10 -  Chapter 10 - The Mourning Prince
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
          Hall of Seasons  


The Mourning Prince



Chapter  X




  Camber saw them run through darkened side streets to a large river. Mississippi River appeared in his head.

They were on a ferryboat now, traveling to the other side. Camber felt another test of Kelson's shields and realized their pursuer was on the boat with them. He saw Kelson drag the woman through the drunken revelers, off the boat towards the exit of the ferry and saw them dash for Kelson's nearby parked vehicle. Camber saw Kelson's frantic drive through darkened side streets to an elevated highway. They were still being pursued.

He saw them exit the highway into a sparsely populated area. They drove for some distance until they came to a house far away from the main road. Entering the gravel driveway, they pulled to the right of the darkened house to an opening in the tree line. Thinking that they were sufficiently hidden from the driveway, Kelson turned off the vehicle.

A flash of headlights, and the other vehicle had found them. The lights entered the tree's just right of the driveway and then the lights went out. Kelson turned to the woman, told her to stay put, and said "if anything happens to me, make a run for it back to the city." Before she could so much as object he was out of the vehicle. As Kelson reached the rear of the vehicle a figure entered the small opening in the tree line.

The man was short and dressed in camouflage. The man spoke. He said that he was there for the woman, not for some Haldane upstart, whose time would come eventually.

"How do you know who I am?" Camber heard Kelson ask.

The little man just smiled evilly and responded, "I have the same sources as Her Highness," indicating the woman in the vehicle. With that, he raised his arms and a purplish shield appeared behind him. It was obvious, the man was challenging Kelson to a Duel Arcane.

Kelson raised his arms and a crimson barrier appeared behind him, meeting the man's barrier. Both men continued to raise their arms and joined the two barriers, turning it a purplish red.

The man raised his arms again to begin his first spell.

As he began the spell, a ghostly cloaked figure appeared in the barrier. The hood obscured the figure's face, and the figure had an unknown ancient presence about it.

Extending its right arm towards the little man, it touched his forehead. The little man screamed and collapsed. As the shield barrier began to dissolve, the figure slowly turned to Kelson, and Camber finally could see that the figure was floating inches off the ground and that his cloak appeared to be made of leather. As the ghostly figure began to dissolve, so did the memory.

Camber felt rage coming through the rapport. Kelson was apparently angry with someone. As the memory came into focus, Camber saw that it was the woman, Anna. She was sitting in a chair and seemed to be very upset and crying.

"How could you lie to me like that?" Kelson shouted. "Telling me that you didn't know who I was, when actually you knew all along and deliberately sought me out just because of my name!"

She looked up at him with tears in her eyes.

"It wasn't my intention to lie to you, but it was necessary and my father and family thought I should seek out and find the missing Haldane.

"Why?!" Kelson demanded, enraged now.

"Because," she answered timidly, "I needed to marry him and strengthen our family line and thereby our claim to The Howicce and Llanedd throne." But before Camber could see Kelson's answer the memory began to dissolve.

Camber saw the month's quickly flash by. He saw Kelson forgive Anna for her deception, and the feelings of love begin to grow for her. Again, he saw the month's flash by, this time they were in a small church standing facing each other. They were getting married. Camber felt the joy and excitement emanating through the rapport as the memory began to dissolve.

The month's seemed to go by much more swiftly this time. As the image came into focus, Camber saw that Kelson and some other men, including Harold and Dean, were giving some military training. Month's seemed to fly by as the training intensified. Camber saw the final defeat of the occupying forces in Howicce and Llanedd.

Camber felt the sudden sadness as Kelson was forced to resign his commission to assume his position as husband to a future crown princess. He saw the magnificent coronation of Kelson's Father-in-law and the memory dissolved.

Camber then felt the joy coming through the rapport as Kelson watched the birth of his first born, Malcolm. A year seemed to flash by. Kelson's was witnessing the birth of his second child, a girl, Alexandra. Two years seemed to flash by once again and Camber saw the birth of a third child, another boy, Nicholas. The memory began to blur.

Another memory solidified. This time Camber saw Kelson receiving word that his maternal grandmother was gravely ill and wasn't expected to live. He saw Kelson and his family return to the states.

