Colcian LawFire. That was the last thing I remember. It was so warm, and so bright. I, or someone near me, was screaming, and tears streamed down my face. I saw a dark figure nearing me, and when he, she, or whoever was a foot from me, the world went black. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the infirmary and being told that my mother was dead. I almost collapsed under the grief. For I was now the last surviving member of the Colcian royal family.
Five years had passed since the tragic fire tore through the castle of golden beauty, and now Princess Agitha had come of age and was about to be crowned the queen of Colcia. People of all races, be it elves, dwarves, nymphs or humans, gathered in the square and lined the streets. The Princess was much loved by her people, though most still see her as the bubbling little girl prancing about in the gardens or racing through the forest. But that girl died in the fire that killed her mother and changed her into a queen.
By day, she learns the ins and outs of being a ruler, and by night she trains to master the art of the longsword. In the five years since the fire, Agitha has learned philosophy, geography, mathematics, and everything else her tutors decided she needed. Yet unbeknownst to all but the captain of her personal guard and her best friends Serephina and Jeremiah, she has become acquainted with the bow, and a variety of other weapons.
But although most of her people adore Agitha, the neighboring country of Solisto was spreading unrest and causing a rebellion to form. Agitha's mother had been content with dismissing the rebellion as mere farmers barely able to hold a sword and not much of a threat, but Agitha had a very different view. This time, the rebellion had overstepped their bounds. By setting that fire, as she was positive they had, they had metaphorically poked the bear with the stick, and the bear was finally ready for vengeance.
The crowning ceremony took forever. Folcin sighed, examining his fingernails as if they were the most interesting thing on the planet. Already an hour had passed, and the princess was nowhere to be seen. He looked up sharply as trumpets sounded — could the wait finally be over? The gaze of everyone in the crowd turned to face the elaborate entrance in which they passed through earlier.
He looked just to see what was going on, and was immediately smitten. A beauty beyond compare now graced them with her presence. Her long locks of golden brown hair fell in soft waves around her, and she was adorned not with an elaborate assortment of jewels, but a simplistic diamond earring and necklace set. A single jade ring made her long, slender fingers ever more radiant. The dress she wore was far from the typical ball gown, and instead was a tight-fitting mermaid dress in crystal blue that matched her eyes, which sparkled in the lighted room. A smile revealed perfectly white teeth and radiated kindness.
How could his father have done such a horrible thing to this fair lady? His father, Rensin, whom up until this moment he had respected and admired with the whole of his being, was the leader of the rebellion. Rensin had sent his son here to see just how stuck up royalty was, but in doing so, caused the opposite of his intended effect. For now Folcin appreciated how modest the new Queen was, for she could have flaunted her wealth and power, but didn't, or at least not as much as he would have thought.
As he looked upon Princess Agitha, as she was becoming Queen, he made a decision. He could no longer fight for a cause he now knew to be unjust, even if it meant betraying his father.
Phew. Thank the gods, the ceremony was over. That was the most nervewrecking few hours of Agitha’s sixteen years of life. She sighed. I’m a queen now. It’s time.
There was great applause following this statement, and it seemed as if the skies shook with the cries of those on the ground. Agitha smiled, overjoyed with the support they showed.
She once again held up her hand for silence. “We have narrowed the list of suspects down to three, all of which we know to be members of the rebellion. As we speak we are arresting the perpetrators and bringing them in for questioning.”
Folcin’s heart seemed to stop beating. They have my father? In custody? They said they were going to question him. Does that mean torture? I hope that doesn’t mean torture. Oh Gods. They’re going to feed him to the naiths for sure. He shuddered at the thought of the evil spirits that roamed the nights, searching for lost souls to torment.
He tore through the crowds of people, desperately trying to get to the palace so he could talk some sense into the new queen.
Queen Agitha was on her way to the Royal Stables for her usual ride on Hispecta, her prized horse, when a boy of about her age, dressed as nobility, ran into her. The boy looked into her eyes, recognizing her instantly. “Your Highness! Forgive me. I didn’t see…I shouldn’t have…I’m sorry.” He blushed slightly, full of embarrassment.
“That’s quite alright. It was a simple mistake, and it would be wrong of me to punish you for it.” She smiled warmly at him, slightly amused at his discomfort. “What is your name? I’m sure you know mine.”
“Folcin, My Lady.” He bowed low before continuing. “I was actually on my way to see you, but I didn’t actually think I could get an audience.” Agitha leaned forward, motioning for him to go on. “I was there when you announced the capture of three rebels, and that one of them was responsible for the fire. I was wondering what you planned to do to them? Will they be tortured?”
“If none of them talk, then I cannot dissuade my men from doing so. Why do you ask?”
“My father, Rensin, is among those men. I came to make sure he was being fairly treated and to see if I could help him in any way.” Folcin sighed, “And yes, he is the leader of the rebellion, though I don’t know why he has such a grudge against royalty; he has for as long as I can remember.”
“So he ordered the fire that killed my mother because she was royal? What kind of sick bastard is he? 147 innocent people died in that fire, only one of which was royalty. I swear on her grave. This time, I will show no mercy. This time, I will be strong. He will get the punishment he deserves, no matter what.”
Agitha started off, heading once again to the palace, but Folcin put his arm in her way. “I will not let you torture and kill my father, no matter what atrocities he has committed. Even if he is not the man I thought he was, he is still my father. Please, at least give him a fair trial.”
The Queen told him she’d think about it, and think she did, all night and into the next morning in fact. But as the sun rose, so did her determination to do what she felt was right.
At noon, she called together all the lords and ladies of the court, including Folcin. Rensin was put to trial, glaring all the while, and was found guilty under Colcian law. He was sent to prison, where he would live out the remainder of his days.