The Crowns of DunBroch - King Fergus
Fergus turned the key to his strongroom and took the torch with him inside as he closed the door behind him. He lit the other torches already in the room. Putting the torch in the holder by the door he went to the small chest in the niche in the middle of the wall.
He carried it to the heavy table in the center of the room, put it down near the end of the table and sat with a sigh. He pulled out another smaller key and opened this chest. He reached in and placed the object inside on the table at the center of the table.
Fergus sighed again. He was looking at his crown. He hated that thing.
It was round, as a crown should be. There were four large emeralds around the intricately engraved band, surrounded by diamonds, pearls and other precious gems. It was as silly as it was heavy.
But it was his.
He was the king.
He was in charge.
The clan lords had raised him to be king after he joined the clans together to fight the northern invaders. Clan DunBroch hadn't been strong enough to do it alone, though they had tried. He had called together the other clans and inspired them to come to his aid. It had taken everything the four clans had to throw them back.
Fergus sighed, he was brave enough to hunt bears. He had even punched Mor'du himself in the face. But why wasn't he brave enough to listen to the petitions of the clans and decide what to do?
What a pathetic king he was. Fergus shook his head.
Elinor read though all those books learning how to be a good queen, telling him what good kings do on the continent. He never listened to her. He heard the words but it didn't change him. He needed to change now.
Elinor needed to be a mother to Merida. Their family had almost been destroyed and it almost took the kingdom with it. They had gotten so close to starting a war in the throne room, so very close.
Fighting the clans would have been fun, but it would have destroyed the kingdom and left them open to invasion.
He had to be a better king.
Fergus scrapped his peg-leg across the stone of the floor. It had all come from that. His failed battle with Mor'du. He hated himself for losing. He had lost his leg, but he had saved his family, that was his greatest victory. Funny how that worked.
He had spent over a year recovering from the loss of his leg. He had almost lost his life to infection, Mor'du had been a dirty old rug.
Elinor had begun dealing with the day-to-day decisions of the kingdom. Sometimes someone would want to talk to the king about something or other. Finally, some insolent fool had insisted to see the king and Elinor had escorted him in as he had been suffering from a fever. He had grabbed his sword and yelled at the fool, "She is the queen, you listen to her!"
Elinor had taken that and run with it. Fergus smiled as he remembered all the times she had shouted that even at the clan lords. He was proud of his queen, she had some iron in her. He had seen that from the start.
Elinor had been a great archer. He knew she would make a great wife when he had seen her hit apples off of the top of the tree with her bow. He had insisted on the games for the betrothal. Throwing back the northern invaders had proved himself to the clan lords, but he wanted to prove himself to her. He loved her so very much.
She had put down her bow when she learned from her silly books how to be a queen. He missed loosing arrows with her. He had thought giving Merida a bow would have brought Elinor back to hers. He had ended up having to teach Merida to shoot and to fight.
But then it got so bad Elinor hadn't wanted Merida to have weapons at all. All from those silly books! What did it matter what the kings, queens and princesses of the continent did? They didn't live here in the Highlands.
They had kingdoms that had lasted for hundreds of years with all kinds of pomp and ceremony. He was the first king they've had since the ancient kingdom.
And he was blowing it!
Fergus took off his helmet and put it next to his crown. He was used to the helmet, it fit well and wasn't too heavy, not like the crown. It covered his bald spot.
He loved Elinor, so very much. It had almost killed him to think she had been killed by a bear. He would have dropped everything and killed all the bears everywhere for her. But she was the bear. Their own daughter had, with the help of a witch, transformed Elinor into a bear.
And he almost killed his own beloved himself.
He was having a hard time with that. More nightmares, new nightmares. The nightmare of beheading her and having her transform back to herself as the clans held her tied down body gave him the collywobbles. He had been too angry to listen to his own daughter who was telling the truth. Even if he couldn't understand it.
Fergus shook his head. He hadn't thought magic was real. Not even fighting Mor'du had convinced him, it was just a tough old bear with some old weapons stuck in him. But will 'o the wisps, spells, witches and all that was real. He wasn't sure how to deal with that. Hopefully, it wouldn't come up again.
He needed to do better. The kingdom had almost fallen apart while she had been pregnant with the boys. It was a good thing winter had come, she was back on her feet by the time spring rolled around. He wasn't good at administrative issues. He needed some time with Elinor for her to teach him. They needed to work together and be a family again.
He had worried about his family. Having the boys was wonderful, even if it looked like Elinor was going to explode she had been so huge. Now, after recovering from the battle Elinor had been all over him. Their passion was flaring hot. She was his wife again, he had missed that so much and now he knew she did too.
Elinor really ran the kingdom. He knew that. It wasn't fair for him to foist all the boring stuff on her, even if she seemed to like it. He couldn't do all the fun stuff. They needed to work together, so Elinor could have fun to, with the whole family. She didn't deserve to be doing paperwork all the time.
Fergus picked up his crown and put it on. He'd go up and crash the princess lesson and start learning how to be a real king. If they worked together like the clans had during the war, they would be stronger then each of them doing their own thing.
They could and should rule together. But more then that, they could be a family together.
Fergus stood and left his helmet on the table and walked out of the door.