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Author Topic: Coins of Memory - Chapter 15  (Read 1699 times)

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Offline Laurna

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Coins of Memory - Chapter 15
« on: June 08, 2013, 04:42:08 am »


Previous chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1088.0.html

Chapter 15 - WIC 11.12.985  4th Coin                 

“What!”  Muir exclaimed.  The earl stood, sleep deprived, behind his office desk in the middle of the night.  Wash and Jessa had summoned him here at this horrid hour to help deal with the sudden problem the truth had exposed.  “You want to join my house to the royal house of Tralia?  Are you mad?”  His shields were closed and his stance was rigid.  “If what you say is true, then Jessa, you are the daughter of Elzia von Horthy.  In case you were too young to know your mother’s title, Lady Elzia is a younger sister to the Sovereign Prince of Tralia, the very Hort of Orsal himself.  Your mother is a princess; she is very much alive and living within Castle Orsalis on the Isle of Orsal.” 

The earl took a steadying breath, his eyes shooting angrily from one to the other, waiting for their response.  Neither of the pair before him flinched.  They stood tall, uncompromised, waiting for him to run through his tirade.  Apparently, they had already discussed the consequences of this knowledge between them, and they were just waiting for the earl to come to the same conclusions as they had.  The earl had his own ideas of what they should do.  “The only course of action you have, Sir Washburn Cynfyn, is to send the Hort of Orsal’s niece off with full escort to her mother’s homeland.  The only place for her is with her family.”

Washburn waited in silence, letting his brother catch his composure.  “Yes, my lord,” the calm Knight Captain said at last, “in this you may be right.  However, the lives of five Deryni nuns become at risk if we send Jessa away.  Yesterday you asked me to make plans to see them freed.  The plans I have made involve my marriage to Jessa.  If I send her home, we will lose our best chance of rescuing those women from harm.”

The earl shook his head, still unable to reconcile the political consequences.  “If your plans hinge on your marriage to Jessa, then you will need to first concentrate on gaining consent.  Both of you need to understand me in this!  My consent alone is no longer good enough.  The Kingdoms of Gwynedd and Tralia have no quarrel between them, but if you do not gain consent from both royal houses then you will begin ill feelings that would be hard to reconcile later!”  The earl leaned heavily against his desk.  “If Jessa’s mother denies your request, then there is nothing I can do.”  The earl’s gaze was stern as he watched his brother.  His eyes softened as he turned to Jessa.  Her recovery from her recent ordeal was amazing.  Small hints of shortened hair shone under her veil, but little else of the physical damage remained.  Tonight, she was a healthy young woman with hope in her eyes.  He felt awful that he might be dashing her hopes away. 

“The honorable thing would be to send her home and then petition for her hand over the next year.”  Muir had to smile at the displeasure that fell across both faces that watched him.  “Another choice would be to marry my ward in a small ceremony and keep your knowledge of Jessa’s true origins secret forever.  I’m sure you both have considered that.  However, as head of this house, I will not allow you that choice.  It would be a lie you would have to pass down to your children.  Lady Jessa, I presume you do wish to share the joy of your future children with your true mother?”

“Yes, of course, with all my heart!  It is a lifelong dream to discover my mother alive and have her hold me in her arms,” said the young woman, standing resolute.  “However, that is not all that is being held in the balance.  I will not jeopardize the lives of the nuns at the convent.  Your aunt, Sister Meris, was like a mother to me as well.”  The maiden looked away with pain in her eyes.  “I will not abandon her.  This morning, I was willing to settle for a simple match of love.  Now, there are certain things that are within my grasp.  If I can gain them, I want all three of my dreams to come true; my mother Elzia knowing I am alive; my foster mother, Sister Meris, free of the cloister, able to share her warm heart; and my future husband, Lord Washburn Cynfyn, taking my hand in his before the altar.  Can we not find a way to make it possible for all three of my desires to come true?”

With respect, both men watched the young woman blossom with new strength.  Having survived the test of fire twice in her young life, she was no longer intimidated by her own doubts and fears.  Was it possible to give her everything that she desired?

“Very well, then we must concentrate on winning your mother’s consent,” stated Lord Muir, considering his brother’s attributes.  “Lord Washburn is the second son of an earl of a respected Deryni family.  Your mother should consider him a worthy match.  He has lands inherited from our mother, which earn a moderate income.  The land is just south of Cynfyn and has several vineyards, a winery and a manor house overlooking the valley.  Although, I do not believe the manor has been in use for some years.  With Wash’s position as Knight Captain of the Lendour armies, he is at the command of the king.  He often attends court at Rhemuth where both he and I are on the royal council. This should please your mother.

“It is unfortunate that the dowry I had set aside for you is a pittance of what I know it should be.  However….”  Muir paused to think.  “Wash, you would not object to me improving your manor?  The west wing could be doubled in size and built to suit a growing family.”

