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Author Topic: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six  (Read 3523 times)

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Offline Evie

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Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« on: May 04, 2012, 03:53:49 pm »
   Chapter Twenty-Six

   The Via Romana, northeast of Rhemuth
   November 18, 1136—night


   Ædwige studied the man before her, wondering how she could best use him to her advantage.  She sipped at the wine in the flask he'd offered her while she listened to the proposal he was offering.  It was quite refreshing, the wine, though despite her thirst she'd not have taken the stranger up on his offer had he not taken a drink from the flask first to demonstrate his good will before handing it to her.   She was no idiot, after all, to trust these men so completely, despite the alliance he was offering her at the moment.

   "…So you throw in your lot with us, and in return you'll have our protection," the man summed up before pausing for her answer.

   "And what's the advantage for you?" she asked him, her voice neutral, although his proposal sounded highly tempting.  She knew better than to think he was offering her his protection out of sheer kindness, though.

   "What's in it for us?"  The man smiled.  "My dear lady, you are a Deryni, are you not?  Or have the city gossips got it all wrong?"

   "Maybe…maybe not.  What use have you for a Deryni, and why should I help you?  You offer me protection, but if you believe me to be Deryni, then surely you must know that I'm quite capable of protecting myself?  And if I don't go directly to Stavenham as the Coroner has ordered, I will be outlawed and my life could be forfeit.  So what advantage would there be for me to turn aside from what I've been bidden to do in order to join in with you?  I’ve been given a chance at freedom; why should I take such a risk?"

   The man laughed heartily at that.  "Lady, if you make it all the way to Stavenham under the conditions set before you, I'll eat my horse!  One way or another, you'll turn outlaw before your journey's end—you'd pretty much have to in order to survive—and as soon as that happens, you're naught but a wolf's head and every man jack in the kingdom can go after you and collect a bounty.  You know it, I know it, the Coroner knows it as well, and you can bet your last coin—had you any left—that he deliberately chose Stavenham as your port of departure in hopes that you'd end up on the point of someone's sword or knife before you'd gone twenty miles from the city gates.  And yes, I'll concede that a Deryni lass has a better chance at surviving on her own than most, for a day or two at any rate, but the fact remains that you'll have to sleep sometime, and when you do, you're just as vulnerable as any other woman in the realm.  Even more so, in fact, given that most women in the realm probably don't have a whole lot of folk actively wishing them dead in hopes of getting some reward money.  So you see, assuming you would like to sleep on occasion, not to mention have a group of well-armed men watching your pretty little back, you'd do well to throw in your lot with us."  He grinned.  "And it's not like we're going to become any more outlaw than we are already, if we throw in with the likes of you."

   Ædwige considered his offer.  Much as she hated to admit it to herself, he did make some good points.  Not that she intended to turn to the brigand's life—at least not for any longer than she absolutely had to—but still, if she ever wanted to rise in her fortunes again, she'd need to start somewhere, and for that she'd need coin and the appearance of respectability and wealth.  These men were decently enough clothed and armed, given their station, which meant they must be fairly successful at whatever they did to obtain such fine clothing, armor, and weapons.  Perhaps they could be useful to her after all, and once she had obtained what she needed to pass herself off as a respectable noblewoman again, she could part company with the ruffians and take ship to some foreign port, leaving all risk of encountering the King's loyalists behind her and starting her new life in a city of her choosing.  She'd need to marry again, probably—there seemed little escaping that fate in such a man-dominated world, if a woman wished to get anywhere in it—but at least this time she could charm someone of her own choosing into wedding her.  And once she'd married into title and fortune, she'd have the power and influence that was rightfully hers, and no one could ever take it away from her again.

   "So, what would you need for me to do?" Ædwige asked the man.  "And if you've been listening to the City gossips, you doubtless already know who I am, but I don't know anything about you.  What am I to call you?"

   "Royce," the man answered.  "I’m called Royce of Pardiac."

#

   The Earl of Marley had managed to maneuver close enough to overhear the latter part of the Connaiti outlaw’s spiel, and he was tempted to move in, yet he lingered in the shadows, knowing that Ædwige had not said or done quite enough to damn herself completely in the law’s eyes.  Not just yet, at any rate, although from his vantage point she appeared quite clearly tempted by the brigand’s proposal.

