"The lady Tyri," scowled Lannik Septim, Lord of Tyor. "Send for her, no other."
He shook his head at the page boy once the young lad had departed.
Galloped out of the throne room like a frightened colt, he had, with
legs just as long and spindly! Lannik had no patience for sycophants.
He also had no patience for servants who took bribes from scheming
members of the Royal Court who wanted to replace his finest diplomat.
Gwenyvach Tyri had only been a scullery maid twenty years ago, but
her common blood did not mean common temperament as well. Very
quickly, this fine lass had impressed everyone with her suave speech,
witty turn of phrase, and keen knowledge of the Empire and its factions.
Right now, she was a crucial ally to try and convince to support a war.
"Yes, milord?" Gwenyvach entered, her honey-golden hair spilling past
her shoulders in a rather unkempt fashion. She looked rather distressed.
"Ah, Gwenyvach! I was hoping you were not occupied at the moment. I
must ask you--do ye believe in fate? Or ghosts, or dreams?" Septim inquired.
"Nay in ghosts, milord, but in fate and dreams, I do." The 'lady Tyri', as
Septim had referred to her, curtsied before him in demure, deliberate
fashion. After she had risen to her full height, she asked her Lord: "Have
ye been having any dreams that trouble you?" Gwenyvach was rather
adept at deciphering the hidden significance of such things--another of
her many talents. She was nowhere near as good as a certain Anubisite...
Septim nodded his head. "They came in black ships to destroy us, across
dark water," revealed the King. "We had no warning, as they came in the
night during a summer storm. By morning, we all were either dead or slaves."
A shiver ran down Gwenyvach's spine. "Tarim. Their ships are black. Made
of a strong, resilient wood soaked in pitch to seal out the water. Do you
"That they'd attack us?" Septim chuckled bitterly. "Of course. Who else both
rivals our military might and hates us for supposedly wallowing in decadence
and luxury? The Tarimi live like monks. Worse than monks if they're on some
spiritual quest. To me, the people of Tarim are simply jealous because we
have gold and they do not. What do they have? Fish?" Septim guffawed.
"That's why I think they'd strike without a second thought. And kill."
"Maybe so," said Gwenyvach, "but would they risk full-out Imperial war?"
"They might. That's what I have to find out. What we have to discover."