Vargast talked to his father about the succession. Ekel said that no one had proved themselves to be the best; he hoped that the tests after his passing would give them the opportunity. He recalled how he himself had gone out and befriended Mother Maple.
Vargast suggested to his brother Alabron that he offer to protect the spirit before Sacred Time, but she didnt answer Alabron. Alabron then asked Jornast to make him an iron sword, when he got the iron.
Makkekt became betrothed to Dathlenn Ingolfsdaughter; they were to marry in Earth season.
Several people visited Mother Maples grove in sea season. Vargast heard his name whispered by her branches. When he made her a poem, she sent down a green maple seed. Konall also heard his name, and sacrificed some of his magic. Vargast also sacrificed. They were both told to be sure to display their finery, and that they could call on her for protection against magic while in her lands. The priestesses were impressed.
They decided to hunt down Jarkoring Badbone. They went through the lands of the Oringke clan of the Gesain tribe, and were guested by Ormarl, the thane. Everyone noticed the unusually large number of serving girls. Vargast recited a love poem to one named Brenna. She was smitten with him, and they left the hall. She told him that Jarkoring had been there, but was probably going on to Kilwin. She stayed up all night embroidering a token for Vargast.
They continued to the Salankoch clan, the royal clan of the Gesain. Their hillfort had a large temple to Humath. One of the Swords was a woman named Kain, who practiced with Ort.
At dinner, Vargast orated against Jarkoring. Although the fool deflated many of his arguments, Beard-Orloring, the king, was still convinced, and sent them after Jarkoring with gifts.
They arrived in Kilwin, and went to Sweetweed Castle. They were given the High Kings hospitality, but were told they might not get to see him right away. Vargast asked that they not be seated near Jarkoring.
They went into the city, and Vargast and Konall traded for cloth. Jornast and Ort found a smith, and learned that the High King controlled trade in iron. Makkekt went to the Orlanth temple, and talked to Raon Scalesplitter, priest at the Alakoring shrine. Ort found a Humath temple, and made a formal challenge to Orlkan the Staunch.
That night, they were seated in a secondary hall. With no lord, things were a bit rowdy, and Ort got into a brawl.
The next day, they got an audience with High King Arukel. Alabron presented Ekels gifts, and asked that Jarkoring be turned over as an outlaw. Arukel observed that it was interesting that the Riagos tribe only gave gifts when they wanted something. Vargast and Konall both gave horses. Arukel pointed out that they had given gifts of about a thanes wergild, but that they were asking for the head of a king. He also pointed out that the accusation of kinslaying was unproved, and that he could not rule based on one mans word. However, in five weeks he would visit the Riagos tribe and make a ruling.
Alabron and his friends returned to inform Ekel.
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