The Solune Prince: Deliberation through Dreams

The Solune Prince

Novella 1

Chapter 2
Deliberation through Dream

Chloe continued, “Post Script:

“Due to the grand nature of this request, I am sending one of my most trusted men, Lilllith of the Royal Guard to negotiate on behalf of the Royal Title. Likely, she will test the worth and potential of you, our guests to be. Should anyone be found wanting, she will have the right to reject their route. Certainly, she will be welcomed by all the Solune!”

Chloe finished and then looked up at her father. “The Lussa are alive – and they know of us!”

“Yes, and they called the woman Guard a man…” mumbled her mother.

The King said, “Judging by the letter, it seems that they knew of us in a similar manner that we knew of them.”

“No,” Gwenhime said. Her face was tense, a studied look. Chloe had a feeling that she had been paying more attention than they had. “We know from the Emperor of the Djeb that the Westerners have had contact with the Lussa for decades.”

“What?” Chloe was enraged. “The Djeben people know of the Lussa?”

Gwenhime frowned, “Yes but, would you travel across the desert as we are now? The Kingdom cannot afford such an expedition.”

Chloe stood silent. She looked at both of her parents, then down to the letter. Then, everything shifted into place, and she realized exactly what sort of discussion she had interrupted. Her father had been informing her mother of the letter, that’s why Gwenhime had been holding it when Chloe had entered. They hadn’t yet decided who was to be sent to the Lussa City.

Chloe’s neck tightened again. She strode to her mother and handed back the letter. Gwenhime frowned, but took it. She began scanning through again, this time for important information. She knew what she was looking for.

Where exactly is the Lussa City anyway? Lilllith would know but… I do not know if I would have the courage to ask… Chloe thought back to the letter, When was Lilllith to arrive?

“Ah,” she stammered, “does it say when we are to expect Lilllith?”

“It does not,” both of her parents said in unison.

“Oh.”

“But,” the King continued, “shortly after receiving the letter, I sent out an agent, Astore, to find her and calculate the duration.”

Chloe nodded. She knew that, of all the King’s Agents, Astore could courier the fastest, despite his height. “The trick is to take long strides!” He would say. She knew he could cover three days’ worth of land in one.

“We will know the date of Lilllith’s arrival in a matter of days.”

And then she will test whomever intends to return to the City with her. Will that be me? The muscles in her chest and shoulders constricted to match her neck.

“Who will be going with her once she arrives? Who is to be tested?”

“I haven’t decided that yet.”

Chloe didn’t hear him, but by the time he had finished speaking, her mind had finished processing. She said, “It will be me, won’t it.”

It was a statement more than anything, and she knew it to be true whether her father had yet realized it or not.

Rhye looked at his daughter with an expression that bade her continue.

“Well go down the list. Zealott is exiled, we don’t know where he went, Kent is far to the south doing some form of physical research… Ah, Janna and her husband are still hunting for Venus, I think. That just leaves Natasha.”

“And as captain of the capital’s guard, she’s quite busy with all the immigrants,” Gwinhime finished.

“Crystal Jealousy is also out of the Kingdom. Although, she has rarely returned.”

Chloe had forgotten about her eldest sibling.

“Yes.” Gwehime’s face turned cold. “Even if she was here we would not send her.”

“So,” Chloe said, “it will be me, will, ah, won’t it?”

There was a silence as King Rhye’s ancient mind ran through the scenarios. Since Chloe’s late adolescence, he had noticed a sharp increase in her mind’s reason, precision, and breadth. All that, as well as the speed of her youthful brain combined to make it obvious that her mental capacities had far exceeded his own.

Eventually, he said, “Yes. Unless by some accident of fate Jealousy or Kent should return, you will have to be the one to go. It does seem to be in your best interests. At least, it falls within your current interests.”

His words were true, Chloe knew, but she still didn’t like being forced, or even defaulted into things.

“I would rather remain here and continue my research.”

Chloe was intending to continue and explain that if there truly was no other option for her, then she would go, but that she would rather not, and that if she was to go they should not expect too much from her, but her mother interrupted.

“What research? This request is your research. There is not a topic in the Solune libraries that you are not well read in except this. Even were you not the only person we could send, it would be against your own interests not to go.”

Chloe caught in a fight or flight response loop. She said nothing.

