Friday, December 17, 2010

The Spheres of Galia Part 10

"I would rather this weren’t the end," Karnin said when he stood before the Council in a newly renovated granary. "I want to continue to serve. I feel as though I have many years left."

He looked out to the men in robes seated on the wooden benches. Their faces seemed to reveal nothing, neither contempt or sympathy. He thought about stories he had once heard in the time before the great fire, where it was rumored that the Chamber of Windows was alive with debate and shouting and the thoughts of intelligent men who could not be silenced, yet still somehow believed in consensus. The room he found himself in was silent but for a few stifled coughs and the sound of the washer women singing by the river. Karnin’s pale face called to mind notions of wriggling things that had never seen the light, a face that glowed as white as the moon, though in stark contrast, his eyes possessed a certain fire that had recently begun to burn even brighter. Though he stood tall, unwavering in his convictions, his chubby fingers fidgeted slightly with the seams of his robe, he knew the power of the council.

Disagreeing, the High Lieutenant Barthar stood, “on behalf of the proud institution of the Royal Guard, I ask that Karnin be sentenced to no less than two years in a military dungeon. We further recommend that he be dismissed from the Guard. He invited and earned this sentence, it was he who ruled out conventional options. He could have resigned from his post, he could have requested a halt to his deployment if he had such grave concerns with his military orders.”

Barthar stood in stark contrast to Karnin. His complexion was dark and his body lean and muscular. He maintained impeccable stillness as he continued to address the Council. “Instead, he used his deployment earlier this year as a political ploy,” the High Lieutenant said, “going to great lengths to create a spectacle by informing people of what he was doing.”

Karnin’s eyes acquired a glazed expression and his fingers bumbled their way over his seams with greater fervor, the prospect of dungeon time was enough to worry any man.

"He knew exactly what he was doing and he did it anyway," Barthar told the Council, “it is in the interest of our Kingdom to send a strong message to other would-be traitors. This behavior is simply unacceptable for any member of the Royal Guard. Our oaths are sacred. This simply cannot stand.”

The Council took recess to discuss their decision, though Karnin did not have to wait long. As an official Magician of the Royal Guard who disobeyed orders of deployment to Vitnu because he questioned the King's legitimacy, Karnin was sentenced by the Council to six months in a military dungeon and dismissal from the Royal Guard.

It was agreed by some that Karnin was the "victim of an obsession," referring to the continuous questions he posed about the King's birth-right authority. Officials in the Second Sphere claimed to have seen and verified Dominious’s original divine seal, which was kept in a secret library. But rumors persisted, circulating in the pools and most particularly among the clergy, farmers and crafts people of the Old Kingdom. They were unsatisfied with that assurance, finding the officials untrustworthy and secretive. They claimed that the seal of divine origin did not list the name or the location of the chamber where the King was birthed, nor did it list the name of the magician who delivered him unto the Old Kingdom, though none of those who spoke of its technicalities and omissions had even seen the seal. Karnin could not go to fight and die in Vitnu based on the orders of a falsely anointed King.

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