Tl'thiiri velg'larn.
Arcane. This is the word that comes to your mind when you think of your life. Arcane. Hidden and unknown and improbable and unrealistic, yet real. Scars on your hips are real. Fine tracery of colored lines just out of sight in between layers of your skin is real too. And your kingdom is real. It is safe and quiet, with just enough buzz to make life interesting. There is no public unrest, no external threat. There is a disgruntled opposition in parliament, but they are easily dealt with and occasionally provide a valuable view of the issues. There are a few multinationals that you have denied the right to operate within your borders, but they keep quiet. They are corporate entities, after all, and not prone to standing on principle or emotional decisions.

But how did you get there? How did you become the queen of Valor? That's what is arcane. They are. Those, who put you here are arcane. And you are under their shroud. Is it for the best? Most of the time, you are sure it is. Life is great for you and your subjects. But there are moments when fear overcomes you. You fear your allies. You have every right to. They can pull you off the throne just as easily as they put you there if you stop being good and valuable. And even if they are completely with you, you can't help but shudder at the methods they sometimes employ. It seems that human life is a small coin to them. They care more about deniability and secrecy, and that's why their operations are clean and minimal. They would never use a hammer where a scalpel will suffice, but they wouldn't hold the scalpel back either. That's their way of thinking. Or at least for some of them.

They are not of one mind, though. They are few, but they are more different than people can be in one group without going at each others' throats. Some of them value life above all else, and that's probably the reason they, as a team, keep as low a profile as possible. They balance each other out. And they do genuine good, too. By their word, hospitals and schools are built, wars are ended without even beginning, populations migrate to greener pastures. But it's still frightening to see. And it's even more frightening when you understand that you are the focal point of their efforts. It is through you and your kingdom that they change the world around them. It is your army they trained and armed, your diplomacy one of them controls as your foreign minister, your civic institutions they rebuilt in their vision. It is your highest word that they wield as a skeleton key when their own lockpicks and hammers are of no use. Not that you're any worse for it, but the feeling of being used is a usual guest of your mind. But you catch yourself and remember that they are helping you. For their own selfish reasons, they are helping you to be a better queen. And they do less and less every year, letting you and the people under your command, the people they taught, do more and more. It is a transference of power, and it's towards you, not the other way around.

And you feel more power in yourself with every passing day. Not only the political and administrative power, but personal power, too. Physical strength, reaction speed, understanding. The two hours a day you spend with one of them, training, pay off. You are in better shape than most of your honor guard. You are not afraid of anything life can throw at you. And that's their achievement as much as yours. They took you for what you were and made you what you are, the way nobody else could have done it. That's what they do. They change things in ways nobody else can. And that's why they are arcane. Nobody would believe it, even if they knew. And nobody will know. You will take care of it. You are the Arcane Queen, crowned in blood, but reigning in light. And your kingdom will stand forever.

@темы: english, Джесс, Заря