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* Plot Informaton for Scelt

Scelt is a Territory in turmoil and peace is tenuously held together by the Sceltic Queens. Rivalry between the Clans errupted into horror for the Territory that resulted in many dead, on both sides, and culimated in Clan Sheane being outlawed in the Territory. Further troubles plague the Territory in a variety of manners - Landen villages are raided, Courts are attacked, and no one seems to be safe.
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Author Topic: Unexpected Consequences  (Read 554 times)

Description: attn: Maeve

Offline Loreniel Killan

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Unexpected Consequences
« on: Feb 24, 18, 02:59:39 PM »
(Timeline: ~ 7 Weeks after Unlaced & Dangerous.)



Ever since the attack on Loreniel at Castle in Tuathal she had acquired a constant shadow – though the Court insisted on calling it an “escort”. The males in her First Circle took turns watching her day and night and ensuring her safety at every moment of every day since the attack.

Several weeks after the Court had laid Brighe’s body to rest, Brogan had returned to his post at the Court of Tramore. He had become a constant companion for Loreniel following the attack, and her source of comfort while she healed both physically and emotionally. She took solace in knowing that as much as Brogan was helping her through the difficult time, she too was helping him as well. The presence of his Queen had soothed the Warlord Prince and brought him a rare peace.

They had been careful to hide the fact that the solace their shared went beyond friendship. Brogan’s Gray had gone a long way to providing them a much deserved and needed privacy. When they had returned to the Killan Estates they had ensured that their couplings were not done within the Estates themselves, for fear that craft could give them away. Certainly during those weeks she had learned first-hand why Brogan had always had the first choice of woman to bed, and where the reputation had arisen from. Equally he had been granted similar insight into the Queen’s particular skills and enthusiasm, and indoctrinated into an appreciation for a Black Widow’s libido.

Saying goodbye to Brogan had been particularly difficult when he’d returned to Tramore. They’d intentionally not discussed his role as First Escort, or the fact that Loreniel and Kean had been seeking a stand in while Brogan served a secondment in Tramore. They had not discussed what this sudden physical relationship meant for the long term. She had sensed he wanted to ask something of her, but was fearful of the impact to the wondrous bond they had just forged.

The ravine between Loreniel and Eamonn seemed to have grown even more severe since the attack. It was made worse by the revelation that Brighe’s mind had been manipulated by a Sheane Black Widow who wore the Sapphire Jewel. Though he served dutifully within her Court the close friendship that had been growing between them seemed forced when they saw one another and it broke Loreniel’s heart further. She worried that what she now had with Brogan would interfere with her ability to befriend Eamonn further. It was a mess, and she didn’t know how to fix any of it.

After the last two mornings she feared it was only about to get worse.

Loreniel clutched the sides of the basin in her wash room tightly and with determination – she would not cry. Her stomach churned again and she closed her eyes in anticipation of the pain and dry heaving that would accompany it. There had been very little in her stomach to begin with, and now there was nothing left. She hadn’t even had breakfast yet.

*Loreniel?* Boisil, this morning’s guard, brushed her mind with his own Sapphire Jewel. *What’s wrong?* His touch was gentle but it was enough to set off the tears, and the heaving. *I’m coming in.* He declared before the door to her suite opened.

Big, stupid, Highlander! She thought in annoyance.

“Are you ill?” He asked with fear touching his tone. Poison was one of the scenarios that her Court had specifically prepared for, after all Kean was nothing if not thorough. “I’ll get Maeve.” He declared, but did not move from her side. Gently he brushed her hair back from her face before reaching for a towel and wetting it. He held that to her forehead while Loreniel moaned with pain, and a hint of dread.

























Offline Maeve Doyle

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Re: Unexpected Consequences
« Reply #1 on: Jul 17, 18, 08:55:50 PM »
“Lady Doyle, your presence is required in the Queen’s suites.”

The guard at her door startled her from her reading, causing her to drop the book into her lap.  Truth be told she had been daydreaming more than reading but she wasn’t about to let him know that.  The formality of his words told her that this was Court Healer summoning, not Maeve summoning.  So she grabbed her examination satchel with some of her more basic tools of craft and followed him from her Healer’s rooms towards the wing where Lore had her bedroom. 

