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Of Mice and Women
“But that’s horrible!” Aileen cried out, staring at her diminutive companion.
“I know, I know!” Sherry the Mouse squeaked out, “You can’t tell anyone!”

Time had passed quickly since Aileen had been sent to Castle British to represent the interests of Trinsic. Her upbringing had produced an arrogant, haughty young woman of noble ambitions, and she’d hated the old, dank castle from the moment she’d stepped across the drawbridge. “This is why Blackthorn had a Keep on the other side of the city!” she’d quipped to an embarrassed handmaid.

Within the first few days she’d alienated all but the most stalwart of servants, and they barely talked to her besides. The short visit had dragged on into a full week, then a month, and now nearly a year. A year is a long time to rethink one’s attitude to one’s hosts, and Aileen had learned a lot about Humility and how it applied to Honor, and at last, after many contrite apologies, had found herself with more than one friend in her new home.

One such was seated on a pillow in her room, nibbling on a piece of cheese.

“What about the raid on the Followers, did they all…?” she began.
Sherry waved quickly, “No, no, not all, but they lost a lot of men. The entire dungeon was nearly destroyed.”
Aileen fell back on the bed and looked up at the ceiling: “It sounds like they’re starting a war.”
“There’s been worse, but…”
“What about the Royal Council, what’re they doing?” she sat back up.
“Nothing!” Sherry nibbled angrily, “As usual! I think one or two of them are up to something, but the last thing they managed to do together was appoint that Casca fellow to some position or other.”
“Really? What’s he doing?”
“I think he’s the new Royal Ambassador now.”
“Have they announced it?”
“Hmmm…” Aileen went through the roster of councilmen in her head, “What about Lord Francesco?”
“Ah! It was one of his men that led the group!”
“Really? Isn’t that something for the Royal Commander to do?”
“I don’t know, all I know is that the report says they almost captured the fiends, but one of their own was a traitor.”
“In the guard? A traitor?” her voice had gone soft.
Sherry put down the cheese and leaned forward: “Yes. I think it explains why there’re so many little factions now.”
“No one trusts each other,” Aileen finished, “What’ll we do?”
“I dunno. I’m worried! This isn’t how mi’lord intended the Council to act.”
“I won’t tell my people until the Council officially informs me.”
“I know, that’s why I’m glad we can talk.” Sherry wiggled her whiskers, “Well, I’ve got to be going! I want to go into town tonight and listen for more gossip.” 

Published: July 2007
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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