Long long ago, there was a princess born who seemed cursed to wander. She was one of those rarest of princesses who was conceived with adventure in her soul. A heart with strong wings, fleet feet, among the biggest of hearts. She had a gregarious laugh and wise head upon her beautiful body and hair as orange as the flame but that was the one feature she was most known for. She covered her locks in blue greased clay as the warriors of her ancestry. She was known as Tristinia, the blue braid of Scotland. Women were not warriors, but she was. Long forgotten in a time when dragons and half creatures we believe to be extinct or never existed. I found her likeness drawn on the wall of a cliff side covered in leaves.
Usually the stones of my country tell of the deeds of men, but it fascinated me to uncover this lost world of a courageous princess who was much loved of men and whose story was unlike so many others who were married as their lot in to a peaceful life. Very few stayed with her and I kept searching the wall, following her tale up the mountain that day to see if she had found what she searched for. What she hoped for. Had her kingdom and family been mended? Had she found love of one single man who would be her king with whom she could share her faith? I followed the mountain paths upward twisting and twining like a braid. Now I knew why. This was her mountain. The mountain of Tristinia the blue braid, worn with time.
When I reached the forested peak, at first glance, there seemed to be nothing. Just forest. Then, in the quiet of the stillness, when one settles one’s heart, almost giving up on their whole endevour, I began to see traces of the landscape of how it must have been in her lifetime. No trees grew, there were white stones, now consumed with foliage and moss. Even her tomb. The only thing untarnished with age lay atop her coffin. A magnificent sword. A polished glinting killer and protector, razor sharp to the edge as well as in reflection. The hilt was studded with diamonds and sapphires. My eyes grew wide with amazement. I approached reverently, almost expecting her to crash out of her resting place and utter a war cry. History’s ghosts seemed to give theirs in the friendly gentle breeze that played in the woodlands. The leaves and rocks seemed to whisper and hum a ballad which, as I stood, closing my eyes as I closed my hands round the sword hilt, took my mind and imagination back to the beginning of her story….