A light rap on the door was all the signal the two guards posted outside gave before opening the room to her.  She knew the ins and outs of the court intimately.  What might seem like a nothing sort of gesture was meant to signal the guards who were INSIDE that the entrant provided no risk to the Queen.  Given recent events though, she still received a serious look over by all the guards.  At first it had irked her, now she didn’t give it much of a second thought.  They had reason to be suspicious, the Queen’s dearest friend had attacked her.  A Healer, who had intimate contact with the Lady, could be an even more dangerous adversary.

 She heard the sound before she even fully entered the room, the awful nerve jarring sound of someone horribly losing the contents of their stomach in the washroom and based on those sounds, it was not the first time nor the second time this morning so there probably wasn’t much coming out anymore.   Maeve lifted her hand and lightly placed a shielding over her nose to keep the scent out of her nostrils.  She had a pretty strong stomach, and the sound wasn’t enough to bother her too much but smell…  smell was a powerful catalyst.

Lore was kneeling beside her wash basin, a cool washcloth pressed against her face as she took in long slow breaths.  Maeve gave her friend and Queen a look of complete sympathy.  There was really nothing you could do to look dignified and composed when your stomach rolled mercilessly.  It showed all over your face, the posture of your body, even your hair.  Lore looked a mess.

“Lady,” she said with a slight bow of her knee.  “Let’s get you off this floor and into bed.”  She motioned to the guard who was holding the washcloth who wrapped one arm around Lore’s waist and pulled her to her feet and towards the bedroom.  She glanced at another guard.

“Have a servant bring me some sliced ginger, a pot of hot water, a cup and a bowl.   Some day old bread wouldn’t be amiss either.”  She turned towards the windows and opened up the panes, bringing in a current of warming morning air.   Task to air out some of the worst smells out of the room to help settle Lore’s stomach, she went over to the bed and sat on the edge, her practiced hand removing the washcloth and gently touching her forehead and cheeks.

“Eat anything new or unusual?” she asked softly,  her hand moving down to press against her pulse as she counted silently.  Always better to eliminate the most common culprits, especially with a bunch of twitching males already high strung and nervous.  Her pulse was a little fast, but that was probably because of the ejecting job that her stomach had been performing.  “How long has your stomach been upset?  Besides the usual, have you been throwing up anything discolored… any blood?”

Maeve’s hands travelled down to her friend’s solar plexus, pressing with delicate fingers to feel for any sore spots, maybe anything that felt inflamed or infected.  “Does this hurt?  Your last moontime, was it fairly normal or did you notice perhaps it seemed heavier or more painful?”

A thought.  A whisper she had caught and dismissed because people loved to talk and tell stories, inflating the truth for their own amusement and nothing was juicier fodder than court gossip.  Lore had been spending a LOT of time with the males in her circle, obviously for protection but a few names had floated to the surface as being spotted much more frequently than the rest.

Giving the guard at her side a glare meant to indicate he should move to the other side of the room for some privacy, she whispered softly, “When WAS your last moontime?

Offline Loreniel Killan

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Re: Unexpected Consequences
« Reply #2 on: Aug 27, 18, 12:01:25 PM »
All the signs were there but Loreniel was stubbornly refusing to acknowledge them.

Boisil had held a cloth gently to her head between bouts of heaving and was humming a Highland shepherd’s tune in an attempt to keep her calm. Or perhaps to keep himself calm, as she could sense the tightness in his muscles despite his every effort to be gentle with this Queen. This was a warrior on edge and Loreniel could only guess that her state of distress was the cause.

Maeve arrived and immediately took charge while Loreniel tried to protest being treated like a child. Except her body was exceptionally weak and the words came out mumbled and incoherent. Boisil picked her up like a rag doll, to add insult to injury, and deposited her with the utmost care and gentleness upon the bed per Maeve’s instructions.

Loreniel only noticed Toag Dunning in the room when Maeve began ordering him around as well. Boisil must’ve called for additional help, but bringing the burly Toag into the equation seemed like overkill to Lore. The two men would be better served practicing sword forms in the courtyard. They did not need to be taking on the role of nursemaid to their ill Queen.

Perhaps if Brighe hadn’t died she would have taken their role in these circumstances, but now her guards were even more precious and careful around her.

