Welcome back everyone. I’ve finished up the edits here to Chapter 1 – Part 2 – The King. And for those who missed the first part, here is the link to Part 1. The adventurer.
And just to give a general perspective, a blurb shall we about this story. It’s a story from the perspective of three groups. The Adventurers, The King, and The Scion (The Princely Soldier). It’s about their lives, and events that occur to them and around them, in a world that uses some back lore of Elemental. Yet is purely a parallel universe styled story. (But if you’ve looked at Elemental: War of Magic , you could easily turn this story, into that gameworld and play it out!)
So without further ado, I present to you, the King.
– The King –
The man sat with his legs crossed in a lotus position, floating gently upon a cushion of air. He was hovering above a powerful and sacred circle of arcane protection. There, floating in the eldritched charged air, the Sovereign of Darsaana. He was somewhere in his late fifties. But quite fit. He had large expressive brown eyes, that were set into a heavily lined and cragged face. Each line earned from some frustration, or weight or burden, be it magic, national, or moral. In some cases it was all three.
His lower extremities were garbed in azure colored trousers, that were made of a rich arcanic silk.They were festooned, with symbols of arcane formulae stitched into their very weave. Several months ago a loyal researcher had rediscovered the pattern and formula style. It required, the silk of moon spiders that were only found in the northern mountains. And he had sent a small group of adventurers to acquire it. His upper torso was draped with a flowing tunic cut with a modest yet flattering style. It was the color of midnight blue, and made of a rare silk , with golden thread patterns, flowing out in a modern style. The entire thing rippled and billowed, in the air. And looked quite imposing.
He cut a fine figure, hovering there slowly floating up and down in the scintillating circle of power. Angry, eldritch bolts of energy kept lashing out trying to pierce his arcane shields. Seeking any weakness, that would allow it to burn him to a cinder. It attacked with an almost sentient force, driving it to slay this mage. Small beads of sweat sprouted on his heavily lined and furrowed brow. He was concentrating on trying to unlock the powers of a large mana shard that had been brought to him by his close friend Tyris. Eldritch energy streamers began to slowly ebb and flow outward from the assaulted emerald mana crystal. It’s shape was roughly the length and size of a stout man’s forearm, with a riot of ruby red fractures deep within it’s crystalline shell. Raging winds began to howl in the tower, otherworldly screams of wind and fury.
Ky’Riss gasped audibly, and quickly began to try to inhale at the sudden lost of his breath. Furiously he sucked back in at the escaping breath. As the beads of sweat formed into stream rivulets that continuously rolled down his heavily perspiring face now, falling onto his heaving chest.
This shouldn’t be that hard he thought, and then like a dam busting loose, he saw the problem, the lattice work of the crystal was a recurring higher arcanic matrix. And once he realized it, he was able to mentally manipulate it to change position, and he forced a powerful rune of transformation upon it.
There was an explosion of pure raw mana and time froze for a moment. With a clarity that only one of the great mages could exhibit, he saw how everything would flow. The months of research, and the unlocking of this mana shard, with the right application of absorption, and diffusion. He was able to direct the mana explosion into smaller tesseracts, which he was able to then individually free up, and break down into smaller and smaller eldritch tesseracts.
Suddenly time sped back up. And the room darkened, as the mana shard was shattered. All of it’s energies were absorbed. The only lights of the room, coming from the protective eldritch shields, and the light of the burning mana roiling out of his eyes, like unbidden beams of the sun. He closed his eyes, and relaxed, and concentrated. And could feel his heart calming down, and his breathing smoothen.
Changing his golden shields into a translucent glowing mist, he let them flow away, dissipating into the ether from which they came. And finally, he took a step onto the solid crimson marble floor. This was the first time in twelve hours, he experienced the weight of his body again. Not surprisingly, the weight of gravity pulling down on him, caused his joints to compress. The pain was not unbearable, as he had gotten used to it over the last several decades.
It was increasingly dangerous and tense work. This was the third earth mana stone that had come into his control. Through extreme effort, he was able to unlock their mysteries. Their ancient arcanic energies, that had been stored and locked inside that aged crystal, like a forbidden mystery of a secret lover. But when he was finished, his power had increased, by an order of magnitude. Contemplating his accomplishment, he walked wearily out of the chamber. He reached and stretched as he walked. Getting the blood flowing back into his limbs. Striding slowly through the chambers mana shield, an emerald colored liquid. It provided protection to the chamber from the outer world. Ky’Riss ran his hand through his hair. It was thick and damp, but naturally curly. It was a darker brown, but with streaks of gray shot through it. After such an extreme ordeal, it now hung limply around his face. Adorning him like a bedraggled scoundrel after a night at the pub.
