The Prince, the Knight, and the Bow of Balister

by on January 16th, 2011
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Prince Kendric studied reports that were scattered across his desk. Not only was Elenim facing numerous issues with violence across three continents, but the reports indicated several diplomatic issues with the ambassadors from Elenim’s interstellar neighbors. Worry filled Kendric as he read…how ever was Elenim going to get through all these problems at once? Frustrated, Kendric paced his office. Fidgeting, he pressed three small buttons on the side of a picture frame hung on the far wall of his office.

A small, narrow door running floor to ceiling appeared, opening. Prince Kendric glided through the passage, walking 0.03 li. Inside was shrine-like alcove. In the dim light, Prince Kendric saw his object of reverence: a tawny, heavily carved bow nearly eleven thousand yentars old. This was the ancestral bow carried by King Malvyn of House Balister and worn during his coronation in OW 48780. This was the bow Lord Bevin had inherited as Malvyn’s descendant. Though leadership for House Balister had passed to another line following the assassination of King Malvyn’s son, King Tristan The Just in EE 50, Tristan’s descendants, like Lord Bevin, retained right of inheritance to the bow. From Bevin to his grandson, King Yuxi, passed the Bow of Balister as it came to be known. It was one of the few relics of original world still kept by the royal family of House Gurun, but a secret relic. Bevin’s knighthood had removed his bloodline from common knowledge; as far as the public was aware, Bevin was born House Kryten. Yet a few–Queen Darla and her son, Prince Kendric, included–knew the truth. The Bow of Balister was kept as a powerful reminder of Eleniman history…way off in another galaxy, of where they came from and the power of hard work in shaping the future of generations to come.

Prince Kendric touched the ancient wood, wood grown on another world, bowed, then headed back to his office, centered.

The doorbell chimed. Kendric looked up towards the door, “Come!”

The door opened. Lord knight Keltar stepped in, bowing to Kendric, “Your Highness…may I speak with you?”

Kendric rose and greeted Keltar with the Kryten salute of respect, “Of course! You are my sister’s suitor, Keltar…are you not?”

Keltar rolled his eyes at the description, however politely addressed as it was, “Suitor is probably not the most…accurate word, Your Highness. Princess Cathryn commands everything and yields…nothing.”

Prince Kendric raised his brow, “Does she? Well…I long suspected someday it might come to that. She has used her…beauty to obtain her desires for…quite some time.”

“Your Highness…if I may speak freely…Princess Cathryn is used to getting what she wants…even if it is often for the wrong reasons!”

“Has she wronged you, Lord Knight?” asked Kendric soberly.

“…in more ways than I can count. She has wronged herself, her family…and Elenim! She is not fit to rule, Your Highness! I came to tell you this!” answered Keltar, his eyes flitting to and from the prince.

Prince Kendric rose and embraced Keltar, “Goddesses can only know what her selfish ways have put you through!”

“She is up to something, Your Highness! I do not know what…but I think her…involvement with me has more to do with some other plan of hers than it does with me. She’s…used her physical skills to exploit a part of me that I did not know was a weakness!”

“We all have vulnerabilities, Lord Knight…even if we pretend we do not. Sex can be a powerful tool in the hands of the politician. It is a power some would assert over others…to their detriment, as I can see in your eyes it has been used to yours,” expressed Kendric.

“I have to leave the palace, Your Highness…this xentar! I cannot let her keep doing this to me! I suspect there will be some fallout for making this choice…but I must restore my honor!” affirmed Keltar.

“Where will you go, my friend?”

Keltar paused to consider, “Xi-Nan Fang, to the ruins of the healing center where my father was murdered. I know the official story is that it was a random act of terrorism…but long have I suspected there was something else behind it. I need answers, Your Highness, Prince of Elenim!”

Kendric considered Keltar’s choice. It was logical, particularly for a knight of Kryten. “Then answers you must go find! I will…deal with Cathryn on your behalf, tell her that as crown prince, I sent you on a mission to Xi-Nan Fang. The violence down there has gone on long enough. It is time someone well trained dealt with it!”

“Then I have your blessing, Your Highness?”

“More than that, I officially command you to go and investigate these…outbreaks of violence across our planet. Do not cease until you have solved the mystery of who, what, and why is behind all of this! My sister’s carnal interests are…irrelevant! Go now, and serve Elenim with all your wit and all your flesh!” commanded Prince Kendric with the voice of a sovereign king.

Keltar bowed deeply, “As you wish, Sire!”

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