Kelson's grandmother was in a hospital bed. She was asking him to look after his grandfather. He could feel the grief, as Kelson held his grandmother's hand as she quietly passed away.

Camber felt Kelson's reluctance as he placed his grandfather in a nursing home. He also felt Kelson's sorrow upon seeing his grandfather in the final stages of Alzheimer's.

Camber saw Anna receive word from Howicce that she and the children must return home. There was a rumor of a possible assassination attempt upon them in the states, and they must return home immediately. He saw the arrival of Anna's escort.

Camber felt Kelson's sorrow that he couldn't return immediately with them, he must settle some last minute affairs concerning his grandparent's estate. He saw the sudden departure of Kelson's family whisked away without any chance of saying goodbye.

Camber could feel sharply, the strong emotions of pain and rage coming through the rapport as Kelson heard that his wife and children had been killed when they disembarked from the their plane in Howicce, and he witnessed Kelson's return to Howicce. Kelson was being arrested as he got of the plane for having his family killed, the shock and lonliness coming through the rapport as Kelson realized that his in-laws actually believed he had his own family killed to get the Howicce crown for himself. Even more shock and betrayal shook Camber, as Kelson's father-in-law's advisors called for his immediate trial for their death's and the response trial and possible execution. Camber again felt Kelson's shock as he couldn't believe this was happening to him.

Suddenly Kelson was being released, the real engineer's of his family's death's was somebody from within his father-in-law's own council. Camber saw Kelson's father-in-law attempt to apologize, as he was being released. Camber could sense Kelson's rage as he walked right past him never looking back.

Next, Camber saw Kelson looking down at his family's graves. And Camber felt the extreme grief come through the rapport as Kelson realized that all he had just went through, he never got to say goodbye to his family.

The image jumped to Kelson arriving at Bremagne. Camber could feel the relief surge through him, as he met with his aunt, the Queen of Bremagne. Curiously, Camber saw his sister take their nephew aside and secretly tell him that his daughter had not been killed.

Camber reeled as he felt the shock come through the rapport.

"How could this happen?" he heard Kelson ask. Camber saw the look of sorrow on his sister's face.

"They stopped here first," she began, "apparently Alexandra had come down with a bad fever. Anna felt it would not be a good idea for her to continue the journey to Howicce, so I put her under our family doctor's care and under heavy guard. Camber could see that his sister was holding something back.

"What's wrong?" Kelson asked.

"My own granddaughter went instead."

"Why?" Kelson said shocked.

"Because," she said with sorrow in her eyes, "she wanted to visit and play with her cousin's."

"You let her go?" Kelson asked.

"I had no choice in the matter," she replied, "my son and his wife thought it would be a good idea if she went and had a chance to interact with other members of our family."

"I'm sorry," Kelson said reaching to comfort her.

Camber could see the pain in his sister eyes. "You must tell no one about this," she finally said, "at least not right now."

"Why not?" Kelson asked shocked. Camber saw his sister take Kelson's hands in hers. "Because," she replied, "we do not believe it is completely safe in Howicce right now."

"Who is we?" Kelson asked.

"My son, his wife and me. We think it would be much safer if she stayed here for the time being.

"Can I see her?" Kelson finally asked.

"Do you really want to?"

Kelson was silent for several seconds. "No." Kelson finally replied. "I don't think I could bear it. I don't want to abandon her though."

"I know you won't," she said with a slight smile, "she will be well taken care of."

"What should I do?"

She looked down for several seconds than looked back up. "Forget we ever had this conversation," she said, "at least until the situation in Howicce stabilizes, and I think you know what I mean."

With that, Camber gently pulled out of the rapport as Kelson broke off the memories. Slowly, Kelson opened his eyes and started to get up from the chair, in the process stirring the sleeping cat.

"Well Uncle," Kelson said, "it seems, at least, you found what you came looking for." With that Kelson wearily raised his arms and dispelled the wards. He then walked to the window embrasure.

"Didn't you find what you were looking for?" Camber asked, still standing behind the high-backed chair. Kelson looked up at his uncle with tear-filled eyes. "No, I never got to tell Anna and the boys goodbye.

With that Kelson lay down on the cushion and was fast asleep in seconds.



~ Previous ~                                        ~ Next ~     

~ Story Index ~

  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