I Depart For Tarros

16 miles East of Kashka

Oswic held a huge feast last night at the palace to celebrate our victory. There was much meat, expensive fruit from the south and barrels of the finest wine. Musicians and dancers had been called for entertainment. The dancers were mediocre at best but the music was fantastic. The people of Kashka have a reputation for being musically inclined. One musician, a young fiddler by the name of Ferin Yomez outshone all the rest. His playing was fast but gentle and he has a clear rich voice. It was truly beautiful. The feasting and drinking went on till late in the night. It must have been past midnight when I staggered to bed. As a result I woke up today with a terrible headache. So great was my discomfort that I was tempted to postpone my journey to Tarros but Calliers prevailed upon me to depart today as per plan.

By noon my headache was so bad I had to order a halt. By the time I felt fit to ride it was too dark to proceed and we were forced to camp there for the night. We only travelled sixteen miles today. My carelessness has delayed us by almost an entire day.

Earlier in the evening I was lounging in my tent with Calliers, Warton and a few other nobles and the talk somehow turned to my late father. Warton remarked that for all his great qualities, my father had no ambition. Calliers responded with an old couplet which warns against excessive ambition.

'Tell me Calliers', I said to him. 'Had Rascon the Bold or Arcon Louine not been so ambitious would I be the ruler of this domain today? No, I'd be the chieftain of some village in the hills or worse. Ambition in a king is not a vice, only in conquest lies a kingdom's security and prosperity.' He had no response to that. He said something about discernment and excesses but without much conviction and fell silent. For all his valour and skill with the lance Calliers is, like my father was, a peace loving man at heart.

Here I would like to digress briefly on the topic of my late father. Mostaf Theodrigen was born in the winter of 2959 and inherited the throne of Escaria from his father, my grand father, Saylin Theodrigen at the age of nineteen. In the 23 years of his reign he neither conquered provinces nor lost any of his own. He just held on to what he inherited and grew fat and lazy. I do not remember one instance when he left the palace at Utvoros for anything except parties and celebrations. This debauched lifestyle cost him his life. His liver gave out at the age of 43 and he died a most slow, painful and undignified death. This was two years ago.


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