When I was young, we harvested a strange sort of flower called the Datura for the local markets. The Datura would only bloom one night out of the year, and it was imperative to harvest the flower on this night. Once the flower was cut, it would remain “frozen” in time and it’s perfume and beauty would last an entire year. I was always amazed how quickly this transformation took place. In the course of hours, small green shrubs turned into towers of white and purple flowers unfolding out of a tall green stem. If you returned the next morning, all that was left was a blanket of withered petals scorched from the morning sun.
Dear Elyrian, today we mourn not only two great leaders but also a great kingdom whose legacy will be one for Akashic Records. I still have a Datura from last year in my office and it serves as a reminder that something so beautiful can be easily lost overnight. Today I bring you the news of the death of King Evelake Rhyne & Queen Aelirenn Velithorne.
I suppose I had been forwarned during my previous visit to Dol Aderyn, even if only in a subtle hint. As I recall the Horsfall Tavern was serving it’s specialty ale that evening and I noticed a few of the regulars were absent. I had asked the mountain of a man at the entrance where they might be and he informed me that many of them were too ill for another late night at the tavern. Perhaps this was the start to these unfortunate circumstances we find ourselves in now.
That was nearly a week ago, and I had plans of returning again to visit my good friend King Evelake to discuss some important matters. Only this time I found myself traveling into a shell of what once was.
As I walked through the city, I noticed shops were abandoned, homes vacant, and the air was still with a hint of Datura perfume on the air. I should note that Datura is the flower my parents sold to royalty to use for a celebration of a person with great nobility & honor. Often times this was for a feast in their honor, but could also be used in the week of mourning their death before a new heir was crowned. This perfume combined with the rather strange absence of people within the city made my heart plummet in my chest. As I ran to the castle, I noticed just one word painted in red on the sign of a small butcher shop. Plague.
The steps into the throne room have never been so difficult to climb, and as I opened the heavy doors, there before me was Jediael, Royal Steward of the King and Queen and a few royal guards.
Bradford J. Wilshire: “Hello Jediael, do I fear the worst, has there been a royal death?”
Jediael: “Indeed, the most tragic of events. We have lost both of our beloved monarchs. It is a very bitter moment for me. The king and queen were just, honest, fair and truly for the people. More than their deaths, their lives, and the values they upheld should not be forgotten.”
BJW: “Is it true they were taken by this feral plague just last night?”
Jediael: “It is so. It was a swift and sudden end. I am grieved at this loss and hope that no others have to bear the loss that we have had to bear.”
BJW: “Thank you, good Steward. Thank you for being a kind friend to the crown, I will leave you to your duties.”
Jediael: “Thank you”
My fears were realized when I saw the royal caskets escorted by the Kings Guard. I felt guilty that I was not here during the last week, yet relieved it was not my life that was lost to the plague. Not knowing the extent of this strange death, I decided to leave as quickly as possible to avoid exposure. I was reminded once again that despite the best efforts of marvelous people, a kingdom with no heir is no longer a kingdom at all. I wonder what will become of Dol Aderyn, however, I fear as history has shown the outcome by the relics and ruins that litter our land. when a shell is left behind, there is no longer life within. Stay safe dear readers.
Until next time.
Be Bold, Be Known
Bradford J Wilshire