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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Valdemar world, characters, events belong to Mercedes Lackey and Tor Publishing

Tests of Blood - 31. Chapter 31

“I thought you knew better than to get stuck on the business end of a pike.” Lofar said to his son, causing Dalen to blush a bright red.

“I thought you said you’d retire from old age before you got to be Lord Martial.” Dalen countered, although he had to admit to himself it was kind of weak.

“You’re getting weak on the comebacks, son.” Lofar teased him and Dalen smiled, relaxing more than he could remember relaxing since the start of the war.

“I wish we were still back at Forst Reach.” Dalen said with a heavy sigh.

“You saw your mother recently.” Lofar frowned and a misty look was in his eyes. Dalen could tell his father still cared for her. “How was she?”

“In her element.” Dalen said and then gave his father a rundown on everything that had passed between him and his mother. When he was done, relating her final words to him, Lofar sighed with relief.

“I will never forgive her for pulling us out of Kata’shin’a’in.” Lofar said firmly, but again his eyes expressed his true feelings. “Still, I do love her.”

“Infuriating, isn’t it?” Dalen chuckled softly.

I don’t think I will ever understand your family. Jadev said plaintively in his head and Dalen burst out laughing. His father stared at him before shaking his head. Dalen opened his mouth to explain, but his father held up his hand.

“I’ve been around Heralds all my life, son.” Lofar said with a gentle smile. “I know when a Herald is talking to his Companion and the sound of a Herald’s laughter when his Companion tells him a joke. I must admit I despaired of you ever reaching this point, and half-feared it as much as you did.”

“Really?” Dalen asked before yawning. For all that he’d been asleep for six days and hadn’t left bed at all, he was getting exhausted.

“Really.” Lofar said with a smile as the Trainee gave Dalen a very sharp look filled with concern. “I’ve also been around quite a few Healers over the years. That look on his face means I need to leave before he kicks me out and you will be told to drink some more water, then he will check to see if you need to use the bedpan, and he will finish up by telling you to get some sleep.”

“How do you…” The Trainee started to protest, but realized that Lofar was probably right, and that talking sharply to the Lord Martial of the Guard wasn’t exactly a good thing. He could get away with talking to Dalen that way. Dalen was a Herald and was the patient. Lofar wasn’t either of those things.

“Get some rest, son.” Lofar said. “I believe we have an appointment with you tomorrow where we’ll talk more. Until then, I’ve got plenty of things to keep me busy.”

“Take care, father.” Dalen said and let the Trainee practice his nonexistent bedside manner on him. He did use the bedpan, if only to make the Healer Trainee carry it out of the room himself, and to his dismay he was asleep before the man reached the door.

Dinner was better than lunch, if just barely. In addition to the paste, which seemed to be made from some type of green vegetables, there was a decent-tasting broth made from chicken stock, and broth-soaked bread. His visitor for dinner was Blake, who took turns comparing his food to the contents of Jadev and Radev’s oat buckets and filling him in on the various happenings among the Heralds.

“We had the ceremony for those that we lost in the Battle of the Gates.” Blake supplied with a slight frown.

“The what?” Dalen exclaimed.

“They’re calling it the Battle of the Gates.” Blake explained. “It came from something one of those Tayledras said about Gates not being used that much since the time of Urtho.”

“Oh.” Dalen said with a shake of his head. The bread was filling his stomach, and he had to admit that the proportions of the food were just right. When the new Trainee, a much nicer girl named Helena had arrived with the tray, he’d thought they were trying to starve him. As Jadev reminded him, he should have trusted the Healers to be right.

“I’ve got some bad news.” Blake said as he tried to frown, but the edges of his lips kept quirking upwards.

“Really?” Dalen asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Yeah.” Blake said. “You’re not going to be seeing me for a year.”

“Huh?” Dalen asked, feeling like he’d had the floor yanked out from under him. From the way Blake’s lips had quirked, he’d thought Blake was trying to fool him.

