The Solune Prince: Jagged Assembly I

The Solune Prince

Novella 1

Chapter 16: Jagged Assembly I

[Auhtor’s note: This is the full version of the poem: The Solune Prince: Jagged Assembly A]

Three members of the Rhye family deemed it necessary to wash before continuing to the throne room. Chloe finished first (by a large margin), and headed down to the throne room.

 

“Come now, your rudeness, are you to be on Chloe’s expedition team then? Is that why you are here this morning?” Lilllith’s smile was wide, her eyes approaching feral.

I’ve killed more depraved looking people by accident. I’ll not fear her. That Alex had to remind herself of this disturbed her, but she spoke regardless.

“Yes; I believe I’m the first to join.”

“Of course you were.” Lilllith’s expression, despite her words, softened. “I am very interested in your manner. Likely you, you appear to care nothing for status. Is that not so? Is it that you believe everyone to be equal?”

Jutt stared.

“One of these dissident, ‘respect the janitor as we respect the ruler’ types, then?”

“I have a hierarchy. Even criminals rank higher than the lazy.”

“So what’s a janitor on such a scale as yours?”

“Well, obviously above a criminal, if they’re law-fearing.”

Lilllith gave Alexandre a strange look, a look of disbelief; as if she couldn’t understand how the woman had come to such a conclusion.

“You, of all people, teeth of silver, smooth skin around your eyes, the lips and—”

Her words stopped. She didn’t understand why, but she felt the need to speak no more. Alexandre stared, her grey eyes piercing Lilllith’s.

“Perhaps you are correct, and I am not law fearing. I fear he who creates the laws,” Alexandre said. She maintained the stare, blinking passively. Lilllith had the strange feeling that even this statement wasn’t entirely true.

There was the crack of iron on stone, as if someone very powerful had tried to open the door without turning the latch.

Lilllith, intimidated, jumped a little at the sudden noise, and froze. Astore (who had been nervously observing the two women) also jumped, though far more visibly. The handle turned.

“Ah!” Said a small voice.

“Who? Oh, Chloe it is you.” Lilllith composed herself. “Prince Chloe,” she corrected.

The surprised young women mumbled into the room and closed the door behind her “Ah ha, yes, it is me…”

 

Lilllith regarded her. Chloe had cheery, worried eyes. She noticed that when Chloe saw who was (or perhaps wasn’t) in the room, she became openly worried.

This, she who will not even hide her expression, is to be the ambassador of the Solune Royalty? Surely, she thought, this was the same nervous woman from last night. Chloe was dressed in loose clothes, though not in the same robe-like sheets as she wore during the supper. Instead, loose pants accompanied her shirt. Her hair curled softly down her back and chest, ending only past the waist save for the eye-level bangs in the front. Chloe blinked with weak eyes.

 

“Where is my father and mother? Or—” She finally caught herself, “Is anyone here who has authority or royal direction?”

Chloe looked to Astore, but she could tell by his expression that he too was uninformed. She began to gather her existence, but was interrupted by two more visitors.

Kent and Senica entered quietly, breaking her flow. She asked them, “Is Natasha coming? Or father?”

Kent shrugged for the two of them. Chloe was on her own. She rubbed her forehead with both hands, and then walked up the three steps, standing between the two thrones to address the room.

“I, ah…”

Lilllith stared her down, and Chloe noticed. As royalty, she wasn’t used to such looks, but she had in her life certainly encountered enough that it did not cause her to falter.

“I suppose that we must wait for everyone to arrive before—” Chloe started, and then immediately rephrased. “We shouldn’t, ah, get too specific before everyone is here, so, as we have yet perhaps half a sixth, I mean an hour, since we have some time yet, I suppose that I will explain in broad strokes what I believe will be happening?”

Alexandre nodded, and Chloe gave her audience a slight smile, continuing. “Although ultimately we are the party offering and sending aid, Lilllith is the only person from the Underside—” She thought of Ammelia and repositioned, “—the only person from the Underside who has come to help us, and therefore I believe that her wish to test the knowledge or strength or…whatever criteria she as chosen… I believe that such a notion is ultimately appropriate.”

Chloe looked around the room. She was unsure of what else there was to say.

Lilllith said, “Well, I suppose I should be glad to have garnered your approval, although, is not the arena being assembled already?”

“Ah, yes. I suppose it is nearly finished, though I am not sure of the details. Natasha would know. Where is she?”

Astore said, “She can be extremely punctual at times. I think that, as you said this was a noontime meeting and it’s still a few minutes to noon, she’s not here yet.”

