This will be the last chapter for Lady Lioness. It's been a pleasure to write and to hear so many different opinions on where the story would go and what my various changes of the plot meant to readers.
For those who didn't see nearly enough Numair, the newly posted story should solve that desire. From Scanra With Love is a cheerful story about espionage and the hazards of consorting with strange people.
Lady Lioness: Epilogue
The coronation of Sir Gareth of Naxen was a quiet affair, as was the funeral service for the late King Roger of Conté. For months, the entire kingdom seemed subdued in face of such affairs, but that changed by the time Alanna left formal mourning. George Cooper, the baron of Pirate's Swoop, was the gentleman that shared half the responsibility for the most talked-about wedding since King Gareth and Queen Cythera's.
Lady Alanna married George Cooper the day she left formal mourning. The Lord Provost and the new King of Thieves, both in attendance at the wedding, had a great deal of pleasure in avoiding eye contact, though Marek's lover was far bolder. Kara, Queen of the Rogue and recognized Bazhir shaman, complimented the Provost on his fast removal of Ralon of Malven from Corus's streets.
The year seemed to fly by for everyone except Thom. Raoul had taken him on as a squire, and the pair of them worked hard on Thom's many neglected skills of being a full knight. Thom's horsemanship improved by vast degrees under Raoul's tutelage, Thayet was happy to demonstrate court manners and proper etiquette, and Alanna didn't relent in lessons on the art of a sword until the day that Thom could beat her one match in two.
When it came time for Thom's ordeal of knighthood, there was a large crowd gathered to see if his association with Roger would harm him in the chamber itself. Whatever had happened in the chamber, however, Thom emerged pale and shaking but otherwise unscathed.
That night, Thayet presented Thom with his shield, a rearing black horse on a violet background. In return, Thom proposed to the princess of his dreams.
Impulsive Gary had calmed after a full year of serving as Tortall's king, but his propensity for mischief would never be settled. When he heard that Alanna had wanted to be a knight, he made the proclamation that the nation would return to its roots. Women would be allowed to try for knighthood.
Cythera quickly distracted the conservatives with the news that she was carrying the realm's next monarch. When the healthy baby boy was introduced to the court, not many were surprised to hear that the baby's name was Jonathan.
In time, Jonathan of Naxen would be fast friends with Duke Baird's son Nealan and with Keladry of Mindelan, the first girl to make a try at knighthood.
Through all of the dealings at court, no one realized that Alanna had not settled down to think of babies and embroidery. Her children seemed to be the focus of her life at court, and rumors that she had helped to dethrone Roger all seemed to be wild accusations. In time, even those whisperings died away.
Though Myles served as the official spymaster for Tortall, she and George did all of the legwork. In time, when Kyprioth made his offer, Alanna wasn't surprised that it was Aly who accepted the offer to lead a rebellion in the Copper Isles. The girl had thrived raised on the fun of trickery and the art of deception, and it was no great shock that a taste for espionage had carried on.
As for Numair Cooper, he spent years flitting in and out of the beds of various court ladies, with so much charm and charisma that not one of his flings ended badly. All of that stopped when he met a Gallan wildmage, however, and Alanna hadn't the heart to tease her student. She was still much the same way about George, after all.
On occasion, Alanna wondered what her life might have been like as a knight, but only briefly. She had made a difference without ever drawing undue attention to herself, and if her legacy was quiet, it was something that had changed the world. That was quite enough for a girl who had thought there was nothing but boredom in being a lady.