Chapter 8

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The aristocracy held most of the local power in Khaballe. They were landed and produced their goods or parts thereof on their country estates, then transported them to the city. Many of the nobles preferred to manage their own shops in the city and lived there for a portion of the year, leaving the mundane duties at the manor for family members. The merchants and craftsmen also held some power through their guilds, but they were not nearly as influential as the nobility. Finally, there was the Lord Mayor, a figurehead and little more. His main responsibilities were to preside over the city council (consisting of the nobles and GuildMasters) and uphold the law through the city guard.

All laws, offices and loyalties of each city were subject to the king, however. And to reinforce that point, the Journey of Homage took place every five years. Representatives from each city came to Bhel'Ehzz and reaffirmed their loyalty to the Crown. It was instituted by Mhelynycyn and its purpose was actually threefold. First and foremost, remind the nobility not in any uncertain terms who ruled the kingdom. Secondly, maintain national security and learn of intrigues first hand. Finally, conduct court, which entailed reviewing policies, laws and the like as well as establishing new business. Such was the politics of Khaballe.


The wild, flickering flame of the nearly spent candle caught Uriel's eye and broke his concentration. He stood and stretched, tried to rub the redness from his eyes. He moved to the window, gazed out and estimated it was well into the evening. Damn, that late, he thought. Uriel walked over to his bed, laid down, put his hands behind his head and crossed his legs at the ankles. He closed his eyes but his mind was moving too fast to allow sleep. He then tried some relaxation techniques but was only partially successful.

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