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THe Knighting of Liam, Chapter 4

Started by DerynifanK, August 24, 2021, 01:59:59 PM

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The Knighting of Liam, Chapter 4:
New friends

Rhemuth Castle
Mid Afternoon
January 3, 1133

Three days prior to Kelson's Twelfth Night court, two riders with an escort of six Haldane lancers left Rhemuth to ride to Desse to meet an arriving Torenthi ship. After consultation with Liam and Matyas about the threat from Teymuraz, they had agreed to carry on with Twelfth Night and the knighting as planned. Additional precautions were being put in place as they had discussed.  The Duke of Corwyn would be in charge of the security during the time King Liam and his entourage remained in Rhemuth.

 Alaric Morgan and Payne Haldane along with a contingent of Haldane lancers were designated to  escort  King Liam and his party to Rhemuth castle. Payne asked to be part of the escort as he and his former fellow squire, Brendan Coris, had been Liam's closest friends during the young king's time in Rhemuth and had maintained the friendship since then. Both young men were excited and pleased to see their friend again and to share such an important occasion with him.

Included in his party, Liam was bringing his sister, Stanisha, as well as Duke Matyas' daughter Lionella who was to serve as the princess's companion.  Stanisha had been most insistent in her requests to attend her brother's knighting. She was also anxious to see her other brother, Ronal, who had been serving as squire at King Kelson's court for the past four years. She had received occasional letters from him but had seen him only rarely when he made brief trips home. Now he was ending his service and would be returning home with them following the Twelfth NIght celebrations. She was excited at the prospect of having him home again. Stanisha was also looking forward to the opportunity to see Prince Payne, Kelson's nephew, to whom she was betrothed. She was anxious to become reacquainted with him. She was greatly anticipating all the happenings that comprised Twelfth Night Court.

Payne was also hoping that he would be able to spend  time getting to know his betrothed.. He had met her when he was allowed to travel with Kelson's party  as they accompanied Liam on his return to Beldour to take up his crown as King of Torenth.  She had been six then, and he had not seen her since that time. He had not known  then that they were to be betrothed.  At the age of ten, he was sure she would have changed a lot, as he had. He was now seventeen, having served three years as Duke of Travlum, and only a year from knighthood. He remembered a merry, dark haired little girl who had crouched at the edge of a fish pond between Brendan and himself, watching intently the golden carp that swam there and how she had pounced suddenly, laughing as she raised her hands holding one of the fish. He smiled at the memory. He and Brendan had tried but  had been unable to catch a fish and had gotten a shower when she allowed her fish to escape back to the pond.

"Having pleasant thoughts of your coming reunion with Liam?" Morgan asked him smilingly.

"I am indeed looking forward to seeing Liam again. I am also anxious to meet my betrothed who is a member of his party. I have not seen her since Liam returned to Beldour and Brendan and I were allowed to be part of Kelson's party. I remember a little girl of six and she would remember a boy of thirteen. It would be reassuring to have an opportunity to know a little more of one another. I wonder if she still catches fish with her bare hands. She was quite good at it. Brendan and I failed miserably." Payne grinned at Morgan.

While the escort continued their way to Desse to meet Liam's ship, Meraude was busy overseeing preparation of rooms for the ladies in Liam's party. Eirian and Amelia were helping, seeing to it that the rooms would be both comfortable and attractive. Liam's sister Stanisha and Duke Matyas' daughter, Lionella, would be housed in a suite in the Queen's Tower in Rhemuth Castle. Normally  Araxie would be directing preparations, but the Queen was again breeding and had not been feeling well. This would be a son, the "spare" Kelson so wanted. He was determined to take every care of his wife and unborn son.

Meraude had volunteered to take on the task of seeing to the preparations with the help of her daughter and granddaughter to allow the queen to rest. She also said it would be a good experience for the two girls, part of their necessary training as future chatelaines.  The preparations were complete and they awaited inspection..  The girls curtsied to the duchess as she entered the room for one last walk through to be sure that all was in readiness. They curtsied deeply to Queen Araxie who accompanied her to see that all was ready for these special guests.

Meraude smiled as she looked around the room. "It appears that all is in readiness for the arrival of the two young ladies."

The queen also praised them. " You have done well. Be sure to watch out for them and help them with the intricacies of court. They will be arriving later today, and you will join us in greeting them. " 

Meraude added, "Now it is time for lunch and afterward, you will need to change and be ready for their arrival."  The young girls curtsied again to the Queen and the duchess and all of them left the guest rooms.


