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Chapter 3: A Council Divided

by Vil, Stringbean


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

The next morning, Natalia was driven to the Council House. The cab came to an easy stop in front of the magnificent pillared building. It was built with an elegant architecture, open like the Minor House she worked in. Leafy or flowering plants had been carefully tended and arranged along the path outside. There was a bright fountain in front of the building, with a brick drive circling it.

The driver came around and opened Natalia's door. She thanked him in a quiet voice and looked up nervously at the gilded doors which had been propped open. He looked at her a moment.

"You'll be fine ma'am," he said with an understanding smile. He was young-- about her own age, and had dressed up neatly, just to drive her here.

She smiled back. "Thanks."

She made her way up the wide steps to the door. A guard stood on either side-- not polished guards in uniform, but two trusted citizens dressed finely, standing laxly at attention. They nodded as she passed by, welcoming her to the second set of grand doors that brought her into the Council room. She felt the coronet on her head, there to remind her of the importance of her duty. She strode to her seat at the round table, similar to the one in the Minor House, though much larger. The emissaries were chatting with each other, and some greeted her as she came in. Most had already arrived.

Natalia brought the Council to order and the thirteen emissaries began discussing the most important issues Misericord was faced with at the moment. She learned that there were signs that Nesrin might be making war on their neighbor Airira soon. The Nesrins were on another continent, but what truly worried them were the barbaric Belecthorian republicans to the northern border of Misericord that exceedingly outnumbered them. These republicans were expanisionistic and threatened the Misericord way of life.

"We don't have any conflict with these... republicans," Natalia said, replying to an old emissary from a northern court.

"That's true, but at the moment our defenses are-- lacking to them the least," Broswith answered. "They might easily overtake us if the fancy struck him. Suppose they wished to pass through our land to attack one of our neighbors?"

"We should pursue alliances with others on the continent," put in the Emissary of Nasheen. "The Minervatosans are peaceful people and in a strategic position on the continent. I believe we should request to meet with Queen Cynthia before a war breaks outin the north."

Natalia nodded thoughtfully. "But we have little to offer in return," she pointed out.

"Talk with her. We'll think of something."

There was a little more debate about Belecthoria and Nesrin, but it was generally agreed that this would be the best course of action. Natalia called the messenger house and asked them to send a request to meet with Queen Cynthia as soon as it was convenient. It seemed important enough to her that it would be more proper to send someone in person.

They moved on to talk about trade, and were in the middle of debating about the price of timber from the north when a younger emissary named Jason Homer, from the court of Leese impatiently interrupted.

"Members of the Council," he began, "with all due respect we are ignoring the most pressing issue: the desire of many of the people to re-form our government."

They were silent a moment. A few heads turned towards the Steward Emissary.

"...Leese Court is in favor of this reformation?" she asked.

"Yes. And you should know yourself that people everywhere are, even in your own court."

Her jaw tightened."The majority are not."

"Are you so sure Lady Emissary?" he spat, unable to hide his disdain for her. "People are becoming dissatisfied with the rule of Council, wondering if there isn't a better way. Some wonder how someone so young, and inexperienced could have gained position at the head of Council." There was just a hint of mockery, maybe even a threat in his tone as he said this. Natalia looked at him levelly, though he heart was beating quick. He knew he was hitting at a nerve.

Emissary Bronswith rose angrily. "How dare you, Jason! Natalia proved two years ago that she could lead the people when she reunited the rebels and the councilists!"

It was Jason's turn to stand, a stormy look on his face. "And you forget who led the people she silenced!" he roared, thumping his chest. "United? They were never united-- how could they be by someone who understands so little?"

Jason wasn't much older than herself, not yet even thirty, but he had a way of holding himself and a way of speaking that made him seem to be as experienced as the rest of them. Natalia watched as others began rising shouting across the table at one another.What was happening to their Council?

Her eyes jumped across the table rapidly until she finally stood and moved to Bronswith's side. Her hands touched his shoulder, and she reached for the next Emissary, urging them to sit with her eyes. She could see Bronswith's anger fade as he looked at her, finally releasing a breath and looking down as he took his seat. Her hand slipped away and she moved to the next calling them quietly. One middle aged woman sighed frustratedly and walked cross armed to the wall, turning her back to the bickering of the last few.

"Jason!"

His fiery eyes snapped up to Natalia's from the other side of the round table. She looked back steadily, wishing her heart would stop pounding. He looked about the room as it fell silent. Just as Natalia opened her mouth to speak, he shot her a hateful glare and spun on his heal. Without a word, he stormed through the heavy doors.

