Princil's Magic : Ch.10 : Festival At Bricas (Part 4: Aftermath: Section 1)
By Kurt Rellians
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Ch.10 Festival At Bricas (Part 4 : Aftermath)
They spilled out carefully, heeding the words of Aribor, their saviour. It was dark outside. Aribor found he had been expecting daylight, but of course it was now well into the night. The events inside had not taken place quickly, and much time had passed as he had sought the help of gods and goddess and had brought healing calm to the agitated and disturbed.
Sights of devastation and horror lay in every direction as they saw the destruction which had been wrought on their dear and beautiful city. As they came out of the Palace Of The Goddess onto the plateau of the hill they could look over the rest of the city, but in the dark little could be seen with clarity. They could see fires in many places, the noise of screaming and cries of panic, emanating from the distant city, enough to see and hear that all was not well in the city. The sorcerors had struck well beyond the Palace of the Goddess, and the trials of the night were by no means over.
Some cries were a lot closer than the distant city, surrounding the hill. Cries and screams came from behind them. The upper floors of the Palace of the Goddess had collapsed, burying some festival people, but thankfully the main hall was so sturdy it never affected them. Perhaps the psychological effects of the drug which had contaminated the festival drink had so taken them over that they had felt nothing of the vibrations which must have occurred, or heard the noise of the collapse.
In Bricas centre other buildings had collapsed. Wild shaking, like an earthquake, had caused many of them to collapse. The Palace of the Empress had collapsed, killing, burying and injuring public servants, although the Empress herself was residing in distant Shalacron, where she resided for much of the year, at this time.
Fires had started in some districts of the centre, and strong winds, like tornados, which never appear in these parts, had whipped up and carried off some unfortunate inhabitants, battering their bodies against buildings made into ruins. The stronger buildings were less spoiled. Most inhabitants found shelter where they could in buildings which thankfully did not collapse, and internal rooms where they were safer. The dead returned from a graveyard, scaring people and behaving unlike they were in life, doing the bidding of the sorcerer who awoke them.
They went down the hill warily, fearful of everything they could see, but knowing they might be able to help the victims of these disasters.
“Beware,” said Aribor. “This is all the work of Dark Wizards from Grumandria. Hopefully they have done their worst. We may be able to help your fellow citizens. I shall do my best to help!” The wizard could feel the Goddess inside himself still. She had not left him. She knew already through his eyes, and perhaps through the eyes of her people, that there was more to be done, that her people were not yet safe. She was calling him to help still, so there was nothing for it but to rise to the occasion, and do what he could to help the people who now meant so much more to him. From being a selfish predator, serving a vicious and uncaring King, he had been transformed into a leader, guiding the people of the Goddess to safety, and willing to use his magic wherever he could to protect them.
As they came off the hill they saw devastation more closely. He used healing magic to heal the injured and set the people he had saved to tend them. Then they met the dead coming slowly but surely to attack the living, awakened by the magic of wizards. They came to scare and to hit the living, but could be escaped relatively easily. They would empty the city if they were allowed to scare the rest of the inhabitants away. He saw this as his main task, to wrest control of the dead from the wizard who controlled them. Which wizard was it? He had never brought the dead back himself, but he had some ideas of sending them back to where they belong. This seemed to be beyond the Goddess’s ability, but they were her people from the dead, so he asked her to tell them to go back to the afterworld they normally reside in peacefully. “Go back to sleep,” they told them. “Return to the long sleep. Ignore the wrongdoer who has disturbed your peace and taken control over you. You must no longer follow him. He is not your maker or your guardian.”
The Empress Of Shalirion
The nice Empress seeks to do her best. She is always a woman of the Imperial family; Males are public servants. Females must have the maturity to be Empress. It is not an automatic right, and no abuse of power is to be tolerated. She has a few husbands and consorts, and some offspring.
The next Empress is chosen by a council of the Empire made up of representatives of the cities and regions, and some of the professions, such as Merchants, Craftsmen, The Priesthood (Priests and Priestesses), and the Army. She is chosen from amongst the offspring of the retiring Empress. These may be from her own offspring, or, if she has none of her own, from wider family sisters and their offspring, or, if none such, from cousins and their offspring. Usually the new Empress is chosen when the old one dies, but sometimes an Empress has retired, due to age and infirmity or to confusion of the brain, and even for dereliction of duty. The last has rarely happened, but there have been a couple of occasions in history. The Council may choose the next Empress from the group of suitable ladies, who must be 21 or above at the time, and may not be virgins. They are chosen for their suitability in terms of maturity, sensibility, reliability, education, caring nature, etc. , in short, for their suitability to follow the ways of the Goddess, and likelihood to help rule the Empire in the ways of the Goddess.
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