Interludes – A Councelor to Kings
Illustration by Mark Hansen
“Flaming earth!” Thissraelle coughed, “I’ve never been able to get used to that smell!” DeFrantis laughed and wrapped the soiled swaddle up, dropping it into a sack at the side of the bassinet. Thissraelle blinked, “Seriously, DeFrantis, how do you do it?”
“Hand me that cloth sitting there,” DeFrantis instructed with a laugh. Thissraelle obliged, unfolding it. Tari giggled as DeFrantis tickled her while wrapping her up.
Thissraelle smiled, in spite of her complaint. She mused, almost unintelligibly, “I was a solitary child. I didn’t have any younger brothers or sisters to care for, and I grew up in the hall of the Wizard’s Guild. I’ve been around adults all my life. Or, well, at least near-adults.”
“And now, you get to marry a man-child!” DeFrantis laughed again.
Thissraelle rolled her eyes. “True! But he’s grown up a lot since we first met him. Go figure. Being lit on fire by dragons would do that to you, right?”
“All done! All clean!” DeFrantis cooed as she picked Tari up and nuzzled her nose. Thissraelle held out her hands and DeFrantis smirked, “Oh, so I’m good to change her, but then you want to hold her?”
“Yeah. Of course.” Thissraelle just shrugged.
As she passed the babbling baby to Thissraelle, DeFrantis chided, “Well, you’ll be doing all this soon enough anyway. So, why didn’t Eddiwarth stay?”
“Now that’s an interesting story.” They walked down the hall back to the library. “How much do you want to hear?”
DeFrantis flashed an eager and only partly sarcastic smile, “Oooh! Is it juicy?”
“No, it’s just long,” Thissraelle sighed. “OK, remember when I said earlier that we spent some time in Emberfire City getting my parent’s home back in order after the dragons attacked?”
“Yeah.” DeFrantis pushed open the library door, stepped through, and held it for Thissraelle and Tari. “You said that your parents were safe, but that the house was half destroyed.” They sat back down on the floor and the baby started crawling toward a big leather ball.
“Right after I found Eddiwarth again, after the whole ‘unburning’ thing…” Thissraelle’s heart skipped as she remembered. She took a deep breath and continued, “Well, I was just glad to have him alive. He had been gone for over half a year, and then I saw dragons spitting fire on him. It was terrifying. I’ve never been through a week so horrible in all my life. Thank the Creator that he lived. That’s all I can say. After going through that, for all I cared, we could have vanished off into the Vast and spent the rest of our lives away from everyone else.”
Thissraelle brought her knees up to her chest and hugged them tight. “But there was so much left to do. The city was in ruin, his friends were gone or killed or traumatized, the whole situation was beyond us all. Right away, I had to go find out if my parents had survived. I assumed that Eddiwarth would go with me, but he was worried about the city and his friends, and so many other things. We argued. It was a big fight.” DeFrantis’ eyes widened and Thissraelle nodded, “Yeah. Our first big fight, right after getting reunited. I was so scared.”
“You guys fought all the time here in the monastery!”
“That was nothing by comparison. I couldn’t stand to lose him again, but I almost wanted to kill him myself,” Thissraelle chuckled, then frowned. “It was tough.”
DeFrantis leaned in, intense. “What did you do?”
Thissraelle gestured pulling her hands apart. DeFrantis gasped and slapped her palm over her mouth. “You broke up?”
“No! Not that. But we did split our ways for a time. Heathrax helped me get back to Emberfire through the Vast, and Eddiwarth stayed in the City for a week or so. I found my family and started helping them put life back together. He and Parith spent a lot of time in Twynne Rivers trying to track down one of the better noble houses that had survived the burning. They wanted to give them the crown to try and establish some sort of order.”
“Yeah, that’s been a real struggle there from what I hear.” DeFrantis nodded.
Thissraelle agreed. “He also found his own family, but it was difficult. They’d been able to escape the fires in the city, but their house had burned completely down.” With a wry smile, Thissraelle added, “And it wasn’t Eddiwarth’s fault this time!”
DeFrantis just raised a confused eyebrow as she reached for Tari. The little girl’s eyes were droopy.
Thissraelle continued, “Eddiwarth came back to Emberfire soon after and started helping rebuild.” She blew out a breath and rolled her eyes. “But he brought his parents!”
“His parents! To stay?”
“Yes! And his little brother. I was completely surprised. Well, what was he supposed to do? They had no place else to go! But he should have at least checked in with me first. My mother was not pleased. I mean, it was bad enough last year when her daughter brought human, and dwarven friends home for just a little while,” Thissraelle raised her voice in mock horror, “but this man had gone and married a non-elf! And lived among the humans! Never mind that she also spent all those years in the big city tipping glasses with rich humans. Oh, well. Now they’ll have a half-elf for a son-in-law, and they can’t do a thing about it.”
DeFrantis shook her head. “But where is Eddiwarth going now?”
“I’m getting to that,” Thissraelle chided. “So, after a month or so of trying to live all together in this one house–granted, it’s a big house, but still–Eddiwarth and I flew back to Twynne Rivers. We had more things we needed to do. We looked for one of Eddiwarth’s friends who had been with him that night, someone named ‘Shylayye’ or something like that, but we never found her. We went to the southern Umbrawood to the academy where Korr had trained. We had a beautiful and horrible memorial for him there. It was very hard. The monks all sat around candles singing low haunting melodies and I just sat with them and bawled.”
DeFrantis put her hand on Thissraelle’s and squeezed. Thissraelle fought back tears again. “It was like dealing with Granthurg’s loss all over again. Eddiwarth was sobbing as well, and Parith was with us, too. I had hoped at least to see Illariel again, but she wasn’t there.”
“I think you met her last winter when everyone was traveling…”
“The spider girl?”
Thissraelle nodded confirmation. “When we finally got back–”
“How were you zapping all around the kingdom like this? The Vast?”
“No, we’ll have to re-establish some of the old portals now that the Seekers are gone.”
“The Seekers? Who are–”
“Are you going to keep interrupting me or can I get to your original question?”
DeFrantis laughed, reached over her baby, now cradled sleeping in her arms, and pushed Thissraelle’s shoulder.
“Ghorax, the dragon you just saw, carried us. That’s a whole other story for another time. So, anyway, when we finally got back to Emberfire, there was a message, a very formal letter waiting for Eddiwarth from the head of house Northil.” DeFrantis’ raised brows showed she was impressed. Thissraelle continued, “My father apparently had that same reaction. They were all excited to see what it was. When Eddiwarth opened it up, it asked to set up a meeting to discuss the establishment of the new kingdom in Twynne Rivers. They needed his advice and guidance. Can you imagine that? My father was stunned. The look on his face was priceless!”
DeFrantis gasped. “I have no idea what to say to that.”
Thissraelle’s eyes widened, too. “I know!”
“A counselor to Kings?”
Thissraelle laughed and nodded.
DeFrantis sucked in a breath. “Creator help us all…”
Author’s Note: Councelor to Kings
So, at the end of book 3, Eddiwarth was offered the crown of Twynne Rivers. He didn’t feel like he could do the job, so he rejected it.
Now, those that want to restore order and calm to Wynne are asking him for to be their counselor. How strange that this kid who could barely use his magic and had no self confidence now suddenly is the counselor to kings. Some people remember what he said in the palace the night of the fight, and now they need his advice.
A counselor to Kings. could you imagine that?
Become a Patron!