It was an early morning. For most citizens of the kingdom it was a deep night. No sound. No wind. The kingdom was peaceful and quiet. Only three glistening moons cast a soft light on the surroundings.
High up in a northern tower, the royal chambers, fully furnished in lavish blue, white and gold, her majesty had a sleepless night yet again. All her thoughts were filled with strange and nervous excitement. She blamed it all on the upcoming ceremony.
Her advisors have been trying to calm her down for days now. “You don’t look yourself, your majesty!” This exclamation she has been hearing since the preparations have started. It made her more annoyed than relaxed. The real reason was hidden from the usual people but not from the Queen herself. She knew about the prophecy. She knew what was at stake. She’s been waiting for this night since her coronation day. The Dark Queen of Sawwad, the Last Crowned Descendant of the Dragon Lands, her royal majesty Azimut, was afraid of the day that has almost come …
And she couldn’t do anything about it.
“You understand that this is inevitable: we must follow tradition! The dragon slayer must be named at the rise of the coinciding 3 full moons,” once again, the head of the Queen’s Council, Adnan Zulquarnain, tried to persuade her — a tall, chubby, large man who was right there by the Queen’s side from the start of her reign. “This coinciding of the moons only occurs once every 111 years,” he insisted, “we must follow traditions set forth by our elders.”
“I’m tired of hearing about traditions! We do not know a thing of what happened to those elected before. The only thing we know is our obligation to send another gifted and bright young man or woman to their certain death! And for what? For the unwarranted fame and power?” said the queen impatiently.
“Centuries ago, Sawwad truly needed this, but now we are indeed a great power, no one threatens us. Why do we still doom someone to death?” Zulquarnain nodded in a calming gesture of understanding and reverted the conversation gently towards the kingdom’s daily affairs. The queen remained silent, not able to admit even to her right hand that the main reason behind her tormented state of mind was her daughter — Nazrul.
Nazrul’s coming-of-age had secured her a spot amongst her peers in the Warrior Initiation ceremony; the possibility of her daughter’s selection as the chosen one by the moon spirits was not lost on the queen. This, Azimut thought, was exactly what the drifter had warned her about long ago …