“I have no objections to that,” Wash stated.  “It will mean we will have to stay in residence here until the work is complete, which is probably best for both of us for the time being.” 

“Good.”  Muir nodded in agreement.  “Jessa there is one thing, you must not ask for a dowry from your mother.  In addition, do not accept any gifts from Tralia at this time.  It will look better if you maintain your loyalties to Gwynedd.  When your children are born, only then can gifts from your mother’s house be bestowed directly to them.”  Lord Muir was quite serious in his tone.

“Have you considered what you will write to your mother?  Can you find the right words to prove to her that you are her lost daughter and that you love the Knight Captain who desires to make you his wife?”

Jessa watched both men for a moment, uncertain how her request would be received.  Bolstering her strength, she answered the earl.  “My Lord Muir, I am wondering if magic can be used here.  I have very little experience in Deryni ways; do you know if there is a means to express my experiences and feelings in more than just words?  Can I share with my mother everything that has befallen me since that horrible day of my childhood?  If she experiences the truth, then I know she would not refuse my hand in marriage.  She would welcome the man who I healed and who has saved me in return.”

Muir looked across at the novice Deryni with approval.  “What a splendid idea!  I would not have thought of it, but I believe I know of such a means.”  Muir fumbled for his keys and stepped back to the door behind his desk.  In his library, he found what he needed.  When he came back, Wash had Jessa in his arms and he was hugging her close.  “Hrrm….”  Muir cleared his throat, and the two people smiled innocently back at him. 

The earl stepped forward, handing each of them two large silver coins with the Cynfyn emblem embossed on one side of each.  “Washburn can show you the spell required to bestow your experiences within the coin.  You can share an event in full or in part.  However, do not lie.  The reader can decipher even the smallest lie, and you would lose their trust.  You have time to set your memories down in proper order.  Both of you will need to share what has brought you together.”  Giving them a sudden side glance, the Earl gave them a wry smile.  “Can I trust that nothing dishonorable has passed between you, nothing that cannot be shared?”

Washburn touched Jessa’s face as he replied, “Very near did we come, but nothing of dishonor has occurred that I would not be willing to share.”

“Very good.  When the coins are ready, I will have Sir Paulson and Sir Ronald carry them with my letter to Tralia.  Hopefully, they will return with a positive reply.”  Muir sat back against the edge of his desk.  “It is late and there is still much more that needs to be discussed.  Your wedding will need to be a proper occasion, one witnessed before all of Lendour in the Cathedral, with Bishop Michael presiding.  I will talk to the Bishop in the morning.  You said that Father Pernal has already forwarded your letter requesting dispensation from your vows?  Good, I will remind him to review it and see that he does not inform the Abbess of your request.  We do not want her to be aware of our plans too soon.

“The Bishop will require one more consent.  You must gain acceptance from the King. Wash, you have earned King Cluim’s favor at the Battle of Rengarth.  I think it best if you write your request to him directly.  I do not think anything elaborate will be required to earn the King’s consent.”

Washburn nodded in agreement.  “With the proper tone, I believe I can gain King Cluim’s consent,” he stated.  “However, we dare not remind him of Jessa’s true family identity.  The name of Thuryn is still outlawed in our Kingdom.  I do not think a Haldane would condemn her for that surname; however, there are many who would.  The deception Sir Jacuth Kyriell used when he came to Gwynedd fifteen years ago will need to be maintained.”

“I agree,” the earl stated.

“Yes, absolutely,” Jessa said with agreement.  With both men’s eyes upon her, Jessa’s eyes sparkled with joy in the firelight.  She went down on her knees before the earl.  “With all my heart, I accept all that is said here tonight.”  She straightened her back, and held her chin high.  She reached to her side, fiercely clasping Wash’s right hand as she addressed the lord of the house she intended to join.  “Lord Muir, I give myself and my abilities to strengthen your house.  I vow my allegiance to you.  I will raise my children to give you and your sons the same respect that I have for you.  For twelve years, I have been nothing but a hostage to the Church.  Today I am filled with belonging and love.  You give more than wealth to this once lonely girl, you give me hope when once I had none.”

Lord Muir took Jessa’s hand and raised her from kneeling.  He kissed the back of her hand with a smile.  “My lady, it is my pleasure to have you join with my house.  Now it is late; go back and get your rest.  There is much to do over the next few days.  Use the spells that Wash shows you to set your experiences as you remember them into the coins.  Wash, see me in the morning, and we will discuss your plans to rescue the Deryni hostages.”  The two brothers clasped their hands together in agreement.

*******

The image of the three people within the earl’s office faded from the fourth Cynfyn coin.  The last words on the coin were a direct entreaty from Lord Muir, to the person viewing the coin.