Natalia's face fell. "Jason!" She moved to go after him, but old Bronswith held her shoulder gently. She looked back at him a bit confused, and he shook his head sadly. She looked to the door, back at the old man. It was done then. The Council solemnly shuffled out.

Over the past few months, five emissaries, including Jason, upped and left, forming their own separate "Council" that supported reformation. Negotiations had ceased. Already, the nation had been pushed to the brink of civil war before Natalia came to power. Whether or not she could do it again was another question...

Bronswith looked at the Lady Emissary as they stood outside in the sun, rainclouds visible to the far north. "There wil be war there, I think. Talking to Queen Cynthia will be a smart move."

Natalia nodded quetly, thoughts drifting off. Bronswith continued to speak, but she did not hear what he had to say. How could she listen to him when there was so much to take into consideration? The Nesrins were going to war, a King had been overthrown, the country was falling apart--

"Nava!" she cursed suddenly, covering her mouth upon realizing what she had said.

Bronswith offered her a small smile. "Nava indeed."


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Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:11 pm
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Andrewknorpp wrote a review...



Back again with your harsh review!
I know this took like infinitely long, but it's finally here! Sorry for the delay.
Let's jump right in I guess!
This chapter was well written, just like all your chapters, but once again the plot seems a bit... confused.
My main grievance here is we still don't really know what the point of this all is, who our characters are, and why we should like them. We just seem to be wandering around, like we are picking up plotlines and then putting them down.
I feel like I'm getting snapshots, like a movie where we are only getting the big scenes. We need the in-between scenes. We need to follow these characters' lives. I want to know them. Like Natalia seems like she could be really likable, but she hasn't done anything super likable yet, and we barely know her.
Also, I'm guessing she is a super interesting character with a lot of depth, but right now she just looks like a cardboard cut out whos only trait is being capable.
One little specific thing:

Her jaw tightened."The majority are not."
Space is needed between period and quotation.
Jason wasn't much older than herself, not yet even thirty, but he had a way of holding himself and a way of speaking that made him seem to be as experienced as the rest of them. Natalia watched as others began rising shouting across the table at one another.What was happening to their Council?

Wow, they are young. This country is ruled by babies. You know a lot more about politics than me but that's like really young, like dangerously young. I can imagine the reason behind that is interesting and I am interested to learn it. (Also on a minor note put a space with that period.)

Bronswith offered her a small smile. "Nava indeed."
haha, I liked this.


So, overall, once again stuff just keeps happening without a specified plot/relatable character/journey/premise holding it all together.
But that's all just my two cents! Hope it helped
Though in my complete honesty, it's pretty well written, the worldbuilding is creative. I truly feel like this plot could be super interesting if editing to be a little more... plotful, so I'm interested to see what comes out of the second draft. I totally get using the first draft to find what the plot is going to be, and if you are more power to you. This is going to be awesome.

Thanks, and keep writing.
-Andrew




Vil says...


Thanks for the review! <3

Yeah, I think these first few ended up being more like backstory than we had intended...



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Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:26 am
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EM8650 wrote a review...



Hey there.
This is the first of your work that i have read and I love it. Your plot line is really interesting. I think you could add some more detail in some places but other than that there isn't a lot i can suggest. As far as i can tell you don't have very many grammar mistakes.
I think you have a lot of potential as a writer.
I look forward to reading more of you work.
Keep up the fantastic writing.




Vil says...


Thanks for the review!



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Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:58 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm Knight Hardy here on a mission to ensure that all works on YWS has at least two reviews. You will probably never see this but....Imma do this anyway.

First Impression: So this was a pretty interesting take continuation from the previous chapter. I'm hoping at least this one is enough establishing conflict for a clear plotline to form because so far I don't see a clear one. Other than that this worked pretty well to showcase sort of the situation of the world they're and maybe establish something that might be important later so that's good :)

Anyway let's get right to it,

The next morning, Natalia was driven to the Council House. The cab came to an easy stop in front of the magnificent pillared building. It wasbuilt with an elegant architecture, open like the Minor House she worked in. Leafy or flowering plants had been carefully tended and arranged along the path outside. There was a bright fountain in front of the building, with a brick drive circling it.


That's a really good description that you've got right there and its certainly establishing the scene well but...that should probably be two words if I am not mistaken.

"You'll be fine ma'am," he said with an understanding smile. He was young-- about her own age, and had dressed up neatly, just to drive her here.


