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Posts Tagged ‘Lord Darcy’

Milestone day

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 Packers.com%2CtheofficialwebsiteoftheGreenBayPackers.rSSbN83RQlrt.jpg 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 PastedGraphic2.PJFpz9D1DBvs.jpg mystery courtesy of Project Gutenberg ProjectGutenberg-freeebooksonlinedownloadforiPad%2CKindle%2CNook%2CAndroid%2CiPhone%2CiPodTouch%2CSonyReader.lyGH2v260pF5.jpg. 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.

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Had been sick for a few days and had an appointment so that cut into my writing time the first of the year. Reached the 400th page in the 2nd of our KoTohLan series where our gamer, the grandson of an emperor, quests to right the wrongs that our occurring under the dynasty that slaughtered his family. There is some of the PastedGraphic.Ptzx8h30jj2N.jpg Camber of Culdi threads in this but very small. I am trying to think of when dynasties have been changed and then someone emerges from a previous dynasty to lay claim and challenge the usurpers. It happens in fantasy and generally, except for magic, much of what occurs in fantasy has already occurred in our world. Or in the bible. Just can’t think of anything.

Reading Group Bust
Went to speak to another reading group, but only two ladies really s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​howed up. The group had been rescheduled from November, and since then the organizer had a tragedy and dropped the ball. In the end a group of Mah-jong players were drafted in to eat the free bagels and muffins and listen to me speak. A total of nine ladies and no one new purchased my book​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The End of The World 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic.x7F2Z1xRGB6R.jpg

Murder Mystery in Steam and Thunder
While thinking of things to write about going forward, and having been thinking of setting a romance in the Steam and Thunder world I remembered some murder mysteries I had once read. The Lord Darcy series by Randall Garrett. PastedGraphic2.NfK3GpT84kkB.jpg Here we have another Sherlockian like sleuth who deduces the cause of the crime and guilt of the perpetrator through magic based forensics. Well, why not have a sleuth in my own universe for the Steam and Thunder era, a pseudo SteamMuck era novel combining an industrial age that comes on the heels of the Medieval, without a Renaissance era might well fit. No magic, for in this technology is the magic as the world is still very much that of the medieval era. I have the idea for the body, and some red herrings, just need to see if I can place the body where I want effectively. You always need to start with a body.

I did mention that I had been sick. Came up late Wednesday night and I slept for an hour and woke at midnight. Could not get back to sleep. I remained awake for 22 hours, losing everything in my stomach throughout Thursday. Friday was better and I didn’t lose the contents of my stomach. I kept food down, barely. Saturday and Sunday I even dressed. By sunday I was hungry and the Packers Packers.com%2CtheofficialwebsiteoftheGreenBayPackers.vKpl5hm0z7LF.jpgwon their playoff game!

For those who have been following the saga of our attempt to move, the seller disappeared and we could not close escrow. So we have to start all over. However the deposit we placed in escrow, they won’t return to us since they say they need the signature of someone no one can find. I am totally livid over this. Escrow and our agent and the sellers agent say they have tried to reach him. Who cares. They all came up empty. Now give us back our money. We have so little, so it is a business decision. Not a legal one. There really is no fair law in the US. It is how rich you are now. The rich bend the laws to suit them. We really are far from what we started out to be.

For my next installment of Hoveria, the beginning of Chapter 4.

4) Entering Hoveria

Magnus knew that things were different once they crossed the border. He had let Jack talk to the men and knight who stood guard there. Paying six bits for each horse and two for each man. “Tolls are relatively cheap, but there are a lot of them. They pay for the upkeep of the road of course, as there is no longer an Imperial tax to do so. Carts of merchandise are more heavily taxed, and a herd of cattle, well everyone wants their piece and wars have been fought if a lord thinks to charge so much that the breeder can’t get any profit because of the tolls.” Jack was going to prove a wealth of information that would supplement what he had learned as a trader.

Cortier had learned to pay once a season to all the lords whose roads they travelled, enough that the lord did not itemize each steer, man, or cart that moved across their territory and traded with the lord. It made for a better system. Cortier also sent men who were not easily insulted or let loose with such too. Men who could defend themselves and their charges.

“If you utter an oath against a man or lord, you best be prepared to use your blade to back it up. We are not foolish, we will not insult you back if we do not think that in an affair of honor we have a chance to remain alive. Some are though, and some think themselves so good with a blade that they will insult all to establish how good they are. Most though are smart enough to know that is a fools game,” Jack looked at Mischa and further enforced the discussion of Mischa only saying what came into his mind when they were alone.

