Wraithbane---Chapter Three

Fiction By Laura Elizabeth // 4/17/2011

Finally! Chapter three is here :) Hope ya'll enjoy. I've also fixed the dialogue in the last chapter so you can tell who is talking.
Chapter Three
The Council at Lea Brin

Terram stood on a wide balcony, overlooking a room below him which was crowded with people and, to his surprise, a sizable number of animals: dogs, birds, a cat here and there. He even spotted what looked like a mole. He had heard of talking animals in parts of Bynthybria, but had not known they could be part of the Society. There was a din in the room and on the balcony, as there always is in a crowd. He scanned the room and saw a short man to his left, taking papers, looking them over, asking questions. Actually, on a closer look, the man was obviously a dwarf. Terram went to him.
"Papers?" the dwarf said.
"I was told I was to give them to the head Gasper, sir," said Terram.
"The head Gasper has no time to look over a thousand papers, boy. He is the head of this whole society, don't you know?"
"Well, here then."
The dwarf took his time looking at them, making sure they were legitimate. He did not seem hurried or bothered at all.
"Do you check everyone's papers?" asked Terram.
"That man over there does it, too," said the dwarf, pointing with his small finger. "What is your full name, boy?"
"Terram Andreus."
"City of birth?"
"Etell."
"Place of residence?"
"Just outside of Etell."
The dwarf asked him several more questions, then took out a quill pen, signed his name on the papers, and handed them back to Terram.
"You may go down now."

