A Great Palace Atop the World
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Long ago, there lived a king. He had three sons and a daughter, and they lived in a great palace atop the world.

The oldest son was always by the king's side, helping to make royal decisions and speaking before the public about the king's will.

The middle brother was a general, the greatest their world had ever seen. He commanded a great many troops, and had helped to unite their land with that of the many other kings of the world.

The youngest prince was a powerful mage. He owned and read thousands of books, and knew hundred of spells and magical rituals that allowed him to help his father rule and accomplish great things for the kingdom's people.

The princess was an oracle, and had always been more connected to the ancestral realm than even the king. She was quiet, and humble. When the king needed to ask for guidance from the kings and queens who sat upon the throne before him, he would consult her to seek them out.

The king had ruled over the realm for nearly a hundred years. But his youth was gone, and he was old. So he called his sons, the princes, to his throne to speak with him.

"My children," he said. "My time draws near. My life wanes, and soon one of you must take my throne. But I know not which one it should be."

"It should be me, Father," said the oldest prince. "I have always obeyed your every command. I should be king."

"Yes," the king replied. "But you have even obeyed me when it might have been better for you to not obey me. A ruler should know when to take risks."

"It should be me, Father," said the middle prince. "I am the strongest of your sons, and can defeat any man in the city in a brawl."

"Yes," the king replied. "But you are aggressive, and you seek out fights much too often. A ruler should know that not all arguments can be solved with violence."

"It should be me, Father," said the youngest prince. "I have children, so our royal bloodline will be secured for further generations."

"Yes," the king replied. "But heirs are not my focus. One good ruler who is the last of their bloodline is better than ten blood-generations of bad rulers."

The princess remained silent.

The king turned to her. "What say you, my daughter?"

"My father," she said. "I do not wish to convince you to make me queen. If I am the one you choose, I will humbly take the throne. But if you give it to one of my brothers, then so be it. I am sure that you and the ancestral spirits will make the right decision."

The king was silent for a moment. "Very well. I will decide which one of you will be my heir. When my life is nearly at its end, and I am lying on my deathbed, I will tell the four of you who will inherit this land."

A year later, the oldest and middle princes got into an argument over a board game as the youngest prince and the princess read quietly in the same room. The middle prince became angry, and drew his sword, wanting to wound his younger brother.

As he swung the blade, the younger prince evaded the attack, and the king entered the room, and was struck by the middle prince's blade.

The oldest prince drew his dagger to punish his brother. "Stop!" the king shouted with as much breath as he, in his dying moments, could muster. "Do not attack your brother for this accident. It will not help." But the oldest did not listen, and thrust the dagger forth, and killed the middle prince.

The youngest prince, furious at his brother's defiance, summoned a bolt of pure magical energy and killed the oldest prince with it. "Why?" said the king. "Why would you kill your only remaining brother when one is already dead?"

"Because a year ago he claimed to be obedient to you, but now he defies your word-"

"And so have you." The king choked out. "You will be punished. But I will take pity. Go. Flee this place, and travel to The World Below. Leave your weapons and your books and abandon your magicks. A year ago, you said the reason I should choose you for the throne was your heirs. In The World Below, you should begin anew - take your heirs. Teach them that although they may not return to this realm, their children, who will have the blood of both our people and the people of their new world, will see our world. Teach them about our history. Teach them that once they can reach our world, they will be welcomed, and the children our world, the children of The World Below, and the children of both will live together in peace and harmony, and the sun will rise on two new worlds."

The king closed his eyes. "My daughter." The princess approached him, and listened closely. "You are the only one of my children left who can succeed me. You will be queen. And please… do not follow in my footsteps. Be better than I was, and bring upon the world a new age of peace and tranquility." And with that, his breaths rattled in his chest fainter and fainter until they were no more.

The new queen did not cry or mourn. She merely took her father's body to the center of the palace and prayed for his spirit to peacefully join the ancestors. Her final remaining brother followed, taking a moment to honor his father before fleeing to The World Below. He placed his hands upon his father's lifeless body and allowed it to fade, turning into wisps of white-blue energy, joining the rulers that preceded him in the ancestral realm.

After the disgraced prince gathered his heirs and they had left for The World Below, but the new queen was crowned. But only a few years later, she realized she didn't want to be queen. Absolute power was not what she desired - it was unity. So she remained queen until she had successfully united the world under one crown.

And then she was no longer a queen, but a high priestess, and appointed a council of priests to help her rule. Using her connection to the spirits, she allowed the pure and the good to join her father and ancestors in eternal peace, leaving behind the struggles of the mortal realm.

And so the sun rose in a new age, and the world was peaceful.

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