As soon as she had arrived at the Council’s Place, Penthesilea searched for familiar faces but spotted not more than two: Boras, blond leader of the Borathion tribe and rude queen Zeuxippe. The place itself was located in a dry area and nourished most of the few plants in the surroundings, probably because of the water basin in its middle. Five men and a single woman sat around the basin, only two of them having discovered the arrival so far.
Penthesilea decided not to delay the encounter with the other leaders and so headed straight to the two men in the middle, assuming they were the highest-ranked ones and therefore the first to be addressed.
When Zeuxippe spotted her, the queen’s gaze became hostile and followed her along with those of the other rulers, only Boras showing some kindness. A grim silence laid over the men. Worst of all was the one sitting next to Boras who Penthesilea thought most likely to be the leader of the kings. He glared at her as if she had just revealed a knife to murder him.
“Great kings and queen”, she addressed him directly following the unwritten laws of courtesy. “I am Penthesilea, daughter of Thestia and princess of the tribe of the Warrior Goddess deep in the eastern woods. As the oldest, my sister Xanthippe inherited the throne when our beloved mother died so I left my home with her consent to start a new tribe. Arriving at these lands, I found them beautiful and fertile and large enough to nourish many other tribes. Therefore, I come to you and humbly ask to be given permission to settle down and establish a tribe, as my mother wanted me to.”
The leader was not at all pleased by her request.
“Do you call it humbly to build a house and then come us? Shall we only give our approval to what you already did? If you were eager to live here in peace, you would have sought our counsel first or joined one of our tribes in the first place, princess.”
“Evandros, though your words are true you should abide by the protocol and introduce you first. We’re addressed by a princess, after all.”
“Why don’t you take that part?”
“Gladly, my friend.” He turned to Penthesilea. “As you know, I am Boras of the Borathions. This is Evandros, king of powerful Arythions and leader of our council. Then, queen Zeuxippe of Orcheon and Serkon, ruler of tribe Dekanos. And at last, Deipyros and elderly Jason ruling minor tribes Chonar and Vauros.”
“Thank you, king Boras. As to refer to your earlier accusation, king Evandros, I admit it has not been the best decision I have made so far. I am very sorry for this. But I thought it more secure being able to lock my slave up and then come to you without bothering you with his presence. Besides, I did not know where to find you, then.”
Evandros seemed even more enraged than before. “You can try to explain your mistake but that does not make you appear less ignorant.”
“I understand your reasons, princess, though it does not make them better. We should forgive her since she didn’t mean to disrespect us on purpose.” Boras spoke in her favor.
“By the grand God of the Sea, Boras! You should not support her. You swore allegiance to me as did all of you.”
“And not all of us have forgotten.” Zeuxippe stood up in order to say something. “I met her the other day and she was nothing at all polite to me. Even tried to question my slave about me who, to her loss, was too loyal and didn’t give in.”
Boras raised his hand. “You might change someone’s mind in your behalf, princess, if you made an offer what to contribute to our living together. We must work closely with one another since the plague, you know? Otherwise, neither of us could survive.”
“That’s treason!,” Zeuxippe shouted, already seated again.
Lot: "Ruin" by sacred70
Pose by akuiyumi