Caitilin opened her eyes. The sun, already up high in the sky, shone on her face. It was a bright morning, the most beautiful one she had seen in a long time. She rose up and looked out of the window. The sky was blue and cloudless, and the sun was shining on the trees, the buildings and the big stone castle she lived in. This was the perfect weather for a day as important as this!
It was to be the crowning of her oldest brother, Eldor: the most important day the residents of Munster had seen in a long time. And so it was that the whole kingdom was awake since the early morning, for they all had a lot to do, especially the servants in the palace.
Windows and floors had to be cleaned for a second time, the furniture and the curtains dusted, the dishes polished and the meals cooked. And so it was that hundreds of servants were working since the moment the sun had risen, all of them giving their best to make this a special day for the prince who was soon to be crowned king.
This was the day Caitilin had eagerly waited for a long time. She had already selected the dress for the occasion, it being the blue ballgown her father had given her. It suited well with her blue eyes and wavy red hair, and it was the perfect gown to make her look as beautiful as possible in the ceremony and the ball that was to follow it.
As she took it out of her dresser and stood with it in front of the mirror for a few moments, Caitilin felt pleased. She wanted nothing more than to be the center of attention, to be loved and admired by those who surrounded her. She was the youngest child of the royal family, the one who had used her beautiful eyes many times to wrap the whole family around her pretty little finger.
And as the years had passed, she had gotten used to it. Always determined to get what she wanted, Caitilin often went to drastic measures to get her way. She was, after all, the youngest and prettiest member of the whole royal family, and this made life quite easy for her.
Not only did she often get what she wanted, but was also easlily forgiven for the way she treated many people around her. And so it was that the youngest princess of Emeras grew up to be selfish and bigheaded. As she was still standing in front of the mirror, she heard a quiet knock on the door. „Your Highness!“ a familiar voice said, „Are you awake?“ „Yes!“ Caitilin said, sounding a bit annoyed. She put the dress she had just held on her bed. „Come in!“
A moment after that, the large wooden doors of her room opened, and her maidservant, Mara, stepped into her room. She was a young elf, not much younger than her mistress, dressed in a simple blue gown. She closed the doors behind her and went to the large windows next to Caitilins bed. As she had opened them, a breeze of fresh air came into the room. Caitilin frowned, as she did not like her at all. Mara was always there to make sure she behaved well, which was enough reason for the princess to want to get rid of her. But no matter how hard she tried, she did not accomplish her goal. And so it was that Mara had been her maidservant for years.
After that, Mara helped her get into the gown she had just admired. A few moments after she had gotten dressed, she heard another knock on the door. „Come in!“ she said, and a few moments after that a handsome elf wearing a nice black robe entered. Caitilin's face lit up, as it was her best friend Arel, the prince of Ector, a kingdom near Munster. They had known each other since they werelittle, and had been absolutely inseparable then. To this day, they still spent a lot of time together. Arel had loved her since they had first met, and had been by her side in the toughest of times. But she had never noticed his feelings towards her, for her head was filled with many other things. Still, although it was painful for him to know that Caitilin obviously didn't care about him in such way, he was always there for her: a shoulder to cry on and a rock to stand on.
As Arel stepped into the room and noticed Caitilin wearing the stunning blue dress, he stopped and looked at her for a moment, not sure if he should smile or not. She looked really pretty, and this was yet another thing that would make being near her even harder.
„You look beautiful.“ Arel said after a few moments of silence. Caitilin smiled.
„You look handsome yourself!“ she said, her tone showing she was in a good mood. „I'm glad you'll be accompanying me to the ceremony!“
„So, tell me,“ Arel said, sitting on the big sofa near the window. „how does it feel to be the sister of the soon to be crowned king of Munster?“
„Not much different than being a child of the king.“ she answered, sitting down next to him. „I am really happy for my brother though: he has done so much for Munster, he deserves to be king.“
„He most certainly does.“ Arel responded, nodding his head. "They say that I will soon be a king myself, since I am the eldest son of the king of Ector after all...“
„About time to start looking for a wife then.“ Caitilin responded.