“No.” Lore grumbled in reply to the question about eating anything new or unusual. Though Sorcha had taken over the running of the kitchens there was a distinct lack of innovation since Brighe’s death. She repeated the mumbled “no” to the subsequent questions that Maeve asked with clinical efficiency; she certainly had not taken the role as Court Healer due to nepotism but due to her strengths and skill sets.

At last – there was the question Loreniel had been dreading to answer even to herself: ”When WAS your last moon-time?”

Boisil had stepped a-=side to let Maeve while Toag had left the room to fetch all the supplies that Maeve had requested, not trusting it to any maid or footman. No, a member of the First Circle would be the one to fetch the ginger and water for the Healer, of all absurdities.

“It’s late.” She confessed with a hint of panic in her tone. It had been nearly a month since her last moon-time and she dare not count back to when she had Brogan in her bead, for certainly she knew what such thoughts would lead to. And it was a reality she was not yet willing to face. Not while she was struggling to control her stomach. Perhaps not while she was trying to regain control of her own damn Court. And never mind the disaster that was her Territory. There was too much responsibility in her life for her to add the additional complication of a child.

























Offline Maeve Doyle

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Re: Unexpected Consequences
« Reply #3 on: Nov 08, 18, 08:37:19 PM »
Maeve’s lips pursed slightly.  It was very unlike Lore to be less than utterly on top of all manners of her life, so to forget a contraceptive brew was very unlike her.  However, given the utter turmoil that her court had been experiencing it could have been an understandable lapse.   Well, that was water well past the bridge and over the fall and past the next district, as her mother might have been want to say at one time.  No point focusing on the hows, best to focus in on the what nows.

“How late?” she asked gently.   She would have noticed something as important as a pregnancy when Lore had been attacked and she had done a thorough examination of the Queen, not to mention the poison would have and could have attacked such a fragile condition and would have certainly led to a miscarriage, another thing that would have been noticed.

No, this was after the attack.

Maeve looked around at the men in the room, suddenly feeling a little frustrated with the number of eyes on her friend and Queen.  “Can you all just… I don’t know, turn around or something?  I need to examine Lore and she doesn’t need everyone gawking.”  Her voice was short and snippit and she would probably have to apologize later for rubbing the fur on the males the wrong way later, or maybe not.

Motioning with her hand, she bade Lore to relax as she performed a very careful examination, whispers of craft flowing through her hands.  It was a very delicate time for mother and child and from here on, Maeve would have to examine Lore without craft but baring waiting several months for physical signs and confirmation, this was the only sure course of action. 

There it was, so light and faint that it felt like the wings of a hummingbird against her mind but she could never mistake the sensation for any other.  A rapid heartbeat, small and faint and so very very fragile.   Maeve pulled back and nodded to Lore.

“You are pregnant and there’s a heartbeat so I would guess close to two months along now, give or take a week.  You absolutely cannot even try to use more than basic craft unless you want to risk losing the child and you should have one of your males draining your jewels at least once a week to be safe.  They don’t have to out rank your strength,” and a certain Grey Jeweled man’s face flashed in her mind, “but they should be able to pull enough that your Sapphire is mostly drained.  Widow’s Craft is absolutely out of the question.”  Her voice took on a stern tone.

“I want you resting at least an hour every day after midday meal.  Sleep would be best, but laying around being lazy will be alright, and I mean rest.  Not laying in bed reading letters and petitions.”   She knew what a workaholic the Queen could be.  “I’ll get one of your men to sit on you if I have to, and we both know with the mood that is riding all of them, they will do it.”   Nerves prickled along the back of her neck, tension at the thought that Lore might stubbornly do something to endanger the life of such a precious gift.

She watched as the man who left returned with the ginger and hot water she had asked for.  “Drink an infusion of the ginger tea in the morning before you attempt to eat anything for breakfast. For now,  keep your meals small and frequent so you don’t encourage your stomach to revolt.  Bread will be good, avoid spicy foods for now.”   Maeve reached down and took Lore’s hand in her own, patting it gently.

“Congratulations Lady, now don’t be a stubborn ass and heed my advice alright?”

On a psychic distaff thread she said gently, *Should I summon someone in particular?* her heart beating nervously at the name that Lore might wish to see in this very delicate moment. 

