This was the day. The day Enndolyn had been waiting for since childhood. She would be crowned queen of Nevar. The father of her husband had died, and now he would be crowned in his stead. To be the queen had been her fate, decided by her parents when she was born.
But her parents did not live to see her crowned.
She stood on her balcony and stared out over the city of Candra. The sun was just setting, its light warped through the steam seeping from the towers of the massive forges. Enndolyn closed her eyes and let the last warm streams of light touch her face before the cold and oppressive night wrapped around her. But it would return soon. For it was the time of the sun, the time when the days are longest and night lasted mere hours.
Enndolyn started at the touch of her husband. She took a breath to calm her heart and followed him back into the castle.
As they walked down the great hall, her hand on his, the only noise that could be heard was the babblings of Enndolyn's infant child in the hands of Enndolyn's sister. The sisters smiled at each other as Enndolyn passed.
The new king and queen sat on their thrones. A lumomancer priest spoke in the Old Tongue and slowly lowered a crown to the new king's head. He spoke again, then lowered a crown to Enndolyn's head. As the crown touched Enndolyn's brow, an explosion threw the large entry doors from their stone frame.
Two figures entered the hall. They walked synchronously, one's movement mirroring the other. It was two women. Both were tall, strong, and pale.
The king stood to order their seizure, but in an instant, was struck down by an unseen force. He fell to the floor, convulsing. Chaos proceeded as guards rushed toward the two intruders, whose hands were raised toward the fallen king.
Enndolyn stared down at her dead husband, her face showed little but fear. She looked to the two dark figures, now surrounded by guards. From the moment the crown touched her, to the moment she stood beside the dead king had only been seconds, but Enndolyn had seen it as if time had been hindered.
An unholy roar broke through the chaos. Enndolyn's sister called for her. But as Enndolyn stepped away from the king, a massive form filled the doorway. It was scaled and black and moved with a serpentine motion, despite its bulky legs.
People ran from the creature that had appeared from nowhere. The beast tore through the guards surrounding the two intruders. Enndolyn looked to where her sister had been, but she was already gone.
Enndolyn sighed, relieved that her child was safe.
The beast turned to Enndolyn. Its eyes were black, barely discernible from the rest of its body. The women raised their hands and pointed to Enndolyn. The beast propelled toward her. She did not run, did not scream, only closed her eyes and took her last breath.