Of all the King’s few talents, verbal conflict was the greatest. He said, “I will let Chloe make that decision for herself. Until Astore returns, we do not have a stable timeframe. It is late. We will rest, perhaps deliberate by dreams. Chloe, I would know your resolution before the Agent’s return.”

Chloe mumbled an agreement, and they separated. She returned to her room, and lay down, exhausted.

King Rhye could deliberate through dreams, whatever that meant, but Chloe preferred to deliberate through thought.

She lay in her bed, and turned her head. She looked out the window, her eyes saw nothing.

Daniel Triumph.

You can find the rest of the book here.

The Solune Prince: A Letter to the King

The Solune Prince

Novella 1

Chapter 1
A Letter to the King

Chloe Rhye looked out the window and saw nothing. Her mind was filled with thoughts and considerations, many paths of thinking that seemed to end in cliffs no matter which she followed. It was the first time this had happened, the first time that there was a gap in her knowledge that no amount of research could fill. The capital city and all its libraries, archives and institutions had no answers for her, and she was left here, in her room, with nothing but her reason. Her mind wandered through informational wastelands.

Who were the Lussa people? Where were they now?

The only information Chloe had to stand on was what little her father had time to tell her. She had, as a last resort, asked him about it earlier that day, but he’d only had a few minutes to talk at the time.

“The Lussa people are our ancient ancestors.” He had said.

Chloe replied, “If that is true, then why is so little known about them?”

“The split between the Lussa and Solune societies predates recorded history. Even though I am the King, the knowledge was passed down through our family from that time is limited.”

“Why? It seems to me to be important.”

The King looked at his daughter and nodded. “I agree. I personally believe that those involved in the incident itself didn’t pass too much of it down to their children for emotional reasons. The splitting of a civilization can be a time a great stress. Further, it is the Solune who left the homelands, the result of which you already know.”

“That’s why there are no artefacts or ruins!”

The rest of that conversation, Chloe remembered, consisted mostly of her father trying to get back to work. He had been engulfed in boarder issues and foreign relations since the kingdom’s walls had opened two years ago.

Chloe stood from her window seat and walked to her bedside table. The little notebook that sat on it contained the small bits of information she had collected on the Lussa in the past three or so months, complete with citations for future reference. She picked it up and sat on her bed, entering one final state of deep thought before going to sleep.

All the information I’ve gathered is from the capital. Only the capital…

Two floors down, Gwenhime paced back and forth. “Rhye, once already you’ve tried and failed to encourage that child to make something of herself. Why should this attempt be different?”

The King stood in front of the throne, listening to his wife with care. This had been their habit for decades. Nearly all of his decisions and ideas, both as ruler and father, were passed through her doubt and scrutiny first. Thus, the kingdom was ruled by his raw wisdom tempered by her zealous reason.

“When we sent Chloe out of the city one a recruiting mission, it only failed because it went against her temperament. You might remember that she did participate in the war.”

Gwenhime frowned, “Yes, but she had a spell of nerves on the battlefield—”

“That worked in our favour.”

“Even so, had I been her commander, I would have discharged her for it. Not that I would have had to! After the war, even before most of her friends left the city, she returned to her den and the library.”

King Rhye nodded. “It seems to me that Chloe will not bother to maintain any activity that does not suit her interests.”

Gwenhime considered this. “I suppose the circumstances are different in this case? A military mission did seem an unsustainable pursuit for such a page-minded girl.”

“Yes, this time I intend to send her on an expedition seeking precisely what she is looking for.” He brandished a letter from his coat pocket and handed it to his wife. Before he could give it any context, there was a knock at the door and the head of a young woman peeked inside.

“Father!” Chloe said, a little too loud.

“It is good that you have come. Your mother has something for you.”

“What?” Chloe entered the room and shut the door behind her, striding over to her mother.

Due to the length of the letter, Gwenhime had time only to scan it before she met her daughter.

Chloe received it. “First, I should tell you why I came here at so late an hour. I think it would be a good idea to visit another city’s knowledge bases and see if they know of the Lussa.”

She gave a defeated smile. It seemed to Chloe something of a hopeless endeavour since the capital was the centre of knowledge, but it was the only thing she could think of.

Her father gave her a look that agreed with hers. He said, “I believe the letter will give you some better ideas. Please read it aloud for your mother, I’m not certain she had time to finish it before you came in.”

Chloe looked from one to the other, and then to the letter. Everything between her shoulders tightened, and she swallowed. Once I start, I should be fine. It’s just my parents.

