Togullen adjusted his robes, as he spoke around the base of Tonunda’s statue. He had spent most of the day telling of his tales to a gathered crowd of visitors, mainly children. Apart from his time with God in reading his Bible or in prayer, he knew no greater joy that to relate the tales of Nusalle’s champions.
Tonunda’s exploits always enthralled an audience. For the male listeners, Tonunda the Savage, was a living cyclone, able to cut down his enemies like chaff in the wind for the sake of justice. Females saw a different appeal. They listened with longing smiles of adoration for a feral man who left all that he knew to be with the woman he loved.
Tonunda loved all of his people; a theme Togullen tried to promote. He wanted the visitors of the great hall to understand the greater love Tonunda showed for Nusalle; the greatest love anyone could give.
“Now if I might direct you to the second statue,” he said.
“How did he die, Lord Chronicler?” asked a small boy of about ten.
He wished the children would merely call him by name, but their parents would never allow them to refer to him by anything less than his honoured title.
With a broken smile, he looked up at the statue of the feral king wielding two tribesman’s axes. It was a tale he had hoped to avoid. For the last few nights, he had procrastinated from writing of Tonunda’s demise. He should have been grateful that the question had arisen. It gave him the opportunity to refresh his memories of the event before he scribed it after the doors closed for the afternoon.
Rather than convey sadness to his audience, he wanted them to leave the great hall inspired, at having heard of one of the most noble acts in history. It came to him as he looked up into the marble stare.
He smiled. “That is his greatest story. It occurred during the first war against the Vindavians. I would never treat the sacrifices of the Nusalleans lightly, but there were many battles and I cannot scribe them all in detail. What I am about to tell you is about the day most prominent in Nusalle’s history. A day that is depicted on the ceiling above you.”
Everyone looked up, taking in the stained glass depiction, which formed the dome over the Hall of Heroes’ entrance. It showed two kings locked in mortal combat; Tonunda gripped the bat wings of Natas’ helmet. Natas gripped Tonunda’s throat.
“But he won that day; did he not, Lord Chronicler?” said a small girl.
Togullen’s first impulse was to say “aye, and no,” but Tonunda won a far greater victory.
“He did,” he said. “I stood in the streets with the cheering crowds on that day, but the story goes back a few hours earlier. One brief yet powerful in consequences. One act of righteousness…”