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GOD BLESS THE KING

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Summer seldom brought heat to the city Markev, in the heart of the Haensetian Sleetfells, and ninth day of the Sun’s Smile was no exception to that.

 

Golden beams slanted across the city’s sloping rooftops, mocking in their lack of warmth, and cast long shadows down the trodden streets. An eerie silence hung over the city: in the Bear’s Den smithy, the flames of the forge flickered and smouldered, but the smith’s hammer lay silent on the anvil; the doors of the Dancing Crow hung open, creaking in the wind, but half-washed tankards scattered along the counter with no barmaids there to clean; in the marketplace, multi-coloured canvas stalls decked with goods, from baked pretzels to goose-fletched arrows, with merchants nowhere in sight.

 

It was in the Cathedral of St. Karl that the cityfolk gathered.

 

With twenty townsmen squeezed into pews meant for a dozen, the people of Markev watched the altar. Behind the altar, the golden morning light, admitted through the cathedral’s tall windows, enwreathed those gathered on the dais in light. One of those gathered and cloaked in that divine dawn light was the High Pontiff; facing the congregation, his voice echoed throughout the cathedral’s vast interior.

 


 

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“By the power invested in me by the Creator Himself, Godani by the Raev, Deus to all Flexians, I, High Pontiff Jude, First of my Name, do grant this adornment upon the head of Sigmar Lothar Barbanov … and crown him King of Hanseti-Ruska.”

 

Gently, the High Pontiff nestled the golden crown, gleaming in the light, upon the dark-haired youth’s head before he stepped back, hands clasped in prayer. For a moment, serene silence gripped the cathedral. But only for a moment.

 

“LONG LIVE THE KING!” came the first cry, shattering the silence. Within seconds, others took it up.

 

“LONG LIVE THE KING!”

 

“LONG LIVE THE KING!”

 

A hundred voices, men, women and children, all bellowing at once. For that brief moment, as King Sigmar of Haense stood in the golden light beside the High Pontiff, the worries of the Hansetian people melted away. There was no thought of the harsh winter just passed, or of dragging wars to the north, or the movements of the Vaeyl Order to the south. There was only the cathedral, only the blinding light of the dawn, and thoughts of the future.

 

“GOD BLESS THE KING!”

 

“GOD BLESS THE KING!”

 

“GOD BLESS THE KING!”

 


 

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Edited by Kingdom of Haense

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Sergei Stafyr nods in approval "Hail to the king of Hansetti-Ruska! Long may He live!"

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Ithilian Enthelor raises his fist in the air and shouts "Long live the king!"

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Simon Birchenwald remarks: “Well, he sure grew up fast. Long may King Sigmar live!”

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"Long live the King." mutters Josef.

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