   "So, what exactly is it that you want from me, Goodman Royce?" Ædwige repeated, a trace of irony leaking into her voice as she added the honorific title.  Judging from the man's appreciative chuckle, the irony hadn't been missed.  "You and your men seem quite capable of defending yourselves," the young woman noted.  "So I doubt you're trying to enlist a Deryni's aid for that purpose alone.  What, then?  Are you needing me to pick locks or steal for you, or perhaps just cloud others' senses so they don't notice you as you're doing your own thievery?  Or is it murder you have in mind instead?  If it is, I'll let you know right off that I want no part in that sort of thing.  I've come too close to having my neck stretched or severed as it is, and that was just for killing a man who needed killing."

   "No, no, unlatching locks and the occasional diversionary tactic will serve just fine," Royce assured her.  "That and bearing me a son or two.  Or even a daughter, so long as she inherits your talents."  

   Brendan was close enough now to see the lady's eyes widen.  "You want me to breed a Deryni child for yourself…Jesú, no, I should think not!  Your price is far too steep, sirrah!"   After her initial shock, a more calculating look crossed her fair features.  "Unless…. Do you mean to speak of the child that's already growing in my womb?  Because if you are, the King has already offered to pay passage for him to be returned to Gwynedd once he's born, assuming he survives, but perhaps we can work out some sort of a deal?  If you can keep me safe long enough for me to gain a bit of travel money and give birth to the lad here, then once I'm recovered enough from his birth to arrange passage to some other Kingdom, in return I'll help you with your schemes as I'm able and you can keep the boy.  By rights he's to be the heir to Eddington, so you might be able to earn some ransom for him, but if you feel the risk to you is too great, then if the King simply assumes the child perished along with me along the route to Stavenham, I'm certainly not going to inform him otherwise!  You'd need a nursemaid for him for the early years, of course, but he'll be Deryni and ought to be trainable, if it's a little lock-pick you're after."  She smiled winsomely at the rogue.  "Mayhap a few months of your protection and ten sovereigns ought to make it worth my while to sell the little lad to you?"

   Royce laughed heartily.  "My protection and enough coin to buy myself a finer horse?  You hold the child far too dear, and he's not even born yet!"  He gave the young woman a slow once-over.  "And besides, what if I'd prefer to make my own?"

   "That is not an option," Ædwige said icily.

   "Is it not?" Royce countered.  With a swift lunge, he scooped the young widow up in his arms and turned away from the shadowed area where Brendan was concealed, rapidly striding towards the man holding his horse at the ready.  Ædwige, glowering, appeared to be calling up lethal energies from deep within, but then a look of utter consternation crossed her face.  

   "What have you done to me?" she screamed.

   The outlaw laughed as he handed Ædwige over to one of his men and swung himself up into the saddle.  "Sweeting, never accept food or wine from a stranger," he warned her far too late. "You never know what sort of surprise you might find in it."

#
   Have we seen enough yet?  Brendan Mind-spoke to Sextus Arilan.

   I believe so.  Think the chit will be properly grateful for her rescue?
Sextus answered as he gave Murray the signal to move forward to cut off the outlaw band's retreat.

   Perhaps for the first few moments.  Once we start riding back towards Rhemuth, I rather doubt it, Brendan answered, his Mind-voice sounding grimly amused.  What do you suppose he did to her?  He couldn’t have dosed her wine with merasha, or she’d have been affected by it long before that point.   As he continued the silent communication with Lord Braxton, he signaled for his retainers to spread out and surround the retreating brigands.  They surged forward to close the short distance between themselves and the outlaw band, no longer concerned with stealth.

   No, it was something far more subtle than merasha, and probably a good deal more benign, Sextus confirmed.  He merely meant to prevent her from drawing upon her powers temporarily, but not to incapacitate her fully, or she would have noticed its effects earlier.   And it’s either something that has to be consumed in a large enough quantity to take effect, or it’s harmless on humans.  You may have noticed that the outlaw leader took a swallow of it first before offering her the flask.  Either that, or he mimed it convincingly enough to fool her despite her close range.  I’d love to get hold of that flask and see if I can tell what’s in it.  You never know when something of that sort might come in handy.

   Ahead, the brigand restraining Ædwige clamped a rag over her nose and mouth, not without a good deal of difficulty, as the woman he was attempting to abduct was still struggling.   He continued to subdue her, though, and after a moment she collapsed against him.   He handed her up to one of the other ruffians who was already mounted, hauling himself into the saddle swiftly before the other approaching horsemen could quite reach him.

