.  The earl, with his greater persuasive skills, would be much better at dealing with the royal decrees when they came.  Muir, on the flip of that coin, did not have the patience for numbers and relied heavily on Ohlin to keep the ledgers in order.  Wash’s study of the accounting books were proving Ohlin’s age was starting to show.  There were no blatant mistakes, but he was starting to see where others were taking advantage of the old man.  Goods were being charged at greater than their value, and small squanderings of funds seemed to be rampant among the vassals and house staff.  If they were going to stay solvent through the next year, it was time to tighten the purse strings.  His people had to stop siphoning off funds for themselves.  Wash firmly believed in rewarding loyalty and hard work; it was his trademark, one that earned him the love of his men.  He had to show his people that there were more honorable ways then fraudulence to earn an extra coin.

On the sixth day after Euan’s birth, the rain had stopped and the clouds parted, admitting light through the office windows.  Not that Sir Washburn had noticed.  He had compiled a nice short list of recurring events that he questioned.  He was reviewing the infractions with Ohlin.  Wash had to smile at the old steward’s bristling under such scrutiny of his work, but Wash neither blamed nor condemned Ohlin for the errors, he simply intended to root out the cause and stop future occurrences.  They were making headway when they came across a series of entries that had greatly puzzled the Knight Captain.  As far back as Wash had reviewed, there had been a biannual payment of substantial funds to the Convent of Saint Clair.  The obligation of payment was signed with the earl’s own signature and therefore could not be ill-gotten gains as the other over-payments had been.

When Wash questioned the amounts, Ohlin was quick to protect the transactions.  “That you let be, young son.  That has naught to do with theft.”

“Ohlin, that is a very large sum,” Wash said, his finger tapping the amount on the ledger.  “How long have we been supporting the convent?  The yearly sum of this alone would pay for our grain shortage.”

“The practice began forty years ago, when your uncle was earl.  In all that time, only one tithe has been missed, about eight years ago I believe it was.  Then after, we have given double what the original donation had been.”

“Why, isn’t the convent self-sufficient?  What does the money go toward?”

“That you will need to ask the earl.  I have naught to do with it,” Ohlin said, hastily gathering up his scrolls.  “If we are done here my lord, I have dealings to attend to.”

Wash dismissed the old man, wondering what he was hiding.  If he asked Muir, would he get a straight answer, or would the earl be just as evasive?  Was it better to leave this unaddressed?  No!  This required an answer, something was wrong about the series of transactions.  If he could not ask, he would research what the ledgers hid.

Ohlin had left him the earl’s keys to the office library at the back of the room.  Carrying a brass lamp, he sorted through the keys until he found the right one for the thick oak door.  The room was dark with the heavy scent of cedar.  There were no other openings save this one door.  Rows of shelves as tall as the ceiling made multiple small alcoves on the east wall.  A large walnut desk was centered in the west half of the room; charts, books, and scrolls littered its top. 

Wash smiled.  Muir could never put anything away.  Obviously, Ohlin was getting too frail to keep up with his impetuous earl.  Rather than find a new steward, Wash determined it was time he took over the job.  The position was generally hereditary.  Sadly, Ohlin had lost his son long ago, leaving no one to replace him in retirement.  It would kill the old man if he were to be replaced by some upstart now.  Better for Wash to relieve him, one responsibility at a time, making him think the landless knight had nothing else to do.  Perhaps later, once the man had passed on, Wash would ask Muir to appoint a new steward.

Washburn searched for the ledgers from his father’s time.  Specifically he was looking for eight years ago.  What had happened to cause the missed tithe, and why was it doubled thereafter?  He opened the large tome of 977, finding both the spring and the autumn tithed funds equal to the current payment.  He went back to the shelves and pulled out the autumn ledgers of 976.  Here on the day of Saint Matthew, the autumn equinox, he found the marking for half the current amount crossed off and unsigned.  That same amount of money, instead, was signed off in the next lines, as paying toward the repair of the west gate barbican.  His hands traced a path downwards along the page from one account entry to the next.  It was a full fortnight later where he found a new entry of payment to the Convent of Saint Clair.  The funds listed were for twice the original amount with an additional signing over of twenty acres of land.  Rather than solving this dilemma, more questions were left unanswered.  There was nothing in the ledgers that would further explain the incident.

