sam_storyteller: (Default)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-09 07:26 am
Entry tags:

A Meeting Of Kings; PG, Gen.

Summary: The king of dwarves meets the king of Ankh-Morkpork under quite peculiar circumstances.
Warnings: None.

First Posted 9/2005.

Also available at AO3.


The carts rattled and creaked through the hills near Copperhead, laden with bags and people, escorted a ragged assortment of lean men and women on foot and horseback, all with the same grim look of intent purpose.

Sitting on the grey buckboard of the lead cart, Jonathan Regis brooded as the cart-oxen dragged onward. Next to him, his wife was reading a book on Copperhead culture. She'd tried to find one on trolls, in the library, but nobody apparently thought trolls were interesting enough to rate their own book.

In the back, Nurse -- who had been Elizabeth Regis' nurse, and whose first name might not even be known -- played with young Samuel, who laughed and spoke to her in the few words he knew.

Jonathan was not thinking of Copperhead humans, or his son, or Nurse, or indeed the road ahead of him.

Once they reached Edge-of-Nowhere, high up in the mountains, there would be no turning back. Even now, if they wanted, there were three or four towns between themselves and Edge-of-Nowhere. They could settle happily in any one of them, they had enough money left for that. Samuel Regis could be raised in a trade, and --

No. That was wrong. His son, in a trade? The line of male descent was unbroken under the Regis name for three hundred years, Samuel was a nobleman, and it was his right to return to the city from which they'd been exiled so long ago...

Jonathan did not know of the D'Eath family except through his studies on Ankh-Morpork's politics and history, but he and Edward would have gotten along spankingly. They had a lot in common. Jonathan's father had lost the estates they managed to scratch out for themselves, hundreds of miles from the true ancestral seat in Ankh-Morpork. Jonathan had felt the loss keenly. These three carts, the dozen guards-and-servants which guarded them, a few priceless belongings and Elizabeth and Samuel -- those were all he had left.

Which was why he was going to Copperhead, to Edge-of-Nowhere which was the closest town to the wilds where the majority of the Disc's trolls and dwarves were born and bred. To raise an army out of the two most fearsome fighting races in existence, and descend on Ankh-Morpork like a plague. Sweep the Patrician out of rule and put himself back on the throne where the Regis family rightfully belonged.

For Elizabeth. For Samuel. For the sense of common decency that every person out to have.

He and Edward shared one other thing -- they could think in italics. This made Jon Regis a dangerous man, in a specialized sort of way.

And while he was thinking these things, and not watching the road, he was also not watching the bandits who'd been tracking the little cart-train for half an hour. He didn't see the attack coming.

Shame, really. It would have been a splendid war.

The servants broke rank and ran quickly, but Jonathan, in whom the spark of royal pride and stupidity was intense, stood and fought. Elizabeth, after securing Samuel safely in a tree, turned and did the same. They didn't really have a chance, but at least they didn't go to their deaths with their throats cut because they were too cowardly to fight. Not that this was much comfort to them, once they were dead.

The bandits stole what they could see and set fire to what they couldn't steal. The servants knew better than to come back.

Little Samuel Regis, last in the male line of descent to the royal throne of Ankh-Morpork, barely eighteen months old, slept through the fight, and awoke to find himself in a cool, charred clearing. He toddled out of the hollow of tree roots he'd been left in, and picked up an acorn. For the next three hours, he contented himself with throwing things at other things, until a team of dwarfs, following a seam, broke through the surface like well-organized gophers with engineering degrees*.

* i.e., with a lot of swearing and passing of the blame.

He laughed.

They turned.

The King* blinked owlishly in the sunlight. Samuel blinked back. He laughed again, and toddled over to where they were standing. The King pulled himself up onto solid ground, and surveyed the scene.

* Lit. "head mining engineer" although archaic translations include "unaccountably bossy person" and "the one who takes the blame".

"Right, lads," said King Ironfoundersson. "We'll take the lumber for shoring-up, and collect up anything else we find as salvage. Then let's drop the shaft ten feet and try to come up on the vein again, all right?"


"What do we do with him?"

King Ironfoundersson rubbed his beard. "Well, feeding him would be a good start. Suppose he's on solids yet?"

"Humans don't eat like we do, you know that," his wife replied. "There's all sorts of...steak and eggs and things."

King Ironfoundersson made a face. "We could try him on rat."

"Yes, of course we can try him on rat, and dwarf bread, and all the rest. But he's a human, we're dwarves. There's going to be problems."

"There's always Varneshi. He'd know what to do with the lad."

"He's a sweet little boy," his wife murmured. "Look at that red hair."

"Oh, no denying. No denying."

"Going to be a long winter, you reckon?" she asked, brushing her beard.

"Possibly. Won't see Varneshi for maybe a few months."

His wife nodded, and he knew that some decision had been made, without him.

"Who's a good baby?" she asked the baby, who laughed and waved a hand at her.


[identity profile] 2005-11-08 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
Interesting take on what could've happened.

[identity profile] 2006-07-14 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Shame, really. It would have been a splendid war.

I just love this line. Very Pratchett-esque. And the footnotes? Absolutely perfect. Excellent fic.

[identity profile] 2008-10-05 06:37 pm (UTC)(link)
A very fine version of events - or possible events.

Shame, really. It would have been a splendid war. Just perfect *g*

[identity profile] 2008-11-07 10:44 am (UTC)(link)
Hi, I just found your stories, and I just wanted to leave one quick comment besides the fantastic, very Pratchett-esque writing--I've been reading them all in backwards order, but this one amused me too much not to leave a short note about.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving him the same name as our favorite Commander of the Watch. Just... thank you. Put a whole new spin on things.

[identity profile] 2008-11-07 07:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Glad you enjoyed it! And that you're enjoying the others :)
true_masquerade: (david tennant smile)

[personal profile] true_masquerade 2011-04-25 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
Heartwarming :-) and very Pratchetty :-)