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knighting of liam epilogue

Started by DerynifanK, January 08, 2022, 07:04:32 PM

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DerynifanK

The Knighting of Liam, Epilogue

Aboard a Torenthi Ship, Desse
January 8, 1133


King Liam Lajos wrapped his cloak more tightly around himself to keep out the cold wind that blew from the land, filling their sails and sending their vessel out into the widening river Eirian. He stood at the stern railing and watched the shore of Gwynedd recede into the river mist. He was alone, the other members of his party having gone below to escape the cold. He had much to think about, to consider, as he reviewed what had happened during their stay in Rhemuth.

The knighting ceremony had been everything he had dreamed of. He recalled the feeling of awe as the sword wielded by Prince Nigel had touched his shoulders and head, making him a knight of Gwynedd. He smiled as he remembered the joy of having his sister and his future queen fasten the white belt around his waist. He was glad that Eirian had been allowed to be part of the occasion. He had much enjoyed the celebration that followed the completion of the ceremony: feasting, dancing and talking. Even the assassination attempts, ably countered as they had been by Alaric and his men as well as others, had not distracted from the occasion.

He considered the significance of this ceremony in furthering the goals both he and Kelson were striving to achieve. By holding both the positions of anointed king of Torenth and knight of the realm in Gwynedd in his own person, he was weaving together the leadership of both Gwynedd and Torenth, respected in both kingdoms.. It was another tie binding the two former enemies.

As he continued to gaze into the distance, wrapped up in his thoughts, he felt a presence behind him. Reaching out with  his senses, he recognized his brother. Ronal came forward and stood beside him, leaning his arms on the ship's rail.

 Liam turned to study his younger brother. "I feel some anxiety in you. Are you happy to be returning home?"

"I am, though I will greatly miss my friends in Gwynedd. But I'm most concerned about those assassination attempts. I'm sure that Teymuraz was behind them. What will we need to do to discourage future attempts? I'm convinced he will never give up as long as he thinks there is any possibility of gaining the throne for himself." Ronal's brow was furrowed with concern. 

"Your instincts are good. Our loving uncle was indeed behind the attacks. I accompanied Kelson when he questioned the assassins. They were hired mercenaries, not Teymuraz' own men. They had little knowledge beyond their instructions telling whom they were to kill  and when and where to carry out the attacks. The leader was the only one who actually saw Teymuraz when he received the plan to use several small teams to carry out simultaneous attacks. It was actually a well conceived plan. Fortunately, Kelson and his council took the persistent rumors of possible assassination attemps seriously even though there was no proof.  They told us of Earl Brendan's concerns  and the proposed plan to keep everyone safe.  That forewarning and the cooperation of all involved led to the failure of the attacks." Liam studied his brother's face as he talked.

"We will need to remain on our guard. I have one or two spies who have been able to infiltrate his court and keep us apprised of what is happening there and any  possible new plans to mount new attacks.  But you will need to be careful. Do not ride out unattended. Always have an escort. We will all need to be alert, including the ladies. Our sister is sometimes impulsive and not always as careful as she should be, and we will need to remind her. However, I don't wish to make everyone over cautious and afraid either. We will need to be reasonable in our precautions." Ronal nodded his agreement.

"Have you other concerns about your return?" Liam asked quietly.

Ronal turned to face the king. "I have been away a long time. Much has changed and there will be much I will need to learn. I'm afraid I will seem like a stranger to many, and I'm not sure how well the members of your court or the people will accept me. After all, I was only ten when I left to serve in King Kelson's court. During the last four years, I have been able to make only brief visits home, not enough time to really get to know people or for them to get to know me.  It's a bit daunting. I'm better known in Gwynedd than in Torenth." Liam heard the note of uncertainty in his brother's voice. He well understood Ronal's feeling of anxiety about his future as he had felt very much the same four years earlier

"I understand your concern and Matyas and I have given much thought to the best way to reintroduce you to both my court and to the people. We have discussed this in anticipation of your return.  You will naturally be a member of my privy council, and I intend to recognize you as Duke of Lorsol, formally ending the regency that ruled in your absence.  Matyas has also sent his second son, Kalinik to court for training and he will serve as your squire. He will be able to help you as you refamiliarize yourself with what to expect at court. There have indeed been many changes, but there is still much to do. I am looking forward to having your company and support. There will naturally be a period of adjustment but I am sure all will be well.." Liam placed an arm around Ronal's shoulders and gave him a brief hug.

"What are you two plotting?" a feminine voice behind them said with a laugh. Stanisha came forward to join them at the railing. She too was wrapped in a fur lined cloak with a hood pulled up over her hair to protect her from the cold. She was smiling as she joined them.

The two young men smiled back at her. "We were discussing our visit to Rhemuth and what we experienced there. Did you enjoy the festivities, and more to the point, did you benefit from the time you were able to spend with Prince Payne?

"Very much." she replied. "I found him to be very much as I remembered him, agreeable, fun and not at all stuck-up as some of the young men in our court are. We talked about the many changes in our lives and the many responsibilities we have had to assume. I found that we have many things in common, and I was happy to be able to spend time with him."
   
She continued. "I also greatly enjoyed meeting and talking with Princess Eirian. Lionella and I visited her workshop, and I found it fascinating to learn about her plan to become an herbalist and use plants to heal. Her concern for the ordinary people in the kingdom shone through as she talked. I think she will be a queen who will be loved by the Torenthi people." 

"I agree." Ronal added. "We have become very close during my time in Rhemuth, and I have come to regard her almost as a little sister. It started with her love of gardening, and she was delighted when I told her about her green thumb. That began her desire to become an herbalist. She does care about the people of the kingdom, and she is a very determined person. When she sets out to do something, she will do everything possible to achieve her goal."

He grinned as he addressed his brother. "You should have seen the outrage on old MacFarlane's face when she tried to persuade him he needed to talk to his plants to help them grow better. He asked her what she did that enabled her to save Queen Araxie's favorite rose when it was dying. He had given up and was ready to dig it up, but she was able to rescue it. She told him, 'I talked to it every day when I went to tend it. I used words of love to encourage it and it responded. You should do it too. You will see your plants flourish just as the rose did.' She was persistent but finally had to give up on that although there isn't much he won't do when she asks."

Liam smiled as he replied, "I can see that I will need to provide a place for my queen to exercise her green thumb. Remind me to have the groundsmen clean out the old Queen's garden and replant the laurel trees, many of which have died.  It fell into disuse after the completion of the hanging gardens which provided delight and from the lack of a queen who was interested in it. She can design it as she desires and, I hope, will find pleasure in it."

The three remained on deck a short time until Liam noticed Stanisha shivering. "I think we should go below until we enter warmer waters. It would not do for either of you to fall ill as we do not have Eirian with us to provide potions for healing." He smiled as he led them below.
"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

Laurna

 It is nice to see King Liam and his siblings together as they finish out their visit to Gwynedd.  Good story.
Sometime in the future is shall be fun to read the story of Princess Eirian and her parents visiting the Torenth. I imagine the event shall be a Royal Wedding.
May your horses have wings and fly!

Jerusha

A very nice finish to this story, DFK!
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany