I have watched their people fight and struggle, evil looming large and slinking in through deliberately forgotten alleyways, drenched in shadow, where everyone chooses to look away.
But these bright souls shine on, borne away by their parents, their sisters, brothers, neighbors, friends; set off on a frightful journey, destination unknown, path riddled with terrors they couldn't think to imagine before their homes ceased to mean home.
Here, their castles don't stand proudly high, their garments don't shine purple. They tread through mud, learn to speak around fires insufficient against the cold.
And yet they are protected, not by knives or guns, but by the fierce enduring love of the royals loyal guards.
The tenacity of the dragons, fending off the fiercest foes, fighting hard to protect the future leaders not yet grown, to teach them how to live and love and laugh.
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