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Good News
he last month had been a busy one for Erkinwhine. Shortly after the first meeting of the Council of Nine in nearly six months he had begun plans to remove the mayor of Varossa from his office. It had become clear to him, in the council chambers, that Xavior was not loyal to him. He could have simply killed the man. His citizens had come to expect acts of that sort from their king, but Erkinwhine loved the element of surprise.
So, he had had a team of spies follow the mayor and report his actions. After a few days, they had accumulated enough evidence to prove Xavior guilty of treason. The trial went swiftly, and within days the traitor was found guilty and executed. As a symbolic gesture, the traitor's head was removed with the first blade to be made by the city's new blacksmith. The weapon now held a position of honor above the King's throne. Its rasor-sharp blade still covered with Xavior's blood. A not so subtle warning to those who are contemplating subterfuge against the throne.

Aaron, the chief advisor, was asked to take the mayor's place. Of course, the former chancelor respectfully
declined. He explained that he didn't feel qualified for the job. The King laughed and told his advisor that the position had no real authority. Erkinwhine told the man that his idea of a mayor would be someone from whom he could expect complete loyalty and give the people the feeling they were being represented. He went on to explain that he had complete confidence in the other members of the council and would be confident in Aaron as mayor. The young amazon asked what point there was to having nine people of the same opinion. "Isn't the point of the council to examine all of the sides to the issues and make an informed decision?" He asked. The response was something to the affect that the king expected that all sides would be examined, but in the end all should agree with him. When the unanamous opinion of the council is behind a decision, the people naturally feel more confident in it. Aaron couldn't find a flaw in his king's logic and accepted the offer.

The only real problem Erkinwhine had to deal with during the month was the conspicuous absence of his
favorite priestess. Not that he was ever alone. As king, he always had his pick of the royal bodyguard. But there was something about Bethany that caused him to feel lonely when she was not nearby. On several occasions he had sent for her, only to be told she was busy with important church matters and could not be desturbed. Once he attempted a personal visit only to be turned away by the venerable Rebecca. Bethany was in meditation and could not be disturbed.

Finally, he could take in no longer. He dispatched four of his best guards to bring her to him. It was made
clear to them that returning without her was not an option. They sneaked into the church, bound her, gaged her and drug her from the church. She was terrified.

When she discovered she was being brought before her king, it did nothing to lessen her fears. But when she
saw the look of relief on his face, her worries subsided. He confessed that he had been worried about her, and she confessed to avoiding him. But as it turned out, she had good reason.

They sat down to a suculant meal of roast boar, steamed yams, freshly baked bread and straberries for
dessert. As they ate, Bethany began to explain her absence. She had a problem that she had been dealing with. She was uncomfortable with the advice she was given by the other priestesses and had been meditating and praying to Jasmine for an answer.

Finally, after over an hour of coaxing, Erkinwhine was able to get her to reveal her delima. She was pregnant
with his child. Her fellow priestesses had advised her to terminate it, but she wasn't comfortable with that choice. She knew that if she had a baby, everyone would know who the father was, and this worried her, too. The father-to-be lept to his feet and yelled for his guard. His terrified dinner guest screamed, not realizing his actions were the result of happiness. When the bodyguard crashed into the room, they saw their king consoling the priestess. He commanded them to send forth the word to the furthest reaches of his empire that HE was expecting an heir. Since Varossa was an Amazon kindom, the sex of the child would not be of any import.