Chapter 7

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Although he strived to be truly ready to accept the charge when it came, deep inside he constantly fought with himself over his legitimacy. Though there was no question of parentage, Rhenycyn was not the first born, there being an older brother. But his brother Thenycyn had died some years back, even before their mother had, leaving him as the sole male heir. As studious as Rhenycyn was, so was his brother as indolent. Though never spoken, the nobility was actually quite relieved at Thenycyn's death. The only one displeased at the turn of events, outside of the immediate family, was Valdhon. The elder statesman of the King's Ministry had positioned his only child, Dhonlaa, to marry Thenycyn. When the years following Thenycyn's death showed that Rhenycyn had no intention of pursuing his brother's interest, Valdhon took personal offense. Even now, though Valdhon had grown old and feeble, he still sought revenge by fighting Rhenycyn on any issue that the Prince brought before the Ministry.

The questions and fears of Rhenycyn's competence were in his mind only though he was sure that at least his father shared them. Nherycyn, his father, was a strong ruler, well-loved and respected throughout the realm. His reign had been peaceful and productive and had instilled courage and conviction in the people of Khaballe. Though such was not always the case in what had come to be known as the 'Cyn' Dynasty.

Rhenycyn's ancestors had ruled Khaballe for over five hundred years. They had for the most part been strong rulers, a few even exercising various degrees of tyranny. But in some cases it was deemed necessary not only by the crown but the aristocracy as well. Such was the case which precipitated the genesis of the dynasty. A void was created by the untimely (and somewhat mysterious) demise of the king. Mhelynycyn, at eighteen, became the first monarch of the Cyn dynasty by seizing the throne during the ensuing power struggle, 'eliminating' several rivals along the way. At the time, Khaballe needed a forceful ruler to unite the people and Mhelynycyn was best suited for the position. Though there was no question that his methods were not condoned, they were viewed with indifference as history proved him to be an effective, successful and even highly regarded ruler.

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