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Prayer Requests / Re: DerynifanK's husband
« Last post by Jerusha on June 24, 2019, 07:31:50 pm »
My thoughts are with you hoping for continuing improvement  and recovery.
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Jerusha on June 24, 2019, 07:30:52 pm »
Sorry for being off-line and behind on the story.  We came home to find our internet/telephone connection had been trashed while we were gone.  All is now fixed, and I am catching up.

And what wonderful scenes to catch up to!  Excellent advancement, wonderful writing, and much drama to come.  You are amazing!
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by Bynw on June 24, 2019, 05:01:09 pm »

Baron du Chantal and his men proved themselves battle ready and hardened as they fought bravely with along side the Haldane forces taking Laas. Once inside they celebrated with their compatriots and settled into fortifying the city with the rest of the Haldane armies.

Baron du Chantal knew the mistakes of his grandfather and father who both died in the last Mearan War. His father on the battlefield and his grandfather at the end of a rope by that Haldane usurper. He would not make the same mistakes. Although he knew he probably wouldn't live to see a free Meara but he would be there for its birth.

His men knew too that they had a dangerous and most likely a fatal mission in front of them. But the plan was simple. Give loyalty to the Haldane and fight along side his army. And when the moment was right it would be time to strike.

Like many of the rest of the Haldane army inside Laas, everyone shares in all the duties. Including the watch and guards for higher ranked officers. Thus this is where the Baron and his men found themselves. Positioned in good places on the city and palace walls. Generally near a ranking officer. Here they would stay until they all strike at the appointed time.

It will be glorious, to kill so many of the accursed Haldane's. Perhaps even all three of the Dukes and their most trusted captains and generals. All to fall as Lord Valerian and the Queen's army come to capture and free Laas. If they manage to survive the task then they will be great heroes to the Mearian independence. If they die, then they will be remembered for generations to come as Meara remembers its fight for freedom.

But the Baron doesn't know that he has already been betrayed. That the Portal at his manor has been given to the Haldane King. And his name appeared at the top of a list of names of Mearan separatists given to the Haldane King by Master Feyd.
Prayer Requests / Re: Prayers for Melantha (Bee's cat)
« Last post by DerynifanK on June 24, 2019, 03:20:38 pm »
Praying that there will be a solution to the problem with Melantha's reluctance to eat or take medicine. I had a dog with kidney failure and the only thing she would eat was broiled, minced chicken so that is what she got. Maybe it would work for Melantha too. Asking St. Francis for healing for Melantha and support for Bee.
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by DerynifanK on June 24, 2019, 02:22:04 pm »
Lord Jaxom’s party rode through the gates of Droghera at midafternoon, having left early. The men were tired, hungry and thirsty. Several guards moved forward and one of them, a sergeant who appeared to be in charge challenged. “Who are you and what is your business here?”

“I am Lord Jaxom Trillic. I have completed my mission to the manor of Baron Stuart and have travelled here to Droghera to present my report to Earl Brendan. Please inform him at once of our arrival.”

Yes, my lord.” replied the sergeant, bowing and turning toward the barracks behind him.  He knocked at the door and entered. Almost immediately, the tall figure of the earl appeared, and strode toward him. He was accompanied by the captain in charge of the garrison, Captain Stev, whom Jaxom recognized from the ruins.

Jaxom dismounted and handed his horse’s reins to the man nearest him. He bowed as the earl approached. “My Lord, I have completed the task you gave me and have delivered the prisoners secured at Barons Stuart’s manor here as you ordered. There are five prisoners including one named Drago who appears to be a person of some authority in the rebellion. I wish to make my complete report to you, but first my men are tired and hungry and I need to see to their needs. Also I need to turn over the prisoners to your charge.”

Brendan addressed the captain, “See to the confinement of the prisoners. The man Drago should be placed under guard in a solitary room in the keep until I have the opportunity to interrogate him. Place the others in the tower until their final disposition is decided. Show  Lord Jaxom’s men where to stable their horses, see to it that they are fed and provided sleeping quarters for the night.”

“The wagon, horse, and driver used to convey the prisoners were lent by the baron, and the driver should return to the manor tomorrow. They will need to be housed for the night and sent on their way in the morning.  Have one of the grooms take  Lord Michael Stuart’s horse and show him to guest quarters. I will send for him after I have received Lord Jaxom’s report.”  The earl gestured to Lord Jaxom to follow him and the two men disappeared into the captain’s room while others moved quickly to carry out the earl’s orders. Men, horses and wagon rapidly dispersed.

