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Revelations of the Blood Kind

Writers: Avery, Miriah
Date Posted: 1st December 2020

Characters: Ishek, Swanik
Description: Swanik comes back with surprising revelations.
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 7, day 12 of Turn 10
Notes: Takes place at Garnet Valley Hold;
Mentioned; Yriadha, Bryvin, Stenlis, Asaile (Not by name)


"My Lord Warder, I've found something." Swanik burst into the office,
arms full of hides. It had been two sevendays and the understeward had
been busy, burying himself into the odd mystery of unknown activity.
Barrier Lake had held nothing, but at Harper Hall, buried in dusty
documents and old hides, Swanik believed he had found the answer.

Ishek immediately pushed aside what was on his desk to clear a space.
On his perch by the windowsill, the firelizard Yimas chirped slightly
as he was disrupted by the door noise before settling back down. "What
did you find?"

Swanik laid down the hides, a look of triumph on his face. "You won't
believe it. I scarcely did." He pulled out the first document, laying
it out flat. "You should recognize this one. It's the Lord Holder's
family line. I got it out of our archives. " Nothing unusual right?"
He waited just long enough for Ishek to peruse it. "But this one,
Swanik pulled out an obviously old hide, still dusty and torn at the
edges, "is in the old archives of Harper Hall. They have a copy of the
first, but this one predates it." He spread out the older copy
carefully, beside another. "The old archivist has a memory like a
trap and Harper Hall doesn't throw out old records. Look." He pointed
with each hand, one for each family record, drawing his fingers along
the family tree line. He stopped at ninety turns previous to present
"Here. See? In this older record, there's three sons. In ours, there
are only two. But that's just the beginning."

"Three sons? So one was just...erased from the local records?"

"Apparently, yes. The middle son. Our records at that time have been
meticulously written over or changed. But they must have missed a
few, because I found some old letters buried among some reports. And
Harper Hall has this," he pulled out a small portrait, aged but
still clear despite a few spots and tears. It revealed a young woman
with coal black hair and eyes, olive skin, and obviously slender; she
was beautiful and serene, but with a hint of laughter in her eyes.
"There's a letter that was with this portrait. A letter from the
middle son's father, the Lord Holder. " Swanik produced it, but it
was torn and illegible in places. "It names the son. Listen...'her
beauty does not compell me to approve of your choice or your
decision.You disobeyed me and offended the Lady that was chosen for
you. This Yarisha is no one, no connections, no Blood.' It gets blurry
here, but the next reads, '...no further succor will be granted to
you or your line. You have the lands gifted you out of the kindness
of your mother. Nothing more. You will not be acknowledged nor will
any children of this union."

Ishek's eyes continued to widen as he listened to it. "So there was a
son of Garnet Valley completely rejected. By Lord Aswic's father or
grandfather... And all he had was some lands. Does that information
say which lands?"

"Not specifically, but..." Swanik picked up the hides and then laid a
recent map out. "The mother gave me an idea. Lord Aswic's grandfather
married a woman from this area." He pointed to an area north of where
Garnet Valley's holdings ended. There used to be a Hold, here before
it was wiped out by the plagues. In the wedding documents, it was
specified in the marriage agreement that the wife and Garnet Valley
would receive _these_ lands," Swanik pointed to where the unusual
activity was taking place, "as part of the marriage contract. After
the records with the second son, there's never any mention made of
those lands again...officially."

"And unofficially, what did you find? Did the Weyrhold have any
records, or any old riders know anything?"

"Letters, tucked away in some folders in our records. Nothing
official. Just personal letters. Some aren't very legible." He pulled
three of the ones that he'd been better able to decipher. "It looks
like this one was a letter to one of the brothers a few turns later.
It talks about a son being born and asks for his brother to reunite
him with his family for the sake of the son. I don't know if there was
any response." He pointed to another. "This one looks official, but
there's no seal. It's dated about twenty turns later and it's asking
to be recognized as a minor hold and promises loyalty. There was a
response found by the older brother, so it must have been after their
father died. It's just a single word, 'Never.'. There were two more
requests for the same, each about twenty turns apart before they just
stopped. As far as I know, there wasn't any more communication or any
reports that any supplies or assistance was ever sent to that area.
What Harper Hall had was more significant."

"And what was that?" Ishek asked.

Swanik, pulled the last hide and stretched it out. "Apparently, the
disowned brother sent family records to Harper Hall, just like anyone
of the Blood wood. The Hall accepted them, if only to trace the
lineage." The names were listed with names, birth turns, and death
turns."I don't know if the Lord Holder knew they were doing it but the
Hall doesn't destroy information. But here, look..." He trailed his
finger down to the last entries. "Five children. Three are listed as
dead, but they don't give the dates. That leaves these two. The oldest
male and a female." He tapped on the woman's name. "Do you recognize
it?"

He squinted at the name, thinking. "I've heard it before, but I can't place it."

Swanik looked over at the Lord Warder. "When's the last time you were
at Sunstone Sea Hold?" He tapped the hide again and then pulled the
portrait of the young woman over to rest by the name. "I've been there
three times. Lord Bryvin has one of the Garnet Valley's Blood working
for him."

"Sunstone... only for the wedding to his lady." Ishek said. He
generally only traveled to other Holds for major events like that, and
for Conclaves. "That news is _astounding_."

“Yes, it is. There was a will for this man.” His finger drew up the
the most recent death. “The archivist said there were two recent
copies made. One to a Holder Stenlis and another to one of Lord
Bryvin’s stewards a few months ago. “ Swanik leaned back and tugged on
his ear. “That’s the last thing I was able to find. We don’t have a
copy of that here. “He was pleased at what his digging had produced,
but what was next to be done was up to Ishek himself.

"One to Holder Stenlis and one to Lord Bryvin's Stewards. That means
the copy is at Sunstone, I assume.Or were you able to get anything
from the Hall?" Ishek stroked his chin as he thought about it.

"I can also assume so, yes." Swanik rubbed the back of his neck. "I
read the will, yes. It was very specific. It was insistent that the
lands remain on the male line and never be controlled by women. But,
if a woman was the only heir, control of the lands would go to either
the woman's husband. But, if there was no husband, the will grants
guardianship of the woman and the property to her Lord Holder in trust
until either her death or she marries or remarries, if a widow. If
there is a child, then it is up to her guardian to decide when the
eldest son, if there is one, inherits."

"So if Yriadha is unmarried, and she works for Lord Bryvin, then the
lands would be Bryvin's, until she marries someone else," Ishek said.

"I've met her, Lord Warder, briefly. I believe she is a widow and has
children. I've never met her brother, however. I don't know if he is
still living." Swanik frowned. "She's a stern Headwoman, but she's
efficient, if I recall. If her brother is no longer living and she
hasn't remarried, then yes, Lord Bryvin would control the lands in
trust." He paused, speaking carefully. "You could possibly supersede
the will, Lord Warder, but that might cause conflict with Lord Bryvin,
if he is indeed in control of them now. Personally, I dislike another
Lord Holder benefiting from the lands in our territory. Whatever is
produced there, should by rights, belong to us. And honestly, we do
need it."

"I'd like you to investigate more about what's going on down in those
lands, so we can find out what they have. I'll have to think on how to
handle Lord Bryvin - I agree those lands are in our territory and will
be Aslian's when he's of age."

Swanik agreed readily, nodding. “I’ll look into it immediately. It may
take a couple of sevendays to reach the area, providing the weather
holds.” He considered the map; he’d take a retinue of guards with him,
for protection against bandits and the like. And, quite frankly, he
didn’t know what he’d find there. “I can leave in the morning, Lord
Warder.”

Last updated on the December 2nd 2020


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