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[personal profile] bronzechimera
The palace at Cair Llannerch; indeed, the whole country of Brigden was in mourning for Queen Ríonach.

It was late in October when Queen Ríonach was called out to West Country. Her stay in West Country was pleasant, and she lodged with the affluent Leannain family. During Ríonach’s stay the Lady of the household gave birth to a child; in fact, Queen Ríonach, being a close personal friend of Lady Róisín Leannain, traveled to West Country just as soon as she received word of Róisín’s labor.

Lady Leannain named her son Sé, and he was a fair and sickly child with strawberry-blonde hair, green-grass eyes and colorless complexion. On the night of Sé’s birth, Róisín wept; so Ríonach employed the help of Sir Leannain and a young Druid from the nearby town of Diolun, and for the first three nights of Sé’s life they wove intricate magick in order to promote the boy Leannain’s health.
On the fourth day Sé Leannain was happy and healthy as other newborn sons, and it was on the fifth day Ríonach bade her friends farewell. Ríonach came and left the Leannain estate by carriage, arriving at Cair Llannerch late at night.

The sight that greeted Queen Ríonach was tragic: the entire royal stable was on fire. Servants were trapped in the stable with several of the horses. Those who had escaped were running across the yard to fetch buckets of water. One woman sat cross-legged in the middle of the yard in meditation, whispering a spell to call forth the rain.

Good Queen Ríonach entered the burning stable without hesitation, setting her carriage driver to help deliver water to the scene. Coughing, Ríonach pushed through the burning stable looking for anyone trapped. Her path out was clear and her intent full, but regardless the Queen was doomed. The wooden stable roof collapsed, killing the Queen instantly before exploding in a Hellish inferno.

After the fire had been extinguished the missing were counted. Among them was the Queen, and the people wept. Her charred body was found amongst the ruins.

King Aidan entered the courtyard, his dressing robe undone and nightshirt wet down the front; he’d peed himself, like a child. But nobody noticed. An old stablehand had wrapped the Queen’s body in old linen, the only shroud that was available. He carried the body across the courtyard.

The woman who’d been praying for rain stood, and looked the King square in the eye to see tears fall from his face. She approached the King and the man holding the Queen’s body, and asked the King if he should like to see his wife one last time.

“I should,” Aidan whispered. His deep voice was hollow.

When the Queen’s shroud was pulled back to expose her once-lovely face, the King began to weep uncontrollably. Alarmed, the old woman tried to cover the remains of her face. But King Aidan stopped her, and touched what was once his wife’s lips, and they cracked even under the lightness and loving of his fingers.

Then the Queen was shrouded once again. King Aidan requested that she be buried underneath a hearty oak tree outside his chamber window. While it was an unusual request, as the dead were usually burned on a funeral pyre, it was followed instantly.

When the King awoke the following morning the dirt beneath his favorite tree had been stirred. Flowers rested atop it, many flowers of all kinds and colors. There were herbs, and people gathered around the grave. For the time being, King Aidan let them sit in mourning for his wife.
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November 2012


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