Once they were alone in the room, the earl seated himself behind a desk and motioned Jaxom to take a seat across from him and proceed with his report. Jaxom began. “Under my leadership, we made our way to Baron Stuart’s manor. It was nearly dark when we arrived near the manor house, so we halted to rest and wait until dawn was just breaking to make our approach. We encountered a young page who was in service to the baron and was riding to seek help from the lord of a nearby manor. He was able to inform me of what had happened to the baron, and  particularly of the arrival of some high ranking rebel who was giving the orders. Just as the sky began to lighten the next morning we rode up to the manor and almost immediately detained two of the baron’s retainers. We confined several more men until we could sort out which were the baron’s men and which were more likely rebels.” Jaxom gave a cocky lift of his head and shoulders, proud of his own success. He continued,”  There were three who, under questioning, admitted to joining the rebels. One was questionable as he admitted to talking with a rebel but never actually committed.  These were peasants who appeared to know little about the rebellion, having been lured in by promises of rewards.” Jaxom paused and took a drink of some ale that had been brought to him by one of the servants. The earl had made no comment thus far, but appeared to be listening intently. Jaxom felt quite pleased with himself sure that he was making a good impression.

“We also suspected that the baron’s steward was part of the plan for the rebels to seize the manor. His efforts to mislead us as to where the baron and his son were and persuade us that there were no rebels there were highly suspicious.  Although he tried to deny it, I found that the baron’s steward was also a rebel sympathizer and had been the main source of instructions for the rebel recruits. I took him into custody and confined him while we searched the manor.”

“As soon as we entered the manor house, I instituted a search for the baron. The page told us he had been locked in a distant attic room. As we reached the second floor, we heard pounding and shouting. When we unlocked the door, we found the baron’s son who demanded to know who we were. As soon as I told him we had been sent by the king’s representative because of reports of rebel activity there and  reports of danger to the baron, he voiced concern about his father and quickly led us to where he had last seen him. On unlocking the door, we found Baron Stuart unconscious on the floor  with an injury to his head. He had apparently been there for some time.  I quickly summoned the priest to him, and we moved him to his room where he could be cared for by the healer.” Jaxom glanced at Earl Brendan, looking for approval of his actions. He needed to impress this man who was close to the king.

“I was aware that there was another rebel somewhere at the manor and that it was important that we locate him. After continued efforts, we were able to locate and capture him. I have brought him to Droghera as I felt you should be the one to question him.  I have also delivered the steward and the other three men to be further questioned as to rebel plans. I hope I have completed my mission in a satisfactory manner.” He sat back on his stool and studied the face of  the lord before him hopefully.

Earl Brendan spoke. “I am pleased with the outcome of this mission, however I do have some questions. First, what is the status of the baron? Has he been healed of his injuries and is he able to retake control of his manor?”

Jaxom replied. “Yes, my lord. The priest was able to heal his injuries and he is much recovered. He is giving thought to the future security of his estate and already making plans for its protection.”

The earl studied the young lord before him. “I have heard little from you about the role of those I sent with you. I understood from my Rapport with Father Columcil that the Lady Fiona played a significant role in the success of the mission, providing important information and helping to separate the rebels from innocent vassals of the baron. Also she prevented one of the prisoners from injuring you with a dagger. And I believe she helped to locate the rebel leader so you could capture him.”

Jaxom was aware that the earl was awaiting his response and much depended on his answers. “Indeed, the Lady Fiona was helpful although at times she made things a little more difficult by refusing at first to follow some of my orders. Orders that were given to help ensure her safety. The information she shared was important to the completion of our tasks. She also helped reassure the servants and retainers at the manor so that they were more willing to share what they knew with us.” Jaxom relaxed somewhat, feeling satisfied with his answers. He had acknowledged Fiona’s contributions while contriving to play down the role that she had played.

However, Brendan’s expression was difficult to read. He was not sure of the impression he had made. The earl then asked, “What of the baron’s son, Lord Michael. I understand he had been determined to join the rebels, taking the manor with him, but has now experienced a change of heart and regrets that decision. You questioned him. What is your impression? Is this change of heart sincere?”