The party arrived in the castle yard around midafternoon. A message had been sent ahead as they neared the city gates to notify the king and his court of their imminent arrival. Grooms ran to take the horses' bridles as the party began to dismount.  King Kelson and several of his court lined the steps to greet their distinguished visitors.  Liam assisted his sister and her companion from their horses and escorted them forward to present them to King Kelson and Queen Araxie. He smiled as both young ladies curtsied. "Your Majesties, allow me to present my sister, Princess Stanisha Lionella Furstana, and her companion, Lady Lionella Caterina Morag Furstan, daughter of Duke Matyas."

King Kelson and Queen Araxie both smiled at them.  "We are most pleased to welcome you to our court. We hope that you will enjoy the festivities. There will be much to see and do during your time with us." He turned and beckoned Prince Nigel and Duchess Meraude forward.  "May I present my uncle and closest advisor, Prince Nigel Haldane and his wife, Duchess Meraude." There were smiles, bows and curtsies all around as they greeted one another. Meraude drew forward two young ladies who had been standing beside her.  "This is my daughter, Princess Eirian and my granddaughter, Lady Amelia. They will serve as your hostesses during your visit. The girls curtsied to each other.

Princess Stanisha scanned the crowd of people surrounding them as though seeking someone she didn't see. She turned to Liam and asked. "Where is Ronal? I am anxious to see my brother. It has been such a long time since we have seen each other. I thought he might be among those greeting us."

Nigel heard her query and replied. "He is anxious to see you but had duties to complete. He will meet you in the Queen's solar after you have had a chance to refresh yourselves, and he will be joining you at dinner tonight. He is greatly looking forward to seeing you.

Greetings and introductions continued among the new arrivals and those waiting to greet them. Kelson led the party inside to the withdrawing room behind the great hall where they  removed cloaks and other outer garments which were taken by servants.  They then prepared to enjoy the refreshments offered by the pages. Meraude addressed them. "You must be tired from your journey. I am sure you would like to be conducted to your quarters where you can refresh yourselves and rest a little before the formal dinner tonight." She singled out Princess Stanisha and her companion, beckoning Eirian and Amelia forward to join them. " My daughter and granddaughter will escort you to your rooms in the Queen's Tower. I hope you will find your accommodations comfortable. If there is anything you need, tell them and they will see to it." The young ladies made their reverences to the king and queen as well as to King Liam and they left the room. One of the king's guards accompanied them through the halls.
 A young maid curtsied deeply as the Torenthi ladies preceded Eirian and Amelia into the rooms allotted to them. Eirian smiled at the girl. "This is Anna who will serve you during your stay."

The princess looked around delightedly. The two ladies had  been given a suite with a  sitting room, a sleeping room with two beds and a dressing area where Anna had been unpacking their boxes . "It looks most comfortable. I look forward to washing away the dust of the trip and putting on fresh clothing. I can hardly wait to see my brother. I have greatly missed him."

"As he has missed you. I know he has been looking forward to your reunion." Eirian smiled at the princess. "He has talked of his happiness at your family coming together after so long apart.  Is there anything  else you need? If not, we will leave you to rest and refresh yourselves. We will return in an hour or so to conduct you to the solar and then to dinner. If you find you need anything before then, tell Anna and she will send a page to summon me. I hope you will be comfortable here." With curtsies Eirian and Amelia left the room pulling the door closed behind them.

Stanisha and Lionella briefly explored the two rooms, then proceeded to remove their travel stained gowns, wash and don fresh clothing. Anna assisted them in brushing and covering their hair with light veils.  Stanisha turned to Anna. "You may go now. We will await our guides to lead us to the solar."  Anna curtsied and left the room.

The two girls seated themselves on cushioned benches placed on either side of the fireplace where a fire radiated warmth.  Lionella turned to Stanisha, "I know you can hardly wait to see your brother, but are you nervous about meeting your betrothed? It has been a long time since you have seen each other.What was he like then?"

The princess smiled. "Well. he was thirteen, tall and slim with black hair and grey eyes and he laughed easily. He and another squire had joined me at the fish pool to see the golden carp. I caught one in my hands, and they begged to try it. Of course, it takes a lot of practice to catch a fish in your bare hands, and the fish kept slipping through their fingers. They did get rather wet, but both of them laughed and said they would need practice to learn the way of it. They were not upset or dismissive that a girl was able to do something they could not, unlike many of the other boys at court. I am looking forward to renewing our acquaintance."

