Chapter 29

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While she may not have been an accomplished dhorsoghi player, Dhonlaa was far and away the winner when it came to information gathered and influences made. The new Minister of Internal Affairs was not only gaining recognition for herself and her stances, but popularity and support as well. That of course had nothing to do with the fact that she was one of the only women present and, as usual, dressed to kill. She had a talent for planting seeds in people's minds and nurturing the resulting thoughts and ideas so that they believed them to be their own. Where men may normally have felt threatened or perhaps uncomfortable with a woman in her position, they instead accepted her as an influential supporter. The only people she had difficulty winning over were those such as the dwarves and traditionalists who relegated women to more domestic duties and the representative from Sevhert'ah who was on to her game before she started it.

Arhyvhynne, on the other hand, did poorly in her attempts to gather support for herself in her new position and for Uriel's plight. Her age, timidity and inexperience in these types of gatherings all worked against her. Even her strengths proved to be counteractive. The minds she touched were grossly distorted by alcohol (or perhaps they were the real personalities coming out) and led her to aversion. Those who were purely interested in her for her physical beauty disgusted her. Depressed over her lack of garnering support, the High Witch made an early retreat to her quarters.

As the night wore on, the ale continued to flow, wagers continued to increase and money continued to change hands. Dhonlaa, absolutely aglow with her conquests, continued to work to neutralize Rhenycyn. The representatives continued to attempt to maneuver into advantageous relationships. Disguised as stewards, Thenycyn's and Rhenycyn's spies continued to gather information on who was aligning with whom. As did the women the royal family supplied for the enjoyment of the representatives. Outside, in the city, the knights from the various cities, most of whom were partaking of the local goods, both of a liquid and sensual nature, continued to prepare to do battle the following day. But the big knight from Sevhert'ah had grudgingly refrained from the amusements his comrades took part in and continued about his own business in the city. Though his thoughts were also of the following day, it was more to do with his part in changing the future direction of Khaballe than the King's Contest.


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