Since you guys were largely agreed that you wanted to see more of A Wasted Land on my snippet days, I returned to the manuscript yesterday and wrote a new scene, part of which I’m sharing with you below. I actually have quite a bit of material after this scene, but it’s much later in the story. My first draft process is very messy. I tend to write a bunch of big, pivotal scenes that really interest me first. (If you’re curious, I’ve written more about my process here.) In between those, I have a slew of notes and questions to myself, like “How do I get Kustennin and Celemon together?”; “Are they already in Dyn Draithou at this point, or still in Caer Leon?” or my favorite (not): “Battle scene here.” The note that led to this scene was, “I need to get in more of the political alliances and tensions!” Then it occurred to me that some of the regional kings might not be particularly happy with the appointment of Celemon to the position of Master of Horse. So this scene is at a fair in Caer Leon. Aurelius (Celemon’s former betrothed), has just confronted Kustennin about the appointment. Please forgive my typical utterly rough draft mode, which is often devoid of details. Just imagine them between the stalls of a fair — I’ll add that in later. Oh, and my math is like this: 8 short paragraphs for the 8th, plus two more because I didn’t want it to end there. *g*
“Cador was not a military leader either, and he too was Master of Horse for a time.”
“But he rode with Arthur.”
“Yes, he rode with Arthur.”
“How can you expect Celemon to fill such a position?”
“She will be in charge of the war horses exclusively. I have created two positions out of what was once one. Cynglas has agreed to be Head of Cavalry in the new army of Britain.”
Aurelius glanced at Vortipor. “And what of you?”
“I have agreed to take on the new position of Master of Ship,” Vortipor said. “I will begin building up the fleet and recruiting and training sailors once I return to Moridunum.”
Aurelius turned from Vortipor to Kustennin, gazing at him silently, his expression hard to read, his mind closed. He knew the trick of it. He was the son of Modrun, after all.
“What, Aurelius?” Kustennin finally asked. “I am new at this. I do not yet know what role to ask you to play. But you are one of the strongest kings in southern Britain. Your support will be crucial in keeping the Saxons from expanding further into our territories.”
“My mother’s death is on the traitor Medraut’s head,” Aurelius finally said. “And Cerdic supported Medraut’s rebellion. I am your ally, Kustennin. I hope you do not forget it.”
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