16 January 2013 @ 11:01 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Seventh - Section the Seventh - The Scribe - 955AD  
The Uniform of the Royal Servants of Camelot was surely the most ridiculous thing I’d ever seen. To say nothing of how uncomfortable it was. A heavy doublet over an extremely itchy tunic, with frills trimming the collar and cuffs. The trousers were just riciulous, something like a jestor would wear. There was a heavy red cape that was almost impossible to move in and it was all surmounted by the most ludricous hat in all of existence. It had red feathers on top…a huge flopping red feathers! I imagined they were dyed that colour, but God only knew. I shuddered to think what sort of bird they had come from however.

Just about the only good thing that could be said was at least everyone else was wearing the ridiculous things, even the hats! I sumised that the reason I had no idea what kind of bird the feathers could be from was because it was probably extinct.

“Geoffrey!” I heard Gaius’s voice but couldn’t recognise him in amongst all the doublets and feathers at least until one of them started moving towards me.

“What in God’s name is this?” I pointed to the hat.

“The ceremonial hat,” Gaius answered simply.

“But why does it look like this? It’s utterly ridiculous! I feel like a…like a…”

“Joke?” Gaius supplied grinning wryly.

“How are we supposed to be taken seriously?” I demanded. “Aren’t we supposed to be…impressing the Duke? He’ll take one look at us and laugh himself to death.”

“Oh we make quite a showing when we all walk in there together, on our own we look quite ridiculous, but together…”

I didn’t believe that for a minute, but we didn’t really have any choice but to enter the hall, we had our orders. Before we were told to go in, each of us was given a tray pled high with all sorts of food, most of which I didn’t even recognise.

The Great Hall was completely crowded and really the hats were a bad choice if only because they made it even more difficult manoveer. I managed not to not get entangled with anyone else’s hat or knock anyone down.

The King and Duke of Cornwall and their respective wives were sitting at the head table, while their various entourages were sitting at other tables along the length of the hall.

I had to say the feast gave me a whole knew appreication for the life of a typical servant and an appreciation for the fact that I was not one. I didn’t have a clue where to put the serving tray and I embarrassingly had to wait until everyone else had put their trays down before I found a spot to place mind. Then we were forced to retreat to the walls and hold pitchers of wine ready to jump at a moment’s notice to refill goblets.

It was the most tedious four hours of my life, standing there, that heavy hat and cape feeling like they might drag me down. I know that I had been to dinners as long or even longer, but I hadn’t needed to stand at any of them and I hadn’t had the pressure of having a very important task to do the very next day.

Gaius seemed in very good mood, much like how he was when I first arrived at Camelot. I was pleased to see him in better spirits, but I felt this was a strange place and time to recover it. But then Gaius was odd.

Perhaps the feast dragged on so much because a lot of that time was taken up by droning speeches from the King. King Aurelius specialised in long speeches it seemed, which was quite a worry for me considering I would be recording every word he said during the council.

The Duke of Cornwall’s response was mercifully brief at least, although of course we also had to hear their wives compliment each other. As Gaius had mentioned the Duchess was a very pretty woman, although I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about, certainly it wasn’t enough to make this whole experience worth it.

I must have heaved a deep a sigh of discontent because Gaius gave me a bit of a nudge. “Try not to look like you’re at a funeral,” he whispered, “if anyone higher up notices they’ll be quite a bit of trouble for you.”

I immediately plastered a smile in my face, but really I couldn’t imagine any of the nobles taking enough interest in me to even notice what my face looked like.

Once the speeches ended with the many toasts involved…the nobles began to get rather…sloppy, with off-key singing and spilling of wine and knocking over of candles. I was surprised nothing caught on fire!

And of course once the feast was called to a close we servants weren’t allowed to leave for our own beds, oh no, we had to clean up everything. Which I think took almost as long as the feast itself! I began to fear that I would never get any sleep! Although as it was I imagined I’d only get three or four hours, barely worth it.

But cleaning up after a feast was tiring work and when I finally did get back to my very small bedroom I flopped on my bed and was fast asleep almost before my head hit the pillow!

My sleep was deep, extremely deep, I was startled awake when there was a sudden knock on the door jam, almost falling off the narrow bed. I looked around like a startled animal, it took some time for my eyes to adjust to the sudden brightness and when they did I focussed on Cedas’s face.

