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Trumpet blasts resounded across the bustling city square. A huge knight, donned in full armour, stood on the wooden stage that had been erected especially for this momentous occasion. Thousands still flocked slowly into the ancient, crumbling walls of the historic city of Erundel, as they awaited the arrival of Treanthor, their admired emperor. His yearly visit had been long anticipated.
As crowds pressed forward to catch a better view of the knight, the warm air became rich with the smell of bodies clothed in thick woven cotton and leather, mingled with the scent of ale, horses and various potions, which were being hawked by traders at the entrance to the gates. Wafts of smoke from stallholders cooking chickens on spits blended in to create a unique aroma that was unusual to newcomers to the city.
Young children waved flags enthusiastically and joined as everyone began to chant Tre-an-thor! Tre-an-thor! Tre-an-thor! Several boys climbed the willow trees that lined the furthest side of the quad, waving to those below, while some older ones pointed their prized ska-swords into the air, showing off the gleaming light and sound feature on their xanth-powered gadgets.
Rumours had circulated that one day, xanth would be able to power electricity once again in people’s homes – perhaps a return to the way of life before the Great Catastrophe of 2025. Treanthor always declared that he was working towards it – but insisted that it would take time and, for now, the people should be content with all that he had already achieved for them.
Today would mark the beginning of a new era. That was the message that had been sent out into all the towns and villages. Those who came to Erundel would be the first to witness his latest, marvelous invention; something far greater than ska swords or glow toys or magic tricks.
Ree-Mya, a young mother with long, dark hair, stood among the throngs of people, one of the last few to be let into the square before the mammoth gates were locked shut by guards.
Last weeks contributing author was Eddie Jones.