Jaxom replied. “I did question him more than once. His statements were consistent, and I feel that he genuinely wishes to redeem himself and renew his fealty to King Kelson. He was anxious to present his case to you. Indeed, at his request I have brought his personal weapons with me as he wishes to join your troops as you march into Meara. He hopes to have the chance to prove himself in helping to defeat the uprising.”

Brendan continued his questions. “Did you ask Father Columcil to truth-read him when he gave these statements. It would have helped to be sure of his true intentions.”

Jaxom answered reluctantly, “The priest was much occupied with the healing and recovery of the baron, as well as keeping watch over Lady Fiona and and establishing Rapport with you so I did not request that of him.”

The earl looked at him with his ice blue gaze. “I understand that Lady Fiona is also able to truth-read. Did you perhaps ask for her assistance in this matter?”

“The lady informed me that she was able to determine the truth of what was told to her and she was willing to talk with Lord Michael and make such a determination. I agreed in order to spare Father Columcil another task. She asked Lord Michael if he were willing to be truth-read in this way. He agreed readily, certainly a mark in his favor, and repeated his story to her. She reported that he was being truthful and sincere in what he said and his words could be relied upon.”

Brendan again fixed his icy blue gaze on Jaxom.  “I am concerned about the safety of the manor after you and your men left. What arrangements did you make to address this problem?”

Jaxom answered. “The baron had already given some thought to that concern and was proposing cooperation with the lords of several nearby estates to establish a mutually beneficial  plan for the defense, not only of his own estate but of the area between Droghera and Cuilteine where these estates are located. He had drafted a letter to them outlining his ideas and asking them to join him. If they agree, I am sure they can devise an effective defense. Just as I was leaving, Lord Darcy Cameron and his party arrived, assuring the baron that they had orders from your lordship to assist in this endeavor. Father Columcil informed me that he had orders to rejoin Lord Dary’s party and that Lady Fiona would remain at the manor with her uncle.I believe the baron has everything well in hand”

The earl was silent for several minutes then addressed the young lord. “It appears that you have accomplished your mission and I am pleased with the outcome. After you have had a chance to check on your men and refresh yourself, I need you to submit your report in writing, including all details you can remember. Do not omit anything as you cannot be sure what will be of value. Also, keep in mind that a good commander always gives credit where credit is due to those who assisted him. My squire will conduct you to your quarters  and show you where your men are housed. I will speak with you again after I have read your report.”

The earl’s young squire stepped forward and bowed. “This way my lord” Jaxom rose from his seat, bowed deeply to the earl, and followed the boy from the room.

Earl Brendan remained seated at the table that served as his desk deep in thought. Lord Jaxom had completed the task assigned to him but the earl suspected that others, especially Lady Fiona and the good father had played a much bigger part in that success than had been indicated in his narrative. Jaxom appeared to be competent but still arrogant and centered on his own advancement. That could pose problems in the future.

When his squire returned from escorting Jaxom to the quarters assigned to him, Brendan sent him to conduct Lord Michael to him. After a short time, the squire returned, opening the door, announcing the young man who followed him. Michael was tall and slim with dark hair and blue eyes, appearing very young and nervous as he entered the room and bowed deeply to the earl. Brendan studied him gravely, “Be seated on that stool and relate to me what happened in your encounters with the rebels.”

Michael began his tale, his nervousness evident in his voice. “I met a rebel sympathizer at a hunt held on the estate of a friend. He seemed impressed with my prowess with my bow. At the dinner afterwards, he seemed to find my conversation informed and worth listening to, an opinion my father did not share. We did talk briefly about the situation in Meara. His view that the Mearans deserved to be an independent kingdom under the recently discovered queen sounded fair. He made it sound exciting. I would be helping to reestablish a free and independent Meara and I would have many opportunities for advancement at the queen’s court.  I met him several times and he seemed to value my ideas and opinions. I know now he was just flattering me to gain entry into the manor. I even helped him obtain the position of steward for one of his followers when our old steward retired.”

Michael hesitated over the next part of his story then took a deep breath to steady himself and continued. “As I’m sure you know from Fiona, my father and I had increasingly violent arguments about my rebel sympathies until I became desperate and decided to trick my father into entering one of the attic rooms, confine him there and assume control of the manor. I carried out my plan, but his resistance did not lessen as I thought it would. I was unable to convince him of the rightness of the rebel cause.”

