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The Dance of the King

by Vinnie White The dance was festive. Dancers swung to music played by a group of talented fiddlers, and they enjoyed the company of close friends. The men dressed in their finest suits and the woman wore elegant ball gowns that looked more than a little uncomfortable. Eight Kings sat at a huge banquet table with relatives and advisors. They were served the finest foods and drinks on choice silver. The hall was decorated for the occasion. Huge tapestries and banners of silk hung over the walls. Torches in hand-carved scions, and golden chandeliers lighted the hall. This dance was not only for the rich but also for the poor. Everybody was there; field workers and noblemen, peasants and royalty. For this dance was an important occasion for all. This was the Dance of the King.
The Dance of the King was held in honor of a new born Prince that is heir to the High King throne. In this case, High Queen Tamar gave birth to a Prince who would be High King when his father, High King Jonathan, has died. The King and Queen, as with the tradition of the land, must chose a worthy name for the Prince who would someday be ruler of all the lands. The Council of Advisors, the closest people to the High King, must approve of the name and then the name is passed to the Oracles to judge. The Oracles are the seers of the future and they will look into the Prince's life ahead to determine if the name is proper. The name and finally the baby are sent to the Wizards who give the Prince each their own spells over the baby and the name as gifts.
The music stopped for it was time for the Naming Ceremony. The crowd hushed in awed silence. All were quiet; nothing could be heard but the rustling of an uncomfortable baby in his mother's arms. The High King stood and raised his arms above his head in the customary greeting. It was for this reason that all people loved and respected the High King. All, even the Eight Kings, respected the High King for his gentleness. None of them wanted a King who acted like a stuffed coat peacock and treated his people like dirty rodents.
The High King spoke to his subjects in a mild but excited voice. All could hear him for such was the absolute silence. "We have gathered here today to give a name to my son, the Prince, and your next High King. My Queen and I have chosen a name that we feel should satisfy the Council, the Oracles, and the Wizards. Without further delays, my only daughter Laureen will bring out the Prince from the cradle."
A lovely girl, of about fifteen, stood and walked up a set of carved marble stairs to a platform that stood along the far wall. An ornate wooden cradle stood on top of the platform and the light seemed to be drawn to it by the infant laying inside. The Princess stopped and kneeled down in front of the crib to give thanks to God for sending the world this precious gift. The Princess stood up, reached in and picked the baby up as softly as is she were picking up eggshells. The Prince was nude except for a golden wrist band that was worn at all times by royalty and the infant seemed to know how important the occasion was for he did not cry. His golden hair was carefully combed and his porcelain smooth skin was unblemished by any birthmarks. The Princess held the baby in the crook of her arm and proceeded back to her father.
At the sight of their future High King the dancers gave a hearty cheer that crescendoed into a roar. The High King let them roar over the Prince for a few moments, then he raised his hands for silence. The crowd quieted quickly and the High King smiled. It was a smile of pure and absolute pride and it lit up his handsome face so much that the crowd smiled back at him.
"My subjects! My father Ryan gave me the name Jonathan because in our language it means 'hope'. Now it is my turn to give my only heir a name worthy of a High King. I have given it a great deal of thought and my Queen and I have discussed many an hour over it." At this point the High King paused, then he continued. "We have decided to give the Prince the name of Christopher. We all know, that in our language the name of Christopher means 'gift'. I believe my son will be a gift to our land. I give the name Christopher to the Council of Advisors for approval."
The crowd murmured at the choice of name. Many a head nodded in agreement. Five men dressed in the white robes of Advisors stood and, in unison, marched in almost military style over to the Prince. They looked gravely down at the tiny baby and he looked gravely back at them. Without consulting out loud to each other, for other measures of communication were used, the head Advisor, a tall man with whom the King had grown up with, said in his powerful voice, "The Council of Advisors have agreed to the name Christopher for the Prince."
