These are relevant references from the Books where Regent is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
Henrius Sevarius was said to be a mere boy, and his Ubarate one which was administered by his regent, Claudius, once of Tyros.
"Sevarius is proclaiming himself Ubar," said the first captain.
"Or Claudius, his regent," said the other.
"Now hear," said Samos, "the proposal of the council, that Henrius Sevarius and his regent, Claudius, lay down their arms, and divest themselves of all ships, and men and holdings, and all properties and assets, and present themselves, stripped and in the chains of slaves, before the council, that its judgment may be passed on them."
"Hurry!" cried one of them. I recognized his voice, and his frame. It was Lysias, friend of the regent Claudius, client of the Ubar Henrius Sevarius.
"You have had dealings," I asked, "with the Ubar Henrius Sevarius in Port Kar?"
Chenbar smiled. "We have dealt with his regent, Claudius," said Chenbar.
None of the ships of the Ubars Eteocles or Sullius Maximus had been pledged to the fleet, nor, of course, none of those of Henrius Sevarius, under the command of his regent, Claudius, once of Tyros.
There had been, I knew, exchanges of information between Claudius, regent for Henrius Sevarius, and Cos and Tyros. I was not disposed to think that there had not been similar communications between Cos and Tyros and Eteocles and Sullius Maximus. Doubtless there would be coordinated actions. The hall of the council itself might now be in flames. The two Ubars, and Claudius, regent for Henrius Sevarius, I supposed, might already have claimed power, as a triumvirate, in Port Kar.
The environs of Port Kar might now be filled with tarnsmen, other mercenaries, but in the hire of the rebellious Ubars, and Claudius, regent of Henrius Sevarius. "We men of Treve are brave," had said he, "but we are not mad."
"You are weary," said Samos. "Go below. I will watch." I nodded. There was no longer any point, nor time, to distrust Samos. His sword had been much stained in my behalf. His own life, like mine, had stood stake on the parapet of my keep. If he served the Ubars, or Claudius, regent of Henrius Sevarius, or the Ubarates of Cos and Tyros, or the Others, or Priest-Kings, or himself, I no longer cared. I no longer cared about anything. I had come back. I was very tired.
"It is Claudius!" cried the boy, Fish, beside me. "Claudius!"
So that, I thought, was Claudius, who had been regent for Henrius Sevarius, and who, doubtless, had attempted to have him killed.
Sullius Maximus had been one of the five Ubars of Port Kar, whose reigns, dividing the city, had been terminated when the Council of Captains, under the leadership of Samos, First Captain of Port Kar, had assumed the sovereignty. The others had been Chung, Nigel, Eteocles, and Henrius Sevarius, the last of which, however, had ruled in name only, the true power being controlled by his uncle, Claudius, acting in the role of regent. Eteocles had fled; I had known him last to be in terraced Cos, an advisor to her Ubar, gross Lurius, of the Cosian city of Jad. Nigel and Chung were in Port Kar, though now only as powerful captains, high in her council. They had fought against the united fleets of Tyros and Cos and, without their help, doubtless Port Kar could not have won the great victory of the 25th of Se'Kara, in the first year of the reign of the Council of Captains, in the year 10,120 Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar. Claudius, who had been regent for Henrius Sevarius, and had slain his father, and sought the life of the boy, had been slain by a young seaman, a former slave, named Fish, in my house.
"Gnieus Lelius," said he, "high councilor, first minister to Ar, is regent in the absence of Marlenus.
I had determined, incidentally, that the deeper papers, the letters, some addressed to Ar's regent, Gnieus Lelius, and the others to her high general, Seremides, were still in the sheath.
I now understood more clearly than before why earlier messengers or agents might have failed to make contact with the regent and high general.
"Rumors are rampant," he said. "One does not know what to think."
"I trust the regent, your high councils, your military leaders, the general staff, and such, are well informed."
"Such voices are heard here and there," he said, "in the taverns, the markets, the baths. Gnieus Lelius is an excellent regent. Marlenus is too bellicose. The city is sound. We are not threatened. The squabble with Cos is peripheral to our interests."
"Is Gnieus Lelius interested in being Ubar?" I asked.
