Daniel Taraxacum, Baron of the Greenlands, slammed his fist down on the table and roared at the rest of the Star Council.
“The Cirsium must die. Every last one of them. Every adult, every child must be torn from their home and burned.”
There was an uncomfortable silence from the other council members.
Some were silent because they agreed with Taraxacum but did not want to be seen to support his violent and extreme views. Some wanted only peace.
“This vulgar horde must be stopped. They have moved into the Greenlands and now they spread.” He spat the word.
“We cannot stand idly by while they steal our land, our food and water. We must kill them. Kill them all !”

Lady Aster cleared her throat, placed her white gloved hand on the table’s edge and drew her elderly frame slowly upward until she stood, posture perfect and eyes fixed on the agitated baron.
She did not use his title. She spoke as if to an intelligent but wayward child.

“Daniel, your family and mine are as one. Clan Cirsium is of our family too if you look back far enough, yet you would cut them down and feel nothing but the smug glow of the victor.
You hate them because they are strong and they take care of their own. You hate them because when we are attacked by the beasts, they are left alone and your children are not. You bristle because they are quick to take advantage of new opportunities and slow to be taken advantage of – who does that remind you of Daniel ? Who is always there soon after new ground is broken ? You Daniel. And yours. And me and mine. Every one of the Asteraceae on this council.”
The Baron’s head hung low. He could not bring himself to look his accuser in the eye.
“I would have you bring their Chieftain here and tell him he is welcome in our lands Daniel. If you are not willing to lead our Council in opening our faces to the newcomer then I will have to ask you to pass the Star of Aster on to one of your cousins.”
“Daisy …” he mumbled.
“Lady Aster Daniel” came her sharp retort.
“Lady Aster, I will meet with the Scot and welcome him”
He raised his head and the two of them nodded in assent.
He puffed out his yellow mane and spoke as if he had always intended to say:
“I, Daniel Taraxacum of the family Asteraceae and subfamily Cichorioideae do call Lance, Chieftain of the Cirsium of the family Asteraceae and subfamily Carduoideae before this council and I, and all my kin do welcome him to the Greenlands.”
Lance, Chieftain of the Cirsium threw open the doors of the chamber, his bold voice rang out across the room as he strode towards the high table.
“Dandy you wee pussy. It’s about time ye called your own kin.
Now, let’s have a cup o’ your famous wine and celebrate.”