When Terram had gone down into the room below the balcony, he saw that the walls were hung with maps of every country, province, continent and island. Bynthybria was always marked in green. He stopped to examine the largest map of his country. There were dozens of small red markers all over it, showing where each order of the Society was. There were also yellow markers in almost as many places, and he wondered what they were for.
On the wall opposite him as he came down the steps, there was a long list, which, when he came closer, turned out to be the 'Rules and Regulations Pertaining unto the Society Wraithbane'. He had read them before, of course, and could recite from memory the rules that applied to him.
There were ten statues in the room, and he went to the nearest one. There were words carved on its pedestal which read, 'Sotis Egid, Founder'.
Terram had pictured the great founder to be small, but the statue depicted him as well over a head taller than the prince. A small beard covered his face, and he held an unsheathed sword. He was wearing chain mail and a shield rested against his legs.
"Fascinating, eh?" a voice near him said.
He turned and saw a dog looking at him, head cocked on one side. Its coat was a glossy black, with a small head and pointed nose. Terram supposed it was some kind of Boval.
"Yes," he said. "He is not what I imagined him to look like."
"I daresay he did not look like that," said the dog. His voice was a bit gruff, but not rude. "People always idealize their heroes. According to the records, he was tall, but he had a crooked back, and certainly did not wear armor. He was not a soldier, after all."
"Do you know a lot about the Society?" asked Terram.
"Everything," the dog replied. "I ought to. I am the Society's record keeper. I spend hours poring over histories, manuscripts, record books, and so on. I compile them into books, with my secretaries' help. Would you like to see the library?"
"Of course!" Terram said enthusiastically. "By the way, what is your name?"
"Fallew. And yours?"
"My name is Terram. Terram Andreus."
The dog did a strange whistling noise between its lips.
"Do you mean to say you're related to his Majesty?"
"Well," said Terram modestly. "I am his son."
Fallew opened his mouth to say something, but at that moment a voice echoed through the room.
"Will everyone please be seated?"
He turned and saw a man on the balcony, looking down at the crowd. Instantly, a hush fell over them all. Terram found a seat beside a boy not much older than himself, and they exchanged nods.
The man on the balcony moved aside with a bow, and another, older man took his place.
"Welcome to you all," he said. "Welcome to the six hundred fifty-second annual meeting of the Wraithbane Society. I am the head Gasper, just appointed two years ago, so no doubt many of you do not recognize me. I am sure you all know that the council will last the rest of today and a good part of tomorrow as well. But before we begin, let's hear the pledge. With me, now."
Every member stood and said in chorus,
"To protect our fair country, and rid it of evil, we, the Wraithbane Society, pledge ourselves!"
It was an exhilarating experience to hear so many voices saying these words together. Terram looked to the boy beside him and saw that he had flushed cheeks and shining eyes.
"Thank you," the head Gasper said. "Be seated, please. We will call you out by your order, but first, I must bring something to everyone's attention. We have heard lately (I am sure you all have) of a traitor, Arren. Correct? Well, I will put your minds at rest. He will not betray our existence to the king, or to anyone else. But he will do damage if he remains at large. Are there any questions?"
Terram, along with several others, raised his hand. The Gasper pointed to someone behind Terram.
"Yes?"
The man stood up.
"How do you know he will not tell the king?"
"That is something we cannot tell you at this time. Any more?"
Terram raised his hand again.
"Yes?"
"What should we do with him if we capture him?"
"Bring him here to Lea Brin if possible. Your Gasper will know what to do."
Quite a few more questions were asked, and then the head Gasper said,
"Now we shall begin the council. Firstly, some news. Lecartin has started a war with Arvindia because of a petty difference between the two countries. Let us be thankful that our country, and our king, are much wiser than any other in the world. Also, let us be thankful for Sotis Egid and his friends who first founded the Society for the protection of Bynthybria. If only all the countries had a Society, perhaps there would be more peace in the world. Now, I shall call you out by your orders to give your reports."
Terram listened as different people went up to the balcony beside the head Gasper and told of troubles with werewolves, giants, quarreling noblemen, murder, and the traitor. Arren’s name came up again and again, and Terram began to wonder if there was just one traitor after all. Perhaps there were several, or a dozen. At last, the head Gasper said,
“Now I call forward the Royal Order. Most of you will not know that this was one of the first orders to be formed, for the protection of the royal family, and it has no set location as the other orders do. Instead, it’s location depends on that of the king. By tradition it has only five members. Is the Royal Order represented today?”
Terram stood, his heart beating with excitement, and went quickly up the stairs to the balcony to stand by the head Gasper, who shook his hand.
“Will you give us your report now?” the man asked.
Terram nodded, cleared his throat, and began.
“Our order has found that his Majesty, King Eragim, has sent fifteen ships to the Arvindians to help them in their war with Lecartin. We are afraid that Lecartin will hear of this and perhaps declare war on this country. Is this a reasonable fear?”
“It is,” said the Gasper. “Many a war has been started for something as trivial as that. If your order hears that Lecartian ambassadors have visited his Majesty, then be ready to come here to Lea Brin, where most likely someone will be sent to Lecartin. However, I do not think that at this time it is a serious threat. Fifteen ships is not a great number. Is his Majesty sending men, arms, supplies?”
“No,” said Terram. “Just the ships.”
“Well, then, it seems that for the moment there is little to fear from Lecartin."
Someone from the back raised their hand; actually, as Terram looked closer, it was a dog's paw.
"Yes, Fallew?" said the head Gasper.
"Don't you find it interesting," said the dog. "That Lecartin used to be very friendly to Arvindia, years and years ago? When the Erasthinians fled from their land, they had originally meant to go to Lecartin because, as the records say, 'there was good will between the Lecartians and the Erasthinians, and they were sure of a warm welcome'. Of course, as we all know, they were blown off course and arrived in what they would later call Arvindia."
There was a ripple of laughter through the crowd, and Terram hid a smile. Apparently this dog knew everything about the records, and had memorized huge portions of them.
"Yes, it is interesting," the head Gasper replied. "But people change, and one king might be a kind man, while another is a warmonger."
There were several more questions from various people, and then a bell rang three long notes.
"It is noon," the Gasper said. "And time to eat."
Terram could not believe that several hours had passed already. He followed along with the rest of the people. There were a great many rooms where they were divided according to order. Terram found himself with the members of the large Stadius order, which had sent six representatives, as well as delegates from the Mariun and Estor orders.
Of course most people recognized his name as soon as he told them, and they plied him with questions about the court, and about his order. He sighed inwardly, feeling that his status as prince was a heavy burden indeed. Even when he tried to be quiet and did not flaunt his title, everyone insisted on treating him like royalty.
They were almost done eating, and were about to go back to the council chamber when a man rushed in.
"Fire!" he cried. "Fire!"
Terram jumped up as confusion ensued.
"Where is the fire?" he shouted.
"Balcony and second floor! We're trapped!"

Comments

oh great!

Now I can't wait to read the next chapter.  Great job on this chapter!

Micheala | Mon, 04/18/2011

So, Fallew to the rescue,

So, Fallew to the rescue, right? :) Hee hee... I like Fallew.

Anna | Tue, 04/26/2011

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

  eek! Fire! I wonder if it

  eek! Fire! I wonder if it has anything to do with the dreaded Arren. hmmm

Renee | Wed, 04/27/2011