Winter had settled in, and the air was sharp as a battle-axe, yet, in the main hall of First Fly, the fortress of House Rixucavelet, Kings of the Northern Terr, it was warm and cosy. The music was filling the air, the violins sang next to the lyres, and a young woman was singing in a high pitch voice; she was surely telling stories of love, war or adventure, but they were in the old tongue of the northerners, and Visarmin of house Solitude did not understand a word. The song was over and another immediately started, the lyre started a war, then the violins charge, and the main hall turned into a battlefield of excited men-at-dance. Visarmin saw them all, their smiles, their joy, how they danced to victory. He felt a sudden wrath, it felt like yesterday when he was a prince, when his father was alive and he was destined to rule his kingdom, but now, a mere duke, he was sitting at his new liege table, obligated to attend the most anticipated holiday of the Cycle, the Wedding of life, far from his home. The Wedding of Life celebrated the day Mother Cosmos married the Xul, and gave birth to his three daughters the moons, giving the gift of life to the lands of Grondum. << It is different from home >> He thought << they dance we pray. >> But then she saw a dancer he recognized, and it seemed that was the happiest of all.
— Mother is happy — said his sister, Lumyniva , who was sitting next to him, her hand supporting her chin, with a long face more of boredom than of anger; her hair, with the same color of a young tree in spring, fell like a waterfall on the table — you could see it in the way she dances and laughs. Father never danced with her, why would he? He was always playing at war with his own vassals. And then he bended the knee, and then he died —. It was true, their father was not a good king, Visarmin never felt fear about admitting that, he constantly revoked titles and castles, offended countless knights in his own court, and raised taxes wherever he fell like it; even deprived Visarmir of his right to rule Vassar Gauntlet as his heir. The Rixucavelets of the Northern Pass took that advantage and declare themselves Kings of all Northern Terr, in the end, only his counts and barons stood beside his father, and, of course, it was not enough. —And we are feasting at his castle, in this so important day, we should be at home, like we have always done. He is not our king, we should return home and call the few bannermen we have left, and rebel. — Answered his younger brother Guntir, more boy than man, with short wooden hair and clean baby face. — Is that so? — growled Visarmin, you did not seem a rebel to me when our no king knighted you, I remember how you were blowing your own trumpet with the ladies of the court later that day —. His baby brother’s silence was all the answer Duke Solitude needed. He continued to stare at the most shinning dancer there was, his mother. And dancing with her, was his new husband, a tall Northman, grey of hair, armed with a crown. His new father, his new liege.
He danced like he was a young warrior; his happiness was only comparable with that of his mother. Both of them had already heirs, both of them felt young. And his mother was young, she married Visarmin’s father when she was eighteen cycles; the daughter of a count, who forged the only lasting friendship house Solitude had with house Greengold. His liege’s smile was big enough to be seen through his beard, and his voice was strong as war horns. When the song was over, he applauded and was imitated by everyone else. The musicians made a reverence, and played another song, the dance continued but more dancers appeared. A pitiful looking young girl smile at direction of Visarmir's place at the table. His brother stood up, and went to the encounter of his youth, and stupidity. — But moments ago, he was talking of treason — said his sister with a vile smile on her pale face. Yet, almost immediately, a young knight stood in front of them, it was the King’s nephew, Ser Vultir Rixucavelet. He was wearing fine clothes with no steel on them, then he offered his hand to Lumyniva and she did not seem to think about it, just took the knight’s hand and joined the battle.
Being left all alone, Visarmir thought that it was a good time to eat. The second difference from how he and his family had celebrated the Wedding of Life for generations was the quantity of food. Which began at the corner of the long table, all through the end of it. Visarmir only gave a glance of the food he had in front of him; roasted duck coated with great oranges, boar with a honey glaze on top, fresh salmon with herbs that glistened when light touched it, hot meat pies that seemed to have no end, plates of fresh vegetables and fruits and loads of recently baked bread loafs. Visarmir decided to taste the boar, it was sweet and crispy on the outside and red and bloody on the inside. It melted like butter inside the duke’s mouth and he washed it down with a cool ale, which as well, there was in abundance. As he chewed up his food, started to look at the storm of banners decorating the hall. They were organized according to the rank of its bearer: at the bottom those of the barons and landed knights, then the counts, followed by the dukes, and on top, the king´s banner: An or crowned two-headed Terrikiria with its wings open, on a purpure field. And right below it, the blazon of House Solitude: an argent mounted knight on a field of gules.