   But by now the men of Marley had drawn close enough to engage the fleeing outlaws.  A couple of brigands, cut off from retreat by Lord Braxton and his young squire circling around to approach from behind, started to wheel off in a different direction, but they reined their horses in sharply as a wall of fire suddenly sprang up before them.  A few of the Marley men drew back in surprise as well, but most remained unfazed, too accustomed to contact with High Deryni lords by now—and their own in particular—to be cowed by even an unexpected display of magic.  A small number of the renegades—those who had managed to begin their flight earliest, including their leader Royce of Pardiac—disappeared into a nearby copse of trees, although Brendan and Sextus along with their followers swiftly rounded up the remaining ruffians, including the man whose horse carried the unconscious Ædwige.

#

   Ædwige awakened to find herself lying on the ground with a young man leaning over her.  She gathered her breath to scream, but let it out in a relieved sigh as she belatedly realized who he was.  A moment after that, a wary look crossed her face.  "What are you doing here, Jemmy?"
 
   "How do you feel?" he asked rather than replying to her question.  "Do you think you can sit up?"

   She reached for his arm, raising herself to a more upright position.  "I'm…I feel a bit dizzy still."  She glanced around at the men around her.  Something about them seemed oddly familiar as well, although she didn't think they belonged to the outlaw band that followed Royce of Pardiac.  Well, on second thought, there were a few faces here and there who she thought might belong to that group of ruffians, but they appeared to be subdued and under heavy guard.  She looked back up at Jemmy.  "What happened?"

   "You were about to be abducted by brigands," Jemmy explained.  

   The memory returned.  "Oh.  Oh, right!"  She colored.  "He was planning to ravish me, I think.  Their leader, I mean."  Tears welled up in her eyes.

   "That's quite likely," Jemmy said matter-of-factly.  "It’s a good thing we showed up when we did.  Tell me, can you summon up handfire yet?"

   "Handfire?  Of course I can!" Ædwige said indignantly, then a look of doubt crossed her face.  "At least I ought to be able to…."  She cupped her hand and concentrated, but nothing manifested except for the faintest of glows, fading away in an instant.

   "Ah, just as I thought.  Here, have some wine; maybe that will help," Jemmy told her as he offered her the flask lying on the ground next to her.

   Ædwige took the proffered beverage and took a few deep swallows.  After a moment, she tried again, cupping her hand and focusing intently on trying to will handfire into existence.  Nothing happened.  "No, that's not helping," she told Jemmy, a note of panic edging into her voice.  "I don't understand!"

   "That's all right, I’m sure your powers will return in time.  Just not, Jesú willing, until after we've returned you to Rhemuth Keep."

   "Rhemuth Keep?!"
The panic flared into full blossom.  "But…I'm to go to Stavenham!  I've claimed the right of sanctuary!"

   A low chuckle sounded from behind her, and she glanced up at the source.  A black haired man stood over her, grinning down at Jemmy.  He, too, looked vaguely familiar.

   "Nicely done, lad.  Be sure to save the rest of that flask for me to take a closer look at later.  I'm quite curious to find out what else it contains besides wine; I might have use for something of the sort myself someday."  The black-haired man with the blue-violet eyes gave Ædwige a courteous bow, although he appeared to be silently laughing at her plight.  "Widow Ædwige, until lately Dowager Lady of Eddington, I re-arrest you in the name of Kelson, King of Gwynedd on the charges of violating Sanctuary law, outlawry, and conspiracy to treason against the Crown."

   “You’re…you’re Lady Avisa’s husband, aren’t you?” she murmured, feeling somewhat dazed.  “That upstart knight errant who married up and became landed.”

   “I have that good fortune, yes,” Sextus confirmed, his grin widening at her description of him, though his eyes contained a dangerous spark.  “Though I should warn you not to describe me that way to my wife, or she's not likely to let you live long enough to stand trial.    And that would be a damn shame, after all the effort it took for us to rescue you!”

   Another nobleman, finally free from the task of securing the captured outlaws, now turned to face them, and Ædwige was startled to discover that she knew him as well.  “Earl Brendan!”