During the years in question, Washburn had been fully caught up in the royal court of Rhemuth.  These were the years of his squiring to the king.  While Muir had not been at liberty to squire at court, Washburn was chosen to represent the Cynfyn name in fealty and loyalty to the House of Haldane.  His prowess with the sword and horsemanship had won him special honors.  His personal service to the aging King Uthyr was a mark of pride for his father.  Washburn was also charged with a more secretive double responsibility.  Set forward to him by his father, he was to win the good graces of the court as one of the few high-ranking Deryni families left in Gwynedd.  Squire Washburn Cynfyn succeeded in earning the respect of those who ranked highest in the kingdom.  His responsibilities fully occupied his time, giving him no free moment to learn of events from home.

Motivated by curiosity, Wash thumbed through several more documents of the times.  He found nothing further to answer the questions the ledgers had elicited.  He gave up.  He placed back on the shelves what he had touched, and left the inner room as he had found it.  In deep thought, he strode to the window in the main office and stared out at the afternoon. 

It was the first time today that he realized how the sun shone brightly from a clear blue sky.  The brightness highlighted the walls of the castle, striking richness to the gardens below.  The trees in the fullness of autumn glistened in the warm colors of orange and red.  All except for the great oak in the garden’s very center.  The ancient tree would hold its tough green leaves throughout the harshest of winters.  The stories were told that the oak was old before the castle walls had been built up around its thick, twisting trunk.  As children, they had climbed it to its highest branches, which were level with this third floor window.

A flash of white moving about the autumn colored trees caught the knight’s eye.  The day looked pleasant enough while standing at the windowsill, but certainly, it was not warm enough to wander out of doors.  With a focused eye, the white veil became discernible over a cream and blue colored habit of Saint Clair’s convent. 

A faint smile passed his lips.  Only one person remained in the castle who would be attired so.  For days now, she and he had passed each other, often at a distance.  A few times they had managed nearness, but they had never been free of accompaniment, not enough to talk privately.  Once their hands had touched, a brief sharing had caressed both their minds.  Unfortunately, others stood close, those eyes watching for just such an indiscretion.  Washburn was not going to give them fodder for their gossip.  It was bad enough that rumors were already traveling about the castle halls.  Best not to give the rumors any substance, unless of course he actually intended to act upon them.  With the rain ending and Melina’s health improved, the Healer’s aid was no longer necessary.  Jessa would have to return to the convent, unless he gave her reason to stay.

Washburn gathered his courage and headed out toward the back narrow spiral stairs.  It would not do if others delayed him and he lost sight of his quarry.  He successfully negotiated the servants’ entrance with only a few questioning gazes.  He reached the inner garden and maneuvered around the paths to where he had seen the Healer moments before.  She was not there.  He looked around, mumbling a small swear word; he had missed her after all.  He turned and caught a glimpse of movement through the autumn foliage.  He moved forward and a splash of white shone brightly below the lowest oak branches, well hidden from the windows overlooking the garden.  Jessa sat on a low stone wall.  She balanced a large tome on her knees and was reading.  Not so intently anymore, since now she felt his presence near.

She looked up with an inviting smile that warmed his heart.  If Deryni women had special magic to entrap men, then so it was that he was caught.  He could not have taken his eyes off her if the world were collapsing under his feet.  He did not know how he came to be sitting beside her, but there he was, tongue-tied for the first time in his life.  She nervously stayed seated quite close to him, waiting for him to speak.

“Are they treating your well?” he asked quietly.

“Indeed my lord, yes, your house has treated me quite well.”  She steadied her nerves as she ventured to ask, expecting only the congenial answer, “And you, my lord, are you doing well?”

He surprised her with his reply.  “Not well at all, my lady.”

Her eyes flashed up to his; an “Oh” escaped her lips.  Her hand grasped his right hand and a surge of concern brushed his mind.  “Are you in pain, my lord?”

He smiled at her attentive concern.  “Yes...  No, no, physically I am in great health.  I assure you, I would not be so if we had never met.”

Jessa searched his features and then bowed her head.  “My lord…  I would not wish you any pain.  I deeply regret that day….”  Her hand tightened over his.  “I should have shown more courage.  I should have completed your healing at my first touch.  Even in the presents of the monsignors of Saint Foillan, I should have healed you completely.  Oh, my lord…you nearly died because I ran away.  I—.”

