Date: 2016-05-05 03:38 am (UTC)
merlinscribe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] merlinscribe
I checked through the uncut manuscript, and I didn't find anything either. I suspect I'm missing a scene where Annobeunna consults her steward, who then goes to Vieliessar's household of his own free will.

I'm not sure how much of the following made it into the book. I regretted cutting it...


#


The end of the day's march came with a strange abruptness. It was only when Annobeunna saw the ranks of komen before her narrow and re-form that she realized the wagons ahead of them were gone. Then most of the remaining komen spurred their mounts forward, and as they wheeled left and right, she could see the bones of the High King's encampment already laid out.

"Rithdeliel...?" Lord Vieliessar said, speaking her first words in many candlemarks.

"I know not," he answered, as if a true question had been asked.

"But they will know at the horselines," the silver-masked woman said. Her name, Annobeunna knew now, was Eletehradan, and she was, as she appeared, a mercenary—though she must be a former mercenary, as Lord Vieliessar required fealty of all who rode with her. "Come, my lord. We shall discover where your pavilions are set."

It was relief to give Eingall into the hands of the Keindostibaent ostler who had tended him since the day he was foaled, and quiet comfort to stand in encampment streets and see Keindostibaent's pavilions set as they had been ever since she could remember. It was satisfaction to send Drochondeur, Master of her Household, to say to Dathoreth Lightbrother's servant that he must find some other place to set his master's pavilion, for he was no longer welcome in her presence. And it was pleasure beyond naming to enter her own pavilion, to be greeted by her own servants and to have her Arming Page assist her in removing her armor as wine was warmed for her to drink and camp robes were presented for her approval by her Mistress of Chambers. She recalled that she was to dine with the High King this night, and so ordered her gown and jewels brought instead, and a bath prepared. She did not have the finery she might have commanded at Keindostibaent Great Keep—that loss was bitter—but she would do her best to show her new liege-lord proper respect.

"Here you are, my lord," Mistress Drianneredil said, hurrying back into the pavilion followed by several servants carrying chests. "It was fortunate indeed that you sent me for them when you did. There is not a household servant in the whole of the army save yours—and Landbond think nothing breaks," she finished with an irritated huff.

Annobeunna beckoned her over. Drianneredil gestured to the servants with her to carry the chests into the sleeping area, and tugged at the arm of the last so he would set the chest near Annobeunna's feet. Annobeunna pressed her palm into the silver oval on the chest's lid and heard it click as the spell unlocked. Dathoreth had set the locking spells on all her chests, she remembered—well, she would give another of her Lightborn his post and have the spells redone.

"No servants? Where are they?" she asked, as Drianneredil lifted out the first jewel case for her consideration. The High King's colors were green and silver; she wondered what she owned that was green. Keindostibaent's colors were sable and blue, so most of her jewels were blue as well.

"They are dead, my lady," Drianneredil said, managing to sound both shocked and surprised. "Lord Vieliessar's wagons were taken, and all who were not on the field were taken with them. The High House lords slew many."

"That is against the Codes of War!" Annobeunna exclaimed.

"Oh but no one follows the Codes of War now, Mother. Not the Twelve—and certainly not the High King." Princess Sangochon stepped through the doorway of the pavilion, still wearing her armor.

"Don't hover," Annobeunna said irritably. "Adanbern, see to Princess Sangochon's armor—I don't suppose you know where your Arming Page is?" she added.

"I don't even know where my pavilion is," Sangochon said. "Or when—if! —it will manage to appear. Perhaps we are all expected to sleep in the mud."

"Don't be ridiculous, darling, the ground froze solid moonturns ago," Annobeunna said automatically. "Oh yes, yes, those, fine," she said to Drianneredil, waving the case of blue-green gems away. Pirozaduta—called the "sky stone"—were the closest thing to green she suspected she had among her jewels, and Drianneredil would dawdle all night over dressing her if Annobeunna allowed it. "Where are your brothers?" she added, and Sangochon shrugged sweepingly.

"The Alliance slew the households of all who ride with the High King," Drochondeur said. "All," he repeated with a strange emphasis, and Annobeunna turned her head to look at him. Drianneredil had moved behind her to begin the task of undoing her elaborate war braid; she clucked her tongue, knowing it was beneath Annobeunna's princely dignity to notice.

If the very Landbonds of the domains which have sworn to Lord Vieliessar are here, would she have left the children of her lords behind? "They would not make war on children!" she said in horror.

"None who escaped saw children slain," Drochondeur answered with careful precision.

But a youth who had leaped the fire, or a maiden who had flown her kite three seasons before, was permitted to act as a Page of Battle, and under the Codes of War were not children: they must give parole if they were captured, nor would they be returned to their own lands unless their ransom was paid. Annobeunna closed her eyes at the horror of it. "Let that word be carried to the rest of the Thirty, and the Twelve will find no allies here," she said grimly.