The High King smiled at the Council and the men took their seats. "The name of my son passed the Council and now I beseech it to the Oracles."
Two men at the far end of the banquet table stood and arranged the purple robes of their office around them so they fell grandly to the floor. Their customary shaved heads gleamed in the golden light and sparkled off jeweled rings that adorned their fingers. The men all stood in front of the Prince and each gave his own description of the Prince's future.
The first, an old man with wrinkled bronze skin, said, "I see in My Lord Prince, a great man. A man who will unite all the lands under his crown. He will be tall and handsome and he will be a great leader. He is indeed a gift. I consent to the name Christopher."
The Queen stood and came to stand near her husband. There were tears in her eyes when she looked upon her handsome child. The second Oracle, who was obviously the leader due to all the gold he was wearing, stepped forward and took the Prince from Laureen's arms. He held the baby in the crook of his own arm for all to see.
He spoke in a thundering voice saying, "Behold the one who will be the King of all Kings, King of all people. View the Lord of all Lords. Look at the one who will bring peace to the land, the one who will be remembered long after he has died and turned to dust. His rule will be held in just and fair ways. None will make war with him, but they will make friends with him for his kingdom will prosper and all will grow wealthy under him. Behold the Prince whose name, Christopher, I assent!"
The baby finally started to smile, then giggle, and finally, he started laughing with pleasure in a way that only babies can. The laughter spread like a funny joke and all the people present broke out in laughter and cheers. The Oracle took the laughing baby to his father, kneeled down and offered the Prince as a offering to the High King.
The High King took the baby into his arms and looked down upon a future High King; a future peace bringer. The baby continued to laugh and the laughter seemed like sweet bell music to the High King's ears. The baby finally seemed to run out of energy and he slowed from a laugh to a chuckle then to a contented murmur.
"My son, my son!" the King whispered in his son's ear. "You can't even imagine how proud I am at this moment. I have given a name worthy of a High King. I have such love for you and I always will, till I die and then far beyond." Finally he sighed and said to the three people dressed in the red robes, "My Wizards! I give my son to you for your final assessment!"
The three wizards stood and came forward to give their spell gifts. The first one, a pale man with stark white hair named Sergy said to the tiny Prince and the assembled crowd, "I give my lord Prince the spell of Wisdom and Fairness. You will always be able to come up with a decision to all problems, maybe not the right one but at least a decision. My father before me gave this spell to your father when it came time for his Naming. This gift I now give to you." The Wizard dipped his finger in a vial on his belt and traced his magical spell on the Prince's bare chest. The baby shifted under the finger but soon giggled as it began to tickle him.
Sergy stoppered the vial and went back to his place in line. The second Wizard, Poplav, a short man with a high voice, came forward and announced, "I give my gift spell to my Prince Christopher. I give you a Spell of Wealth and Prosperity in hopes that your reign will be full of life's pleasures. Your people will never go hungry, never be poor. This is a powerful spell and thus I give it to you." He dipped his finger in a simple ash box sitting on the nearby table and traced his spell, in ashes of a burnt aspen, on the baby's forehead.
The final Wizard, a woman simply called Mother, came forth. "My Lord Prince. Accept my humble gift. As High Wizard of the Lands, I give you an oh so important gift. I give you the spell of Protection so that none may harm you in cold blood. So you may do all the things that the Oracles see in your future. So that your life will not be cut short from the hands of those who are jealous or fearful of you." She licked her fingers and tranced her spell on the tiny hands and feet.

The High King came forward and bowed to the Wizards. "As a final gift my Lord," Mother said, "We, the Wizards, accept the name of Christopher as befitting a High King such as he will be."
The three bowed back in unison and sat back down in their seats.
The High King came forward and said, "My citizens and loyal subjects! I will not be High King forever. But now I have given you a worthy heir! If you will only accept this gift I give you! I give you Prince Christopher, my only son!" The great hall was filled with a roar as the citizens gave their support to the name and to the infant Prince. The baby looked out over the rowdy crowd, and with a tear in his eye, smiled.

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