She began reading. “Hello, Member of the Solune Royal Family—blood relative of our Lussa Royal Family!”

Chloe stopped reading, “This is a letter from the Lussa! They, ah, they’re still alive! And, ah, it seems that whichever of them wrote this very much enjoys punctuation.”

Chloe’s mother squinted at her with a look of pent-up doubt. This, Chloe knew by now, was a common expression of hers. Her father simply nodded, added that the style was certainly unique, and bade her continue.

Chloe did, now deeply interested. “We, the Lussa Royalty, are the ancient kin. We are your land-crossed family! It is with this in mind that I, Prince Ryann, after thousands of years neglecting our distant relations, ask with deep regret for assistance.

“Our King has been dead for one-quarter-annum. He died a martyr at the hands of an outsider, in defence of our City. Of course, we immediately began the planning of the new heir’s coronation. But, alas! She, rightfully so, sought her father’s revenge, and took half the guard and one of the two Captains, out of the city to seek it! Fourteen days later, they returned, and she was missing!”

As Chloe read, Gwenhime considered her carefully. She was often unkempt, and even today her unnecessarily long hair fell down her back in a mess of blond curls. Gwenhime always believed that her daughter looked a lot like her, except for the features that were muddled with elements of her father. She had the same feminine brown eyes and small, upturned nose, but the effect was interrupted by the King’s wide chin. The same quirk was continued in the rest of her body. Chloe had moderately broad hips but, to Gwenhime’s chagrin, a slightly broader chest, and almost masculine shoulders. Gwenhime was concerned that her daughter’s mixed-bag physique and attitude would end up working against her in the future.

Chloe glanced at her mother as she read. They locked eyes, and Chloe saw her severe look. Unaware of the banality of Gwenhime’s thoughts, she nervously returned to the letter.

“Both the death of the King and the missing of our heir have left the Kingdom in a state of flux. Worse, the City Denizens have deemed none but the original heir as worthy enough to lead. They demand that she be found and crowned. The desert continues to be searched, even as I write this message. This would have been managed internally if it had not been for rising unrest. My advisor, the ancient and young Lilllith, reminded me of the ancient split. Certainly, the conflict that arose between our people four thousand years ago has been left behind in irrelevance, if not memory—my appeal relies on it!

“Now I proceed to the request. It is simple, but not easy. We are in need of someone of Royal Blood to aid us and to help sway the people to peace. Should, heaven forbid, the heir be found dead AND the Denizens a second time reject the rest of the potential heirs, then the line may fall to you, our distant kin. Please send us a reply IMMEDIATELY, or any time near.

“Ryann Lussa,

“Second ‘non-heir’ to the throne.”

Daniel Triumph.

Table of Contents

Of Heirs

Eight day of the The Month of Resz, 4011th year of the Solune Standard calendar.

Monarchy is a touchy subject for some. It is not for me. Corporations have begun to appear in the Lussa and Djeb realms, and they are quite similar to what I have in my Kingdom. I have been around since the foundation of this nation, I, in fact, founded it myself. Very few of my citizens question or take issue with my rule.

Soon, I will be announcing my stepping down, I will be announcing my heir. I have spent three centuries considering all the options. I have made many conclusions. The gravity of my conclusions are not to be questioned by those who have not been considering their own subjects for at least a century. By this measure, most of the people in the Solune Kingdom are unfit to veto with my decision, and I doubt that they will. My considerations are thus:

  1. If wisdom increases with age, than mortals, especially those with mundane life expectancies, are too unwise to rule. On average.
  2. Those who have eclipsed adulthood are unfit to rule. Their brains have finished developing and they will therefore never truly adjust. Thus, a ruler should ascend before her mind is made, that she may develop with the people and for the people.
  3. She must not use violence except as a last resort. A ruler should lead by example and inspire respect. Only brutes lead with fear, and brutes are overthrown, always.
  4. The people must come to respect their leader. Respect is not the same as like. She must be someone whom no one us hateful when following, someone with drive.
  5. My one weakness is a lack of progress. I am extremely old fashioned. We have not stagnated, but we are close, especially compared to the Djeb, the Lussa, the Metch, their science, trade, and industry. Our next leader must be progressively minded. Youth is particularly inclined to such ways of thought.
  6. Finally, it would be best if the heir is not one of my own children. This might cause jealousy, or suspicion of favouritism among my followers and peers. It might be misconstrued as a norm.