“Gods, that poleaxed look on your face is hilarious.” Blake laughed.

Just tell him. That was Radev, Blake’s Companion who sounded slightly perturbed.

He is. Jadev answered Dalen’s suspicions about Radev’s feelings.

“Oh all right.” Blake scowled. “Its bad news in that I won’t see you for at least a year. On the other hand, it is good news. I’m being sent out with Herald Torland on a Circuit. We’re going up north, up towards Ghost Cat and k’Valdemar and all that area. Bart’s happy because I’ll be able to carry some letters back to his father for him, and well, it’s a Circuit. I was a trainee only for a few months and now I’m going out in the field as an Intern.”

“I’ll miss you.” Dalen said with a gentle smile.

“I think Jad and Rad are both having separation anxiety already.” Blake said gently and put his hand into Dalen’s. “You will take care of him for us? Right?”

“Jadev?” Dalen asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Radev nearly had a heart attack when his brother was injured.” Blake said.

“As long as Rad takes care of you.” Dalen said with a smile as he squeezed Blake’s hand. They sat like that for a while before Blake stood up, leaned over Dalen’s bed and gave him a hearty hug.

“I’ll stop by again before I leave.” Blake whispered his promise into Dalen’s ear before he kissed Dalen’s cheek and scurried from the room.

I don’t think that was a brotherly kiss. Jadev whispered into Dalen’s mind.

Shut up beast. Dalen snarled mentally. We are good friends, and thanks to the fact he’s your twin’s Chosen, it is a damn good thing we get along with each other. Don’t go reading too much into anything. Besides, it wouldn’t work as long as I’m Heir and that position isn’t going away for at least four more years when Dell’s oldest might be old enough to get Chosen.

Yes. Jadev agreed. You should know, I didn’t choose you so you’d be able to take the Crown someday. I would prefer if it never comes your way. Do you know how fat the King’s Companion can get? They never get any exercise and how am I going to attract a nice lady Companion if I’m all fat?

Is sex all you think about? Dalen groaned only to be treated to the laughter of his Companion.

Oh look, there’s Francine. Jadev said and Dalen’s head swam for a moment as his Companion showed him the female Companion he was looking at just then.

What kind of a name is Francine? Dalen asked with mental laughter as Jadev made some kind of mental snort.

Who knows, and who cares? Jadev retorted and then snapped. Look, just because you don’t turn your head and kiss the boy when he’s that close doesn’t give you the right to ruin my assignations. Get out of my head and leave me to my fun.

Now who is being touchy? Dalen laughed as he let the link with Jadev fade ever so slightly. Now that he knew Blake was going on Circuit he knew to expect more moodiness from his Companion. They had only been together a short time, but Dalen was coming to understand Jadev a little better with each passing day.

Bart was back the next morning when Dalen woke, a smile plastered on his face and another dose of news and information for him. Dalen got the impression that he was being spoon fed the information as his Healers thought he could deal with things, and like with the food, he didn’t argue it too much. So far they had been much more right than wrong on what he could and could not manage.

Dalen was happy to meet the slender, brown haired Healer Shaia when Healer Malcolm introduced them. She was the Healer who would be helping him out of bed and getting back on his feet. As happy as he was to see her, he was even happier to see her leave. It was his firm opinion that if they put her in charge of training Guard recruits, half would leave in the first week of training.

After lunch he slept for two solid hours before being woken by Healer Trainee Helena. She was armed with a set of wash bins and announced that she would be getting him cleaned up before his next visitors. As if being disrobed and cleaned by someone else wasn’t bad enough, he had Jadev making comments the entire time, causing him to blush furiously. At least it hadn’t been the male Trainee with the awful bedside manner. The man was just handsome enough to have made it even more embarrassing for Dalen.

