So the accused, the witnesses and the guards arrived. The King decided to hear the case immediately, not even to wait until the next day. He first heard the accused, then me, then Maile and Moyri and Ajay, then the witnesses who were complicit in the crime. Well, there wasn’t much the accused could say to exculpate themselves; we had found the children in the house, we had witnesses to say that they had fed and washed the children. We had found the letters from Koll Konande with instructions, the plans for the ship — the ships, even! There was nothing they could say, and they knew it. Oh Anshen! Courageous, just Anshen, who I love so much, these people were going to die. The King announced he’d pronounce sentence tomorrow morning, at dawn, and had the accused led back to the Palace prison. He took Moyri and me, general Ferin and Raisse to his private apartments. There were things to discuss, he said. The first thing he said was that the prisoners were going to hang. I remembered Hylti’s stories of Queen Raisse hanging the Lord of Three Hills, and how much that had hurt Raisse, and I got […]
What is it with good food that it makes me so playful? Even though I was rather brooding over Moryn’s idea of staying in Valdis, by the time we had reached the Palace after our dinner at the Three Kings, I wasn’t worrying about it any more, but rather looking forward to asking for a jar of honey and a pitcher of white Lenyas wine, towels and some clean bed linen, because I had plans with that jar of honey. Also, water to wash ourselves with before making the bed again. Moyri with honey is, I think, my favourite desert! The next day, I first gave our apprentices their lessons in the Palace Library; library lessons, to be exact, that is, learning how to work with a library, how to find books, how books are ordered and how to handle books — that is the first beginning of scholarship. They were fascinated, but it was dusty work, and after a morning like that, I felt we all needed an afternoon with more physical activity. (Though books can be heavy, too!) So, having ascertained that Moyri was already training at a nearby fencing school, I took us there, for their first […]
When we were getting near Valdis, I tried to find the Queen. I know Raisse — she may not know me, but I do know her, she’s got three moles on her left buttock — but she was busy. There was nothing for it, but to ride through Valdis, trying to find the Royal Palace.
Beyond Lenay, Lenyas was different. Less wild, less rugged, though still with many woods between the vineyards. Of course we went to see the famous hole in the ground Athal had made in Erday. Wait… Wasn’t that also because some people were hiding slaves from him, when he was on his way for the First Visitation to Albetire? I don’t want the king to make holes in my beloved Selday! But then, we freed the slaves and captured the criminals.
Of course, I was asleep before I reached bed. I actually don’t recollect falling asleep, but I don’t remember going to bed either. As I later told Moyri, the big problem of a school like the Guild School in Turenay is that every gets taught by grand masters, and that the habits and ways of thinking of a grand master rubs off on everyone.
As far as I can, Lenyas is a fairly quiet barony, the road towards Lenay was mostly empty, the scenery spotless, the weather awesome, the scenery astounding. I’d seen this river bank from the other side of the river coming down, so it wasn’t all new to me, but it was to Moyri, Moryn and Maile, and Moryn was, at one point, quite nervous — these cliffs, this gorge, is that like what it should be? Well, it was. It’s impressive as anything, and you can see the bridge over the Valda that’s actually the center of Lenay from very far. Lenay is well known to be a tough place. The Order of the Sworn has to more or less hide there, and at the same time, it would for sure be the only safe place for us to stay. Anywhere else we’d be harassed or maybe even grabbed and kicked out of the town. This is Lenay, where the Guild of the Nameless is strong. Well, before we entered the town, Moyri put back on her uniform, I warned our apprentices, and we went to the west-bank gate. The guards were finicky to a fault, but we got in, […]
Up to now, at least. Though what happened isn’t the reader’s business…
We waved the boating party goodbye — there were two boats — and then the ferry brought us over to the other side of the Valda. Coming down to Essle, we had taken the east bank of the Valda, but the west bank has a much better road and more inns and travel huts. We took our time getting Moryn used to his first horse. Fortunately he wasn’t afraid of horses! And the liveryman had selected the most placid animals for us — six mares and one gelding, the pack horse.
That same evening, Rusla came back with another prisoner; a woman from Ashas. Her accomplice, a certain Vurian, also from Ashas (where the Order of the Nameless took Valdyan names when the emperor went crazy) was held by Prince Uznur. The Prince wanted to hang him in the morning, but I convinced Rusla that we should take both prisoners with us to the King. Fortunately, Prince Uznur agreed, and the second prisoner would be delivered to the Order House the next morning.
The voyage took five days. I only could stand up and move around a bit when Moyri was asleep, for the rest, I held her in my arms, trying to give her stability with my mind and my body. I got puked on a lot, and Maile pitched pails full of sea water over us to clean away the muck, but it stuck everwhere. All Moyri could get inside was water boiled with honey or tree-treacle and a bit of salt… All I could eat, I was fed bite by bite by Maile, because I couldn’t stop holding Moyri.