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 Post subject: Shadow and the Crown
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:42 pm
Posts: 1772
[Sutra's account of the moving of crown actual from Tanglewood to her new home in the North]

The jaded man stood on the familiar path. The sweet aroma of baking earth tingled his nostrils. With half closed eyes, he allowed the memories to take hold.

Witnessing the crowning of a monarch for the first time.
Running out of breath, evading capture as his first mark bled out.
Digging unauthorized trenches in the cooling rains of spring.
Watching the fall of the first Elven court.
Selling wares as a humble merchant.
Answering the call during the Ishian/Malabus War.
Serving the populace as the Grand Inquisitor.
Acceptance into the Pride.
Experiencing the shattering loss of his Alicia.
Finding solace in the culmination of The Prestige.
Walking the road less traveled in the realm of Angels.
Experiencing soul-rattling oblivion.
Dying the squires death.
Arisen a knight.
Riding the trade winds at the helm of The Prestige.

All these memories were fragments, a humble sampling among the plethora of moments that forged him into the man he was. A million glimmering stars, singing their own unique song among the vast universe of existence.

Sutra felt the summer sun warm his flesh. He gazed into the noon sky as the bright orb peeked through the thick forest canopy.

The alliance between the Crown and the Tangle had come to an end. Too many wounds and scars had developed for any repentance and forgiveness to be resolved. The shade's heart mourned this loss. Ignorance and arrogance had twisted the minds of men. Selfishness turned hearts to stone. Reason was laid to rest.

Sutra traced the outline of the sacred glyphs on the weathered trunk. The clearing seemed to come to life all around him. He had been here before. Whispers and lamentations bent his ear. The stories of those before him and those yet to come spoke. Sutra nodded in agreement.

Such a pity.

His weary eyes peered down at the broken latch, rust taking root into the once dependable iron clasp. The latch popped open effortlessly. His hand pulled the lid back. The sky blue silk had lost its sheen. The crowns lay silently next to each other. Their newness, a bit unreal. He halfway expected to see the crowns of old. Those he was a bit more familiar with.

She stood at a respectful distance and waited.

"You would have loved this place.", he muttered.

She nodded. Campfire tales of the splendor and magic that lived in this place occupied much of his late night reminiscing.

"I'm sure I would have.", she confirmed.

Trees spoke in ancient tongues as the breeze nudged them to life.

"Elder is waiting. The last crates have been loaded. The caravan is leaving." Erra silently excused herself.

The caravan would need every trick in the book for the coming journey. Passing as a humble trade caravan, the very heart of the kingdom was in motion. He was honored to be involved in this historic moment.

Sutra silently stood staring at the ancient circle where historic decisions had been made, before and after his own time. Humbly, he knelt and placed his right hand on the earth beneath his feet.

"Thank you.", he whispered.

"Thank you."

Standing, he draped the linen cape over his aching shoulders.

Sutra smiled as he turned and walked towards the lead wagon.

As the caravan lurched forward, he realized that a kingdom did not reside in a box of crowns. Nor does it reside on the brow of a tiring monarch. The kingdom thrives in the hearts and minds of her loyal subjects. Blossoms in the tales and songs of her beloved. Gains immortality in the noble deeds of those who bear her colors. Is eternal on the tongues who call her home.

Sutra smiled.

Emerald Hills Eterna,
Sutra Bahuas

The general who advances without seeking fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do service for his sovereign, is the jewel of his kingdom. -Sun Wu

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