Epilogue: Nessantico

Ebb and flow…

Nessantico breathed a collective sigh as the army of Firenzcia

melted away like a spring ice storm, the Hirzg returning to Firenzcia and his throne in Brezno, returning to his wife who was, after all, a relative of the Kraljiki and therefore still useful.

The Hirzg’s daughter Allesandra remained behind, in palatial imprisonment in the Archigos’ Temple where she waited for the ransom to be paid for her release-she would wait much longer than she imagined. Hirzgin Greta would produce a healthy son for the Hirzg not long after his return to Brezno; having a new heir in hand would make the Hirzg slow to pay the ransom.

A descendant of the ca’Ludovici line held the Sun Throne and ruled as Kraljiki-but Justi the One-Legged would not rule anywhere near as long as his matarh had, nor would his reign be remembered as anything but a disaster.

Archigos Ana the First ruled in the temple, though another claiming the title of Archigos dwelled in Brezno. The Concenzia Faith, for the first time, was sundered, and some gave their allegiance to Nessantico and others to Brezno. The two branches of the Faith would drift farther and farther apart in both belief and temperament.

In Nessantico, the Numetodo gained acceptance and even some prominence, and those professing to be in their ranks would eventually be among the ca’-and-cu’. There were even rumors that the Archigos took one of them as a lover, though she would never marry.

The other countries of the Holdings would remember how Firenzcia had nearly thrown off the yoke of Nessantico, and they would wonder if perhaps they could succeed where Firenzcia had failed. None would try, however.

Not yet.

Ebb and flow. .

Nessantico: the city, the woman.

Once there had been no city who could rival her. She wondered now if that would always be true. She had escaped the rape of invaders, but the reverberations of the attack shook the empire from her center to the far borders, and their echoes would linger for decades.

She knew that with age and prominence inevitably come jealousy and risk. She was no longer invulnerable, and there were rivals in the world who wanted what she had always had.

There was darkness, and forces gathered in that gloom: in the west, she saw, as well as in the east. .

After twilight, there would inevitably come nightfall.

She could not hold it back forever.

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