4th of 4…
Citadel of Grippio, Plesz, the Grand Navigators…
Lord Ruili Windwolf and Y’lanna Sparti walked side by side through the halls of government. Along the way, they found themselves chatting more and more casually together.
Ruili was happy to answer whatever questions she had as best he could, which varied depending on what it was about. Among other things, he explained that, yes, the Sovereign Duchy was rather like a kingdom.
“Well, a constitutional monarchy, more precisely,” he said. “The important bit is the Sovereignty. It means we are not beholden to the Floating Throne but answer directly to Lyr of the Seas, the patron deity of Lyrion, which is the realm in which we are located. Other nations in Lyrion are vassals to the Throne, which is the god’s government representative, but sovereign states such as ours are not. Such states are created by the will of the patron gods of the realms.”
But her question about the Daemon Arcana once more cast a shadow over his normally bright face.
“I know not,” he said. “I’m sure, if they could be destroyed, my brother would have seen to it himself, but whatever the reason, they were not destroyed and now they cannot be until they are found again.”
Perhaps to lighten the mood again, she filled the rest of their walk with questions about the flowers in his parents’ garden and in the urns place about the courtyards. She started by asking him what he had meant by “lavender ladies flying among the stars,” and he plucked a violet from an urn and held the delicate blossom to her hand to demonstrate.
“Truly, milady,” he said, “I have seen the fae take the form of these very flowers, but I’ve never seen one of them wear the color as well as you. Ah, here we are.”
They had arrived at another office, not too different from the office of the Customhouse, except that this was the office of the Land Lords of the Grand Navigators — or rather, of their clerks, who worked behind a counter and in front of a vast array of shelves of scrolls and books, just like in the other office and, perhaps, all the offices in the Citadel.
The process of securing housing for Y’lanna seemed to run simply enough. It began with a clerk in shirtsleeves and waistcoat looking up and exclaiming in alarm, “Your Excellency!”
It continued with Ruili introducing Y’lanna and asking her to show the clerk her new visa and some comments back and forth, and it ended with Ruili saying:
“What do you mean you don’t have anything available?”
“I will check the lists, my lord,” the clerk bowed his apologies, “but last year’s hurricane damage to the outer isles still has not been fully repaired, and there was that landslide on Mount Uafoa just a few weeks ago. The wait for new cottages is several months, at least. In addition, it is the Triumvirate, my lord — there is not an empty room to be had in any town. I’m sure we can place the lady as guest to a household while she waits for a permanent place, but she may have to settle for an inn until the festival is passed.”
All the while he was delivering this bad news, the clerk was leafing frantically through enormous books of property records.
“Oh, bloody piss,” Ruili growled as he rested his elbow on the counter, and the clerk leafed more frantically yet.