21 October 2008

The Story of Drachon and Alesar

The Story of Drachon and Alesar

Posted upon this 21 October 2008
Copyright K. S. Wood

Since the beginning of time, as long as any man or beast could remember, the land of Rioaght Fiorahren existed. From the time of the ancient days, its resonance abounded greatly. From the Lake of Reflections in the west to the Great Sea in the east, the Crags of Dusk to the south to the Forest of Dawn in the north, the kingdom was splendid and prosperous, as were the peoples that were permitted to live in such a kingdom

And, for as long as anyone could remember, Alesar himself had been king. He had descended from the last of the ancient ones of the olden days, and thus did not age, as did mere man. He was taller than any man, and stronger than any lion. It was said that he was also handsome in coloring, more so than even the fairest maiden. Those that could remember told of the long ruddy brown hair that glistened like fire in the sunlight and hung across his shoulders regally. They also spoke of the eyes that held no one solitary color, but had the ability to change from pale gray to the fiercest blue and the darkest green with the moods of the king. They talked of the face that was as rugged as the mountains, but yet as smooth as the sea.

King Alesar ruled wisely and firmly, as had the ancient ones in the world that had passed. The land had known no injustice or dread, for the fairness of the king was unparalleled. There was only one threat, and that was why King Alesar kept his eyes fixed to the south.

To the southwest lay the Ophel Heolstor, the great tower in the Ream Heolstor that belonged to the Lord Drachon, lord of the shadows. His realm was not as big as that of Rioaght Fiorahren, but it was formidable and strong.

Drachon came from the same ancient race as had Alesar, and some had spoken of their kinship as being closer than just that of being of the same race. Drachon was a beautiful and tall creature, with black hair that shone in the sunlight and colorless eyes that carried the glint of diamonds. He was fair of face, and almost as handsome as the King himself, but his carriage was darker than Alesar’s.

Drachon’s power was less than that of the elder king, and he had a hatred for King Alesar because of the greater power Alesar held. Yet, try as he might he could not overcome the power that surpassed his realm to the southwest. He could not overtake it in one battle, but he knew that if he continued to try to overtake Rioaght Fiorahren little by little, he would succeed. Thus he sought to add control over it to his unyielding grasp piece by piece.

He was pleased with himself for creating allies of the men of Alesar, for he could whisper secrets to them that would turn their loyalties from their king, and help him in increasing the gains of the realm of Ream Heolstor into the land of Rioaght Fiorahren.

While unable to step into the land of King Alesar because of the power of the king, Lord Drachon could send his minions, in the guise of the servants of the king, into the land, and that he did. Many within Rioaght Fiorahren fell under the control of Drachon’s ways, and many mouthed words of uprising and rebellion against the king that they had been loyal to for so long. They started to teach false praises to their children, and began lies and deceitful tales that soon spread throughout the kingdom.

The seven warriors of Mach Coyral, the loyal warriors of the king and also of the ancient ones, heard these stories, and their hearts became blackened by the false tales. They felt betrayed by their king, and they soon began a terrible plan to overthrow their ancient king.

King Alesar knew these stories were underfoot, but he chose to do nothing to stop them except continue to reign as fairly and justly as he had since the beginning of age. He was aware of the plot to overthrow him set in motion by the lords of Mach Coyral, and his heart became saddened, but he chose to do nothing, for he had hoped that their hearts would be able to see through the evils guises of their kinsman to the southwest.

But the work of the Lord Drachon prevailed, and the seven attacked the palace in Cathair Alesar with their large army, made of the men whom had been turned from loyalty to the king by Lord Drachon, demanding his death.

The captain of the guard of the army, still ferociously loyal to the king, became alarmed, and rallied his soldiers to protect their king, but Alesar stopped him.

“This battle is not between you and your fellow men, Raimond. This battle is solely between the Drachon and the Alesar,” he spoke. His eyes were the fiercest blue as he spoke, and the noble guardsman knew that a parting was soon to come.

Armed solely with a solitary sword and dressed in his simplest raiment, the king mounted his steed and pressed towards the southwest, and the ensuing mists of darkness that loomed in the far reaches of his kingdom. Past the lands of Mach Coyral he rode, galloping closer and closer to his doom in the distance.

At the edge of the plains, he dismounted, unwilling to let his noble steed step into the terror that he alone was to endure. He took the beast’s head in his hands, pressed his face to its cheek, and kissed him goodbye.

“Fare thee well, Ethelstodd1. May you remain true until we meet again.”

The horse tossed back his head and shed a tear, for he knew it was a good-bye that would last for ages. Alesar took from him the saddle, the lone piece of equipment that was needed by the noble steed and released his mount, who turned back for the city, never once looking back at his master.

For the first time since the beginning of time, Alesar stepped into the realm of Lord Drachon and came to face him.

“I have come, Drachon, just as it was foretold so long ago by our brethren.2 I have come to fulfill the condition put upon me when I received my kingdom. I will give you my life, in return for the peace of our kingdoms.”

“You will choose death, then, Alesar?” Drachon asked, his voice as clear as the morning sky.

“I will choose death, if it were to mean that my subjects be left in peace, and that the Mists would not increase more to swallow up all that the Fiorahren choose to remain in light.” He withdrew his sword and held it in his hands. He knelt and offered it up to his adversary in surrender.

“Do with me as you please,” he said.

Drachon accepted the sword in surrender. “I will gladly accept your terms, and make some of my own.” He fingered the sword before continuing.

“I will accept your life, as well as your kingdom for my own, and I will continue to increase my kingdom until all is encompasses and Fiorahren sees that I can be as truly powerful as you, my brethren Alesar. You fool, did you honestly believe your precious kingdom would be left out of my realm. Ha! Too bad you will not live to see the Ream Heolstor at its finest hour. With that, I say good-bye, King Alesar.”

He flicked Alesar’s sword into his hand, raised his arm out, and in one quick swoop, brought the sword down across the neck of the still kneeling individual.

With that, King Alesar fell. It was the Kingdom’s darkest hour.

Darkness fell over the city, and the deep cry that accompanied the death of an ancient one followed. All of the loyal subjects fell to their knees in sorrow.

The seven warriors fell silent and were stricken with remorse, for though they voiced for the death of Alesar, in their hearts they did not wish so, and now he was gone, stricken by the hand of Lord Drachon. They fell to their knees as the army they led began their advance on the city.

The seven of them were killed in the crush, and died the deaths of cowards.

The men of Drachon ravaged Cathair Alesar, destroying the once grand buildings and slaughtering any who chose to oppose them. By nightfall, the city was in ruins.

Raimond had snuck out of the city, and with the help of some of the men, dared to venture into the mists to gather the body of their beloved leader to bring him back to the city. With tears running down their faces, they mourned for their king, laying his body in the darkened tomb beneath the ruined city in the dead of night.

Three days passed, and Lord Drachon prepared to take control over his new kingdom. He stood on the blackened steps of the ruined palace and held up the sword which slew the king, the sword known forever more as Thanatos Ethel Arsalan.

“Subjects of Rioaght Fiorahren, now known as Rioaght Heolstor Drachon, hear me! I am now the king. I have slain the Arsalan! I have won!”

A loud rumble shook the palace foundation and the sound of stones moving could be heard. A flash of lightning cracked across the sky, and all became silent.

“No you have not, Drachon!” cried a loud voice, one that rolled across the rubble that once made up the city with a deafening noise.

Drachon lifted his eyes to the top of the rubble that once made up the tower. A look of terror mixed with amazement came across his face, and he gasped.

There, standing more brilliant than ever, a crimson scar gracing his neck as if it were a scarf, stood King Alesar. He was larger than ever, and his eyes shone with the most intense blue anyone had ever seen. He wore raiment of the finest sort, and his hair shone as if it were intense with fire.

