Here it is, for those avidly waiting for my next story. IT will only be posted once a week until later notice as i have limitted writing time due to exams and the suchlike. WIll probably speed up posting as and when i get writing time and things like that.
Of Spoiled little princesses and godesses
Princess Danae sat in one corner of the nursery, sulking. Since Talen had entered his Noviate with the Pandions in Demos, she had hardly seen the thief. That combined with the sudden come down after all the excitement in Tamuli over the last year or so, made Danae very bored.
Even though she complained to Sparhawk about being very busy when he was going on to much or asking stupid questions, there was suddenly very little for her to do. About the most significant thing going on was calming her family about the fact Sparhawk, in the form of Anakha, had gone and killed another god. Admittedly, both needed destroying, but it made all the other gods and goddesses nervous and after the fall of Azash more than six years previously, their nerves had nearly killed huge numbers of people through the ensuing famine. The world was only just recovering from one wave of bad weather, luck and crops and the last thing she needed was for the gods to start sulking again. Never mind that she just happened to be sulking herself.
Absently, Danae let her awareness spread out to make sure no-one was nearby. Once she was sure of that, she returned to her real form before splitting into the two separate forms of Danae and Flute. After a short conversation, Flute left off to go somewhere else. 'Somewhere else' just happened to be to check on the three Knights from her father's band of friends who just happened to be bachelors. Well, not including Berit, who had some time yet before he needed sorting out. It was Ulath, Tynian and Bevier who she was going to look in on.
First, the child goddess found the uptight young Cyrinic Knight, who had just recently returned home and was beginning to help prepare for some sort of memorial for Abriel and the other Cyrinic Knights that had fallen at the hand of Klael and his monsters. Bevier mostly got the job of helping prepare because, unlike the rest of his brother Knights – the few surviving ones at least – he had taken ship home and so was rather quicker to arrive back. The other reason was because he had been elected interim preceptor of the Cyrinic Order until later notice. Aphrael suspected that it would be the same sort of 'later notice' that applied to Sparhawk's interim preceptorship. The title would stick until Dolmant and the hierocracy got bored one day and actually bothered to vote them the preceptors permanently.
Ulath and Tynian had returned home as well, though with their preceptors who had come back by boat with them. Both were injured and it had been decided that the hundred boats Sorgi had brought the 1500 Knights and Tynian to Tamuli on would be used to transport the worst of the surviving wounded, as well as the two wounded preceptors of the militant orders. Bergsten was leading all the other Knights back via the land route.
It was depressing watching all the humans prepare for memorials to the Church Knights who had died, somewhere a little short of half in the end, primarily Cyrinics, and Aphrael decided the world really did need cheering up. It was almost like they hadn't won, the way people were behaving.
Aphrael was very glad that people couldn't see her incarnation as Flute right now because a rather worrying smile had spread across her face as she thought. Ulath, Tynian and Bevier needed wives, there was no doubt about that, and though Ehlana had declared the former two 'hopeless', Aphrael could think of a few places to get them appropriate girls. She would just have to talk to the Elene god, and possibly do some complicated inter-world negotiations. Since there didn't seem an appropriate girl on either the Eosian or Tamul continents, she would have to find some somewhere else and there was one world she suspected was just perfect. It had humans, who had at least one religion very similar to the Elene faith and though the women there were noticeably different in terms of personality, historically they had had women similar to Elene ones and so should be able to cope with a world change.
Next trick, once she'd got the necessary permission, she had to find the girls...
The said unfortunates were sitting in a house in Canterbury, near the St Dunstan's area. The eldest was a petite, strawberry-blonde with a thin-ish face, pale skin and pale blue eyes. Her hair had a slight tendency towards frizz and reached down just below her shoulders.
