Tales of Regventus Book Two: Keene

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Chapter 25

Golnar sat in the study off the throne room with Philo Quick and Till. It had been a week since Philo and his soldiers had gone to the forest to kill the young king. They had come back battered and confused.

“So, have you figured it out yet, what exactly happened? How did you and your soldiers just appear in the field behind the library? It doesn’t make sense,” said Till shaking his head.

“I have no explanation. I have never seen anything like it. I had just gotten up from being slightly injured when suddenly I was in a tree in some field. I’ve talked to my soldiers, they said the king, his protector, and a woman did some kind of spell. They said they threw everything at the three of them, but nothing worked. I still can’t work it out.” Philo put his head back against the chair.

Golnar looked up. “Who was the woman? Why was she able to do this with the king and his protector?”

“It was Gryphon Keene.” Philo shrugged. “I’m not sure why she would make any difference. She is from an old magical family. The Keene’s have been allies to the line of Adalwen since King Nathin. Perhaps there is some old magical bond there at work.”

“What they did was impossible, you do realize that don’t you? It had to be some very powerful magic,” said Golnar thinking of what he could do with that kind of power.

“It was, I could feel it. The power coming off the three of them was overwhelming. I’ve never experienced anything like that in all my years using magic,” said Philo nodding.

“You are sure?” asked Till. “You didn’t just retreat to save your old friends, did you?”

Philo laughed bitterly. “You think I consider Ansel or Gryphon my friends? I went to kill the young king, but getting rid of Ansel and the last of the Keene’s would have made me very happy. I and my soldiers were sent back to Aurumist against our will. It shouldn’t have been possible, but it happened.”

“I would like to see and experience this magic of the young king. Perhaps we shouldn’t kill him after all. We need to rethink our strategy, but not today. We have to crown our king. It’s almost time,” said Golnar standing up.

Philo and Till stood up as well. “If you want to get to the young king, you will have to find a way around his protector and his guards. This young king would be very vulnerable without his protector,” said Philo walking with Golnar to the door.

Golnar nodded. “Let’s talk about this next week.”

Golnar opened the door, and they all walked out through the throne room and entry hall into the bright fall day to walk to the temple to witness the coronation of the king.

The coronation of King Kedan and Queen Teryn took place in the temple of the Ancients. Words were said, vows were made, and crowns were placed on the heads of the handsome king and his beautiful queen. The newly crowned couple made their way through the inner circle of the city to the palace with much fanfare and cheering. Golnar watched as Kedan smiled and waved. The people of the city lined up to catch a glimpse, and to celebrate their new king and queen.

King Kedan and Queen Teryn made their first royal appearance on the grand balcony off of the ball room. Many in the city crowded in to see their king. Golnar stood in the ballroom with Till watching Kedan wave. It seemed this decision of crowning a king was very popular at least in Aurumist.

“Well, that went well,” remarked Golnar turning to Till. “I suppose he will be busy with his pretty new crown for a while.”

Golnar turned to leave when he heard Kedan start to speak. That wasn’t part of the plan. Golnar turned around and walked closer to the balcony with Till to hear better.

“I am humbled and honored to be your king,” said Kedan. The crowd quieted when they realized their king was speaking. “I hope to be a good king and to rule fairly. The kingdom is made up of many different people with many different abilities. All people are of worth.

“For Regventus to truly be a great kingdom, we need to acknowledge that we all need each other. I pray to the Ancients for peace and prosperity for all of us. We will work together to strengthen our kingdom and each other. Take care each other, show kindness, and humility. I swear to you I will keep you safe and work towards all having a place of stability in the kingdom. Queen Teryn and I hope to serve for you many years.”

The crowd erupted in applause and shouts.

Till turned to look at Golnar. “Pretty words from our king today.”

Golnar was seething. “Dangerous words. We may have a problem on our hands. I will talk to Kedan, but if he doesn’t fall in line, we will find a way for this to work without him.”

Golnar stormed out of the room leaving Till to watch him go.

____

Max walked out on the back lawn with a message in his hands for Griffa. He found her sitting on the grass with Ansel as they looked out into the fields.

“Here, Griffa, this came for you from Hector Delis. I thought you would want to read it,” said Max handing Griffa the message as he sat down beside her.

“Thank you, Max,” said Griffa as she looked at the unopened message. She placed it in her lap and breathed in. “I know we are still pretty much where we were last fall, but I feel like something has changed. I feel like there are so many new possibilities for us and the kingdom.”

Max could feel it too. He nodded. “I didn’t know what would happen when I came here. I know now that I belong here with both of you. I think we can do this. I really do.”

