Continued from Part V… or Start from the beginning…
My journey was uneventful, and the road was clear. I passed through Feldland and through the settlements of my own people. Faren welcomed me at Tælongaad with a feast and a day of celebration. During the evening meal, however, fate finally became clear, and the prophecy of the Ellathe fulfilled itself. The river overflowed his banks and formed a body with which to speak to us. Terrifying the city as he trudged down the main road, he came to us in the misty form of fog and rain. ‘Peace has deceived you!’ The words thundered through the courts of Faren, ‘You have neglected the defenses of the land, and the traitor among you has made his move. The evils of this land have been awoken, and your fate has been sealed. Tharen, move now to defend your land; I will divide the East from the West, yet each of you shall have his own evils to suffer.’
We took up our arms and Faren sounded the alarm for the city. The soldiers raced to removed their swords and teach their arms to once again wield a blade. The old men fitted their scabbards with belts that allowed for the years of non-combat. The fair-skins took up their own weapons, yet they stayed in their own homes and waited for the unseen danger. Eagles were seen circling the skies, yet these were strange to our eyes. The mountain-dwelling eagles of the East, their loyalties had not been strong to our people. Falcons and hawks from my own land flew into the sky to meet them, and a battle in the air soon began. It is a terrible thing to see such creatures of majesty and grace torn and bloodied, but the eagles were powerful and much larger than their more nimble brethren. My birds were soon overcome and forced to return to the forests to nurse their wounds. Word came that the high kingdom was besieged, and my brother’s people were seen marching through the North with an army of mountain-creatures and fell beasts. The one who shall not be named made his way through the settlements of our people, destroying what he could not have for himself. With fire and sword he campaigned through the North. Peace had deceived us, and our own brother was the traitor who was foretold by the Ellathe.
The countryside was razed and all that was beautiful was made dangerous to the unsuspecting. My brother had learned much in his solitude in the East, and not least of all, he coveted the beauty of old. Far from a hideous sight, his armies were marvelous to behold. In fact, their armor made one feel that no evil could ever come from that grandiose sight. Their swords were made with the upmost skill, and the intricate designs brought wonder even to those whom the blade was piercing. The creatures that accompanied my brother brought a sense of dread, but the fear arose from their perfection. The great lake-creatures and mountain serpents entranced my people as they appeared from amidst the ranks of the fell army. The eagles were majestic and breathtaking as they soared above the battlefields, calling orders and reporting to the officers. Soon, the beautiful legions reached the banks of the river. The river is very old, and he is loyal to my father. He stopped the advance of the bright army, but the nameless one soon found a path across the sea. The great creatures of the mountains swam through the sea, and my brother’s army soon found ships to cross the bay.
The beautiful army soon reached the gates of Tælongaad. The grand city was impermeable to attack, and the army could do nothing against the great walls. The fair-skins, however, held no loyalty to Faren’s people, and they soon turned against the land which had become their home. The gatekeepers were slain and the arts of the fair-skins held back the city guard. The bright army marched into Tælongaad unhindered, and the conquest of the West was complete.
Faren was brought before my brother from the East. The council was short, and as Faren valued the life of his people over the majesty of his lands, he was exiled to the far West. The ships of the Tælon set sail on the next day, and Faren, the son of the High King of the Empire of the Three Kingdoms, sailed into the West and out of my realm of influence.
As I stated before, I had hastened back to my own lands to prepare to defend my people. The men of my land were well-practiced in the art of defense and subtlety. The bright army had not been able to pass into the Southernmost part of my kingdom. The fields were guarded by my men, and the keepers of the forests would not allow the entrance of the fell creatures. Soon, however, my brother turned his attention once more to my land. He marched on the river and the forests of the South. He could not, however, pass the river, nor could he gain entrance to the forests.; therefore, he cursed the land with false beauty and serenity. He commanded everything that had life to cease growing. He used words far older than our people to stop the advance of time, even to reverse it. Over the land of Tharen he placed a curse that appeared to us at first a blessing, but just as he could not enter, we have not leave to exit. Time does not pass in this land, neither does aging or sickness or death occur. All who stay in this land will age in years, but will stay well in mind and body. As soon as one exits this realm, however, the curse of the ages will be broken, and his true age will take its toll. We are forever cursed to stay in this land forever. If we cross the halfway point of the river to the West, we return to the clay that we were formed from. If we venture past the beauty of the northern fields, out of the forest to the South, or into the mountains of the East, the same fate will befall us. Peace was ever our blessing, as now it is our curse.
