The Days of Stonild Lark, by Linnaeus Fryer – Part IV

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Here is Part IV! If you’ve missed the previous installments, they can be found here: Part I, Part II, Part III. I hope you enjoy it!

On another note, I am considering discontinuing regular Animas posts in favor of more satirical news pieces. This does not mean I would cease to write Animas stories. The change would not happen until after this series on Stonild Lark is complete. Do you have an opinion on this? Let me know in the comments!

It is still yet a point of confusion for our Athanean cousins in the south the nature of our relationship with Vesperia. Having violently affected their separation from the mother country themselves, they are congenitally unable to imagine that others might not have such an acrimonious relationship with it and persist in believing that we are timorous victims of oppression, no matter the evidence to the contrary. Ignored is the fact that we have been a nation in our own right for over a half century now and possessed representative government even before that. One happy day, we should be freed, and brought fast to the protective bosom of the Athanean state.

This is rubbish now, and was rubbish then. The quantity of the rubbish was much worse back then, mind you, and it wasn’t long before Sir Stonild had to wade through it.

Two years had passed since her mayfly marriage to Eon Talbot and it had been a fruitful time. Having nothing to distract her from her studies, she had progressed rapidly – passing the bar and becoming an unexpendable member of Rochdale’s staff. Then came to the strange case of Jan Hraefn.

Hraefn had been a Shulmanian national living in exile in Athanea for belonging to a revolutionary new cell in that cold and pitiless country. He had settled in New Westcross when he fell under the sway of unscrupulous and ignorant fellows who had misled him as to the true nature of the relationship between Norland and Vesperia. Believing that it was akin to that existing between the Shulmania of that day and her oppressed states, he saddled forth with a force of fifty, attacking Queenston from across the Landrell River. Such a force, no matter their bravery and purity of their intentions (misguided though they were), can only meet with defeat. Thirty-eight were killed by the mikitia, the rest taken into custody. Hraefn was among them.

The problem then became one of legal representation. The chances of any of them escaping the noose were practically zero, their own government having washed their hands of the matter. Most Queenston lawyers refused to represent any of them, as did their colleagues in the surrounding townships. Lark stood as a notable exception to that, agreeing to meet with and provide legal advice to Hraefn, although he insisted on being his own lawyer in the court itself.

Much as with her missing sister, Sir Stonild did not much care to speak of Jan Hraefn and her interviews with him. “A terribly sad business from his beginning,” she would say whenever I chances to inquire. It had occurred to me that she was afraid of that if she had begun to think of them, she would be unable to stop. For she always held anger at herself for not finding a point of influence in a bad situation she had no control over. Providing comfort for a condemned man was not good enough.

Hraefn hanged, as all predicted he would from the beginning. In his will, he divided such small sums as he still possessed between his remaining family in Shulmania and Lark. Lark opted for to forfeit her share.

This done, she cast her gaze about for something to distract her. The election of 1013, she felt, would do nicely.

That’s the end of Part IV. If you enjoyed it, please consider throwing a tip my way via PayPal or Patreon. Again, please let me know if you want to read more Animas posts or if you want me to write about some specific aspect of this world. Part V is scheduled for Tuesday. Cheers!

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