Prince of Herongarde – Departure

Trey stood atop the wall of the gatehouse as the last of the King’s army passed out of sight. Tessa stood beside him, gripping his arm. She was deeply concerned about the safety of her husband, as well as Trey’s health. Trey was leaning heavily against the stone wall, unwilling to bear any weight on his injured leg. He was exhausted, and would need to rest.

Other members of the court stood nearby, peering at the departing army through the wall’s crenulations. Several of the Ladies of the court wept and consoled each other.

Jason stood close to Trey and Tessa, having taken it upon himself to be their vigilant protector. Despite all, Jason still adored Trey, and would gladly give his life for him. It bothered Jason that no other Mark-bearer remained behind to defend Trey. His Majesty had requested that Jason remain close to Trey and serve him well. Jason felt ill-prepared to defend Trey in the event of an attack, but he would do his best.

Apart from the crowd stood Hanna, observing Trey. The men of the army didn’t mean much to her, but she knew that her life depended upon the health and safety of Lord Trey. She hoped that he would take some desperately needed rest, now that the army was gone.

When the dust vanished from the horizon and it was clear that they were on their own, Trey turned to the courtiers that stood around. He stood tall, and for a moment looked as if he suffered no pain from his injury. “Then it is done,” he bellowed. “Return you to your work. We must ensure that there is a Herongarde for our King and men to return to when the battle is victorious, aye?”

The people slowly dispersed. Many approached Trey to pay their regards, which he returned courteously. Finally, all who remained were Trey, Tessa, Jason, and Hanna. Trey turned back to gaze down the road that the army had just passed. He leaned on the wall, hung his head and slumped. The pain in his leg had finally overwhelmed him.

Jason stepped forward quickly to help Trey. Trey straightened up again, with Jason’s help and the encouragement of Tessa. Hanna approached cautiously. Trey regarded her wearily.

“I shall take some rest,” he muttered.

Hanna nodded. Tessa smiled, glad that Trey was willing to rest.

Leaning heavily upon Jason, Trey walked slowly back to his chamber. Tessa stoked the fire as Hanna set about changing the bandages on Trey’s injuries. Jason assisted where he could, helping Trey out of his heavy formal clothes so that Trey could lie down and sleep.

As Hanna cleaned Trey’s wound, she realized he was already asleep. She paused for a moment and looked at him sadly. There was a lot of pressure on this man. She wondered what he would be like when there was not a war brewing. Tessa walked up beside Hanna and sighed. She, too, had noticed that Trey was asleep, despite the fact that his bandages were not yet changed. She worried for her son.

Jason looked around awkwardly. “If there is nothing further, your Highness,” he said to Tessa.

“Thank you, Jason,” replied Tessa. “I will call for you if you are needed.”

Jason bowed and left the room.

Hanna finished bandaging Trey’s leg while Tessa stood by. Carefully, Hanna laid the blankets over Trey’s leg, so as not to disturb his slumber. She was finished. He was asleep. Hanna looked to the Queen.

“Go to your bed, Hanna,” said Tessa. “I will watch him this night. Attend to him in the morning, aye?”

“Yes, your Majesty,” said Hanna with a bow. She walked from the room, still looking at the recumbent form of Trey. He looked so peaceful. It made her happy.


If you like the bits and pieces of this story that I’ve posted on my blog, and want to read more (like, the whole book), would you please consider being a beta reader? The success of this book is ultimately dependent upon the opinions of others and feedback on drafts is one of the most powerful tools I have to making this book the best it could be! If you’d be willing to read a draft of the whole book and provide feedback (not editorial, but where things work and where things don’t work), please let me know in the comments. I can send you a complete draft in MSword or Kindle (.mobi) format.

3 thoughts on “Prince of Herongarde – Departure

  1. I am knee deep (well maybe more like shin deep) in Mists of Avalon right now, but I would LOVE to read your book in a few weeks when I am done with that. I have enjoyed the snippets you have leaked out so far.

  2. Mists of Avalon is a good book. I read it just before I started writing Prince of Herongarde. It’ll take me a week or two to finish the revisions I’m working on now. I’ll blog something when it’s completely ready for beta reading.

  3. I’d really like to help out, but I’m afraid I’d end up trying to write your book for you. (That’s kind of an occupational hazard for crusty old engineers. We always know how to do your job better than you do, even when we don’t.) If you have a thick skin and can remember it’s -your- book and only -you- decide what goes in it, I’ll be happy to beta read for you. I can use either file format you mentioned, although with Word I could add annotations right to the file. Feel free to email me directly, if you have the courage.

    Oh, right, swordsman in training. I guess you do have the courage. (grin)

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