His life saved by prophecy, the emperor returned to Tuwain, where he gave the prophetess Malia a tenth share of his fortune. He pledged that for as long as an emperor sat upon the throne of Centauri Prime, there would always be a prophetess in Tuwain, that she would ever be in royal favor, her needs and wants attended to, her name revered.
And so it was that over the years, with the passing of each prophetess, another came to take her place in Tuwain. On that day, each emperor would travel by the same carriage and the same road taken by Morell to Tuwaine, to personally oversee her enshrinement as prophetess supreme.
The last prophetess in the line that began with Malia had died in the bombardment; another now had to take her place, and Londo had to be there for the ceremony.
He could not justify it. There was work to be done, temples to be rebuilt, wounded to heal---grudges to nourish, rage to fuel-- - so that he could hardly justify being away from the royal palace for that long.
And yet what was the purpose of rebuilding if it was not part of the process of healing the wounds that his people had suffered? And was not part of that process restoring a sense of stability?
That was the purpose of tradition, to give people something to hold onto in times of trouble.
And was there any trouble greater than the bombardment and savaging of Centauri Prime... and the other trouble that Londo knew was biding its time beneath the royal palace?
Londo sighed again, knowing his decision was inescapable, as most of his decisions lately had been.
He would go to Tuwain.
* * *
As was required, they set out before dawn, the royal carriage in the middle of a long procession of other ceremonial carriages and drome-pulls. Crowds lined the