Before he had time to analyze the rest of the banners, a thunder of a voice smashed his senses, it was his king. — Come on son! — He shouted, his beard dancing at the compass of his lips. — Do not leave your family behind, come and dance with us! —. It was a sensible situation, if Visarmir rejected the invitation in front of the other vassals, could be a grievous offense. But before he had time to think about it, Aynimar Rixucavelet, king of Northern Terr, grabbed duke Visarmir Solitude by the arm and took him by force into the vanguard of the field of dance. He started to spin with the rhythm, holding hands with the king, yet he was not pleased. When it was time to change partner, Visarmir was planning of return to his table and offend the king, it was enough, did not matter to him. But then he saw a big smile, seasoned with tears of joy, and a pair of blue eyes full of love; his mother started dancing with him, she looked younger, gorgeous. And he spun, jumped and laughed. Then he was back to the king, then his mother; then his sister and her consort joined, then his little brother with his young love, then the king's family, and then he held a pair of tiny hands. It was the King’s daughter and heir, Mel Rixucavelet; a small lady in a white big dress with a wooden lance with no point tied to her back, her eyes were big as the moons and shined silver like polished steel. She had the biggest, most beautiful smile Duke Solitude had ever seen, and it was warm; and like the lance she had, her smile broke through Visarmir armour of bad feelings. — Sir Knight, Sir Knight— she shouted, her voice full of excitement with tinctures of command. — Dance with me more! — She ordered, and the Duke obeyed. He took the little princess under her armpits, and lift her above his head and started dancing and spinning. Her laugh was indeed loud and full of joy. When the song ended, she applauded like her father, with that conqueror’s smile of her, hold in the arms of her vassal, the Duke of Solace, Visarmir Solitude.
His king approached him and put his royal hand on Visarmir’s shoulder and smile. — Come, your Grace, let’s natter —. He said. With the princess safe on the floor, and after she went running to play and laugh, the king surrounded Visarmir with his arm, and both of them walked to a place at the table when the music was not a constant ram in the ears. He smelled like ale and steel, and salt. They sat in front of a big, pink smoked ham with crushed nuts on top, king Aynimar cut it with his knife and served a portion to Visarmir, then he poured a couple of tankards of ale and they talked. And the hours passed with the stars moving with them. They talked about war and peace, about rule and obey, about justice and battle. The king was true. He was sincerely concerned about his people, and did not play innocence; he knew he took advantage of a weakened kingdom, yet he also praised its history, landscape and right to rule, things that Visarmir did not expect to hear. Who was this man? Is this...a king? — It seemed it is time — The king said and stood up, Visarmir stood as well and look how his liege announced with his particular war horn voice. — Friends, it is time! Our Gracious Mother gave us life on this day, she gave us valor to break our ancient chains; and with his husband the Xul that every day shines in the sky, and her daughters the moons which fills us with light in our darkest nights, guides us with strength and wisdom throughout our lives —. — Blessed she is, out Mother of Stars! — replied the gathered lords and ladies. And everyone got out the hall to watch the All-Mother's mantle of stars that was the night sky.
A Bright Priest was in front of everyone, and started to pray. That was another big difference, in his home, Visarmir and his family prayed inside a church. But it made more sense to him what the northerners do, all people gathered under their Mother's Holy Body.
He looked at the sky, thousands of stars looking down at him, and the three magnificent moons: Lunnagardn, the biggest, with his silver and scared body; Nellathosaria, red as a forge, the brightest; Ulmigardian, shining blue and small. He closed his eyes and started to pray. <<Mother, I thank you for my family, I thank you for your stars what always guide me, I thank you for my health. I ask you for courage; I ask you for my brothers, take good care of them; I ask you for my earthly mother, may she be happy until you call her back; I ask you for my father, may he rest and find peace between your glory. He opened his eyes and look at his side, the king was praying as well. Visarmir closed his eyes again. <<I ask you for my liege and his family, may long he reign>>. The Duke of Solace looked at Mother Cosmos, the night sky, and smiled. — Now the gifts! — Shouted the king, and all the children answered to his call, this was at least, the same gracious event as his home, the gifts of our Mother Past, to the enjoyment of the children of tomorrow. <<This is not that bad>> he thought.
Terrikiria. A flying feathered predatorial creature of days of old. It has a long mouth full of fangs and its body covered in a thick cover of feathers. Used to live in the highest mountains of the Northern Terr. House Rixucavelet added a second head in their blazon to represent the foundation of the lineage by the Brother Kings.