   The young man nodded curtly, perfunctorily polite.  “Are you feeling well enough to sit a horse yet?  The night grows quite late, not to mention rather cold, and I’d rather not stay out in it any longer than necessary when there are warm beds and hearths awaiting us back in Rhemuth.”

   Hope kindled briefly in Ædwige’s heart.  She lowered her eyes demurely and tried to look weak and helpless—in her present condition, that was hardly difficult!—and stammered, “Oh, Brendan, dearest, must we go back?  You see I’m still on the main route to Stavenham, and it’s hardly my fault I nearly got captured by nasty old outlaws!  You wouldn’t believe the horrible things their leader wanted me to do!”  She shuddered delicately.  “I’m so glad you came to rescue me!”  A tear slipped down one silken cheek.  “I know you wouldn’t want any harm to come to me, not after our…our intimate friendship!  Can’t you just see me as far as the next town, and I swear I’ll be very careful of the company I come into contact with between here and Stavenham from here on out!”

   A red-gold eyebrow rose slightly as cornflower blue eyes gazed impassively down at her.  “Nice try, Ædwige, but I heard the conditions you offered to the brigand Royce.  And as for our ‘friendship,’ I don’t recall it ever being as intimate as all that; perhaps you have me confused with someone else?”

#

   The ride back to the Castle with the prisoners was nearly uneventful.  Between the drawn swords of all the Marley men and the subtle yet powerful Deryni controls exerted by the two noblemen to coax the outlaws to surrender themselves peacefully, the party made their slow progress towards the City gates.  The captured brigands were bound together, making escape next to impossible, and once the group reached Bishop’s Gate, additional guardsmen scurried forth to relieve the young Earl of his prisoners and assist in conveying them to the Castle.  Ædwige offered a bit more resistance to her re-arrest at first, but with her powers temporarily stripped away and her shields down, and still feeling rather dizzy from whatever the brigands had drugged her with, she could do little more than offer a few feeble struggles and shouted curses until Sextus grew tired of trying to restrain her and sent her spiraling into deep slumber.  He glanced up at Brendan afterward as he cradled the limp figure against his chest so she wouldn’t slip off Murray’s back in her sleep.  “'Intimate friendship,' hm?” Sextus teased.  "And 'dearest'?  Maybe I should have let you wrestle with her."

   Brendan colored slightly.  “It wasn't all that intimate.  Although she was aspiring to become the Countess of Marley at one point, I think.”

   “Was she, now?  Good thing you’re not that gullible; something tells me that if she ever tired of you, she’d have felt little compunction against making herself the Dowager Countess of Marley, especially if she thought she might have an opportunity to rise higher.”

   The young Earl laughed.  "That presupposes that she'd be willing and able to kill a Duchess in order to free up a Duke for herself.  Kelson's not exactly handing out duchies left and right.  Or do you think she'd aim straight for Queen Araxie's throne?"

   "Araxie's crown wouldn't fit her.   I suspect Ædwige's head's grown far too big for even the royal fancy hats."

   Brendan grinned as he passed Sextus to lead his small party of followers through the streets of Rhemuth City to the warmth and shelter that awaited them back at the Castle.

#

   Rhemuth Castle Great Hall
   November 19, 1136


`   King Kelson of Gwynedd regarded the bound prisoner with a wry smile, looking and sounding intimidatingly regal.  "We see you've chosen to return to the hospitality of Our Court.  Why are We not surprised?"

   "I chose nothing of the sort, Your Majesty," Ædwige retorted, although her voice was somewhat subdued, and she gave a nervous glance upwards at the archers standing in the upper gallery, bows and arrows at the ready.  "I was on my way to Stavenham as charged when your liegemen caught up with me and forced me to return."

   "You mean when they re-arrested you after overhearing ample grounds for charging you with conspiracy to treason?" Kelson asked mildly.

   "I never conspired with anyone to commit treason!" Ædwige exclaimed, looking affronted.  "You can keep your bloody Kingdom; I want no part of it!"

   Kelson steepled his fingers, studying his problematic prisoner for a moment.  "It's true you didn't conspire to overthrow Our throne, and it's a very good thing for you that you didn't, as the method of execution that would call for would be especially unpleasant—it's meant to be a bit of a deterrent, you see—but We've been given to understand that you did make an offer to the wolf's head Royce of Pardiac to…what was it?…sell the future heir to Eddington to him, and suggested that We might be willing to pay extortion money to ransom your son back?"  He raised an ebony eyebrow at her.

