Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Queen on the Holly Throne--Part 22

The Envoys of the Right and Left were meeting, as they often did, for a drink. Of course, when this occurred they were not Envoys, but merely two men named Solanius and Salerius, and by strict agreement never spoke of their business of their respective Courts.

The problem was, since the Prince of Leonais’ arrived, the most interesting things occurring in Tintagel involved the Courts’ business, especially as regarded certain requests the Prince had made.

“So… how’s the son?” asked Solanius.

“Oh, fine, fine,” replied Salerius. “And your daughters.”

“Also fine,” answered Solanius. He shifted awkwardly. “So… the Grand Harbor’s been just… bustling these days…”

Salerius nodded. “Indeed. Indeed.” He wondered if any detailed discussion of the reason it was bustling, the Prince’s orders to build a new fleet, would count as breeching their agreement. He decided to err on the side of caution.

The result of this was several minutes spent by the pair fidgeting.

Finally, Solanius coughed, and looked away. “Don’t know if I like it. Sometimes I think the Leonais act as if they own the place now.”

Salerius considered for a moment, then turned away. “I hear things are… similar in the Free Cities at the moment. Though there it’s the Eremites. And they are… harsher. Amfortas is trying to get things in… order. The Prince… takes the Great War quite seriously.”

“Sometimes I wonder just where he draws the line,” muttered Solanius.

Salerius turned to his friend, surprised. “What was that?”

“The line. Between them and us,” said Solanius. “I was…” He paused, seeing Salerius’ concerned expression. “Just babbling drunkenly. It meant nothing.”

Salerius nodded. “Indeed. Indeed. So was I.”

The pair sat there, feeling surprisingly miserable, while trying to come up with a proper way to say that, an experience that was becoming increasingly common in Tintagel.

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