He’d expected his father for the afternoon, after Helena had gotten him dressed in a set of Whites and helped him comb his long hair out. Dalen was considering getting it cut for all the trouble it was when it was longer. His father’s entrance ended his consideration of hair styles and he smiled. When Bart followed his father’s entrance, his smile grew wider. Dalen suspected Bart and his father would get along much better than Bart and Dalen’s mother had gotten along. When Joshe Ashkevron entered next, Dalen’s smile faltered. As ten more people entered and tried to find a place to sit or lean in the small room, his smile had completely transformed into a frown.

“Sorry for the tight quarters, but the Healers won’t let us move him into a larger room just yet.” Bart said. “Now, since Prince Dalen hasn’t met all of you yet, let’s have each of you take a turn and introduce yourselves. Of course Dalen knows the Lord Martial since Lofar is his father, and our acting Seneschal Joshe Ashkevron is his Uncle, so we can start with Lady Asferlain, speaker for the Northern Districts.”

“What is going on here?” Dalen asked when the last person, Weaver’s Guildmaster Longfellow had made his own introduction.

“Valdemar law requires that any expenditure of funds be approved by Council with a representative of the Crown in person.” Joshe Ashkevron answered. “That means the Royal Consort, if they are also Chosen, or the Heir if Chosen can act in the stead of the King if the Monarch is unavailable. His Majesty will not return for another week at the earliest, and we need approval to draw the drafts on the Royal Bank of Valdemar accounts.”

“The drafts for what?” Dalen demanded.

“For the Royal Complex that will be built here in Burnham.” Joshe answered as he handed several papers to Dalen. They were rough drafts of several buildings. A larger overview drawing showed the buildings were in a rectangle around the Vale and parklands in the center of Burnham. Joshe continued his explanation as Dalen looked over the drawings first, and then the printed pages full of columns with numbers that nearly staggered his mind. “The Royal Bank has concurred that Dellinar is the rightful Monarch over Selenay’s Regency and has acceded control of all royal accounts to his Majesty.”

“As much as we’d like to mount a raid and drive the Haighlei out of Haven, we have to admit that they are going to control our capitol for a while.” Lofar said with a frown on his face. “Even if his Majesty’s plans for this election work, it is unlikely that they will leave just because our people have voted. Every word we have gotten out of occupied areas show them digging in and taking off their velvet gloves. That means we will have to fight to take back our cities and our people. If we are lucky, that will happen in five to ten years.”

“That long.” Dalen frowned at his father who nodded. “Half these building won’t be ready for another two years.”

“No, but most of the existing buildings on these sites were destroyed during the liberation of Burnham.” Lady Asferlain said with a frown. “Thankfully most of the cities in my Districts are free of the Haighlei, but when all is said and done, I believe we will be spending a great deal of money rebuilding our nation.”

“We did it ninety years ago, we will do it again when this is done.” Joshe said. “The land and the buildings aren’t as important as saving the lives of our people.”

“Here here.” Agreed Lady Londarm from the Eastern Districts. All but two of the Guild representatives also voiced their assent.

“So you’re saying Burnham is going to be the capitol now?” Dalen asked in surprise. He’d had no discussion with Dell about this.

“It is the safest location we have.” Bart said.

“Between that Permanent Gate, the forces we have already amassed here, the proximity to loyal farmers, and the easy defenses we can construct, Burnham is the safest of the cities we still control.” Lofar said confidently.

“We need a public capitol, one where people can count on finding the King, or the Heir, and the Royal Council.” Lady Asferlain said much more gently. “They need to know, even if it is on the far side of the Kingdom, that they can come here and seek the King’s justice.”

“Once we have Haven back I expect the city’s council can turn most of these buildings into museums or schools, or some combination I haven’t imagined yet.” Joshe said with a shrug. “The Crown can turn it back over to them when we move back to Haven eventually and everyone wins. The local Council has already agreed to grant us the land for as long as it is needed. What we need to approve are the loans to get the construction started. We’re already Gating in experienced constructions crews from all over the kingdom.”

“Fine, I give my consent if that’s what you need.” Dalen said and Bart smiled at him.

