Eritan’s throne room was much larger than any of his audience chambers, even the one used just that morning for his meeting with Selonius and the other priests. This was more of a hall, with towering obsidian columns lining it, reaching to the vaulted ceiling above. Noble men and women clustered along the sides and around the columns, bumping elbows with high-ranking military men and priests in robes of blue and white and black. Their whirlwind of colors made a contrast against the stark black tiles of the floor and the black iron ornamentation along the walls. Even the tapestries were mostly black.
Eritan himself wore voluminous black robes, with wide, stiff shoulders to give him a more intimidating outline against the throne. He was used to the intricate carvings on the marble of his seat, the flames burning stoic and steady and white above his head. He could grant the priests that much, at least. Their decorations for his throne did lend a nice effect and put his features in shadows. While much of the hall was lit by flames hanging high in the air along the columns, the dais upon which sat his throne was mostly kept dark, with the exception of the flames above and behind his head. Eritan liked the setup. Continue reading
Eritan tried to relax. It should have been easy, closed away in his private library as he was, reclining in a pillowed chair with his favorite history in hand. The Sword and the Flame, it read in silvery letters on the front: one of the most thorough accounts of the rise of the Letaalese Empire. Covered was everything from Pirinaan’s rise in the north, to the first battles against the Heartan overlords, to the first Emperor Eritan’s political maneuverings. Eritan liked those last the most, of course. His namesake had been a splendid ruler and a better politician; he himself did everything he could to emulate that first emperor of Letaal.
But things just weren’t cooperating. While Eritan the First had drawn allies to his side and conquered recalcitrant territories with the aid of Pirinaan’s priests, Eritan the Third was finding that process to be much more difficult, even with the expanded resources of an entire empire, rather than the limited power of Jinda. Instead of fighting against pliable peoples like those in Heart and Tuul and Icefall, he was stuck with the intractable Tin and the wild Roeteli. And of course the Nera Nashan to the north, who were now attacking any Letaalese who dared ride north from Barrier.Continue reading
The hallway stretching before Eritan of Near Jinda, Anointed Protector of the Flame, Emperor of Letaal, was a spray of color. Very few men knew that it existed, or rather, knew that it was anything like it truly was. The colors of nearly every flame known to Pirinism were present, in one way or another. The floor tiles twisted in a pattern of blue and white, befitting the hottest part of any flame; reds and yellows and oranges adorned every tapestry and every cornice. There was no black, which would have stunned any commoner.
Eritan smiled to himself, grim, and held that thought. No black. Not even those blasted black-robed priests were allowed in these hallowed halls. Only those he invited personally could tread upon these floors. And the Dragon Guard, of course, but he hardly noticed those stalwarts anymore. Two strode behind him, as usual, but he did not need to look at them to know how they would look. Stoic, to a man, the Dragon Guard held his life close and would die on a whim. They were the best in the Empire.