Category: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Stories

Princil's Magic Ch. 06 Charlerion

by kurtrellians©

Charlerion of Pelancir : Princil's Magic Ch. 6 (Part 1)

The man who came into the throne room was unknown to her. Some name was given in heavy Grumandrian accent which she did not hear clearly. Her eyes were drawn immediately to the man, who came in accompanied by attendants or followers. He was a strange man, tall, athletic looking, in his late twenties perhaps and very handsome. His attractiveness was not at all delicate. His fine face was confident and strong. Power and intelligence radiated from him. His eyes were dark, but she imagined a flash of blue in them. They were sinister and piercing, drawing her in involuntarily. They appeared therefore dangerous, an attraction which could not be resisted. His brown hair, yellowed by the summer sun, was unusually long for most Shalirionites, but he was certainly not that. No Shalirionite would show such brash ostentation. The fine mane of hair came well over his shoulders. It was not worn, however, in the predominant styles she had so far noted amongst the Grumandrians, parted in the middle and left to hang down the sides of the face. This man's hair was brushed back over his head, behind his ears and back from his forehead. His tunic was strong blue with yellow sun symbols and letters sewn across it, his cloak was of white fur and coloured blue. He wore tights of a lighter sky blue, his shoes were all brown with golden buckles.

His appearance was menacing to some, or inspired worship and adoration in others. It seemed to Remzain that no one would have treated this man without a strong internal reaction, whether male or female. He was unusually, powerfully attractive. She imagined that, whoever he was, he must create unease, in all those who came near, certainly in those who did not know him well. Whoever this man was he bore himself with equality towards King Guthelm, towards whom most men showed fear and self preservatory obedience. She wondered whether he was an ambassador of somewhere, or maybe a lord or ruler, doubtless of somewhere in the continent of Animar


He had power to rival Guthelm and Guthelm knew it! When Charlerion demanded or requested Guthelm had to listen, or risk losing his whole strategy. They were allies and they needed each other. They were allies and yet rivals at heart. King Charlerion had arrived in Cromilil only that day to accompany the army further into Shalirion, and to safeguard his share of the conquered city and its wealth.

Charlerion, the King of Pelancir, had come to the conquered city Cromilil. Some of his lieutenants had been involved in its capture and occupation. He needed to be here soon after the conquest to ensure he got the share of the city which he and Pelancir were due. They had given arms to the endeavour of conquering this city, so he and his people should get some of the plunder and the advantages of occupation. Guthelm was not a leader whose word could be trusted. He had raped and plundered his way across many lands in the past, carving out quite an empire for himself and his horde. He had taken what he wanted and wasted much of what he didn't want.

Partly Charlerion wanted to be like Guthelm, to have his power, his magic, his ruthlessness. But Charlerion believed he could do it better. Cromilil had been a grand city only days ago, and look at it now. Large sections of its population slaughtered for no good reason. Men wasted who could have made good workers or slaves, to enrich the Lords who could have demanded their fealty or bondage. Women who could have swelled the brothels for his soldiers and knights, given them Pelancirian children, made wives and concubines, who could have cared for his people as servants, so many of them had merely been raped and discarded. Fewer of them were dead, but too many. The city had hardly resisted, it had been unready and asleep.

His own knights and soldiers had been far more restrained than the Grumandrians, but they had been outnumbered by Guthelm's retainers and allies. There was a higher order, he believed. Gods looked down upon the actions of men and might intervene if offended too much. In his heart Charlerion knew that some of the Gods may have been bitterly offended by Guthelm's behaviour and might well intervene to restore some balance in the world. Charlerion therefore decided he must walk a diplomatic path between the King the people of Shalirion called barbarian, Guthelm and his bloodlusted marauders, and the good will of the Gods. He would remain on good terms with Guthelm if possible, but he would try to govern his subjects in a better way which he hoped would keep the support of the Gods. He would seek to build more than to destroy, and when he died there would be a lasting legacy of grandeur, which would dwarf his rival.

