Prince Vorclaf Sees Raenilar
(349 Dolefaren 379)
After leaving Morganae’s Court, Prince Vorclaf went to Shard to speak to Raenilar. And yes, the Prince was still alone at this meeting.
The Prince wanted to see Raenilar face to face to ascertain his earnestness. I believe the Prince wished to make this his decision, not Queen Morganae’s decree.The exchange between these two rulers was restrained, even considering they were enemies. Prince Vorclaf looked the desert king straight in the eyes as he asked him his intentions and ascertained his sincerity.
Raenilar told him that, “Aside from that fool Taber and his followers, we are going. I intend to settle my people back in the desert.”
But the Prince wanted a piece of Raenilar for his actions, “Your desire to return to Shard was horrific, so in the sense of justice, yes, I feel you deserve to be tried for your actions.”
Raenilar shook his head, “I will not. Justice was served the ferdahl died for the crimes of her ancestor.”
Vorclaf asked him, “So it is justice that the children pay for the deeds of their ancestors?”
Raenilar answered, “In our culture yes.” He shrugged, “It is harsh and perhaps not what you would do but it is what we do.”
Then Prince Vorclaf asked him a question that seemed incongruous with what is known. He wondered if that would have been justice if it had not been Ferdahl Kukulakai’s ancestor who committed the ‘crime’.
Raenilar paused to think about that for a moment, but returned to the position that the age old stories handed down to them were accurate. Vorclaf reminded him that history is written by the victors and survivors, and is rarely unbiased.
There were less tense moments than between the Prince and Queen Morganae as they spoke, but when all is said and done, Raenilar just wanted to go back to the desert.
Raenilar said, “But in spite of it all, I find the spark that brought me here has burned low. Blood debt has been paid. The elotheans may have this city back and good luck to them.” But he added, “Provided they take Taber first.”
The Prince reminded him he had made long-term enemies who may not be willing to let them live alone and peacefully in the desert. Raenilar cautioned him by reminding him that he and his people would make anyone who came against them ‘pay’. And those who leave them in peace will live.
Before you start thinking Raenilar has lost that oh-so-endearing ego-maniacal streak, he went as far as to suggest that “This is perhaps our true destiny and fate. To establish a desert kingdom.”
I guess that Fate difts like the sands up there. Right now, it blows him back to the desert, fully justified.
Raenilar told him, “Listen to me and I speak frankly because you come here alone and in respect.On my word as the ruler given to most of the tribes I will leave here and never return.I will not however lay down and die here or in the desert. I will make a life for my people.”
Raenilar continued, “If I am attacked..” he paused to smile, “You have seen me fight. So no I will not come back here again to reclaim Shard. I am done here. I will if possible bypass your cities. And the Baron’s.”
Vorclaf replied, “I beleive you. I do as honestly as I know the heart beats in my chest. I would see this all end without further bloodshed. But I can not in earnest let you go without some penance for the deaths you brought with you. To allow that makes all the lives taken, even those of your people in vane and senseless. Just as you sought justice on the Ferdahl for the crimes of her ancestors, I can not simply let you go. Can you see the dilemna?”
Raenilar said, “Of course.” He paused, then added, “You are at my mercy here you know.”
Vorclaf conceded, “To a degree, yes. While I sit in the tower alone with you, I did not come wholly unprepared. I would be a pitiful leader to not do so.”
Raenilar told him, “But to prove my intent I will not take advantage.”
Vorclaf said, “And I will not make war with you, not over one man.”
Raenilar gestured, “You may walkout of here as free as you came. But if you try to take me and try me there will be much blood.”
Vorclaf asked him, “I ask for one thing more. If you agree to it, then I will lay aside my need for justice for a time. At least long enough to allow you to return to the desert. Once there, then we shall see what history and the future have for us.”
Raenilar responded, “Ask.”
The Prince then quietly negotiated the release of Guardsman Yoneimo. Raenilar seemed quick to agree to it, he was that anxious to leave. Raenilar told the Prince most of his warriors had already been moved north by ship, and he and his closest followers were about to leave Shard. The Prince deduced this must have been what Kendyll had been helping do; and Raenilar confirmed it, as well the gypsies helping move people back north.
The Prince began to head back to Zoluren and the Desert King back to the desert. That only left Taber and his relative handful of supporters in Shard to deal with…