Chapter 19: Kings of the West
It was the better part of a month later, in the early days of Amgor, the first month of winter.
Although chill and gusty winds blew down from the mountains of the North and frost had withered the few remaining leaves to scarlet and gold, the Sun of noon blazed brilliantly in a clear azure sky and it would be long before the coming of Kyramon the Month of Snows rendered the season intolerable.
Um. Jungles? Tend not to be in temperate zones. I mean, do vandars hibernate or something?
A great procession is moving through Patanga, wearing colours with which we are all familiar - flamy gold, scarlet, green and pale gold. Jewelled harnesses, gold plumes, the works.
Obviously this is not for anything so unmanly as a wedding; Karm Karvus and Yian are in the procession, having just got married moments before, but we are spared the icky girly details.
Thongor, surprisingly, gets barely a line of description; he is merely "splendid in kingly robes". Maybe Lin has finally realised that we know what Thongor looks like by now, so need for further mention of his thick black mane and mighty thews.
Barim, on the other hand, gets a whole paragraph; he is rather uncomfortably dressed in green robes and has had to trim his beard and leave his axe behind, because he has just been declared King of Tarakus (hurrah!) - no, we didn't get to see that either, but it probably would have been quite boring. Quick flashback recap of how that happened - with the entire armada sunk, Tarakus was defenceless, and all the innkeepers (etc) who were left behind decided to surrender to Thongor's floater fleet. Hurrah!
Now we enter the mighty throne room, and Thongor strikes a pose.
From the dimness of the shadowy dome above him a vagrant beam of sunlight fell, striking to flashing fire the Flame Crown that sat his brow, all of pure redgold and studded with sparkling chandrals. Bleak and grim and impassive was the bronze mask of his features, but those that knew him well could read the glint of satisfaction in his eye, the deep happiness in the slight smile that touched his lips, and the pride in his tall stance.
All the other princes are seated around him - Zul of Zangabal, Turmis of Shembis, Thon of Thurdis, Karvus of Tsargol, Thal of Pelorm, and Barim of Tarakus. In case you were wondering. Now it's time to hand out some more honours, though there are no kingdoms left I'm afraid...
"Charn Thovis of Vozashpa, kojan of the Empire and leader of the Ninth Cohort of the Black Dragon, come forth!"
His face pale, his shoulders back, as erect as if he stood on parade, the young chanthar stepped before the dais of the Flame Throne and met the approving eyes of his Lord as Thongor smiled on him from above.
"For three years now the barony of Tallan has lain vacant since the hand of the Jasark my son struck down Dalendus Vool when he sought to usurp my station. Kneel, Charn Thovis, and rise as Lord of Tallan!"
Yes, the adventure is definitely over, we're back to reminiscing about Dalendus Vool again.
Changan Jal also gets a promotion, and then it's time for dinner! The End.
Yep, it ends with them all going off for dinner. I'm half-expecting (fat old) Blay to come in and make some jolly quip and they can all fall about laughing, but sadly Carter missed a trick there.
And thus we come to the end of this God-whelmed and age-forgot tome of crackling time-worn parchment, unearthed from the howling catacombs of David's Bargain Bookshop whence few ever return alive. Now it shall return to the mighty Archives of Min's Bookcase, never more to be opened while the watchful crimson eyes of Aedir the Sun God yet observe mankind's futile passage across the, um, ...nah, that's all I got.