03 - Chapter 3 - Primus Inter Pares By: Kendall Boyd
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
          Hall of Seasons  
         Print Chapter  ( Pages)  


Primus Inter Pares  



Chapter  3  -  The Feast of the High King



Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, 

and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

-- Isaiah 55:2


"Long live the Haldane!"

The hall erupted once again with one voice, "Long live the Haldane!"

Augarin Haldane sat in the chief seat looking over the crowded hall of his manor as his friends bellowed the declaration. His gray eyes sparkled with pride as he looked from table to table seeing the men that had fought bravely by his side.

"Friends!" Augarin roared waiting for the men to become quiet. "Friends, we have fought the good fight, and we have emerged victorious!"

The men cheered at the king's words.

"But all is not done," Augarin continued. The voices again became silent. "Our lives have been fraught with war and death. Many of our beloved friends are not with us today because their lives were taken from us. They made the choice to fight, as did you, to bring peace to our lands.

"We survived the battles and lived to fight another day. Yet the time has come for wars to cease among us. We must live in peace! We must live on! Our sons and daughters urge us on toward the greater life of peace. They, too, want their lives to be carefree and their fields to bring great harvest.

"Peace has not been given to us, we fought for it!" Augarin said fiercely as he pounded both fists into the table. "And we will have to fight to keep it. Many will come to reign over us, but we will not let them! Even more will come to kill us, but we will stay their attacks! Some will even try to subtlety come into our midst and we must be ready! I pledge before you this night to bring peace to our lives."

At that moment, the men listening to the High King's words automatically went to one knee in unison. Chairs tumbled to the floor as men bowed their head in response to the king's pledge. Then without cue, the man sitting nearest the Haldane rose only enough to shift his view toward the king.

"I, Richard Drummond, do pledge my fealty to the kingdom of Augarin Haldane and become your liege man of life and limb and earthly worship; and faith and truth will I bear unto you, to live and to die, against all manner of folk, so help me God." Augarin, taken aback at the words of one his most trusted advisers and friends, said nothing. The rest of the men at the table followed suit in swearing fealty to him. Then the men at the next table did the same, and the next until all present had come forward to the High King's table and bent their knee in fealty to the new monarch. Augarin sat in awe at the response of the men. He had fought with them side by side, but little did he realize that each and every one of them would swear allegiance to him.

"Listen to me, men of valor," Augarin said as he stood, his eyes brimming with tears. He picked up the mug before him and raised it high. "Yesterday, you fought with me valiantly; today, you feast with me in the spoils of victory; tomorrow, may all God's blessings rain down upon you because you are here with me this day!"

"Hear, hear," several men said. Many more began pounding their fist on the wooden tables in approval.

"Eat, eat this good food before you," he proclaimed as servants brought in venison and roasted vegetables. "May our souls be enriched by the blessings of friends as our bodies are strengthened by this fare."

"In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen"

Augarin turned to see his brother step inside the room to pronounce his blessing. He quietly made his way to the head table. He had a look of concern in his eyes, though he was smiling.

"Is something wrong?" Augarin asked quietly as his brother leaned over to speak to him.

"We have had a visitor."

"Oh, bring him in," Augarin said looking to the door.

"No, brother, *had* a visitor," Aurelius whispered in his ear.

Augarin screwed his face in response to his brother's remark. "You still haven't answered my question."

"No nothing is wrong, but we need to speak."

"Can it wait?" Augarin asked looking from his brother to the fare before him.

Aurelius snickered at Augarin's concentration. "Yes, it can wait."

"Good. Steward," Augarin said to the man waiting his table. "Set a place here at my table for the good archbishop."


~ Previous ~                                        ~ Next ~   

~ Story Index ~   


Story also located at the Author's website - The Bard's Quill


This story may not be copied or used in any way from this site without permission.

  Sunday Chats, Filks, The Carthmoor Clarion, The Mearan Sunday Herald,  Essays on the Deryni Stories of the XI Kingdoms Deryni Archives - The Zine, Deryni Links Administravia, Author's Biographies, Author Index, Character Index, Story by Era Index, Codex Index, Site Policies  

Hall of Seasons