“Now, your highness, we have protocol to follow.” Bart mock-chided him to the general amusement of the far older members of the Council. When they were done with the formalities, and everyone had filed out, Dalen was sweating. He hadn’t even gotten to speak with his father alone. Lofar had left in the company of Bart and Joshe, deep in conversation about how to ‘liberate’ some masonry workers from Haven itself.

“It is warm in here.” Helena said with a frown as she came back into the room. “I don’t think we will allow so many people in here again. The body heat alone must have raised the temperature ten degrees.”

“And the other ten degrees came from all the hot air that passed into the room every time someone opened their mouth.” Dalen joked and was happy with the smile on her face. He was asleep before Jadev could find a sas sy comment for him.

The days after that fell into a hectic routine of physical training sessions with Healer Shaia that left him physically exhausted afterwards. He quickly advanced from simple walks around the room to walking around the interior domes of the Vale and then walks around the park itself with Jadev there to provide support if he needed someone to lean on while walking. The contact with his Companion also helped, especially since Jadev was missing his twin who was far enough away now that they could no longer talk.

After his physical therapy he usually napped before more meetings with either the Provisional Council (now held in the workshop that had disappeared with Windfire and slightly modified to accommodate the Council) or the Heraldic Circle. His duties with the Heraldic Circle were another traditional position of the Heir.

The Circle oversaw the regular routines of the Heralds in general. Assignments to the various positions of teaching Trainees, Circuit assignments, and embedding with Guard units were the traditional duties of the Circle and there was a great deal of time spent in discussing how to meet the various needs with the limited number of Heralds available.

Normally there were more Heralds on the Circle, but the strain on their numbers limited them to a basic contingent. Herald Nevin was there as Senior Herald and Dean of the Collegium. Bart also served as King’s Own Herald, and Herald Thorn had been assigned the traditional duties as Herald to the Seneschal. Dalen also served as the liaison to the Lord Martial, another traditional post for a Herald, and as Speaker for the Herald-Mages. Nevin doubled as Speaker for the Heralds on Circuit, and Heralds Mavren and Norma (who now served as Armsmaster) finished out the Circle.

Then there were the Tayledras mages Moonscream and Feathertouch who were excitedly going over the Permanent Gate, constantly asking questions. Dalen reserved an hour each evening to meet with them, answering their questions. After two weeks had passed, he was released from the intensive scrutiny of the Healers. That gave Herald Norma all the permission she needed to add an hour of physical training, an hour of equitation lessons, and an hour of weapons training to his schedule. Fortunately for him, the weapons training was only three times a week.

Dellinar finally returned to Burnham at the end of the third week and took up most of the duties Dalen had been performing with the Provisional Council as well as the Heraldic Circle. He no longer had to attend every meeting, although his presence was required at least once a week for the Provisional Council, and he regularly attended the Circle meetings.

When they’d rescued the Heralds from Haven, Dalen had noted that there were two Companions unbound for every Companion that had already Chosen, and a few days after arriving in Burnham, nearly half of the ‘free’ Companions had left. The Circle knew what that meant, and they had been preparing for the sudden influx of Trainees that came when the Companions began returning.

Frankly it was needed. The losses among Heralds both down south in the first wave of fighting and in the last few months were atrocious. Nearly half of the Heralds that had been in Whites when the fighting began were now dead. Fifteen percent of the remaining were either missing or so severely injured they were unable to do more than teach lessons to the influx of Trainees. Nevin had even remarked that it would give the Trainees a realistic view of what their life as a Herald would be like when almost all of their teachers were missing limbs or bore other visible disabilities.

Two days after King Dellinar returned, ambassadors from Karse and Rethwellan rode into Burnham. Dalen was with the King and Bart during those initial discussions, and Lofar was summoned as well after a few hours. Both Kingdoms were anxious to renew their relationships with Dell, and were reassured that there were no longer any soldiers on their neighbor’s borders. Unfortunately there were Haighlei soldiers there, and neither kingdom could offer more than assistance in keeping Menmillith penned up inside its own borders. They were watching the events in Valdemar and knew that Valdemar’s fate would be theirs if King Dellinar failed, and while they could and did offer moral support, their resources were already stretched by their continued commitment to fighting in the Dhorisha Plains.

