The children and adults sat quietly, while Hector continued his story.
“Theodore and Evelynne had a happy marriage. Their union produced three sons. Frederick, Alistair and Gordon.
I’ve already said that Theodore’s rule was a time of great peace and prosperity. It was also a time of healing. The Harringtons were strong rulers, and just. However they did like their battles and the honour and glory that victory over foreign rulers gave them. They were also an acquisitive lot. During the century or so that the Harringtons had been in charge, the country of Gildamoor had grown into the vast land that we are now familiar with. But, it wasn’t without pain or heartache. As new lands were conquered and added the old and new inhabitants had to learn to get along. That is never easy. Minor squabbles and the odd atrocity on all sides made the place especially unhappy.
In addition, for those who cared about such things, the displacement of the Langstons from their place of power caused a pain and a deep depression that came up from the land itself. Nothing was quite what it should be.
But, the marriage of the two families brought an end to that. The strength and power of one, combined with the ancient knowledge and wisdom of the other, under the protection of the restored Amethyst Song spread joy throughout the land. In their sons, the people placed great hope that this golden age would continue.”
Looking around the room, Hector saw dozens of eyes trained on him in rapt attention. His words had had the effect of soothing their fears. He smiled, and continued his tale.
“Continue it did. When Theodore died the country went into mourning, but not for long. Queen Evelynne still remained, and their son, Frederick by then a handsome and intelligent man in his mid-30’s was a favourite with everyone. At his coronation, a glittering affair and was marked by a month long celebration, he was presented with the Amethyst Song. It is said that when it was placed on his chest, it sang; the sweetest, most joyous song anyone has ever heard. The song reverberated throughout the land, echoing from every tree and every stone. His own wife, a distant cousin on the Langston side was a stunningly, beautiful woman of such grace that the people fell in love with her immediately.
His brothers too, had grown into accomplished men. Gordon was a revered general in the Royal Guard, and had shown himself to be a master tactician, living up to his Harrington heritage. But, it was the middle brother, Alistair that had shown himself to be truly gifted.
From the moment he was born, it was clear that Alastair was intelligent. His understanding of complex ideas and concepts was a wonder. As he grew, his natural flare, especially for mathematical and scientific principles, plus an inclination toward creativity meant that he would become one of the most prolific inventors of our time. You would be hard pressed to find a gadget or a gizmo that we use today, that didn’t originate in his superior mind.
He was also blessed with extraordinary charisma and the ability to turn his creations into money making ventures. He established the Harrington-Langston Corporation which quickly became the most profitable and and most influential enterprise in the world.”
He paused for effect. He had always been a gifted storyteller, and he was in his element here. He hadn’t had so much fun in ages.
“It seems however, that despite his brilliance, and despite all his achievements and material wealth, his hunger for power and glory could never be sated.
A year or two following Frederick’s coronation, it was announced that his wife, Clarissa was pregnant. The people rejoiced. At least, for awhile.
Shortly after the announcement, rumours of discontent began to circulate. At first it was only small things. People were complaining about the pavements not being swept enough, or the water in the pipes not being cold enough. But then, it was that taxes were too high and that the roads between the main cities were not maintained properly. Squabbles between neighbours became outright feuds. In cities and towns up and down the land public meetings started being held. The mood of the people was not good. Finally, it began to circulate that the source of the trouble was, King Frederick and his wife. No one is sure where this last came from, but it grew.
Before long, people were marching in the streets. The protests started peacefully, but grew more violent over time.
Then came a night roughly eighteen years ago. The long awaited event had arrived. Frederick and Clarissa’ child was born. A beautiful, raven haired daughter. While the dark hair marked her as a Harrington, everything else about her was pure Langston. Anyone who saw her, knew immediately that she was special, and not just because she would be Queen one day.
However, Frederick and Clarissa’s joy was short lived. Only hours after her birth, a rumbling could be heard outside the palace grounds. Frederick looked out the window of his wife’s birthing suite and saw the palace was surrounded by throngs of angry people, wielding all kinds of weapons. They were waving placards and shouting. They had come for him, and his family.
His immediate thought was for his daughter, if nothing else, she must be protected. He called for the queen’s most trusted maidservant. A good woman who had come with Clarissa when she was married; they had grown up together in a part of the world long associated with the Langston family. When she came, he handed her the tightly wrapped bundle that was his daughter and the amulet. We instructed her to run, to the place she and the Queen called home and to keep them both safe. If all went well, he would come and get them. If not…”
He stopped again. But this time, there was only sadness in his expression. The fun part was over. He turned to Beatrice.
“I think it’s your turn to take over the story.”
She simply nodded, sighed and began.
“She was the most beautiful baby girl I had ever seen…”