Leaves gleam orange...
Trunks shine bright...
Skies turn gray!
King Yrkanis sat unmoving, the eternal and powerful face of the Matis Sovereignty. Wivans bustled around his majestic form, removing pieces of armor and massaging his painful muscles with an immaculate linen cloth soaked in pure water from a mother-of-pearl shell. Yrkanis dozed off amidst the fragrance of the flowers, his attendants ever attentive to his sighs as they combed his hair.
Envinenai, a long time valet to the king, entered and bowed. In his advancing years, he found bowing more and more difficult. The king stood before him, naked. None other than the royal healers or the the most faithful attendants would have been able to glimpse the king so vulnerable. The king, His Majesty.
Queen Lea entered the chamber, her eyes following the light of Sagaritis as it lit the king's white face before illuminating his pendant. She murmured:
Mailya i alyei se veleis Se!
Manya sa mindalenae!
Ye ne ereis?
Karanae cil cirhiae?"
"Na Karan." said the attendant slowly. "Na Karan. The Court waits for you..."
Yrkanis opened eyes and waved a hand towards the wivans who then disappeared into the trunk of the great tree without a sound.
"Ma aiyates Karan!"
"Ma aiyates uma Karan!"
"Ma Jena aiyates i Karan!" the noblemen echoed in the passage of the King. The King would occasionally nod at one and the lucky noble's chest would swell, which then prompted the others to redouble their efforts.
Yrkanis walked up the steps to his throne and turned around suddenly, "Cuiccio!" he shouted.
The Botanist and Royal Historian ran forward promptly. "I am here, my King!" he shouted to the assembled nobles.
"Cuiccio, I count on you to report to all what is said here."
"Unquestionably, na Karan!" Cuiccio replied, calling the attention of all the courtiers.
The King of the Forest sat down slowly on the finely crafted throne which sat at the heart of the Tree-palace. So began the royal audience.
Ordinarily, King Yrkanis was pressed back into his seat by a barrage of sterile complaints, flavorless reports and endless stories without pause from the noblemen, but this evening, the King's attention did not wander. A letter had attracted his attention and that of all the sycophants present.
The letter was penned in a nervous hand that streaked the paper black with ink, like many blows of a sword on badly tanned leather. It was written in a sweeping style that took up space, vigorously candid but with imprints of intelligence. In the letter, a certain Akilia Ash Storm defied him, threatened him. She announced that she would soon possess the glorious throne of the King. She would attack Yrkanis at the head and would exterminate the followers of the Matis King and reduce his people to serfdom.
Indignant exclamations rang out. The noblemen were outraged and called for her death. King Yrkanis said nothing, but he watched... faces, attitudes, looks... and he listened... voices, shouting, sighs, silences... The King knew each of them. He had watched them for so long now and he was wary of them all. Certainly, he liked them, but he could not put his trust in any one of them.
The Court of the Matis Sovereignty was more alive than ever. The assembly of the noblemen danced like leaves in the wind, brilliant as the foliage of Alineai on Charmers Way. The Charmers, he wondered, who did they support? Who were they?
Yrkanis got up, his face smooth and unreadable... what would he do?
"I liyumelame ereis ena," he said in an even tone. "War is here, the war you have been waiting for all this time. Swap your pretty finery for your Paroks now... I will await you on the battlefield."
Chronicles of the time of King Yrkanis by Cuiccio Perinia, Royal Historian