“Just as the sun is not here yet.” Chloe nodded, and then looked up at the ceiling. The throne room was two stories high, unlike the rest of the first floor, and there was a hexagonal hole in its ceiling.

“How is it that you keep time in this city?” Lilllith asked.

Chloe replied, “There is the belltower, but even that is tuned to high noon using” she pointed at the hexagonal hole, “noon-poles. They only shine when light filters down the entire tube.”

Lilllith followed Chloe’s finger and saw the hole, between the thrones and the hanging lantern. It was filled with glass, a sure feat of pure craftsmanship. It made perfect sense. “So, when this illuminates, we should expect Natasha?”

“Ah, I suppose.”

Alexandre looked up. She hadn’t noticed it before, but the hole explained how there could be any sort of ambient light in the throne room when the lamps were unlit.

 

As high-noon hit the castle, the glass embedded in the ceiling acted as a lens, brightening the entire throne room three or four times as much as the lantern had.

Natasha arrived as the light began to dim, opening up the door and ushering in a fairly shabby looking blonde man.

“I believe with this one, we have everyone.” She led the man into the room physically, grabbing his blue-grey coat by the shoulder and gently but firmly pushing him into the room ahead of her. She entered behind him and let the door close itself behind her.

To Chloe, the man looked rather dishevelled, but she couldn’t tell if it was because of being somewhat rudely handled by her sister, or if he was like that in general. He seemed young, his hair was shaggy and lightly coloured, and he had a lazily stubbled face.

“Ah…” Chloe surveyed her audience, getting a good look at them before the noon’s light left the chamber and they were returned to less organic light. “Ah…”

Natasha noticed that Chloe was a little lost, so she stepped past the rest of the group towards the throne, stopping at the bottom of the steps, and to Chloe’s left, as not to obstruct line of sight to her.

“You have a somewhat small party. It is fitting, I suppose, that it is to be a small group of supposed elites.” Natasha spoke, echoing the words of her father many months ago. “Let us introduce ourselves while we wait for the King and his Wife.”

“That sounds good.” Chloe nodded a little frantically.

Natasha took a clipboard from her satchel, and took the clasp from the bottom out. She brandished a fountain pen.

Chloe, nervous, yawned and then blinked a little.

Made it! Sort of!

Daniel Triumph.

Table of Contents

Also, the woman in the header is Natasha Glass Rhye.

Natasha sketch
Natasha Glass Rhye, Second Prince of the Solune.

The Solune Prince: [Workshop I]

A couple things before the piece starts. You can skip ahead if you just want to get to the narrative.

First: This is a lightly edited sort of experiment. This piece projects itself into a much later chapter of The Solune Prince. Short background, the general concept is sort of a “coming of age” story for Chloe Rhye, and right now, in Novella 1, Chloe is in her own kingdom, but here she’s already at her destination: The Lussa City.

So, this should be interesting in general, but also interesting to readers of my serial novel. (Which you can check out here.)

It’s from my Creative Writing workshop, so it’s part of an exercise, which was: write the same piece using two different styles. This is marked with the (1) and (2).

Second: The next chapter of The Solune Prince will be up later today. This is not a “replacement” for it like the IOU from last week. Due to a somewhat stressful existence last week (both mentally and physically), as well as the late-term deadlock of university assignments, I’ll be writing the chapter on the day of its release. So, basically as you’re reading this.

Now, we shouldn’t have to worry about quality control for the following reasons: a) I’ve handwritten this chapter already. The major problem is really that I decided I had to change a few things, and so about 75% of that chapter had to be moved ahead in the story to some completely different parallel-universe chapter. Then b) I do have a decent idea of how I want this chapter to go, and what sort of changes I need to make to continue the story as intended, but also modify the sort-of mess it became. Essentially, I need to rewrite.

I’ll have to elaborate on all that in a full post later but for now I’ll put it like this: There are a few key points I want to re-arrange, some stuff I need to rework, and some stuff that will likely have to go altogether. Thus, chapters 17-19, which have all been handwritten, will need to be redone. (Re-handwritten, and then typed.)

Not a big problem, in fact it’s sort of a relief, as I’m extracting myself out of a sort of narrative hole, and then taking a better grasp of the story. For now, enjoy this projection into the future, and we’ll see whether this, too, get’s changed when the time comes.

(1)        It was yesterday. We were spraying, as usual. I admit we were spray painting. Look, I know the law and we had the permits. Show them the permits. We had the right to be there.

If I were less ethical, I could have blamed the other guys. In fact, I could have abandoned them and ran. But I am a man of Noah, and I know the law; at least I know that part. This happens a lot. Police usually don’t know anything, they just don’t. Luckily for us, I do.