I have a shortlist in mind, and yet, only one person stands out… She fits all but one point. No, if I follow my whim, my kingdom may fall, just as the Djeb had. And yet, she is the most qualified by my measure.

But, is leadership to be chosen by a check-list? We will have to see.

Daniel Triumph.

Of Value. (From the Journal of the Solune King)

Second day and Fifth month of the 3998th year of the Solune standard calendar.

As King and founder of this kingdom, I have done my part and earned the respect of my people. They revere me as leader, and are not so much unquestioning as they are disinterested in the way I rule. My children are now coming into adulthood, and I worry for how they might be seen in the eyes of the citizen. I feel that they may not gain the same respect if they do not contribute to, or at least participate in society.
The citizens will give them respect that is deserved, and while their status as royalty may help their reputation for now, in the long run it may be seen as a crutch as opposed to a boon.

Unless they wish to live outside, my children should contribute to the kingdom as I have. My eldest have left, and so I will not speak on them in this note. Their fate is their own.

For the rest of my children I will speak now, starting with the eldest and working down to the youngest.

My twins are Kain and Natasha. Kain has headed to the south to learn what has happened those who separated from us during the kingdom’s settlement many centuries ago. He visits on occasion, leaving behind various notes and writings, and then is soon gone again. I thought once that he might prefer it down south, but now I have come to understand that he has come into the fancy of a lady.

Natasha was long interested in the internal peace keeping; the structured of guarding and law enforcing in our kingdom. She once commanded the Murdock palace guard, and will soon take on one of my wife’s many tasks around the kingdom; overseeing all five guards. The watchmen are divided thusly: the largest divisions patrol the four cities, and the last guard oversees the castle and the kingdom halls. The inside of the castle can be just as busy as the outside, as a large portion of it treated as community space for the city Murdock.

Natasha was running the castle division with some assistance for a very long time, and she is currently the Captain of the Murdock city guard. The citizenry have come to realize what I already know about her. Behind her neutral expression, the blank stares and seemingly uncaring demeanour, there is an active and considerate mind. Natasha is a strong problem solver, a logical and practical thinker. The task of a guard often includes solving civil issues and city wide routing coordination. These things come naturally to her, and she has begun to implicate long term changes that have increased the effectiveness of the guard as a whole. In a few years she will be ready to oversee the leaders of all five guards, and likely bring gainful change to the entire kingdom and its safety. Natasha will, however, be required to apprentice someone to take on her role as Captain. Now that the prodigal Vice-Captain has quit, we are actively searching for someone.

Then there is Janna. She has the ability to think on a large scale without neglecting individual issues. Her head is in the clouds, but her feet are on the dirt.  Her largest issue is how brash she can be. While Janna can have a positive effect on people, she sometimes gets ahead of them and comes off as rude. She interrupts. These are immaturies that I hope she realizes exist and grows out of. In the future she could be an impactful political leader should a she choose it. Right now it seems Janna is more inclined to live her youth out in an environment that offers more freedom and less expectation than politics. I do not often speak on this, but I believe I will choose her as my heir, she may succeed me in possibly ten short years.

Chloe is my youngest, and has a lot of potential. I know not what she will do in the future, but I believe she could be effective in any field she puts her mind to. She has been very interested in the small library of books that Gwenhime and I have collected, especially those regarding history. Her head seems full of air right now, but she is young. She can afford to be so starry eyed at the moment, and so I think I will give Chloe some time to discover all that interests her, and when she is older I can assist her in narrowing her scope and developing hers skills. She now seems inclined to study the work of the poets and law keepers, I know not if she will remain in this vocation. It is providing her unease.

As it stands I am as happy as such a lenient father can be.

Outside the city I am interested in what findings or relations my youngest son will come up with down south. I wish him, as well as my eldest, safety in their travels. The capitol Murdock is grateful for the work that Natasha does, and I am in hoping that my youngest two will become just as valued as she in time.

– The Solune King, “Mars” Resz

This is an updated version (+150~ words) of a post from my secondary blog. I figure since a lot of my writing is beginning to involve the Solune royalty, this information might be helpful to returning or potentially recurring readers.

The Solune King still has no known name, but he is nicknamed Mars. For those interested in the cover picture, you can see the full piece here. It’s one I’m proud of.

Daniel Triumph

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaniellTriumph/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaniellTriumph