The sun began to set in west, turning the Crystal Sea from a deep blue to a bronze color. Sunspear Keep casted her massive shadow upon the capital city of Esses. Sunspear Keep was the largest keep in the history of the Southern Kingdoms and was well known for Esses' Keep. A castle within a castle.
A squire walked into the Queen's ballroom with a scroll. "Announcing her arrival, Queen Maven Landen I, first of her name, Queen of the Southern Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm."
Everyone in the ballroom rose as the Queen walked past them all and ascended to the head table. The Queen was in an elegant seafoam colored gown and her golden hair was up. The emerald crown sat atop her head, making her green eyes seem ever deeper. "You may all be seated."
One of her many squires came up to her with a jug of wine and poured a goblet for her. The Queen smiled and then took a sip of her wine. Maven looked to her left, seeing that her husband's chair was still empty. King Jonathan was still at battle. Though word had reached the keep announcing that the war would soon be over. When she thought about it, it really wasn't a war. It was just a power hungry family wanting to take the throne so they put a few farmers together and called it an army. She knew her husband and his men would prevail.
"Your grace, here is your speech for tonight. It looks well written and very touching. You have a knack for that you know." Rodel said to her as he handed her the speech.
The ballroom was full of talking and laughter and singing when a crier announced, "It is at this time I wish you all to direct your attention to your Queen, her grace, Maven Landen as she gives the speech to the fallen."
The Queen smiled and stood, sitting her golden goblet on the table. She grabbed the parchment on which the speech was written and began to speak.
"During the sack of Esses in 270 EL, the entire royal family retreated to Esses' Keep, which saved the royal family when House Lorath rebelled against the royal family and the noble House Landen. It was said to be the main reason why the royal family had survived. It was on this day, we wish to celebrate the bravery of all the man that fought for our city. If it were not for them, we would not be standing here. And for that, I thank you." The Queen said as she raised a goblet in the name of the fallen men.
Everyone in the ballroom applauded at her speech and rose their goblets shouting, "Here, here!"
The Queen smiled, curtsied, and then sat back down, ready to eat the food that sat in front of her.
Outside the keep, in a less desireable part of Esses sat a group of assassins and thieves. They were notourisly known as 'The Servants of Ichnad.' Ichnad was the God of Death. The group was planning something big. Something that would alter the reign of the Southern Kingdoms forever.
A wolf howl was heard far off in the distance, and the waves crashed amongst the rocks and the moon shone down on the black water. And Sunspear still towered over all of Esses.