“Saying something another man could take as challenge when he is not with his friends is discouraged, for it shows your own cowardice. And doing so in front of his friends is stupidity for then he will have to challenge you else lose honor in front of his friends.”

Master Farthing said, “There is a great deal of Fellane here, but we would never instruct a warrior that they must think if they are with their friends, or alone, or do they know the skill of the man who insults them. An insult is met with the blade. Understanding, or learning who is better skilled could indeed prove deadly, but insults to you, your family, your clan are not to be bourne.”

“Shame that that Emperor’s peace does not run to Fellane any longer than,” Magnus said. He held up his hand quickly to stop Master Farthing from taking any umbrage, but the old man was at least sixty and could be eighty as he sometimes claimed. He also claimed he was in his seventies. Magnus actually thought he was not so much unsure is that he felt different ages of older, and expressed it so. “I should not like to be a citizen of the Empire and see so much blood spilled as the young men try and decide who should be the rooster in this pecking order. These skilled men are needed for the armies. Look at Camoria. If we were to read anything but the games papers we would know that General Carter has made every man, from sixteen to twenty serve in it’s army for the barbarians across the passes threaten them. You will recall that Adam Carter the Council Leader’s son played in the tourney against the winner of the Imperial and they had some conversation.”

Magnus had not confirmed that the Duchess was his lover, but that he was friendly with her, they all knew. They all also thought that she was his lover, which of course she was. He was very worried about her, but knew that should Duke Mikal ever figure out that they were lovers, her life would be forfeit. The Duke would not stop until he killed her. They all did know that as she was the daughter of the Council Leader, he was concerned with Camorian affairs. But Magnus hoped that his entry into Hoveria showed he also cared about the land that Jack came from. If Magnus ever did wish to become emperor, then he would have to be fair to all his people. That was his thinking. He might favor one kingdom over another, but it should be short lived. If he did it long enough as Joss showed favoritism for Ottoria, then the rest of the empire would never accept his reign well, just as now so much turmoil had beset the Krache rule.

“Master Heironymus,” Young John said, “Do you think that the princes and their armsmen can remember the oaths they gave to the Emperors of Karnexia? Can they temper their swords and their angers?”

“Good point. Mastering themselves is taught even before we teach a man to pick up a sword. As I have taught you, there are many ways to do so, but only one is correct.” The princes of Fellane had many rituals, and lifting your sword was one of them. In a little over two weeks, Magnus believed that all of them had made a conscious effort to please the old Master by following his instruction. Magnus remembered he had lifted his sword in the accepted manner that morning. Fortunately there was not a particular way to mount a horse.

There were a great many rituals, such as for drinking Cjafe, but not beers or ales. Cjafe, a tea particular to Fellane, though Fellane boasted many other teas that it exported. Cjafe left the country only bound for it’s own nationals. Cortier could not trade Cjafe, only the trading houses of Fellane could. He had tasted it, as a guest of some of Fellane, but he was forbidden to buy it. Inevitably some of it would be found on the black market in Karn. There was always such a market, but the traders of Cortier wisely avoided purchasing it there as well. If it were known that they had any, friends they had in Fellane would spurn them, as well as the members within the trading house who were of Fellane.

Magnus nodded to himself after listening to Master Farthing about honor. Some of that needed to apply to the men here in Hoveria.

Hoveria had been large, with few villages, most towns but lots of land devoted to great farms and ranches. Jack explained, “You saw that when we crossed there was a great castle. Count Hendricks is the descendent of the lord of the area. He had great lands and many vassals. When we joined the empire, any manor or other castle, the lord there who might have been a vassal of the Count, was placed in direct fealty to the Emperor and no longer the count. The count had perhaps 50 lords under him, with all the knights in fealty, and now he had five or six who did not have lands, or manor that needed to be defended. It was the way for the Emperor to take the nobles and the armies of the nobles away. But sometimes these great castles, really needed the manors under them to support the fees to have a castle.

Gratitude Log

  1. Coca-Cola–When I was sick at an early age, my father the pharmacist used to have us drink this to settle our stomachs. I still do.
  2. Packers–A team owned by the city, not a billionaire play thing. The Lambeau Leap. The Packers rule!
  3. Trader Joes–A great place to get food. A small market, (I remember the one in West LA just over by National with the really terrible parking lot since it was always crowded) but with a lot of great food crammed into it. It makes your taste buds sing.
  4. Lord Darcy–A great take on Sherlock Holmes. Do you suppose he is named Darcy because of a Jane Austen influence?
  5. Sherlock Holmes–The epitome of detective fiction, mysteries.