Unto Lady Elzia Von Horthy de Kyriell, come these greetings from the House of Cynfyn of the Earldom of Lendour, in the Kingdom of Gwynedd.  Graciously we thank you for taking your time to review these four coins.  The images, thoughts, and feelings stored within these tokens are the true memories of your youngest daughter Jessamyn Kyriell, who is alive and well, and of my brother Sir Washburn Iliff Cynfyn, who wishes with all his heart to marry your daughter.  The memories have been placed here in your honor to replay the truth, as each of us knows it to be.  I have added an occasional word to fill in where Wash or Jessa may have lapsed in their knowledge.  As Sir Paulson has been delegated to state in our formal request, my brother is seeking your consent for your daughter’s hand in marriage.  We request your answer in a timely manner.  The Abbess from the Convent of Saint Clair currently holds five Deryni women in captivity.  She has threatened their lives if Jessa is not forced to return to her former hostage position.  We have plans to free the women from their captivity and keep Jessa from the Abbess’s further influence.  Sir Paulson has been instructed to answer any further questions you may have and to wait for your prompt reply.

I look forward to the day when we can share our experiences in person.  Farewell.

The XV day of November in the Year of our Lord Nine Hundred and Eighty-five.  Enspelled by my hand,
Lord Muir Cynfyn, Earl of Lendour.


********

The story within the forth coin had come to an end.

In the Year of our Lord Eleven Hundred and Twenty-five, the two Deryni reading the coin continued to hold each other’s hand with fingers intertwined.  For a time, they considering all they had witnessed in the memories of the last coin.  Alaric held the coin in his open palm for another moment and then placed it on the table with the other three of its kind.  Richenda snuggled deeper into his arms; she seemed reluctant to let the story go.  Quietly, she voiced what they were both thinking.  “That cannot be all?  It’s not complete; surely they won’t leave us with only a guess to what happened next?”

Alaric pushed all four coins together and lifted the white pouch, searching for a clue.  There was nothing else to see.  “The coins had a distinct purpose, and I suppose we are to presume that purpose was successful.  Although I, too, would wish for confirmation of the outcome.  At least the coins are here in Lendour rather than in Tralia.  This is a good sign, is it not?  Unless they never got sent at all.”  Alaric frowned, not wishing to state aloud the reasons that may have caused that outcome.  “Are you sure there was not another coin in the box? There must be some further clue.”  He lifted the jeweled box and turned it over.

“There was this blank parchment I found….” Richenda was saying as she reaching out for the folded paper.

“Wait…!”  Alaric’s hands shifted around the box with surprise as a soft click released an inner catch in the box lid.  A thin black enameled plate slid free, exposing a small compartment inside the box.  Three items tumbled into Alaric’s palm: a ruby ring, a carved shell cameo of a pretty lady, and a fifth silver medal of Cynfyn matching the four coins already reviewed.  “Ah yes, there is more.”

“The afternoon is getting on, is there time?”  Richenda asked.

“Let me check with Derry. I just might be able to get his attention—” Alaric gained an unfocused look in his eyes.  “Ah yes, he is resting,” he said, calmly inviting Richenda to join in the link.  With her hands on her husband’s wrists, she heard Derry’s reply.  “I hope you are both enjoying yourselves,” the man replied with a hint of a jest. “The afternoon is warm and Gwydion has joined us, adding his ballads to the beauty of the day.  Briony is napping, and Brendan is carving a walking stick from a piece of the old oak.  You know, if you two saved your fun for the night time, you could be enjoying this afternoon with your family.”

“Lord Derry, please,” Richenda scolded the bold man in Mind Speech. “We found a piece of history that has caught our attention.  We promise to be down shortly.”

“As you will, my lady. The entertainment here in the garden is quite refreshing.” Derry said with a hint of pleasure.  A glimpse of his view of the troubadour came through the link.  Three lovely maidens were sitting opposite, each giving Lord Derry their own shy smiles.  Alaric laughed as the rapport quickly ended.

“It seems all is well and we have a little time to ourselves.”  Alaric kissed his wife suggestively.

“My lord, as Derry implied, the night is best for that pleasure.  Let us finish this story so history can have its moment and then we can let the past rest in peace.”  She lifted up the fifth coin, inviting him to join her.

“As you wish, my lady,” said Alaric with a teasing smile.

Next chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1094.0.html
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 05:44:03 am by Laurna »

Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 15
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2013, 06:59:57 pm »
How many other royal houses is Jessa related to?  My fingers are crossed for this marriage and the rescue of the Deryni sisters.
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 15
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2013, 08:34:09 pm »
For just a moment, you had me afraid the story had ended without all being revealed!  Well done!  ;D

Now I look forward to the next coin....
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 15
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 09:43:51 pm »
So, now we know how Alaric & Duncan were descended from Rhys & Evanie.  One genealogical mystery solved.

Offline Evie

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 15
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 03:15:53 pm »
Things are beginning to look up for our hero and heroine!  Now let's go rescue some nuns....   :)
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