The Secrets of Kings: Episode 11

7:30 AM

Gweneva: Clarity Sect Council  Woman

July 7, 1390, 11:17 AM

The July heat was beginning to rise as the noon hour approached. Coupled with the layered weight of her garb, Gweneva began to feel a bit faint. She was due to meet with the King, but his prior engagement must have run longer than initially scheduled. As she leaned over the stone balcony of the King’s quarters, she peeled back her veil to allow the cool sea breeze to kiss her flushed face. She closed her eyes and enjoyed it for a few moments before completely removing her headdress and running her fingers through her long black hair. She felt an even more satisfying relief come over her as the breeze passed through the paths she had forged with her fingers.
She looked to the pier, where a tiny version of the ship she rode in on rocked rhythmically to the tune of the steady tide. A twinge of jealousy arose within her as her now miniature crew frolicked in the shallow waters of the shore. However, she was glad to see them both taking some time to enjoy life while simultaneously fending of the effects of the intense heat.
“Gweneva!” She heard an exuberant voice express from behind.
She turned quickly and smiled when she found her old friend behind her. “Corbin! My goodness old man! How long has it been since we’ve actually come face to face? Five years?”
“Just a bit more than that, I’m afraid. Remedy was still in the womb at our last meeting and you had just become a new mother yourself.”
“That’s right!” She exclaimed. “Thank goodness for messengers, which have, at the very least, kept us in touch.”
“If only that method of correspondence were quicker.” He mused.
She nodded her head.
“Take a seat, old friend.” The King gestured to the table and chairs, closing the distance between them and assisting her as she sat down.
“Tell me, Corbin, how is young Remedy?”
“Doing well...Doing well…” He hesitated for a moment. “If I’m honest though, I fear he feels a bit isolated from time to time. He does not complain much, but I know he sees the other children playing around the city and I imagine he wonders why he cannot join them.”
Gweneva nodded, vast empathy clearly showning across her face. “I imagine it is hard, but Remedy is the heir and these times are fraught with danger. Someday Remedy willl understand.” She reassured him. “What of our Veiled Lady?”
“She is well… Takes wonderful care of the Prince.”
“What of my brother? Have you heard anything more?
“That’s why I’m here. It seems he has been seeking to court the Princess of the Kingdom of Ashford. If he wins her hand and curries favor with her father, this could be bad for Frowena.” Gweneva explained. “This Kingdom has been out of Ashford’s good graces since the Great Battle.”
“All due to my brother’s lies!” The king lashed out, pounding his fist upon the table.
“You and I know that. But up North, he has the entirety of the border region and, from what I hear, several of the Kingdoms to the North convinced that you are guilty of horrendous war crimes.”
The King let out a frustrated sigh and slumped a bit in his seat. He looked at his old friend’s face for a long moment. It was clear that he was at a loss as to how to begin remedying the diplomatic and political mess in which he currently found himself.
“What do I do about this, Gweneva?” He asked in desperation.
“Perhaps we can help one another out.”
The King perked up a bit. Leaning forward, to take in the thoughts of one of his oldest and wisest friends. “What are your thoughts?”
“The Sect’s leader has floated the idea of moving my post, just across the Frowenian border...”
“Ashford or Hillmont?” The King questioned.
“Ashford.” The King nodded in her direction, beginning to understand. “ The sect is much more active in Ashford’s political sphere. I could get information to pass to you, perhaps it would even give me some sway there.”
“It might put you in danger. I’m not sure I could ask that of you.”
“You haven’t asked. I’ve proposed. Frowena is my true home and I would risk it all before I see it fall to the likes of your deviant brother.”
“So that was the quid, what is the pro quo?” The King asked.
“As you said, it could be dangerous.” Gweneva hung her head in deep consideration. “Frowenians are already not well liked in Ashford. I’m not sure that it would be wise to bring Gadrien along with me regardless of whether I turn spy for the Kingdom. I could leave him with members at my current post, but with all that has happened over the last several years, I am not entirely sure who to entrust him to for such a long period of time…”
The King nodded. “Go on.”
“Remedy needs a playmate. Gadrien needs a caretaker while I am gone. Perhaps you would be willing to take him in.”
“Of course.” The King didn’t hesitate for even a moment. “But are you sure you could be away from him.”
“Missing your children is just a cost of taking on a leadership role. It will be for longer durations, but he is already quite used to not having me around. At least with this arrangement, he would have some consistency and I would feel confident that he was well cared for and safe.”
The King looked her in the eye. “You and your son are always welcome. It would be an honor to have him here. I suspect that Remedy and Gadrien will be fast friends, just like their parents.” He smiled softly at her and she smiled back.
The sweet moment between old friends was brought to a swift halt with a loud and frenzied pounding on the door to the King’s quarters, followed by two Knights barreling into the room.
Both the King and Gweneva rose with alarm.
“Your Highness!” One of the Knight’s called out, intensity in his voice. He walked onto the balcony and spotted Gweneva, causing him to walk back the severity of his tone a bit.
“My apologies your highness, but we have an extremely urgent matter developing.”
“What is it?” The King asked.
“Perhaps we should speak privately.” The Knight  suggested.
“No need. Gweneva is a close friend.”
The Knight hesitated for a moment. Unsure whether he should proceed with a woman in the room.
“Well...Out with it!” The King commanded.
“It’s the Princess.” The Knight began. “She’s missing.”

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