As Queen Yolande and Prince Amfortas entered the dining hall of the Moonlit Palace, the assembled Peers burst into applause. Yolande smiled. She’d been worried for so long that this marriage would fail--that the Courts of Left and Right would protest--but they seemed happy. Taking a deep breath, she began her speech.
“Greetings to you all! Peers of the Left! Peers of the Right! Your good wishes and kind feelings are treasured by your Queen, in the depth of my heart. Allow me to join you in hoping that this marriage be joyous and fruitful, that it bring prosperity and glory to the Holly Throne!”
Another burst of applause. Amfortas smiled, and leaned towards her. “May I have a few words?” he whispered in her ear. Yolande nodded. Amfortas turned towards the assembled Peers.
“Lords and Ladies of Tintagel, you do me great honor, and I honor you for it. I have heard of the fineness of your manners, the age of your traditions, the beauty of your land, and am pleased to discover that these stories are not exaggerations, but understatements.” His smile broadened. “I cannot tell you the joy it gives me to have such a friendly land clasp me to its bosom, to gain the service of your good people, to… simply be here.”
There was some more scattered applause. Amfortas raised his hand.
“Good Peers, we live in dark times. The Dark Lords of the Lands of Night are preparing for the one last strike to obliterate all that is good and holy. If they succeed, the Light shall be blotted out forever. But I know they will fail. I know that we will defeat them, by setting aside our petty differences, and working, as with one mind to defeat them. It will not be the Light that fails, but the Dark! And we will usher in a new era--a new Holy Empire that shall endure for a thousand years!” The applause began again, rather more spirited now. “It will not easy. The fight will be difficult. Sacrifices will have to be made. But I assure you--the glorious future ahead of us, will make it all worth while.”
Yolande smiled at her husband as they walked to their seats in the hall. What Amfortas said filled her with hope. And it was true, she knew it was! A new era was starting, and she for one could not wait for it to begin.