Daughters of Hesperia – Hesperia Anew (1.1)

The island was a gift.

Lush greenery, clear waters, and blooming flowers as far as the eye could see, with nothing to dissuade you from feeling as though you walked in paradise. By virtue of being part of the Sirena territories, Hesperia had evaded full occupation, and the only building there was a small palace.

Yet recently, the peace had been disturbed. Visitors had come to the palace, cleaning and restoring it, and to all appearance, getting it ready for some purpose. The empty throne room had been cleaned and readied with fresh hangings and beautiful carpets, and a new, beautiful chair had been brought in. A queen’s chair, with a smaller chair beside it.

And all this had been done for Molpe, third daughter of Queen Clodia Sirena, for her mother had declared that she should be a queen in her own right. She was to take on the role of Creator.

Molpe was determined to do right by this edict, and though it was daunting, it was still exhilarating. As a princess, she had been one of several, and surrounded by other women in the Siren’s Keep, the high mountain palace where her mother ruled, she had no intention or idea of becoming a queen herself.

She had been a pawn, before, and now she had crossed the board and become a queen.

However, it didn’t come without strings. Her mother had requested she take her sister with her as her ward – the sixth princess, Anikka, who was feeling put out by the whole ordeal. The journey there had been filled with complaints and sulks, with no Provider to intervene. Of course, her mother had promised to make inquiries with their allies to find someone suitable, but for now, Molpe was handling her sister herself.

Right now, they were discussing their tribes.

“We take the name of Hesperia, and honor it. We cannot be an offshoot of our mother’s tribe. I am queen of Tribe Hesperia, Anikka, and must act accordingly.” Molpe tried to stay calm as she spoke, but Anikka looked ready to throw another fit of sulks.

“I am Anikka Sirena, daughter of Queen Clodia. That makes me part of Tribe Sirena.” She stuck her bottom lip out.

“Mother has sent us both here as part of the tribe, and I am Queen here.” Molpe tried to sound reasonable, but she knew they sounded harsh. “Besides, you are still a princess here. You are the Queen’s sister, and that holds status with it.”

“To who?” Anikka asked, sounded even more put out.

Septimus came up behind her at that moment, with a slight look of sympathy. Neither slave could, of course, act as a Provider might, or even contradict the little princess, but they had weathered the storm of her anger on the journey alongside their queen.

“My queen, myself and Pallas have finished bringing in the supplies and the other cargo.” He kept his face blank as he spoke, and Molpe tried not to feel awkward. It had been her choice that brought him and Pallas here, as her mother had instructed her to choose from twenty or so slaves she considered expendable. Both were Sirenian raised, and Septimus was the son of one of her mother’s favored warriors. Either he or Pallas would be the father of her child, a fact which would not be banished from her mind.

“Thank you, Septimus.” She smiled at him. “Have the two of you eaten yet?”

“Yes, my queen. Thank you for your concern.”

“Be ready tomorrow to journey to the port. My mother may be sending someone to us, soon, and we must be ready to welcome her.” Molpe met his eyes. “And tonight, I wish you both to join me in the throne room.”

“An honor, my queen.” Septimus bowed his head. “Pallas and I will be there.”

“I beg your leave, my queen.” Emphasis was put on that as Anikka walked away without waiting for her request to be granted. She seemed as stormy as she had on the journey to Hesperia.

“Perhaps it would be wiser for the two of you to join me sooner. Bring Pallas with you to the throne room, Septimus, for I must discuss something with you.” She turned her head away, so he would know she was done talking, and walked away to wait their presence.

She did not wait long inside the palace. Septimus and Pallas both stepped inside, both looking curious. She cleared her throat.

“My sister is in an unusual situation. Many Creators start their journey alone. They bring no sister, be she blood or heart. They begin their new life with no ties to the old. Here, this is not the case.” She looked at them both steadily. “I am your queen, and you will listen to me, I know. So hear me now. Ease my sister’s way into this new life. If she asks you for something, you will not deny her. When unsure of any demand, you will send her to me, for here I am the final authority, but do what you can to make her happy. Seeing her unhappy does not please me.” She looked at them both. “I know you have both served my mother since your birth, but by extension, you have served my sister since hers.”

To invoke her mother was a risky move, but she seemed to have them spellbound.

“I also expect you not to let her defy my command,” she added. “Should you find her doing so, bring her to me. I do not expect her to do so, but she is grieving for her past life, and she may be reckless.”

Septimus nodded, understanding what she meant, while Pallas looked a little lost.

“That will be all.” She looked between them. A choice would have to be made soon – Pallas, the gentle son of a gatherer, or Septimus, son of a warrior and who seemed to know her well. She could feel nervousness seeping back into her.

As they left, she stepped towards her throne, and for the first time, sat upon it as she thought. For survival, Pallas would surely know more, and be helpful in that regard, but if she needed defending, Septimus was surely one to keep alive longer.

She could not help the fact that she found herself drawn more to Septimus, though. She had found him handsome in passing before, too, when seeing him at the palace, though there had been others who had caught her eye.

“Queen Molpe Hesperia,” she said, aloud. That would be her title, now, and should there be a need for a queens’ summit, that would be how she was addressed by other queens. However, were such a thing to happen, she knew how her tribe would be viewed. New, unfinished.

Especially with no heiress.

She made up her mind then. Septimus it would be, for she could not afford to waste time picking between them. Septimus would be her choice, and the father of her child.

4 thoughts on “Daughters of Hesperia – Hesperia Anew (1.1)

  1. I like the chess references 😂
    And I wonder how a mountain palace got the name “Siren’s keep”. That would rather make me believe it’s close to the waters, an island maybe. Is there a story behind it?
    How intriguing to find out more about the slaves this time! It makes Molpe’s entire choice of who the father of her future child will be so much less arbitrary than in the older version of your story. She probably had reasons then, too, but they were not that apparent for the reader. I for one love to get into the characters’ minds

    1. It’s DoH, you know there’s always going to be major chess references.

      Tribe Sirena is indeed located on a mountainous island, because I liked the idea of it being like the cliffs of the original Sirens (in the Odyssey) and how they lured sailors onto their rocks. Of course, the palace itself, in my mind, is high in the mountains and has beautiful gardens.

      Yeah, the slaves have definitely developed in my mind every time. I think that Septimus is always going to be Molpe’s choice, for several reasons – she’s attracted to him, he’s strong and would be able to protect her during the pregnancy, and they need Pallas’ knowledge to gather and hunt. In both previous versions, it was pretty much down to her attraction and not these reasons, but when I thought about it, this way made so much more sense. Molpe was raised a princess, she’s got to make good decisions as a new queen.

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