Note From Author:

I would like to stress to all potential readers that though the Empire stated in this work did exist, that all characters featured in this story are fictional, and any reference to characters or people, alive or dead, would be purely coincidental.

CHAPTER ONE: End of an Era

It seems that relations from far and wide had caught wind of King Carlos I's impending expiry, as when Prince Regent Carlos II finally made his way through the congested streets of Madrid and reached the Royal Palace where his father lay in agony awaiting his final hours, he faced a situation much like the one he had just encountered in Madrid. There must have been around 200 of the most noble lords and ladies seemed to have congregated to see Carlos I through his demise. All servants in the room who would have helped Carlos II through the sea of high-profile mourners were small sailing boats in the vast Atlantic Ocean that was the Main Hall.

After much pushing and shoving through the many people, Carlos reached the front of the hall, where he was met by several diverse reactions. Hilda, his cynical, jealous sister gave him a look of antipathy, as she kneeled next to her decaying father. She had been bitter from the get-go. Carlos I originally had three marriages. His first wife, a French noblewoman, is with whom he conceived his first child, Hilda. His second wife is where Carlos and his younger brother, Alejandro came into the picture. By the time he married Anne of Canaria, he was old and unable to re-produce.

Carlos met his younger brother's eyes and shared a look of both deep concern and dispirited depression. He looked to his step-mother, Anne, who was too busy to notice him, too busy having her head buried deep within the King's white-as-a-sheet, wrinkled hand. Carlos finally garnered the courage to speak in front of the largely tranquil array of visitors.

"Father, It's me. It's Carlos. I'm back from Mauritania. I'm sorry, I missed you. How are you?" Though his voice was frail and decrepit, the whole room seemed to light up, like the sun had finally found it's way through the dark, smoggy rain clouds that have plagued Spain from the day Carlos I fell ill, and shown down on the courtroom.

"I am ill." He responded. "I feel weak. But the pain has subsided for the most part, I can… I can feel the Lord lifting me." After a deep sigh, he added. "I will be gone by night fall." He said before spluttering Anne could be heard trying desperately not to whimper as he lay on the soft, cushioned bed. It seemed like hours that everyone stood in silence, before finally, the nurse seeing to the King announced that everyone except the Royal Family, Archbishop and the King's advisors could stay. The difference in room population was drastic and conditions were suddenly breathable.

After a desolate length of time, the Archbishop walked towards the King's bed and put both hands to his heart. He the elderly man spoke.

"I feel the Lord's presence. He is among us. Be at peace, he is ready to take his next tribute. Now, let us embrace the holy spirit." Everyone in the room, except for the king, began to pray.

The King died mere minutes later.

Carlos officially inherited the throne, and was due to be coronated just weeks later. Hilda was furious, after all, she was Carlos I's first child, but her younger brother was chosen as heir over her, but, she had led an army and won a bloody battle against the Basque War Lord, Aukeratu-Bat, and this courage showed that she was not in the slightest prepared to surrender to living the remainder of her life, submerged in the claustrophobic position of being "just the King's sister" while her puerile, younger brother sat at the top of the tree.