THE GIFT
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Meldrick the Elder
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Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:31 pm



Loriel had finished reading the notice to Meldrick, who sat there for a moment, smiling as he had enjoyed hearing the tinkling voice of his little faerie friend, "So it seems that the Kingdom has changed hands and the new Queen and Royal Consort will be hosting a Coronation Ball. . ." He paused a moment closing his eyes as Loriel landed on his shoulder.

"Aye, my Lord Meldrick, twould seem that it shall be a grand affair." Loriel smiled as Meldrick nodded.

After a little while, Meldrick stood, "Time to visit an old friend, little one." He reached for his rod and Loriel hovered at his side.

As he walked the back alleyways of Edingtol, Meldrick hummed an old sea chanty about a drunken sailor. Loriel tittered a bit and softly sang the words and Meldrick smiled and joined in ". .Earlie in the mornin'. ."

The little faerie knew who Meldrick was going to see. . . the song said it all. She knew that The Smuggler and he had been friends for a very long time. . .since they were kids.

Meldrick smiled as he stopped outside the door of his friend's shop and entered quietly.

The Smuggler looked up as they entered, "Ah, Mellie, me olde friend, tis good to be a-seein' ye and surely what might be a-bringin' ye out this fine evenin'?"

Meldrick smiled, "Ja. . ." he caught himself, The Smuggler preferred that no one know his name, "Sorry my old friend, a slip of the tongue. . .have you 'seen' the news?"

The Smuggler chuckled, "It be alright, olde friend, and yes I have. . .looks like I may be a-needin' to come up with some pretty things fer the ball, don't ye think?"

Meldrick nodded, "Yes, I think your shop will be pretty busy with those who will want your best finery." He paused a moment, "Old friend, I have come for my package."

Loriel's ears perked up as she had not known that The Smuggler was holding anything for Meldrick. The Smuggler lifted his head, "Be ye sure, Laddie? Thair already be two previous rulers of these faire lands and ye did not be a-givin' it to them."

The old Elf chuckled at the 'laddie' comment, "I know, old friend, I know. . .but this time it's different. I know the new Queen."

Meldrick sat and Loriel landed and sat cross-legged on the counter as The Smuggler nodded and moved into the darkest corner of the shop. He looked about to make sure that no one else was about, then removed a brick from the wall and reached in; smiling as his hand wrapped around the package his friend had given him for safe keeping. . .a treasure that only few had known even existed. . .a relic from a Saint.

The Smuggler stood up and returned to his friend's side and sat the package on the counter, gently unwrapping the silk covering to expose a finely carved and highly polished ebony box. It was inlaid with nacre figurines and the clasp and hinges appeared to have been made of a golden material that Loriel had not ever seen before.

She looked from The Smuggler to Meldrick and then back at the box, whispering she asked "My Lord Meldrick, what is it?"

Meldrick reached out and lightly touched the box and smiled, "Something wondrous, little one. Would you like to see it?"

She smiled and moved closer to the box. "Oh yes, my Lord." He smiled again and gently opened the lid. Loriel's eyes widened at what she saw, the box was lined with red velvet and what lay on the velvet glowed brightly. A tear came to her eye "My Lord, it is sooo beautiful. . ."

Meldrick smiled as he closed the lid and wrapped the box in the silk again; then placed it in his leather bag, "It is a gift for the Queen and we shall give it to her at the ball."

He reached out his hand and The Smuggler took it and shook it, "Take care, Laddie, I jest might be a-seein' ye at that fancy ball." He chuckled and watched as his friend and the little faerie left his shop and started singing to himself an old sea chanty ". . .What do ye do with a drunken sailor. . ."

---------------

The night of the Coronation Ball had come at last and Meldrick dressed himself in his finest frock. Loriel fussed and flitted about, making sure his cravat was tied properly and that his buttons were properly polished. He smiled at all her attentions.

He smiled again, as he picked up his package and he and Loriel headed out to join the festivities.

There was gaiety in the streets as the people seemed to be enjoying a renewed spirit. Meldrick remembered the previous time that the people had felt this way and the disappointment as they saw their hopes dashed in a sea of unfulfilled promises and neglect. He knew that the kingdom was in very good hands this time.

As they entered the ballroom, Loriel flew to where the Queen was greeting her subjects, her friends. She hovered patiently until Queen Blazestorm noticed her.

"Loriel, is it?" The Queen smiled for she knew that Loriel was Meldrick's companion and that the old Elf must be near, but she had not seem him since she and her Royal Consort took the reins of Zantarni.

"Aye, yer Majesty, it is." She looked back to where Meldrick was standing. "Yer Majesty, my Lord Meldrick hast a gift fer ye. . .something very special. Can you break away from the receivin' line and meet with him?"

She smiled wondering what was so special that Meldrick wanted to meet with her alone, "Of course, Loriel, of course." Queen Blazestorm reached out her hand to her husband, "Zukyun, excuse me for a moment, my Love."

He smiled, "Of course, my Love." She smiled and kissed his cheek, then turned to go with Loriel.

Loriel tittered, "If I may be so bold, yer Majesty, but he seems to be enjoying himself."

The Queen laughed, "Yes, he does, doesn't he?"

Meldrick sensed his friend's arrival and knelt before her. Queen Blazestorm reached out her hand and put it on his shoulder. "That isn't necessary, my old friend."