"I fear for all of us under your protection, my lord," Drianneredil said mournfully (she had the knack of hearing nothing but that which affected her directly), "for we are surely at the mercy of this host of great princes who will seize us and bear us away."

"If they seized you, at least I wouldn't have to listen to you prattle," Sangochon said nastily.

"Worthy opponent," Annobeunna said crisply, for she would not rebuke a Princess of the Line Direct before her servants. "A komen's honor, whether prince or lord, lies in offering battle only to worthy opponents, for who will value a victory too easily gained?"

Sangochon set her jaw. "I suppose I should go see where 'Rovi is," she said grudgingly, as Adanbern drew out the pin that held the last piece of her armor in place.

"Put on a robe before you do," Annobeunna said. "I don't want you wandering the camp in your aketon as if you were a starving mercenary." She gestured toward her sleeping chamber, and Sangochon heaved a long-suffering sigh and trudged in that direction.

She returned a few moments later wrapping the sash tight on Annobeunna's favorite chamber-robe; deep blue velvet lined with soft black stonefox pelts. Annobeunna thought of telling Sangochon to return it undamaged, but such an admonition would probably only make her daughter find some mud to roll in, even if she had to order the Lightborn to conjure it first. And in truth, after the news she had just received, even the destruction of a favorite robe seemed less important than it would have on another day.

"Discover what you can of what transpired while the Twelve held the High King's people," Annobeunna said once Sangochon had left. There were a dozen servants in her pavilion, but she spoke for Drochondeur's ears. "If any saw all of what happened, I wish to speak to them."

"T't," Drianneredil said, giving Annobeunna's hair an unnecessary tug. "Surely such plotting and prying is work for such as Lord Vorcamion, not a mere servant."

"And if Lord Vorcamion was likely to gain the answers I want, I would ask him," Annobeunna said, stifling a sigh. Drianneredil gave herself fine airs—she had been born and raised at Court, though her mother had been Lightborn—while Master Drochondeur's family had merely served Annobeunna's family since the founding of Keindostibaent. They'd both been members of Annobeunna's household since before she became War Prince, and their rivalry was unceasing. She wondered if it would matter any longer. "I am sure you have pinned and braided everything you can possibly pin and braid, Drianne. Now find me something to wear—and send someone to the High King to discover when I am to arrive."

#


She dismissed Celeroviel and Selasorin at the door of the High King's pavilion. Theirs had been a courtesy escort merely, for Lord Vieliessar had sent Lord Gatriadde—Gatriadde Mangiralas, though it was his twin who had been Heir half a year past—to show her the way. When she told them they had her leave to depart, only Celeroviel looked disappointed. It was the difference between Selasorin and his elder sister; he still believed people would come and demand to tell him what he needed to know; Celeroviel liked to know things just to know them. Undoubtedly she'd be waiting in Annobeunna's pavilion after the feast was over.

Though it had been barely two candlemarks since Annobeunna had first stepped into her pavilion, the whole of the encampment was in place. She wondered with a feeling almost of dread what the morning would bring, for to strike an encampment was a longer business than to set it. Undoubtedly she would hear an entire story-cycle of complaints from Drianneredil come next sunset, and as many from her lords, who would surely be similarly plagued by their servants. But that was a trouble for tomorrow, not today.

She'd expected to find Lord Vieliessar's pavilion filled with the nobles of her court, and had welcomed it as a chance to learn more of the alliances she must make and where the threads of true power lay, but when she stepped inside, Lord Gatriadde, having delivered her, made his bow and took his leave, and she found only two places set at the table.

"Come. Sit. I do not keep great state," Lord Vieliessar said. She was dressed with shocking simplicity, in a tunic and leggings that would not have looked out of place on one of Annobeunna's stable servants, and her hair hung loose. Suddenly Annobeunna was very conscious of her silks and jewels.

"I—" she began. She hesitated, and forced herself to plunge on. Even if it was in rebellion, Keindostibaent was a rich gift, and she would hope that would matter. "Drochondeur told me you no longer have proper servants because of the Twelve, and that is not fitting. Allow me to make you a gift of him. He will serve you well."

"You are generous, Lord Annobeunna. But people are not to be given as gifts," Lord Vieliessar said quietly.

"Forgive me," Annobeunna said, bowing her head. "I meant no disrespect."

"Nor have I taken any. I know I ask much of my princes and lords komen. Many think me foolish, and say I would turn all the Fortunate Lands into the Sanctuary of the Star. I do not know that this would be such a bad thing—but my way is a new thing. And to ease your mind further, I am not entirely averse to gifts—and you have tendered me a generous one." (...)
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The next book in the "Dragon Prophecy" series is Blade of Empire. It will be published by Tor Books at the end of 2017.

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