Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Kingdom Towns and Meeting Halls

Alyra's first encounter of a kingdom town was in Many Rivers--

Water from the low hanging branches dripped on her, but she ignored the irritation. She couldn’t feel any more miserable anyway. Her leg hurt from the gash, her arm from the burns, and her heart broke for the people of that beautiful town. Lotari seemed unconcerned over the whole ordeal. A smile played across his usually stern face as he picked a couple of burrs off of his horse legs. 

Finally, as the heavy rain subsided, he asked, “I don’t suppose any of the bread I made you remains?”
Taken aback at his callousness, she glared at him. He’d seemed kind and caring when she was traveling alone. Did he not care for the townspeople anymore than his clan did? Alyra pulled off her pack and threw it at him. 

He caught it, brows knit in confusion for a moment before his face relaxed. “Alyra, they will be fine. Why did you not stay in the Meeting Hall like the others?”

“I didn’t want to get burned up! Why wouldn’t they flee?” Hot tears stung her eyes. “All those children...” 

“Foolish child, have you not listened to anything? The white path is safe. The white buildings are safe as well.”

She shook her head, unable to believe his words. 

He nodded in affirmation. “This is the reason I told you to make haste. The kingdom town offered you protection against the enemy...."

              Illuminated: Book One, Chapter 17.

I really wanted to paint a picture of a picturesque little town, nestled in the woods, somewhat sheltered, but still, on the edge of the enemy's territory, and prone to random attacks. When Alyra raced into the village square, she was being pursued and in danger. Yet, the town took her directly to their Meeting Hall to find shelter while they defended their homes with what weapons they had at their disposal.

The enemy caused damage. Some were hurt. At least, those who hadn't taken shelter, and those who stood on the front lines of defense.

However, Alyra did not return later to find a beaten people, but a determined community of people. Ready to rebuild better and stronger than before. That's the heart of a kingdom people.

Today, I want to talk about a few qualities that make up a thriving kingdom town.

Ready To Accommodate the Weary Traveler

All kingdom towns can be located along the King's Highway, otherwise known as the White Road. The townships vary in design, population and size. Some are new and just becoming established. If you are an adventurous type, you might wish to settle down and help build.

Others are well established, even fortified with ramparts and defenses-- especially if located in hostile lands.

Despite what type of township you find yourself in, the welcome will always be the same. If you are passing though, they will offer supplies and full-fill any needs you might have to accomplish your journey. They are all aware, that the most important thing is to help travelers reach their destination.

A Place To Learn About the Kingdom

If you do so choose to remain awhile, there is always people willing to teach you about kingdom ways. More established communities will have a library with a caretaker who knows how to find the information you need. They might be a little persnickety about how their beloved books are treated, but they are generous with sharing all they know. 

It's a given fact, that the larger the kingdom town, the more vast is their knowledge base. Not all learning come from books, you see, but from the experiences and hard-earned wisdom of those who've been down the same trail you are currently walking. It's good to be willing to sit and listen to their stories, no matter how long winded some may be.

A Place of Refuge and Healing

Every kingdom town will have a White Healing tree growing somewhere. If you are sick, weary, or wounded, find those with Healing qualities and they are always willing to help. Sometimes you'll want to stay awhile and allow your mind and body to find restoration. That's fine. Just don't forget there is still a road to be traveled and a King eagerly waiting to make your acquaintance.

Kingdom towns also provide a place of refuge and safety. When the enemy is pursuing you, call on the leaders to stand around you. Seek shelter in the Meeting Hall. Any town claiming to be of the kingdom will do everything possible to help you stand against attacks.

Not Meant To Be An Isolated Island

What kingdom towns are not meant to be, are little isolated islands, keeping to themselves and serving only their own members. If you come across a place such as this, YOU ARE NOT IN A KINGDOM TOWN.

If you have to leave your path to enter a town, then you're not in a kingdom town.
If you are not welcomed in with attentive kindness, then you're not in a kingdom town.
If you see an enemy presence, well, then you better not even bother. Just keep going and soon you'll find a more hospitable place. Trust me. Always, no matter what, stay on the path! Everything you need will be found there.

So, there you have the basic working of a kingdom town in Alburnium. More and more towns in the White Road Chronicles are to be explored within the pages.

But I encourage you, dear readers, to find your own kingdom safe-ground in your real life. They're out there. We need others to help us on our journey, no matter which direction we are traveling. If you're running toward home, seeking refuge, or undertaking a quest, these are the places and people who will help get you to where you need to go.

And who knows, maybe someday you'll find that special place to settle down and make your home.

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47

The pictures in this post all come from my Pinterest boards. Check out the White Road Chronicles board for more scenes from my books and the characters that inhibit the pages.

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