"No," said the fellow. "He is far too modest, too humble and unpretentious for that sort of thing. The folds of the purple cloak, the weight of the Ubar's medallion, are of no interest to him. He cares only for excellent governance, and the peace and prosperity of the city."
"But you are sure he is interested in the welfare of Ar?" I asked.
"Of course," said the fellow. That answer was reassuring to me. This Gnieus Lelius, if truly interested in the welfare of Ar, must act. If he had flaws as a regent presumably they might be due to his lack of information, or perhaps to a certain unwarranted optimism, or untutored innocence or naivety.
"But Gnieus Lelius makes a point of being available to the people," he said. "That is one reason he is so much loved."
"Commoners, then, can look upon the regent," I asked, "other than from afar, as in state processions or at official games?"
"Obviously the regent cannot give an audience to everyone," he said. "Those who are granted audiences wear the Gnieus Lelius Generosity Ribbon which encircles them and is tied about the rope, actually a velvet cable, leading to the dais. This helps to keep the line straight and, as the audiences are held out of doors, controls the number of petitioners."
"Only citizens of Ar, on the Day of Generosity and Petitions, are permitted to approach the regent," he said. "The holiday is for citizens, and citizens alone. Do you think we want folks streaming in from thousands of pasangs about to rob us of our places?"
"You could always ask for a clarification of the rules after you have seen the regent," he said.
"Is it true," I asked, "that only citizens of Ar are permitted to approach the regent on this day?"
"Ones who are not citizens of Ar may approach the regent on this day as well as citizens, if they can get a place on the rope. It is all part of the meaning of the day, of the generosity and benevolence of those of Ar, and such."
I wondered if the regent was aware of the mayhem that attended the acquisition of the ribbons.
"Hail, Gnieus Lelius!" called a man. One could now see the chair on the dais. He was not wearing the purple of the Ubar, but his shoulders were covered with a brown cloak, rather of the sort worn by Administrators in certain cities, civilian statesmen, servants of the people, so to speak. I wondered if the regent knew about the business of selling the ribbons. Some, too, I supposed, would be sold by citizens who had received them earlier in the legal distributions.
"Move forward," said a Taurentian.
I clutched the letters from Dietrich of Tarnburg within my tunic. My hand was sweaty.
A fellow two places ahead of me, for some petition or other, received ten pieces of gold. That is a considerable sum. There were cries of pleasure and wonder from the crowd. "Hail, Gnieus Lelius!" I heard. "Hail, Gnieus Lelius!" Most of the folks, as far as I could tell, however, received only a kind word from the regent, or an earnest assurance that their petitions would be examined with care. Several individuals, however, to be fair, did receive handfuls of coins, mostly copper, from the regent, who, smiling, would dip his hand into heaping coin bowls near him, and then spill coins into the outstretched hands of the grateful recipients. "Hail, Gnieus Lelius!" I heard. Taurentians were about the regent, and, too, some scribes. Notes, it seemed, and names, were being taken. Doubtless a record of the claims, grievances, petitions, and such, was being kept. It seemed there was not an excessive amount of guards. So loved, it seemed, was the regent.
"Yes, Citizen?" said the regent. I looked up. He was a regal looking fellow, tall and gaunt. He seemed fair, and kindly. I thought he would probably be a conscientious and dedicated public servant, perhaps even a gifted statesman. Certainly he had been high councilor in Ar. Indeed, he was now regent.
"Thank you," said the regent, kindly. He took the letters, keeping the seals down.
"Who are you?" he asked. "And where do you lodge?" His voice was no different than when he had spoken to others. Yet I was sure he had seen the seals.
"I am Tarl," I said, "of the city of Port Kar, and I am now lodging in the insula of Achiates, in the Alley of the Slave Brothels of Ludmilla." This information was taken down.
"Write down," said the regent to the scribe nearest him, "that we have received petitions from Tarl of Port Kar, who is lodging in the house of Achiates, which we will take under careful consideration." This was done.
"I am grateful," I said, "that you will be pleased to ponder carefully the contents of these petitions. I assure you that I am quite earnest in this matter, and I attest with conviction to the veracity of what I take to be their contents."
"I understand," he said.
