Daramlhoardd’s War

Karodem sat in silence at Alldelhem’s right side. What thoughts he had were kept deep within his mind. He lifted the golden goblet up to his parted lips, drank deep of the well aged wine.
Though Galowyn’s heart near brimmed to overflowing with the happiness at being home, there were sharp edges of sadness as well. A few drops of ruby red wine escaped her lips. She took one last swallow of the sweet nectar, “He’ll be coming.” Her voice was so soft that her father had to strain his ears to hear her.”
“Who’ll be coming?” Alldelhem did not want any sadness to intrude into this happy moment. “Have more wine dear and forget the horror of your passage.”
“Daramlhoardd.” The very mention of his name sent shivers through all the guests close enough to hear her words.
“Why,” was shaped in Alldelhem’s mind.
Before the word could be born into reality, Galowyn spoke again. This time her voice was louder. “He believes that we either kidnapped Karodem or mother cast a spell over him.”
Karodem cleared his throat with a loud “Ahem.” He took another swallow of wine to clear his mind before speaking. “It will no doubt be best if I return to the nine cities.”
A loud chorus of, “No’s,” rang out from Angvaradel and Galowyn. They were echoed by Alldelhem and a few of the closest nobles.
“If I don’t, all of his wrath will fall upon this land. I should never have deserted in the first place. I just couldn’t stand,” in front of all those that had gathered for the feast and without a sense of shame, Prince Karodem broke down and sobbed.
A few of the guests, embarrassed by this strong display of emotions either looked away or looked down at their plates.
Alldelhem put his arm around his stepson and nephew. He patted him on his broad back. “You will do no such thing. Your home is with us, it has always been with us. If you leave you will bring tears to your mother’s eyes and to your sister’s eyes as well.”
Karodem, now over his breakdown for a moment was able to speak. “If I don’t return, he will bring ruin and death to this land.”
Alldelhem rubbed the stubble of his beard, “It will take my brother some time to put a large army together. His alliances are weak. Most if not all his allies are reluctant ones. We will have time to prepare for his worst. The walls of this city are strong and protected by your mother’s magic.”
“Still many will spill the redness of their life.” Karodem’s voice was stronger now, deeper and more certain. “If I go back they will be spared.”
Alldelhem turned and looked at Karodem. “This day of war that is coming is not of your making. It was ordained from the moment that your father usurped the throne from me. If he had ruled with gentleness and a kind heart, I would not have minded. If he had not beaten your mother and not used her so basely, she would have never come to me for comfort.
We would never have fallen in love. No my son, they weight of this day, the weight of this war and all of the death it may bring is upon his head. His soul is unleavened and flatter than a squashed frog. We will be well ready for the despot and tyrant.”

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