Stefen’s new lady wasn’t occupying a bath to the north-east of the castle which had collapsed onto the plumber’s wife who was enjoying the new bath when the ceiling dropped – Stefen did like to make a point or possibly a good splash and he chose to do so in this case as the ceiling dropped into the new sunken bath.
Natomi was in fact to south-west where the Admiral’s bath was highly guarded; adjoining his bedroom and a very clean Lady later joined him without the bath roof falling on her, which is more than could be said for Griselda who found herself placed in the bath amongst the blood from earlier wash and left to watch the ceiling after it had been winched up – the soap suds weren’t there but the remains of the plumber’s wife were.
Unfortunately, Stefen believed that people such as Griselda learnt from lessons and he was wrong.
Soon after she was released, Stefen tried to talk sense into her. She grabbed her marriage knife, stabbing at his surcoat and the knife skated across breastplate under his surcoat whilst the Guards grabbed her, forcing the knife from her hand, “You are finished, Griselda. That is the last time you will kill anyone in my Kingdom.”
“Put her on a horse and if she or any of her Guards are still here by dawn tomorrow they will be hunted down and hung!”
Griselda was soon moving north at speed with her personal Guards but very little else as Stefen’s Guards pursued her – driving her from the territory. People watched as Griselda rode out – usually over people if she could. It didn’t really seem to matter to her as she rode through them and people prayed as they watched her pass, often dropping to their knees in the mud and the middens so she couldn’t see them. By dawn the following morning more people followed her as they considered their future prospects.
The immediate decision for Griselda was which direction?
Peter Jamesson she liked and thought he would bed her if only to spite Stefen Matira although he might regret it later with Griselda.
Griselda considered herself above all rules including loyalty … was that a reason for why she didn’t care … or just an excuse.
Griselda, almost under duress gave birth to three children, ignoring the first born as a matter of course.
Laseith was the greedy, violent domineering baby who always fought for the fullest nipple; Routani received constant head-butts as she tried for food, Mioned was under the guard of Bonnie Leligan and Brunie Dumie and fed by a wet-nurse but with her eyes bound twenty four hours a day by order of Peter Jamesson.
Queen Griselda, when the mood was on her would slept with anyone and Laseith had little in common with King Peter so it looked fairly obvious to everyone that Laseith and Routani had not sprung from Peter’s loins.
Most assumed, in private, they’d arisen from the Guard who was found with the dead Griselda – Gereft, with both now dead; people close to Peter were already silently questioning whether Machael Jamesson should have been woken from Stasis as this seemed to be his background but Griselda and Laseith had the same temperament and anger, and Machael could handle himself, but he was a man.
Almost in a fit of pique Griselda gave birth to Laseith, Routani and Mioned. Peter Jamesson attended the births; kicked the Magicians out of the room but wasn’t stupid enough to do the same to Bonnie Leligan and Brunie Dumie.
He’d made a point of seeing just how many babies were actually born but Griselda, as usual, set her own agenda and refused to feed the third baby who’d been born first and just laid on the bed as the other two aggressive daughters were delivered; already they were fighting each other for milk … Griselda did not like threes and took the two most aggressive to her breast. To Griselda, already the third baby didn’t exist.
Peter looked at the Guards and then Mioned … already her life would be marred by the aggressive Griselda daughters … a lot of thought went through his mind in a short time and his hand was on his knife belt as he thought until finally he said, “find her a wet-nurse and don’t tell my Lady who it is. Your lives depend on her life. Bind her eyes – if she cannot see it may protect her. You two Guards will look after her for her life and yours, and I name her the first born – Mioned.”
Griselda heard the words and her screams disturbed Routani but not Laseith who gobbled away like a demented weasel. Routani hearing the sound of Laseith returned to her own food.
The screams of Griselda made Peter Jamesson laugh, and he left the birth-room with his two guards and Mioned, telling the Magicians to get back into the room.
In Ascania with Laseith and Routani now firmly locked onto wet-nurses Griselda was already planning her future and working out how to kill rivals.
Her immediate thought was yes I will win although as she considered her future she knew she had to kill to ensure it. That she had children seemed a minor problem to ensure she ruled as without marriage she could never rule and she would split Ascan if she ever tried to become Queen but ruling was her life and her children would cement her position and Peter Jamesson’s as well, if she had her way.
Peter Jamesson hid his innermost thoughts as he sat down to dinner with Griselda that evening, having made sure the food tasters were very active before dinner was served. His blood still ran cold when he thought of being in bed with Griselda … it also ran into a lot of other places she had scraped her marriage knife up and down on him while she went insane as she climaxed.
He wouldn’t be rushing to her bed again or not until the scars faded?
Peter Jamesson still had no real idea who the father of Laseith and Routani was but Griselda and Gereft were both dead, so he would never know but again he had no idea who the killer was – Gereft had been executed as someone had to be but it didn’t tell him who had killed Griselda. Mioned was hidden and would stay hidden although she was now in a long room for most of the day – a table ran the length of the room with two doors at the end if Mioned could ever find her way to the doors.
She might not be a Princess but acted it and without Machael there was no direct descendent from Peter Jamesson to take over and she was trying to stop that however they released Machael from Stasis before Peter died and her personal Guard now counted as nil.
Mioned with her eyes bound couldn’t see anything but her hearing, smell and touch were now very acute. She’d smelt the candles and her senses felt the heat that would burn her and she also felt the nudges of other Guards as they past to try and throw her into the flames.
Now she felt arms take her very gently and she was moved.
She knew from the smell of air to her left a door was open and she could sense the steep steps and she was released to step out to a different smell and it smelt wet, if not damp. She put her hand out gently and felt feathers.
The stone was cold through her light slippers and many things are – especially the lack of a mother but then, who wants a mother to do nothing more than kill you but now she felt something warm and comforting. She could feel a mind looking into hers. Two people lifted her and her hands were gently guided to its neck, then the voice spoke in her mind.
It was something alive and as hands held her and strapped a belt around her she seemed very light; she vomited as she was lifted into the air and then lost the rest of her stomach as something in her head said, “if I left you behind, you would die. Some of us Rocs made a treaty with the wooden people – the few that still remain after the bombs and I am a Roc and my name is Taren Roc. We still seek a world but now we have to settle for an island; it’s called Dagril. You’ll need to bath and wash your clothes when we arrive, the small lake to the north east is better; I will just bath,” and then we need to find food?
Laseith didn’t take long to find the gutter although she’d now slit her gown to thigh-high and at a young age was already sizing men up as her mother did. Routani was more restrained but it wasn’t that difficult when compared to Laseith. Like Arturo, when out of the castle Laseith also sought temples although for some reason she chose the elven god – Alf as her temple which swiftly kicked her back into the street and she sought the Humanoid’s God – Astoron. The temple of Druncheon already knew her and that was another temple that had kicked her back into the street so there was only Astoron.