Well that's nice to see.

She made her way up the wide steps to the door. A guard stood on either side-- not polished guards in uniform, but two trusted citizens dressed finely, standing laxly at attention. They nodded as she passed by, welcoming her to the second set of grand doors that brought her into the Council room. She felt the coronet on her head, there to remind her of the importance of her duty. She strode to her seat at the round table, similar to the one in the Minor House, though much larger. The emissaries were chatting with each other, and some greeted her as she came in. Most had already arrived.


That was a very interesting choice of description for the guards. Also I love the reference to the coronet thing. Its a tiny little detail but that one sentence does a pretty good job of adding something extra to the scene as a whole.

Natalia brought the Council to order and the thirteen emissaries began discussing the most important issues Misericord was faced with at the moment. She learned that there were signs that Nesrin might be making war on their neighbor Airira soon. The Nesrins were on another continent, but what truly worried them were the barbaric Belecthorian republicans to the northern border of Misericord that exceedingly outnumbered them. These republicans were expanisionistic and threatened the Misericord way of life.


Well that is a nice little update almost about the world and that word....expansionistic just does not sound like a real word to me but then I probably just don't now words that advanced.

"We don't have any conflict with these,,, republicans," Nataliasaid, replying to an old emissary from a northern court.


Again it looks like we are missing a space and those three commas are probably meant to be for a pause so you would use ... that...I guess since those two are next to each other on the keyboard that's probably a typo. ;)

"Talk with her. We'll think of something."


That sounds like a super risky move there.

There was a little more debate about Belecthoria and Nesrin, but it was generally agreed that this would be the best course of action. Natalia called the messenger house and asked them to send a request to meet with Queen Cynthia as soon as it was convenient. It seemed important enough to her that it would be more proper to send someone in person.


I think that last line is pretty much implied by her actions there so spelling it out like that seems unnecessary.

"Members of the Council," he began, "with all due respect we are ignoring the most pressing issue: the desire of many of the people to re-form our government."

They were silent a moment. A few heads turned towards the Steward Emissary.


Well somebody got impatient.

"Are you so sure Lady Emissary?" he spat, unable to hide his disdain for her. "People are becoming dissatisfied with the rule of Council, wondering if there isn't a better way. Some wonder how someone so young, and inexperienced could have gained position at the head of Council." There was just a hint of mockery, maybe even a threat in his tone as he said this. Natalia looked at him levelly, though he heart was beating quick. He knew he was hitting at a nerve.


Well that is definitely a very typical attack you'd expect in a political story involving someone young...or maybe I've too many Harry Potter fanfics where this is like a staple...:)

"Jason!"


Okay that's a bit unclear there as to who is shouting here. Could be just be me but adding a tag there would probably help out a bit.

In the month that followed, five emissaries, including Jason, upped and left, forming their own separate "Council" that supported reformation. Negotiations had ceased. Already, the nation had been pushed to the brink of civil war before Natalia came to power. Whether or not she could do it again was another question...


Well that went quickly. Bit of a sudden time jump there. Maybe at least put a scene break between those two paragraphs or its just very jarring to all of a sudden see it transiton to a month later.

Natalia nodded quetly, thoughts drifting off. Bronswith continued to speak, but she did not hear what he had to say. How could she listen to him when there was so much to take into consideration? The Nesrins were going to war, a King had been overthrown, the country was falling apart--

"Nava!" she cursed suddenly, covering her mouth upon realizing what she had said.

Bronswith offered her a small smile. "Nava indeed."


Well it looks like more cliffhangers now. And at this point I can't tell where this is actually going to go in. I don't know quite know why but it just feels like we are still doing introductions and the actual plot hasn't begun which is starting to get a little dangerous when you are already in chapter 3. Hopefully the next chapter shows a bit of a clearer direction for where this thing is headed.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall this was a pretty cool little scene if you take it just as a scene and the overall flow was also pretty nice except for that one spot that I pointed out above with that weirdly fast transition. Definitely enjoying this one quite a bit...Natalie seems like a pretty interesting character and this 2 years appears to be pretty important. Looking forward for more!!

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




Vil says...


Ok-- edits were made. I hate it when I hit the comma key instead of periods! XD

Don't worry about the plot-- we've got a timeskip coming up.



Stringbean says...


Thank you! I'll definitely keep those things in mind when revising c:



HarryHardy says...


:D...You're Welcome!!

times is relative




Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind