|“||He had great low jowls and a roll of fat around his neck, in fact his whole face gave the appearance of having slightly melted and started to run down off his skull. Such was the High King of the Union, but Jezal bowed his head a little lower as the palanquin approached, just the same.1||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
Another training session is underway, this time with Jezal and Varuz fencing on a balance bar. Jezal lacks concentration and again loses. When Varus tries to draw Major West into his scolding of Jezal, West is also distracted, probably fretting over his sister. Varuz stalks away, after assigning yet more training exercises.
On the way back to his quarters, the Captain runs into Lieutenant Kaspa and his cousin, Lady Ariss dan Kaspa2. Lady Ariss has something of a reputation as one of The Union’s richest noble heiresses, but Jezal finds her a pale, skinny, and insipid – unlike Ardee who he is increasingly infatuated by. He behaves quite rude and dismissive of her.
Later, Jezal stands guard duty in the Open Council. It is clear that The Union’s government is dysfunctional, as few powerful nobles even bother attending. When abrasive Lord Hoff brings the Council to order, the representatives from Dagoska call for more troops and money to defend against the Gurkish. The city of Dagoska3 is on a narrow peninsula bordering Gurkhul, with impressive defensive walls which previously withstood a year long siege during the war. The request is angrily dismissed by the Angland representatives, where Northmen infest their borders.
Hoff disregards both, with a promise that the situation in The North should soon resolve itself. With that, the befuddled King Guslav arrives, followed by the Northmen delegation. White-Eye Hansul brings an offer of peace between The Union and The North, but only in exchange for the territory of Angland. As the room erupts, Fenris the Feared removes his cloak, revealing his massive frame and tattoos covering half his body. He stabs himself in the arm with a dagger to show he feels no pain. And then challenges anyone in The Union to a duel for Angland in the northern tradition. Hoff refuses outright, dismissing the Northmen who leave issuing threats. The Union may soon be at war.
|Ariss dan Kaspa||Jezal dan Luthar||Ardee West|
|King Guslav the Fifth||Lord Marshal Varuz||Bethod|
|Fortis dan Hoff|
|Fenris the Feared|
|Lord Chamberlain Hoff|
Locations and Terms Edit
|Adua||The Union||Open Council||Dagoska||The Gurkish Empire||Gurkhul||First Gurkish War|
|Angland||The North||The Contest||Starikland||Westport|
- Ladies and Gentleman, your King!! And the crowd goes wild!!
- Lady Ariss would seem to be exactly the kind of woman Jezal would like to marry - rich, noble, and insipid. Yet, he dismisses her. Although he never mentions Ardee directly, it's clear that Jezal is infatuated with the commoner.
- While everyone’s attention is on Bethod and Angland, there's a nice foreshadowing of the Dagoska situation.