I remember when my father had called us all to court. My uncle had just returned from a diplomatic mission,
He had traveled to all the great kingdoms, And it seems that his caravan was far worse for the wear.
The rumors quickly spread about what had happened, less than half of his men returned from that journey.
There were rumors, People speak. Most of those whom did return, didn’t return the same.
Most didn’t say a word. Other drank themselves to death the night they came back.
My uncle only spoke in hushed tones among very few ears.
But that didn’t stop the rumors from escaping the castle walls.
“You’ve not seen their armies brother.” I could hear my uncles voice ringing out from the hall where my father and him were speaking.
“If they’re left unchecked, we’ll never survive them.” His voice was loud, but it wasn’t anger that made his voice rise. It was fear.
“Since when have the royal family of Dresiliad been scared of anyone?”
My father’s deep voice made the question sound more of a joke than anything.
“We rule the capital of refuge, we’ve defended more people world round than any other kingdom…”
Peeking through the doorway I saw father move from the fireplace and sit down in his great high back chair
“What makes you think that after these generations, we won’t be able to defend our home?”
In that last statement, His voice changed, It bit into the very soul, As he almost spat the words from his mouth, the thought itself leaving a sour taste in his mouth.
“When was the last time that you fought a dragon, Drestyn ?” His brother stung back,
“Very few armies can make it through our defenses, let alone harm our people. including armies backed by most acts of magic. But dragons are another story completely. How will we defend ourselves against raining fire, crushing our homes, searing our people, removing us from this world.”
My father sat very still in his chair, I saw him lift his pipe from the nearby table.
“We’ve survived far worse in the history of our country. We will survive again.”
My uncle stood by the fireplace, he was still dressed in his robes, revealing him as a man of study or a man of prayer, or in this case both. He too shared in the pipe with my Father.
“How can a ruler be so calm, Knowing that an untimely end is on it’s way towards his kingdom.”
He exhaled a great breath of smoke, waving his hands around in the cloud changing it’s form.
“We still have many ways to defend ourselves, even against monstrosities such as the scaled death.”
He reached over to take the pipe from his brother whom was still forming the smoke using his magic.
” I hope our ability to defend our people matches your bravado brother.”
He stated in a very low tone, as the cloud finally took the Form of a dragon and flew off into the fireplace.
“What of Anders?”
Hearing my name i moved slightly closer to hear what was going to be said.
“What of him? He’s been assigned to lead the Mounted cavalry.”
Father was so proud when i won the grand combat and secured my title, I truly made him proud, However now he doesn’t sound so sure.
“And you’re going to let your boy ride first into combat against a dragon? On his first campaign none the less.”
I could see my uncles hand shaking.
” Had i known what was going to be out there…”
“But you didn’t, And you cant blame yourself over what has happened.”
Drestyn stood from his chair walking over to the robed man, I could hear him sobbing from the door.
“But he was my boy. I should have protected him…”
He sobbed as he slid to his knees onto the Floor.
” Instead thanks to me he’s been fed to a dragon! foul bloody flying lizard!”
He was hollering now. I could understand.
It seems that my cousin Braden, My uncles oldest son, and his most precious apprentice, Is now sitting in the stomach of a dragon.
“Anders will not be leaving for the front-lines by himself. You and I will be joining him.”
He began to try and pull his brother from the floor, He slowly climbed up the side of the fireplace.
“You knew nothing of what your journey would entail, But you still went, For your kingdom.”
Drying his eyes on the sleeves of his robes he looked over to Drestyn.
He was staring into the fire, the determination in his eyes showed that he saw more than coals and embers dancing in the fireplace.
“When they come. Your nephew will take the front-lines of war with me. As your son did with you. You now know what is coming. Help me save my son, And yours will not die in Vain.”
He finally looked up, reaching over to his brother he embraced him, Clasping their arms together.
“We will not let our legacy die here.”
Clack, Clack, Clack. The knuckle of my gauntlet rang as it knocked on the Door. They slowly moved back to their drinks before calling.
Their voices sounding at the same time, came together, like a single being talking of two voices.
Opening the door i strode in, standing at attention in front of them.
“Commander of the Mounted Cavalry of the Dresiliad Defense Force, Anders Frost.”
I took a kneel to the floor until i was addressed, I was trained with our military since i was a child, however unlike most whom are raised in it. I loved it.
“Stand and speak your mind.”
The kings voice was one of power, however not commanding.
“Father, Surely you know the Rumors that have been flooding the castle. I know what’s happened to Uncles men. Who is coming to attack us?”
Anders point was stated very clearly. However the two men were unsure of how to answer.
“They don’t seem to have an affiliation to the six great kingdoms, uncle Drake, What did you see when you came back?”
He went white in the face at the mention of them not being under the six great kingdoms.
“Anders… When we go into battle, We may be facing more than you expected.”
He looked over to the table, Reaching for the drink that he’s had poured on his desk since he began speaking with Drake.
“Father. I fought to earn my place and my title. Not once have i ever asked for you to assist me due to your rank. I ask you now. Treat me as the commander of your cavalry and answer my question.”
Never has anyone spoken with any kind of force to the king.
“You’re too much like me you know that.”
The king smiled at Anders, For the first time in a while, the smirk that used to stand out on Drestyn’s face returned.
“We’re going to have a War Council about this. We will Discuss our actions, and the measures that we will put into place.”
Drestyn Walked over to his Son, Passing him the Pipe.
“Sometimes a man needs some help to think clearly.”
This was the first time that Anders had ever been acknowledged as a man by his father, he stood dumbfounded, Wondering this council would entail.