The handsome stranger strode towards King Guthelm, treating him as a fellow monarch and King, which Remzain thought was strange. She could not hear their words and would not have been able to understand them anyway as they spoke in barbarian accents. She could see welcome and respect from the King towards this fellow, and ease and humour from the suave newcomer. They talked for a while about things she knew not. For a while the respect seemed to evaporate. She could see anger in Guthelm from something the newcomer had said to him, some criticism perhaps. Guthelm didn't like criticism or demands from rivals, she knew that. Guthelm reddened and spoke sharply, raising his voice, but the newcomer spoke strongly and soberly to the all powerful King, which seemed to calm him down. They remained friends, she noted. Perhaps some deal or understanding had been reached.

"Hail Guthelm. We have a city, and a victory to celebrate!" said the younger King, bursting with enthusiasm.

"We do Charlerion. I am pleased to see you have finally arrived," welcomed the elder King.

"I was busy up the coast, but we have succeeded in making the Shalirionites run," said Charlerion.

"I know you do not have sorcerors of the capability of Grumandria," said King Guthelm, unable to resist his boasting.

"That is true, I had to sail under the simple power of the winds," admitted Charlerion.

"We did not need you. My armies were quite capable of taking this city," declared Guthelm, who seemed intent on taking most of the credit upon his own minions.

Guthelm's proud boasts appeared unfair to Charlerion, who believed his army should take its fair share of glory. "My army and many of my boats were a good part of your fleet, and so should take a good share in the rewards of this campaign." Charlerion knew he had not been involved in Cromilil but he was here to take a reasonable share of the rewards and the glory. That was why he had come here. Guthelm, the greedy, could not be trusted to give the Pelancirions a fair share of the reward for being a part of this venture. Charlerion needed to be here to save something for Pelancir from the wasteful sack of the city. Charlerion had been working with the drunken King of Grumandor for some years now, in campaigns against common enemies in Animar, and in the north against Shalirion, and he was under no illusions that Guthelm fought only for Guthelm, but he needed allies. Together they were strong. Together they would raze Shalirion and mould it for their own purposes and their own peoples. The problem was that Guthelm would despoil much of what he had won and Charlerion must keep a check upon his ally to ensure that he did not waste it all. He must at the least ensure Pelancir acquired its fair share of the spoils. With Charlerion's magnanimity and good sense Pelancir would grow stronger out of these wars than Grumandria, which could not help but waste its advantages and its possessions with a leader like Guthelm.

Guthelm sighed. Charlerion could not tell whether this was indication of that Guthelm might find his demands tiresome. Perhaps the warrior King merely enjoyed the testing and the practice of war, and found the reminder of the shares and rewards of victory as being uninteresting, or whether he felt irritated by Charlerion's insistence of his rightful share. "You always get your share, Charlerion. Have I ever not allowed you your due? We are brothers, together by a common purpose. Together we can have what we want. We can defeat Shalirion as we have carved up Animar between us."

"This is so, and I recognise it as you do," agreed the younger King, "and so I need to know which parts of this city I may occupy, or which rewards I may take from this region for my participation."

"Which parts do you want?" Guthelm asked, unhelpfully.

"The parts my forces occupy currently on the far side of the river, the eastern banks," said Charlerion.. "I see much death and destruction of properties, fires raging out of control in parts of the centre. Have you considered what to do with the city after conquest?"

"After conquest I give the city to my warriors and my allies. My warriors can have their way with it, I do not care. My object was to bring it down, to make the soft people of Shalirion understand what it is to become servants and to lose their property and their childish ways. My sorcerors too may take their reward from this city. I give to them some of its people to use in the making of their sorcery. The dwarves are taking the gold and precious metals they so revere and the riches made by the hand of Shalirion's craftsmen. The goblins can have what they want too. Some of them want vengeance upon those they hate, others wish to find slaves to take back home to their mountains."

"Surely if we are here to conquer Shalirion you do not want them to go home with their rewards?" queried the ambitious young King.

"Some will stay, some will go, but they will return in time to join us again. Where there is reward they will come back for more."

"I ask again, Guthelm, what will you do with the city after we leave? There should be a plan. Do you wish us to partition it forever between us, or will you leave the city empty as we go to war for the rest of Shalirion?"