I bowed to him. "Excellency," I said. He inclined his head, graciously responding to my salute. I removed the ribbon from my body. My commission had been accomplished. I had delivered the letters. Dietrich of Tarnburg, and Ar, had been served. More I could not do.
The regent motioned that I should approach more closely. "Thank you," he said. "I have waited for such word for a long time."
"It is nothing," I said.
"Wait," said he.
I turned about. He poured coins into my hands, copper tarsks.
"My thanks, Excellency," I said, gratefully, as though I might have been another petitioner.
"Hail, Gnieus Lelius! Hail, Gnieus Lelius!" I heard, the crowd acclaiming yet again the regent's generosity.
"From whom does this message come?" I asked.
"From the regent himself," said the fellow.
"I see," I said.
I doubted, personally, that the regent would be sending me messages, and, if so, that he would be doing it in this fashion. I was prepared to believe, however, that the business to which these fellows were about might have its origins in individuals close to the regent. Their mention of the regent, of course, convinced me that they were not common assailants, after a purse. Run-of-the-mill brigands would surely refrain from allusions so dubious and exalted, allusions so incredible that they would be sure to put a normal fellow on his guard.
"One awaits you there," he said.
"Who?" I asked.
"An august personage," he said.
"Who?" I asked.
"His excellency, Gnieus Lelius, regent of Ar," he said.
The forces of Ar, almost entirely, have marched north, toward Ar's Station, on the Vosk, there to meet with an expeditionary force of Cos. It seems madness, with an army of Cosians, and mercenaries, at Torcadino, but I am not a general, not the regent of Ar.
In the intrigues of the time, and to divert suspicion, Gnieus Lelius, high councilor, and first minister of Ar, he who was acting as regent in the absence of Marlenus, Ubar of the city, had even had me brought to the Central Cylinder under guard, as though I might have been arrested, and was to be examined on some charge.
I wondered how I might approach Ar's Station and deliver the message of Gnieus Lelius, the regent of Ar, to the commander at Ar's Station, Aemilianus.
"Ho!" I cried. "Do not fire! I am a friend. I have come here at great risk! I have a message for Aemilianus from Gnieus Lelius, Regent in Ar! Admit me!"
"I come from Gnieus Lelius, regent in Ar," I called. "I bear a message for Aemilianus! Admit me!"
"I am Tarl, of Port Kar," I said, "a courier, from Gnieus Lelius, regent of Ar!"
I turned my attention to the man. He had, with him, on his lap, the diplomatic pouch, opened, and the letter cylinder, taken from my pouch. It had been sealed with wax and ribbon, the wax bearing the seal of Gnieus Lelius, regent of Ar.
"And you claim to be the regent's courier?" he asked.
"I am the regent's courier," I said. "Why am I still stripped and chained?"
"Does it not seem odd to you that the regent should employ as a courier one from Port Kar?"
"Perhaps," I said. "I had delivered letters to him from Dietrich of Tarnburg. Perhaps it then seemed plausible to him that I might similarly serve Ar."
"You do not know the message in the letter cylinder," he said.
"No," I said.
"Did you see the regent close the cylinder, and affix his seal upon it?" he asked.
"No," I said. "It was handed to me by a subordinate, in the condition in which you received it."
"It is a little joke on the part of the regent," said Aemilianus.
"A joke?" I said.
"Yes," said he, "your allegiances and treachery were discovered in Ar, long before you came here."
"I do not understand," I said.
"'The bearer of this cylinder, who calls himself Tarl, of Port Kar,'" read Aemilianus, "'is a Cosian spy. Deal with him as you please.'"
"I am a courier of Gnieus Lelius, Regent of Ar," I said, "mistaken for a spy." I was sure that there was significant treachery in Ar, and in high places. The regent's message, I was sure, had been removed from, or had never been inserted in, the letter cylinder. A substitution had been made, doubtless, of the contents of the cylinder or of cylinders themselves. I had not, of course, seen the regent place the message in the cylinder and seal it. There would be nothing unusual in that, of course, for it is not required that couriers be present at such times. Seldom are they privy to the councils of state. Normally they simply receive the sealed letter or closed cylinder, or such, from a subordinate, later, and are on their way.
