Here is a preview of a Patreon exclusive scene: Loremaster Setviren takes the triplets down to Thraina to parade their holy ability to glow on moonless nights in front of the people.
Love and Starlight, Jasmine & Sophie
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In Which Marion Spreads Propaganda on the Gods
As it turned out, being a Lost Star Child was not all about being taken to a magical school and eating delicious food and wearing lovely clothes. There was work involved. And Setviren was intent on the Greywicks paying their keep.
In this case, it meant showing the world that Rhaemyria's children did walk Thraina.
The triplets sat on fine wooden chairs in a large tent. They’d arrived in the Andúrigardian city of Bøgelund an hour ago and were set to make their appearance as soon as the stars awakened.
It was all part of Setviren’s grand idea to have the Greywicks visit a different city around Thraina every moonless night. “Faith is as valuable as gold,” he’d said on the hot air balloon ride down from the Isle of Argos. “Nothing will inspire the paupers as much as seeing proof the gods walk among them.”
Marion looked at her brother picking his teeth with a fingernail, then at her sister, two glassy eyes rimmed with dark circles. If she were a pauper, she’d feel ripped off with these sorry excuses for gods.
There may have been a time when Marion would have liked the idea of parading before watching eyes in decadent finery. She had passed many childish afternoons daydreaming of being up on stage, performing opera in a troupe.
Now, her stomach twisted. Soon, Setviren would call them out into the courtyard and draw attention to the very thing their father had told them to hide.
At least the royal trio provided some distraction. Darius, Khalid, and Carmilla were here as well, their positions of power also making them commodities to Setviren.
Prince Darius poked his head out of the tent, revealing a host of Celestial Knights stationed around and a growing crowd in the courtyard. “It’s a shame we’re not staying for more than a few hours. Bøgelund has some fascinating landmarks and a remarkable museum.”
“If by fascinating and remarkable, you mean dusty and decrepit.” Carmilla twirled a blood-red strand of hair around her finger.
Timothée sat forward. “I like history.”
“Then we must return sometime.” Darius clapped Timothée on the shoulder. “It is said Bøgelund used to be a city favoured by the gods. We could go visit the ancient ruins of the temples or see the preserved relics. Perhaps we can come back during the winter holiday.”
Timothée’s eyes lit up, but he was cut off by Khalid gripping his other shoulder. “Pfft! Don’t listen to this guy, Tim. Bøgelund may have been pretty once upon a time when Rhaemyria shined it up, but now it’s a dumping ground for boring pilgrimages. If you want to have an actual holiday, I’ll take you to Baz-Kazar. Beaches with crystal clear water, the juiciest fruit, and the most beautiful men and women you’ve ever seen.”
Marion rolled her eyes but said nothing. Her stomach was too wobbly to form words.
“We could do a visit to Seagrass,” Timothée said, looking from Marion to Vivian. “It’s been three years since we’ve been. Maybe it’s time to return home.”
Return home…without Father. What ever happened to their little cabin, to their beautiful lavender fields? Marion couldn’t imagine opening the wooden door, knowing Father wouldn’t be inside, tending the fire or tuning his dulcimer.
Vivian said, “Maybe, Tim.”
“I can’t believe there’s a city of mine I don’t even recognize the name of.” Darius shook his head. “We must certainly visit this beloved Seagrass of yours.”
“Focus, please!” a nasally voice called. Loremaster Setviren strode into the tent. “There’s quite the crowd out there and you all need to be on your best behaviour. Your Highness, we’ll have you go out first to really jazz up the crowd, and the wards can come after that. And then we’ll bring out the stars of our show.” His eyes got big and watery. “If only I could be one of the crowd, gazing upon your glow for the first time.” He sighed.
Timothée started picking his front tooth again.
END OF PREVIEW
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