Kingsley grew silent though as all eyes in the room turned to the king. No one in the room was eating yet- they would not eat before the king took his first bite, as it was was the tradition of this ceremony of announcement. Cael took a quick moment to ponder the sea of faces at the tables of the lesser nobles scattered about the room. Though he was not a high noble, he was sitting on the raised platform at one end of the hall with them.
“Lords and Ladies of the kingdom, I welcome you to this rare occasion of feasting in the palace. My father always taught me that all news sounded better with a full stomach and a full glass of wine at hand.” Jonothon paused as he let the small murmurs of laughter die down. “We are all here this evening because I must make a choice that will secure the kingdom for our children, and our children’s children. And I have made that choice. In making this decision, a king must choose carefully, with great diligence and care of thought. I did not make a choice on whim or by flight of fancy. Nor did I make this choice based upon the favor that one lord may have earned over another.”
Cael saw a large grin grow on Kingsley’s face at this last statement. He began to straighten his shirt and cuffs as the king pause to let the room take in the words he was giving them. Cael was unsure at this point if the king really was going to choose him over someone in this room and if the talk they had earlier in the day was merely a front to give him the strange idea that he could rule.
“Today I finally honor the greatest loyalty this kingdom has known since the fall of the council and the founding of Dalerad, almost five hundred years of duty and diligence and sacrifice of life.”
“Just tell us so we can get to the wine!” A voice yelled from across the room. The king smiled at his subject but did not let him interfere with his speech.
“I will announce it. Tonight henceforth I want the whole of the kingdom to know that with my passing the Friezen Clan ends, and in its place as rulers of Dalerad will be the Firestorm Clan of the Northern Steppes.” The king faced the lords and the sounds of a confused crowd slipped across the room. Cael was stunned in his chair; he noticed that Kingsley was half-standing looking surprised at the king. His head slowly turned to face Cael.
“Duke Cael Firestorm, please rise.” The king motioned for Cael to stand, and he was surprised he was able to keep his feet underneath him. Cael felt the tension in the room. He could feel the surprise of the room as well as his own. Cael was certain that he was as surprised as the nobles had been by the announcement.
“My Lord.” Cael gave a small bow, unsteady in front of the many eyes staring at him just a few seats down from the king.
“Your family has protected Dalerad for centuries. I welcome you no longer as a duke of the realm, but as the first Prince Firestorm.” The king began to clap, ignoring the near silence of the rest of the room.