Prince Andrej finally opened his eyes to stare down upon the waiting monks. Bosomella had watched the minutes slither slowly past as he bowed, unmoving against the stone parapet. Deciding his course. Would he pledge them his firstborn, or return the crown to those from whence it had been taken so long ago?
The prince raised his arms and the battering ram slowly stilled. Every face turned to him, trying to read the future in his pale face and the icy glint in his eyes.
“Take it back. I will not pledge the life of another, for the stolen privileges of power.”
They all stared at him for a moment longer and then the company of monks turned as one. They circled about the ancient cart until Bosomella’s mistress was kneeling in their center. The tallest monk stepped forward his cowl veiling face and form.
“And so it comes to you, my Queen. Your life we hold already. Thrown away when you stepped across our wall. But now we must decide upon the future. Pledge to us your firstborn, a vassal from birth, and we shall allow you to live and breathe and rule. I give you two minutes to decide. Think on them well, for they shall change our world.”