∴ A Fateful Mark ∴
Blue and silver pennants whip in the wind as you process between gilded pavilions. You keep your eyes ahead, stepping to the beat of the drum, paying no heed to the calling and crowing of excited onlookers.
When you reach the carved wooden throne, you stop and take a deep breath, allowing your eyes to play for a moment over its writhen designs of serpents.
The silence is crisp and curious as the High Bard steps toward you, a smile in his creased and twinkling eyes, and an unsheathed sword in his veiny hands.
Solemnly you stare down at the weapon. You know it well from when it was your father’s. A broad triangular blade with two fullers merging into one, representing the twin rivers of your kingdom. The leather grip is the midnight blue of your house. And the pommel with its engraved serpent…
“Tell me, Highness, do you know the significance of the mark?” the High Bard asks.
“Of course I do,” you reply, surprised at the deviation from the words you have so often practiced. You reach out a finger to trace the chiselled beast, its jaws stretched open to bite at its own tail. “It is the mark of the dragon slayer. Whoever wields it is destined to kill a dragon. Just as my father did.”
“Dear child,” says the bard with a note of sadness, “it seems you were told only part of the prophecy. See how the serpent forms a circle, devouring itself?”
You nod with a gulp, your throat suddenly dry.
“It represents an eternal cycle of creation and destruction. Yes, your father slew the dragon. But you, my boy, are destined to bring it back.” Continue reading