|The Southern Queen
Author: the bizarrist PM
Tezyan has always been a land divided, split between North and South by the barriers of culture and race, and the physical divide of the Quake Belt. In the North, the civilized people... in the South, barbarians. So when the King takes a Southern queen...Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Words: 934 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-01-07 - id: 2421154
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The Southern Queen
by the bizarrist
Tezyan had long been a land split apart; the North lands with their civilized ways and across the Quake Belt the South, barbarous and wild. It was one country still, but at odds and very nearly at war with itself. Only the vagaries of the land between, the volatile strip of rivers and storms, the realm of volcanoes and violent earthshakes, kept Tezyan from all out civil war. Because the very earth would not allow conquest, the Northern and Southern lands remained separate for the greater good.
In their elaborate cities, the Northerners liver under the rule of a great king and nurturing queen, the Royals of the Ivory Seal. King Javed III, the "eternal" ruler who had taken his regal name from his father upon the elder king's passing to the Dark World, was wise as a King must be, striving towards the advancement of all the North. Beside him his Queen, Adelia Francaese Lemalla, oversaw the comforts of life for her husband's subjects. She was well-loved.
Upon the wilder plains of the South, the people lived in nomadic tribes, wandering until death through its endless flatland. If they had a leader, he never could control all of the many separate peoples. So they, much like the country itself, remained divided, not caring to unite under a common rule.
The reign of Javed III was a peaceful time. Though the border battles of North and South continued, an edict preventing unnecessary travel of the Quake Belt greatly cut the encounters between the opposite peoples. Traders were the only ones permitted to cross the dangerous land between, and thus became the only ones made to deal with the enmity of the opposing sides of the country. This practically-isolationist policy brought the citizens of North Tezyan great relief, and the people rejoiced that their lives were untroubled.
Then, in the King's tenth year of rule, the queen of the North fell ill. Adelia Francaese Lemalla passed into the Dark World. The Northern people mourned, for not only had she been well-loved, but she had left behind no issue to become Javed IV in his father's wake. The King was young, but not now so young as he had been. His duty to the people was an heir; yet he mourned for a year full, for his Queen had been tender and wise and his. But when the year had passes, Javed III took stand on the Speaker's Balcony of the Palace of Ivory. His voice, rolling and powerful as it had always been but touched with sorrow, proclaimed his intention to remarry and conceive a son to rule beyond his life.
Though the sadness of the people still weighed heavy upon them, the nobles of the Sealed families and the humblest citizen workers gathered themselves, preparing daughters of marriageable age from seventeen to mid-thirties to charm the King. Fertile and unmarried women, acting on family wishes, put themselves under the eye of the man, hoping that their lively personalities or lovely looks would attract a marriage proposal. Even those un-noble young women attempted, for there was no law that noble must marry noble. Adelia Francaese Lemalla had been a Lady of the House of the Lapis Seal, but Javed III's mother had been a smithgirl apprenticed to a silversmith of little renown.
He passed over the smithgirls now. He overlooked the shop clerks and bakers and farmer's daughters and painted women. He cast his gaze past the Ladies of Amber, Jet, Coral, and Mother-of-Pearl Seals (the House of the Lapis Seal respected the dead and sent no women to woo the King). His vacant eyes searched in vain, and none of these paraded females could catch or hold his interest.
It was in the third month of the year that a group of traders returned across the Quake Belt to the land of their home in North Tezyan. They had survived the perilous South, and in fact had brought back a prize greater than the materials of seals and precious stones and ores from Southern lands. This prize was delivered to nobility with the coral of that House's Seal. Thus did it come to the attention of the King.
In the fifth month, Javed III took the Speaker's Balcony. His voice was devoid of lingering grief, in fact empty of emotion but for a frighteningly gripping joy as he brought his new queen to stand beside him.
She was lanky and long-limbed and slender-muscled, and she was beautiful. Her skin was leather-dark and her hair a halo of bright color in twisted tendrils down her spine and across her shoulders. The subjects below the Palace of Ivory could not see her distinctive steel-grey eyes, but they gasped at her bared arms and shoulders, at the tracework of crimson patterning across her skin, bright even against the browned shade of her body. Though gowned in silk and lace, the dress was of a shape unlike any Sealed House's fashions, tight to the body with slimmest straps over the shoulders, the skirt slit and sewn almost like men's trousers, though wide enough to eclipse the shape of her legs and appear skirtlike. A coronet carved of precious ivory sat upon her brow, gleaming and matched to the crown of Javed III.
Her name, the King proclaimed, was Eonie.
She was the first and only Southern queen in Tezyan, and from the instant of her coronation, she was hated.