|The Ancestral City of Evermist|
Designed by Celylia
Lifespan: 60 minutes
Medium Groups: 22-25
Large Groups: 21-23
It was a rainy, gloomy night, no stars visible in the sky, just solid black. Queen Alelia sat up in her study, reading a bedtime story to her precious daughter, Maelia. Although it was Maelia's favorite story, her thoughts wandered elsewhere as she stared absentmindedly out the window.
In a bright bolt of lightning, which briefly illuminated the lands, Maelia noticed a strange green glow settling around the city. Curiosity took over as she sprung from her mother's lap and ran to the window. Alelia placed the book down on the table and joined her daughter at the window, hugging her tightly as they gazed out into the darkness of the night.
Mere hours later, Alelia was awoken from a restless sleep as her private guards began relaying messages to her of a strange plague which had fallen over the city. Alelia summoned the city elders and her younger sister Belia for an emergency summit, where they spent the remainder of the night evaluating the situation. Baffled by how fast the sick were deteriorating, Belia demanded immediate action be taken, for the good of the town. Belia, with the support of the city elders, ordered that those who were sick were to be immediately removed from the city until a cure was found. Alelia dropped to her knees, begging and pleading, her heart distraught at the thought of separating mothers from their children.
At sunset, with heavy hearts, the guards went through, house by house, carrying out those who were sick and depositing their weakened bodies in a small camp southeast of the city walls. The mournful cries of mothers and children who were separated echoed throughout the night. Meanwhile, in the heart of the palace, Belia held her sister close, stroking her hair calmly.
She kissed her sister tenderly, muffling her cries. Seeing the pain in Alelia's heart, Belia suggested Alelia go stay with the sick, nursing them back to health so they may return sooner. Wiping away her tears, Alelia nodded and went off to make preparations.
Belia saw Alelia off to the city's wall, wishing her luck. Alelia smiled to herself and started her journey through the heavy brush blocking the way to the small camp they had built earlier that morning. She placed down the few items she had and examined the area. The cries of the sick were breaking her heart. Making an oath to swiftly return, she went off to say a last goodbye to Maelia. As she approached the main gates, they slammed shut in her face.
The tower guards took aim, threatening her and warning her to turn back. One glared down at her and exclaimed, "Exiled persons are no longer welcome behind Evermist's walls."
Devastated at the thought of her own people having turned against her, tears welled up in Alelia's eyes. Locked away from her daughter, her medicine, her research, she had nothing to save these people with, let alone herself. Unsure of what else to do, she returned to the small camp, finding little comfort as she tended to the sick.
Meanwhile, inside the city walls, Belia had proclaimed herself the new queen, claiming Alelia was responsible for the sickness that had come to the town. A proclamation was made that anyone who aided Alelia was to be put to death, and the city was thrown into a state of fear and confusion. Little Maelia, terrified by the news, ran and hid in the stables next to the palace. Maelia scribbled a quick letter to her mother explaining what Belia had done. She bound the scroll with her mother's pendant and slipped it into her pocket.
Right before sunrise, Maelia snuck to the eastern city wall and tossed the parchment over in hopes her mother might find it. As she turned to go back to her hiding place, two guards grabbed her from behind. They looked her over, then placed her under arrest for treason. Townspeople stood by in horror, watching a mere child be dragged off to her death.
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