2011 - Fall - Legends Entry
The Great Divide - 1. Where it all began
Arensha’s attitude left a lot to be desired. Even though he was a Noble of Galwrock, a High Commander, his recklessness was what one would expect to see in a common assassin. Of all the things Ailarha could forgive in a warrior, pride was not one.
His lust for power on Galwrock was almost as much as his desire for Ailarha’s body; she could not determine which repulsed her more. In all her years, she had yet to see such a selfishly driven mortal.
The last straw that broke his standing was when he dared challenge the High Mistress in her own council room. All the high lords and ladies were in attendance when the ignorant fool demanded an audience. Not only did he insult her, but he also promised revenge.
‘I will have your head for this!’ With that one fateful sentence Arensha sealed his future.
There was no way the rest of the nobility would have let him stay on the planet, let alone the kingdom. Theirs was a lifestyle that greatly depended on being in harmony with the energy of the Galwrock. With the most powerful of Galwrons against him, Arensha had no other choice but to bow to Ailarha’s decision.
Cast out of the kingdom with his most loyal followers, Arensha travelled far and wide, seeking the only thing that would guarantee his victory over the so very righteous leader of all the lords and ladies of the planet, the High Mistress, Ailarha. He vowed to himself that it was the last time he would take any kind of arrogance from Ailarha. He would be back, and soon. And then, the mighty Mistress would be forced to step down her pedestal and bow to him.
If she could not be stopped but by open war, that is what he would bring to her.
* * *
Knowing he had little time on the planet, Arensha spent it wisely; travelling to and through the wastelands in the far west of the kingdom. If the legends were true, and he for one hoped, or rather believed that they were, then his only hope lay somewhere in the vast expanse of the uncivilised, uninhabited territory.
The dusty air clawed at their throats. They searched day and night for what Arensha believed would be able to guarantee them a place in the Universe. The thirst for power was so great that they managed to last over a week without any real food or water in the barren grounds.
It was the ninth day when their first compatriot fell, not able to withstand harsh Nature.
It was their show of desperation when that resulted in the feast later that night.
Their spirits lifted, they set about their course again. If they wanted to avenge their sire, they would have to stay alive, and the first thing that they would need to do was find a place to stay alive in. Why they were looking for what they were amidst the barren wastelands, none of them knew, they were not told. All they knew was that they were looking for a bronze, decorated chest: a chest unlike any other.
Arensha broke up his followers into multiple groups and sent them in various directions, each with the same instruction:
‘You will know it is the one when you see it. Tell me immediately when you locate it.’ That was all Arensha was ready to share with his “loyal followers”.
Arensha did not trust any of them enough to impart them with that bit of the secret yet. He did not want to run the risk of any of them running to the high and mighty Ailarha with the information. His face twisted with fury then, as he thought of her; the humiliation that he suffered giving him another burst of energy to enthusiastically search for the one thing that could guarantee his success over her.
‘Over here, My Lord,’ a soldier called out from somewhere to his right.
Taking a deep breath of the foul air, he started to make his way to the hillock; only lightning providing any kind of illumination, hoping for what seemed like the thousandth time that it was the Chest.
* * *
‘If there is one thing I know, it is that he will return! He might not be of the best character in the whole of Galwrock, but he is undoubtedly the most stubborn. I of all people should know; I’ve seen his thoughts!’ The sigh leaving Ailarha was so uncharacteristic that the Lords stared at her and shared nervous glances amongst each other, not saying anything; not daring to.
‘If and when he does, we will be more than ready to deal with such scum! The various Lords have more resources to build up defences than anything he can even begin to anticipate facing.’ Onai, the Lord of Flame, said hotly.
‘Yes, also, if he tries to fight all of us, he will be essentially fighting the planet’s energy; with us trying to restore it to its original state of harmony, we should have an advantage over him.’ Ynana, the Lord of Light always managed to surprise the council when he spoke; mainly because he rarely did.
Tashar, Ballantor, and Drackhir, the Lords of Nature, Earth and Storm: the physical elements, nodded their approval of Ynana’s observation.
‘If Arensha ever comes back to Galwrock with the intention of attacking us, he will have a surprise waiting for him,’ Welagana, the Lord of Flight, said lightly with a small chuckle.
