In the dying candlelight, Arialla’s quill sped across the parchment, the green ink drying as letters flowed across the page like an ocean upon sand. The delicate hand of the empress reached for a second sheet from her desk, and continued to write.
With all that has happened, I have come to believe several things about our royal family. After the scroll bearing the legend came into my hands, and my son’s eyes changed to the colors of Zeah, I understand now why I gave him his name. By Jenh’s divinity, he has been chosen to be the hero of legend. To have pulled me from the grip of Métius and healed my wounds, he must be. And yet, to have the hero among us, there must be a dangerous evil indeed.
Dearest Mearrk’hal, I believe that Z’Lé is that evil, and for that I am terribly afraid. The nobles were right to have doubted my choosing him as my beloved so many years ago. After Zarrek was born, and the temple to Métius built, he became disposed to anger, demanding what he would of me as well as the kingdom. His requests for taxes and tributes leave my people poor and hungry; I fear that many are becoming ill. He began sending his growing army into our neighboring kingdoms on orders of conquest months ago. Wherever you are, I am certain that you have heard of that much. More than that,Z’Lé has also become very abusive towards me; I cannot abide it much longer.
My old friend, the kingdom will surely fall if we do not stop Z’Lé soon! He has changed our realm into a land of suffering that must not be. If he is the return of the legendary evil, servant of Métius, we must help Loracaz to vanquish him. Towards that end, I ask for your help. Whatever assistance you can offer to us would be a great honor. I invite you into the palace, Mearrk’hal, and look forward to seeing you soon, and safe.
Jenh’s blessings be upon you,
Empress Arialla Antraius of Onsira
She set the virid quill aside, and waited only long enough for the ink to dry before folding the letter. The messenger stood patiently by the window as she melted some wax, a marbling of green and yellow, onto the edge of the parchment and pressed her seal into it. Arialla sighed as she stood, praying that they could find him quickly.
“It is ready,” she stated The messenger turned to her as she spoke. “My thanks to you for coming. Our citizens fear Z’Lé’s wrath more than anything else; it is dangerous to pass even through the gates.”
“Any messenger would risk the dungeons in order to help you, dear Empress.”
She nodded sadly, but also gratefully, as she handed him the paper. “This letter is for Mearrk’hal, last of the Shyal’In. It must reach him quickly, for we need his help.”
He took it, tucking into safely into his vest. “Onsira has ventured ever downwards since Z’Lé’s ascension to the throne. Many other kingdoms are dismayed at what harm you are under, beloved empress.”