"Is that what you want Charlerion? Do you want the city for yourselves?"

"If you have no further use of it I would be pleased to hold this city for the future. We of Pelancir do not believe the city should be completely destroyed. There has been enough killing, enough burning. I would like to see the city rebuilt where there has been much damage. Its people should be put to work profitably. In this city and in others a colony of Pelancirians could be planted to rule the Shalirionites. Their produce could be taxed and sent back regularly to Pelancir. Don't you have similar plans for Grumandria?"

"Then you do want the city for yourselves? We are taking tribute, and plan to destroy Shalirion's power elsewhere, but I have no plan for a permanent colony of my people. You are my ally Charlerion. If that is what you want you may have this city. But..., But not until my people and the other allies have taken what they want from it. For the moment occupy your Eastern bank and the other places where your warriors are. When the rest of us have left the city then you may have it indeed, if there is anything left of it. That is the agreement I will have with you over this city. That is the agreement I expect you to agree to. Is this acceptable?"

Very well, I will agree to this, but I want this to be included," Charlerion stressed. "If we are to have this city after, and its surrounds, I want plenty of its citizens to be preserved. We will need servants and slaves, women, men and children when we rule here. You understand that?"

"Cromilil's people deserve punishment, and I am punishing them, but do not concern yourself, there will be plenty left when we have left. There is another question I must have your agreement upon, which must be a part of our agreement over this city. You must march with us up the coast for further conquests in Shalirion. We need your continued support."

"Of course, Guthelm. I have already committed to this, it is understood. We want to take down the Kingdom of Shalirion, as you do. It cannot be done all at once but we will be with you as the campaign proceeds."

"We are agreed then," said Guthelm, laughing with good humour, probably pleased that the serious talking and dealmaking was done. "To celebrate our conquest, and our agreements You must come to the Council Hall tonight for the feast. Bring your courtiers and officers, some of your warriors. You will drink with my men of Grumandria and celebrate with the women of the city after."

"We will come of course!"

Charlerion Of Pelancir : Princil's Magic : Ch.6 (Part 2) : The Dance

King Guthelm wanted to put on a good feast, to be hospitable to his allies, so he encouraged his concubines and his slave women to dance with the Pelancirian Knights. In other circumstances he would have kept them under more control. Other ladies of the vanquished people of the city were drafted in, forced to attend the feast and told to be friendly and favourable towards the conquerors of both nations.

The mistress of Guthelm's chambers instructed Guthelm's concubines to attend the feast laid on for his allies the Pelancirians. "King Guthelm wants you all there tonight. I think he wants to impress King Charlerion, who is one who always seeks to make himself and his court as important as they may."

Remzain hoped it might not be as rough as the previous feast she attended. She had had her fill of watching drunken Grumandrians fighting each other and abusing sad frightened women of her city in front of her eyes. She now knew who that startling and powerful figure was, who had spoken to Guthelm as his equal. She had heard that his soldiery were somewhat more restrained than Guthelm's, so she was more curious than afraid to observe the Pelancirians.

She had seen that face before in the King's Audience Chamber the day before. So this was the King of the Pelancirians, Charlerion, the man who had seemed to stand up to the brutish Grumandrian King. They were allies, so perhaps he was a brute too, but such a strong handsome face did not seem brutish. There appeared to be great intelligence between those flashing blue eyes. She looked at his beauty, radiant for a man. He was wearing the most immaculate and colourful blue tunic. She had never seen a man carry himself so proudly, and yet be so perfect. She tried not to stare, but found herself drawn. He was coming past, hailing the dowdy Grumandrian Generals and Lords, whom he must have met before, and saying flirty words to the ladies, Grumandrian and captives of Cromilil alike. His charm gave her a sudden new confidence, as she had never felt before, that not all conquerors are destructive killers, that there might be some redemption or fair treatment for the conquered, that female slaves and servants might have some hope of advancement.