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Had been sick for a few days and had an appointment so that cut into my writing time the first of the year. Reached the 400th page in the 2nd of our KoTohLan series where our gamer, the grandson of an emperor, quests to right the wrongs that our occurring under the dynasty that slaughtered his family. There is some of the PastedGraphic.sSpf4F7d51Dg.jpg Camber of Culdi threads in this but very small. I am trying to think of when dynasties have been changed and then someone emerges from a previous dynasty to lay claim and challenge the usurpers. It happens in fantasy and generally, except for magic, much of what occurs in fantasy has already occurred in our world. Or in the bible. Just can’t think of anything.

Reading Group Bust
Went to speak to another reading group, but only two ladies really s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​howed up. The group had been rescheduled from November, and since then the organizer had a tragedy and dropped the ball. In the end a group of Mah-jong players were drafted in to eat the free bagels and muffins and listen to me speak. A total of nine ladies and no one new purchased my book​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The End of The World 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic.nwJRsvoY6p3a.jpg

Murder Mystery in Steam and Thunder
While thinking of things to write about going forward, and having been thinking of setting a romance in the Steam and Thunder world I remembered some murder mysteries I had once read. The Lord Darcy series by Randall Garrett. PastedGraphic2.a1qXrkCl71me.jpg Here we have another Sherlockian like sleuth who deduces the cause of the crime and guilt of the perpetrator through magic based forensics. Well, why not have a sleuth in my own universe for the Steam and Thunder era, a pseudo SteamMuck era novel combining an industrial age that comes on the heels of the Medieval, without a Renaissance era might well fit. No magic, for in this technology is the magic as the world is still very much that of the medieval era. I have the idea for the body, and some red herrings, just need to see if I can place the body where I want effectively. You always need to start with a body.

I did mention that I had been sick. Came up late Wednesday night and I slept for an hour and woke at midnight. Could not get back to sleep. I remained awake for 22 hours, losing everything in my stomach throughout Thursday. Friday was better and I didn’t lose the contents of my stomach. I kept food down, barely. Saturday and Sunday I even dressed. By sunday I was hungry and the Packers Packers.com%2CtheofficialwebsiteoftheGreenBayPackers.wrL8l3vF7WsD.jpgwon their playoff game!

For those who have been following the saga of our attempt to move, the seller disappeared and we could not close escrow. So we have to start all over. However the deposit we placed in escrow, they won’t return to us since they say they need the signature of someone no one can find. I am totally livid over this. Escrow and our agent and the sellers agent say they have tried to reach him. Who cares. They all came up empty. Now give us back our money. We have so little, so it is a business decision. Not a legal one. There really is no fair law in the US. It is how rich you are now. The rich bend the laws to suit them. We really are far from what we started out to be.

For my next installment of Hoveria, the beginning of Chapter 4.

4) Entering Hoveria

Magnus knew that things were different once they crossed the border. He had let Jack talk to the men and knight who stood guard there. Paying six bits for each horse and two for each man. “Tolls are relatively cheap, but there are a lot of them. They pay for the upkeep of the road of course, as there is no longer an Imperial tax to do so. Carts of merchandise are more heavily taxed, and a herd of cattle, well everyone wants their piece and wars have been fought if a lord thinks to charge so much that the breeder can’t get any profit because of the tolls.” Jack was going to prove a wealth of information that would supplement what he had learned as a trader.

Cortier had learned to pay once a season to all the lords whose roads they travelled, enough that the lord did not itemize each steer, man, or cart that moved across their territory and traded with the lord. It made for a better system. Cortier also sent men who were not easily insulted or let loose with such too. Men who could defend themselves and their charges.

“If you utter an oath against a man or lord, you best be prepared to use your blade to back it up. We are not foolish, we will not insult you back if we do not think that in an affair of honor we have a chance to remain alive. Some are though, and some think themselves so good with a blade that they will insult all to establish how good they are. Most though are smart enough to know that is a fools game,” Jack looked at Mischa and further enforced the discussion of Mischa only saying what came into his mind when they were alone.

“Saying something another man could take as challenge when he is not with his friends is discouraged, for it shows your own cowardice. And doing so in front of his friends is stupidity for then he will have to challenge you else lose honor in front of his friends.”

