Solace and Distress Sequel excerpt It was time.

Celeste strode out confidently towards the platform from which she was to address the crowd; she was flanked by Farrier and Machon. The tumult abated as she waited patiently, as she surveyed the crowd below her attention was drawn to a figure in the centre of the crowd, he wore a weather beaten black coat and had a wide brimmed hat, but it was his eyes which held her gaze. They were ice blue and suggested wisdom and intelligence but also something much deeper which she could not yet fathom. Shaking herself from his scrutiny she waited for silence. ‘People of Northmoor’ as she started again as her eyes were drawn to the figure in the crowd, ‘I stand before you today humbled by your attendance, in truth I am aware of the rumour which surrounds me, though I would disclaim many of the characteristics which encompass that notoriety. It is not me who should be the prime focus of your attention but rather the person in Stanleigh who seeks to lead you all to destitution whilst sitting in his comfort and splendour in one of his many estates. I am advised people are tired of death, conflict and destruction yet notably the bravery of the northern people in recent wars have served to keep this land free, but I ask you? Free from what? Free for whom? You have fought your battles, slain your enemies yet remain in truthfulness discontented and frustrated’ The crowd murmured their approval of her words Celeste trying and yet failing to avert her gaze from the stranger who held her attention nevertheless continued, ‘So this is your opportunity, those in the south can send thousands maybe tens of thousands of men to invade and occupy these lands, and what are you to do? Can you sit here and endure siege and persecution and ultimately death and the destruction of everything you hold dear, or do you fight for your freedom and liberty? People all over the continent suffer the same fate, their livelihood disrupted by constant fighting and occupation. In my own land, we suffer the subjugation of the Northmen who invaded, and before that we were a vassal state to the same entity who seeks to destroy you now. Do you think our lot has been any better for the change of authority? I tell you now, it has not and it is time for change’ The crowd now excited and animated by her passionate words were becoming inflamed and now the strangers gaze was even more intense as the words seemed to develop in her mind as she was speaking, ‘I seek to change how things stand, I seek to supplant those who would lead us to poverty and replace them with chosen individuals, and by chosen I mean someone who has been approved and decided upon by the people themselves. I do not ask you to fight against another invader, I do not ask you to fight for me, I ask you to fight for yourselves, rise up now people of Northmoor, be the inspirers to change for all free peoples and bring about true justice and equality.’