If you haven’t yet, please read the first letter I’ve sent to you. This will make a bit more sense afterward…
So it is, so it shall always be.
Make waves, I was told. A kingdom on the cliffs oversees the ocean and measures the waves with precision unlike any seen before it. Beneath the waves there lies many crowns, from kings long past. The royal tradition among our kingdom was to sink, to swim, to rule. To dive into the depths and emerge with a crown of your forefathers, to assume their duty and carry on their mission.
When I was just a boy, I was always so inspired. Told by my parents I was capable of greatness, and as I grew, I continued to be spoiled by those words from the lips of friends. Continually told in secret that I could do anything I wanted to do, to be anything I wanted to be. As I grew still, I started to wonder if those urgings by my peers were honest truths, and I began listening.
Years’ worth of my life, I listened to what others said. I consumed their words like it was nectar, sating my hunger for meaning. My youth came and went, solidifying around my heart like a shell of pride I held that strength in me until I became a man. The words I’d heard from my peers, the praise and complaints and all nestled deep within me.
Then came the day I was meant to fulfill my duty as a prince, to stand upon the cliff and leap, to find the crown of my forefathers. To take up the mantle of the kings who’d come before me.
I stood upon the rocky edges of my kingdom and watched the waves crash below, knowing that they paled in size to the rest of the ocean, I waited until I couldn’t anymore, excitement filling my soul and I leapt.
As I dove into the sea, I began to reminisce on everything I had been told, the joy of my youth hardened around me, promising me greatness simply for existing. I remembered the way I had been promised greatness, and it made me wish others had been promised the same.
The duty of a king is to lead their people, correct? I believed so, and I adhered to that belief for much of my short first reign. I emerged from the sea with a crown in hand, that of my grandfather. It was a simple crown he wore, a legacy built on promises and hard work. A crown made from grains and duty. Worn with love unlike any I had seen before. When I threw myself upon the deep shores below my home, I laid there in sublime joy for days, clutching my chosen duty from the depths below.
The journey back to my kingdom was one of suffering and struggle. The manner of royalty I had chosen, you see, was one of dedication and selflessness. A King for the public I had decided to be. I could have gone below and taken a crown from another forefather. One who was much more selfish, or greedy, a crown that would have offered me a certain simplicity to my rule. But I craved something more.
I wanted to be a king who would be remembered as meaningful. I wanted to be one who had something to offer his people. I wanted to be a king, like my grandfather.
But as I climbed, I came to face trials unlike any I had seen before. As all princes eventually do, I came face to face with the Bannermen. A trite group who rested just beyond the royal graveyard. A group who fought tirelessly to dethrone the kingdom from the inside. You see, they have existed as long as the kingship has. Their purpose intertwined with my own, to upset and defile the kingdom that I was meant to lead. Their tactics specialized over their years in opposition to the kingdom that had been built before me.
I met first with the Bannerman of Pride. A sinister creature, barely human. His skin rife with oozing sores that he popped and clawed at, leaving infection across the land as he followed me, telling me of all the greatness I had thus accomplished. Repeating the words of my mother and my friends, but twisting their meaning so. His mottled hair swept by the wind as I rested for the evening after a particularly difficult climb, he sat beside me and I had answered him that day for the first time.
“What else could you become? What else could you do? That crown was worn by many great men who offered much. Their stories, their time, their love was given freely to all. But what more could you add to the legacy of that crown before you throw it back into the sea?”
He asked me as if I had an answer prepared for him. When I fumbled over my words and pondered his thought, he spoke for me.
“You could strive to teach. Be a teacher as well as a story teller and a friend, be a King nefarious in your desire to spread love.”
But I had no intention of being nefarious with my love. I wanted to love my kingdom and my people honestly. I wanted to find myself at the end of my life upon a pile of tales that my kingdom could witness until the world was ground to dust.
I took the words of the First Bannerman with me as I went forward, knowing that I couldn’t just perform the duties that were assigned to me. I must take the crown and make the Kingship my own, I must do more, do better.
After all, I had been told my whole life that I was destined for greatness.
I had continued my journey home, climbing the steep cliffs below the kingdom and ever considering what else I could do, when I met the Bannerman of Inspiration…
Thank you for spending some time reading this, It means the world to me. I’ve been struggling getting content out the past couple days due to my new job, It’s kept me mad busy on the weekends, but I’ll get everything out to you asap. I promise. ❤
Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.
Categories: Umbral Dawning