Did you all catch that Crescendo excerpt at the bottom of my bullet-pointed list of hilarity (well, to me, anyway) about my vacation? What's that? No? *izshocked* Well, that's okay, because here's another one below the jump.
Also, be sure to join us here on Saturday the 26th to participate in a very creative guest post by Indigo Skye (author of Uniform Behavior and Her Captive Muse). She's got some writing prompts for you all, and there'll be two winners: one on my blog and one on hers. You'll definitely want to check that out, along with some other fun upcoming events.
But for now, another Crescendo sneak peek, beneath the jump.
"Tell me, little brother," Berendil said, "how long has it been since any province on the western front has held a Council seat?”
Freyrík knew this answer without thinking, but only because it had been a significant year for him: his twelfth winter, when he’d come of age for the line of succession. “Seventeen years ago, when the last Midr term expired.”
Berendil nodded as if he’d expected no less precision from his scholar prince. “And does that not seem the slightest bit unfair to you?”
He supposed he’d never given it much thought. After all, sixteen provinces, seven revolving appointments of four years apiece . . . someone was bound to be left out. Except Aegea, of course, who held the eight seat always. But now that Berendil had drawn his mind to it, it did smack of disparity. Nearly thirty appointments made in the last seventeen years, and not one to Midr, Kali, or Farr.
“No room for barbarian kings on the council, you see,” Berendil said—nay, nearly spat—when Freyrík remained silent. “What do we know of finesse, of politics? All they think us good for is raising a sword, breeding more boys to die beneath the darker menace. I would see that remedied. We all on the western front would see that remedied.”
And just how, exactly, did they mean to make that happen? Freyrík opened his mouth, closed it again. Did he really wish to know?
Yet if his king chose to take him into confidence, what right had he to be a coward?
“As we speak, the princes and kings of the western provinces bend sympathetic ears toward a new plan. Year after year, we but sit and wait for the darker menace to overrun our lands, kill our sons, trample our crops and slaughter our livestock. I propose we stop waiting; it is time to take the fight into darker lands, as you yourself did with such great success. We mobilize the whole of the Empire’s army to find the dark elf beast-masters, kill them, and put end at last to three centuries of meek slaughter.”