Raisse asks at the end “I wonder how he’ll react when I let him read this”. Well, in fact, she made a king cry.
Apparently the Khas I told Mikhanan about did not live. If things had gone the way they intended they probably would have killed all of us or worse. Maybe there’s something lingering from what happened in Idanyas but I don’t think so. To my mind we are at war with the Khas army.
We had a council of … not quite war but how to get to Albetire as safely as possible through occupied Iss-Peran, because everyone is coming with us. We decided to go by boat and pretend to be Khas with a captured ship. Athal can’t travel any other way for a while yet.
We also discovered one of the Khas is semte and quite strong. When I went to look at the captured Khas confined to a single room I could just barely get a glimpse of him, and I was actively looking for him. I think we need to confront him and either put his mind at rest or make sure he is no danger to us and the other Khas are no danger to him.
And another interesting thing happened. When we moved Athal to the floor, one of the women cooking was not surprised and asked if he was a priest of the earth. Thinking about it for a second, and given all that had happened lately, it seemed to me that he was very much that. Athal wanted to see him and that brought the whole village. There was something not quite right about Rikhi and I don’t think he was very highly respected. I did my best to shoo people away and give them time to get to know each other, with some degree of success. Then I noticed his wife fiercely cooking in the kitchen. She was affected even more by this than the villagers. It meant something to her that was very important. I tried to talk to her about it, but she clearly didn’t want to. She couldn’t even say if what she felt was good or bad. I hope to talk to her later.
That reminds me: we should hold some kind of meeting with all semti to see where we stand and where we can help each other and prepare for the trip. Maybe we can deal with the gifted Khas there.
And now for what’s been on the back of my mind all day and why I picked up the pen. When I came back I was angry at Athal for being wounded. Now it’s true that he could have made sure that more guards were there to protect him when the Khas got through, but he needed to prove himself as the great king from Valdyas and it could have been worse. If with luck, wit, diplomacy and the help of the gods we manage to quell the threat of the Nameless and fulfil the quest Timoine sent us on, I don’t think she would let him lose his ability to play music. At least I hope not. If I had stayed, I might have been wounded or little Vurian. He sent me away and I didn’t like it, but he was right. If I had not gone I think things would have turned out badly for the women and children. In the end I reached the same conclusion, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time to work though it all. I guess that’s when one needs a leader, a King.
So Athal, please don’t do something stupid. Little Vurian and I need you too much for that. Valdyas needs you, but you were not wrong and next time if you feel we need to be sent to safety you can do the same thing. Despite all the other things you are to me you are also my king. And, trust me, if I truly think you are wrong I will rebel. You know I will.
I wonder how he’ll react when I let him read this.