Nameday: A Royal Gift (The Keep)ust yesterday, a messenger arrived at The Keep, bearing a letter. He had the weary look to him of one who has traveled far. He came in from the north east, clothed like a foreigner. The scroll he presented was of great importance. The thirteenth nameday of a prince is coming. A coming of age ceremony is to take place soon, a lavish affair requiring the attendance of the most important magi. Thane will be making the journey, along with several masters. Thane told the news from the entrance of the castle, and the scroll which he read off of was beautifully decorated. It has made students and teachers alike very excited. Everyone around The Keep is gossiping about the ball that will take place, and students talk endlessly of the upcoming event. Every few years this sort of thing takes place, and students are busy discussing who will be allowed to go. Novices will be taken along to assist the master magi, and everyone wants the opportunity to see this event.
This news holds great importance, for an occasion such as this can greatly strengthen relationships. A tribute will have to be presented, to form an even stronger alliance with Synara City. Crown Prince Lavin is well known for his fondness of dogs. He has breeds from around the world, from the cold lands of Arkene to the sweltering heat of Voltar. He has even come to visit The Keep, pale skin and light hair standing out among the more common born. Such a trip was part of his education, a lesson to learn about magi and their magic. Mostly, though, the young man spent his time playing with the pets of magi. The prince was greatly enamored with direwolves, marveling at their sweet tempers. Many times he expressed his desire to return to Synara with one. He would have purchased a pup, but magi do not part with such valuable beasts so easily, not without an occasion.
So it was with relative ease that a present was decided upon for Prince Lavin. An albino direwolf pup, raised to be gentle and trained by a magi. It has been decided that you will be the one to breed this animal, a great honor. Albino direwolves are very rare, and will make a royal present. The bonds between Synara City and The Keep are vital, and this is no light task you have been assigned. Should the day ever come that the castle is attacked, or magi have need of assistance, Synara will rise up as an ally, and we would do the same. So, raise this pup with the utmost care, for it speaks for all magi. Name it Kira, an ancient name meaning 'friendship'. Make haste, for there is little time until the ceremony.
The present for the prince's coronation will be an albino direwolf pup. The name 'Kira' means 'friendship', and this is the name chosen for the creature. Raise a pup and bestow on the young animal this name. When you have completed your task, return to this place. Do not tarry, for the nameday event draws near.
Young Prince Lavin was delighted with his ceremony; the entire city was festive, decorated with blooming flowers. The feast was composed of the most rare and succulent dishes. Light salads full of sweet lettuces and delicious sauces were presented first. They were followed by tender meat, cooked to perfection, in many forms; sugar and sour, representing each land's customs. Cakes and pastries were the final meal, the beautiful delicacies shaped like animals that Synara is famous for. Lavin was presented with a sugar spun dog, which was enchanted to magically prance about. Cakes made with cocoa from Raza were served, and tarts full of ripe berries. When the large, extravagant meal was finally finished, a fine ball took place. The renowned gardens of Synara were festooned with magical globes of light, hanging overhead. The fountains shone with an inner glow, and every plant was in bloom. Wherever one looked were beautifully dressed guests, bejeweled ladies hiding behind masks. They moved in complicated dances that were marvelous to see, seemingly floating along. The night darkened, and eventually the ghostly music that filled the air faded away. The time for the ceremony was now, Lavin seated on an ornate throne, cool blue eyes watching all. The guests fell silent and gathered around, listening intently as the priest spoke lines passed down for endless generations. In the boy's right hand was placed a scepter, to rule with might and strike down foes. In his left was placed a rose, signifying love for his people and the knowledge that wisdom can often replace strength. Upon his head the priest slowly lowered the crown, silver for the cold lands of Arkene they came from, and diamond from the land to which they now reside upon.
Cheers broke out, and people drew close to offer gifts; chests of precious gems were presented, beautifully crafted swords and trunks of rare metals. The crowd sighed at the beautiful and rare things presented, extremely valuable gifts from far lands. At last, the train of people approaching the throne thinned, and Thane drew near. The prince's eyes lit up when he saw what Thane had in his arms. Thane held out a squirming bundle of puppy, which scrambled into the boy's lap. "Oh!" Lavin said, as the small canine enthusiastically began licking the prince's face. "High Archmage," the boy said, remembering his manners; "truly you are the most skilled in magic, for only a wielder of powers could read my mind!" The pale wolf happily accepted pats from his new master, pink tongue lolling out. Thane executed a deep bow and spoke: "We present you with this albino as a mark of old respect. It is named Kira, which in ancient tongues has the meaning of 'friendship'." This said, the magi withdrew, tucking his hands into long sleeves.
As the night fell to a close, a very tired boy was brought away to bed, a white wolf still content in his arms. Thane gave the image a smile and turned to leave.
"You have done very well in your task," Thane speaks to you, pushing back his hood. "I duly believe you deserve a reward. Relations with Synara are greatly strengthened by your actions." With a smile, the Archmage turns to rummage through the leather pack that all magi carry with them. Finding what he sought, he turns back to you. "I give this to you," he begins, "with a message: a true magi sees a friendship, and seeks to strengthen it, always." Placed into your hands is an egg, decorated with rings of yellow and blue, like nothing you have seen before. With an energetic bow showing your enthusiasm, you thank Thane and hurry off to make the egg comfortable.