"I am also excited to see more of King Kelson's court. There should be some handsome squires and knights to look over."  Lionella giggled.

A soft knock at the door heralded the arrival of their guides.  Lionella opened the door to admit Eirian and Amelia. The girls curtsied. "Are you ready to go?"  At their nods, Eirian stood back to allow the Princess and Lady Lionella to leave the room. She closed the door behind them and gestured for the two ladies to follow her as she led them through the corridors. The princess looked about her with lively interest and commented, "There seem to be quite a number of guards. Is that usual?"

Eirian answered. "I am sure you are aware of the threats from Teymuraz to disrupt the festivities and possibly attack your brother the King  and possibly others close to him. The extra guards are intended to stop any move by his agents to strike."

"Both my brother and Lionella's father, Duke Matyas have informed us of the possible threat and made it clear that we must be alert, careful and obey any instructions focused on our safety. Both of us have given our solemn promise to do so. I am reassured by the presence of the guards." Stanisha smiled as they continued on their way to the queen's solar where they would meet  the others.

As they entered the solar, a lovely room with large windows in deep alcoves that looked out at the gardens, walls with intricately carved paneling, and a large fireplace with an ornate mantle in which a fire burned merrily, two young men turned from their positions before the fireplace and came forward to greet the ladies.  Ronal, a tall young man with a marked resemblance to his brother, King Liam, bowed. The other young man followed him, also bowing to the young ladies. For those who had not previously met, Introductions were begun.
Princess Eirian spoke first, addressing the ladies who accompanied her.  "You know Prince Ronal but allow me to present my brother, Prince Payne, Duke of Travlum."  The young man bowed, smiling.

Prince Ronal also smiled as he spoke to his companion. " Allow me to present my sister, Princess Stanisha whom you have met before, though it has been quite some time ago. The lady accompanying her is Duke Matyas' daughter, Lady Lionella Caterina  Morag Furstan."  The ladies curtsied.

Prince Ronal embraced his sister.  Payne offered his arm to the princess. She placed her hand on his arm and allowed him to  lead her to a cushioned bench near the fireplace. Lionella placed her hand on the arm Prince Ronal held out and allowed him to lead her to a second cushioned bench.

"I hope you find your quarters comfortable. We very much want you to enjoy your visit. We have a short time to talk together before we need to present ourselves in the great hall for dinner. " Ronal smiled at the young ladies.

"I have been greatly looking forward to the Twelfth Night celebrations. Of course, I am excited to see the knighting ceremony. We have nothing like it in Torenth. I know it has been a dream of Liam's since his time serving in King Kelson's court, and I very much wanted to attend." Stanisha smiled at her brother. "Liam hesitated at first but I kept on asking and asking until he gave in and agreed to let me come." 

Ronal started to speak but Stanisha continued. "I know he is concerned for our safety. We are aware of the threat from Teymuaz who may be devising some plot to cause trouble during the festivities, and we have been told, repeatedly, that we must be alert and take care.  We will certainly heed the King's warnings, but if we allowed threats from Teymuraz to govern our lives they would certainly be very constrained. I am not willing to do that."

Lady Lionella had said little to this point, but now she added her own comment. "My father as well as the king have considered any risks related to our presence at Twelfth Night.  We have given  them our promise that we will be careful and will follow any instructions that we are given. But I for one intend to take advantage of my time here to learn more about Gwynedd and its king and his court. I have never traveled outside of Torenth, and there is so much to see and learn." she sat up very straight, her cheeks were flushed and her eyes sparkled. Ronal smiled at this very determined young lady. And he suspected that his sister was similarly determined to make the most of her stay in Rhemuth. He considered that they might have their hands full and not just in thwarting any actions by Teymuraz.

Conversation became more general until the door of the solar opened and Brendan entered accompanied by a younger boy. Ronal stood and bowed to the new arrivals, then he turned to the ladies. " Allow me to present Earl Brendan Coris, Duke Alaric Morgan's stepson. Stanisha, you may remember him as the second boy at the fish pond." Brendan laughed, bowed,  and indicated the boy at his side. "This is Prince Albin, Princess Eirian's cousin. We have come to accompany you to the Great Hall to join the others for dinner." Prince Payne held out his arm to Princess Stanisha. The rest fell into line behind him;  Ronal with Princess Eirian, Earl Brendan with Lady Lionella and Prince Albin with Amelia and they left the solar.

