28 Arodus, 4718 (Toilday) cont.


I’ll be honest, I was quite nervous as Martella led us into the small library to see Princess Eutropia. It had been twenty years since I had spoken to her, and the last time we truly spent any time together was when we were children. I shouldn’t have been worried though. She greeted us with a warm smile, and suddenly I felt like we were all back in that summer at Birdsong Palace.

She thanked us for coming to her aid, and  seemed surprised when we reminded her that we had made a promise all those years ago. Eutropia joked about knighting us with an umbrella and giving us hair pins. Oliver, Felyx and I were all wearing those golden hair pins, and I swear, for a brief moment,I saw the princess’ eyes well up with tears.

Unfortunately our reminiscing quickly turned to matters of business due to the dire straits we all find ourselves in. Martella and Eutropia both believed that Grand Prince Stavian would make an attempt on his daughter’s life at the Gala, but they had no idea how far he would go in his paranoia. The Princess went on to admit that she is not as confident about taking the throne as she has appeared to be in public, nor does she think she is fully prepared for it.  While she expected the primogeniture laws to change, she also expected to have years to prepare before taking her place as Grand Princess. Right now, her main concern was to hold our wounded nation together especially with the Senate incapacitated. She offered to speak with Pytharius about the state of the government and attempt to reach some sort of agreement, but he turned her down and left the capital to gather his forces in Zimar.

I asked Eutropia what he said to her on the stairs. The High Strategos told her that he was truly sorry for her loss, and she believed him to be sincere. He was close to the Grand Prince, so I imagine Stavian’s death hit him rather hard as well. 

Already, sides are forming, and it seems that civil war will be inevitable. The followers of the High Strategos call themselves the Imperialists, and they want to restore the old traditions of Taldor. The supporters of Princess Eutropia  call themselves the Loyalists, and want to usher in new ideals. 

The largest surprise of the meeting came when Princess Eutropia asked us to serve her in an official capacity. Unsurprisingly, we all agreed, and she proceeded to knight us. While I am a lay priestess of the church of Ragathiel, I was not a member of the Crimson Templars or any other knightly order, so when it came to the ceremony, I mostly followed Oliver and Verity’s example. We were all given beautiful long swords and declared the Knights of Summer. 

The ceremony gave a true weight to all that we were doing. No longer were we simply helping a friend, but now we were true knights in service to the Princess. 

Martella told us that she had something she was working on and that she would contact us at the Silent Horse once all the arrangements were finalized. Again, the weight of everything suddenly made it seem much more formal, and I spent the return ride to the inn contemplating my new oath.

After dinner we received a missive from Martella. I expected it would have taken her some time to iron out the details of whatever mission she intended to send us on, but I have come to expect the unexpected from the spy master. Her letter told us we had a week to prepare for a journey, and told us we would need several new outfits, including a mask and attire for a masquerade ball. Then, at the end of the week, we were to meet her at the Porthmos Club, one of the most elite clubs in the city. All of us looked at each other with a bit of surprise. It seems we will have quite an interesting task ahead of us.