Griffa grabbed Max’s hand and gave a squeeze. Max could feel the now familiar sensation of her magic meeting his and interacting.

“What about you, Ansel? What do you believe?” asked Griffa.

“I believe you should read your message,” answered Ansel turning his eyes to Griffa. “I also believe that the blood of Adalwen is meant to be on the throne. We will win the throne, and our king will reign.” Griffa leaned her head on Ansel’s shoulder for a moment before sitting up and opening her letter.

“Is your shoulder doing better, Ansel?” asked Max as Griffa read her message.

“It’s like nothing ever happened,” responded Ansel, rotating his arm.

“Issa feels awful about the whole thing. I tried to tell her it’s not her fault, but she still blames herself,” said Max sadly.

“She shouldn’t. It’s not her fault,” said Ansel looking at Griffa as she stood up.

“It’s definitely not her fault,” proclaimed Griffa. She turned to walk towards the house. Ansel and Max stood up with her.

“Where are you going?” asked Ansel.

“I’m going to go write Hector Delis. It seems a member of the Ring has disappeared,” said Griffa as she walked. Max and Ansel fell in step besides her on either side.

“Who?” asked Max. He knew whoever it was the one who betrayed them to the forces in the palace. The oath they took with the Ring said they would be banished from Abscon.

“Gorm,” said Griffa. “His house is deserted. His wife is gone as well. He must have planned this and left before he could be magically ejected from Abscon. He is to blame for our ambush.”

“He always was chummy with Philo. We should have known better. What are you going to write Hector?” asked Ansel as they got to the backdoor.

Griffa stopped and looked at Ansel. “He wants my opinion on who should join the Ring.” Griffa handed the message to Ansel. “I’m sure he meant it as just a courtesy since I am a Keene, but I find I do have an opinion on the matter.”

Ansel read over the message quickly. “Do you know who you are going to recommend?” Ansel looked up from the message.

“I know exactly who I am going to recommend,” replied Griffa with one of her mischievous smiles. She turned and walked into the house as Ansel and Max exchanged glances.

Three days later found Max walking next to Griffa on the way to a meeting with the Ring. Max was dressed in a dark blue tunic with a golden sun stitched on the chest. Ansel was in his protector’s uniform of a black tunic with a large tree in silver on the front. He wore his hat low, but Max could see Ansel staring at Griffa for most of the walk.

Griffa was dressed in her black dress with the feathers on the waist. Her cloak with the large Keene sigil of the red and gold falcon fastened together across her neck. Her hair was piled high on her head in a braid. She stopped by the statue of King Nathin and bowed with a smiled before turning to the Gods and doing the same. She then walked to the door of the Ring meeting hall and took a deep breath, before opening the door.

Griffa held her head high as she waved at the small man who worked at the front of the hall. He only bowed as they passed. Griffa didn’t knock at the doors of meeting room. She opened both doors and walked in with confidence. Max and Ansel flanked her sides. As they walked into the room every head turned towards them.

“You just stroll in here now, eh girl?” asked Helmer. “Hector hasn’t even started the meeting.”

Hector looked at Griffa nodded and then turned to Helmer. “It’s not my meeting to start, Helmer. Everyone on my right will need to shift down to fill in the traitor’s chair. You too, Helmer, go to the third chair.”

“Whatever for?” asked Helmer as he stood up and moved down.

“To make room for the leader of the Ring of Nine,” said Hector as he took a seat in Helmer’s vacated chair.

Max watched as Griffa walked up to the first chair and stood behind it. Max and Ansel walked up to stand behind her. Max could see a small smile on Ansel’s face.

“I am Gryphon Keene the oldest and only member of the Keene family. I claim my right to this chair. I ask for you allegiance to me, the Ring, and our king. If there are any dissenters, let them speak now.”

Max cut his eyes in Helmer’s direction. He was looking at Gryphon as though he would object, but he sat silently. The rest of the room was quiet.

“Good,” said Griffa sitting down. “Now, we have been on the defensive too long. We have played too nice and safe. We have hidden away in our village, and left the kingdom to the mercy of those who would destroy it. We will hide away no longer.

“We need to come up with a plan to place our king on the throne. Regventus will be the kingdom it was meant to be, and we will make it so. Please bring two chairs to the table and place them on either side of me.”

The chairs were brought in, and Max sat on Griffa’s left as Ansel sat on Griffa’s right.

Griffa looked up and around the table and said, “Now, may the gods guide us in our discussions, and may we always remember the responsibility we owe to one another.”

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