Friday, May 31, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 38

< Chapter 37                                                                                                   Chapter 39 >
Our hero's list of enemies grows even as it appears life is settling down for him.

Shortly past dawn, a Mordanian naval squadron spotted us.  Ships were dispatched to search for Stubb's airship and take any survivors into custody -- especially Raoul and Windslow.  Another ship was sent to recall Martin's fleet, carrying an invitation to a ceremony in honor of their victory in the Battle of Faroon.  The rest of the airships formed around the Pauline as an escort.

We arrived in Morda late that afternoon.  Cheering crowds welcomed home their monarchs.  The streets were filled with rumors about a heaven-sent stranger who had rescued their princess.  Well, I had fallen out of the sky.

My favorite part of this story told how this pure hero had cleansed the dark soul of the raider Martin Bane.  To my surprise, Martin loved that part!  He embellished it, claiming Windslow had corrupted his soul, forcing him into a life of evil from which he could not break free -- except by my purity of spirit, of course.  Martin hasn't had to buy drinks for himself in weeks.

Raoul was captured near the wrecked airship, though Windslow was nowhere to be found.  When presented with the full story, King Damon ended his marriage and then banished both Raoul and the former queen.  Raoul and Rupor blamed me, of course.

Meanwhile, the court was busy planning our wedding.  Weeks of dealing with tortuous details almost drove me mad.  But when I saw Callan enter the cathedral, I realized all the minutia had been worth it.  She had never been more radiant!

We gave our vows, paraded through the streets, danced, and socialized with Callan's subjects.  No, with our subjects.  It was many hours before the two of us finally found ourselves alone in our chambers.

We fell into each other's arms and, at long last, were as one.

Our hero and his beautiful wife look forward to spending peaceful years together.  But far to the south, forces have been set in motion which could ruin their plans.  Get your first hint of those forces in Chapter 39, coming Monday!