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The Killing Season: Prologue

Started by Evie, August 19, 2010, 10:03:40 AM

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Evie

The Killing Season   



    Prologue
    Gwynedd, July 1132


   Summer had come early to the Eleven Kingdoms, and with the summer heat had spread a plague across the land.  A fever plague, first arriving in Gwynedd from the port at Desse, but swiftly spreading outwards from there, like ripples radiating outwards from a tossed pebble to cover the entire land of Gwynedd.  The other Kingdoms had been touched by it as well, the contagion spreading at first among the coastal towns, but then moving inland with those who fled for safer havens.

   But no one was safe.  Neither nobleman nor commoner, for the fever-flux was no respecter of persons, laying waste to rich and poor alike.  Among the oldest and the youngest, the infirm and those heavy with child, it took its highest toll, as such things were wont to do.  Castles and manors alike closed their gates, imposed strict quarantines, but to no avail.  The fever continued its relentless march throughout the land, a cruel conqueror defying any army's might.

   Some claimed the plague was God's punishment upon the land, though few could agree on a cause for such divine wrath.  A few blamed the Deryni—there would always be those—though fewer believed this now than might have a mere generation past.   Others said this was but a test—Divine or otherwise—an ordeal to be endured and mastered so that Gwynedd and the surrounding Kingdoms might only come out stronger, like steel tempered by fire.  Still others said it was mere happenstance, a bad roll of the dice of Fortune.

   Whatever the reasons, the fever-flux marched on.  Marched from Desse as far east as Coroth and the Rheljan Mountains.  As far west as the Connait.  As far north as Claibourne and the Kheldish Riding.

   Even the Court of Rhemuth lay under siege, the city gates closed, the castle secured, new arrivals screened carefully for signs of illness before being admitted.  And even so, even in Rhemuth the Beautiful, the bells tolled for the dead.

   And in the midst of the chaos brought about by the fever-flux, the viper struck.  An attack meant to cut not just to the heart of Gwynedd, but more directly into the heart of her King.  An assassin's strike, one timed to exploit just such a season of weakness.  One set to cause mortal injury when Kelson of Gwynedd was most distracted.  One intended to leave the Haldane dynasty floundering, with an infant Prince and an unready Regent who might be easily subdued in all the chaos.  Subdued, defeated, and crushed under the heel of one more suited to rule.  One who considered his own claim over Gwynedd more rightful.

   Whoever controlled Gwynedd would control one of the most powerful of the Eleven Kingdoms.  And its claimant, once his hold upon it was secure, soon planned to turn his eyes towards the other Kingdom.  The Kingdom of his birth.  The Kingdom which would, soon enough, see his triumphant return.

   And he would crush its cub of a King under his heel as well.

   But for this first strike against his mortal foes, he would not dirty his own hands.  Would not risk entry into a fever-ridden land just yet, during the killing season.  What use to conquer Rhemuth's King, only to die in his own bloody sweat and vomit mere days later?

   So he sent an underling instead to make the first strike, create the first undercut that would eventually fell the great tree of the Haldane rule.  Later, once the frosts had come, once the fevers died away and the cities were safe, but before the people could reunite and regather their strength, he would come into his kingdom.

   The
first of his Kingdoms.

   Teymuraz, Grand Duke of Phourstania, erstwhile Count of Brustarkia and Regent d'Arjenol, smiled as he anticipated his long awaited vengeance.



Chapter 1:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=536.0
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

AnnieUK

Let the doom and destruction commence! ;)

Elkhound


thistlethorne

Oh, my.  A very good beginning -- heart stopping.
*******************************************
I believe cats to be spirit come to earth.
 A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud
   without coming through.
                   --Jules Verne

Evie

Thank you!  This one's been a bear to write, but I'm most of the way through (I think), and hope to post more soon once I know for certain that stuff in earlier chapters won't need to be rearranged or have extra bits added to accomodate the needs of future scenes I've not written yet.

"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

tenworld

is there a China analog in this world?  Thats where H1N1 etc usually start so maybe a section about travelers from the analog silk road or strangly dressed sailors showing up in Desse.

Evie

The fever-flux plague is much more closely related to yellow fever or some similar hemorrhagic fever than to H1N1.  And its introduction to Gwynedd, as you'll see soon, is more intentional than incidental. 

"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Elkhound

Quote from: Evie on August 19, 2010, 07:57:12 PM
The fever-flux plague is much more closely related to yellow fever or some similar hemorrhagic fever than to H1N1.  And its introduction to Gwynedd, as you'll see soon, is more intentional than incidental. 

You mean it is something like Ebola?

Evie

Much closer to yellow fever than Ebola.   
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Alkari


Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war,

Evie

"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Mcath

Quote from: Alkari on August 19, 2010, 09:10:12 PM

Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war,


Oh yeah......Teymuraz is a nasty piece been wondering where he has been.   

Evie

So have we all.   :D

Since Teymuraz is a canonical character, there are some things I wasn't at liberty to do (like kill him in awful but emotionally satisfying ways), but I figured it was a safe bet that going away for ever and never popping his nasty scheming nose into things again would be far too much for Gwynedd to hope for, so I borrowed him for this story.   ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!