‘And what surprise will that be, may I ask?’ Onai wasn’t the most patient of Lords. Ailarha could understand his irritation; he didn’t really like talking or being talked to in riddles. And Ynana and Welagana did exactly that, almost all the time.
‘We are going to be prepared.’ Ailarha could see this conversation was going places she didn’t really want it to go. She could see each of the Lords planning to train their acolytes; even try to ready their special forces; they were just short of mapping battle plans in their heads as to how they would “attack”. It was definitely something she would never condone. ‘We are not going to go looking for him, not now! We know for a fact that he is not on the planet; at least not where the energy can trace him. My scouts have already been deployed. That is what I suggest you all do right now, deploy your scouts, far and wide, and stay vigilant, for the news of his return may reach us any moment. All in favour let it be known.’
She watched with the utmost happiness as all the glass globes in front of the Lords turned green, signalling their approval.
‘Since everyone is in approval, I suggest we plan our assignments. And then, we can start training more soldiers, for when Arensha decides to strike.’
With the scouts deployed and more than the regular number of Acolytes in training, it suddenly felt like Galwrock was gearing up for imminent battle. The constant anticipation wasn’t something Ailarha wanted. She knew that Arensha wouldn’t be back till he was sure he could defeat her. And, as it stood right then, Ailarha had the support of all the Lords of the planet, and by extension, their armies. Therefore, he had a lot of work and preparation to do if he wanted to take over the planet, or even try to attack her; he had a long way to go.
There were just a few hours left of what the Galwrons called night when their suns set after a thirty six hour day. It was during one of those dark hours that Ailarha called for her steed and asked to be taken to the Zone of Partnership. She needed some guidance, and who better to ask than the great leaders and warriors of the past: the ones who pledged their lives, and after their death, their wisdom and power to the protection and betterment of Galwrock. She could have easily avoided the long journey, if she’d only used her tower’s communication chamber, but she wanted to be away from all the rush. The excitement in the air was unsettling her.
The high ceilings, the intricate murals, the beautiful artwork depicting the various battles the planet had seen in all these years, and will possibly see in the future usually held Ailarha’s attention for some time. At least they had, the last many times she had been there. They always had a story to tell: and each time they were different.
They showed the entrant what they wanted to see, what they needed to see, so that they would have some ideas of what to expect when they entered and finally communicated with the spirits. They would direct them towards which questions to ask, and what answers to expect. Sometimes they even correctly depicted the state of the mind the entrant was in, if they were unsure of what issue raised the question that they had made the journey in search of an answer to.
The Mistress of the mind was always fascinated by the intricacies of it. Always eager to learn. That’s what, she thought, made her more powerful every day. Because she believed that there was no end to knowledge, she paid attention to every little thing she could learn from. But that day, that day she couldn’t find herself paying even the least bit attention to what was being shown to her: neither the walls, nor the floors; not even the pillars of the temple held Ailarha’s attention.
‘Welcome, Ailarha.’ The spirits of the Revered Galwrons greeted her as soon as she stepped through the huge swinging doors, past the rune chamber, into the room in which the spirits of the warriors and the leaders of the past could be communicated with. ‘You really should soothe the turmoil in your mind whist you catch your breath. You of all people should know that an agitated mind will not yield any worthy questions, let alone any useful answers. It will raise more dilemmas, if anything, and we all know that is not something you want right now, is it?’
‘O Great Spirits, I am in dire need of guidance right now. The whole planet is in upheaval, anticipating what they think is imminent. While I do not think it will be so soon, I do know Arensha will be back for revenge.’ She saw the sphere of energy glow more blue than green; a clear sign that the majority of the Ancients were listening, and paying attention to what she had to say. ‘I want us to be prepared for when that happens.’ She sank to her knees; she might be the most powerful Galwron alive, but she knew to pay her respect where it was due.
‘Yes, you are quite right. Given the nature of your ex- aspiring, over ambitious suitor, we also know that he will return. However, we do not see or feel his desire to come back anytime soon.’
Before Ailarha could draw and release one relieved breath, the booming voice of one of the most ancient spirits blew it out of her, as if landing a punch to her gut.
