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The Cup Bearer

 

 The King decided to pay a visit to all those held as prisoners deep within the hidden chambers of Varlendur one day and ask them for their stories.  “What is your name and why are you here,” He asked.
   “I am Dalmaric of Salvath and wrongly accused of killing the husband of my mistress.  It was not me but another man who did it, and I was blamed.” The king nodded as the jailer closed the small window on the door of his cell.  Dalmaric was discovered in the very act of beating his lover’s husband to death.
   “I am Futoras of Tolvol.  I was wrongly accused of stealing coins and goods from a house.  I was only trying to see if my neighbor was home when another saw me leave.”  The king nodded as the jailer closed the small window on the door of his cell.  The jailer informed the king, “He neglected to tell you sire that he killed the neighbor.”
   Going the third cell the man inside spat upon the king’s calm face and screamed, “I was wrongly thrown into this filthy pit of yours for raping women; I never did that, I only killed them.  Bardos of Harad’s word is good enough for civilized men.” The jailer was closing the window without waiting for the king’s nod.

   Going to the fourth door the jailer opened the small barred window.  Seeing no one he yell, “Step up and see the king.  Tell him your name and why you were placed here.”
   A moment later a woman appeared, “I am Lethrah of Lindol.  I was wrongly accused to thieving purses in the market square.  I say wrongly because my husband’s debts were outstanding and my son was caught holding my purses.”
   The king smirked as the jailer slowly closed the small window.  “She stabbed four men trying to detain, sire.” The jailer shook his head.
   Rapping on the fifth and final cell and calling the prisoner forth, the king listened once again.  A bearded man gave his reply, “I am Eiron, my lord; from the Port of Kalos.  I stole four loaves of bread, a basket of fish from the market to feed my family of eight children.  It was in taking a cloak that was hung out to dry that got me noticed; and drug before the magistrate who thought me worthless that I was cast into Varlendur, sire.  I did these things, my lord out of desperation and beg your forgiveness, sire.” Now all of this came from the man as his was kneeling before the closed door, after a report was demanded of him like the other prisoners.
   A slow smile came over the king’s face as he told the jailer, “Have this one here removed before he corrupts these other honest ones.” After the jailer opened the door, they saw the bearded man was still kneeling before the door.  The King told Eiron, “Rise up, you are freed.  A bag of coins and provisions will be given to you.  After two days with your family, they are to move here to Mithar.  On the third day I want to see you again, clean shaven as you will be my cup bearer – do you understand?”

  The tearful man stood, and said, “Yes my king.  May God be given all the praise for the mercy you have shown me today, mi lord.”

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VENTURE INTO MY WORLD

VENTURE INTO MY WORLD
The Watcher's Book of Books