But For This Day
But For This Day
In the wake of the Final War, amid the chaos of Nations and Houses falling and fallen, a new treaty had been written. Penned in the city that would once more be capital, the second Treaty of Thronehold reunited the five disparate nations beneath a sole banner: the United Nations of Galifar.
The new nation struggled, built upon pieces broken by the violence of two terrible wars. But perhaps broken was the only way the proud nations would come together again, each desperate in their need for a strength which none possessed alone any longer.
It had likely been Ebony's idea to position Iliana as the newest leader to hold Galifar's ancient throne. The charismatic warrior had emerged from the war a hero, strong, decisive and merciful. Her faith had become something legendary: it was said that a paladin of her grace and power hadn't been seen since Tira Miron.
Iliana didn't care for the comparison; it felt dishonest. Miron had become the Flame, while Iliana had done little more than any skilled captain could have managed in a bad war. Even so, the unimaginable came to pass, and she ascended to the throne. No one called her Quicke, anymore. They called her the Lightbringer.
Dressed in somber colours, Iliana walked arm-in-arm with Ebony through the core of Fairhaven. In all the Final War there had been only a handful of strikes directly against Aundair's capitol, the damage contained to specific quarters but extensive within them. While it took some imagination to see the city as fair any longer, the reconstruction efforts made it easier every day.
In the fading light, beneath the amber glow of everburning lamps, the pair inclined their dark heads together and spoke softly. They were utterly ordinary: a human and elf taking in the night and one another's friendship. In fact they were at the heart of a carefully orchestrated excursion under the watch of a dozen guards, Phiarlan adepts of the Demesne of Shadow concealed in the darkest corners and hidden places. Iliana could only be alone now within the confines of the palace and a handful of keeps, where everyone knew her name and face anyway. These forays were a compromise between herself and Ebony, an opportunity for Iliana to enjoy anonymity, to walk unknown among the people as nothing more or less than another person herself.
She resented nothing. Personal freedom had been a small price to pay for having any part in this peace.
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