Since it’s July Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ll be working on Song and Shadow, I thought I’d kind of step back from posting from it for a bit and instead show you what led to writing it by introducing the adult Hierik in Song and Sword.
Skipping a few paragraphs from last week. Hierik’s interrogation was interrupted by a message that there was someone waiting for him in his chambers with an urgent message.
“Order!” Hierik’s voice brought her back to the present and her fear returned. “The accused will rise,” he said, and Marlia stood up, shaking slightly. “You are accused of the murders of Bendren and Liffea. How do you plead?”
“Not guilty,” she said, her voice suddenly strong and confident as she looked past Hierik to Pashevel.
“Yet you stand accused by an eyewitness, the son of your victims.”
“I did not kill them.”
“Then explain how their son has identified you as their killer.”
“The man who accused me is not the man who they introduced me to as their son.”
There were murmurs from the crowd at this but Hierik pushed on. “Maybe they had more than one. Maybe you are lying.”
The crowd’s murmurs grew angry and Hierik turned to them. “Quiet!” he thundered, but one man stood up, facing him.
“They had no children,” he said clearly as people turned to look at him. “Neither do I, but I have a ‘son’ just like theirs.” Pashevel recognized him as the man who had stopped at the burned out farmhouse to speak with them.
“Sit down!” Hierik roared, but the man stood firm.
“No,” he replied calmly. “I will be heard. My name is Yannik,” he went on, “and I am tired of being forced to live a lie.”
A murmur of agreement swept through the crowd.
“No one should have to live a lie,” Hierik agreed, his voice quiet as he turned the focus of his gaze from Yannik to the entire crowd, smiling as his eyes swept over them. “I have been informed of what is going on here, and I want you to know that the Crown is also aware, or will be soon.”
He turned back to Marlia. “Tell me what happened, Paladin.”
A bit further along in the trial, Marlia is being questioned as she is holding the Shield of Truth.
“Have you ever killed anyone?” Hierik asked.
The question startled her, but she answered calmly. “Yes.”
“Have you ever killed anyone other than in defense of yourself or others?”
Hierik smiled and leaned in close to her, whispering a question in her ear. Marlia flushed and looked away, then looked at her friends. They looked puzzled – even Pashevel – and she realized that this had not been part of the plan. She smiled and looked at Hierik. “Yes.”
Hierik laughed. “Just wanted to make sure,” he said, turning back to the crowd.
“I declare Marlia, Paladin of Arithen, to be not guilty of the charges laid against her. Are there any here who would dispute the findings?”
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince
Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village
Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first
Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast
Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.
But first, they have a problem to solve: how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?