“Cedas?” I was thoroughly confused because he usually didn’t wake me, and then I remembered. “Oh God am I late for the council?! Are they coming to throw me in the dungeons?” I scrambled to find some clothes to wear, fully intending to change right there in front of my mentor I was in such a hurry, but Cedas held up a hand.

“No, no, it’s fine, settle down, the meeting won’t begin for a least another hour or so, I just wanted to ensure you were up and ready for it.”

I breathed a sigh of relief at his words and caught my breath.

“Which means you can afford to have a bit of a wash, you smell like last nights feast.” He wrinkled his nose.

I frowned and brought my arm up to my nose and gave a sniff, he was right.

I thanked Cedas for waking me and grabbing up the neccesities hurried away to the servant's bathing rooms to make myself presentable.

Having never been a scribe before I had no idea what to expect and even if I was supposed to stay in the library and await instructions. Not wanting to miss anything I went to the great entrance of the castle and stood around trying not to look too nervous, I had brought along my favourite quill, the one gifted to me by my parents before I left Monmouth, at first I held it in my hands hoping it would help keep me calm, eventually I tucked it away, I kept clenching my fists and feared I would break it.

I seemed to wait for eons, at one point I heard footfalls racing down the great stairs and turned wondering if I was in the wrong place and a guard had come to take me away. I was surprised instead to see Prince Uther.

"Your Highess!" I gave a hurried bow.

"Hello, Geoffrey," he was in a surprisingly good mood, all but bouncing down the stairs, which explained how his footfalls had been loud enough to make me believe it had been an actual guard.

"Why are you standing around here?" The Prince surprised me by not simply continuing on. He rarely, if ever, spoke to me outside of our lessons.

"I'm waiting for the Council to beginning, I've been selected as scribe."

The Prince screwed up nose as if he had just smelled something deeply unpleasant. "What did you do?"

It took me a second to realise the Prince thought that this was some sort of punishment, I almost smiled but then realised...perhaps it was.

"Is being a scribe some sort of punishment?"

The Prince shrugged. "Sounds like one to me, but Cedas used to do it and not complain, so I guess you won’t mind it either." He looked at me as if I were some sort of enigma.

"Well, there are worst things I can think of." I finally replied.

"I can't," the Prince said with another shrug. "Enjoy yourself then."

And with that he ran off.

I shook my head and then wondered where exactly the Prince was going, it was too early for training and there certainly wouldn't be any hunts while the council was in session. It occurred to me that really a prince should not just be wandering out of the castle anytime he pleased. I briefly considered mentioning his leaving to someone, but there was no time, the doors on the otherside of the Entrance Hall were thrown open with great fanfare and one of the King's guards announced in a booming voice. "His Majesty, King Aureulis, the Princes Constans, Caius and Ambrosius and the Council of Camelot!"

He stepped aside and in marched the royals and the nobles of Camelot, heads held high. I wondered if I should scramble to join them before wisely realizing that such a party did not include me. So I waited, wondering if I was going to get any instructions or if I was just supposed to fend for myself?

The guard spoke again. "Presenting His Grace, Duke Diadalis of Cornwall and his Council!"

The Duke and his men marched through the doors across the hall and into the Council Chambers, I hestitated wondering if, now that all the important people had passed through now was the time for me to go.

At that moment a man appeared beside me, the scribe from Cornwall, not that I could tell Cornish people on sight, but because he was holding a quill.

"The scribe for Camelot?" He asked me without fanfare.

I nodded.

"I'm Lyndre of Turoro, scribe to the Duke of Cornwall." He introduced himself in clipped and efficient tones.

I on the other hand stammered rather badly. "Geof- Geoffrey. Of Monmouth."

I realised about that point that Lyndre had his hand extended and I practically tripped over my own feet in my haste to shake it.

Lyndre was the epitome of dignity and didn't even seem preturbed by my gracelessness. "We best get into the Council Chambers, nobles don't take well to waiting after all."

No they did not and I imagined Pendragons would be more impatient than most.

So with that, Lyndre and I headed for those doors and I took a deep breath and prayed for God to be at my side that day.
Current Mood: nervous