“My lady, no!  That guilt is not yours.  My Lord Muir even wishes he had stood up against the priests far earlier in the day than he did.  No one guessed the treachery they intended.  That you were there at my greatest need, twice…  I owe you my life…”  His hands turned over, entwining his fingers with hers.  “There was a moment…”  He fell silent, unable to form the words.  With regard, he gazed into her pearl-blue eyes.  Delicately, his thoughts brushed up against her shields.

“Yes there was….”  Jessa shyly blushed.  “I will remember that moment for all of my days.”  She let her shields slip away.  For all his strength, he was gentle in his touch.  A deep fire surged through her core.  She pulled back from this new sensation, attempting to hide her embarrassment.  “My lord, I have made vows that I….”  Her words stumbled to a stop with regret.

“I see,” he said with a sigh.  He made no further advance, his shoulders sloped a little, and his eyes fell back to their still clasped hands.  He held her hand tighter as he restructured his resolve.  “All this last week, it has bothered me to hear how you have been treated by the convent.  You are special and should be respected for your gift.  I don’t want you to return to Saint Clair.  Please say you’ll stay with our chapel here in the castle until we can find a way to transfer you to a better place.  My brother knows Bishop Michael of the Cynfyn Cathedral; perhaps a letter to the bishop requesting a transfer will move you to a place where your gifts will be respected.  I love you too much to abandon you to the ways of the convent.”

“You lo….”  She hung on the word, unable to repeat it.  A wistful light brightened her eyes, but then she looked back at the book in her lap.  “As much as I may not wish to return, the Abbess is demanding it of me.  In her letter, she has scolded me for not returning when Sister Vivian did.  She has reminded me of my duties and loyalties to the convent.  In this, I fear, I have no recourse but to obey.”

Washburn studied her face and saw only sadness.  When she released his hand, he took it back, wrapping both of his hands around her palm, and caressing the flaw of her left fingers.  “How is it that you have been there nine years and not yet taken your full vows?  Is it that you question your vocation?”

“It is twelve years, my lord; I was six when I was taken to Saint Clair.  I am now eighteen.  Every girl there is encouraged to join the holy orders at fourteen, but as you know, I am Deryni, and Deryni are not allowed to take their vows.”

“That is not true,” he said, wondering where that idea had come from.  “Many Deryni women have turned to the Church for salvation and protection.  I have an aunt who has been a vowed nun for many decades now.”  Washburn saw surprise in her face.  “Don’t go back there, I beg of you.  If your vocation were not true, I would get down on my knees and ask for your hand in marriage.  However, how can I compete with God?  You are his, but I will see you in a better place than you have been.”

Jessa’s mouth opened and her eyes held his.  “I— I— oh—my lord!”  She squeezed his hand to stop his next words.  “My vocation is not true, not in the sense the Church would wish it.  I have girlish hopes and dreams that are an embarrassment to the ways of the convent.  My true desire is to help others, to be a Healer as my father was a Healer.  I thought my gift could only be used within the purview of the Church, but my eyes have been opened.  I have been a part of the earl’s house for this last week and I see another way that I did not know existed.”  She opened her shields, this time allowing him a brief glimpse of motherly joy between the countess and her baby.  She longed for such feelings.

“I have seen cruelty and intolerance from the priests I once thought to be above such actions,” she whispered with brief emotions of fear, which she quickly subdued.  “If I were not bound by vows I took in ignorance, I would… but I am bound by them.”  Tears of entrapment glistened in her eyes, her dreams being pushed away.  Washburn’s face, however, filled with hope at her words.

“I don’t want to return,” Jessa continued to say, “but how can I deny the vows I have taken?  The Reverend Mother will not give me dispensation from them, and if I go to the bishop, I fear that he will discover I am Deryni.  I know what the Church does to Deryni not protected by the crown,” Jessa stated with a deeply ingrained fear.

Washburn finally grasped her reasoned reluctance and gained courage from the understanding.  “My lady, Bishop Michael is a much more tolerant man than the clergy of Saint Foillan.  If it is truly your wish to be free of your vows, then it can be done.”  When hope flared in her eyes, Washburn sat up straighter.  “I— have an offer that I want you to consider.  In light of what you have just told me, is it possible that you could love a man such as me?  I have loved you since the moment I awoke from your gift.  When our minds touch, I feel a oneness, a belonging.  Is it at all possible that you share these feelings?”

