Rerhud receives news that Queen Astra is arriving at Gistlidia later in the day. He makes arrangements for her to be transported straight to the castle. As the Gistlidians were becoming very unsettled and there had been many occasions when Vigilante groups tried to overthrow him as a governing body.
They wanted to take over the running of the island thinking they could do a better job. The prisons were now full to bursting and Rerhud was struggling to keep rule over the people, so Queen Astra’s arrival was most welcome.
Noon arrived and a great army of ships docked at Gistlidia. The people came out in force thinking they were being attacked. When they saw that it was queen Astra the rage turned into a celebration. They were happy to see the Queen’s mother. As she stepped off her ship there was music and cheering and flowers. The Gistlidians wanted to know if she’d had news of King and Queen Parucha or had she come to take over as ruler. She knew that something was wrong even before she reached the castle.
Sitting on her horse, she signaled to the people to be quiet! A silence fell and everyone listened intently.
“I know you’re all concerned for your King and Queen. So am I. We’re doing everything we can to try to find them. Search parties are as we speak searching the seas high and low. I will be holding a meeting at the castle with lunch provided for you all to come and express your concerns and I will do my best to help and reassure you.” -“Please come to the castle at noon tomorrow. Until then I bid you all a good day.”
With that she had addressed them all and given them reassurance. The islanders were happy and felt like they were going to be listened to.
The Queen and her soldiers rode their horses up to the castle. Rerhud had it guarded heavily and not very welcoming to any visitors or islanders who wanted to come to visit. The Queen passed through three guarded gates with soldiers armed to the teeth. She didn’t feel very welcome at all. Ordering them all to step down., she dismissed them at once telling them all to take a break and she would be out to address them later in the main courtyard. The soldiers stepped down and gladly went for a well-deserved break.
On entering the castle she greeted the staff and gave orders for Rerhud to meet her in the meeting room with his generals. The staff hurried to arrange the meeting. Rerhud wasn’t best impressed but did as he was told as he feared the Queen. Everyone gathered in the meeting room the Queen had ordered tea and a light lunch for everyone.
“Welcome everyone! it is very nice to see you all again. Now tell me why have you ruined my daughter’s Island!” -” Why is the castle like a prison and why are the people so unhappy? I want some answers before I address the Islanders tomorrow.” -“Rerhud, I put you in charge, what do you have to say for yourself?” Rerhud stood up and addressed the Queen. ” Your Majesty it hasn’t always been like this. Only in the last few months did the Islanders start trying to overthrow us and wanting to take over as rulers. We didn’t know what to do. So we’ve locked them up and the more we locked them up the worse it became.”
The Queen interrupted at that point. “So you’re telling me that instead of listening to the people you treat them like criminals and locked them up?” Rerhud put his head down and mumbled, “Yes your majesty!” The Queen stood up “Rerhud I expected better of you. If you were having trouble you should have sent word to me. How many more would you have locked up if I hadn’t arrived? These people aren’t criminals there just concerned about their Island and who’s ruling it!
“I must say I share their concerns having seen how you’re treating them.” With that, she dismissed him and ordered that all the prisoners were to be taken to the main hall where she would address this whole matter. She gave orders that all their chains be removed and that they should be treated with respect and dignity. Her Soldiers carried out her orders to the letter.
After drinking her tea she went to see the male prisoners. As she stood in front of them all the room fell silent. “Fellow Gistlidians, please accept my full apologies for the way you have all been treated. I am here to take over the rule of this Island for the foreseeable future until my daughter and the King have been found.”
“I want to hear all your concerns about how this Island has been ruled. I will arrange a time and date for you all to come to see me one by one and I will listen and compensate you all for the way you have been treated. Right now I need your help to return this castle to its original state. I will pay you all for your work and time. Can I count on you to help me?”
The room erupted in cheering “Yes” they shouted, “Long live the Queen.” With that she arranged for them to go home to their families and return the next morning to start work on the castle. As they left they were given two gold coins as compensation. “There is much more where that came from. I look forward to working with you all tomorrow.” said the Queen.
The men left happy and the Queen had gained control over the island. Once the room was empty she fell to her knees and gave thanks to the Lord for his wisdom, strength, and protection.
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