Saturday, June 18, 2016

Camilla recruits help to right a wrong in Ch 12/Sc 5b of RAGING SEA by @KimHeadlee #amwriting

Graphic overlay c2016  by Kim Headlee.
Though the summer solstice isn't for a few days, summer on the Headlee Farm is in full swing: the garden is planted, major inroads have been made on the weed beds (not the kind that would make us any money, but I bet I made you think twice :D), and we already have several face-cords of firewood stacked and ready.

We're either going to have the mildest winter in Appalachian Mountain history, or we'll be snowed in for weeks and still won't have enough firewood to carry us through.

Ah, summer.

In today's excerpt of Raging Sea, I introduce the fortress of Caer Gwenion, located on the site of an AD first century Roman fortress in northern England dubbed Vinovium and known today as Binchester, near the town of Bishop Aukland. The battle fought between Arthur's forces and the Saxons at Caer Gwennion will take place in a future book, but the seeds of the idea are sown in this installment.

Previous excerpts of Raging Sea 
Chapters 1–6 in Raging Sea: Reckonings
 Chapter 7: Sc 1 | Sc 2 | Sc 3 | Sc 4 | Sc 5a | Sc 5b |
Chapter 8: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 2 | Sc 3a | Sc 3b |
Chapter 9: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 1c | Sc 1d | Sc 1e |
Chapter 10: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 2a | Sc 2b | Sc 3a | Sc 3b | Sc 3c |
Chapter 11: Sc 1aSc 1b | Sc 1c | Sc 2 | Sc 3a | Sc 3b |
Chapter 12: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 1c | Sc 2 | Sc 3 | Sc 4a | Sc 4b | Sc 5a |

Raging Sea Chapter 12, Scene 5b
©2016 by Kim Headlee
All rights reserved.

“What we seek,” said Ælle, “is to right a wrong—a wrong that was perpetrated against yourself, as well, in the murdering of your brother’s son.”

Cissa regarded them for so long that Camilla felt as if she could start looking for a bolt hole in earnest. That marble tile over there looked promising. Perhaps she could pry it loose…

Finally, he rose and bade them follow him to his private reception chamber. The same guards that had conducted her and her father into Cissa’s presence accompanied the party. At the doors, Cissa ordered his men to wait outside.

Cued by the king’s entrance, thralls appeared through doorways to adjoining rooms bearing food and drink, which they arranged upon the table before retreating. The entire time, Cissa stared at a deerhide map of Brædæn tacked to one stone wall.

Ælle and Camilla helped themselves to wine goblets from the table and joined him. Camilla pressed another goblet into the hand of her almost-uncle-by-marriage, and he nodded his thanks.

Cissa tapped a scarlet X above the crook of a river at the edge of blue-marked Eingel territory. On all Saxon maps, scarlet represented holdings controlled by or allied with the Bræde Dragon King. This particular X sat just a little more than two score miles south and east of the Dragon King’s home fortress.

“The White Fort?” Camilla dared to ask. Ælle shot her an annoyed look, which she ignored.

“Caer Gwenion in the tongue of the Brædeas,” Cissa supplied.

She asked, “What has that Brædan stronghold to do with our venture?”

“Perhaps nothing, my dear… or everything.” Cissa gave her an indulgent smile. “It all depends upon whether Caer Gwenion’s chief, Melwas, a trading partner of mine, hates Arthur and Guenevara as much as we do.”

Camilla shrugged. “He’s a Bræde. Of course he’s allied with Arthur.”

“There are alliances… and alliances.” Cissa tipped his goblet to his lips and took a long draught. “I shall make discreet inquiries regarding the firmness of Melwas’s association with Arthur. I expect an answer by the Thor’s Day after next. You are both welcome to stay here until then if you wish. The news shall determine which course of action we shall take next.”

Camilla noted the we and broke into the biggest grin she’d felt in weeks.

“Thank you!” She hoped the kiss she planted on Cissa’s bewhiskered cheek conveyed the full depth of her appreciation.

A campaign into northern Brædæn was going to require months of planning and staging—perhaps even a year or more. But she saw Cissa’s participation as a sign that the gods were on her side in this endeavor.

With that being the case, she couldn’t possibly lose.
*** The end of Chapter 12 ***

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