PaxOku, Tokuno, Chesapeake (PaxLair Times) – August 24, 2011 – by Tatania
*the following Legend was found in a dusty old tome and carefully preserved and translated by Historian, Tatania Karthina of PaxOku*
“The Legend of the Two Emperors”
The dense mist was all he could see. The Emperor watched as the mist cleared in the center to reveal the ruins of the fallen City of Homare-Jima. A woman, clearly the Empress stands in the middle of the ruins, her face streaked with soot and dirt, her fine gown of silk in tatters. The Empress conceals a dagger in the folds of her ruined gown. Astonished, the Emperor watches as a man, strides into the clearing to the weeping Lady. He smirks at the Empress before stating coldly, “My reign has just begun and even you who chose me as your Emperor cannot stop me.”
The Empress looked up to him and shuddered violently. Taking a deep breath, she squares her shoulders, looking for all the world like a true Empress despite her torn clothing. “I will stop you if it takes my last breath” she tells him.
The Emperor laughs and backhands her across the face, knocking her to her knees with the blow. “Now you are on your knees before me, where you belong.” the Emperor said as he looked down on her with disdain.
With a sudden fierceness, the Empress springs upward, plunging the dagger deep into his chest. She looks into his eyes and he can’t help but to think that her eyes look ancient in that moment despite her tender age of one and twenty. The Emperor speaks his curse with his last breath, “The City of Homare Jima has fallen and will forever more be barren. The temples throughout the land will be destroyed and my spirit will haunt the fallen city in the form of great lions. You and yours shall never have sons, only daughters will carry the royal line through the ages.”
The emperor fell limp as life passed from him. The moment his body thumped to the ground it transformed into a Revenant Lion and split until there were many. The Empress ran for her life as the mist once again descended, obscuring the Emperor’s view.
When the mist lifted once again, the Empress was in the wilderness, kneeling by a pond, facing a young man. The young man spoke in earnest, “Empress Zen, I love you and I love Tokuno. If we do this thing together it will make the magic strong. We must!”
The Empress looked to the young man and nodded, “I cannot deny your words. We shall do it together.”
The Emperor who watched through the mist saw love take root in the Empress’ heart as she knelt with the young man, looking into his eyes and in that moment each of them plunged their own daggers into their own heart then joined hands.
The young man looked to the Empress and spoke softly, “Your honor is restored.”
She looked back to him and spoke in pain even as she smiled to him, “The honor of Homare-Jima is restored.”
The couple took their last breaths and passed to a world where their love would endure eternally.
An ancient Serpentine dragon lumbered into the clearing of the wilderness. He was the grandfather of all Serpentine dragons and had much wisdom and magic. It arranged their bodies carefully and spoke these words, “It is done. Honor is restored to both the Empress and Homare-Jima, but the Emperor’s magic was strong. To seal the magic between these lovers, a time will come in the future that another young woman must choose between two suitors. If she chooses wisely, there will be prosperity. If she chooses poorly, chaos will reign in Tokuno. My descendants are hereby banished from the Land of the dragon until it is time for the final outcome. There will be no sons born to the royal family until this is finished. Once the choice is made, the child born to the Emperor and Empress will seal the curse or blessing forever. A boy will show the curse has been lifted.”