From the Diary of Aleta ni Gwydion:

Late July, in the Duchy of SilverWater
Day One


Prince Llew has been granted the Barony of the Silver Lion, with its seat at Caerleon, to teach himself the techniques and arts of rulership. Lady Alexandria of Gwydion, His Highness' Chamberlain, summoned milord and myself to a council just before His Highness' first Open Court. There was only one other there, a strange sidhe into his grump years. He was dressed rather like someone from a Western scraggly hair, a kerchief, chaps, a leather coat. And he wore sunglasses all night, like in the song. Banality and Glamour were both strong about him. I don't yet know his name. I haven't heard him speak a word.

Lady Alexandria explained to us our duties as Gwydion, once more: lead His Highness to better understand the political climate. Why, he has commoners and halfbreeds as advisors well enough in their place, but not everywhere! And a halfblood, of unsavory political leanings and mated with a Prodigal, as Captain of the Guard! I hope he isn't stabbed in his sleep!

At any rate, Court began, and each of Llew's councillors offered up their oaths of fealty. The strange quiet one was a problem he didn't speak aloud even for that. But Llew overlooked it (I can only guess that he felt the Oath's strength even without words I hope), and went on. Even I was allowed to swear fealty, and given a coin. It's our color, even for the oath. As it should be. But for now, we will lead him by service. I had to stop just then to hold it in my hand. It feels warm. Everyone swore fealty to him: his red-haired Fiona squire, his own sister the Princess Niamh who's his Court Seer, an older Dougal, an Eiluned, all of us Gwydions. The only one who didn't was the Scathach. His own Captain didn't swear. I'm worried.

Anyway, then it was on to the celebration. Food, and drink, and the Prince's squire Robur organized a treasure hunt. There was supposed to be candy (they always give the childlings candy, especially if they're Fiona), and dross, and a real treasure somewhere. Milord let me try, and we looked inside. There were a couple of young sidhe, probably not even squires yet, in black and silver. I think they were brother and sister. The boy's name was Kieran, and he was from an island. We gave them our candy. We found some dross, too, and I gave what I found to milord as I ought. He gave me some of it back I still have it, of course. And we found a garnet frozen into an ice cube, even.

We stopped looking when we heard a troll calling for Sir Kellin the Scathach. I have to remember to be careful: the shadows will hide him. They left the hall, and a little while after the troll came back looking for His Highness - there was a body in the garden! We helped, and came outside to where His Highness and the Captain and the troll and two or three knights were standing around a body.

The body was intact and well-preserved, but cold. Masculine. Naked. (I didn't look.) Grump aged, but nobody knew him. He'd been buried and dug up. There wasn't a wound we could see. I kept the Scathach's raven away from it while we waited for the police then they kept me away from it instead.

Everyone is staying overnight. We've rigged the doors and windows so that we'll wake if anyone tries to come in. I don't know what we can do about Portal Passage, though.

Good night.

Aleta


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