The Coronation of Finn
"How are you doing this?" asked Finn.
"It is simply using my telekinesis as a stairway down," Syl'ima replied.
As they approached they could hear the argument between Stellis and Zerik. "...They're stuck in there. You may have just killed them," Stellis pointed to the collapsing pyramid.
"I can only save one of you at a time, Stellis, I chose you. You're my oldest friend," Zerik reminded him.
"Isn't Finn your friend too? And what about Diamond? We gave our word that we'd help her. They could both be dead now because you saved me," Stellis shouted at Zerik.
"No they're not. They found another way out," Zerik smiled.
"How do you know that?" Stellis argued.
"Because they are standing right behind you," Zerik pointed behind Stellis at Diamond (Syl'ima) and Finn as she made the final step to the ground. Stellis turned around. Relief washed over his face.
"It is nice to know that you hold your word so high," Syl'ima stated with a hug. "It is also nice to know that Zerik trusts our abilities to get out."
"My brothers, we must hurry. The second prophecy involves my home of Sambolia, and my father. We need to get back there," Finn clarified.
"Agreed, my brother, we'll take a ship from Freedonia," Stellis agreed.
"Diamond, this will be the first time you will see my homeland," Finn stated. "I would not leave you behind as you have saved my life. I owe you now, I will do all in my power to remove the curse on you. Come, sister."
The four companions returned to Freedonia and packed for the trip to Sambolia. This wasn't hard for Syl'ima, she didn't have anything to pack. They made sure she had enough to get by. More bolts for her hand crossbow, a sharpening stone for her sword, rations.
They set sail for Sambolia. This was the first time Syl'ima had ever sailed. It took her a while to gain her sea legs. She noted the friendship of her companions and hoped one day they would see her as such. She sat by the railing of the ship with her hood on. she was looking at the sea but not seeing it as she was deep in contemplation. Zerik came by and sat down beside her.
"A copper piece for your thoughts?" Zerik offered. Syl'ima smiled at the gesture.
"I have found out that I am unnatural, and, that I have been touched by this demonic energy. Now we go to fight this demon," Syl'ima looked out to the sea.
"So what if you're not natural," Zerik stated. "I mean look at me, I'm half elf and half Rakasha. That's not natural either. It's never stopped me. I met Stellis as a child. Finn a few years ago. Now, I've met you. You know what, you're pretty awesome. When I saw you walking away from that pyramid with Finn, I thought 'that is cool, she's walking on air!'"
Syl'ima smiled at Zerik, she could see why Stellis and Finn liked him. "Thank you, you are a good friend, Zerik. I noticed you grabbed Stellis first. He must be your best friend."
"Yeah, I knew I could get the rest of you if I needed to, but Stellis started yelling at me," Zerik confided. Syl'ima gave him a hug. The two of them got up and joined Stellis and Finn for dinner.
They sat down to a feast that was prepared for them. A roasted bore with exotic fruits and spices. It smelled heavenly. Syl'ima noticed a man who would cut off a small piece of each item and eat it before handing the plate to Finn. She had heard royalty employed food tasters to make sure the food was not poisoned. It was the first time she had seen one do his job.
"My friends," Finn began, "I am sorry we had to cut our adventure short. I fear for my father. He had entrusted me with this," he held up the magical rod. It was beautiful, gold encrusted with a row of gems. Syl'ima guessed each gem triggered a different effect. "The Rod of Sambolia. It is the symbol of our leadership. Without this, he is vulnerable to this evil entity that has emerged from the ether."
"So we have to get back there," Stellis stated. "Because the prophecy stated the King would die and be saved by his friends."
"Why should we believe this 'Moon Wind'?" Zerik asked. "She already betrayed Her. How can we trust her visions?"
"Because of Him," Syl'ima interjected. "She betrayed Her for Him. He continued her gifts from Her. Whatever this entity is, we know she saw it because of what she did in her betrayal to Her. This information comes from Him."
"Exactly," Finn agreed, "Until the world is destroyed, we have the chance to try and fix this. That is why Moonwind gave us the prophecy. We may not be able to stop it but we should at least try. I do not intend to embrace death willingly, I intend to fight for my life with each breath."