He smiled and bowed his head, "I know my lady. . .er. . your Majesty." Removing the silk covering from the gift, he handed the highly polished ebony box to the Queen.

"Meldrick, the box alone is so beautiful, what wondrous gift could such a magnificent package hold?" Her hand moved to the latch and Meldrick reached and put his hand on hers.

He smiled, not realizing that their conversation was drawing a crowd, "Your Majesty what is within, is a relic. . .something special and so very precious." Meldrick stood and placed his other hand on the ebony box, the gold signet ring on his left hand (a gift from the King of the Orcs, Mordrille) shown brightly against the dark beauty of the box.

"Shortly after my arrival in Edingtol, I was visited by an old friend, Yorick. He came to me in a vision, telling me of the future of Zantarni. Of a ruler who would come to these lands; who would be of the people and who would share their love for these lands as they do. He said that she would have much to do in order to bring Zantarni to the glory that it so richly deserves." He paused a moment and 'looked' deeply into her eyes.

"What is in here is a gift from Yorick, to that Ruler. . .to you, Lady Blaze. . ." He smiled, "It is a gift, that if you accept, is also a pledge. . .a pledge to do all that you can for Zantarni and its people." Meldrick removed his hands from the ebony box and knelt again.

The Queen slowly opened the box, seeing the golden glow from within as she did. The golden item lay in stark contrast against the red velvet lining. She gasped audibly as she realized what it was she was looking at, almost dropping the box.

Meldrick reached out to steady the box as Queen Blazestorm gently removed the golden object. . . a feather from St. Yorick's own wings. . . and placed it to her heart.

"Oh Meldrick, never would I have expected so wondrous a gift." a tear glistened in the corner of her eye as she lifted the feather for all to see.

The room got very quiet as all eyes turned to their new Queen and to the object she held in her hand. "I solemnly pledge to do all I can to bring Zantarni and its people to the glory they so rightfully deserve. I know that the road ahead will be difficult, but with the help of Zukyun and all of you, the future of Zantarni shines brightly."

Zukyun moved to take his Queen in his arms as she continued to hold St. Yorick's feather high.

Loriel flitted to Meldrick and kissed his cheek and giggled softly, "My Lord, golden feathers are falling from the sky."

Meldrick smiled as he stood, "I know, little one, Yorick told me that he would give a feather to all present this week, so that all may keep this pledge to bring Zantarni to the future it so richly deserves."

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Last edited by Meldrick the Elder on Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:44 pm
Sir Meldrick, you are the only one who could so vividly paint images with words. I thank you for creating and sharing this written account of an important turning point in Zan's history! Heart
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Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:56 pm
*sniffle* Rav likes the story...its so beautiful! *smiles at feathers falling* ^.^
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Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:01 pm
*catches a single shimmery golden feather in her hand and smiles thoughtfully as she listens to the wise elven elder speak of a time surely to be passed down to the generations to come*

That was quite wonderful... Thank you for sharing with us ^ ^

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Riley
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Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:07 pm
That was wonderful!
You have a way with words :3
-dances in the falling feathers-
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Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:35 am
*stares in awe at all of the falling feathers*

What a joyus occasion. A new begining for Zantarni, and brillantly beautiful reminders for us all. Thank you for sharing this tale with us all.

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Celestrya
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Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:06 am
*admires all the falling feathers*

What a beautiful gift to commemorate this wonderful occasion!
bohemian
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Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:17 am
Bo can't read it again. It'll make Bo cry again. Embarassed *scampers off to hide somewhere else*
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Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:38 pm
Really a heart-wrenching (In the best possible way - meaning, happy) beautiful story. I really liked how you presented it with all the anxiety, happiness, Wait and Astonishment. I really liked what yorick had said. the Queen can indeed make Zantarni prosper and the whole Zantarni's future is in her hands. Kudos to you. You really do have a way with words and I throughly enjoyed reading it.

Lipsa

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Amurita
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Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:28 pm
Oh wow, so this is how the feather came to us on Zantarni. It's very nice to have this momento from St. Yorick and the pledge of Queen Blazestorm that it represents.
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Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:45 pm
Your stories are always wonderful, Meldrick, but this one is truly special. I'm yet another one who got teary-eyed at this.

Something that just struck me is how normally, a setting like this would appear when the story was over to show everyone got their happy ending. Here, however? This is just the end of the prologue. We had already begun to see the changes before the coronation, which is more than what can be said about the past rulers. The feathers are signs of things to come.

Once the coronation ends, the story will properly start - this time with Queen Blaze and everyone else as the authors. And I for one am looking forward to see where it will lead us.

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Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:50 pm
Ah! So that is why I found a feather floating towards me out of the blue. Shocked I had no idea. I shall treasure the item much. Love Thank you for telling us your beautiful story.
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Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:31 am
*smiling as a tear slides down her face*
I love your stories so meldrick, you are by far one of the wisest elders i know. Huzzah for the coronation!!!
*catches a feather floating by* Squeee!! *scampers off in an impish manner*

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Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:04 pm
"lovely story, my lord!"she said.
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Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:56 pm
I'm glad I wasn't the only one tearing up over this story... XD It was beautifully written Meldrick, thank you for sharing that with us... Very Happy
After reading that I feel like my feather is much more special!!!

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