Lofar talked Dell into sending two full Companies of Valdemar Guards down south to k’Leysha Vale. The Provisional Council had fought the move, arguing that Valdemar needed all of its soldiers home, but Dalen had ended their arguments by dragging Moonscream into the meeting. The Tayledras Adept’s words had reminded them that Valdemar was not the only front in the war, and that if they ever expected help from their one-time allies again, they needed to be a part of the fight in the south. Given the situation in Valdemar, he admitted that he could understand why Heralds and Mages were not sent, but they had enough Mages from the Tayledras at the moment. What they really needed were soldiers, and Valdemar could send those.

Dalen’s friend Lee Mayweather was sent in command of those troops, reducing by one the number of close friends that Dalen had in Burnham. Bart was even busier than Dalen and his daily visits gradually decreased until they were only seeing each other in meetings or maybe at meal times, which Dalen took with the King when he was in Burnham. The sudden return of forty Companions with newly Chosen Trainees lessened Dalen’s time to spend with his friends.

Eleven of the newest Trainees were Mages or potential Mages. Two of them at twelve years old were barely old enough for their Gifts to start manifesting, but one of them would prove to be a very strong Adept once his Gift became active with puberty. The remaining nine Trainees were all between fourteen and fifteen and their gifts had already begun to manifest. Two of them had been rescued by their new Companion as they were being taken to a ‘camp’ run by the Haighlei who were doing their best to find and take all youngsters of an age before their Gifts started manifesting.

As busy as Dalen and the others in Burnham were, the Haighlei were just as busy consolidating their hold on the areas of Valdemar they now controlled. Midwinter came and passed with the only ‘election’ being held in the free areas of Valdemar. There was no longer any pretense by the Haighlei at letting Valdemarans rule the areas they controlled, and agents inside Haven reported that Selenay was largely locked away in the Palace with only servants and some remaining members of Guard units for company. The Haighlei ran the capitol itself directly now, rarely intruding into the Palace area unless they wanted Selenay’s signature on a document.

All of the major Guilds and the Royal Bank removed their offices and administration from Haven to Burnham where a mild winter (thanks to the Tayledras and Herald-Mages doing massive amounts of weather working) allowed construction on new facilities bordering the park to proceed at a frantic pace. The Haighlei tried to stop the Bank from removing its gold supplies from Haven, but the Burnham Gate solved that problem. It also allowed pre-arranged evacuations to take place from not only Haven but other occupied cities, and the population of Burnham nearly doubled in the same amount of time.

For the first time since the Ancar Wars and Mage Storms, Valdemarans went hungry during the winter. Even the Heralds and Guards in Burnham were under strict rationing as the Provisional Council struggled to feed all of their people. For two days, the Council debated non-stop before grudgingly passing Dellinar’s request to allow food shipments to occupied cities.

“They are still our people.” Dell had argued over and over again to his Council. “We have a moral obligation to all of our people, not just those we’ve managed to keep free of the Haighlei.”

It meant more rationing, but with the shipments of food via the Burnham Gate, times became rougher for the Haighlei. More information of their actions flowed back to Burnham, and following the vote in the free areas that ratified Dellinar’s new Charter for Valdemar, even some of the top leaders of the Plebiscite movement began secretly meeting with Royalist agents in the occupied areas of western Valdemar.

None of them were the former Council members convicted of corruption, but they were still important men and women and held more sway with the average members of the Plebiscite movement than those two. Their growing support for the Crown’s answer to their demands meant that once the Haighlei were dealt with, Valdemar would be able to heal the divisions that had given the Haighlei their entrance into Valdemar. Dalen grew more and more hopeful, and after meeting with a few of the men who had brought Selenay into their movement, he began to understand how his mother had sided with them.

