The Fey Bride of Elfland
Assurance of the Quality of Advice
That evening Queen Titania basically supported Chamorrick’s statement of going south. He spoke of knowing about the volcano, but not how to approach to gain proper recognition from the pure fey. Queen Titania gave him advice along with a feathery cloak that had me grinning as it looked similar to the one my half-brother tried to have me wear.
After giving him instructions about how to use the cloak, which was basically just assurance that he knew to be careful in putting it on, she then added, “Let me say, Prince Chamorrick, that if you fail to win this lady, the daughter of the Ice Queen should gain your honor.”
He replied, “Surely you jest, Your Majesty, as she is not Seelie.”
“Not of my court, no, but of my land. Those non-Seelie surely lack some honor, but they have gifts as well. Your land is also not of my court, Prince Chamorrick, so Princess Queanay should not disturb any loyalties.”
“But there are loyalties to your court,” he shot back. “My presence here is in recognition of the respect between our lands.”
“There is respect with the Ice Queen as well. Princess Queanay will present you with problems, but I dare say that the one you came to ask about will cause you to adjust as well.”
Seeing my half-brother look to me, I said, “And Princess Queanay is trying to get your recognition.” As if it mattered, I added, “And she really is not that bad looking.”
“You do not let her know of this.”
“Whatever, Chamorrick. If you want to live with the possibility of having to crawl to her and ask her forgiveness along with the willingness to have you court her, go ahead.”
The face of Queen Titania gave an indication that she found our exchange humorous as she added, “Indeed, Chamorrick, that is what I am saying as well.”
He spun to face her as he declared, “She is out there! She has threatened to join us.”
“Do not underestimate her knowledge, especially since her mother is very intelligent. You would do well to court her friendship, if not her love.”
“I will get Lasotherral.”
Queen Titania then turned to me to say, “Such a focus will probably need to be if Prince Chamorrick is to succeed. Thus, support him, but also try to have him see when failure becomes the more possible outcome.”
Chamorrick did not want to hear anything more of an alternate fate than marrying the pure fey woman. I had not come to give my half-brother a hard time, so agreed to drop any idea of possibly giving Queanay hope. Queen Titania seemed more amused than disappointed, and did what she could to help us be prepared for travel the next morning.
As we left with the rising of the sun heading south from Queen Titania’s residence and west away from Florinew, I saw Chamorrick keep looking to me. I suspected that he had something to say, but did not feel it important enough to concern me. We had a long way to go, so I felt he could take his time revealing his thoughts. As we stopped to consider the path to take through what appeared less and less of a grassland to become more and more of a rocky desert, Chamorrick finally spoke.
“I am going to wear it.”
Trying not to smile too broadly, I returned, “Since you are not married, there is no way that you can have a brother-in-law to bring you another.”
“I have the one that I left Florinew with.”
Still attempting to hold myself back from displaying any emotions, I replied, “Yes, but that one will not help you gain your lady.”
“You got that right!” He noticed that I kept a calm countenance, so asked, “Are you missing that wife of yours?”
“You got that right. You forget however that I am used to not having her in my life for long periods. Maybe if you had waited a year or so to where I had gotten really used to her presence I would have a different mindset. As it is, I am dealing with this rather well.”
“And you like hiking.”
“And I like hiking.”
He did not put on the cloak, but folded it back up and placed it once again inside his pack. With the apparel having a rather frilly composition, I gave him time to perform the operation. I guess as a reward for not troubling him, Chamorrick began speaking as he started walking.
“I am not a hiker. I have been on hunts, but then the focus was on tracking animals and getting close enough to make a kill. As the heir to the throne, I usually have horses or even coaches to take me around.”
“Then don’t think of this as a hike. The focus is on tracking your darling lady and getting close enough to make a proposal.”
“You’re laughing at me, aren’t you?”
My first thought was to deny the accusation, but then I realized that I could turn it back on him. “Since when did I have to seek out a girl? I was married before I could even think of a girl in a certain way. Yes, I am finding your situation humorous, but it is completely the enjoyment of seeing you suffering in a manner I never had to know. I am a complete ignorant fool, Cham, but you still requested that I come with you.”
