The Baron was delayed for a time with the Duke. For a short time everyone had to wait outside the audience chamber in the Ducal palace. Elemix got up and stepped out for a moment. Renee was dressed up formally in the military-like yeoman clothing that was made from an old uniform of Rivanon’s from childhood, she was out the window to Typhon’s horse. Kalista had her cloak pulled over her and was sitting in the corner being quiet. Amelie stood at Emmeline’s side. The rest of the entourage waited patiently.
“So, Thalassa,” Emmeline said with a little smile. “I think we will be short on time to visit, Amelie, so it might do to list a few things you want to be sure to visit. I know I will need to spend one day with my uncle blessing my fields. We are starting a grape-growing venture together on about 200 acres of land. I should be able to not only bless my own fields, but about 400 acres of adjacent land.” She had decided that if she didn’t confine the extra plant growth to her own lands, then neighbors wouldn’t be jealous. “That might be terribly boring for you, but if you’d like to see how rural Thalassa lives on the island, it’s an opportunity.
“In the city there is very impressive architecture. I’ll need to stop to see Archmagus Revan, who has sent for me as well. You would not want any part of that, of course, but if you wished you could get to visit the part of the city in which the heart of the Wizards Guild resides. Then of course there is the temple of Aarith, the mayoral palace, many parks and for a less stuffy experience, I could show you the Entertainer’s Guild, too. I only wish I could introduce you to my Grandmother. I’ll contact her though, and catch up.”
By that, she meant to make a mental note to visit her Grandmother via Dream if nothing else. Emmeline really was worried about her.
“I’ve heard the priestly orders of St. Alador and St. Jérôme bless plants and animals, so perhaps it will not be too strange, but I would love to see all those places in and out of the city. I’ve heard the horse and chariot races are amazing! And with summer the great sailing races happen and I’d love to see that. I’ve only once seen the ocean, but the idea of it! Though with summer coming, maybe your grandmother is back?”
“Only if her marriage plans fell apart. She had planned to marry and retire to the country with another noble,” Emmeline said. “But I’ll check with her. One never knows. Her life changes direction.”
“I’ll prepare pen and paper for you m’lady and arrange a bluecap at our next stop,” Amelie said.
Emmeline smiled. “That would be kind of you. I have paper in my travel desk — I’m working on a book and some other things. So just a bluecap is fine,” she said, keeping her use of Dream a secret for now.
Emmeline could see Elemix re-enter the chamber beyond Amelie’s smiling face. “Ma’am I will do so,” she said. The Baron came in as well saying, “Let us be off.” Another man, similar in age to the Baron, walked at his side with a pair of knights. “Magus, m’Lady,” speaking to Elemix and Emmeline, “may I introduce Lord Arles of Derrienport, my cousin and heir to the Duchy.”
He was a tall, thin man like his father, handsome in complexion save for a dueling scar on his left cheek. “An honor to meet you both. And I hear one of the other heroes of Calder Keep is here as well, Sister Typhon?”
Emmeline dipped respectfully, “My lord, a pleasure. Yes, Sister Typhon is near and will travel with us.”
“Most excellent,” he said while walking with them, “it is my good fortune to have business for the Duke that allows us to journey together. But enough time for that later. For now, as Lord Roland commands, let us leave post haste.”