The Chronicle

of the Princess’ Ball

On the 23rd day of the month of Menderal 139, the Princess Eleanor’s 18th Birthday Ball was held in the Temple of Hahn. The Archimandrite’s Hall of Munificent Hospitality, newly redecorated in white and gold, echoed to the sound of the Royal Court and the music of the Master Bards. At eight of the clock most of the suitors were introduced to Her Royal Highness; all but Duke Alexander managing an elegant and flamboyant bow. Her Highness carefully ignored the Duke’s Handshake and turned to greet Prince Pharos, who had been delayed for an assortment of reasons.

Gifts and compliments were then exchanged with the Princess, but guests seem to be having some trouble with the Lady in Waiting. Lady Caroline managed several snubs at Duke Alexander’s expense, laughed at Prince Pharos’ gift and swore loudly before retiring to deal with her lapdog, which had unaccountably become sick. On her return several other guests excused themselves, starting a mysterious bout of interest in the dog’s health, which lasted for much of the evening.

Another topic of mutual interest was trade, upon which all Princes except Konrad of Garth managed to exchange contracts during the evening. It is believed that the Hahnite priest, Pendentite Edward de Belleme, collected significant donations for his hard work in finalising these contracts. Not unnaturally these discussions tended to distract guests away from the Princess, who became progressively less pleased with events. After chatting with Lady Caroline for several minutes she acidly reminded guests that it was her birthday. Her potential suitors leapt into attendance and Lady Caroline excused herself to check on the dog.

Meanwhile Pendentite Edward was having a less successful time. Having exchanged icy words with a priest of another deity – Esprayenna – he left to speak with Lady Caroline, who was by then attempting to grab a scrap of parchment that Lord Izzat had removed from her pet’s sickbed. Pendentite Edward firmly ushered guests out, intending to have a quiet word or three. Shortly thereafter guests heard a thud against the door and a rattling of the doorhandle. A Temple Guard kept onlookers away as a harassed-looking Edward extracted himself from the room and explained that the Lady Caroline was distraught by her dog’s illness.

Back at the ball, the Princess was circulating amongst the guests, having noticed that Prince Khalid and Duke Alexander were monopolising her time. She discovered Prince Konrad in a quiet corner, and a few minutes later dismissed her bodyguard for a while. Much encouraged, Prince Konrad was persuading her to take a cosy stroll in the gardens, when Lady Caroline and Jan Ostern both appeared and provided a sufficient delay for the bodyguard to re-appear. We have since heard that the road running past the garden wall was crowded with Prince Konrad’s men and Temple Guards at the time.

The Princess returned to the ball until, tired of interrupting trade deals, and depressed by the fact none of the Princes had proposed to her personally, she retired early. Her Highness thus missed the subsequent undiplomatic exchange between Prince Pharos of Kerun and Prince Khalid of Orissa; where Prince Khalid accused Kerun of stealing State Regalia, and Prince Pharos accused Orissa of lying through his teeth. Pendentite Edward intervened to prevent a major incident on Athion’s soil, but we have learnt that the two countries have since declared war,