“Then the man Drago showed up. I was already beginning to have doubts about my decision to join the rebellion. News of what had happened during the fall of Ratharkin had reached us and I was horrified at what I heard. Then Drago insisted that I take him to my father. He would convince him of the right of the Mearan cause. When he failed, he became angry and struck my father, felling him to the floor unconscious. He then dragged me out of the room, leaving my father there unattended and forced me back to my own room where he locked me in.”

The earl had said nothing during this recital, but there was some sympathy in his face as he listened. Michael continued. “By now I knew I had made a serious mistake in even considering becoming part of the rebellion. I was worried about my father and did not know how I was going to get free to help him. I heard the commotion that accompanied the arrival of Lord Jaxom and his men. I made as much noise as I could to attract attention hoping they would release me so I could help my father. I’m sure Lord Jaxom has told you what happened after that.”

Michael was speaking earnestly, almost pleading with the earl. “I know I have laid myself open to a charge of treason. I bitterly regret my actions and I do ,most sincerely, wish to redeem myself through service to the king in helping to put down the rebellion, especially now that I know the kind of men they are.  Lady Fiona truth-read me at the manor and can attest to my sincerity. My father and I agreed that my best course was to present my case to you and hope for clemency.” The boy fell silent, looking at Earl Brendan with pleading eyes.

When Brendan spoke, it was not with the condemnation Michael expected. “I have been told by Father Columcil that the Lady Fiona confirms the truth and sincerity of your words. I have also been truth-reading you as you spoke and I am convinced that your repentance is not feigned.  I have also noted your willingness to come here to face me, not as a bound prisoner but as a willing penitent. You are young and need to learn to give greater consideration to the consequences of your decisions and actions. I need to give some thought to what you have said. Return to your quarters and I will give you my decision after I have further considered the matter.”

Michael rose, bowed to the earl, and followed the squire from the room.

Later that evening, having eaten his supper, Brendan sat back in his chair considering all that he had heard that day. He was expecting that the king would contact him, and he had much to report: the securing of Baron Stuart’s manor, the proposed defense plan, Lord Jaxom’s completion of his mission, Lord Michael’s request for a chance to redeem himself, and the capture of a rebel leader, as well as other prisoners. He was anxious for new orders from the king as to what his next move should be.

He was leaning back, relaxed, watching the fire when he felt the touch of the king’s mind.
Sire, how may I serve you? Have you further orders for me?

I have but first I need to hear your report on what has been happening there.

Brendan rapidly presented his summary of the events of the past few days, including the capture and confinement of the rebel prisoners.

Kelson took time to consider what he had been told.   What you have told me is welcome. I would have you send the rebel leader to Rhemuth under guard that I may interrogate him. The more we learn about the rebels, their resources and plans, the better we can plan to defeat them. I have sent Lord Darcy and his party to assist the baron. Lady Aliset will be able to keep us informed of their progress. What of the baron’s son? Do you judge his regrets and desire to redeem himself to be sincere?

I do, my liege. Both  the Lady Fiona and I have truth-read him and found him to be truthful. He is young and realizes now that he was taken in by the rebels. I do believe he deserves a chance to redeem himself, and I am willing to have him ride with my men.

Brendan then queried, What of my brother? Have you further news? When will I be able to see him?

He felt the warmth and concern in Kelson’s reply. I wish I could give you the answer you desire. We still do not know the full extent of the damage done to his mind by his captor. There has been no time yet to pursue it, much as I would wish it. Wash is safe and being cared for. He needs a chance to heal and with God’s help that healing will progress. When it is safe, you will see him. I need you to prepare your men to march as soon as I give the word. You will  rejoin Javan’s army for the attack on the rebels outside Laas.

Brendan was bitterly disappointed but indicated his acceptance of the king’s command. Kelson’s final words were warm in his mind. I promise, you will be reunited with your brother as soon as it can be safely done.