A thought leapt unbidden to his mind. He thought about when children heard stories about wizards, and their powers, they always ooh’d and aah’d. He wearily chuckled, and thought to himself. It’s damn exhausting work being this powerful. He walked back into this material plane of existence. The full weight of gravity of Saraal caught up, and caused him to practically stumble back into the world. He quietly turned around, and reaching out, he shut the arcana chambers door. And with decades of practice, he reapplied his magical locks of power. With a weary effort, he turned back around and walked across the length of his study chambers.
Beakers and vials, bubbled, and hissed. Glass shards, floated in the air, as did strange incorporeal disembodied forms. Working through, applying this or that liquid to another vial. Along another wall were many maps, of the known world, and near them were many scrolls and books of ancient languages, and treatises. He ignored them and closed his eyes as he stood in the room. Just recovering. He took in a big gulp of the rooms thickly laden incensed filled air.
Coming through an ornate mahogany door, was one of his closest advisers. The older gentleman, swiftly came into the chamber. The chains of his station, rang out, as he moved. The ringing, of the thick chains of gold and silver, echoed throughout the chamber. As they jostled on his crimson colored velvet doublet. Which smartly covered his chest and shoulders, and matched his silk shoulder cape. The chains continued to jingle ever so softly as he crossed the floor. He moved with haste to provide his liege with some much needed refreshment. He carried the King’s favorite beverage, a bottle of fine Amarinthian elven wine.
The king smiled at his friend. And took the proffered glass, and bottle. The king put the cork to his mouth, and pulled it out as he began to pour the dark amber liquid into the waiting glass. The king jovially spit the cork to his friend. Tyris caught it, and put it on the table. As they both walked over towards the studies receiving balcony. And they each took to a plush, cushioned seat, that looking out onto the vista, of a city and nearby mountains. Ky’Riss let out an exultant sigh of pleasure. As the steady evening, spring breezes, cooled the king. Goosebumps rose across his skin, responding to the sudden wave of chilled air, crashed into his flesh.
They sat in silence for a while. Tyris, also an older man, with unruly but youthful healthy brown hair, took a glass and held it out to the King who just reached out and poured a glass.
“Speak.” The King said. His tone belied a hint of frustration, the rich rumbling timbre of his voice, causing those who heard it to pay attention.
“Sire.. ” Tyris began, his stubbled old man jowls moving with his exaggerated gestures.
“Things, have come to our awareness, that will require your immediate attention. To the north, that elven bitch queen Kelliaanarel has decided that your border villages, have, been illegally gathering goods from her lands. Timber, game, and wines.” the Kings hooded eyelids, drooped a bit, as if not pleased with this action. But said nothing, taking a deep swallow of the wine, which, ironically came from the very elven kingdom Autulaas, from which the the queen was from. A knowing smirk crossed his face for a moment, as he enjoyed the irony.
Tyris continued. “Your son, Ky’rel has sent dispatches, that the Damned Empire, Vaalix, has been massing more and more troops, and recently the legendary Death Knight, Cyteris the Unholy, has moved to take control of the armies. Ky’rel is asking for additional support, and for the paladin chapter of the Ultimate Light to send their second legion, to the border immediately.” Ky’Riss, nodded sagely. But as usual, kept quiet, when deciphering information that would affect the outcome of his very nation.
Tyris, took a swallow of his wine, and rubbed his stubbled jaw when he got to the next part. “It appears, that the western wastelands are not so empty. We have word, that there is a powerful nation to the west. This was brought back to us by one of your majesty’s explorers, Harnellis the Swift. They are interested in trade, and would like to establish immediate diplomatic missions here, and would like you to send capable people to them. Harnellis confided in me, that they were a powerful but desperate lot. They apparently have a serious problem, and are looking for true allies.” Tyris quieted after that, for a moment, not trying to sway his king towards any action.
“Well that’s the usual national issues. Please go on, onto the civic level and then let me know of any freebooters who’ve come along.” He said as he absently, as he scratched at his forehead, with his longer nailed middle finger.
