This is my weekly serial, written raw as a writing exercise.
You can find the first post in the series here.
Last week’s post is here.
Much to everyone’s surprise Diamond Silvermane did not pout or snarl when the vote came and The Twins defeated her handily.
While the Doxies’s did not like paying dues to the Union, they enjoyed what they got for their money. With my name cleared in the murder of Rake, the thoughts of the membership turned to less sensational interests, such as what kind of leadership they wanted going forward. The Twins offered compassion and unity. Diamond Silvermane offered lower fees and an organization that would help the very best achieve their goals.
In the end, trust carried the day more than any ideological message.
After the vote Union Hall exploded into celebration. The Whores’s War was over. The Doxies’s had been under a lot of pressure since the death of Madame Glorianna; I could feel it lifting as music, laughter, and happy voices filled the building.
The Doxies were all dressed in their finest, be it formal or flamboyant, and it was quite the sight as they got up and moved, conversing and dancing. The riot of colours, the mix of styles, scents, and sensibilities was almost overwhelming. I watched as high-class whores from Old-Town brothels danced with burly doormen from Cliffshadow, and Joyboys from Burning Hill laughed with dockside streewalkers.
I smiled as I saw Vethri and Eiskra engaging in animated conversation with Diamond Silvermane across the room. No doubt they were arguing about the direction of the Union, but at least no one was drawing weapons or taking out contracts.
The merriment lasted late into the evening, with ale and wine flowing freely. It was not the worst way to end a war, I suppose.
Thyra arrived a week later, having born my gift to the High King, Skaeld, and his sister, Vidra.
“They were mighty pleased to receive the sword, Ragnar,” related Thyra. “They have invited you to attend them, as quickly as you can. You may not be an exile for much longer, my friend.”
I nodded, thinking about the identity of old Siggurd’s killer.
“You don’t seem happy, old wolf,” said Thyra. “What did you uncover?”
“I learned that the ambush might have occurred because my clan has a secret pathway through the Spearmarch that the Skraelings stumbled on.”
“Garm’s eye!” exclaimed Thyra. “I knew it! No wonder Wolki has been skulking about; the Shadow Wolves killed our king.”
“Wait, wait Thyra. Before you start a clan war, Wolki had nothing to do with High King Siggurd’s death. The treacherous blow came from someone else.”
“Who?” she asked.
“That is a message that I must bring to the High King and his sister. It is a sensitive matter, you see.”
Thyra’s brow furrowed and she fixed me with a baleful glare. I did not blame her for this; she still wanted vengeance for our dead king. Had she known what I knew she would have started a war.
“It is not as dramatic as you think Thyra. The drama ended long ago. I am not even certain that anything will come from what I know.”
Thyra’s jaw worked.
“Thyra, you will have to trust that Siggurd’s children will know what to do with what I have learned. They are good rulers, are they not?”
“Aye, I trust them. Truth be told they have better judgement than their father in most things.”
I laughed. Siggurd had been a great man, but his temperamental. “And so we owe it to them to decide how they will seek redress. It may not be directly.”
Thyra nodded. “I don’t like the sound of that, but I can see the right of it.”