"Certainly. Certainly. Unfortuantely, due to a breakdown of dilplomacy, we have other concerns right now. We may need your consortium's assistance dealing with the Free Companions, defending ourselves and our peoples."
Alisha, Champion of the Pearl wrote:
[Thinking to himself] Hmmm...let these characters weed out corruption within the govt for us, leaving only their own agents? Possibly arousing the ire of other organizations that will counter?...hmmm...
The Regent denies the expansionist rumors, but thanks the envoy for his offer.
At the inn chosen by the Brightwater brothers a swirl of water is interrupted as a target is pulled away and swept into a bizarre scene playing out on a different floor.
It follows the other 3 targets, trying to catch them one at a time. The bizarre tales they spread might be directed at its client. But the bizarre strategy is too good to pass up, so it decides to mimic it.
Kill if possible. New reigns need few interruptions, until they get settled. Underwater version of an invisible stalker.
At dawn, the coral and crystal coffin holding the remains of King Mirathan the Second is placed in the Great Hall of the palace. On it is placed a trident of silver, and a net of spun crystal. An honor guard stands at each corner of the coffin; one each from the Red Octopi, the Manta Rays, the Sisters of the Trident, and the Blue Eels.
Throngs of weary citizens line up to pay their last respects to the noble king. The lines seem endless. Men, women, and children. Soldiers, craftsmen, and nobles. The healthy, and the still-wounded. Sea elves, merpeople, tritons, and all manner of water dwellers. Many weep openly, even some warriors, while others softly sing ballads of honor and love, celebrating the life of yet another friend that died whilst fighting an epic battle for the survival of his people. Buildings can be repaired, crops resown, but sometimes even Magic yields to Death’s power. At eleven bells, as reckoned by those that sail the surface of the sea, the processions are stopped and the funeral rites begin.
The new king and his family sit nobly thru it all, projecting strength to their people. Only those closest to them can see the tightness of their expressions, the fatigue in the corners of their eyes, the wounds hidden beneath their skin.
The long life of the king is summed up in too short a time, focusing on how he lived rather than how he fell. The blessings of all the water gods is begged by the high priest, along with a prayer to the Sea herself.
At 12 bells, the funeral concludes and the family retires to the crypt to say their private farewells. The crowds are slow to leave, fearing the end of an era lies outside the doors of the palace.
Three hours after the farewells are said to Mirathan the Second the coronation of the new King begins. The mourning period has ended, at least on the surface. A new king is needed. It is time for the realm to look to the future.
The scene in the Great Hall is totally changed from the funeral held there a mere 3 hours ago. While still a noble occasion, happiness practically exudes from those in attendance. Outwardly their dress has changed from subdued colors to ones of every variation of a prism. The crowd is eager to turn their faces to the future. Mirathan’s companions are offered places equal to those closest to the family, causing a few stares.
The coronation is over almost as quickly as it is begun. Many reasons lie behind this decision, but the attendees are too polite to discuss them.
The first speech given by their new king is one of unity, family, honor, strength, and ultimately love. Throughout the Southern Seas the Pearl is the shining beacon for all good people. Mirathan the Third extols his people to rise above the pain of their recent loss, look to the needs of their neighbors, and share their strength with those weaker than them. Only in the Light of Love can the free peoples of the world, both water dwellers and those that live above it, combine their strengths to defeat the Black. He praises his father, and the rest of his family, for being such a big part of the city’s prosperity. Counting on their support in the future. He promises that the glory days will return soon. He calls on their allies to not waver in the face of despair, and promises that the Pearl will aid them if they have need, thanking them for their aid in the recent trials. Like the coronation the speech is fairly short, but the emotion and sincerity behind the words is felt by even the most doubtful person hearing it. "I am but one man, but a man of a great people. I thank you for this honor.", is the conclusion.
A new reign has dawned.
That evening a Coronation Ball is to be held at the Palace.
The Queen and Prince take seats near Mirathan, and the Knights take up position around them. A drum begins to sound, followed by the main doors of the hall being thrown open. Dolphins and a troupe of merpeople pour into the room, swimming over the assembled guests and spreading colored ribbons throughout the hall. An intricate water ballet forms from the chaotic entrance to the delight of the guests.