Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Mâvarin Revolutions: Final Instructions, Part Six

Wow. It looks like nobody got around to reading the previous entry. Short of a truly crippling level of lurkiness, I don't think anyone could have read it through and failed to alert me that I repeated the opening block of text at the end! Well, no matter; it's fixed now.

Good news: King Jor finally told me what he has in mind about how to handle the royal succession when he dies. Can you guess what it is?

The Mâvarin Revolutions

Fragments from a Work in Progress

by Karen Funk Blocher
© 2007 by KFB

Final Instructions, Part Six
(With Fayubi's magical help, dying King Jor of the alternative version of Mâvarin has just summoned witnesses to hear him to name a successor.)

Prince Carmi. Original art by Sherlock; combined with photo and colorized by KFB“Wait for what?” Prince Carmi asked impatiently.

“We need more witnesses first,” the King said. Fayubi didn’t like the feverish look in King Jor’s eyes. But if the old King was to make the decision Fayubi had thrust upon him, he needed to do so without interference. Fayubi hoped the result would not just increase the death and destruction to come.

Lieutenant Govan was the next to arrive. “I don’t suppose you know where Commander Masan and the Princess are, do you?” King Jor asked him.

“No, Your Majesty. Have they gone somewhere?” Fayubi couldn’t tell for sure, but he suspected Govan was being disingenuous.

“Apparently so.”

“Do you want a search mounted?”

“That depends. If we were to find them, would it help the situation?”

“I do not understand the question, Your Majesty.”

“You don’t? Well, neither do I, really,” the King said. “What I mean is, I’m a little concerned about the security around here. If you find Princess Cathla today, will she be alive tomorrow?”

“I…I don’t know, Your Majesty,” Govan managed to say.

“That’s exactly the problem, isn’t it?” the King said.

“Why wouldn’t she still be alive?” Prince Carmi asked angrily. “She always does exactly what she wants, and nothing ever happens to her. Why would today and tomorrow be any different?”

“Because today or tomorrow, I’ll be dead,” King Jor said.

“Don’t say that,” said Carmi.

“Why not? It’s true.”

Carmi shook his head. “Even if it is, what does that have to do with Cathla? It’s not like she’s going to fight me for the throne.”

“Are you certain of that?” Jor asked.

“Of course I am,” Carmi said. Fayubi wondered what else Prince Carmi’s wife and mother had forced him to believe.

“And if Cathla is my designated heir instead of you, what then?” King Jor asked. “Will you fight her for the throne, as you put it? Will your mother do so?”

“Mother would support me,” Carmi said. “She always has. But Cathla can’t be the heir. Not while I’m alive. I’m the male heir.”

“So was Ari Selevar, two centuries ago,” Lt. Govan said. The man sounded nervous, but to his credit he said it anyway. “But it was Queen Torla who ruled after Epli, not her brother,” he continued.

“That was a long time ago,” Carmi said between gritted teeth. “And you’re dismissed. Forever.”

“You forget, Carmi, that I’m still the King, and I want him here,” King Jor said mildly. “And if you’ll take my advice, it’s not a good idea to remove someone from his position for daring to state a fact.” Govan looked at him gratefully, but said nothing further.

“What good is your advice to me, Father, if according to you I’m not going to take the position I was born for?” Carmi asked bitterly.

“I didn’t say that,” King Jor told him. “I asked what would happen if I were to designate Cathla as my heir? I did not say that was my decision.”

“Then what is all this about?” Carmi nearly shouted at the dying King.

“This is about preventing a war,” King Jor said. “And I think I’ve just about worked out how to do it.”

(Original art by Sherlock; combined with photo and colorized by KFB. Originally of Carli (Del), but also depicts Prince Carmi.)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Mâvarin Revolutions: Final Instructions, Part Five

Here we go, the last bit of this particular scene, and the next scene with the same characters. I was going to stop at the end of the first, but the second is short, and more interesting, and my handwritten draft ends 83 words later. I actually have no idea yet what Jor is talking about, but we'll get there. - KFB

The Mâvarin Revolutions
Fragments from a Work in Progress
by Karen Funk Blocher

© 2007 by KFB

King JorFinal Instructions, Part Five
(With Fayubi's magical help, dying King Jor of the alternative version of Mâvarin has just summoned witnesses to hear him to name a successor.)

Guardsman Medor burst in. “Your Majesty, what…what was that? Are you all right? Did you want to see me?”

“That was a request, no, I’m dying, and you’re just one of the people I want to see,” the King said. “I suspect I will have quite a few visitors shortly. They are all to be admitted except my Queen and my daughter-in-law, Do you understand?”

“But the Queen—

“—has no authority over me except what I cede to her. Please tell her, if she turns up, that I said that if she loves me, she will not interfere with this meeting. If she does interfere, she will live to regret it. Can you do that?”

“I…yes, Your Majesty. I think so.”

“Good man. Don’t worry. It will be all right. I think. Now, go wait for my guests, please.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“I rather enjoyed that,” Jor remarked when Merc had left the room. “Too bad it’s my last chance to do anything interesting.” He looked pale but contented. His hand trembled as it lay on the quilt. “I don’t suppose you know a healer who can save me.”

Fayubi shook his head. “Sorry. I know a number of healers, but the only one better than Dimider lives far away in the other world. My contacts assure me that she could do nothing for you that he hasn’t already done.”

“Ah well, I expected as much,” the King said sadly.


The first to arrive was Prince Carmi, accompanied by his personal Guard. “What is this all about, Father? I’m certain that I heard your voice in the Sun Room just now, but it seems impossible.”

“Yes it does, doesn’t it?” the King agreed. He had no intention of explaining about the invisible visitor at the foot of his bed. “I need to make an announcement, Carmi. I don’t think you are going to like it.”

“It’s something to do with my sister, isn’t it? She looked awfully guilty earlier, when I saw her sneaking out to the stables with her Guard Commander lover.” Jor did not like the look on his adopted son's face as he repeated the usual Palace gossip about Cathla and Wil Masan.

From Carmi’s point of view, a moment of silence followed. For Jor, however, the moment was filled with Fayubi’s less jaundiced assessment of the Princess’s actions. “We may be too late, Your Majesty. That was probably Princess Cathla’s attempt to escape being murdered when you die.”

Jor’s conclusion was much the same as Fayubi’s. “How long ago was this?” he asked Carmi.

“About half an hour. Maybe a little longer.”

“Might she still be in the stable?”

The Prince shrugged. “I suppose. She’s not in the Palace, that’s all I know. The Guard at the back door says he hasn’t seen her since she went in the stable.”

“It’s not all that hard to get from the stable to Prince Street without being seen from the Palace side,” the King said. I’ve done it myself.” The thought that such exploits were long since behind him made Jor a little sad.

“Well, yeah, if your horse is a good jumper, or you don’t mind climbing an eight foot wall that’s guarded on the other side,” Carmi said. “But why would she bother?”

If Carmi didn’t understand the danger to his sister, Jor realized sadly, there was no easy way to enlighten him. “So Cathla has fled the Palace,” Jor said, more to Fayubi than Carmi. “That complicates thing. Hmm. There’s an idea.”

“What are you going to do?” Fayubi asked.

“What idea is that?” Carmi asked.

“Wait and see,” the King said.