Jessa stared at him; true tears suddenly streamed down her cheeks.  “Yes…  Oh yes…” she replied, afraid to say more.

Sir Washburn knelt down beside her and held both of her hands.  “Jessa Keryell, would you forgo the veil for me?  Would you accept my ring and be my wife?”  He pulled two rings off his finger.  The small gold one, he touched to his lips then placed in his pouch.  The silvery-gold band with its faceted ruby, he presented to her as a promise of his devotion.  “I will go to the earl and to the king, if I must, for their consent.  With this ring, I give promise of my devotion.  I will gain your hand, and see you beside me at the altar.  Will you marry me?”

She held her breath, astonished by the noble knight before her.  She looked down at him, and his eyes spoke the truth of his love.  “Yes, my lord, yes!  Forever, I am yours.”  Barely believing that a man such as he could love her. 

The black knight with the brilliant blue eyes gently brushed her cheek.  His fingers ran back through her hair, dislodging her veil and the comb that  held her hair back.  With a blush on her face, she felt the veil fall away.  Her golden strands of long hair came lose and cascaded over her shoulders and across her cheek.  He smiled as his hand came forward to brush the waves aside.  That smile dissolved all her resistances.  Suddenly, his lips were touching hers and his mind was encircling her with warmth.  Without conscious thought, they kissed with an impassioned surge of light and energy.

When their kiss ended, their embrace did not; they held each other close for an endless time.  Finally, she whispered, “I was told that my feelings for you were but mere fantasy.  That it was an impossibility that you could ever return those emotions.”  Her eyes stung with her inner joy.  “My lord, you know I am an orphan?  I know of the responsibilities required of your position.  I am not certain that such consent can be gained.”

He momentarily shied from the question of her parentage.  “What I care about is you, who you are, not your lineage.  I will persuade others to see you as I do.  We will make this happen; it will be all right.”

They held each other close in the mid-afternoon warmth of the old garden, both sharing dreams of a new future.  They both dreamed of children and a close family full of caring and support.  Jessa had settled under his arm, wistfully happy.  “No matter what the future holds, will you make me a promise?  Will you allow me to learn more of Healing?  Will you teach me what it is to be Deryni?  I desire to learn my heritage.”

“Yes, my love, I will teach you our heritage in the privacy of closed windows and warded doors.  It is a very dangerous world to be what we are.  To even mention such a thing out in the open, where there might be prying ears and eyes, is not wise.”

“But you and your brother are known to be such, as is Melina and others of your court?”

“Aye, and we live high in these mountains away from the main influence of Gwynedd.  We are protected, not only by the king’s hand, but by these thick walls as well.  Outside, we never flaunt our knowledge.  You must forever be on your guard to protect yourself and keep your secret close.  It is very important that you understand this.  Such as the book you are reading now, it would be wise to only read it in the strictest of privacy.”

“It is only on Healing,” she said while closing the book and running a hand over its old cover.

“And Healing is a Deryni trait; you must be always on your guard about such things.  Until we can be legally married, you will have to be doubly careful about this.”  Embarrassed, she moved her long left sleeve to cover the title.

Wash smiled.  “That’s better,” he said, pulling her close to his chest once more.  Easily she fell into him, resting her head where he could smell the flower scent of her hair.

Next chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1079.0.html
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 03:17:41 am by Laurna »

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 09:11:44 am »
So, THAT"S how Alaric & Duncan got their Healing gifts!

However, I have a feeling that there will be more than one hitch before "journey's end in lovers' meeting".