‘But, do not give up training new acolytes. You will need them. What you will not require to do right now, is hurry. You have plenty of time, use it well. Train more than you have ever trained before. I can sense a shift; although of what, I do not know... yet.’
‘Maybe you will have more luck with Darshi.’ A softer voice suggested; lighting up the high Mistress’ eyes. ‘Is she your primary seer still?’
‘Yes, My Lady. I do contact Darshi in most matters when I need extra insight. I could pay her a visit soon.’ Ailarha could feel the calm of the temple affecting her, and this time she let it. She let her worries be soothed; for once she was just a Galwron, and not their mighty, righteous leader as she knelt on the rune-scaped floor of the temple, watching the changing scenes, letting the visions fill her mind.
She thought she saw a swirl of robes unfamiliar to her, someone fighting valiantly in blue and silver. Her mind registered it, but could not place the house it belonged to. He was obviously fighting on their side, and as long as that amount of bravery was on the battle field, how could it be a bad thing?
Her mind less agitated, now that she had some answers and some goals in front of her as well as assurance that she had not taken a wrong step in estimating the amount of threat Arensha posed, she completed the ritual that was required, and took her leave with one last bow of gratitude.
There were two things that were bothering her as she rode back to her tower. What did the sprits mean about a ‘shift’, and who was the warrior in blue? She knew it was no one she had encountered before, but no matter how many years of training he’d gone through to be wearing a Lord’s robes for the battle, almost ahead of all the other Lords, he had to be someone special. Her mind a swirl of thoughts, emotions and colours, she managed to reach her bedchambers and slip under the covers, trying to settle down after yet another sleepless night.
No matter how much she tried, she could not calm her own mind, not that night. She required some more perspective: she needed answers. She was going to have to visit Darshi, and soon!
Out of all the places in the planet, why Darshi chose that particular mountain to live in was anybody’s guess.
If asked, like all seers, she would answer only in riddles.
‘Where better to reflect on my thoughts and visions?’ she’d once told Ailarha, when the Mistress of mind had enquired, a long, long time ago. ‘The visions are not always in black and white, you know.I do need the trick of light to show me their true colours.'
Ailarha flew to the entrance of the gleaming cave; keeping a look out for any sign of a visitor that she might be interrupting. Seeing no signs of life apart from the aged seer, she announced herself remaining in the foyer, if the flat opening of the cave could be called one; pondering over Arensha’s intents and what her next steps should be. She found herself fascinated by the play of light in the glittering crystal like rocks, and her eyes caught a flash of blue: the same blue that had intrigued her.
‘Who is he?’ Ailarha muttered to herself, trying to recall more details.
‘The answers she seeks will be a while in coming, however, the High Mistress might enter if she thinks she will be interested in the purification of the planet’s energy.’ There was a smile in the soft voice that called out from inside the quarters.
‘Purification of Galwrock’s energy?’ Ailarha was the one confused now; she had no idea what Darshi was speaking about. As far as she was aware, the energy was already pure: the fact that all their powers came from it was a testament to that.
‘Without evil there can be no good; without its removal, there cannot be a purification.Galwrock will soon be free of the demon she has buried deep within her. Cleaner the sky, brighter the suns, My Lady.’
Knowing it was futile to ask Darshi anymore than she was ready to tell, Ailarha simply nodded; trying to figure out the meaning of it all. When it looked like Darshi had nothing more to say, she rose to take her leave.
Walking her to the front door in silence, Darshi only spoke when Ailarha was about ready to take flight.
‘It’s time I start being less selfish about the Gleaming Rocks being my home alone.’ And with an enigmatic smile, she turned and entered her dwelling; leaving Ailarha nothing more than a few more questions to ponder on.
* * *
It was on the fourteenth day, and four more fallen compatriots later that Arensha found what he was looking for. After one too many false alarms, he had given up trying to bridle his anger; more than once directing it at his faithful followers. Days of near starvation had taken its toll on all of them and the amount of negativity had almost reached its tipping point.
It was a happy moment for him when Arensha finally approached the bronze chest, and with nimble fingers, almost reverently, caressed the intricate lid that was inlaid with runes; with muted voices emanating from inside it.