The next one had very long, dark auburn hair, which was actually dyed that colour; naturally her hair was a dark-ish mid-brown colour. When her mother had offered to pay for her to have her hair done at a top salon, she had jumped at the opportunity and got – amongst other things – her hair dyed. One advantage of a professional doing it was the colour looked natural. This young lady, a year younger than her tiny friend was by far the tallest, reaching the height of 5'7", as opposed to 5'2" in her older friend and 5'4" in the remaining girl. Her face was rather rounder, though not exactly round or plump. She had high cheekbones and larger, dark grey-blue eyes that held a permanently cynical expression.
The last youngest one differed from the other two in that, unlike their basically Celtic looks, she had the stereotypical Latin thing going on. Skin a pale shade of olive and curves enhanced by her being a bit higher on the weight scale made her look very much like the Latin temptress of common culture and her shoulder-length, black hair did nothing to offset the image. The one difference was that she too had blue eyes.
All three were there as students at the Universities the city was home to. The elder two, Sophie and Anna, were students at the University of Kent at Canterbury while the youngest was at Christ Church Canterbury, sometimes jokingly referred to as the little brother (or sister, in this case) of UKC. The two Universities taught widely differing subjects and between them resulted in a large portion of the Cathedral City's population.
Each girl was a year apart in age from the previous, give or take the odd month here or there. Anna was the only one of the trio not to have taken a gap year after school and so was actually in the same year group as Sophie – studying for their final year, while Francesca was two years down in her first year. As much as everything else about the trio differed, so did their degree subjects. Sophie studied Classical and Archaeological Studies, while Anna did Politics and Philosophy, and Francesca did Religious Studies and Teaching – something that had earned her plus points with Anna's mother, who had done the same at Canterbury Christ Church twenty years previously.
As wildly differing in appearance and subjects of study as they were, they all had some things in common, hence their friendship. The first was a wicked sense of humour, which was more than a little warped. The second was their fascination with politics, well Anna and Francesca were rabid politicians – one a signed up member of the Tory (Conservative for non-English people) and the other paid up to the SP (socialist party) – Sophie just put up with it and many a joke about her being the obligatory Liberal. She came from Somerset, one of the few places in England that regularly got Liberal seats in the election.
All three happily sat there gassing about Fresher's Week, essays, University and other strange things, unaware that the child goddess' scheming mind was going descend upon them and change their cosy little world upside down.
There were some Knights that were in for a shock...
Aphrael sauntered into the austere office of the Elene god, where he was sitting behind a large desk doing paperwork. What need did a god have for paperwork of heaven's sake? Any who chose to do paperwork must be boring. He did, however, pick Aphrael up and kiss her a few times. She very nearly purred at how well she'd got him trained, even in he was an old stick in the mud.
He was not, however, amused at her proposal. Granted, he had no sense of humour so he was never amused but...
"Aphrael! You can't just bring three women from another world because you think three of my children need wives. Or have you forgotten that the Church Knights are mine. Sparhawk is one thing, he is in Anakha, but those three? They are mine, and those girls you want to find them belong to a god of an entirely different world! How do you plan to deal with that?" He could be so tiresome at times.
"Why are you complaining? I'm only going to increase the number of your worshippers and as for getting permission to take them, you know I can get into anyone's heart with a few kisses, it worked with the troll gods, didn't it?" The Elene god shivered. Aphrael sometimes went too far and kissing a troll god definitely classified as 'too far'. "All I'm asking for is that you allow me to find them girls to marry. What's wrong with that?"
The other deity just sighed and gave in, with Aphrael it was just easier to let her get her way and since she was apparently trying to get him more worshippers – even if she probably did intend to poach them at a later date – he didn't really have much room to complain. He did, however, look forward to the day that Aphrael didn't get something she wanted.
It took several months for Aphrael to find what she was looking for, in the form of a trio of friends in an area that had once been like much of rural Eosia. They seemed as good as she was going to get. She hadn't decided who would get which Knight yet, she was sure the girls could work out it amongst themselves, she supposed, and the next thing she had to do was work out how to get them were she wanted them. That would prove a problem.