The ballroom was decorated from ceiling to floor with extravagent banners, swords, sheilds, and looming over everything was the crest of House Landen; a large golden eagle with its wings spread. The Landen colors were red and gold. The symbols of blood and money. The colors that had scared the very foundation of the Southern Kingdoms that they all swore their allegiance to House Landen. House Landen was the wealthiest house of all the houses in the Western Kingdoms and they were the most powerful. The only house that nearly matched the Landen's in both wealth and power was the infamous House Emberdrop.
Hand in hand, Queen Maven and her husband, King Jonathan walked into the ballroom. All the attendants stood as her majesty and her royal husband walked down the crimson carpet to the head table. When Maven arrived at the table, she motioned for her people to sit.
"We come before you, on this glorious day to announce the royal victory at the Crest! Though the rebels may prove challenging at times, they are nothing compared to the royal army. Our men will crush them all! The Southern Kingdoms shall not and will not fall as long as I am your Queen. Rebellions will strike the land again, yes, we know. I can assure you though that when they do, my royal husband and his men shall strike them down in the name of the Gods. The Gods have had mercy upon the rebels before, but that was in a different time. A time of weakness, a time without peace and prosperity, it was a time when House Emberdrop ruled these lands. This is the Landen Era, an era that is surely to not be forgotten. Each and everyone of you will tell you children the stories of the brave knights that served during this era. It will be the greatest era the Southern Kingdoms have ever seen. Crimson and gold. The colors of blood and prosperity. The colors that will reign over Esses and the Southern Kingdoms from now, until the end of time!"
The people clapped and the knights whistled and shouted. Following Maven's speech, the food was served. Maven looked at the food, then at her husband, then smiled. One more night, she thought. One more night of being beaten and it would all be over with. Her husband pecked her on the cheek, then smiled.
"I have to say, that was a wonderful speech. It is true that crimson and gold shall reign over the Southern Kingdoms from now until the end of time."
"Thank you, my love. I do hope with our victory at the Crest that-"
"OUR victory? It was MY victory! You should damn well remember that. All you did was sit on that damned throne giving orders. It was my men and I that did all the hard work. Not you!" Jonathan said excitedly.
"Our victory Jonathan. It was our victory. The royal family's victory, the Kingdom's victory! It was your men's victory. Not just your's. You know nothing of politics Joseph. You know nothing of how this whole damn system works. Why do you think I never have you in court. You'd be too damn confused!"
He struck her. In front of all her people. He left a print that would remain etched into her face forever. He had sealed his fate. He had struck his Queen, the Queen that he swore to love and cherish always. Maven's crown fell from her head, shattering into pieces. The room went quiet, all the guests looking in shock and fear for what might happen next. Thunder crashed out in the distance, and when Maven looked at Jonathan. Her eyes were no longer their beautiful green, no. They were filled with hatred and darkness. He broke the Queen. One of the most beloved people in all of history, had broke.
"You dare strike your Queen in public, Jonathan?" Maven said softly.
"I, I, I only... Maven, I love you dearly, I really do." Jonathan said, pleading.
Maven rose, standing over her husband. "You are not of Landen blood. You are not true royalty."
"Maven, please!" Jonathan shouted.
"I will grant you no mercy Jonathan. There is never mercy for a man who strikes his wife. But there is never mercy nor forgiveness for a man that dare strike his Queen!" Maven said growing closer to him.
She froze in her position, then looked out the massive window that towered over all of the ballroom. She watched as the lightning flashed and listened to the thunder crash. "Shall we dine, everyone?"