Episode 4

Running the Gauntlet

  The debilitating uncertainties continue…

  Solancei, Duchess of Ivanor and secret life shield of Iambre Actarione, is certain of one thing only: that her present situation cannot possibly get any stranger. However, when her jackal fight tormentor introduces her to an unhinged substance addict and long-term prisoner who not only seems to know her, but insists on calling her Mistress, and moves to protect her, she is forced to bend her neck to the Gods’ overwhelmingly bad sense of humour. She may not live to see sunlight again, but no matter the costs, she cannot let this seemingly innocent man suffer either. Yet, will she manage to save the mad prisoner from his intended fate or is her unpredictable captor simply toying with them both?

  Playing a dangerous game to keep her true name hidden, is her own life already forfeit? Will she too become a mad, abused addict, or will the Gods for once favour her? Solancei knows her own fleeting odds, but for Iambre she must prevail.

  Mired, likewise a victim of her own unsettling circumstances, Princess Iambre of Ostravah is heart sore from the binding promise finally made to her true love, Captain Metavo, but Solancei’s continued absence wreak havoc with her mind. Feeling the need to do the ‘right thing’, this time her virtuous view has little to do with what’s proper and everything to do with following a gut instinct that tells her she must act to help her missing Shield.  But how can she make a move when she is surrounded by Zanzier’s sycophantic nobles and a host whose conduct threatens her patience and inspires aversion and suspicions of the worst kind?

  Smiles fading, old fears re-surface, to rekindle near-forgotten, debilitating insecurities that could damage her health, Iambre now makes an uncomfortable personal discovery that may affect the future if only she dares embrace it.

  Meanwhile, Zanzierian Lord Simarovien Zulavi has plans of his own for the future.  An uneasy alliance with a noble loon from Tuxama Lake promises to produce the results he has long been striving for but when a trial to test an old bizarre set of supposed-magical stones proves successful, Zulavi should perhaps be wondering if there is more to the ramblings of his bookish scholar ally than meets the eyes. Tan’Xaviar of Tuxama Lake is peculiar and turns Zulavi’s guts, but an ally is an ally.

  At least, for now…

 

 

Running the Gauntlet - Episode 4