“I have returned, Drachon.”

“How? Why?”

A stern smile crossed the noble one’s face. “Did you not realize that if I were to give myself willingly to you in death, that you would have no power over me?”

Drachon’s colorless eyes flashed. “How is it you have become stronger in death, Alesar?”

“It is now Seanalesar, Drachon. Ethel Seanalesar Ben Fiorahren.”

Drachon gasped. “You have become the Fiorahren and have taken his power.”

“No, Drachon, Fiorahren has become Athal Alesar. Did you not know that Fiorahren and Alesar were one in the same, and had been since the beginning of time? Did you not know that you too could have become as one like us, Drachon, had you so chosen?”

Lord Drachon could only stare angrily at Seanalesar, his colorless eyes gleaming with ferociousness. He could not find the mortal words to speak what his eyes were voicing clearly, but Seanalesar could understand him all the same.

He looked deep into the colorless eyes and spoke quietly, yet his voice still deafened all that were gathered.

“Drachon, for your part in this, I condemn thee. You will continue to have your power over all you so desired, but you shall not be able to physically enjoy seeing all your madness, nor will you ever be able to control those who have remained loyal to me!

“You shall not be allowed out of your abode in Ophel Heolstor until I come again, though you will not know when or how I will return. Go now and enclose yourself in your darkness, for only it will bring you comfort.”

Seanalesar turned to the seven women of Mach Coyral, mourning over the solitary grave in which lay their husbands’ bodies. His eyes glowed dark green as he faced them. “For your husbands’ part in this, which you did not stop, I condemn you as well. You will neither diminish in power nor in body until I come again. Your home will be that of mourning, and you shall be seen as ancient until the end, for you chose not to condemn your husbands as the betrayed their lord to the dark. But fear not, for your time here upon the land will come to an end, and you shall be free to depart as spirits when I return.”

Seanalesar then turned to the people, the kinsmen who surround the rubble of the great city. “For your part in this, those who have betrayed me, you to shall be punished. You shall live in the land knowing that you could have chosen a life of justice and encouragement, but have chosen to live without. You will continue to be ruled, though by men, rather than by those of old. Fear not, for I will come again to rule you once more, and I will leave you with guidance and comfort.”

He called for Raimond, and put his hands on the guardsman’s shoulders. “You shall become the noble watcher, as will your descendants in times to come. To you I give the title Heathweard, for you will be the guardian of the ancient city. I beg of you to chose from among these men guardians of the cities of the kingdom, and allow them the right to call themselves king, until the day when I shall return.”

Raimond Heathweard wept as he kissed his sovereign goodbye, and went on his way, searching out from among the mortals though noble enough to be called the new sovereigns of the city-kingdoms.

As he turned to look back once more at the king, only a dimming brilliance remained, as dusk was falling over the city. The citizens of Rioaght Fiorahren returned to their lands, wondering if all had been a dream.

Heathweard did as the king bid him. He went out at once, searching out from among the men of the kingdom-cities for the ones among them worthy to guard their part of the kingdom3. After doing so, he retired to Aritorre, the tower of the guard, and remained there until his death, watching and waiting for the Ahedah Seanalesar.

1 Ethelstodd was born of the horses of the ancient ones, and was as ageless as his rider. It is said that he was whiter than the purest white, and could ride faster than the eagles could fly. He was larger than any other horse.

2 See the story of the ancient ones to understand why it was foretold.

3 From the city of Hallberg, he chose Halvard and made him guardian over the crags and mountains. From the city of Rosemaris, he chose Meredyth, and made him guardian over the sea. From the city of Clarimond, he chose Wordhyll and made him guardian over the hills. From the city of Challeigh, he chose Coileach, and made him guardian over the forest. From the city of Solana, he chose Lochtarian and made him guardian over the lake.

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