“So. The Rockdale pass is fortified.” Hewart drummed his fingers on his chin. That seemed quite a bold move to him. That was, after all, the best way through the Mourning Mountains into Clemongard.
“We should strike as soon as possible, Father.” Sturgund wanted blood. At this point, mused Hewart, Sturgund didn’t care whose blood it was as long as it was red. Patience was now by the wayside, what little of it Sturgund had possessed previously. Levonroth had expended enormous effort on discovering the plot that had nearly killed Hewart’s son, but it and its players were long in the wind, gone.
Sturgund insisted it was the Ormon bitch. Hewart was not ready to dismiss the idea, but nor was he willing to jump aboard with it, either, for to do so meant accusing the ruler of their ally of hundreds of centuries. And so he was faced with the uncomfortable task of finding excuses to put off his son’s sharp accusations, while neither rejecting the idea when only in the company of Levonroth.
What would the bitch have to gain? Hewart had quietly added more troops to the home guard here in the Castle just in case an attempt on his own life was made. Surely an attempt upon Sturgund’s life, which was supposed to have beheaded him, was meant to symbolize the end of his bloodline, from Crown Prince down, as beheading a snake, or so Levonroth suggested.
Well, whoever sent the order out didn’t send someone capable enough, for Sturgund survived the attack. Although his arm was still healing even now, and what a scar that would be….
Hewart wondered why Sturgund was so convinced it was Ormon. To be sure, women should never sit the throne, anyone with half a brain knew that. They were too flighty. Best for running a household, be it hut or castle. But a country, Hewart scoffed. Women knew their place, and it wasn’t on a throne, unless there was a man underneath them.
He gave Myrischka her due – she’d done fairly well on her own, but they were waiting until they found someone to take over. After all, they hadn’t found the son. And there had to be blood kin somewhere. If that fool Munsolryshe had kept better records, they’d have a king on the throne by now, not his Queen directing his men.
What’s worse, all he’d heard was how she’d killed the poor bastard. Stabbed him, slaughtered him in his sleep with a knife. Songs written about her, he’d even seen a puppet show last week about her. Why, she had the whole Land laughing at her.
Except, perhaps Sturgund. He wanted her head.
He also wanted to march west, with or without Ormon’s involvement.
Hewart was inclined to agree. Myrischka, she had her four hundred warships and at least as many troops as Hewart did by land. But why wait for a woman to authorize Hewart to march on Clemongard, or even south on Romeny? He scoffed. He thought not. On that much, he was in agreeance with his son, though not for the same reasons.
He had almost one hundred thousand infantry, a combination of cavalry, archers, and infantry, though mainly infantry. Cavalry he sent along the coast as mountains were no places for horses.
The main bulk of this battle was going to be Naval, Hewart thought, for the Western Queen had no Navy and he had three hundred ships who could fire on her coast and drop off men. Yes. He smiled. Yes.
Then he realized that he had just decided to declare war on Clemongard, and without consulting Ormon. The latter of which he couldn’t recall having happened. And the former… well. It had been far too quiet of late. Perhaps he would send a few troops back east and harry Romeny just for the fuck of it….