I almost suspected that he was ignoring my words until he said, “In a way, you are much more entertaining than our father or any of the military people that usually accompany me.”
That had me consider asking about other people about the castle, but then I realized just how little I knew about this brother. “Hey, Cham, do you have any slaves?”
“No – I mean, no. I mean everyone in the castle is basically my slave – I mean servant. As the heir apparent, if I want something I can have someone do it for me.”
I still suspected that he knew things about the people in the castle, so asked, “Well, how many slaves are there in the castle?”
“Oh, a couple of dozen – I guess. Wars and such are not so common that many people are reduced in such a manner. Father does occasionally have to strip a person of all rank, but most of those are put to work in some degrading occupation and not offered up to be sold.” As if suspecting the reason I asked the question, he added, “You can send your slave back. Basically father just said that he did not want to have to bother with her, so made her your responsibility.”
“Basically, that is how I have been treating our relationship. I really do not understand Annie. I never courted her or anything, but she somehow decided to make a move on me on her own. Still, even though I do not feel responsible for her place with me, there is no reason to take advantage of my authority over her.”
“No, and things like that will actually help you in dealing with the fey. They somehow sense things about you that are in contradiction.”
Having studied what I could of the fey, and now having time experiencing life with one, I could accept what my half-brother was saying. It helped that I knew not just that he had fey in his blood, as did I, but that he had lived on this world where the fey were actively present. Knowing the beauty of the fey form, I fully understood why Chamorrick would want such a lady for himself. That thought however had me wonder exactly what he had studied about his hopeful lady.
I asked, “Cham, have you seen any pictures of Lasotherral?”
“We do not have cameras here, and there is no known painting of her. There however is no word of her being ugly. If a fey is not ugly, they are quite attractive. There is not much in-between with fey.”
Could not argue with that one, as I agreed that there definitely was something attractive with the fey I had seen. I had no real opinion of the males I had seen, but my opinion of the females had me nod with approval. Just wanting to continue the conversation, I felt that there was another matter dealing with a relationship with fey that my half-brother could answer.
“Cham, Rabbit has told me that this is not the time for children. Would you know when the time for children might be?”
“No, but leave it to the ladies to worry about that. I can say that she is a fey of my father’s court, and you are to be of my court. Since she is to provide you with children, the time probably will not be until after the death of my father or at least until my command of the future kingdom is better established.” He then turned to wink at me as he added, “It might also be when my wife becomes with child. I might have to provide advice to you on being a father, or we could be sharing advice between us.”
“I would hope that we could stay pleasant associating with each other. I accept that you will become my superior, but I would hate to complain about you the way I have done with other bosses.”
“If my experience in listening to my father holds true, it will be me complaining about you. Fathall however has been a good advisor, and I am seeing a positive influence upon you.”
Those words caused me to look around. We were moving into terrain unfamiliar to both of us without any feeling of trouble. I had enjoyed my time with Chamorrick. I thus turned to look at him while speaking positive words in return.
“I like Fathall as well. It however helps that Rabbit is there to help me make sense, or just provide a foundation for acceptance, of what he says.”
“I did not know my mother. The other ladies father had share his bed really had no influence on life in the castle. I am however hoping that my wife will become an integral part of my life, and the life of my home. I however cannot say if Lasotherral will be advising Rabbit or if the ladies of the castle will be advising my wife. Her millennia of years surely has provided her with great experience, but having not known a man she might have a great gulf of ignorance as well.”
Feeling as if I had some advice to give, I confidently said, “I hope that you come to love Lasotherral as I love Rabbit. That will not only provide a strong positive influence to your life, but to the kingdom as well.”
“I will give you my word on that, Kevin. If I was just in for the usual reasons of getting a woman, I would have already claimed a bride. I however want a strong, good future for myself and my land. I feel that I could indeed love this Lasotherral, but it is my concern for such that had me seek you as my travel companion. If you do not see the connection, the commitment, the love between us that you feel between you and Rabbit, I will need your words.”
“It is hard to tell with matters of love, Cham, but I will definitely let you know if I sense no love at all.”
And the journey continues with a most enjoyable encounter.