F'lar remarks to F'nor that the watch-wher appeared to be hiding something. Mnementh and Canth attempt to get information from it. F'lar insists that there must be someone of the Blood there to contrive Ruatha to decline so much.
F'lar helps Gemma down the steps, and speaks with her. She mourned the poor state of Ruatha, and rejects the possiblity, advanced by F'lar, that someone of the line might've survived.
The Warder timidly offers Fax a roast, fresh bread, "and such fruits and roots as are left". Fax is angry, as the Warder had said nothing was harvested. The Warder hastily says that what he meant wsa nothing good enough to be sent on had been harvested, and had he had more warning, he could've sent to Crom ... Fax angrily demands an explanation. The Warder stammers that he could've sent for decent food. Fax angrily proclaims "The day one of my Holds cannot support itself or the visit of its rightful overlord, I shall renounce it". Gemma gasped, the dragons buggled, and F'lar felt a surge of power, but controls himself and assumes a casual attitude about the Dragons' roar.
The drudges fearfully present a meal to Fax and his guests. Gemma is seized with the onslaught of labor contractions. F'lar ruefully considers that she could've made a good Weyrwoman, were she younger. Fax is outraged at the poor quality of the food, and to the server's stammered explanation that it was all they had, F'lar remarks (surprising himself) "Obviously, Ruatha cannot support the visit of its Lord. You must renounce it." Stunned at his own remark, he assumes a nonchalant attitude, reminding Fax of his earlier declaration. He realizes that he had been manipulated, convincing him that someone with power did live there, and hoped it was a female of the right age. Fax faces F'lar, angrily. The tension is broken by a groan from Lady Gemma. Fax laughs and declares that he would renounce it for her child, "if it is male ... and lives!" F'lar announces "Heard and witnessed!", his riders following suit.
Nervous preparations for the birth begin. Lessa is sent to find a birthing-woman.
Characters Introduced Edit
- Lady Tela