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Gad sent letters south, but those people claimed no king and knew no Inigo. He sent letters west, but their carriers vanished. Lonago had come home, of course; but he spoke to no one who could not sing.

Gad buried their father in silica and state. Heavy was his head at the coronation, but that was just the ceremonial headpiece. He had a lighter one for everyday use.

He abdicated at the age of forty-seven and retired to a hillside summer home. The Council barely noticed. They were trying to decide how many sides should be on the new coins.


Prince Lonago went east until the road became a pier, and stepped onto the ship at its end. He sang down the wind to set them sailing sunward, and they came to an ancient city, peopled with soft accents and clever lies.

Lonago learned there to sing other things: riddles and flattery, counterpoint and intrigue. His voice cracked and warbled, then settled again into subtler tones. But there were only so many homes in the city. None of them were for him.

The wind that took him west was fitful and hesitant, like a lover with a catch in her throat.

Inigo, Imago, Lonago and Gad

Once upon a time there were four princes: Imago, Inigo, Lonago and Gad. Imago was swift; Inigo, strong. Lonago could sing down the wind in a high, clear voice like a violin.

The brothers learned to hunt and sail, the declension of Latin and to declaim in Greek. They cared for the people; the people thought them fine.

When they were twenty-three, twenty-one and eighteen respectively, Imago, Inigo and Lonago rode to the corners of the kingdom to seek wisdom and return as men.

Gad stayed home to actually run the castle.

This story has little concern for Gad.