No matter which prince her father chose for her, the others promised war so he believed the only way to keep the peace was to marry her off to a bishop of Karasis, whom all princes would have to respect, not only because of their religious faith, but because of the might of the vast republic at the western end of the canal. The one she preferred had far too small an army so that sending her to him would certainly cause his death.
My duty was to row the princess fifty one miles to the great Temple in Yuhal, far to the west on the ancient canal. There would be nineteen of us, including guards and domestics, on the grandest barge the canal had ever seen. I felt the honor at being one of those chosen, but also the dread because five miles of our row was thru the land of one of the princes vying for her and thirty one miles thru the lawless wilds of the Aitol where we were not even sure the canal is navigable. We had only four warriors with us, far too few, I thought, to brave the savage tribes of the Aitol even if all we carried was bulk cargo.
This story happens in 951bc., long before the Instinct when violence was possible. This is probably the most violent story in the Lee Willard collection, though there have been many larger wars on Kassidor. This story is really about the stupidity of war.