Thursday, August 27, 2015

Red As Any Blood--Part 14

Bald Ben Braddock tapped his fingers idly on on the bannister, as he watched the Scarlet Shrikes below do their best to look like busy sailors.  "So... where do we stand, Gentleman?"

Gregory nodded, and gestured at the deck expansively, hoping to give people the idea he was talking about sailor matters, which he rather expected were peaceful and dull, and would not get you hung up by your thumbs.  Tintagel had never been the nicest of places, but since the Leonais had taken over, it had become exceedingly unpleasat to Gregory's mind.  "Well, the good news is the Leonais have got too few men, over too much area, are actively offending the locals, as they try to turn the kingdom into a giant ship arsenal..."  He coughed.  "Also, there's a sizable, skilled resistance..."

Bald Ben raised one thin eyebrow.  "I'm starting to wonder what the bad news is."

"Well, let's see," muttered Gregory.  "The Leonais may have problems, but they are also brutal as all the hells, the resistance didn't become sizable and skilled by being trusting and easy to get at, and the Leonais are really, really speeding up that ship production I mentioned, which, even without knowing why, is fairly ominous."

The Captain of the Scarlet Shrikes sighed.  "Understood.  Still... managable.  So... anything else you can tell me about the resistance?"

"They're called the Bellringers," said Gregory.  "After the Queen-in-Hiding, Isabel."

Bald Ben gave a dull nod.  "A bad pun for a name."  He sighed.  "Well, I hope the rest of what you have to tell me increases my respect for these people."

"The Bellringers aren't a unified movement," continued Gregory.  "Not really.  A lot of local rebellions, using the Queen-in-Hiding as a banner.  Which is more or less how Tintagel has always functioned, only with a war on top of things."

Braddock sighed and shook his head.  "This has always been a mad land, hasn't it, Gentleman?"

"That's my experience," agreed Gregory

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