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He knew the tradition. And the story. He had grown up with both. And now he was about to enter into the tradition himself.

So it came to pass that in the third year of his reign, Emperor Morell was returning to the royal palace with his soldiers, after winning the Battle of Scoria Plains against those who would rend the people of the land in two. He stopped by the river Tuwain to water his dromes and rest his soldiers after the long march from the sea.

There he found the woman Malia, who the villagers said was a prophetess. For twenty and four years, she had lived in a cave at the mouth of the Tuwain, surviving on the kindness of those in the village. She was brought before the emperor and asked to foretell the story of his rule. Malia prophesied that a great danger lay ahead of Emperor Morell, that a dagger would strike to his heart from near his heart, and that his life would be forfeit unless he heeded her warning. When the emperor asked how he could avoid this death, Malia spoke only of the crescent moon hidden in darkness.

Asked to put a price on her prophecy, she asked for nothing, save the emperor's good wishes, for she was his loyal and steadfast servant.

Upon his return to the royal palace, a great dinner was held in honor of Emperor Morrell. There his family gathered, including his nephew Elfeni, whose name was dear to him. As Elfeni rose to toast the health of his uncle, Emperor Morell saw a broach on his nephew's garment, a crescent moon hidden by the shadow of his arm. In that instant, the emperor cried out and the Imperial Guard seized Elfeni, stopping him as he drew back a blade to strike down the emperor. Elfeni later confessed to a secret alliance with those who had attempted to bring about a civil war in which he would be made emperor.
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