Chapter 7

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Since Mhelynycyn's reign, there had been no struggles for succession as there had always only been one male heir. Most regarded this peculiarity as a curse directly related to the manner of Mhelynycyn's rise to power. Nevertheless, on only a few occasions has more than one male been born to a king of Khaballe. And on those occasions, only one had lived to see the throne. Without any other heirs, there was a constant fear of a coup d'etat by the more aggressive members of the King's Ministry. Enter the King's Advisor. The position was created to act as a buffer between the king and his Ministry and was always awarded to one of the ten allotted wizards. Overthrowing a king? Difficult but possible. Overthrowing a king with a wizard? Very difficult and next to impossible.

Athar had been King's Advisor to Rhenycyn's father and grandfather and quite possibly his great grandfather. Since the death of his oldest son, Nherycyn had come to rely on Athar more and more. And after his Queen passed on to the Greater Plane, Nherycyn began to delegate a portion of the political matters to him as well. Since then, it had become common knowledge that Athar managed some aspects of the kingdom. Some wondered why the King had turned to Athar and not Rhenycyn. It was the very same question that exasperated the Prince.

Those were the thoughts the Prince contemplated as he stared out at the western section of Bhel'Ehzz. Ellycyn, sensing the shadow of the dark mood pursuing her brother, sought to avert it.

"How goes your relationship with Lady Fhyndhella?" she asked.

Rhenycyn returned from his reflections with a start. "Huh? I am sorry, I was preoccupied. Did you ask me something?"

"Fhyndhella? How are you two doing?"

"Well, I suppose."

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