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The Making of a Queen:Eirian's Journey. Chapter 4

Started by DerynifanK, August 16, 2020, 02:14:39 PM

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DerynifanK

Link to previous chapter: https://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?action=post;msg=24423;topic=2616.0

The Making of A Queen: Eirian's Journey. Chapter 4

Rhemuth Castle
January 7, 1129

Kelson, Liam, and Nigel were meeting in the King's withdrawing room behind the great hall in Rhemuth Castle to discuss the recent Twelfth Night celebrations. Liam was particularly anxious to discuss his concerns about his younger brother, Prince Ronal, who had entered Prince Nigel's service as a page at the ceremonies of the previous night. He would be remaining behind later that day when Liam returned via portal to Beldour.

The three men sat near the fire with cups of wine at their elbows. Liam spoke first. "I am worried about my brother.  I am hoping that serving here under Nigel and far from the Torenthi court will be beneficial to him. He has suffered so many losses in his short life with little support to help him. As you know our father was killed in the Duel Arcane alongside Wencit. Ronal was barely three and hardly remembers him. Our brother Alroy was killed when he was still very young, and I was absent until just this past summer. Then our mother was killed by her own brother just after my coronation. Mahael used Ronal as a pawn in his plans to seize the throne. It is not surprising that he is wary of others and does not trust easily. He may find it hard to settle in and to make friends among the other boys. I feel that making friends here in Rhemuth is an important part of what I hope to accomplish in sending him here."

Nigel nodded. "I have already asked Payne to watch out for him and to serve as a mentor. Since he is a squire and known to be a close friend to you, I hope that will help Ronal accept him. Of course, there may be some hostility from the other boys if he is known to be Torenthi. Hopefully that can be overcome as they all get to know each other. The other new pages are mostly unknown to each other and will also be adjusting to their new surroundings and responsibilities. Although he has some experience as a page to Mahael, I think that things will mostly be new to him. We will do everything we can to help him adapt."

"I may also ask Brendan to spend some time with him." Kelson said. "He can talk to Ronal from his own experience of being a target of some bullies when he was younger because of his father's treason. I am certain he will be able to support the young man and help him see that it will be his own actions that will be the biggest factor in becoming an honored knight and prince of Torenth."

"My wife spoke to him when he was presented to her last night and told him that he would be considered one of our family as you were when you were here. She will see that he is included in family activities when he is free of his duties." Nigel paused to allow Liam to comment.

"That will be most valuable. I am so occupied with setting the priorities for my reign, stabilizing the government, and finding  loyal and reliable men to fill the many open positions that I have little time for anything but the affairs of the kingdom. I fear he would be left to his own devices far too much without adequate supervision. And unfortunately there are still Torenthi nobles who maintain fealty to Temuraz even though they will not admit it openly. I am afraid that some would try to influence Ronal for their own purposes, even turn him against me. I feel he will be much safer here in Rhemuth. Duke Matayas agrees with me in this."

Liam continued. "I will visit as often as I can and try to spend time with him. I know he will benefit from becoming a part of your family also. He will have the support of my envoys at your court. I have commanded my ambassador, Bishop Alexios, in particular to spend time with him and help him adapt as well as bear responsibility for his religious life. He was Ronal's confessor in Beldour and will provide some continuity for him".

"As my heir presumptive, I also feel that it is important that he learn lessons of statesmanship and what is required to become a wise and beneficent ruler for our people. I know he will acquire this knowledge from observing your court as I feel that I have. I want to be sure that he will realize that Mahael was not a ruler to be emulated. I must depart and return to Beldour." Liam rose from his chair and smiled at the other two men. " I am sure I am leaving my brother in safe hands."

Kelson also stood and faced the new young king of Torenth whom he now considered a friend. "You can be sure we will do all we can for your brother, to keep him safe and help him adjust to his new life.  And Nigel will keep you apprised of his progress."

Both men bowed, then Liam turned and left the room to return to the portal which would transport him back to Beldour and his many responsibilities.

Nigel addressed the king. "Sire, I will do all I can to ensure that Prince Ronal has the experience his brother envisions for him. But I will need to take care that the other boys do not feel that favoritism is being shown to one of their number. That would only make things more difficult for the young man. As I said, I have asked Payne to watch over him and mentor him as much as is possible within the constraints of his own duties. I will hope that Ronal will soon make friends among the other boys and feel more comfortable here."

Kelson nodded. "I have every confidence in you, Uncle, and I know you will care for the young man. After all I served under you myself, and I know that you are fair and equitable on your dealings with the pages and squires. I know how fortunate I am to have you at my side. You may return to your duties now but please keep me informed of Prince Ronal's progress."

Nigel bowed and left the room. Kelson resumed his seat and stared pensively into the fire.

