‘Isaac Fermata and Withal Smyth’ – An excerpt from ‘A Monarch’s Gamble’

“Withal Smyth, personal advisor to Isaac Fermata, was waiting for him in the Great Hall, scrutinizing the Pravum throne. Withal had a lot of respect for the Fermata’s, especially Isaac. He and Withal had fought together in the battle of Dalimaey, a ruthless and bloody battle against an uprising militia against the Dalimaey leaders. From the momentum, the militia they had gathered, House Plyster and Hillon would have lost, if it wasn’t for the Fermata’s support. Soon after, Davos Plyster suggested that Praevalidus should swear an alliance to the Plysters, so that nothing like another militia could ever happen again. Isaac and Withal begrudged the idea, the thought of Praevalidus losing its well-established traditions and victories was something that they couldn’t quite consolidate. Pravum, although a united nation, had never had a single man ruling all nine legions. They had in the past collaborated and worked together, even though each legion was independent from one another, yet some legions favoured others, some despised them, but the system worked. Praevalidus was always seen as the biggest, most powerful, and diplomatic legion in the entire western region, some legions accept this, some detest it.
Withal understood and recognised that Pravum needed one leader to rule and organise all nine legions, to work more closely to each other, but hated the idea that a family that was almost defeated, in the eyes of a Captain of the Praevalidus Guards, by a pathetic and insignificant militia would be the ones to step up to the plate. He also knew that not complying with their request would have plunged Pravum into civil war, with the majority of legions supporting the Plysters and only a few supporting the Fermatas, but Withal knew that if that was the outcome, he would remain optimistic that the Fermatas would win; after all, the Praevalidus Guards could easily defeat the poorly trained Plyster Conscripts.
Every development associated with the Plysters, Withal’s urge and desire to conquer the central region rises, and soon, it will rise to a level which he will not be able to contain, the only thing stopping him from taking a regiment of guards from Praevalidus was Isaac. Isaac was someone Withal always admired, his calming attitude, bravery in battle, and his consideration towards others was something Smyth had always aspired to become, but however hard he tried, he could not change his character. He always wondered why he couldn’t change who he was, it was something that also puzzled Anton.
‘There’s no need to change who or what you are Withal. You’re an advisor and friend to Isaac, officer of the guard, and the men have the highest respect for you,’ Anton had said to Withal at one of their weekly pub visits. Withal valued Anton’s opinion, and whenever each other needed support, they would always find themselves at the Dragon and Sword Inn.”

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