Fantasy. Princess Ariel Adams almost succumbs to despair at the fall of her House. Later, the five leading dukes hold a meeting to decide the future of Sept-Ternia. With fellow Triond author Jack Shepherd.

THRONE WARS 03

Fantasy. Princess Ariel Adams almost succumbs to despair at the fall of her House. Later, the five leading dukes hold a meeting to decide the future of Sept-Ternia. With fellow Triond author Jack Shepherd.

*****

“They’re doing what?” The young woman shouted at her kneeling servant. She was of medium height, blond and beautiful: Ariel Adams, Crown Princess of Sept-Ternia.

“Five of the dukes are holding a meeting but I don’t know when or where,” said the servant. He was Elder Vincent Moses, a cleric for House Adams.

“Who are they, which ones?” Ariel demanded.

“Charles Marshland of the southeast province of Marshland, John Trident the Merchant of the Eastern Seas, and three others: Walter Gladevale, Henry Highridge and Edward Solaris. Duke Walter seeks neutral ground for the meeting, he says, although like as not it will not be far from his own palace.”

“Does he claim to be neutral regarding the throne as well?”

“There’s no such thing as true neutrality in politics, Your Highness. Someone’s interests will be served.”

“I agree. They’re all trying to rob me of my rightful place as queen.” Ariel stormed to her couch as her old advisor rose to his feet.

“Sorry to remind Your Highness of this, but none of these men will have a woman ruling over them – not even your uncle.”

“I don’t understand why Uncle John is even involved in all this. He’s an old man with two daughters and no male heirs, and I’m the Crown Princess anyway. What’s he playing at?”

“What are you the princess of? Your father signed the charter that allowed Highridge to separate as an independent province.”

“That was a mistake; he should have never allowed it. This is why all of this mess is happening. Father grew weak.”

“You would prefer a war with Highridge?”

“Is that your wisdom in my hour of need? Saying this is the lesser of two evils?”

“Why not? Your father only remained in power because of John’s money. Charles never strongly supported the Snowflake Compact, and if he now sides with Henry, then no good will come from the alliance. Meanwhile, if John continues his support of you, it will only bring conflict between House Trident and House Marshland. Your uncle’s a merchant, not a warmonger. He won’t fight Marshland on his own initiative, let alone Marshland and Highridge combined.”

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