Sunset -- Prison (Sirion)
Brigdha sat at the cramped trestle which passed for a table, and by the light of a tallow candle furiously scribbled with quill on parchment. Times such as these were the breaking of many people but her merchant's heart knew catastrophe and opportunity were often closely linked.
The Fontan that was had already passed into history even though its knights still clung desperately to its shriven bones and with that passing the possibility of a new Fontan arose, a realm which lived up to the ideals of its founders. Bereft of her empire and imperial pretensions there was the hope that honest democracy could once more flourish, but how to give form to that dream?
If only Chancellor Romanov still lived, he would know the answer. Or perhaps her sister Lady Moira? Many times Brigdha had been on the receiving end of one of the Marchioness's length diatribes on the true nature of democracy and the obligations it placed on nobles, theories which at the time had seemed to abstract and remote to have bearing in the real world. And yet it had been her sister who so clearly predicted this sorry day, both militarily and culturally.
And as these thoughts played through her mind Lady Brigdha read the words her heart had composed:
"Fontan was great because she was good. And in those days she was a realm without compare. When Fontan ceased to be good, she ceased to be great for a democracy without virtue or restraint is the worst tyranny of all..."