The winter in Lockdownia continues hard, and with no sign of relief in sight. The sun has not shone on our land for almost two months. There is nothing more I can do for my people in Quarantinia without the protective tincture which is due to be brought by ship from the Outlands. With the storm conjured up by Brexicorax still raging, alas! the rebel army cannot yet set sail. For this reason, I have decided to journey to my Summer Palace in the Southlands to await the arrival of the distant rebel fleet.
Preparing for the Journey
As we load up the Royal Carriage with what meagre possessions remain to us, I feel a gnawing sense of guilt, as if I am abandoning my subjects in Quarantinia to a dismal fate beneath the sombre skies. But in truth I can do nothing more for them without the protective tincture, and in addition I have subjects throughout Lockdownia whose spirits might be lifted by the sight of their unconquered Queen-in-Exile.
It is to be a perilous journey: more perilous yet than my visit to Father Winter in the snow-covered Highlands. Furthermore, I cannot leave my family behind. For certain, if Koronin finds out that we are leaving, he will try everything in his power to prevent us. In every town, I will be able to muster further forces for the rebel army and he knows this: he knows my power, though he holds my Castle and subjects in thrall.
We shall also be at risk from highway bandits, who would not hesitate to rob a queen of her remaining gold to sell to greedy merchants in Balkania, nor would think twice about taking our lives. For this reason, we carry knives of our own for protection, and I am not without magic, nor the skill or nerve required to use it.
So, with all of our possessions loaded, and our meagre residence left bare and empty, dust blowing up miniature storms across the flagstone floor, we say a fond and eager goodbye to the region of Quarantinia. Some brave townspeople take to the streets to wave us off. I promise I will return forthwith to free them from the bondage of Koronin’s evil spell.
Fond, for this is my home, and seat of my rightful royal throne. Eager, for my heart longs to glimpse the sun once more. The children, who have more than tired of their winter confines, bustle eagerly into the carriage and can scarce sit still, so great is their excitement. I have misgivings about subjecting them to such a perilous journey, but something tells me that to leave them behind here would be far, far worse.
Clouds gather, threatening a blizzard, and we must make haste before the storm. I leave you with an image of the Southlands, from whence I shall write you next, should the fates and time allow it.
Wish me luck on this long journey as I remain ever
Your Queen and dear friend from another time.
Read the story so far in the Chronicles of Lockdownia archives.