Order of the Amethyst
The gardens are beautifully planted and well tended, with gravel paths leading between flowerbeds and fountains and various areas separated away by trees and plants to allow for private reflection. The gardens are protected by high, white stone walls, while the large iron gates (which are never locked and rarely closed) are themselves covered with growing flowering vines and plants that cover nearly all the ironwork.
At the centre of the garden stands the Mourning Tree; a large weeping willow transplanted to the site as a standing memorial to the slain King Bernhard and Queen Leana.
Around this tree on the ground are five carved stone reliefs showing scenes of the couple.
- The King and Queen sitting regal on the Throne
- Sitting and talking with their two children, shown at the young age of around 2 and 5
- The two riding together through woodlands in fine hunting gear
- The couple sitting cosily together beside a roaring fire
- Both laughing together as they appear to be baking and neading bread together
When the weather is fair, the sunset is particularly spectacular in the gardens, especially when the wind is low and only a few chimes catch amongst the sweeping leaves of the weeping willows.
Over only a period of a few weeks the kingdom suffered the murder of many of the Royal Family and their closest allies, including the King and Queen and the heads of numerous Houses, as well as an assassination attempt at the Prince which left him severely weakened and unable to rule, and an abduction of the young Princess Zinna.
This was followed by a period of severe prejudice and hatred targeted at dragonborn and dragon-kin, as it was known for there to be dragonborn among the attackers of the Royal family and the kingdom had always harbored a minor prejudice against such folk. There was mass rioting in the capital and a frenzied hunt across the country, with many dragonborn banished, attacked or murdered.
Shortly after returning to the capital and taking the throne, the young Queen Zinnanda outlawed any prejudice against dragonborn and dragonkin, stating that all who were related to dragon-kind were under the strict protection of the crown.
Sadly by then, hundreds had already been slain or had fled the kingdom fearing for their lives, with many others reluctant to remain. So it was that Queen Zinnanda arranged for a beautiful garden to be planted at the old site of the tavern ‘The Dragon’s Tower’, which itself had been attacked during the capital’s riots and had been destroyed when the inn’s spirit cellar had caught fire and exploded.
The Queen had all the bodies of the slain dragon-born gathered, details of their names and titles logged if possible, and on a day-long funeral attended in person along with various other residents of the capital (from Lords to peasants) as each were laid to rest in the Singing Gardens.
For each dragonborn slain or missing, a single coloured wind chime was hung with the name (or if their name were unknown, a brief description) engraved upon it.
It is said that the creation of the garden, the Queen‘s dutiful patience throughout the long ceremony, her insistence that seating, warm blankets and refreshments be brought for all in attendance at the cost of the crown, and her clear words of peace and forgiveness at the end of the proceedings were strong reasons she commonly earned the name ’Zinnanda the Merciful’.