The King

It was a cold morning of December and black clouds hovered in the sky, the threat of a storm coming.

The king hadn’t slept all night. Instead, he stared out of the window for the whole night with empty eyes, as if waiting for something that would most likely never come.

His eyes moved to the sky and recognised the threat of a furious storm coming. He had been a peasant, a farmer, most of his life, always looking to the sky and praying to the gods for good weather to come.

“Days long gone…” he said to himself but there was no one to hear him.

Turning his back to the window, as if the morning had shed light to a view he didn’t want to see, he walked away to the darkness in the centre of his hall.

Silence filled the air, a heavy silence that posed no threat but there was a weight to it, as if the silence knew the burden he carried in his heart.

His eyes moved all around the hall. The big tapestries on the wall, the swords and axes, the jewels and the paintings, all the gold and wealth overwhelmed him once again.

His eyes turned to the throne that lay high in the room where the light gave way to shadows, as the memories hit him again.

The time when Koldar had ruled the lands, when hope was nowhere to be seen, when fire and destruction were the everyday bread.

The days when he stood against that evil, against the doom, and people followed him with sudden hope in their eyes.

The days when he had risen as a warlord and had led armies.

The days when he was respected, when he had become a hero, when he had led the war of the peasants against the corrupt masters.

“…and now, what have I become?” he whispered softly as he flopped on the throne, not daring to break the silence surrounding, afraid somebody could hear his words.

(fragment of The Dark Throne, believed to be based on Artanor nar Bruem, King of Galador; writer unknown)