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Nov 13 2017

The Throne By TeraS

It’s been some time since I’ve written something for a Monday here on the Tale. There’s just been a lot of things going on, leaving little time to actually write … something. There are a lot of books to review was well, literally months’ worth, that I need to accomplish soon before that gets well out of hand … if it isn’t already. Among all of these things that have been, very recently something happened which gave rise to today’s story. In the real world, my chair broke, and I needed to find a new one. It’s the chair that I’ve had for a very long time now, one that’s been the place from which so many of the tales of the Realm were written. Call this a reflection upon …

 

The Throne
By TeraS

 

There are many symbols to be found in the Realm, if one is willing to look for them. Some of them are quite obvious, cannot be ignored, for they reflect some aspect of the more formal things that such worlds do have. The palace, for example, to some is known as the seat of power. The spires reach for the clouds above, while the walls are study to hold that which resides within from harm. It is a place of formality, with little space for informal things.

It is, perhaps, that lack of the informal that bothered Tera from the first moment she set her tail within the walls. It wasn’t so much that there was pomp and ceremony, though that did bother her sense of decorum. She could live with that, even if the corsets that formality demanded she wear did cause her tail to itch in the most bothersome of ways. Nor was the sense of history something that took anything away from Tera’s thirst for knowledge, her hunger to understand how things were, the why and way of things. Even the bureaucracy—though it was a pain in the tail at times—didn’t take away from the bemused smile that came when Tera read, or was told, of some rule or proclamation from the past that seemed completely out of place.

When Tera ascended to being the Queen of the Realm, there were so many things that needed to be done. The bureaucracy tugged this way, the need for paying tribute to history pulled that way, while the many ceremonial events that demanded her attention and participation left her spinning. It was all, though she never admitted it, a drain.

The third day of the third month of her new reign found Tera resting, if it could be called that, in the Gardens of the Palace. She’d taken the opportunity, when her advisors had been occupied, her pages distracted, and, if she was honest, no one left to bother her after so many weeks of minutia, and it was something she dearly needed.

She’d left at the point when her advisors had begun to express the need for her to hold court. It had been too long, they advised. She needed to show her power, to express her control over the Realm. Now, this was before she’d met her Eternal, long before Keith had stood with Tera against the tide that pressed upon her. She was alone, staring off into space and time, wondering about all of the things that had to be and if they actually needed to be.

The sound of footsteps on the cobblestone path to her little oasis revealed that her escape had been noted and someone had found her. “I wondered where our Queen had disappeared to.”

The shaking of Tera’s mane wasn’t in frustration, not by any means, and the light smile that caressed her lips added a bit of needed joy to her reply: “Are you going to spank me, Uncle, for being a bad girl?” Looking up, the young Queen found herself in the presence of an elderly red tail with the whitest hair she’d ever seen on any of the incubi.

That in itself didn’t surprise her, for what did was the cup of tea that her uncle handed her. “No, that would be unseemly wouldn’t it?”

She didn’t reply, though sipping tea and smiling a bemused smile wasn’t the easiest of things to do. Instead, she observed him, first advisor to the Queen, as he looked over the hedges and examined them. He did have a green thumb, though it was more of a hobby these days than in the past. However, Tera remembered when she was a child, rushing through the Gardens as they just had started to come to be, and encountering her uncle working on those hedges. She marveled at how time had transformed the little bushes he tended to into the shoulder high walls of green that encircled this little oasis she’d come to love, and even more now that she needed to carve out a place away from the things all about her.

Plucking an errant leaf that was marring the precise manicured tops of the hedges, Uncle mused: “I noted that you made yourself scarce when talk turned to your throne.”

Cupping her hands around the warm tea, Tera sighed: “Uncle … I just … don’t feel like I should move mom and dad’s place. It feels … wrong. This entire thing just feels completely wrong.”

He didn’t argue the point. Still, his reply caused her to pause: “My dear niece, my young niece: you aren’t supposed to feel right about this. Our dear, young Queen is, however, supposed to show her subjects that there is nothing to fear.”

