Speaker Vas regarded the Great Door nervously. It had been many months since he’d seen Queen Yolande come through it, and he found himself torn between his desire to see her again, and the desire not to see her, if the distressing rumors he heard were true. It also struck him how… strange it was to be relying solely on rumors about the Queen--how her Ladies-in-Waiting had not been called back to serve her in the Scarlet Palace… how the Queen had not been seen… how…
The Great Door opened. Vas turned to his fellow Senators and struck the ground with his ceremonial Mace. “The Queen of Tintagel enters! Honor her, you Ancients! Honor…” Vas blinked as Yolande entered the Hall, Amfortas at her side. One look at her, and Vas realized the rumors were true. “Honor her greatly, “ he declared, continuing with his acclaim, “the Queen on the Holly Throne.” His part said, the Speaker of the Senate shuffled back to his seat.
Amfortas helped Yolande to the Holly Throne, and then turned to the Senate. “My wife, your Queen, has asked me to speak a few words before her, for she is been made most distraught by these calamities that have befallen Tintagel. These are dark times for your land--for all the Lands of Light. The Nightfolk are striking at us from the shadows, through their agents, men and women who have been subverted to the cause of Darkness. That is what resulted in the brutal slaughter of your two Courts, a cynical game played by cruel puppet-masters. The hour is grim--and yet there is hope. It is my wife’s firm belief that I may lead you from the darkness, and to the light, if you will let me.” He gestured to Yolande. “As she will now tell you.”
Yolande remained sitting silently on the Holly Throne.
Amfortas waited a moment, then turned, and motioned for her to stand. “Yolande, my dear, these good men wish to hear you speak,” he said, his voice kind and pleasant. “Would you not do them the favor of talking?”
Yolande shut her eyes, nodded, and then rose unsteadily from the Throne. “Good… Good Senators… of Tin… Senators of Tintagel…” She began. “I… these times… These terrible times… Times… Terrible…” She stopped for a moment, and took a deep breath. And then suddenly a knife was in her hands. She stared at it, with a deep fascination, her breathing coming in heavy gasps.
“Yolande, my dear,” said Amfortas, his tone cajoling, “Wherever did you get that knife?” Yolande glanced briefly at him, then stepped away, holding the knife before her. “Put it down, Yolande, my dear. My sweet. My wife. Put the knife down.”
Yolande held the knife to her own throat.
Amfortas moved forward, hands outstretched, making sure to make no sudden motion. “You are distraught, my dear. These horrible times have unhinged your wits. You are performing actions you know to be wrong. Put down the knife. Put down the knife, and we shall return home.”
Yolande looked at him for a moment. And then she slit her throat.
What happened next was a blur to Vas. He remembered rushing forward, and embracing the dying Queen--and he remembered her body being rushed out by the servitors--and he thought he remembered the Prince leaving, but he couldn’t be sure. But it was all strange and indistinct, as if it happened to another person. All he knew is that when all the bustle was over, he sat in the Senate with a room full of frightened old men, looking for him to leadership. He sat there, and tried to come up with some words that would encapsulate the horror of what had just happened, and he failed.
And that was when Senator Col discovered that the doors to the Senate had been locked from the outside.