Realms of Myth

Around the Fire

Caudraí makes an appeal

Caudraí looks up from his untouched wine. It’s clear from his eyes that old Cawdry is visiting him this night – the one who suffered great doubts in their first sojourn to change the Kingdom.

“I find myself aching for the irritating company of the mystics – those old wonks,” his impiety seems to be a compress for his fevered heart.

“While we were in Rhiannon’s woods, I think Lunasa found us and kindled us each in different ways,” he looks Arthur in both of his eyes. "I know I was not there to hear Lady Bess’ cries as she flung the sheathe for Albion through the flames. I was, however, graced to spend what I am thinking of as ‘summer days’ with the High Druid, and saw her quiet smile as she used my presence to needle their majesties in a spritely manner I think the elfs would approve of. In the way that my life seems moved by powerful women, she has been no small exception, and I have a deep respect and fondness for her.

“I bow to the urge that has driven you all and your powers to seek her release. I have said no word against it, nor will I. I do think there is a trap and a terrible danger there that perhaps we might best be inspired to pass on to those of her colleagues who might be better able to face such challenges. If you choose to continue trying to save her, I am at your side… unless…

“The plan I have laid before you with the court.. You may see it as one of those ‘Caudraí things’, where I do a little performance with words, and people write things down, and something happens. I sometimes thinks of it that way,” he says softly, so perhaps the Light will not hear him.

“But what I am proposing we bring, along with our new converts and their crimes, to the court, is literal enLightenment, the actual uptake of the true Light into this court of power, to this King who killed so many to hold and spread the influence of the Church. If we do this very, very carefully and very well, we might save the soul of… the Church itself. We might literally save the peoples of the land, and re-waken them to the Light that is not part of the uncareful balance of Flesh, but that is our true source and destination.”

He stands, and raises his glass. “So, I drink a toast to Lady Bess. But I think if you were to ask her if you had to make a choice between saving her, and Saving the Royal Court… I think I can guess which she would choose.”

He sets his glass done. “Thus endeth the beseechment. And I shan’t trouble you with it again. But this is my course.”

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Cael rolls the wine about in his cup. It is his first, and it remains mostly full. His words come, slow and measured.

“We must do right by the kingdom, and its people. Even if all else fails, and its rulers do not.” He pauses. “Especially if all else fails, and its rulers do not.” He casts the wine into the fire, causing a brief conflagration.

He sets the cup down.

“But we’ve lost so many already. And there are so few of us. And every day it seems we find more of them, waiting in the darkness.”

He bites his lip, his face hardening as if to keep a painful memory at bay. “Emeric. Eberolf. Tarrin.” Each name is whispered, like a prayer.

“We must keep in mind that to win this war. To save the Church… if such a thing can even be done at this point… we’ll need allies. And friends.”

“And if we are too willing to sacrifice those who have sacrificed so much for us… I fear we might lose more than the Church. We might lose ourselves.”

He straightens, his face taking on a certain serenity that has not been present there for a very long time. “I don’t know what choice circumstances will bring us, or if a choice will even present itself… but we’ll do what we must. As we always have. That is the summation of our duty. And we are ever diligent to it.”

Around the Fire
gentlemanbear

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