Offline Loreniel Killan

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Re: Unexpected Consequences
« Reply #4 on: Nov 11, 18, 08:43:55 AM »
Denial had been easy to embrace before Maeve had appeared in her chambers. If she didn’t accept the truth than it wouldn’t be true. The logic had been sound while she’d been doubled over a basin and her males hovering like mother hens. It seemed less plausible after Maeve began her own version of the Dhemlanese inquisition, asking endless questions about Lore’s health.

Why couldn’t the answer simply have been food poisoning?

Or even just poisoning?

No, the answer had to complicate her life to the extreme. Only she would manage to get pregnant in the wake of all that had been going on. Only she could so monumentally screw up her fledgling relationship with Eamonn Sheane by letting another man impregnate her. And only she would manage to get pregnant by her long-standing friend, whom she knew was in love with her, but who she kept pushing away.

Until she could no longer push him away and pulled him closer in comfort.

Darkness damn that Black Widow nature which had sought solace in the only way it knew how – physical, raw and emotional. Both Brogan and Loreniel had seemingly needed that connection in the dark time after Brighe’s death. They were both floundering with grief and a heavy amount of shock, unable to correlate the dangerous attack by Brighe with her gentle nature and kind soul. The world hadn’t made sense and neither had their (several) couplings, but it had felt right at the time.

“A month.” She answered Maeve weakly.

Toag had returned with the water, ginger and lemon when Maeve turned on him and Boisil. He placed them at the foot of the bed before looking to Loreniel. She nodded, giving her assent, and both men turned around to face the wall. Strangely she was amused to watch as both men, one kilted and the other wearing trousers, obeyed the orders of the Healer stoically. She watched as they shared a questioning look between one another, but trusted that they would not start rumours in the Court. Though she was certain it wouldn’t be long after this interrogation that Kean would at least find out what was happening, the Steward had an uncanny ability to be aware of everything going on beneath the roof of the Court. Especially when it pertained to his Queen.

A sense of vulnerability unlike anything she had felt before washed over Loreniel.

To be forced to be Jeweless in this Territory, in this climate, would put her in a very dangerous place. She was an independent woman who didn’t want to rely on her males so heavily to protect her. Lore was a rare Queen who had learned to fight for herself, to hold a sword and go toe to toe with an enemy. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust her males to help drain her Jewels but it was such an intimidate request to force upon an already stretched Court. And a lot of pressure to put on the men as well. Already she was devising a way to have a rotation so the task didn’t always fall upon the same Court members time and time again; Quinn, Toag, Drostan, Kean, Eamonn and Brogan all wore her Offering or Darker and could help facilitate the draining.

Another thought passed through her mind. Would she be forced to name a Proxy Queen, like Lady Evesham had done in Dharo? Lore wasn’t certain that Honora would be up to the task and she didn’t trust any other Queens in Scelt enough to give them such power. Her grandmother had never been forced into such a situation when she had been pregnant, so perhaps it was a sign of Dharo’s strange politics and not expected outside of the shark infested political waters of Dharo.

When Maeve threatened to have one of the men sit on her she glanced at Boisil and Toag, and swore she thought Boisil’s shoulders shifted with a suppressed laugh. That traitor.

The instructions were clear and concise, but she wouldn’t have expected anything different from Maeve’s clinical efficiency as a Healer. They were still difficult to digest, however, and she was still mulling over the idea of forced naps and tea before breakfast when Maeve took her hand.

Congratulations? Loreniel was still reeling from the revelation and being forced to accept this reality. In the matter of minutes Maeve had confirmed everything Lore had been desperately denying for several weeks.

The psychic thread touched the edge of Lore’s conscious and she focused with significant effort to hear Maeve’s voice in her own mind. The Queen had always been challenged with psychic communications but could listen with some effort, even when she could not manage to reply. It was a well-kept secret within her First Circle, and few critical members of the Second Circle. But sometimes it was the only way to privately get a message through to the Queen without a room full of guards necessarily hearing each word and syllable.

Maeve wanted to know who to summon. Who would Lore want to share this news with? The father of the child, obviously, and she was gentle in the suggestion. It would have been a fair assumption to think it had been Eamonn, if the Prince and Queen had not actively been avoiding each other for a long time. After the reckoning at the Court of Denford he had never quite looked at Loreniel the same, even after she had fully Healed. Their relationship had grown strained and challenged in that time but the bond still stood between them. She had slowly been breaching the distance in hope of rekindling something between them but then Brighe’s death had shocked the Court. And instead of turning into Eamonn’s arms for comfort she had found shelter in Brogan’s embrace.

“Can you ask Brogan to come?” The words were whispered, but she had no doubt that Boisil and Toag both had heard them. In fact she caught a glimpse of Toag quickly glancing over his shoulder with surprise before Boisil nudged him to turn back around again.

























Offline Maeve Doyle

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      Lene

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Re: Unexpected Consequences
« Reply #5 on: Mar 10, 19, 05:06:05 PM »
Maeve watched the emotions play across Lore’s face as she neatly tucked the Queen into her bed and pulling the blanket up over her.  Her examination hadn’t been quite so personal in nature but it was still daunting to have so many eyes in the room during such an important scanning, hence why she wanted the men to turn their backs.  Given the body language however, it didn’t seem like their minds were far too removed from the ongoings.  Maeve guessed that is what made them such effective guards.

Maeve sat down the edge of the bed, her hand resting on Lore’s shoulder.  “I often hear from other mothers-to-be that I have examined that this is the time where excitement and fear and devistation dance hand in hand.  Especially when the babe is most unexpected, there is the vulnerability that comes from being pregnant for a woman that is even worse than what comes on our moontimes.  At least those are short, pregnancy lasts for months.   It’s understandable that someone in your position has even more trepidation, especially with recent…” she didn’t finish the sentence.

Their mutual friend’s death was still fresh in her heart. 

“Brogan?” Maeve felt something close to relief flutter in her stomach to hear Lore’s request.   Brogan was a dear friend and it could be nothing more than Lore requesting a strong Bonded male at her side, one of her oldest friends.   It could be just that, but something in the way she said his name gave weight to the idea that in this delicate time, it would only be correct to tell the father of the growing babe first before rumors and Court gossip spread.

Still acknowledging of her Queen’s command, she reached out on the Blood Opal, which was as close as she came to his Green and said, *Brogan, can you please come to the Lady’s chambers?  It is important but not threatening.*  The formality of the phrasing to indicate this was Healer to Queen’s First Circle and not Maeve asking for Brogan the man.  In any other occasion, it could have been less formal but this was Loreniel and this was of political importance.

Still friend or not, she was her Queen first and foremost and as her Healer, there was one thing she could say that was going to either offer comfort or insult but it was her professional duty to do so.  Leaning in, her arm going around Lore’s waist in the appearance of a friendly hug, she whispered close to the other woman’s waist.   “Forgive me Lady Loreniel but have to ask.  Do I need to prepare you a special brew, one that can deal with this unexpected consequence?  It is early enough that this can be dealt with in a discrete and safe manner if you should so choose.”


Offline Loreniel Killan

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Re: Unexpected Consequences
« Reply #6 on: Mar 24, 19, 12:53:46 PM »
Never in her life had she felt so overwhelmed by her circumstances and especially her emotions as she did in this moment. The reality of the situation was slowly sinking into the Queen’s clever mind and it parsed through all the possible repercussions, both political and personal, with alarming speed. Loreniel was a woman of action and sitting here while her stomach roiled in complaint was beginning to frustrate the Queen. Would she allow herself the time to sit and analyse this information? Or would she simply begin taking action?

At the moment she wanted to wallow a bit longer in self-pity, but she inherently understood that she needed to address this news with her Triangle and First Circle before the morning was over. There would be several minds focused on the tasks of managing the news, creating a plan of defence, and figuring out how to run the Territory. Those problems she could solve by delegation. The problems she faced on an interpersonal level could not be solved so easily and she would need to address both Eamonn and Brogan individually to discuss the situation.

Maeve had always been mature beyond her years, even when growing up, so having her delicately offer advice was reassuring to Loreniel. She had often looked up to the Healer while they were growing up. They were such different women at their very cores, the gentleness of a Healer compared to the snark and business of Loreniel’s Black Widow and Queen combinations, were like night and day. Yet there was a gentle comradery that brought them together over the years that Maeve served in Loreniel’s Court and bound their friendship from childhood to an even greater sense of purpose.

