I finished another first draft, Book 2 in the KoTohLan saga, dealing with the second kingdom of the seven kingdom empire to be visited, Hoveria. 150,781 words, putting the word count for 2011 at over 50,000 words. Time for another writing challenge.
The finish was a little difficult as I broke the last chapter to give us three perspectives on the action, the last being how our hero sees things and prepares for the next segment. Giving out rewards, tieing up some lose ends, putting in place somethings for the next book. All in all a good way to handle things.
Here is the beginning of chapter 5:
5) Calm Returns
The Coterie was gathering, Ferdinand reflected, at least the members in Karn were doing so. Tonight they met at the Emporia, which was not absurd or suspicious. Cortier was basking in the glow of the win by Magnus. Great banners had been hung at the walls of the emporia and throughout the Cortier Precinct men walked about not only with the Imperial badge that Magnus had started to wear so many years before, but also, a Cortier badge that had been made to look like a game stone. That badge was the Magnus Thistle badge.
His fans had started to wear it some years ago before he had even won the first tourney seed, but lately, especially after Magnus had won the tourney, tens of thousands began to wear it. Someone in the Sarbentine house sold them and the money went to a private account. The traders of Cortier were able to tell. The Sarbentine had given Joss a loan recently, large, but not outrageous. Enough so that he might think to go back to them for more. An action surely to stay his hand from shutting them down. An event the Emperor had not yet taken to begin.
One day though, the Emperor might do so. Others had done so, and then had seen themselves lose their lives very quickly after. None of the Emperors who had meddled in a trading House, or reneged on a debt had lasted a year. Except one. And he had done his best to correct the excess not of his government but of the trading houses. The people were so far behind him, near two thousand years before, that the trading houses had adopted new rules to govern themselves and it had been many years since any of the imperial trading houses had thought to bend those rules.
Joss had waited a few days then thought he should summon his new Imperial Master to the palace and talk to him. Duke Franklin said he had intended to be civil, but Ferdinand could only report to the Imperial Messenger that Magnus had disappeared the day after the tournament had ended. They had a feast for him, and he had been out to drink with friends and supporters, but when they looked in his room, he had gone. Ferdinand had been given a letter to have published in the two games papers, and he told the messenger that day’s paper should surely report on it. How Magnus had left and gone to the edges of the Empire as was the duty of the Imperial Master. His plan to search out generals and see if they wished his advice.
He however did not tell Ferdinand where he went, and all could see by the letter that he had not mentioned where he was going precisely. Magnus had suggested word should go out in the one letter he really did leave, for Ferdinand, so Ferdinand had just created a second letter that suggested it was written by Magnus. It all worked well, but Duke Franklin told his brother, the General, that the Emperor was not amused when the messenger returned with the news and the games paper where he saw the letter printed. It nearly said what Magnus had told him at the end of the tourney. It did not suggest that Magnus left for he feared for his life at Joss’ hands, or would accept the insult of a small home, when Imperial Masters had almost always been given great palaces.
Ferdinand still did not feel it was time to bring back to the house any man who had family, or the families that he had sent off. The audacity of Magnus Thistle to win the game, and to humiliate the Emperor to the tune of ten thousand gold was still too fresh. Master Ross, the man who had needed the Emperor to cover such a wager, had disappeared. Arch Priest Saul, assured them all that Joss had not picked him up and killed the man. He had left hurriedly the day he had lost the Imperial championship.
Balis had said to Saul that all was not done with the man, but that the gods were putting him outside the reach of the Emperor just then. Saul had no other news then that. Amree had come to many in Cortier and gave them comforting thoughts of their loved ones and that they were safe. It was reassuring. She had come to the dreams of the men of Cortier the night that Magnus had won the tourney. Old John, Chief Bili and Colonel Paks all said they had a visitation and discussion with Fring, though. Old John was told to go to his son and send him from the Emporia to help Magnus. The other two were told to make it so that Magnus and John both could leave if he so chose and that should information come back to Cortier of his wherabouts, that they should remember it but not tell Ferdinand, for old oaths he had given would cause him conflict.”
Fring was probably laughing but it was so. His oaths to the Coteries were superseded by his oaths to Magnus. But he had known those people for years. One was the father of his wife. How did he hide from them any knowledge of where Magnus was or had gone. His lieutenants were right that they could keep track of Magnus If they had such word and need not share at all with him. That would certainly solve such a problem. Again a solution that surely tickled the god of jests, tricks, and that which was humorous.
The Overlord of Haltoria would not attend. He was old now and soon one of Laurene’s brothers would take over. Three of them, all equally capable, but he did not think that all wanted the responsibility. Especially as they now would have more duties then their father thought he would have when they were born. As Ferdinand was married to Laurene, he too could be nominated for such a position, but he was very happy running his emporia and trading house. That Laurene was the daughter of the Overlord had recently been made known to Duke Mikal and Duke Beacons. Duke Franklin knew but he was told once more at the same time as the other Royal Dukes so that he could feign surprise at the revelation.
The Camorian representative also would not attend. General Zacharia Carter was in Camoria attending to the needs of his position as Council Leader. His son, a quarter finalist in the Imperial had returned to Camoria, as had his daughter, the wife of Duke Mikal Korman, the Emperor’s right hand. Mother Carla had come to them all to say that development had proved unexpected. At first Ferdinand thought it was a bad idea. But the Goddess Nuln wished it.
Then Ferdinand had found that the girl despised her husband and was in no danger of falling in love with him. Further, when Magnus was brought to teach the son, Ferdinand saw the gods hands in that gesture. Just as he had guided Magnus for all those years, perhaps that was the plan of the Gods, to have Magnus befriend the boy who was the son of a monster. Or also to provide a poetic end to the Royal Duke. Mikal had killed Magnus’ parents and one of his true uncles. If and when that happened, it would make for a legend and strangely enough, many Emperors had legends. It was something that the gods seemed to like to arrange.
Students of history would note that there were more than ten emperors who had nothing much to them, sons of heroic men, just to be caretakers of the empire. Men who should have known to live in peaceful time was something to be relished. Those men took effort to fabricate such legends for themselves. Debunked in the generations that came after them. Probably again at the hands of the Gods guiding historians and theologians to do so. Thus there were those with heroic legends and those with legends making them cast even more evil then they probably had been.
In other news, it is time then to choose the next project. I am at nearly 30% of all my writing being Regency related, and have spent a great deal of time lately doing Fantasy. So with a goal of trying to put out 4 regencies a year, or 40% of the books I write being Regency now, I think that is the next task.
Elsewhere, two nights ago the Packers won their playoff game. Now to fight the Bears for a trip to the SuperBowl. That would be nice. I also finished reading the first Lord Darcy mystery courtesy of Project Gutenberg . Not quite the background I was looking for to compliment a story I am thinking about in the Steam and Thunder universe, but a start.