The song of night was a silent whisper, a respite from the shouting sun. A million beacons of white fire dusted the violet sky. More than a million. There is the Sleeping Maiden, the Shield, the Fallen Dragon. Who else stares at these stars tonight? How many men throughout time have they humbled?
Gretchel was no man, of course. Exactly how many namedays she held one could only wonder, she had lost count ages ago. Facing the crises and wars of her realm had taken their toll. No longer were the days of Gretchel's glory and upcoming. Having risen to the title of Sangra, all that remained was duty. Time is master of us all. My weary bones foresee a storm but how much longer will I last?
She sat cross legged upon a large circular platform almost fifty feet across, wrought in the image of Sun and Moon. Half of the symbol was a faded yellow jade, the other a pure white moonstone. A winding trail of lapis lazuli, emerald, and brown tourmaline split the two forces of nature. Nine black pillars surrounded the great emblem, each two yards thick and nigh twenty high. Each supported a great torch, but none were ablaze.
Here she found peace. The world will rock and sway beyond the bounds of Choigard, but here it ceased, if only for a moment. The withered priestess beheld the monuments surrounding her, odes to eras past, remnants of forgotten lore. So much had been lost since the fabled First Symphony. Sangra of old bent the universe at a whim. They molded the mountains of Earth and called the storms to fill the seas and later sent the winds to lift the sails of man. Oh, what a grievous err.