Prologue – Marita Arrives
Heber nodded at his wife, while the carriage lurched to a stop. “We’ll just have to be careful, then love.” No one knew how long they would stay here, but he wasn’t going to let anything change him. When a guard opened the carriage door, he quickly jumped out, ready to help Lady Marita down.
Cathleen smiled at him though she let the other two get down first since she was so slow. She knew it was more important that the nobles were on the ground first, not her, she was merely a slave after all. A pregnant one at that.
Once everyone was out, Marita joined her father and brother, ignoring Cathleen and Heber. Cathleen stayed where she was, glad that Heber joined her once Marita was down from the carriage.
“Welcome to Kyndale Palace, Lord Ruben, Lord Andries, Lady Marita. My older brother, Prince Börje apologises for not being here but there was some business at Harn’s End that needed his attention. He will return within the next few days.”
Lord Ruben nodded. “I daresay my daughter,” he gave Marita a look that said do not argue “needs to rest after that journey. Could someone show her and her servants to her suite?”
“Of course.” Kieran turned to speak to the Regan man behind him. “Iomhar, could you show the lady to her suite?”
The seventeen year old man nodded. “Of course, máistier.”
Marita stepped forwards, motioning for Heber and Cathleen to follow her.
Heber bowed, trying to take note of all the new masters names and faces without actually seeming to do so - a failure to find the right person or mistake them for another might prove ... not too good.
When Marita beckoned, he swiftly turned and followe her and Íomhar into the palace, making sure he remembered the way.
Iomhar sighed as he walked through the corridors quietly. Finally he stopped at the door to one of the suites. "Here you are, mistress."
Heber stopped as well, wondering if he should go inside with them or perhaps fetch the luggage. Though it had looked like there were enough Regans down there to do it. As for now, he opened the door for Marita.
Marita smiled slightly. "Feel free to take a walk around and figure this place out, Heber, Cathleen."
Heber smiled and bowed. "Anything you'd need to freshen up after the journey, mistress?"
"I think I'll just rest, thanks Heber." Marita smiled.
"As it pleases you, mistress." Heber gave her a short bow and waited until she had walked into the room, then turned to the man that had showed them there. "Figure out the place, huh? Somewhere you can recommend?"
Iomhar grinned. "I'd stay away from the slave barracks. The longer Faquahar does not know you the better." He grinned. "I'm Iomhar by the way."
Cathleen smiled. "Think we'll do that but why?"
"Farquhar is not friendly even to guests. He works for Crown Prince Dionysius."
Heber nodded. "Are you saying Faquahar cares more about that prince of his than about his own people?" He sighed. "That sounds like we should try stay away from Dionysius as well."
Iomhar nodded. "He'll do pretty much anything. He caused Prince Börje to have to replace his old servant. And because dionysius owns him... He gets away with a lot."
"Caused it?" That did not sound good.
"Padraig was executed for something he'd never done. Farquhar was bragging about it for ages but no one dares to stand up to him. If he don't like someone hell get rid of them," Iomhar replied. "At the moment no one knows who he's after."
Heber managed not to groan. Things like that wasn't unheard of, Padraig certainly neither the first nor the last. Still, it showed that you could never be too careful. Now he couldn't even trust his own people? He sighed, glancing at his wife. "Then, what do you advise?" he said quetly to Iomhar.
Iomhar sighed. "I would advise caution. Most of the others will not talk to you because you are unknown to them."
Cathleen sighed. "would Farquhar turn on his older sister?"
He nodded. "We'll be careful. Perhaps best to not trust anyone that comes talking as well...." He suddenly wondered how far he could trust Iomhar for that matter. After all, if things were this bad, they couldn't be sure the man hand't an agenda of his own. "For now, perhaps something to eat?"
"Don't worry your safe with me, I wouldn't warn you if not," Iomhar replies. "Plus I kind of get ignored by the others."
Cathleen smiled. "Thanks about the warning about my brother." Her parents would be displeased. It was the one thing the Regan people did not do. Turn on each other the way Farquhar had.
"I'll show you where the kitchens are," Iomhar added. He grinned at them. This was going to be interesting, very interesting having a whole other family with them.
"That would be nice," Heber said, taking Cathleen's hand. They should try finding someone who could help with the birth as well, pretty soon. There had to be someone in the palace.
Cathleen smiled, holding Heber’s hand easily. She knew he was glad that Marita had thought to bring him with them. It had been unexpected that Lord Ruben had actually agreed to have him come as well.
"No problem," he replied. "Oh and if you need a healer any time while your here, I am sure our currently unavailable prince can help. He's been trained in that sort of thing."
Iomhar started walking.
"Unavailable?" Heber asked, walking after Iomhar. "We surely know a midwife will be needed." But could hardly be something a prince would indulge in.
Iomhar was silent for a few moments as he thought about what Heber had asked about. "There should be one of two in the healer’s wing," Iomhar replied. He smiled.
“What direction is that wing in?” Heber asked. He needed to know in case their child did choose to come while they were at Kyndale Palace. He looked around them for a few moments as they all walked through the corridors.