   "No, it wasn't like that!" Ædwige protested.  "I just…what I meant was….Well, you had offered to pay passage for the baby to be returned to you!  I just figured you'd still be willing to pay for his safe return!  And…and I had to offer the man something to distract him!  He was planning to ravish me!"

   "Hm, was he?  Well, there's no accounting for tastes, although a man living constantly on the run probably gets pretty desperate."  Kelson heard a stifled sound coming from beside him and shot a sidelong glance at his wife, who was looking at him with an expression of mingled disapproval and grudging amusement.  "At any rate, you also agreed to participate in his scheme to use your Deryni talents to aid him in his villainous ends in exchange for his protection and a safe conduct to a port of your own preference, did you not?"  Kelson's face lost its brief veneer of mild amusement and he leaned forward slightly, his gaze challenging.  "You defaulted on the terms of Sanctuary and agreed to conspire against Our Royal Person with a man you knew to be a wolf's head, for he made no secret of that fact.  And what excuse do you mean to make for your behavior this time?  Don't think for a moment you can simply gild the truth for me to make it seem prettier; Marley and Braxton both witnessed and overheard enough of your conversation with the outlaw leader to convict you, and they've shared those memories with Us as well.  So what have you to say for yourself now?"

   Ædwige contemplated her options in stony silence, her chin lifting proudly.  At last she offered, "I have done only what any other woman would have done in my place.  All I've ever done, I've done simply to protect myself and so I could be free to live according to my own choices."

   "Is that so?"  The King studied the woman before him.  "In that case, We suppose it is Our responsibility as your liegelord to see that you have no more need to take such drastic actions to protect yourself and your selfish choices in future."  He glanced at Prince Nigel and Duke Alaric, standing at the ready nearby.  "Ædwige lately Dowager Lady of Eddington, it is Our sad task to proclaim judgment upon you for your most recent actions.  You shall be returned to Rhemuth Keep, there to live out your remaining days until the birth of your son, whereupon you shall be released into the executioner's hands.  Had you simply allowed Us to try you properly the first time around, the sentence for your original crimes would have been a swift death by the headsman’s sword, but unfortunately you chose to take a different course, and thus you’ve earned more onerous consequences.  The usual penalty for conspiracy and high treason for a woman is, unfortunately for you, a fiery death at the stake, although at least as a woman you’ll be spared from being hanged, drawn and quartered as is generally the case for men—is that correct, Master Jankin?”   He glanced at Court executioner, who nodded in affirmation.   “We’ve never had to execute a woman on the grounds of high treason before.  Catrin of Meara certainly could have warranted it, though at least in her case there were a few extenuating circumstances that allowed me to commute her sentence to a life of seclusion in a convent.  Unfortunately, given your history, you give Us little reason to hope that you would retire to such an exile peacefully without attempting to escape my justice a second time.  And at any rate, We did warn you before you left for Stavenham that you would be entitled to no further mercies from this Court if you chose to violate the terms of Sanctuary, did We not, Ædwige?"

   Master Jankin bowed deeply.  "Sire, I beg your pardon, but it's traditional to ease a woman's suffering by allowing her to be strangled by means of a long rope just before the fire actually reaches her.  Do you wish to allow her that small mercy, Your Majesty, or should I withhold the rope as well?"

   Kelson gave the subject cowering before him the faintest ghost of a grim smile.  "The prisoner shall be allowed to make that choice for herself, since she seems so enamored of forging her own path rather than allowing others to govern her behavior.  If she behaves herself with proper decorum between now and her execution, she may have the easier death.  However, if she should prove unable or unwilling to conduct herself with proper restraint, then We shall view her actions as proof of her choice to endure a more difficult death.”  He skewered the woman before him with his steely gaze.  “Since you’ve more than amply demonstrated that you prefer to make your own choices, for good or for ill, that decision is yours alone to make now, Ædwige Ælfredsdōhtor lately of Jenas and Danoc."


Chapter Twenty-Seven (Epilogue):  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=876.0
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 09:14:01 am by Evie »
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 05:17:01 pm »
Well, somehow or other I can't see Aedwige just sitting quietly by in a cell in Rhemuth for the next 5-6 months until the baby is born.   I do hope Kelson has a good supply of merasha , or at least is able to protect all who come into contact with the little darling, including the eventual midwives, IF she survives that long.   I only hope that Kelson's "mercy" by not executing her immediately doesn't come back to bite him. 

