[livejournal.com profile] mini_nanowrimo -- now that I got the condemnation done, I get on with the pardoning...

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They were shepherded to the great hall by one of the stable hands. Crowther strolled up and sat down before the curule seat. A pot of tea and several bowls had been laid out before the dais.

Turnspit worried that the Lord would be offended, when the others just sat down and helped themselves. It seemed overly familiar. Riders could come into the cold end of the kitchens – most wouldn't get too near the open firepits – but to just walk into the lord's hall and help oneself?

Iros just rolled his eyes, patted Turnspit on the knee, and handed him a cup of tea. Lurcher and Crowther tried not to laugh too much at him, and struck up an inane conversation about the decorations on the walls and pillars.

Turnspit made it through three nervous cups of well-honeyed tea before a door creaked open behind him.

"Iros Longshanks," came the hoarse, dry voice.

Iros craned his head around, and smiled brilliantly. "Lord Brewster," he said, as he clambered to his feet and inclined his head.

Crowther also got to his feet and nodded politely. "Crowther of Nightmist's Holding, and my Dog, Lurcher. We're here to witness."

The Brewster's voice turned curious, "Witness?"

Iros nudged Turnspit with his foot.

Turnspit breathed deeep. He hoped this would work. It seemed insane now that the moment was upon him.

He twisted and went up on one knee to grab the Lord's hands. He brought them to his mouth and licked, once, twice, and pressed the knuckles to his forehead. And waited.

"A Dog, Iros? I did not think you had the inclination," the Brewster said fondly. "Where did you find this one? Such odd yellow hair." Her hands came up to brush through Turnspit's hair. The touch was soft, gentle, and stopped abruptly.

"Clockwork..?" she backed away, sounding aghast. "Iros Longshanks! You idiot!"

"Lord Brewster-"

"This isn't a Dog, you foolish child. This is a murderer. I condemned him myself!"

Iros stepped forward, and put his hands on Turnspit's shoulders. "Killer, not murderer," he said, "You agreed he was wronged."

"Killer, murderer, the difference is nothing. That creature you're petting beat two aughiksy to death! And you wish to call him your Dog!"

"No, Lord Brewster. He is my Dog. I simply want you to acknowledge that."

The Brewster snorted, and tossed her head. Her eyes narrowed, she stepped forward again. She grabbed Turnspit and forced his chin up.

Her eyes were yellow, pale and pitiless as the sun, and cold. He shivered, feeling the power around the old aughisky. It rippled through the air, and he felt his clockwork, clicking silently, uselessly in circles as her influence rippled through him.

She dropped her hands and made a noise of disgust. "You are an idiot, Iros Longshanks. But this is your Dog. I wish you...well of him."

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