The dinner passed pleasantly with no disturbances and was enjoyed by all. However, there was little opportunity for private conversation. Several of the participants found this somewhat disappointing.
"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


A bit of quiet time before the festivities of Twelfth Night.  I suspect the quiet will not last.   ;)

Nicely done, DFK!
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany


I am hoping and I am thinking that Payne and Stanisha are going to find that conversation comes easily between them. A good sign for the future.
May your horses have wings and fly!


Lovely to see something more of all these young folk - somehow I think the two young ladies from Torenth are not just going to watch demurely.

One query? I don't think Amelia is a duchess. I'm sure she will have been given the courtesy title of "lady" but to be a duchess she would need to be married to a duke, and that seems unlikely given her heritage, however much she is accepted by Meraude and Nigel. I don't think women were ( or are ) duchesses in their own right.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


I checked the Codex and you are right. She was created Baroness Whitney by Kelson but she would be addressed as Lady Amelia. I will fix that and thanks.
"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


A question that hasn't occurred to me before, but what language do you think they would be speaking?   In our mediaeval world it would be Latin.
The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.


Although they use Latin in ecclesiastical communication, they would use Gwyneddin or Torenthi in everyday communication, probably something like Welsh or for Torenth, some form of Arabic. The nobility was generally well educated and many of them probably spoke both.  Traders would need to speak at least some of both languages in order to conduct business. That is my best guess. The Codex mentions a local language but doesn't describe it.
"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


Quote from: Demercia on August 25, 2021, 01:42:50 PM
A question that hasn't occurred to me before, but what language do you think they would be speaking?   In our mediaeval world it would be Latin.

The Gwyneddan Church seems to use Latin as their liturgical language, and the Torenthi seems to use Greek (which tracks with their Orthodox-type church service).  At a guess, I would say that the Gwyneddan common language is, as DFK noted, probably Welsh--almost certainly a Celtic language anyway.  Maybe you get Scots or Irish or Cornish or Manx flavors in various regions (and maybe Breton in Bretagne)?

Torenthi common might be actually also be a Greek dialect, sort of how the language used in a Greek Orthodox church service and the language spoken on an everyday basis by Greek people are similar and related but not identical.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)


I suppose I was thinking of how our mediaeval royalty would communicate with each other across a language barrier using Latin, but that wouldn't help with the Greek basis of Torenthi.
The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.


It's an interesting question.

Liam would definitely speak GwyneddIan after his time there and Kelson might have made a point of learning Torenthi as a way of evidencing that he renounced his overlordship of Torenth and regarded Liam as an equal rather than a vassal.

Denis Arilan strikes me as the sort of person who would be multi lingual. There's a short story somewhere
(maybe in one of the books you nicked from me Dermercia  :P [size=78%]) about how he learnt Hebrew and I imagine that he would definitely have learnt both ecclesiastical Greek and the daily language of Torenth. He might act as interpreter if needed. [/size]

The ability to only speak one language, even for those who have no formal education, does seem to be something of an Anglo-Saxon aberration, though as against this there might historically be some hostility in both countries to learning the language of those considered to be the enemy.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


Dear twin sisters, Given your family familiarity you can say that one "nicked" something from the other. But also given your devotions to your occupations, I dare say accusing one or the other of "Nicking" something, especially KK's books could lead to embarrassment. Perhaps "borrowed" is a better term and "gifted" would work well. But seeing as how you should both have copies of KK's books in each of your own homes, perhaps going to a used book store should be on the agenda next time you meet. Followed by a tea room luncheon.
May your horses have wings and fly!


Arilan learned Hebrew in "Arilan, the Talmudic Student" which is a short story in the anthology, Deryni Tales, It was originally published in Deryni Archives.  Many of the nobility spoke each other's language,  it was important and became more so for diplomatic negotiations. I agree that Liam would have become fluent in Gwyneddan from his years spent as page and squire and I am sure that Kelson would have made the effort to learn Torenthi. I think French was the more universal diplomatic language after Latin in the Mddlle Ages
"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


Never fear Laurna, I was only joking, but perhaps my humour got a little wet crossing the pond. Perhaps I should have said " half- inched" instead. Gives a big grin to Laurna and Dermercia
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


LOL I enjoy a good joke, even a soggy wet one. I under stand pinched or nicked, but "Half-inched"?   What the heck does that mean? Sounds Torenthi to me.

Remember when Alaric was learning Torenthi from the sea captain and his ship mates.
May your horses have wings and fly!


"Liberated" is also a handy term.  Puts a positive spin on things.   ;D
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany