Part 43

The Elite Twelve and The Unwilling King

 

To the west, spread across the land like a dark plague, from the seas and jungles of the far north to the scorched wastelands were six large empires governed by the ‘Six Lords and Daughters’. This was The Kings Legacy, his wide realm. Had Alleia conceived Pepes child, then The Northern Clan Territories would have also fallen under his command. Such was the greed of The King, such was his corrupted poison.

News of his death, of the slaughter of his only son, his beloved wife, reached the sisters swiftly and they called a council with their Husbands. A fierce collection of titles. Duke, Marquess, Earl, Baron, Viscount, Lord. Ranked in order of superiority in accordance with the age of the Daughter they wed.

They were gathered now around a huge solid table, headed by the heir apparent… The eldest son of the eldest daughter, the lineage following direct male descendants of The King, with The Prince also dead, the title fell upon the shoulders of Jago. A grown man with children of his own, he had given up the idea of ruling when The Prince was born and that morning he had not anticipated awakening to the news that he was by right now King.

He sat silent at the head of the table, watching his parents, aunts and uncles bicker and squabble over details and speculation in fear. War was inevitable, yet everyone also wanted to protect their own land and their own interests. Some even suggesting that the ruling city was left to the barbarians, that they protected their own boundaries, safely hidden away in grand palaces and counting their riches, cutting their costs and basically letting traitors get away with murder.

Jago listened, he read through reports handed to him by eager messengers. Chaos erupted around him as the family dissolved into bitter arguments. Each of those in attendant had provided an inventory of their troops and supplies available for war. Jago anticipated those numbers to be false and calculating the forces he would need would be impossible as no one could judge just how large the barbarian forces were or how many were involved in the uprising.

He stood, the simple action drawing silence from those seated, a hush fell across the room as they waited for their King to speak.

“There will be war.” He spoke firmly. “We can not let our capital city fall into the hands of these rogues. We will unite our forces and reach out to the Northern Clan Territories, hopefully they are unaffected by this mayhem. They have a formidable navy, which could present a risk to the Jungles lands far north if they have been compromised.” There was rumbling and mutterings throughout the family. “However, we can not act without more facts, all we have is hearsay and rumors. We need information and my daughter has offered to lead such a patrol, until we know what we are dealing with we shall prepare. Secure defenses, unite our resources, strengthen our boarders, man our fleet and awaken the dragons!” The last order drew a gasp. The dragons had not been employed in war for many centuries. “I would prefer to see the capital city raised to the ground by dragon fire than violated by barbarian scum.”

Finally, that was something everyone could agree upon.

 

Anne Harrison 07.03.17

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