The four of them clinked there glasses in agreement. They ate their feast and enjoyed each others company well into the night. They arrived at the island a few days later. They grabbed their gear and headed ashore.
As they disembarked from the ship they were greeted by another dark skinned man with a long beard and dreadlocks. He was even larger than Finn and had a brightly swirled colored headband on. He was accompanied by five men in armor. When Finn started down the gangplank, they all knelt and lowered their heads.
"Dee Jay, my friend, why do you bow?" Finn questioned. "I consider you my brother, not my servant." Finn gestured for him to stand.
"Yes, my liege, it is to honor your new position," Dee Jay responded. "Your father, he is... dead." He stood with his eyes still lowered. He did not want to give his friend the news, but knew he had to. He saw the color drain from Finn's face.
"What! We came back to prevent this!" Finn exclaimed. "The prophecy warned us of this." Finn looked as if he were about to collapse when Dee Jay grabbed his arms.
"Hey, man, what prophecy do you speak of, and who is this pale elf behind you?" Dee Jay snapped him out of the shock. "She looks as pale as the spirits." Syl'ima blushed as the dark man flashed a smile at her.
"Oh, forgive my manners. This lovely elf is called 'Diamond'. She is my newest companion," Finn stated. Dee Jay bowed towards Syl'ima.
"Lady Diamond, we consider you an honored guest for the coronation of King Finn of Sambolia," Dee Jay stated, "as are Prince Stellis and Lord Zerik."
"I like you, Dee Jay," Zerik said as he hugged the large man, "you're the only person who calls me Lord." Dee Jay smiled at the fuzzy half elf. "Just make sure you have some of that Jungle Weed at the coronation. That will make me happy."
"Consider it done, man," Dee Jay smiled.
He then whispered into Finn's ear, "You have the rod still, don't you?"
"Yes," Finn whispered back. "Later tell me why this happened."
"Prince Stellis, it is always a pleasure to see you, man," Dee Jay greeted. "Is there anything special you require for the coronation?"
"No, but my condolences to my friend Finn, and congratulations on your new position," Stellis commented. "Perhaps you may find a gown for Lady Diamond? All she owns is on her person."
"Of course, man," Dee Jay bowed, "I will make the arrangements. Please, follow me to the palace." Dee Jay took the lead and the warriors walked along beside the four companions with one at the rear. They followed a path through the palm trees and brush to a beautiful palace of white stone and wood. The towers looked so different to what Syl'ima was used to. The archway was magnificently designed.
The warriors took their posts once they were inside the palace. Dee Jay led them down a corridor to their individual chambers. Zerik was given his first. In which case he decided to jump onto the bed and sprawl out. Finn and Stellis just smiled as Syl'ima looked on in shock.
Dee Jay opened the door to her chamber, "I hope you find everything to your liking, Lady Diamond." A large bed sat near a window it had beautifully sculpted posts made of mahogany a canopy of violet with matching sheets. The wardrobe was also mahogany, as was the nightstand. All were beautifully crafted. Syl'ima turned around in disbelief.
"It's more than I deserve," she stated with her head lowered.
"Nonsense," Finn replied, "Diamond, you saved my life. You deserve more than this. I doubt you would take more, but you deserve better than life has given you." Syl'ima blushed again.
"I see she is quite humble, Master Finn," Dee Jay commented. "These are your quarters, Lady Diamond. Your gown will arrive shortly. Please relax, and enjoy the hospitality."
Syl'ima bowed and and smiled at their generosity. She laid on the bed and rested. She thought of her life up to this point. Discovering her powers at a very young age and spending years learning how to use them. As a grey elf she was quite studious and was rarely outside. This accounted for her pale skin.
When the king of the grey elves caught tale of her powers he wanted a demonstration. With her nerves very high she attempted to raise his throne into the air. Instead she caused it to explode. The king was horrified, so was she.
She was seized by the guards and the king ordered the clerics of Her to decide Syl'ima's fate. That was when she was cursed, and exiled. Tears came to her eyes. She had never been outside the kingdom. She had only read of the outside world in her books. She had no desire to explore. Her had other ideas for Syl'ima.
