I promise, the next crochet/knitting post will be up soon, I just have to assemble the project before I upload it. So, it should be up next week. For now, enjoy this piece of literature that was inspired by my recent obsession with The 100.
Kesla shifted in her seat. The iron circlet that rested on her forehead became uncomfortable, and she could feel beads of sweat running down the side of her face. It was hot, but she had to stick it through, the twelve clan leaders sat just a couple of feet away, and if they saw weakness in her, she’d be dethroned in a heartbeat.
“The decision is yours, Eminence,” said the leader to her left. His name was Nolan. He was the king of the Easter Sea clans. The mess of curls around his head was testament to that. He’d been her rock when she’d first taken the throne and Kesla trusted him explicitly. Nolan was more than a brother to her, he was her confidant, her strength when she couldn’t be strong, and if she had a choice in the matter, she’d let him be High Voice, but it seemed fate had other plans.
Kesla turned her head towards his direction, and stared him down. She could see in his eyes that he knew she’d lost track of the conversation, and by staring him down, it would give her advisors time to catch her up. It worked, Nyx, her robed attendant who stood on her right, whispered in her ear, “They are waiting for you to decide whether or not to attack the Adamo.”
Of course, how could she forget. The Adamo invaded her lands from across the Catal Sea, and even dared to claim them as their own. Kesla turned her gaze towards the rest of her gathered party, and measured each of their expressions. She knew some would call for war, others were hesitant. Using logic and reason was best in this situation.
Straightening against the broken gears and clockwork that made up the back of her throne, she addressed her congregation, “Have the Adamo attacked our people yet?” The crowd began to murmur, “Have they slaughtered our children and raped our women?” The murmurs grew, and Kesla knew she had their attention now, “They haven’t. Let them live on those lands. They were dispensable anyway. Their homes are out in the open, and we have the trees. They are vulnerable. That is my decision.”
There were frowns and loud discussions amongst the clan leaders’ followers, and Kesla watched as they tried to figure out a way to argue against her. It took a couple of minutes, before one brave warlord decided to take the stand. His name was Locas. He was older than Kesla by a few good years, and she knew he’d seen his fair share of battles and wars. It was his way to root out a problem before one arose, but the Adamo had not presented themselves as an enemy, and she knew he couldn’t understand that.
“Eminence, these people have weapons we do not have. If we let them live, there will be no telling what they’ll do. They may grow confident and decide to take more land. We cannot afford to accommodate them. We can barely feed our own,” he argued. Some of the other leaders nodded in agreement, and she watched as those who had agreed with her began to second guess themselves.
“Commander Locas, I understand your concern, but weren’t we all in the same situation, before the Union? We invaded each other’s lands. We demanded war from each other, and did worse than what the Adamo are doing now.” Kesla retaliated. She knew this argument all too well, they were made over and over again, against each other, and being High Voice, she had to keep the peace, no matter what arguments were put forward, “My decision is final Commander. We leave the Adamo alone.”
Unsatisfied murmurings grew once more, and Kesla’s head began to pound. She’d had enough political discussions for one day, and she had to end this before the leaders began to demand more violent solutions. With all the authority she could muster, she stood from the throne, making it clear that her orders were to be obeyed, “This is my final word. The Adamo are to be left alone.” She paused, waiting for the crowd to settle down, before continuing, “However, should they attempt to enter our territories within the forest, without an escort, or my seal, they are to be shot by arrow immediately.”
She watched as satisfied nods went around the gathering. Of course, there were those who grumbled, and Kesla could pinpoint each unhappy face, but that was not her mission today. When, everyone was either in agreement, or gave reluctant consent, she sat back down, and waved away her attendants, “It is settled, now leave.”
As she moved to stand behind her throne, the crowd began to filter out of the room, including her guards. Staring out of the large stained glass window, Kesla didn’t see the lone figure that remained in the room. He approached her cautiously, keeping an eye on the door, as the last person shut the doors. Kesla sighed, “You disagree with my decision.”
Nolan stepped up next to her, and stared out at the distance. The Capital was as busy as it always was, and he watched merchants as they sold their wares, “Every decision has consequences, even those that seem less violent.”
Kesla glanced at Nolan. His chiselled features were harsh in the fading light, and she wondered what those brooding eyes saw. Sighing once more, she gazed out the window, “If we attack the Adamo, they will retaliate, you know this.” Kesla turned to fully face him, hoping her gaze would penetrate that shield he seemed so fond of, “So what will be the point in war, if a truce can be made?”
After long seconds ticked by, Nolan finally returned her helpless plea with the steel resolve of his own, “War brings people to their knees. Whether victorious or not, one of us will fall. A truce is much trickier. It is a delicate balance of deals that our people are not used to making.”
Kesla stepped closer to him, making her point clear, “And yet the Union is one giant truce between the clans. Is that not so?”
Nolan blinked. Kesla was right. In one form or other, the Union was a truce, in itself. Without it, the twelve clans would have long been destroyed. Fixing her plea with a frown, Nolan softened, “Perhaps, but these are people we’ve dealt with for a long time. The Adamo are very different.”
Kesla shook her head and stalked towards the wine table that stood in the corner of the room, “The Adamo are wanderers. They only seek a place to call home.” She poured herself a drink, before turning back to Nolan, “That’s not very much different from us.”
As she sipped the wine in her goblet, Nolan returned his gaze to the horizon, watching the great orange sun dip below the mountains, “I hope you’re right Kes. For all our sakes.”
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