After Midwinter had passed with little celebration other than a remembrance of those who had passed away, and the elections, the Provisional Council began planning how to force the Haighlei out of Valdemar. There had been no more battles after Forst Reach, thankfully and no one wanted to see fighting in the streets of any Valdemaran city. Dell, Bart, and Dalen were united against the idea of besieging the cities or starving their own people, forcing the Council to come up with new ideas. Riots that sprang up in the hungriest of the cities a week after Midwinter nixed any idea of public uprisings as well. The Haighlei had been brutal in their suppression of those riots and thousands of Valdemaran citizens had died across the kingdom.

“What are we going to do?” Dellinar asked quietly two evenings after news of the riots and their suppression had reached Burnham. He was eating dinner with Dalen and Bart alone, in the partially completed building that was to be the Royal Residence here in Burnham. It was on the northern edge of the park and was a mixed wood and stone structure using some of the newest building techniques in Valdemar.

“We can’t let more of our people die trying to demonstrate against the Haighlei.” Bart said sourly since he had been supporting that ‘solution’.

“No.” Dalen agreed. “We have to draw their troops out of the cities, but if we besiege the cities, well they’ll just hole up inside. They have to know we won’t go inside and risk the lives of our own people.”

“What would draw them out of the cities?” Dalen asked.

“What about the farms that support those cities?” Bart asked. “If we take the foodstuffs before they can stop us…”

“We only hurt those farmers.” Dalen said with a sigh. “You weren’t at the Circle meeting today. There are reports that the Haighlei have begun Gating in food from their own territories and distributing it to the people starting next week.”

“That is not good for us, but it is good for the people.” Bart sighed. It was an odd situation for them. Their duties to their people stood at least partly in the way of the clearest tactics to remove the Haighlei and save those same people. No Herald was willing to consider the step of harming some people to save others. It wasn’t something that any Herald would willingly consider if there were any alternatives at all.

“The camps.” Dell said with a glimmer in his eye. “Those are outside the City, are they not?”

“Yes.” Dalen said with a frown. “Our agents think they are using their blood-magic techniques, but we haven’t gotten a Herald-Mage in close enough to one of them to tell if that’s going on. Moonscream and Feathertouch agree that it would have to be a mage with Earthsense, and the only mages we have with that are myself and the Tayledras. Not even Chatton has Earthsense and he’s the strongest of the new Trainees I’ve been working with.”

“We’ll have to consider it, then.” Dellinar said with a sigh. “How are you doing otherwise?”

“I’m fine.” Dalen said with a sigh.

“How are the Tayledras doing on duplicating the Permanent Gate?” Bart asked as a change of the subject.

“Good.” Dalen said with a shrug. “By the end of spring they’ll have the first terminuses completed and then we’ll transport ours to wherever we want it to be located. Before then we’ll have to do some preparations as far as providing enough node power to keep it operational.”

“Forst Reach will be my first choice.” Dellinar said. “If, that is, we can get the Council to agree. We will be holding the first elections for the new Council in accordance with the Charter just after spring planting is finished, so we should be able to push it through before we totally change the government.”

“That would be a good idea.” Bart chuckled. “It is going to be some time before we get things actually working with this new government and we can already see the nobles and guilds moving to retain as much power as they can before the Assembly takes shape.”

“Should we be proceeding with these changes?” Dalen asked with a frown as he picked at his chicken. “I mean, don’t we have enough problems with the Haighlei?”

“We gain more than we lose through these elections.” Dellinar said with a shrug.

“I just worry that we’ve bitten off more than we can chew.” Dalen said as he forced himself to use his fork and spear a piece of chicken.

“I don’t think so, but only time will tell, cousin.” Dell said slowly and Dalen chewed while trying to find solutions to at least one of the problems that they faced.