Many centuries have passed since that time, and we are sure that our brothers have since passed out of this world. Yet we are cursed to remain in this world, weary of the perfection and peace that surround us. This is why our songs vary in in tone and cheer. Our mirth cannot last for long before the sadness of that which we lost overtakes us. The lands beyond the curse have since become pits of beautiful evil and wonderful snares. For a time, travelers from abroad continued to venture to the coast to trade or buy, but news of the dangers that lie herein soon spread to the world. The Three Kingdoms once more became one. The realm of a beautiful evil. A land of the fell light. Deception and lies are the language of the land, and none who enter may exit unchanged. The armies are massing in the East, and I’m sure that the bright armies will one day embark on a campaign of terror, but for now, they sit, wait, and grow evermore powerful and deceptively beautiful. So now, my good traveler, you know our story. Leave us to our fate and leave this land. The river will soon calm his wrath, and the path will be once more opened to you. Take it to the South, perhaps you will escape the evils of this land. Trust nothing that is fair, and beware of the creatures that patrol the borders.”
Thus my encounter with the Fields of Time ended. I headed back into the Western and Southern lands, convinced that this would not be the last time I would hear of the Three Kingdoms and beautiful armies of light and deception.
Thus concludes the first major piece of Faerie that I’ve written. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to critique and/or ask questions. I plan on writing more like this in the future, but I probably won’t post to this blog. If you liked the story, please share it with others who you think will enjoy it!
Note: If you haven’t read Part 1, then do so now!
There are few thing counted strange among us. I have seen others burst into flames, get carried off by huge flying creatures, or fall fantastic distances and still get back up and continue on. What I beheld before me know beat anything I had ever seen. I felt as if I was in a nightmare, the sound and vibrations were growing louder and far more terrible. The tower I had climbed was starting to sway violently. I knew that if I was to survive I had to get below ground. Boulders started flying through the air with amazing velocities, each one that passed me by made the dream become more real.
I ran towards the cave entrance, my legs started to grow weak as I clambered up the slope. The wind had grown incredibly strong by now… I looked back and saw what was coming towards me, I gave up hope as I saw the spinning blades. The bottom of the mower deck was approaching fast. The roar from the engine was deafening. The green towers were flying everywhere now, chopping, crushing, flying, the grass was discharged from the side and the mower kept coming.
I saw others in the entrance beckoning to move faster. Suddenly, a piercing alarm screamed through the roar….
I open my eyes to see my mother standing over me… I look around and realize I am in my room; the train horn sounds in the distance as the tracks creak eerily outside of my window. “You’re just about late for work, those yards won’t mow themselves you know.” I hear my mother say as I clear the sleep from my eyes. “Have you been reading books on ants again?”
Note: The story and people in this story are entirely fictitious and any relation to real life characters is entirely coincidental. No ants were harmed in the writing of this story.
The wind was howling above my head as I ventured out of my cave and into the midst of the open land. The huge towers of vegetation loomed above my head like the legs of a giant praying mantis as I wandered among the forest of these monstrosities. A large armored animal ambled by as I checked for the scent trail that was left by the scouts. My goal was to find this wondrous cache of food that had so recently been discovered. The scouts had been overwhelmed (and nearly overwhelmed us) with their delight and pure incredulity at the enormous potential that was embodied in their find. It was not all positive feedback that they had brought though. A shadow had passed over their ecstatic demeanors as they had begun to relate where this phenomenal discovery had been made. More on that later though, my thoughts snapped back into the present and I began to take inventory of my location as I continued upon the track left by the scouts.
Suddenly the world grew dark. It was for only an instant, yet the warnings that the few elders in our tribe had drilled into our heads as young ones caused me to scamper for cover. The horrible, mind rending screech that followed caused my heart to skip a beat as I cowered beneath a boulder. The terrible cry of the winged beast was followed by tens and hundreds more. These huge flocks had become quite common as of late, their grating, ear-splitting vocalizations haunting us as we strove to go about our daily work. Fortunately, this grouping of the creatures passed far above in the great expanse that covered all things.
I often marveled at the wondrous size of all of my surroundings. The elders had stories of how this world had come to be, that we were but of the lower orders, the gigantic bipeds that menaced us with the poisons and other horrors were made to rule over all else by One who was all knowing and more powerful than any other. These were the stories, and we had no reason to doubt them, our duty is to survive, and continue about our business of providing for our tribe.
CRASH!! What seemed like an earthquake ensued. I latched onto a nearby tower with all of my strength. The world continued to shake with repetitious crashes and quakes. The darkness that had accompanied the winged beast now enveloped me again, the warmth of the midday sun vanished in an instant. I debated between climbing higher up, and exposing myself, or attempting to hide in one of the miniature canyons below. I chose the former option, and as I ascended I was amazed at what I saw… (Part 2)