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 11:01:01 am »
What a wonderful chapter!  Love confirmed and pieces of the past to puzzle over.  Yippeee!   :)
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Laurna

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 11:32:11 am »
Good morning Elkhound,
Good morning Jerusha,
I get home from work,  I reread the chapter and I post it, then go to bed.
I wake up to two already nice comments. This is actually getting to be quite fun.
Thanks gang.
There are 16 chapters total, at the moment anyway.  And yes, our two lovers have found each other. But I am afraid that in the world of Deryni nothing is ever as simple as it should be. If I could whisper in their ears, I would tell them to elope. However, both are too loyal for that. After all, isn't the family reputation all about loyalty.
Mean while, I'm glad you like my nice chapter. There will be more nice stuff too, it's just that......"  ;)

Offline Evie

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 12:52:42 pm »
The best made plans of mice and men go oft astray, to paraphrase Robert Burns....  Still, it's nice to see things going well for our young lovers for the moment.  And if I ever need a dog bathed, I know who to call now.   ;) ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Laurna

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 01:34:42 pm »
Good morning Evie,
I hope you will want the whole room Bathed as well. lol. Richenda finally got the skill to maintain that spell, but I do not know at what age Washburn was when he finally managed it. I can just see him  hiding in closets at Rhemuth to learn it without anyone finding out.  How do young Deryni boys stay out of trouble, I can not even imagine.   As I recall, even a member of the Camberian Council had trouble with that spell. I take it, water is a rather pesky element to gain control of.

Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 06:37:21 pm »
Very romantic chapter!
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 10:38:59 am »
  How do young Deryni boys stay out of trouble, I can not even imagine.   

I hear someone---Sextus, perhaps?--saying, "Stay OUT of trouble?  What fun is THAT?"

Offline Laurna

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2013, 12:29:30 pm »
Good morning gentleman, 
It is such a nice morning.
DF64 I do hope my "Romantic chapter" has just the right amount of sweetness with out being too much. I don't want to run you gents away.  I dare say my first version of it was over the top and my sister made me rewrite it twice. lol I'm a romantic at heart what can I say.

Elkhound, I fear 'boys will be boys' no matter who they are. "What fun is staying out of trouble," Indeed! I grew up with brothers.  Trouble was their first, middle, and last names. ::) Do you think the medieval structure of pages and squires, kept young men in hand or was there plenty of time to escape your mentors and find "Trouble'.  All-be-it getting caught would not have been pleasant. Just don't get caught.

Offline Evie

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2013, 12:54:07 pm »
If the romantic bits in all my stories haven't scared DF64 and Elkhound off by now, I doubt yours will either.  They're both man enough to handle a little "mushiness."   ;)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2013, 03:21:16 pm »
MUSHY MUSHY!!
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2013, 05:16:58 pm »
Do you think the medieval structure of pages and squires, kept young men in hand.

The nearest equivalent we have is military boarding schools, and from what I hear from friends who went to such, the answer is 'no.'

Offline Laurna

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2013, 04:10:36 pm »
LOL.   I believe that leisure time is a modern concept and modern boys have more time on their hands.  I dare to think that medieval squiring was much more time consuming  and heavy with responsibilities.  I can see our young Deryni attempting forbidden magic in the middle of the night when they are tired and should be sleeping.  Their bunk mates waking in the morning. "I had this strange dream about being out in the rain, and then I was swimming up current. Hay! Why is everything soaked thoroughly in water?" "Hmm, there is a hole in the roof?"  "Dude, there are three floors of castle above us?"  Ok, so they would not have said "Dude", but you get the idea.

Offline Evie

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2013, 04:39:20 pm »
Children were given a lot more duties and responsibilities from early on back then, but never underestimate the capacity of a kid to find some way to work in a bit of mischief or to make their duties more fun in some way.  And while children might have been expected to act more like "little adults" then than now, there is plenty of historical documentation to show that they still had time to play games and enjoy various entertainments, as long as they didn't neglect their schooling and chores.

My grandmother was the daughter of a sharecropper, and she and her siblings were expected to help in the fields with everything from plowing to planting to harvesting, sometimes from sunup to sundown.  She used to share tales of various antics she and her brothers and sisters would get up to when their Papa's back was turned, such as turning cartwheels in the freshly turned soil, or having spitting distance contests off the back of the family wagon when Papa was driving them to church on Sunday morning.  On one occasion, my grandmother decided to try making wings out of hay and see if she could figure out how to fly from the barn loft.  She ended up with a broken arm and a healthy respect for gravity.   Now just imagine what mischief Deryni children could get up to in a castle, even if they're kept squiring under Prince Nigel's watchful eye for most of the day.  The man can't be around all the time!   ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 10
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2013, 09:41:49 pm »
And, while children were expected to be 'little adults', in some ways adults were big children.

This was a little later than our period, but remember the party scene in "Amadeus"?  Adults today don't play musical chairs.

 

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