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Corrandion, Corridane
I am JT, Ringer, nutjob, and archer, in that order. I like animated films, epic films, book films, movie music, folk music, and the occasional random other thing. I make friends by accident and like it that way...

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07 October 2011

Chapter XIV

Chapter XIV

On the following morning, Prince Railon of Gairbairia was up only a few minutes after the sun had risen. Donning his armor, he left his room to see to the welfare of the sentries on the wall-tops, after which he would discover the health of his elder brother, the king. Upon reaching his post on the wall-top, he heard the horns that were blown to arouse the opposing army out of their slumbers. “Fools!” he thought to himself “They are still asleep? I could send out the force now, and numbers would no longer matter.” Any further thoughts were interrupted by a noise near his side that sounded suspiciously like someone in a deep sleep. Turning, he stared at the sentry for a moment before shouting “Only I couldn’t because my men are all asleep! Are you all lazy too?”

Almost instantly, every man along that side of the wall woke with a jerk, snapped to attention, and announced in loud, but weary voices “We are ready, Lord Torlan! Is the enemy storming the gates?”

Still badly upset, Railon shouted “I am Railon, not the king, Torlan, and just be glad they aren’t storming the gates, because you probably would not have survived!”

“My lord,” replied a man several feet further down the line “Do not blame us too harshly, for we were awake for most of the night to be sure of no surprise attack.” He concluded, as he stirred the ashes in a large brazier that had not yet burnt down the last pieces of wood inside it.

“Still, it is a fine way to deter a surprise attack that, remaining awake all at once so you can all drop off to sleep at dawn, the best time for an attack. You are dismissed. New men will be sent up to replace you.” At this announcement, the sentries began to file down the stairway, murmuring to Railon as they passed “You are right, sir, we erred. We are grateful for the rest.”

When the final man had gone past, Railon waited for a moment before following him. When he reached the ground once more, he directed his steps directly to the hospital, hoping to speak with Torlan. By the time he arrived, though, one of the caretakers was just closing the door. This man turned to Railon and asked “What do you want here? Are you injured?”

“No, I am not. I came here because I desire to speak with the king, who is my brother, and ask him what is the best course of action for the defense of the city.” On concluding this needlessly prolix explanation, Railon stepped forward, expecting that entrance would be granted immediately. To his surprise, the healer still stood in front of the door to the king’s room.

“Excuse me, my lord, but the King in not in a fit state to receive visitors, even yourself.”

“Tell me why that would be, sir.”

“Because he is in a deep sleep, which the healers had to be sure of to give him relief from his pain.”

“He can not have accrued any new injuries since he returned from the battle. What could have happened to him, then?”

“When he brought himself in to us, we saw that he had awful injuries to his legs which his own furious strength and riding skill caused him to fail to notice properly until he dismounted.”

“So he is bedridden?”

“Yes, for how many days or months we are not sure yet. But we are sure that his legs will never again be as strong as they were when he rode into battle. He will always need someone by his side when he has dismounted, till the end of his days.”

“When I saw him yesterday, he did not tell me about this. He told me his injuries were rather minor.”

“He is too proud. He was saving face.”

“Did you tell him all of this?”

“Yes. Unfortunately, he considers the idea that he may be bedridden for three months or more quite ludicrous.”

“I understand. He made that charge in the first place because he doubted the loyalty of the Gairbairns. You must keep him in a drugged sleep as often as you can, for otherwise the inactivity will drive him mad. When he recovers from this ‘nap’ you must send for me immediately so that I may speak to him and receive his permission to act in his name.”

“It will be done, my lord.”

“I thank you. I will not return until called.”

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