|Favorite Wonder:||Temple of Temporance|
The window glass had moved during the centuries, pouring down its frame at a rate considered slow even by elven standards. Now the ripples in the glass made the shadowed forests beyond look twisted and surreal. Arendel was as disappointed that the elegant window separated the palace from the forests as she was impressed at its craftsmanship.
"I trust your stay has been comfortable?"
Faeryl entered the chamber; she had asked her attendants to stay behind, so there were only the two queens in the room.
"Of course, I am always amazed at the beauty of the Unseelie court, and the courtesy of its residents."
Faeryl tipped her head at the compliment. She wore the Tan'elyn, the elven crown of authority and mark of the queen. As queen she wouldn't be required to return the compliment, it was enough for her simply to accept it. Faeryl had shown the same respect yesterday when Arendel wore the crown.
They had just concluded the rites of autumn, the tranference of rulership of the elves from the Seelie to the Unseelie court. Faeryl would rule for six months until the rites of spring were performed to transfer power back. Each court had ruled for half the year since the Age of Dragons.
Faeryl stared at Arendel, trying to determine the source of the uncharacteristic concern that hung over her.
"Arendel, what concerns you? Is your family well?"
"Yes, they are well. It is kind of you to ask." Arendel thought about her dour mood. "I have been bothered, and I apologize for that, it is certainly nothing to do with you or the Unseelie court. I don't know what it is, I just feel like we are in a dangerous time. Winter is coming so early this year; we have just performed the rite of autumn, and the scouts are already reporting some snowfall. The priests are having powerful dreams and the forests aren't dropping into their winter slumber, instead they seem to be reblossoming."
"You have been listening to Yvain, he was here saying the same things and warning of some event he couldn't name. You should rest and forget the strains of leadership. You will need to be ready when winter ends and I pass the crown back to you. Until then, should anything occur, I will handle it." She was sincere; Arendel loved Faeryl like a sister but she knew that Faeryl wasn't happy to have the crown change hands so quickly--it kept her from being able to accomplish many of the more aggressive projects she planned. Maybe that was why the time was so short, so the elves wouldn't ever be able to make any meaningful change.
"Of course my queen, I am sorry to trouble you with my own worrying."
"It is fine, Arendel, that is what the time of rest is for. While you rule you think of nothing but the elven empire, and never of yourself. Now care for yourself. Perhaps the winter will be strong this year and Sucellus sends the new seed to help sustain us through it." Arendel nodded.
"I must go, there is a lot to do today. I hope you will join us for dinner."
"Of course" Arendel said, "and I promise to be a more amicable guest."
"Just make sure you come or else I will bring the meal here and we will sit in front of this window you favor, and leave the rest of the guests wondering what to do without their queens."
They both smiled.