“There isn’t.”

“I know that, as you do. But there are those that wonder about you, that aren’t sure that you are up to the task ahead.”

He wasn’t surprised when Tera’s eyes narrowed and her voice turned, if only slightly, hard: “Then let them come and see how ready I am.”

Turning towards the ebony-haired monarch, the wise one with white hair explained: “We’ve been through enough, you know. There’s no appetite for that sort of thing.”

“What difference does a throne make anyway? It’s a piece of furniture, made of wood or something else, covered in materials that make it sparkle. It’s not, at all, anything more.”

“Then, why is the old throne causing you so much pain?”

Her answer was to look into her tea cup and watch the ripples passing over the surface.

There was a second chair beside the one where Tera reclined, in which the other red tail in the conversation took his place. “The throne is a symbol. It reflects power; that is its purpose. It isn’t the actual chair itself, if you think about it. A throne is, at its core, the place where the Queen has taken her place and, if you think about it, any chair can be the throne, at any time.” Tapping his cane against the edge of the lounger that Tera rested upon, he seemed amused: “At this moment, that is your throne. When you are out in the Realm, or anywhere, anything can be the Queen of the Realm’s throne. No one is going to be following you around with one.”

She eyed him: “Don’t tempt me into having a score of incubi carry me around the palace like I was Cleopatra.”

Chuckling, her uncle replied: “Not a score; just a half dozen or so.” Seeing Her Majesty arch an eyebrow, he moved on quickly: “Cleo would lodge a complaint, though. That’s her style, not yours.”

Rolling her eyes, Tera took another sip of her tea: “And I wouldn’t, anyway; too much pomp and ceremony.”

He considered that before asking: “Tera … what is your favourite chair?”

Her answer didn’t take but a moment: “Oh that’s easy. It’s that old chair I have—the old worn out one that I’ve had for years. It’s a bit wobbly, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

“Do you know the history of that chair?”

“I … no; no I don’t. I found it in my bedroom when I was …”

“… very young. That chair, my dear niece, was originally used by your great-great-grandfather. When your mother and father reigned, it somehow came to be in your room.”

“Somehow?”

The bemused smile she saw was very familiar: “Well, you did need a chair and it went with that old desk you fell in love with.”

The tea cup found itself placed upon the table beside Tera as she wondered. “Tell me more, please, uncle.”

He considered her request before standing up and picking up the tea cup: “Long ago, before the Realm became so complicated, he ruled from that desk and chair. There was no Palace, no pomp or ceremony. There was work to do and it was the place that he felt most comfortable being. The chair became worn over time, the edges of the desk as well. Over time, of course, parts of the chair or the desk needed to be replaced by new pieces. In the same way, the Realm itself changed over time. Buildings came and went, places appeared and changed. Nothing remains static, dear niece; on that you can rely.”

She didn’t have much of a reply to his wisdom, seeing the point of it. Being the advisor, more so, her uncle, the advice given was always good and not to be ignored.

“He understood, as you do, that the Ruler is the Realm. It isn’t about the throne or what surrounds it. You are what the Realm becomes, in all ways. You need not proclaim from a gilded chair or force your will from a chair of iron. You do, however, need to know where your true seat of power is.”

Tilting her head to the left, she regarded her uncle: “The throne then, dear uncle, is wherever I happen to have my tail?”

Shaking his head, he turned and walked towards the Palace: “I can see you are learning to be diplomatic, my dear niece. Please try not to be so with all those that wish to help you … even if you can’t see it.”

In the Palace of the Realm, in the centre of power, there is a throne upon which a monarch reigns. It’s a bit wobbly, a bit worn, and it needs new parts from time to time. But it reflects the care in Her Majesty’s thoughts, the wisdom that she has learned. It speaks of her endless giving, open arms, and endless hope and desire for a better life for all.

Surrounding this throne are the trappings of her past, her joys of the present and her hopes for the future. It is a simple looking chair, something one would overlook otherwise. But regardless, of all of the places she is seen, it is the one place were she makes her dreams… true.

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