‘Hey! You can’t be markin’ up that wall like that! Is that another one of them canted x-shapes? It’s you lot then, markin’ up the town! You best give all that up and come in with us.’

I heard them shouting, so I came, I ran. But, man, my peers are so…so good at fumbling up tense situations. Good thing I know the urban sprint. Hop, skip, run up the walls, onto the trash, swing off the window bars, slide down the side, skid ‘round the corner, man. Nice.

“You best leave my team alone. We’re here on business.” That’s what I said. Business. Usually stops them. But they didn’t even hear! Looks like the ‘prince’ over there already had it down, but damn! She was talking the wrong law! Where is she from?

She said, ‘No, this isn’t public property, it’s without your jurisdiction, unless you get a formal complaint. Look, he  has our papers, this is a job. What about you? Do you have your papers? Was there a complaint? Any warrant for you being here?”

Oh man, that’s not how things work here missy! After that, well, whew, violence man. We didn’t even move, but missy dismantled everyone for us. No sweat.

(2)        The litigator moved on to a different witness. “And you, you were there, my lord?”

‘As a bystander. I only saw the second part.’

“Please describe what you saw.”

‘Haha. Missy, that’s miss Chloe Rhye, fifth Prince of the Solune. They don’t have the honorific “princess” where she comes from. What a people, the Solune. She dismantled your three officers in seconds. Truly admirable—from a tactical perspective.

‘The draw of her weapon became the first attack, a cut across the chestplate of your first man. She flicked back the instant she’d made her hit; truly, a trained movement. Her weapon was back out before it could be seized—she slid into tierce with little effort.’

“Could you please limit the technical—”

‘That’s a point-up guard. She followed tierce up with a four, and then another four—’

“Please, the—”

‘—That’s an underhand thrust that ends in an upward sweep. Your men are so slow that she could hit with four twice before having to go back into a carte. And Chloe didn’t even bother moving onto the later cycles, although maybe she doesn’t know them. Regardless, she held carte and just kicked the poor man to the ground.

‘The rest fell likewise; engage stance on the secondary officer, (she has a terrific engage), into a one, into prime parry stance, smack the tertiary officer with a two, up to…I really wish she would protect her sword arm, but no, she slides back into engage carte, beats the secondary officer’s pikesword out of his hand, a smack to the face with the off hand, and then, no guard whatsoever, she grips her sabre two-hand (a very bad idea), and hits an oncoming attack from the tertiary. And then, lo! Kicks officer three to the ground as well! To my great pleasure, she cycled back to a carte, and then a prime hanging guard before sheathing. You may now understand why it is she prefers the military sabre to the officer’s one.’

“…You seem almost pleased about what occurred here.”

‘Truly; I trained her in the sabre.’ At this, the first witness laughed. ‘Further, as royal emissary, Prince Rhye, I believe, is subject to diplomatic immunity. Why she was with these vagrants is beyond my knowledge, however, she should answer to the Lussa royalty, not the law. I assume that you have contacted Prince Ryann?’

There was a short discussion among the court, and then recess was called.

You can see it was a bit of fun, an exercise in style.

Here’s a link to The Solune Prince (again), just in case you have an interest in the story, or Chloe as a character. She’s also a side character in the current draft of Alice and Finch, which you can find here.

See you later today, hopefully, or later than that. You can subscribe if you want, or follow my facebook, which is mostly auto-updates from this page anyway. I mostly chat and stuff on twitter, and my instagram has some cool visual arts and other ramblings.

Anyway, thanks for reading, I’ll be here every week lol. (And also later on today.)
Daniel Triumph.

The Solune Prince: Jagged Assembly A

The Solune Prince

Novella 1

Chapter 16: Jagged Assembly A

She walked throu
gh the hall to the
inside the room,
inside awake, s
he had a plan
s she did not know,
it did not take, s
he did not know, wha
t she would say, wha
t she would do, she w
as away

____And she went
anyway, went wher
e she wanted
wanted to be
____And she went
anyway, went wher
e she wanted to stay.

Daniel Triumph.

Table of Contents

[Workshop 1]

This is just a rough draft.

Ram it Madea

Get ready for the final version, some time next Monday!

What is Rhetoric?

By Daniel Triumph

Meet in the Forum

Conner: Isn’t the forum wonderful?

Plotus: No, I would much rather be in the arena.

Conner: Of course you would, you art noble. The arena seems to have lost most of its customers.

Plotus: Why do you think that is?

Twain: Why, the war of words is far more pleasing to the ear and mind!

Connor: Alas! For it is a good man speaking well who entertains the mass!

Plotus: A man speaking to the mass cannot be good.

Twain: Would you then accuse me?

Plotus: That is why I am here.

