What happened in Parlour Tricks was just the beginning…
Rynold, the court mage, had watched the growing romance between the princess Mirelda and the stablehand Damian with a seething and bitter jealousy. After conspiring with the duke to have Damian exiled, Ryn believed he finally had a chance to woo the girl he had pined over for more than ten years. But the ancient relic that Ryn guarded suddenly came to life, and sent the princess on a quest to bring Damian back home, claiming in no uncertain terms that the world depended upon her success. Wracked with guilt over his misconduct, Ryn attempted to swallow his feelings and accompanied Mirelda on a mission to rescue the one man he would rather never see again…
Damian and Mirelda met by chance and fell in love. Theirs was a romance doomed to fail, however, as Damian – a humble stablehand – could never be good enough for someone like her. When Damian was chosen by the Orb for a lengthy errand in a faraway land, a world of possibilities opened up before him, and it finally seemed possible that he could become the man she deserved. However, it didn’t take long before Damian realised that he was being sent away not to pursue glory, but to find death. He pressed on anyway; for although the risks were great, success in his quest was the only chance he had to become worthy of the princess. He hated leaving her behind, but what choice did he have…?
Triumviratus is a creative work by Shane W Smith, currently being produced as an ongoing comic series. It also exists in a partially drafted prose format.
“Here’s what we’re going to do,” the duke said, glancing briefly at his unconscious daughter.
In one sense Rynold was not surprised by the duke’s willingness to sweep the incident under the carpet; after all, this was his flesh and blood at stake, someone he had already worked so hard to protect. But Ryn himself was deeply conflicted, torn between his unrequited feelings for the stricken girl on the floor, and the duties of his sacred office that he had sworn to prioritise above all else.
The thought that she might leave and never return was one that twisted like a knife in his heart.
He looked down at her prone body and her perfect skin. A single golden lock of her hair had fallen over her peaceful, flawless face; all he wanted to do was brush it away.
Never before had Ryn’s duty felt so heavy. To send this delicate creature on such a dangerous pilgrimage…
The duke was watching him, he noticed presently, evidently trying to decide whether his magician was going to back him up. Ryn supposed his internal conflict had played out on his face – he’d made no attempt to hide it. Flushed with embarrassment, he stood up straight, staff in hand. The Orb mounted in it pulsed a low and steady blue beat, matching exactly the anguished pounding in his head.