Frankly, my really super nasty side would have let the outlaws take her and have a bit of 'fun' with her for a few days before Brendan and Sextus rounded them all up ...

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 05:20:36 pm »
Frankly, my really super nasty side would have let the outlaws take her and have a bit of 'fun' with her for a few days before Brendan and Sextus rounded them all up ...

Actually that's a lot closer to my original plan (although it wouldn't have been a few days, and she wouldn't have survived what they had in store for her), only Kelson refused to play along, and since I wouldn't have much of a story if the King stopped speaking to me at that point, I gave in to His Majesty's wishes.   :D
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 05:53:53 pm »
Kelson is being much too nice.  :D     There's a saying that 'justice delayed is justice denied' and Kelson is sure delaying justice for Aedwige.

It is all very well to be merciful (yes, Elkhound, I know exactly what you will say - see previous thread!)  but as we saw when Kelson was initially merciful and magnanimous by sparing Loris and Corrigan after the events of HD, it came back to bite him big time.   Yes, the Mearans may have rebelled anyway, but a lot of people died because of Kelson's "mercy" towards Loris, not to mention Duncan's narrow escape.   I thought Kelson may have learnt his lesson about being merciful to people who will only see mercy as weakness and who will take every advantage of it if / when they can.

A renegade and utterly amoral Deryni such as Aedwige may not be as dangerous in terms of treason and potentially waging war against the king like Loris was with the Mearan rebels, but as we saw in this chapter, it poses a very different type of threat if such a person decides to throw in their lot with outlaws or others who don't happen to like Kelson and co.   Outlaws prey on other innocent people after all - and as their King, I thought that Kelson had a duty to protect the ordinary citizens of Gwynedd.  The good of one unborn child against the likely threat to many others - sorry, the simple maths would have me execute Aedwige now.   But then, I am a nasty, practical and ruthless person :D


« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 06:02:23 pm by Alkari »

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 06:24:59 pm »
Good gravy, woman, Kelson's gone from "we'll lop her head off quickly" to "either die in fiery torment or behave so we'll strangle you first" and that's your idea of NICE?!  God help Gwynedd if he ever decides to turn mean!  ;D

There are other ways to protect the citizenry that stop well short of killing off the sole direct line heir-apparent to Eddington, and he's also looking to that manor's future interests.  Lord Robert's wife is too old to bear sons now even if her husband inherits.  But don't think Kelson's not made proper precautions even if they haven't been explicitly mentioned in this chapter, just implied.
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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 07:02:48 pm »
The Grim Reaper is getting closer and closer!  I am also curious to find out what that wine was spiked with.
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Offline Shiral

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 07:15:46 pm »
Good gravy, woman, Kelson's gone from "we'll lop her head off quickly" to "either die in fiery torment or behave so we'll strangle you first" and that's your idea of NICE?!  God help Gwynedd if he ever decides to turn mean!  ;D

There are other ways to protect the citizenry that stop well short of killing off the sole direct line heir-apparent to Eddington, and he's also looking to that manor's future interests.  Lord Robert's wife is too old to bear sons now even if her husband inherits.  But don't think Kelson's not made proper precautions even if they haven't been explicitly mentioned in this chapter, just implied.

Never tick off the King.   ;D Those Haldane tempers, you know! =o)
 
It would take a  LOT to get Kelson to ever actually burn anyone at the stake, given his great distaste for that form of punishment.

I think he'd better give a strict injunction that no one is allowed to speak to Aedwige, though.  It's kind of like imprisoning a talking saber-toothed tiger.

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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 07:40:17 pm »
My goodness, Evie, what had you originally planned for our Spawn of Satan? 

Nevertheless, Sir Gilrae deserves to have his longed for heir born safely, if possible.  Under the circumstances of confinement and the stress of Aedwige's impending death, the health of the child is likely in question.  But he, at least, deserves a chance.

