The Fool stands on a cliff's edge, overlooking the limitless potential of their future
The grass is green and lush this year, after war and draught, this is a welcome relief both for myself and my animals. After two years with no rains, this seems like a dream, that I can wake up anytime.
"Hey! Zandar, off into dreamland again, huh?" My brother Joshua teased me as he bought lunch for us. As much as a pain in the ass he is he cooks well. Okay, maybe he is a slightly toleratable person. "Better than your fantasies Josh." He laughed like a satisfied dwarf. "Come, sit. I made cinnamon bread today." Ohh! I would kill someone for that
After we finished eating he looked me up and down and says, "aren't you gonna wash up? And what is that you are wearing?! Are you going to go to the royal court like that! " wait but why do I have to go to court? He has gotten used to me talking using expressions more than vocalising them so he says," The ye old cucullatus is back. The countess has called for a public gathering." They say their blessings can change the fates of nations. A public gathering is something new, anyway, I can use a few hours off. I finish off the bread in silence. Joshua runs off saying he has some work to do, he is quite busy for the princesses and countess's seamster.
Anyway, I walk inside my cosy little house right by the field and freshen up.
The walk to the royal halls was sweaty, to say the least. The roads were filled to the brim with people. Everyone wanted to see the mysterious cucullatus. Nobody had ever seen them like this. We only ever got glimpses of them when she left the palace.
This is the first time the common folk have been invited into the royal palace in years, it is especially surprising as the state is still grieving for our count. He died of hunting wounds. A wild boar it was that killed him they say.
The royal coliseum; our late count had a thing for bullfights; was filled to the brim with sweating and a quite jittery crowd. A large platform was set up in the middle of the arena. I guess everyone is wondering why the countess would call us here. I chose a seat that is closest to the arena so that I could see better.
The countess wasn't here yet, but her court was present and two servants were lighting up two humongous braziers filled with what my best guess would be pine wood.
We didn't have to wait for long for the countess to arrive, she was not in her grieving attire. This would have the townspeople gossiping for weeks, heavens above save my ears. The princess was not much behind her. Princess Diana looks a lot like her father with her shiny golden ringlets and ready smile.
Her mother on the other hand sports a severe expression with long straight black hair. Her eyes looked like an edge of a Saharan blade; the sharpest in the world. The beaten gold wreath of the countess resting atop her head made her look like a goddess with an unstated bloodlust.
Her arrival made everyone in the coliseum quite like death itself, as if the stone structure itself was holding its breath in anticipation.
The countess's fast strides carried her up to the top of the raised platform. Her steely eyes searching the crowd for something. Her voice though not loud easily carried across that coliseum,' I appreciate your arrival at such short notice, today I wanted to announce that the cucullatus would select who would sit on the royal throne, who would have complete control over the land, who would this land belong to.'
A figure wearing a black hood and a thick black cape, whom I hadn't noticed yet, walked so fluidly that they seemed to float. They climbed onto the platform, didn't say a word took the crown of the count from the servant girl holding it on an ornate tray and promptly turned towards the countess and the crown was gently placed onto her Majesty's head. This was to be expected.
The sword of Justice was placed into her hands. Many gasps of surprise were heard across the coliseum. She didn't bat an eye. The sword is a rare gift bestowed by the cucullatus onto the most just rulers. This was a slight surprise indeed but what we were waiting for is what they would ask in return, it is something precious, something priceless. When the count was chosen they had asked for the lifeblood of the rest of the royal family. Which was refused by our late count, he was cursed to have a short and terrible reign.
Again the coliseum was quiet, so quiet that a pin drop can be heard across the coliseum. They spoke for the first time today, their voice was as deep as thunder and as high as the screech of a crow at that same time, like crashing waves and metal against stone, raspy yet velvety. They said,' I have chosen you, fair maid, as the one to grace the throne, you shall rule wisely and justly, fight like a bear if one shall challenge your state for its honour is my honour, and I shall never let my pride be tarnished. In return for my blessings I ask two men and a woman of my choice to be given to me at my disposal. ' her Highness's shoulders dropped after hearing this demand, she can do nothing but fulfil this wish if she doesn't want a terrible curse on herself and on her state.
Taking her silence for approval they turn towards the assembled crowd even if his face is hidden, I could feel their eyes burning holes into people, they seemed to be enjoying this. their eyes seemed to rest on a woman in the crowd, they raised a single hand pointing at the woman, she seemed stunned but not afraid. She stood up and climbed down to the arena. She is built like an ox, tall and looked as if she could snap full grown trees in half with her bare hands.
Their eyes now seem to linger over the town doctor, he squirmed under his gaze, they again raised a single hand pointing at the poor man, one more to go. They started going through my section of the coliseum. They raised a hand to point at me?