“Thank you.” She told Maeve after the Healer called for Brogan. With or without craft Loreniel never would have been able to manage such a simple task; which was a secret well kept by her Court, who were very used to playing messenger on behalf of the Queen.

Knots tied in her stomach as she imagined what she would do when faced with Brogan. She feared he would read too deeply into this situation and have expectations on which she could no deliver. Loreniel could never be what Brogan so desperately wanted but in a moment of weakness she had given him hope. And from that hope sprung this disaster – she stopped that thought before it could fully form. No, this would be a positive point in her life and she would never regret what came from it. No matter what danger that meant for herself or the Court she kept.

“No.” She glanced at Maeve with steel in her hazel eyes. “This is the child of my soul and though I may not yet be ready to face her, I have time to find the nerves.”

Loreniel was unsure which route would have been more selfish – bringing a child into the world she lived in was at it’s core a selfish decision after all. But she had built this powerful Court and commanded a Territory who were terrified of her very second nature. She had faced impossible odds in the past and had become the victor, and she would again this time as well. For the prize would be well worth the fight. A daughter (and she was certain it was a girl) born of Killan and Devlin blood, and if she was true to her Clan and dynasty that girl would be a Queen destined to rule Scelt like Loreniel, and her ancestors before her.

























Offline Brogan Devlin

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Re: Unexpected Consequences
« Reply #7 on: Mar 24, 19, 01:30:43 PM »
He was overdue to return to his secondment with the Court of Tramore but Brogan had found it difficult to pull himself away from his family and friends at this difficult time. For Brogan Tramore felt like a constant battle that he would never officially win, but would be fighting until his last breath. No one in the Court trusted him, not even to do the job he had been assigned and selected for due to his Gray Jewel. No one in the Court seemed to even tolerate his presence, not even the Queen who had demanded it. And yet he was expected to return promptly and leave the comforting embrace of his Queen, Court and family.

Brighe’s death had taken him heavily by surprise. She was not a fighter, like he and their brothers, nor was she considered a political pawn of any consequence. Their enemies had so often overlooked Brighe for being a Hearth Witch that the family had long ago assumed she was the least vulnerable of the Devlin women. Not that they had spent any considerable time protecting Honora these past few years, he thought with a sense of guilt, but at least they had acknowledged that their adopted sister was extremely vulnerable as a Sceltic Queen. She had successfully re-established a Court whom they had collectively trusted to protect her in their absence, and thus far had done so admirably.

*Brogan,* The gentle touch of the Court Healer’s mind voice interrupted his thoughts. It was probably for the better less he go down a path of melancholy and become trapped for another day in feelings of guilt and bitterness. *Can you please come to the Lady’s chambers? It is important but not threatening.* Maeve clearly had a strong handle on the emotional state of the Court and Brogan to have framed the request so carefully. All the men in Loreniel’s Court had been on edge since the attack, and those who were Darkness bound to her felt it even more powerfully. Each man felt as if they had let the Queen down to allow her to be attacked by someone they all trusted, and there was a sense of confusion within the Court. Though the source of the attack had been traced to a Sapphire Jewelled Black Widow Sheane, they had not found the culprit herself. It was likely that she had already fled the Territory and was being harboured in Little Terreille by others of her exiled Clan.

Without hesitation Brogan dropped the practice sword he had been using against a straw figure and started heading for the family wing of the Court. The other guards had made the straw figure for him to practice with after he’d delivered one too many bruises and a broken bone to his sparring partners. The dummy was spelled to take his abuse and reassemble if destroyed and it gave him a target to take out the bulk of his frustration and anger upon.

He nodded to the guard outside Loreniel’s room who let him pass uncontested. Toag and Boisil both stood with their backs to the Queen, who lay in bed with Maeve at her side. Was she sick again? His heart lurched in his chest but he calmed himself with the echo of Maeve’s earlier words – “not threatening”. They glanced at one another, then at Brogan, and took their leave shortly after without uttering a single word. Whatever was happening they had determined that Loreniel would be safe under Brogan’s careful eye. He sensed as they took positions on either side of her chamber door.

“Is everything okay?” He hovered inside the door not knowing if he should kneel at Loreniel’s side or expect the Queen to send him packing to return to Tramore. They both knew he had overstayed his time here in Kilvary and that it was only a matter of time before he was sent back to Tramore.











 

 

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