The Kitchen with Ikara

Don’t authors always want to meet those whose lives they write about? Well, what if I told you that by magic I did? I stepped into another world and into the Kingdom of Emrilion. I’ve written the stories of this people across the pages of The Edict and meeting them has been eye-opening…

She’s having a lesson with her father then I arrive. After my run in with the thief I’ve decided to opt for an easier role to play to get unnoticed contact. A Laowyn serving maid is an easy ole for access and blending.

I’m a Laowyn serving maid

I pour them both a cup of cordial and go back to the kitchen and the kneading of bread. I try not to stare at her striking pale eyes. They match the ice white braid falling to her waist and I know her to be about sixteen at this point. It’s sad to think she only has a few more years with her father.

a calm, kind voice

His deep voice is filled with all the calm and kindness you’d expect from a father and the white eyes he possesses suddenly make more sense of the path I wrote for Ikara, his daughter.

After all, these people are Laowyn and their focus on male leadership would seem to preclude a female military commander, but that strikingresemblance would obviously prove difficult to argue against when Ikara takes up her father’s mantel with all the authority he bears it with now.

in the ruins of Ishtalia

We are in the ruins of Ishtalia. The old Laowyn capital feels freshly broken compared to when The Edict takes place. The plants and growth that will have taken firmer hold in ten years time are still in their infancy, and so is the Laowyn Resistance. The male commander cannot know that the military strategy he teaches his daughter in this moment may decide the fate of a nation in the years to come.

“See here, do not leave your flank open,” the Commander moves pieces on a parchment map as his daughter watches on. “And never underestimate the power of leadership. If you want men to sacrifice your must do so first. Leadership is not about being first, but last – you serve those under your command – you understand Ikara.”

She nods diligently, already the quiet woman she is to become. Quicker to think than to speak.

“You know I teach you this so you are always equipped so that you do not have to rely on others for protection but can provide it for them.”

her shoulders droop with the weight of responsibility

I turn from my floured board of dough and watch Ikara’s shoulders droop with the weight of responsibility her father just gave her. It would make her the strong woman she was to become but it would also cost her dearly. Someone who bears such weight and leads many is fated to be lonely and weary.

“How is the bread coming?” the Commander asks, his gentle eyes looking toward where I stand like a lemon staring.

“The dough is good, Commander, do you have a basin in which it can rise?”

“Ria?” he calls, and suddenly three children between about ten and fourteen come bowling in. A girl and identical twin boys. The boys are sparring energetically with each other, almost knocking the map from the table along with all it’s carefully placed pieces.

“Boys!” he rebukes. “Ria – do you know where the basin is for…I didn’t catch your name?” He looks back to me.

I recognise those kind brown eyes

“Could you help me, Ria?” I recognise those kind brown eyes but she looks like she’s recently been crying.

“Their parents were lost int he way and today is her mother’s birthday, is it not little Ria?”

She nods and returns the older man’s embrace, affectionately burying her head in his stomach. “The basin, Ria?”

As she fetches it the Commander tells me that he has taken them in but they will all be leaving for the Great Forest soon here others are gathering. I cover the dough in the bowl and dust off my apron before I take it off.

they hold the future in their hands

“Thank you,” he says and I bow and leave before he can ask my name again. I won’t be back to finish that bread. I won’t be back for a long time. Not until the old Commander is gone and those children hold the future in their hands. For now let them be children, because when they’re grown, life will not seem so sweet not so peaceful…

 

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