‘Open the chest.’
When, upon his orders, the chains were broken off, a wave of ruby light burst out knocking every mortal off their feet. Only Arensha remained standing.
The light slowly stabilised to form a misshapen sphere of uncontrolled, uncontained energy that hovered above the now open chest; pulsing, as if inspecting the group surrounding it.
Arensha’s eyes were aglow with not only the crimson flare in front of him, but also the sheer joy of having found it, and the hopes of what that meant for him and his future.
‘Who awakens me?’ The deep rumble shook the ground, intensifying the effect the sudden brightening of the flames had on the already scared figures.
‘I do, Demon. I am Arensha, High commander of the legions of the...’
‘Former High Commander, are you not?’ Even its chuckles sent shivers down everyone’s spines. But Arensha was not one to be intimidated that easily. He knew his position; he knew it a little too well. He knew what he needed to do to get to where he wanted. If there was ever a driven, power hungry mortal, it was he.
Ignoring the throbbing vein in his temple and the rage that threatened to get the better of him, he set about the course that required the Demon’s assistance.
Arensha required power of the Demon if he wanted to harness the dark energy, learn all the forms of the dark arts and eventually train his followers in them. In return for the chance to control his powers, he offered up his body to the Demon. If what he had learned was correct and he had proper control over his mind, Arensha believed that he would be able to utilise the strongest emotions inside of him: greed and vengeance, to learn the dark, Forbidden Arts.
Like a drop of black ink on a pristine white surface, it did not take long for the Demon, harnessing Arensha’s mind to taint the minds of those around him. Under the patronage of the Master of the Dark Arts, with his negative emotions fuelling his growth, he soon acquired more followers to his cause.
They found a planet of their own, building an army; with souls and bones from the wastelands of Galwrock itself. His army of the undead was to be led by the followers he had trained in the Arts; the Dark Practitioners. He planned to fight Ailarha’s troops and corrupt the world spirits, plunging the planet into darkness.
* * *
After her return from Darshi, Ailarha took it upon herself to oversee the training of the new Acolytes. Of all the questions she was asking herself over and over, the one that bothered her most was the ‘shift’. While her mind argued that Darshi had mentioned purification of the planet, hence it could only be a good thing; her common sense was telling a different tale altogether.
Almost a month had gone by before Ailarha was woken up one night with visions of the walking dead. Skeletons, shimmering with some sort of light were marching to war, on their way to launch an attack on her fortress. Exiting her chambers, so that her restless tossing would not disturb her very tired lovers, she decided to partake in some physical challenges. Surely one of the Lords would be training on the grounds.
Strolling into the vast training fields of the fortress, she spotted Ynana. He was in charge of assigning the new recruits their training positions, based on what they were capable of. Ynana, the Lord of Light, should be the best person to know if there was any kind of change in the planet’s energy.
‘Good day, Ailarha. Are you here to supervise the training, or train?’ Ynana asked with his ever present smile, handing over his weapon to one of his more trained soldiers so that the lesson would not be paused.
‘Good day to you too, Ynana. Today I am just looking round. Actually, there is something I wanted to ask you.’ She paused to look at him when they were out of hearing range of anyone on the grounds.
‘Of course, what is it?’
‘When I conferred with the Ancients, they mentioned a “Shift”, and when I visited Darshi, she mentioned something about the purification of the Planet’s energy. I was wondering if you have seen, heard, or felt anything that might suggest any sort of alterations in the Energy flow of Galwrock?’
‘A “Shift”, is that what the Ancients called it?’ Ynana asked. ‘In fact there is something that might be considered a change, but whether or not it is “purification” of the planet’s energy, I do not know.’
‘What was it that you experienced, Ynana?’
‘Drackhir and Ballantor were the ones who felt it the most, My Lady. Drackhir mentioned a sudden intensification of thunderstorms in the West for the past few months, where it seemed to be trying to rid some sort of evil influence. Ballantor said that he also felt that the Earth was being disturbed, with evil intentions.’ He took a deep breath and looked at Ailarha. ‘It was also towards the West.’
‘The Wastelands,’ Ailarha gasped. ‘Do you think Arensha could have...?’