The King was like a human lion, grand, beautiful, drawing the gaze of all. Women bowed like flowers drawn to the sun in his presence. Remzain was conscious that all the women were drawn to him. She felt jealous that he flattered them and not her, but he had not even reached her, could not have noticed her yet. He was approaching! Her heart raced and panicked in his beautiful presence. She tried not to look too directly at him, not to be sucked in by his eyes, not to seem like an adulant. She looked at other members of his retinue. They were all a handsome accomplished bunch, but they were merely pale copies of the leader. He was perfection!

Charlerion greeted some of Guthelm's ladies, even kissing one or two of them on the cheek. Then he glanced over towards her direction, seemed about to pull away, when he opened the full glare of his attention towards her. Her animal senses understood immediately, recognised that his gaze had been caught by someone in her vicinity. She smiled before she could think. She knew it must be herself who caught his gaze, although there was no rational certainty that it must be her. She who was becoming used to being found attractive was not so confident that all would necessarily find her so. She had not been the only beauty in Cromilil, a city where all women had been able and encouraged to be as beautiful as they were and could be.

The young King allowed himself to look at whoever he wished to look at, and she was fully aware that it was her he looked at now. There was no caution in such a beautiful King. He allowed himself full freedom to follow his interest. He came closer; all could see where his interest lay. He had seen her earlier in the day. She had caught his eye then, and now he could make her acquaintance. He came forward, a smile on his face.

"Madame," he said in his Pelancirian accent, "I am enchanted, completely, to make your acquaintance." She blushed and smiled, not knowing what to say. She sensed the eyes of all around her upon them, and knew all could see the eagerness in him. She tried to restrain her own. She was just a concubine now, the property of a different King. She could not appear eager, could she? Well, the concubines had been instructed to be welcoming and to dance with Guthelm's allies.

"I am pleased to meet you sire."

"And what is your name?" asked the Pelancirian King. "I must know it, for I saw you before in King Guthelm's court."

"You did sire. I did not realise who you were, at first," she mumbled for something to say.

"Indeed not?" he laughed discreetly, showing no dissatisfaction at her ignorance. "I cannot blame you for that. You have glittering eyes lady, and a great beauty. Tell me, for I must know. What is your name?"

"Remzain," she answered, hoping he would like it.

"Remzain!" he repeated, playing with it. "That is an unusual name! Are you? Were you," he corrected himself, "a citizen of this unfortunate city?"

"Yes, I am, was!" She wondered how she could admit her citizenship without anger, but at this moment her thoughts were far from the strife of her city and her people. Charlerion seemed a bright sunshine, brought into the stricken city. In his presence she was able to forget the pain of her people, briefly.

"You have been through much, I don't doubt," he said magnanimously. "But tonight let us forget the harsh things. Will you dance with me? I choose you."

"If you will sire. My master is King Guthelm, but he permits I believe."

Charlerion Of Pelancir : Princil's Magic : Ch.6 (Part 3) : Negotiations

Charlerion liked Cromilil. The city had been badly abused by the Animarian invasion, mainly by the Grumandrians and their Goblin allies. But the shape of the city appealed to him. Its proud opulent merchant buildings, many of them still standing, although fire damaged, were cultured and magnificent. He saw the emptied streets as a new colony for his own people of Pelancir. The people of Cromilil were dead, exiled or enslaved. Empty houses would be ideal habitations for colonists. Shalirionites would be servants and workers.

King Guthelm negotiated further about their plans for conquest.

"I want you to join me in an attack on the city of Vedalis. We need the blood of Pelancir to defeat the Shalirionites there," said Guthelm in typically blunt fashion. "My armies are not sufficient without you."

"We of Pelancir want to defeat Shalirion, but they have redoubled their defences and are more ready. Further conquests will cost many lives," declared Charlerion. "I want all of Cromilil - for Pelancir! I want a guarantee that Grumandria will not do to Vedalis what you did to Cromilil.

"Another request I have also. Give me one of your concubines - the one called Remzain! I danced with her at your feast. Give her to me and I will join you against Vedalis."

"Remzain? Which one is that?"

"You don't remember her?" Charlerion evidently found it hard to believe the King of Grumandor had not noted her beauty. The King of Pelancir had thought of little else since he had found her at Guthelm's feast.

Category: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Stories