There was a knock at the door. Syl'ima opened it to see Dee Jay holding a gown for her. It was brightly colored and beautiful.
"Your gown, Lady Diamond," Dee Jay stated as he held out the gown. "These ladies are here to fit it to your frame," he continued as two ladies entered the room. They had pins, and tape, and needles and thread. "Please excuse me as I am needed in Prince Finn's quarters."
"Of course," Syl'ima said in astonishment. Dee Jay bowed and walked down the corridor. As Syl'ima closed the door, the ladies started to strip her of her armor and measure her. They made notes on the paper beside the gown. Before she knew it the gown was fitted to her frame and on her. They stood her in front of a full length mirror, and she saw the the beautiful gown. The color brought out much needed color in her skin. It was very complementing. For the first time in weeks Syl'ima smiled. The ladies smiled and bowed as they left.
She left her quarters and walked to Zerik's. She knew where his quarters were. She hoped he knew where Stellis' and Finn's quarters were and they could go to the coronation together. She meekly knocked on Zerik's door.
"Diamond!" Zerik greeted as he opened his door, "we were just talking about you." She saw Stellis already in the room. "We were wondering how long it would take for you to be ready."
"You look quite stunning, Diamond," Stellis commented. Syl'ima blushed. He wore a deep violet jacket with his family crest embroidered on the left breast, white gloves and trousers. His boots were impeccable. His ginger hair was pulled back into a ponytail and a red sash went from his right shoulder to his left hip.
Zerik was dressed in a black tunic and trousers. His brown belt had a single dagger peace tied on it. His boots had been polished and repaired. There was no family crest for Zerik. That meant he was actually a commoner. She was also a commoner, this made her feel more welcome. Two princes had accepted two commoners as companions and equals.
"Where is Finn?" Syl'ima asked. "I thought we would go to his coronation together?"
"He is to go by himself," Stellis chuckled. "It is traditional for them to come escorted only by family for the coronation. Although, we are brothers in arms, we are not brothers by blood. We will meet him there." He opened the door and held it for "Diamond" and Zerik before he left the room.
Finn talked to Dee Jay in his quarters, "My friend, what happened to father?"
"He went out to check why villagers were disappearing, man," Dee Jay clarified. "Those who brought this to his attention, brought tales of a demonic beast with glowing violet eyes. A giant beast in the jungle."
"He gave orders if he did not return, upon your return you would be crowned. His corpse was discovered last week. I am sorry, Finn," Dee Jay explained.
"I see, Dee Jay," Finn exhaled. "I must do something tonight after the coronation. I know the people will not accept Stellis as their ruler, but I name him my proxy if I do not return. I must avenge my father."
"Of course, Finn," Dee Jay agreed. "He will serve until you return or a new ruler is chosen."
"I will speak with him after the ceremony. Please do not mention this to anyone. You are my oldest friend, and most trusted adviser," Finn stated as they began down the corridor towards the ceremony.
The ceremony was simple if not for the pomp surrounding it. A simple silver circlet was his crown, and Syl'ima wondered why such a big deal was made of it. Stellis pointed out that silver was prominent in the mountains of the island and gold was very scarce. That is why his crow was silver. The simplicity was Finn's choice. He didn't like to be gawked at and treated his people with respect and kindness.
Zerik was smoking some strange jungle weed that Syl'ima assumed was a drug that he enjoyed. She danced and enjoyed the people. She even saw Dee Jay smiling as she danced. Finn walked over to Stellis and the two talked.
"My brother, I have named you my proxy," Finn told Stellis. "If I should disappear as my father did, you will rule in my stead."
"I'm honored, Finn," Stellis graciously accepted the rod being handed to him. "Why hand me the Rod of Sambolia?"
"It's the only way my people will follow you," Finn explained. "I have to avenge my father, please do not try to stop me. I must do this."
"You don't have to do this alone," Stellis stated. "Zerik, Diamond and I will gladly help."
"I am aware of this," Finn began, "but, this is something I need to attempt alone first as a show of strength. If I don't return by morning come looking for me."
"As you wish, King Finn," Stellis smiled.
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