“Your cities are doing well, with the exception of the northern villages. They’ve been experiencing attacks by bandits lately. Not sure if they are related to Autulaas or not. But it could be the land is not as fertile as hoped. I understand your newly commissioned collegium of magic will be finished, in Arthend, next month. And will be a boon for your magical researches. So that is a good thing.” he nodded as if it really was, his jowls responding with every shake of the head.
“Now, our border agents from the east, have reported, that a band of adventurers have been seen crossing the Mere of Woe. Involving a dwarf, and two humans. The Sheriff of Torsek City has a spy in the eastern reaches, out of the Free City Kev. Apparently the Duke of Kev has been sending adventurers out, much more frequently. As if he’s found something important, but is needing something else. The rumor is the artifact The Seven Stars of Chaos, might.. and I do stress might, be what is being sought for.”
The king, immediately sat up, and looked over at his old friend. His eyes narrowed to menacing slits. And he coughed from the back of his throat and spit to his left over the balcony. “This is not good. The Seven Stars, are one of the great artifacts from before the Titan Wars.” In response, he poured a larger glass of the wine, and took a long pull and then filled it again. And put the bottle down.
With the glass in his left hand, he waved with his right hand, quick arcane gestures, which conjured a shimmering translucent mist in the air. A rough map began to appear in the mist. It showed, hills, and more, cities and national borders. Small crimson dots began to appear, indicating lost places of power, ruins, and such. There were many dotting the Kingdom of Dasaana. Along the eastern border, there was the swampland, Mere of Woe, but next to it was a very large, glowing crimson dot. He pointed at it, and the map zoomed into a birds eye view of the actual region, a live ongoing view. This type of effort was often painful to continue doing but when the King was driven, he often went far beyond what someone could tolerate.
The view resolved to show a shadow over a forest glade. The site of power, this auld lair of the Black Church, from before the end of the titan war, over a century ago. If one of the Seven Stars was found there, then something much worse could be found as well. Adventurers, were as much a terror upon the land as saviors. You never knew what it was going to be.
The King dismissed the mist. And looked at his old friend. A grim look past between them. The last time something truly horrific happened, was when the Shadow Lich of Tarsen was released in the south. And it took several legions to wipe it and it’s undead army, out. But not before the beast had slain every living person in the former city Amun Ata.
Ky’Ress let out a deep sigh. And his voice rumbled with a sombre tone and with grim countenance. “Send for my eldest son, Kassien. Were going to need to send him to our border village of Sunglen. He’s going to need to, take the entire Sixth legion with him.” The Sixth was comprised of an elite unit of battle hardened veterans. They were very adept at adapting to the needs of battles, and able to maneuver behind enemy lines with little support. Tyris nodded, accepting this was a grim tiding. The King had been researching the Seven Stars for over a decade. And to find out one of the stars could be so close, yet also represented so much danger.
“To the rest of the problems, we will need, to send the support Ky’rel requests. Those bastards to the south are very much a great concern.” he paused after thinking. “You should also contact the Arch Bishop of the Church of the Ultimate Light. Tell him its time that he begins to return the favors I paid him. A crusade against Vaalix, is the right measure to return to me some of that which I am owed. I think you can impress upon him, the gravity of the situation.” He took a long thoughtful pull on his drink slowly finishing it. He nodded to himself, “I think old friend it’s time for my daughter, Ry’ira who is at the right age now to, help our Kingdom as her four brothers before her have. I want you to open the negotiations with Kelliaanarel, for her son Prince Javalas to marry my daughter. They are of both a similar disposition, so they would be fine that way. And he’s been known to be an over the top romantic. That should forestall the northern border issues.”
The king leaned back, this was an exhausting day, but that elemental shard of earth, was one of the more powerful ones they had found. He thought to himself, “Send a diplomatic mission to that land Harnellis found. Open ties, and maybe they’ll have something to offer.”
They both watched the sun setting in the west. The star crickets were making their nightly devotions, and many of the bats were coming out to partake of the evening meals. Insects aplenty.
“I tell you Tyris, some days, this being responsible for everyone, can get tiresome.” He said with a wry smile.
“Ah my king, you could always, just die, I hear that solves many problems.. well except if you’re turned into an undead abomination, or some such. But less morals and ethics!” He said jovially. His jowls rippling with mirth.