‘I do not know yet, but that will not remain the situation much longer. Both Drackhir and Welagana have deployed their scouts, along with one of your trainers who volunteered, to watch over that terrain and communicate with us immediately if they spot any kind of activity; no matter how harmless it might look.’
‘Thank you, Ynana. That was a brilliant idea.’ Ailarha was grateful for the prompt action taken by Ynana; there was nothing she could have done better to tackle the problem that was seemingly at hand. ‘I was more concerned with the balance of the energy of the planet, to be honest. Darshi’s words are still ringing in my head. You have not felt anything amiss in the atmosphere, have you?’
‘Not yet, but now that you mention it, I will keep a keener eye on things.’ Ynana nodded to her and with a final courtesy, the two parted ways.
* * *
It took him a quite a few years, and very, very careful planning, but Arensha managed to accumulate an enormous army. He had trained the Practitioners well, and they in turn had instructed the mass of fallen Galwrons and the undead to follow their lead in the battle. It was the programming that took time; weeks, even months to get right.
His main source of the undead was the buried bones in the western lands of Galwrock. The barren lands were covered with seething masses of skeletal figures and war machines. The dark energy gave “life” to them; just enough to have them operate their weapons, making them shimmer eerily to a common Galwron’s eyes.They were his pawns. Their sheer mass would be overwhelming when they laid siege against the Fortress. Arensha knew he would have but the one chance to strike at the heart of Galwrock’s powers and uproot Ailarha, and he was not leaving anything to chance.
* * *
No matter how much they prepared, both mentally and physically, the Lords and Ladies could not help but be astounded at the sight of the staggering numbers Arensha managed to amass.
While the Galwrons had skills, Arensha came armed with sheer volume. It was a violent war, the bloodiest Galwrock had ever seen before. Feeding off the fear and agony of the fast falling acolytes, the dark practitioners seemed to be gaining power, and enjoying themselves a bit too much whilst doing so.
Appalled by the number of friends she saw falling around her, Ailarha did what only she could do; in a righteous fury, she challenged Arensha to a duel.
Having been empowered quite a bit by the battle, Arensha accepted the challenge; he knew that his win would guarantee him dominance to do what he pleased with Galwrock. Safeguarded by his Dark Energy, he faced the “Mistress” in the courtyard.
Wreathed in energy, the duel was mostly obscured from the common fighters. The movements under the seemingly clear dome were swift, the motions deadly, each footing deliberate. Neither gave the other any chances, breaking all possible rules of a fair fight, both going in for the kill: again, and again, and again. Their limbs tired, wounds bleeding, both Ailarha and Arensha had to call upon their reserves. Unluckily for Arensha, the one standing by for Ailarha was Ynana, the Lord of Light.
Ynana’s fed as much power into the dome of energy as he could, and Ailarha could draw on it as required. Since Ynana’s powers served a second purpose, she did not need to put much effort into the final phase of the duel.
Arensha was empowered by darkness. Ynana’s light not only prevented him from receiving any help from his Practitioners, it also managed to weaken his defences. He was almost left to his own devices against the very powerful, very righteous Ailarha.Summoning the last bit of willpower, he forced the demon inside him to give him some protection and help him sustain his attack a little longer, while he wracked his head for the moves that would finish Ailarha off.
Whilst the two leaders of the clashing armies were partaking in the captivating duel under the dome of energy separating them from the rest of the warriors, the scene on the outside of it was almost mundane. With no apparent leader, the practitioners were losing ground, and quick. The undead scattered readily as useless bones on the battlefield as soon as the practitioners they were drawing powers from, were dead. The Galwrons were dying in numbers still, but it finally looked like they had some hope after all.
Suddenly everybody witnessed a great flash of lightning; one that originated from the courtyard in which Arensha and Ailarha were duelling. It rose high into the air, broke into several small lightning bolts and seemed to target the ones powered by Dark Energy.
Looking towards their fearless leader, they saw Ailarha being supported by Ynana and Welagana, and kneeling in front of her was Arensha, in bonds.
