The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 75

“I shouldn’t be having conjugal relations with a married woman. It’s immoral,” Salles told her as she moved towards him. Without another word, though, she was already kissing him on the lips.

“I thought you’d be flattered to have a woman try to seduce you,” she said after the kiss, licking her lips and smiling as she eagerly looked into his eyes.

“I don’t like flattery,” he told her, but she still kissed him again, now pulling him to the floor and tugging at his clothing.

The light of the lamp still glowed in the sitting room, where a now naked couple lay upon the floor, Salles on his back staring up towards the ceiling and Darma cuddling close to him and clinging to his body. She rested her head on his shoulder and gently traced her hand across his chest.

“I think I’ll name him Donell,” Darma said distractedly, “Look at me. I’m already convinced it’s going to be a boy. If it’s a girl, I don’t know, we’ll think of something.”

Darma looked at Salles who didn’t appear to be paying attention to her or to have heard what she’d said. To attract his attention she asked him directly: “Why do the first born sons of the Aresan king become sages?”

Salles turned his head to her at this point and asked her, “What?” Darma had to repeat the question. Salles shrugged his shoulders in response and said, “It’s tradition. They’ve always done it. We’re supposed to be the principal advisor to the Chief Royal.”

Darma then asked: “Why did they start doing it? Why is it a tradition? They can’t have always done it that way.”

“Well, I don’t know for certain,” Salles replied, “But Eloh once told me that they used to just take the first born son away to an isolated school and put him through a strict mental and physical training in order to prepare him to be Chief Royal, since first-born sons were, at the time, automatically assigned to be successors to the throne. But then at one point a very crafty second-born son hatched a scheme so that he could seize the throne. He had a religious advisor declare that any son born during the first consummation of the future Chief Royal and his queen should be considered as a gift of the gods, and should be set aside to live a life of devotion to Anan. Since his older brother had been conceived precisely in this way, they did as he said, and that first-born became the first true Sage. Later some Royals tried to evade sending their favored first son by sending their first daughter, and eventually it settled on sending the first child.”

“So that’s how it began?” Darma asked.

“Well, it happened before Eloh was born, so who knows. We don’t have any written records of it. And besides Noone has a totally different story. She says it began because sometimes the future Chief Royal and his fiancé would become pregnant and birth a child before they were married and outside of Madrus. Though our King and his concubines aren’t expected to respect Madrus, it was before they were married, and so it was considered more than a bit unseemly. In fact, it used to be that there was a formal engagement ceremony not long before the wedding when the two families first agreed to be wed, and it was common for princes to sneak into the bed of the princess before the wedding and sometimes impregnate her. To avoid the shame, they would deliver the child in secret and hide it away. Then as recompense for this violation of divine law, they would give the child to one of the secluded religious orders that we used to have, for life. It eventually became tradition for the groom to sneak into the bride’s bed immediately after the engagement and this became part of the ritual. Later they came to consider children born during this ritual sacred, and made the practice of cloistering tradition. Eventually, they just started to consider the first child of the king sacred no matter when it was born. All the secrets of the sages apparently come down from this original religious community.”

“Do you believe that story, then?” Darma asked.

“I don’t know,” Salles replied, “That’s the story Noone remembers. I don’t know if I trust her memory that much. ‘Memory,’ as they say, ‘shifts like the dunes.’”

“Yes, but isn’t it your job to preserve this history. Shouldn’t you have records of it, and know for certain what happened?” Darma asked.

“We’re supposed to preserve history, but this is not official history. This is not the type of thing were supposed to write down,” Salles said.

<-- Go to Part 74         Go to Part 76 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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