The Seremides of the time of Cernus had even been by birth of Tyros. It seemed incredible, then, that such a fellow could have risen again in the services of Ar, except in the absence of Marlenus, and abetted by conspirators. That this was indeed the same Seremides had been made clear to me, however, by an amused Saphronicus himself, in a midnight interview in his tent. I had been knelt naked and bound before him. This also explained, of course, the matter of the betraying message which I had unwittingly carried at great risk to Ar's Station on behalf of Gnieus Lelius, regent in Ar, that message which had identified me as a Cosian spy.
"On behalf of Gnieus Lelius, regent in Ar, and the high council of Ar," said Labienus, "I, as their envoy de facto in the delta, express their regret for the misunderstandings between our states and peoples, and in particular for that resulting in a cruel and unprovoked attack upon an innocent village. There is little to be said in excuse of such an incident but if blood can repay blood, then I think the accounts on that matter are well considered closed."
Perhaps if there had been a Marlenus of Ar in the city, a Ubar, one to raise the people and lead them, there might have been hope. But the city was now under the governance of the regent, Gnieus Lelius, who, I had little doubt, might have efficiently managed a well-ordered polity under normal conditions, but was an unlikely leader in a time of darkness, crisis and terror.
The last time I had come to Ar, before this time, I had come with dispatches to Gnieus Lelius, the regent, from Dietrich of Tarnburg, from Torcadino. I had later carried a spurious message which had nearly cost me my life to Ar's Station, to be delivered to its commanding officer at the time, Aemilianus, of the same city. I had little doubt that I had inadvertently become identified as a danger to, and an enemy of, the party of treason in Ar. I did not know if the regent, Gnieus Lelius, were of this party or not.
"Where is Gnieus Lelius, the regent?" asked a man.
"He has not been seen in public in days," said another.
Gnieus Lelius, it seems, had been deposed, and Seremides, in a military coup he himself characterized as regrettable, had seized temporary power, a power to be wielded until the High Council, now the highest civilian authority in Ar, could elect a new leader, be it Administrator, Regent, Ubar or Ubara.
"We are free now!" cried one of the men, flinging his ostrakon at Gnieus Lelius.
Other men rushed out to fall upon the former regent with blows but Taurentians swiftly, with proddings and blows of their spears, drove them back.
Gnieus Lelius was then, by the front ramp, conducted to the surface of the platform. Many in the crowd, now first seeing him, shrieked out their hatred. There he was put on his knees, to one side, the children locking their chains to prepared rings, set in a circle, then withdrawing. The five lads with switches were given a last opportunity, to the amusement of the crowd, to strike the former regent, then they, too, were dismissed.
As they neared the figure of Gnieus Lelius, kneeling in his chains near the front ramp, Talena seemed to hesitate, to shrink back with distaste. One small hand, even, extended, palm out, toward the former regent, as though she would fend away the very sight of him, as though she could not bear the thought of his nearness.
One of the members of the High Council, presumably its executive officer, who would have had been directly subordinate to Gnieus Lelius, the regent, in a civilian capacity, as Seremides would have been in a military capacity, stepped forth to respond to Myron, but he was warned back by Seremides.
A Taurentian then freed his neck of the heavy collar with the radiating chains, by means of which the children had conducted him to the height of the platform. Gnieus Lelius, then, former regent of Ar, in the motley rags suitable to a comedic mime, his ankles shackled, his upper body wrapped in chains, bent far over, held in this fashion by the short chain between his neck and ankles, trying to keep his balance, taking short steps, was dragged by Cosians from the platform on the leash.
"Did you not support the regime of Gnieus Lelius?" asked Talena.
"I did not oppose him," said Claudia. "Nor did others! He was regent."
There had been a woman, Elizabeth Cardwell, whom I, for her own good, had hoped to rescue from the perils of Gor, and return to Earth, but she had fled with the tarn, to escape that fate. When the tarn returned I drove him away in a foolish rage. I had encountered the tarn again, years later, in the Barrens, and we had again been one, but at the end of local wars I had freed him again, that he might again take his place as the master of a mighty flock, that he might be again awing in broad, lonely skies, be again a prince amongst clouds, a lord amongst winds, that he might be again regent and king ruling over the vast grasslands he surveyed.