Conner: Under what law would you accuse our valiant entertainer?

Plotus: Valiant? This man spews conspiracy. He incites action, he incites violence. Were you not there when his followers set fire to the arena last month?

Twain: That was swiftly dealt with, and repairs made.

(A crowd of perhaps ten has formed with Connor to watch Twain and Plotus)

Plotus: And yet, were you not the root cause? Was it not you who stated that the arena should fall to the beauty of “a good man speaking well,” to a rhetorician?

(The crowd boos, attracting attention and growing by a factor of four.)

Twain: And I still maintain this position. A war of words is always preferable to a war that kills!

(Cheers, and the crowd grows three fold, to 120 people.)

Plotus: And yet again: you use your words to incite violence!

(Cheers again.)

Twain: It is not so. I am against violence.

Plotus: So you would be against the wars that defend your own ability to speak so freely!

(Twain falters.)

Conner: Well well, it seems that violence is seen as a noble pursuit by our good philosopher Plotus.

(Crowd gasps. Plotus nods.)

Plotus: Modus tollens! Modus tollens! Violence is only justified under very specific philosophical conditions.

Conner: And what are those? I think we should never kill. Killing is absolutely wrong. In the immortal words of Dave Mustaine: “Peace Sells, but who’s buying?” The military! The military is buying peace at the price of innocent lives!

(Crowd boos. Plotus scoffs.)

Plotus: You are ignorant if you assume those who die at the hands of our government are innocent.

Populace: Proof! Proof! Proof!

Plotus: I sneer! Would you let in the barbarians? To rape and pillage your daughters and homes? Truly disgusting!

Twain: I agree! I stand with the military.

(Crowd gasps.)

Conner: So you both suffer from cognitive disarray! You say you are against violence and yet you support the army? You turn your back on your own argument? What sort of nonsense is this!

(Silence.)

Plotus: The killing of the guilty is justified. The killing of the innocent is not.

(Crowd gasps.)

Twain: And yet…how does one prove innocence or guilt? Who has such authority?

Plotus: The creator.

Conner: Hah, well he’d better speak up and call out Twain’s criminals. Come now, as Zeus, should the creator not smite the evil?

Twain: No no, side-track not. We have courts to decide these things.

Plotus: The courts that would kill an honest man like Socrates!

(The crowd is now over 500 men, women, and children.)

Conner: Yes, noble Twain, let us put your incitations aside and focus on this, you are a noble and you studied your laws. Why is it that a good man like Socrates was killed in the courts you so defend?

Twain: It was the failure of Athens, not the court.

Plotus: How dare you accuse a state! What cowardice!

Twain: And would you not accuse the Nazi state of electing a tyrant and killing its own people?

Plotus: You accuse Athens of Fascism!

Twain: Of course, the people of Athens censored their best whistle-blower. They put falsehood before truth. They did not take responsibility for their failures, just as Nuremberg cried executive orders, so did Athens cry execute innocent!

Conner: I think you are losing your audience to history, noble Twain.

Twain: What is a good man, if not one who speaks well!

Populace: What is to speak well!

Twain: Of course, it is to do as Plotus and Socrates do! To speak the truth! To take the responsibilities! You cannot blame your government, you cannot blame executive orders, you cannot blame anyone except yourself if you have done wrong. A good man speaks well; a good man speaks the Truth!

(Cheers. The crowd doubled in size during the speech.)

Connor: I hate to rain on your oration, yet you once again live in contradiction. You say you must take responsibility, and yet did you not just accuse all of Athens for the killing of Socrates?

Plotus: Ah yes, you can see now how the snake uses his rhetoric to fool the innocent. Tell us, you exonerate the courts that condemned Socrates but you condemn the people who exonerate Socrates!

Twain: (Dramatic pause.) Is it not true, Plotus, that there is no justice in an empty court? Is it not true, Conner, that a courthouse is naught but stone and mortar without its judge and jury? Put a murderer inside the empty court. Is justice served?

Conner: That’s a ridiculous question.

Twain: Then so too is it ridiculous to accuse the courthouse for the folly of the Athenian jury and court. I do not blame Athens, I was not nearly explicit enough in my speech. No, I blame everyone in the court room, and everyone who believed in Socrates who did not serve the jury and defend their hero! I accuse not the state, but every guilty individual within it.

Plotus: How can you do this?

Twain: Is it not the nature of national defense, to declare the barbarians guilty, and wage war? Of course, then, it is just to support the military!

Conner: And if they kill not barbarians, but innocents?

Twain: Than a good rhetorician must treat them each as guilty, as I have Athens.

(To Be Continued)

Daniel Triumph.