Valedmar and its world belong to Mercedes Lackey. Everything else belongs to dkstories. Copyright ©2013; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
Valdemar world, characters, events belong to Mercedes Lackey and Tor Publishing
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Chapter Comments

An interesting development. Will absence make the heart grow fonder? How will they remove the Haighlei? If a Companion poops in the woods and it's Herald is too far away to sense it, does the poop exist?

 

While I'm generally impatient for in between chapters I liked how this one set up future events.

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On 02/05/2013 11:31 AM, Rebelghost85 said:
An interesting development. Will absence make the heart grow fonder? How will they remove the Haighlei? If a Companion poops in the woods and it's Herald is too far away to sense it, does the poop exist?

 

While I'm generally impatient for in between chapters I liked how this one set up future events.

Herald: What were you doing in those woods?

 

Companion: Taking a dump. Want to smell it? I can take you there very quickly if you're so interested in my poop. It is remarkably similar to horse poop, only I'm smart enough to dump it somewhere besides where I eat or take a roll. Do you have any more questions for me or are you ready to get back to work?

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So maybe there is something there between Dalen and Blake??? He never revealed who his jack off fantasy guy is. Hehehe! I think the Dalen/Bart ship has sailed ... there's friendship, but both seem to be too busy for anything more than business.

I like the fact that Selenay is unloved by the Valdemarans, sidelined by her fellow plebiscite advocates and now is a prisoner/puppet in the palace cut off from all social life. There is no Court for her to wield her wiles. LOL! I have no pity for her. I'm no herald either ... so I can't see what redeeming qualities Dalen and Lofar see in her. I think they need to see a therapist to become empowered.

I also think that Dalen would rather be building heartstones than dealing with governance issues and blowhard politicians. I liked the quip about the room rising 10 degrees with so many people and another 10 degrees when they begin to speak. LOL! Hopefully Dell's children will be chosen quickly! I'd like to see a beast come for Quinn. :-) He's another sweetheart!

Thanks, Dan!

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loved this chapter yet am saddened by it. Dell and Dalen are facing so many problems am afraid they will never find a way to defeat the haighlei!! Ouch and no more blake and dalen, i loved those two, i hope you at least bring carl bak into the picture then! If i havent said it b4 am obsessed wth ths stry ;)

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On 02/05/2013 02:35 PM, Rosicky said:
So maybe there is something there between Dalen and Blake??? He never revealed who his jack off fantasy guy is. Hehehe! I think the Dalen/Bart ship has sailed ... there's friendship, but both seem to be too busy for anything more than business.

I like the fact that Selenay is unloved by the Valdemarans, sidelined by her fellow plebiscite advocates and now is a prisoner/puppet in the palace cut off from all social life. There is no Court for her to wield her wiles. LOL! I have no pity for her. I'm no herald either ... so I can't see what redeeming qualities Dalen and Lofar see in her. I think they need to see a therapist to become empowered.

I also think that Dalen would rather be building heartstones than dealing with governance issues and blowhard politicians. I liked the quip about the room rising 10 degrees with so many people and another 10 degrees when they begin to speak. LOL! Hopefully Dell's children will be chosen quickly! I'd like to see a beast come for Quinn. :-) He's another sweetheart!

Thanks, Dan!

When I first wrote this, the idea of a Bart/Dalen relationship never even occurred to me. I actually went back and wrote in some misdirecting lines to give it the ghost of a chance. I wasn't sure how most people would get involved in a story that zero romantic possiblities for well over 90% of the story (and yes, it was planned that way from the beginning).
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On 02/05/2013 05:06 PM, empress said:
loved this chapter yet am saddened by it. Dell and Dalen are facing so many problems am afraid they will never find a way to defeat the haighlei!! Ouch and no more blake and dalen, i loved those two, i hope you at least bring carl bak into the picture then! If i havent said it b4 am obsessed wth ths stry ;)
You WILL see Carl in the next chapter. I promise...
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Challenging issues facing the new administration. It will be an interesting read as they solve the problems facing them and save the land.

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