******

Three weeks later
Castle gardens
Rhemuth Castle

Prince Ronal hurried through the castle garden heading for the stables. He had a message for Kelson's head groom. He was to relay orders for having horses ready for a ride out early the next morning by King Kelson and several of his courtiers. They had been mostly confined to the castle for a long stretch of days by the press of business and a run of bad weather.

As he neared the bottom of the garden where a wicket gate gave access to the stableyard, two boys stepped out of the bushes in front of him blocking his way.

"Look who's heading for the stables. Wonder what he's up to."

"Yeah, he's too high and mighty to hang out in the stables," taunted Jack Badger, one of the meanest of the boys.

"Wouldn't want him to get dirty." The other boy, Clarence Addington, who was large for his age, taller and heavier leaned forward to shove Ronal.

Ronal stood his ground. He said quietly, "Let me pass. I have a message to deliver."

Clarence sneered. "He has a message to deliver. Who wants to get a message from a dirty Torenthi?"

Ronal took a step forward. Badger moved closer and stuck out his foot as if to trip Ronal.

Ronal felt anger beginning to rise. He was a prince and, although his brother had told him not to expect special treatment, he did not expect insults either. As they continued to taunt him and his anger increased, he felt power stirring within him. He could easily move them out of his way if he wanted. "If you know what is good for you, you will stand aside and let me pass!"

Clarence balled up his fists and made a threatening gesture.

"Stop! Leave him alone!" A girl's voice came from the path leading from the rose garden nearer the castle.

The boys turned toward the sound of the voice. They saw two little girls rushing toward them.

"You stay out of this! Go back and play with your dolls!" Clarence said nastily. "It's none of your business."

"Clarence," said the other boy in a loud whisper, "that's Princess Eirian. You need to show some respect."

"She's just a baby. We don't have to listen to what she says," Clarence was belligerent.

"You do have to listen to what I say," came a different voice from behind them.

They turned to see one of the squires eying them severely. "What is going on here?" he asked.

Eirian spoke up before the other boys could reply. "Those two boys," she pointed at Clarence and Jack,  "were trying to bully Ronal and wouldn't let him by so he could deliver his message. They were being mean."

"Is this true?" the older boy asked Ronal who replied "Yes"

"We were just..." Clarence started to speak.

The squire silenced him with a gesture. "I was not addressing you." Both boys stood silent.  He then turned to Ronal. "I will take care of these two. Continue with your errand and deliver your message." Ronal bowed. The squire continued.. "My name is Cason Buckingham. I am a friend of Prince Payne. Are there other pages who are treating you badly?"

Ronal answered. "No sir. This is the first occurrence like this. I am getting to know some of the other boys, and they have been polite to me. A few have been friendly. We have not been together that long."

"If there are any more attempts at bullying, report it, Prince Nigel will want to know. You can always talk to me, I would like to be your friend.  My room is on the second floor near the stairs..
Now go on about your duties." He gave Ronal a friendly pat on the shoulder and sent him on his way.

Princess Eirian's nurse had appeared behind her to tell the two girls it was time to return to the castle.  She gazed at the squire and the other two boys standing on the path. "Is everything all right?"

The squire bowed and replied that everything was fine. He smiled at Eirian. "Thank you, my Lady, for your assistance."  He smiled at the nurse, who began to usher the two girls back toward the castle.

He then turned his attention to the two miscreants. "You will return to your rooms and stay there until sent for. I will report this incident to Prince Nigel, and I expect he will deal with you." The two boys began to walk slowly back toward their quarters with their heads down. Cason left to seek out Prince Nigel and inform him of what had occurred.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

Jerusha

A good chapter, DFK.   Eirian  shows a lot of spunk at a young age.  :)
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Laurna

I like this chapter. Prince Ronal has had a difficult beginning. I do hope that his time in Rhemuth will be good for him. After his encounters with bullies and then with his defenders, I hope his time and education will go well.  Princess Eirian makes a good defender, wouldn't you agree.
May your horses have wings and fly!

DerynifanK

#3
I forsee friendship and each of them defending the other at some point. And who knows, the relationship may grow closer as Eirian gets older. Lots of possibilities here. The princess is quite fiesty, reminds me of Fiona a bit.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

Kareina

I am enjoying the story. It also interests me the way that the time in which it is being written is so very apparent in terms of how very aware of the potential for bullying, and how quickly the adults are working to nip it in the bud.  I can't help but feel that someone trying to write this story in the 1950's (never mind that back then this fantasy world didn't exist in which to write fan fic) would have written it from the perspective of "boys will be boys", and "don't intervene--he needs to learn how to deal with bullies on his own".  This way is better.
--Kareina

DerynifanK

He was thinking of handling it-using magic. That could have caused more problems. It's a good thing the squire came along before he decided to use magic on them, I think. I'm glad you are enjoying the story.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

revanne

Lovely chapter. I do wonder if Nigel and Kelson would be quite so formal when they are alone.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)