The music was of soft piano melodies that echoed throughout the grand throne room. Ribbons dangling from the ceiling of gold color and diamonds abetted onto the walls to which the dim light gave the notion of stars fallen upon a resident Earth. Many people sat around drinking the finest wines and eating the numerous foods of cows, pigs, and delicious grapes from the north region of 4th Lebos. Lady Ciera walked in and the crowd stood quickly and gave a magnificent ovation for their absolute ruler. The Duchess nodded her head as the subjects sat down and resumed their carousing. Ten Defeh as always stood right beside her, eying the crowd as a good guardsman would do. Maner toddled to the queen for a minuteman greeting.
“We are humbled you could be in attendance my Lady,” spoke Maner in complete modesty.
“As always it lifts my spirits to see such a crowd come forth for yet another evening of Treymuf. You know the celebration of Sir Treymus of Sye’s raise to the throne.”
“Quite correct my Lady. How could I forget such a day, I will leave you be.”
The Duchess sat for many hours while the people danced and enjoyed themselves to the fullest. The court fool, dressed in bright colors of the rainbow, came forth to the Duchess asking, “My lady, are you ready for the next act of consent?”
“Yes, yes I’m ready, proceed at your will.”
“Fair ladies and high gentlemen,” exclaimed the court fool as he blew his small horn for order. “Tonight we have a storyteller from the southern region of the 4th Kingdom. Her fame is of no accident as she is a splendid reader and fortune teller. I give you Saven Pandof!”
The entire room erupted at the name of Saven Pandof for many had heard of her wily stories and soothsayer visions. She was an odd woman, dressed in long reddish robes with white and black lining with permanently eyes due to an illness at birth. Amazingly, her lost eyesight did not stop her for walking upright and without help as she stood in the middle of the throne room only a few men away from Lady Ciera. The Duchess, in awe, leaned forward as her hidden lover eyed down the infamous soothsayer. She glared at the Duchess, “…and there she is sitting so proper with skulls of innocent beneath her,” as Saven pondered to herself. Her thinking was not of fault as this part of the castle used stones that held the heads of dissenters in them; a warning to all who would speak against her. Of course this news was made for everyone to know and made the fury in Saven grow so much stronger. She quickly regain focus and begun to speak. A tale of wonders soon began with a quiet hum.
“Hmm—the night was like a first born,” muttered Saven Pandof as she lifted her head up and her eyes met the crowd for the first time. “A night of darkness filled the land of Panlamorf, a land of milk rivers and line fruit that sickened the worst offender of justice. A son was born, of noble yet corrupted birth. His father King Adarus committed many murders, his mother Queen Michesus who delighted in the riches of old and he was a prince born from the darkness of night. An omen was presented to king and queen, words or caution that met ears that wouldn’t hear. The omen spoke of a birth of darkness, births a heart of darkness. The king in his arrogance guffawed at the notion and shunned the priest. The queen of course loved her son and was much closer to him than a mother usually is. Strangely enough the baby never cried. Both parents went on with their daily lives of ruling, their servant maids tended to the prince whose name was never spoken due to the rules of their respected family; the king and queen were only known by title. The prince in silent upbringing grew colder and uglier in spirit. Many citizens called him Dark Pith under their breath. As destiny soon came to fruition, the son turned against his parents, murdered their head captains, and attempted a revolt against the kingdom itself. This Dark Pith, young, without mercy, destroyed his mother in front of his father, which drove him mad with grief and into the sea for an escape from his raging son. A silent war erupted in which the Knights of the Light Seekers and the Nordic Knights of Grace defeated the Dark Pith and drove him into Peaks of Ruin. He was never seen again. Many believe this fiend died and became one of the phantom walkers who inhabit the outer lands of each kingdom. But there are some who believe he was reborn, the Dark Pith is now walking on this Earth once more, meaner, vengeful, and aghast at human life and unsullied sovereignty. Some believe, like I, that this spirit is in the form of a mighty leader, a false ruler, who will destroy the world. This leader is loved by his armies, and feared by conquered lands. In truth he is defined by his army, in title and in character. This tale is true, from your perspective, from your soul of righteous……”
The crowd was quiet in astonishment at the tale, and all stood with glaring eyes and wondering thoughts. Saven Pandof started to take her seat until she was invited in the back by Lady Ciera herself, without guard. Saven Pandof walked back as the crowd resumed their festivities and conversations over what they just heard. The Duchess invited the storyteller back to her private room that still smelled of earlier lust.
“I must say Miss Pandof, that was a tale for our age,” remarked the Duchess as she poured two cups of windof wine.
“No thanks my Lady, I’m satisfied,” spoke Miss Pandof.
The Duchess began to drink her wine and place an additional wine glass in front of a now sitting Pandof. She glided across the floor and turned once again to her storyteller.
“It seems like you personally see this dark pith as someone of our day?”
Saven Pandof replied nothing but continued to stare at her Duchess without trepidation.
“Why are your eyes disloyal? You seem to have no fear.” remarked the Duchess with her head turned to the side wall.
“My Lady, my tale is not deceit; the dark pith does exist.”
“Are you certain, child?”
Saven Pandof again replied nothing. Her mind was racing as chaotic thoughts consorting with rational ones. Her time was near an end; all time and the next moment needed to be precise—no mistakes.
Without patience Lady Ciera, while the music was at its highest, kicked the soothsayer strongly in the chest and she tumbled backwards unto the floor bleeding from her mouth.
“Disloyal servant, I don’t have time for defiance,” cried the Duchess angrily. “Who is the DARK PITH?!”
Saven Pandof this time stood up holding her chest, but spoke bravely, “your master, faithless witch!!”
Saven Pandof quickly lunged towards the Duchess with two hidden poison tipped daggers in her hands, but was struck down by Ten Defeh. Her head rolled and came to rest in front of the Duchess herself. Lady Ciera smiled at her lover as he re sheathed his sword.
“In what manner should I dispose of yet another would be assassin my Lady?”
“Feed it to the wolves,” remarked the Duchess coldly as her mind began to wander for just a spell. Her actions of today meant no turning back, even if wisdom were to come forth to discover her wrongdoings. She knew the price of failure; her generations would be cursed to the letter of of Lebos. She stood silently without fear, but without principles as she realized she had become the very thing she reviled as a young one—a monster in human guise.
The merciless captain lifted up the corpse and proceeded to the exit door before remarking, “I knew your malice was still intact.”
“Yes it is….,” remarked the Duchess to herself as a tear barely formed, then fizzled away as she lifted up her face. Lady Ciera then sat on her couch and stared as Ten Defeh walked out with the body. She mumbled to herself, “Foolish in vain, how would she know of him in such a manner…..”