Brendan turned his attention to the things that needed to be done to carry out the king’s commands. He sent his squire to request Captain Stev’s attendance on him so that the necessary preparations could be made, and he would be ready to move at the king’s command
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Laurna on June 24, 2019, 01:37:27 pm »
Oh! DerynifanK, that is dastardly!  LOVE IT! Now three dukes are within the city walls and all unaware of the assistant steward's plans.  Good one!
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by DerynifanK on June 24, 2019, 01:04:14 pm »

Stefan Chandos was a Mearan with strong passions about Mearan independence. His father had fought and died in the last Mearan war and his mother had dinned into his head her hatred of the Haldanes as the cause of his death.  He was of medium height and stocky with dark hair and hooded dark eyes. He had managed to obtain a position as assistant to the castle steward in Laas and had been employed there fas a trusted servant or two years. He was a man of few words and had kept his sympathy  with the separatists secret.  He watched from the walls as the men blockading the road into Laas scattered, fleeing from the oncoming army led by the Duke of Corwyn.The great gates opened and Duke Kelric’s army entered adding to the resistance that Valerian would encounter when he reached Laas. Resentment burned as he watched. Meara needed to be independent, ruled by the ancient line represented by the recently discovered Queen, granddaughter of Prince Ithel. Stefan had done whatever he could to support the rebellion. He had been Valerian’s agent in Laas for over a year providing information about the castle defences and the plans and actions of Duke Brecon and his Gwyneddan allies.

Stefan had agreed to help two Mearan archers infiltrate the castle and assassinate the two dukes currently in residence there. He thought back to what had happened during the attack. He was to meet them at the base of the rocks near the city wall just after dark.  He watched as the two Mearan archers crept warily along the shore beneath the walls of Laas and angled toward the rocks that marked the limit of the sandy beach. They were headed toward the base of the city walls which, from their view, looked impenetrable, but he would guide them to a secret way inside. As they neared the rocks, he stepped out in front of them.

One of the archers started to speak but Stefan had silenced him with a finger to his lips and signaled to them to follow. He led them between two rocks through a narrow fissure that led to a concealed wooden door. They passed through and he locked the door behind them. He then led them up three flights of stone steps enclosed in narrow walls. At the top he motioned for them to stop while he cautiously opened another door and peered out. He then motioned them to follow him out into a gallery that ran around three sides of the great hall..

The two archers had followed him to the vantage point he had selected where they could look down on the great hall below  where a celebration was in progress. They had a clear view of the high table and the two dukes seated there with their wives and heirs. They indicated that their position was satisfactory, and Stefan had quickly retreated to a vantage point where he was invisible but could observe the outcome of the attack.

The archers had drawn the deadly little recurve bows and nocked their arrows. They had taken aim, but waited until the two dukes stood to say goodnight to their guests. They had then fired their arrows and the two targets had fallen back, both hit by the arrows but still alive. They had quickly each nocked a second arrow and fired but the noise of the first shots had alerted the Duchess to the direction from which they had been fired and she had been able to deflect them so that they fell harmlessly to the floor. The two archers had been captured by Earl Berand and the castle guard but had died before they could reveal any information.

Stefan was furiously disappointed that the attack had not achieved its goal, and both dukes still lived even though injured. He had hoped for success but he did not want to report failure to Valerian. He had thought it wise to have a backup plan although he had hoped not to have to use it. Now he needed to consider how best to implement it. He needed to eliminate the dukes before Valerian reached the city.
Prayer Requests / Re: Prayers for Melantha (Bee's cat)
« Last post by judywward on June 24, 2019, 11:39:33 am »
Sending an entreaty to St Frances to bless Melantha and give her the inclination to take her meds and eat her food.
Prayer Requests / Re: DerynifanK's husband
« Last post by judywward on June 24, 2019, 11:14:47 am »
Sending prayers for both of them!
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by judywward on June 24, 2019, 09:50:51 am »
Great writing, Laurna! I'm so glad to see the advancement of the story & the action. Thanks very much!!
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Re: DerynifanK's husband by Jerusha
[June 24, 2019, 07:31:50 pm]

Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread by Jerusha
[June 24, 2019, 07:30:52 pm]

Re: Ghosts of the Past by Bynw
[June 24, 2019, 05:01:09 pm]

Re: Prayers for Melantha (Bee's cat) by DerynifanK
[June 24, 2019, 03:20:38 pm]

Re: Ghosts of the Past by DerynifanK
[June 24, 2019, 02:22:04 pm]

Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread by Laurna
[June 24, 2019, 01:37:27 pm]

Re: Ghosts of the Past by DerynifanK
[June 24, 2019, 01:04:14 pm]

Re: Prayers for Melantha (Bee's cat) by judywward
[June 24, 2019, 11:39:33 am]

Re: DerynifanK's husband by judywward
[June 24, 2019, 11:14:47 am]

Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread by judywward
[June 24, 2019, 09:50:51 am]

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