And Aedwige, under these circumstances, may not survive the childbirth to make the choice of her own means of death.  More of a mercy, perhaps, than she deserves.
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 Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 12:01:20 am »
"Talking saber-toothed tiger"...LOL!  :D

DF, you're not the only one curious about that wine, and I assure you there is someone looking into that very closely even as we speak.  Or, more accurately, even as I continue to write....  ;)

And what I had originally planned for our SoS? ;D  Well, it was pretty much along the lines of what Alkari mentioned earlier re: the outlaws taking advantage of her and Brendan coming along later to discover the aftermath (in fact, she and I brainstormed various ways that might go several months ago in the chatroom), only instead of Ædwige being approached by them with an offer of protection in exchange for her favors (both Deryni and otherwise), in the original concept she was going to be the one approaching a man, or perhaps a small group of them, to hire him/them to guard her on her way to Stavenham, not realizing that the ones she was hiring for her protection were actually playing her with the intent on turning on her once she was far enough outside of the city limits that no one would be able to intervene.  Brendan was going to discover her body soon afterwards, perhaps the following morning, with enough clues left behind for him to piece together at least some general notion of what happened.  Originally, I didn't have a firm plan yet as to why Brendan would happen to be in the right place at the right time for that; he might have been sent by Kelson to follow up on Ædwige, or he could just have been out riding or something.  That part was still pretty nebulous in my head.

But just as no battle plan survives contact with the enemy completely intact, very few of my story plans completely survive contact with Kelson, because he's got a way of throwing me curve balls.  (He did it to a lesser extent in Sextus's story too, and if I remember correctly, in Dhugal's.)  Not that Kelson's my enemy, but still....  :D  (Alaric's another one who tends to throw surprises at me, if he bothers to show up at all, though they tend to be different sorts of surprises than Kelson's.)  I sat down to write the previous chapter, and Kelson raised those eyebrows at me and started scoffing. "Really?" says the King.  "I'm supposed to let Ædwige just walk out of here and start down the road to Stavenham completely unsupervised after all the mayhem she's caused, and no guarantee she won't cause more, and you think I'll be just fine with that?  I don't think so!"

"Well, send Brendan after her then.  Anyway, I need a good excuse for him to be somewhere close by so he can find her body afterwards, so that will work out just fine."

"Oh, I'll send Brendan all right, and Sextus too--ha, you weren't expecting that, were you?!--but they're hardly going to be much use at keeping an eye on her and protecting my populace if I have them trailing along a day or two behind her, now are they?  No, I have in mind something more along the lines of a few hundred yards behind at most, so how crafty are those brigands you think Ædwige is going to be hiring?  And are they swift enough to rape and butcher a woman in the thirty seconds to a minute it will take two mounted Deryni lords to intercept them, even if their victim is drugged at the time?  Or would you like to hear how the rest of this story really goes instead?"

"Kelson, are you ever wrong?"

"Rarely.  And only when I'm arguing with Araxie."

:D

So yeah.  Original plan derailed, and once again I was reminded that the characters are the real storytellers, and I'm just the poor unpaid scribe.  ;D
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 11:15:37 am »
"Only when arguing with Araxie."  LOL!

A friend of mine recently got engaged;  I bought him a T-shirt that said 'YES, DEAR!'   I wonder what the Gwynnedian version would be?

Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 11:53:28 am »
:D Reminds me of a mug I saw which read "I am in charge in this house, and I have my wife's permission to say so."

I'm glad you didn't have the brigands kill AEdwige as I don't think that would have been as satisfying an ending. What made Walter's death satisfying was that it was Sextus who led him to it. OK the succubus actually *killed* him, but Sextus got revenge for the way his sister had been treated. If the outlaw chappies had killed her it would have been "and then some random chaps we'd never seen before happened along and offed her". At least this way she will be brought to a proper form of justice - as long as Kelson lets you!

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2012, 07:40:41 am »
:D Reminds me of a mug I saw which read "I am in charge in this house, and I have my wife's permission to say so."

"Marriage consists of two people, one of whom is always right and one who is the husband."

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2012, 05:03:44 pm »
Nonsense, Elkhound!  My husband is always right when it comes to everything that doesn't really matter.  I'm only right when it comes to things that really do.   ;)   ;D
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2012, 05:30:59 pm »
Quiet right.  Those little moment help him think he is the boss.   Even if you know better   :D

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twenty-Six
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2012, 10:07:30 pm »
Back OT--I don't think A. is going to sit meekly in her tower and wait for execution.  That would be MOST unlike her.  I'm looking forward to the next trick she tries.

 

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