Master Farthing said, “There is a great deal of Fellane here, but we would never instruct a warrior that they must think if they are with their friends, or alone, or do they know the skill of the man who insults them. An insult is met with the blade. Understanding, or learning who is better skilled could indeed prove deadly, but insults to you, your family, your clan are not to be bourne.”

“Shame that that Emperor’s peace does not run to Fellane any longer than,” Magnus said. He held up his hand quickly to stop Master Farthing from taking any umbrage, but the old man was at least sixty and could be eighty as he sometimes claimed. He also claimed he was in his seventies. Magnus actually thought he was not so much unsure is that he felt different ages of older, and expressed it so. “I should not like to be a citizen of the Empire and see so much blood spilled as the young men try and decide who should be the rooster in this pecking order. These skilled men are needed for the armies. Look at Camoria. If we were to read anything but the games papers we would know that General Carter has made every man, from sixteen to twenty serve in it’s army for the barbarians across the passes threaten them. You will recall that Adam Carter the Council Leader’s son played in the tourney against the winner of the Imperial and they had some conversation.”

Magnus had not confirmed that the Duchess was his lover, but that he was friendly with her, they all knew. They all also thought that she was his lover, which of course she was. He was very worried about her, but knew that should Duke Mikal ever figure out that they were lovers, her life would be forfeit. The Duke would not stop until he killed her. They all did know that as she was the daughter of the Council Leader, he was concerned with Camorian affairs. But Magnus hoped that his entry into Hoveria showed he also cared about the land that Jack came from. If Magnus ever did wish to become emperor, then he would have to be fair to all his people. That was his thinking. He might favor one kingdom over another, but it should be short lived. If he did it long enough as Joss showed favoritism for Ottoria, then the rest of the empire would never accept his reign well, just as now so much turmoil had beset the Krache rule.

“Master Heironymus,” Young John said, “Do you think that the princes and their armsmen can remember the oaths they gave to the Emperors of Karnexia? Can they temper their swords and their angers?”

“Good point. Mastering themselves is taught even before we teach a man to pick up a sword. As I have taught you, there are many ways to do so, but only one is correct.” The princes of Fellane had many rituals, and lifting your sword was one of them. In a little over two weeks, Magnus believed that all of them had made a conscious effort to please the old Master by following his instruction. Magnus remembered he had lifted his sword in the accepted manner that morning. Fortunately there was not a particular way to mount a horse.

There were a great many rituals, such as for drinking Cjafe, but not beers or ales. Cjafe, a tea particular to Fellane, though Fellane boasted many other teas that it exported. Cjafe left the country only bound for it’s own nationals. Cortier could not trade Cjafe, only the trading houses of Fellane could. He had tasted it, as a guest of some of Fellane, but he was forbidden to buy it. Inevitably some of it would be found on the black market in Karn. There was always such a market, but the traders of Cortier wisely avoided purchasing it there as well. If it were known that they had any, friends they had in Fellane would spurn them, as well as the members within the trading house who were of Fellane.

Magnus nodded to himself after listening to Master Farthing about honor. Some of that needed to apply to the men here in Hoveria.

Hoveria had been large, with few villages, most towns but lots of land devoted to great farms and ranches. Jack explained, “You saw that when we crossed there was a great castle. Count Hendricks is the descendent of the lord of the area. He had great lands and many vassals. When we joined the empire, any manor or other castle, the lord there who might have been a vassal of the Count, was placed in direct fealty to the Emperor and no longer the count. The count had perhaps 50 lords under him, with all the knights in fealty, and now he had five or six who did not have lands, or manor that needed to be defended. It was the way for the Emperor to take the nobles and the armies of the nobles away. But sometimes these great castles, really needed the manors under them to support the fees to have a castle.

Gratitude Log

  1. Coca-Cola–When I was sick at an early age, my father the pharmacist used to have us drink this to settle our stomachs. I still do.
  2. Packers–A team owned by the city, not a billionaire play thing. The Lambeau Leap. The Packers rule!
  3. Trader Joes–A great place to get food. A small market, (I remember the one in West LA just over by National with the really terrible parking lot since it was always crowded) but with a lot of great food crammed into it. It makes your taste buds sing.
  4. Lord Darcy–A great take on Sherlock Holmes. Do you suppose he is named Darcy because of a Jane Austen influence?
  5. Sherlock Holmes–The epitome of detective fiction, mysteries.

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