WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore of Worlds Adrift
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Many years passed and the Empress grew into a beautiful young woman. Alas her father did not live nearly as long. Three months after she had strayed from the palace, he fell ill and died in his sleep. With no firm hand to guide her, the Empress, who was a difficult child, became a yet more difficult adult.
Getta Renata would oft leave the court, something her guardians had forbidden, and wander the the streets of Ten-Rui. The people would always remember the little girl with the brown smock, and took fondly to her. She was flighty and hard to please, she asked questions and never waited for the answers, but none could deny that she was wise and king, and had some special quality.
She always took time to visit the kindly tailor, and thank him for the smock he had given her. The tailor always offered her one of his beautiful dresses, and she always declined. As she grew, she asked him to adjust the smock so that it still fit her - but her guardians only ever allowed her to wear it in private. One day she visited his shop, only to find that it was closed and emptied. The tailor was sat on the doorstep crying.
"Oh poor Mr. Tailor" she said, "What has happened?"
"I have been evicted by the squire, and dispossessed of my wares," he said.
"Oh how terrible," said the Empress, "I will see to it that you are restored."
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Nevertheless the counsel of the purse insisted the young courtier disguised as the Empress continue to visit the low-town, just as Getta had done, so that no suspicions would be aroused. The courtier quickly discovered that the mood of the people had changed. The Empress, whom as a child in a brown smock they had so dearly loved, appeared to have betrayed them.
No sooner had the courtier, disguised in the Empress' beautiful green dress, entered the market square, than barrels were tipped, and rotten fruit thrown in her direction. Others took handfuls of mud and smeared her where she stood. The sparrow guard rushed to her defence, impaling the culprits with their spears, but the damage was already done. The mob now turned upon the guards, and the courtier was able to escape into a backstreet.
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Remarkably, the kindly tailor took her measurements, and found them to be exactly as they had always been. He took her instructions patiently, making all the arrangements she had asked for. When the courtier has exhasted him, and night was soon to fall, she turned her back on him and marched to the door to leave.
"Please wait your highness, for there is one more dress in my shop," he said, and he took a plain brown smock from the top of his work table and held it before her.
"Do you mock me sir?" she said, "that is not fit for an Empress, and is presently much too large."
"Very well," he said, smiling sadly.
But before she could step through the door to rejoin the sparrow guard, the tailor had a hold of her neck, and his sharpest needle over the ball of her eye.
"Where is the true Empress? I shall not make clothes for an impostor."
Shocked and afraid for her life, the young courtier spilled all she could about the great dog and the green islands, and vowed not to speak of his assault should he let her safely go. That he did, and the courtier ran off into the night, never to be seen again.
The next day, on the tailor's advice, the angry populace stormed the court and commandeered it for themselves. Though once they were there, they lacked the wherewithal to use their power. Meanwhile, the kindly tailor chartered a galleon in exchange for the gold he had been given for his clothes, and with his crew, set sail for the green islands.
When he arrived there, he immediately came upon the great dog, whose fur was also green, A hapless sailor tried to attack the dog with his cutlass, but the dog brushed him aside with a lazy paw, and he was dashed upon some rocks. Then the great dog spake.
"I know why you have come."
"I came because I must," replied the kindly tailor, "for I made a solemn promise."
"Then I shall not stand in your way, provided you can answer three questions," the great dog boomed.
"Very well," said the tailor, who was determined in spite of his fear.
"One. What is your profession?"
"I am a poor tailor, with not a penny to my name," he said, and he spake the truth, for he'd spent the last of his gold on chartering the galleon.
"Good," said the dog, chewing on a sailor's bones,
"Second. Who is it you seek?"
"I seek the Empress of Ten-Rui, who has been imprisoned here against her will. She is a noble creature, yet she kind enough to pity the weak. Oh great dog, can you not learn to pity the weak too?"
"I can," said the great dog, licking the blood from its paws. Then the dog asked the last of its questions,
"Third. What is the real reason for seeking the Empress? Do you hope for some personal gain in this business?"
"Yes I do," said the tailor honestly, "for though my promise was enough to bring me to these strange islands, I realise I love the Empress, and wish her to be my wife."
"Good," said the dog, "then you may have her."
With that the dog opened the Empress' cage, and she fell into the kindly tailor's arms. The dog let the happy couple depart, though he gobbled a couple more sailors by way of reward.
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