The Treacherous Riddle [Book]

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The Treacherous Riddle [Book]

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The Treacherous Riddle
by Vorenir Colathres

It was the late 1st era in the last years of Reman III's reign. Queen Calira Cerylcori had gathered the Treethanes of the Cailinimil, Tarraimin, Vrelfyren, and Sylimil into the Flesh-Spun Court, Calira had known that one of them had machinations of betrayal. Treethane Serthia Cailinimil of Gilverdale had been rumored to be skimming gold off of their Kingdom tax, in an effort to bolster their coffers so that if they left the Kingdom they would have a healthy sum to fall back on in the aftermath. Several tax collectors had come to the city to make sure that their taxes were in order, most had come back suspiciously richer than when they left, and a few never arrived back in Haven city at all.

Treethane Sylrevine Tarraimin of the recently founded Hymdar had been encroaching on Wasten Dobrulth's territory, it is believed that it too wishes to break free from the Kingdom of Haven and become its own kingdom. Whereas Gilverdale wished to leave with gold, Hymdar wished to leave with land. Queen Calira had warned of such aggressive actions against Wasten Dobrulth would lead to skirmishes between the kingdoms, and that if Hymdar were to continue then she would have no choice but to forcefully dissolve the Tarraimin Tribe and execute Treethane Sylrevine for starting a war. If Sylrevine was to leave, he would have to remove Calira from the equation, something that both parties were acutely aware of.

Treethane Amaril Vrelfyren of Shaesilcir, a town that has long since sunk beneath the thick black pits of tar and mud within the Lynpan Floodlands, was said to be planning a transfer of power along with the recently established Reman Fort town of Lynpar March. According to Queen Calira's sources, the Reman Fort would become the diplomatic leader to that section of Valenwood, with Treethane Amaril acting as King-by-Serenade, a rarely used temporary position of acting king from within the Arenthian government that, thanks to Reman's crippling of the Camoran government, was applicable by any kingdom during the Reman Empire.

Treethane Karacher Sylimil of Cormeir was believed to have been consorting with the local vampire clan Tilrevil. This by itself is nothing to fret over, as vampirism is popular and vampires welcomed within certain sections of Bosmeri culture, as some Bosmer wish to become vampires in order to avoid any and all forms of change - including from age. However, it was not just Treethane Karacher's dealings with the Tilrevil Clan that had drawn suspicion to his intentions, but also the plots the Cerylcori Lord of Cormeir had overheard. According to Lord Faliil Cerylcori of Cormeir, Karacher had made
a deal with the Tilrevil. They are to kidnap the Queen and use her for cattle, and as they leave the palace they are to pen a will naming Karacher as acting king until her reacquisition.

As they each stood before their Queen, with thoughts of poisonings, kidnapping, and much worse, Queen Calira Cerylcori offered them a riddle. "If you are to sit on my throne, you must do so swiftly. Only one may wear the crown, one may sit on the throne, one may hold my scepter, and the fourth participant will be dead by the end of the day." As they glanced at each other in suspicion and intrigue, Amaril Vrelfyren stepped forward, "I shall be the one to hold your scepter!" for he knew the royal scepter of Haven was carved out of a giant's spine - one of the giants who built its magnificent walls during the early days of Eplear's reign - and that no one in Valenwood would question his rite to rule while carrying this royal artifact. Amaril gleefully yanked the precious artifact from the Queen's moss-gloved hands.

Next, Serthia Cailinimil took seat in the royal throne of Haven, for she knew that so long as she sat on the throne that no one would appose her commands, and that she could name Gilverdale independent immediately, and so she did. Then, Karacher Sylimil stepped forward for he had wanted the crown. As Calira removed the crown from worn and exhausted head, she handed the crown over with a smile, "This living crown I give to you, so that all will see that Cormeir was the most loyal of my holdings." Karacher placed the wreath-crown on his head and knew that he had no need of the Tilrevil, for the crown on his head would ensure that none would question his authority. He immediately commanded for the Tilrevil Clan of vampires to be hunted into extinction, for the promises he made to them will forever go unfulfilled - and it is never wise to break an oath to a vampire.

Queen Calira then turned to Sylrevine Tarraimin, "It appears you are the only one to remain, Sylrevine. I wish for you to understand that treachery is not tolerated within my palace." As her words left her lips, Treethane Amaril of Shaesilcir began to wheeze uncontrollably. Treethane Serthia of Gilverdale attempted to leave the throne to catch Amaril as he fell to the floor, but struggled as she felt herself sinking deeper and deeper into the living flesh throne. With a guttural screech from Serthia, Karacher, now fully realizing what is occurring, attempts to pull the crown off of his pulsating head to no avail. As a feint, chilling, laughter flutters inside Karacher Sylimil of Cormeir's skull, Sylrevine began rushing out of the palace, only to be stopped by the Cerylcori guards as he left the throne room.

After a few moments of struggling, Queen Calira Cerylcori had met with Sylrevine in the hall just outside the throne room. Scepter in hand, and wreath-crown gently resting on her head, "Treethane Sylrevine Tarraimin of Hymdar city", she addressed him with sword drawn at his throat. "Rest your machinations of power and cease these insufferable desires beyond your depth, or else you will take a much more active role in my next riddle." With a kiss on the cheek, Treethane Sylrevine left swiftly to Hymdar, where the Tarraimin Tribe remained loyal subjects of the Kingdom of Haven until the end of the second empire. The Cerylcori Tribe also continued to rule over the Kingdom of Haven until the mid Interregnum, where it's said that a minor tribe in Haven's court, the Valekyl, succeeded where the other tribes of Haven could not in establishing themselves as the new ruling tribe of the area.

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