„I think I may have already found her.“ he said, looking straight into her eyes. Perhaps this was the moment to say something, to let her know of the agony that he had endured for years. He was more than certain that there was no one else for him than her, this pretty elvish princess with wavy red hair and beautiful blue eyes. He had to say something, at least ask how she felt about him, for he knew that if Caitilin would ever marry someone else without knowing how he felt for her, he would regret it for the rest of his life.
But before he could say another word, they heard another knock on the door. It was once again Mara, who had come to inform them that the ceremony was to start soon. Having looked at her reflection in the mirror once more, Caitilin took Arel by the hand and they left the room. As they made their way to the ceremonial hall down the stairs, both of them did not exchange another word. Arel felt a bit awkward, wanting to say something but not exactly sure what it would be. As the sun was shining through the beautiful stained glass windows of the palace and he once again looked at her, he decided he was going to tell her how he felt. After the end of the ceremony he would finally tell her the truth, and even if she was to reject her, he would know that he had done what he could.
After a few moments of walking down the long corridor that lead to the ceremonial hall, they entered it and took a seat in the front row. The hall looked much more beautiful than it usually did: all the walls were decorated with white flowers, the new white silk curtains shone in the sunlight and the aisle was covered with a new pearl-colored carpet. When they had entered the room, it was already filled with a large group of people. As more minutes passed, the more elves entered the room until all the seats were filled. Soon after that, the ceremony began. When the priest entered the hall, prince Eldor came after him, wearing a white robe with a long silver cape. These were the colors of Munster: the symbols of purity and knowledge. As the people looked at their prince who was moments away from being crowned the king, they smiled. It was like the sun itself had come amongst them, bringing peace and hope to the land again after the tragic death of the last ruler, his father king Astor.
But now that a young and courageous prince was to take his place, the people of Munster felt as if the hard times were finally behind them. And so they celebrated the crowning of their new king, each of them wearing the best robe they owned. The hall was filled with elves dressed in very different colors, altogether looking like a rainbow that had come to greet the sun after the rain. As Eldor was making his way towards the throne, they stood up and clapped for him. The prince smiled, and kneeled before the priest, ready to say his vows.
„Dear people of Emeras.“ the priest said. „We have gathered here today to witness the crowning of a new monarch. He is to be your new king, and it is your duty to honour him and respect him. May his reign bring new hope to all of us!“ As he had said those words, the priest put a large black book before the prince. This was the Codex of Munster, the law that had helped to build this kingdom. Eldor placed his left hand on the book, and lifted his right hand.
„Will you, prince Eldor of Munster, promise to govern and protect this land from this day until as long as you live?“ the priest asked.
„I promise to do so.“ the prince answered with a calm voice.
„Will you promise to be a just and merciful king and follow the sacred laws of Munster from this day until as long as you live?“ the priest asked.
„I promise to do so.“ Eldor said.
„Will you promise to put the needs of the people before your own from this day until as long as you live?“ the priest asked.
„I promise to do so.“ Eldor responded.
„And so before God and the people of Munster, I crown you to be Eldor the Second, King of Munster.“
As the priest had said those words, he placed a large silver crown on Eldors head, then gave him a hand and brought him to stand next to him. „Behold, people of Munster! This is your new king!“
The people rose up and applauded for the new king. A few moments after that the started singing the anthem of Munster in the honour of of him. But as they had started to sing it, a large part of the ceiling fell on top of the king and the priest, killing them instantly. As the whole ceiling of the ceremonial hall started collapsing, all the elves in the room started to scream and flee in different directions.
Arel quickly grabbed Caitilins hand and together they, amongst many others, tried to make their way out of the room. But in the large group of people,he lost the hold her arm, and soon could not spot her in the crowd. He yelled her name, but she did not answer. He looked around in the hall, but she was not there either. As he finally got out of the hall moments before the whole ceiling collapsed, he quickly ran to Caitilin's room, only to find it empty. The princess had vanished and he had no idea where to find her.