Title: The King in the Cathedral
Author: Rich Larson
Published in: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, February 5th 2015
Description, by Lois Tilton [Locus]: "It seems that an Evil Magical Usurper called the Illusionist has killed the incumbent king, taken over as ruler, and exiled the king’s half-brother/rightful heir to a vast desert, where he inhabits a deserted cathedral along with a robotic companion/guard that he has named Otto. To wile away the days and years, they play games, which Otto usually wins, automatons being good at that sort of thing. Supplies are regularly teleported in. One day, a female companion is teleported in–a piece of irony, as Fawkes’ preferred companionship is not female. Eris, however, has other plans for him. Rebellion is brewing. But her plans interest Fawkes no more than her female companionship........ The tone here is fairly light, with touches of humor, beginning with the contrast between the legends that have arisen around Fawkes and the reality....."