* * *
Arensha was taken captive. His mind was to be searched and all his deepest darkest secrets would soon be revealed. Ailarha took personal charge of making sure his mind was cleansed of the Demon’s presence before his sentence was decided. If there was a hint of the blackness left in him, no matter how small, it would be of disastrous consequence.
It took her over a week to gauge the extent of the inevitable damage of the Dark Force on Arensha. His soul was scarred, more like scorched. And all that was left inside of him was a blackened, soot covered shadow of what he used to be.
Ailarha beckoned Ynana; with him providing light in the darkness, Ailarha could safely venture into the deepest trenches in Arensha’s mind, looking for the remains of the Demon. She did not find any foreign presence, and from what she could see, she could very well be assured that Arensha would no longer be a threat to Galwrock. His soul, along with its thirst for revenge was gone.
Arensha was just the living shell of the vindictive Galwron that he once was. He was no longer a threat, but his presence being disruptive to the other Galwrons, the Lords and Ladies decided to imprison him as far away as they could.
The great spirits spoke of a planet: a planet where the presence of the energy was faint, but enough to keep track of Arensha’s movements if necessary. That is where he was sent, all alone, away from any of his followers; with a handful of acolytes to keep watch over his actions.
This time the Lords were more careful when they made sure to cast Arensha off the planet; putting every precaution in place that might help in preventing his return, or anyone else’s, with another army powered by the Demon.They were still amazed at the appalling numbers that had fallen to temptation and crossed over to the dark side. Amongst other revisions in the regulations, new laws were made and enforced to govern those who studied in any of the towers of the Fortress.
It took a great number of warriors, scores of years, to seek and drive out all of Arensha’s followers. A number of small fights were inescapable; a lot of good lives were lost, but by the time the first thousandth year came around, Galwrock could proudly proclaim that it was free of any Dark Practitioners.
Great care was taken to assure that none of the followers made it to Arensha’s planet, so that they would not be able to inject his already darkened mind with the little effects of the Demon they had left in them.
* * *
More than five thousand years had passed since the battle; which saw the entire world, as they knew it, being split into two; the Galwrons called it "The Divide". The battle’s ravages were almost imperceptible now; it only remained embedded in the minds of those who lived to see it happen, but other than that, not much was ever heard of the recent actions of Arensha.
Ailarha was on her way to meet Darshi, when she received news that she was awaiting the Mistress’ presence, in the council room.
Her thoughts in a turmoil as to what could possibly have drawn the elderly seer out of her House, to bring her to the fortress; Ailarha did not waste a single moment as she sent messages to the other Lords, asking them to come to the council room at once; while making her way there herself.
‘Greetings Darshi, this is a pleasant surprise.’
‘Greetings Mistress, but while my visit is a surprise no doubt, it is nowhere near pleasant.’ The elderly woman took her seat once Ailarha was seated, and continued, ‘I’m afraid time has come for you to start sharpening your wits again.’ Darshi’s eyes drifted to the doors as Ynana, Drackhir and Welagana entered, closely followed by Onai and Ballantor.
‘Greetings Ailarha, greetings Darshi.’ It was almost a chorus of voices as the Lords hurried to take their seats.
‘Greetings my Lords,’ Darshi smiled at them from her seat beside Ailarha. ‘I just came by to relay a vision, a prophecy if you will.’ Standing up, she rummaged around in her purse; her eyes lighting up as she located the object she was looking for. When she held out her hand, palm upwards, everyone could see the intricate rune glowing blue atop it.
‘He will return, to carnage, with the demon in his breast, again. And, only one that comes not from Galwrock can hope to defeat him.’ The hypnotic voice, along with the words spoken were enough to entrance the occupants of the chairs around the table on which the rune fell, twirled, and then stilled.
Not even the sound of breathing could be heard; not till the rune glowed again. Ailarha reached forward to grab it, as it had to be held for it to voice the prophecy, but it just trembled once more and became still. Ailarha turned her curious gaze towards Darshi.
‘The stone now recognises its Mistress,’ she shrugged and rose from her seat lightly. ‘My task has been completed, I should take my leave.’
Bowing to the Lords and Ladies, Darshi exited; leaving the room silent once again.
‘What are we going to do this time?’ Drackhir sighed, breaking the silence.
‘Nothing different from the last time; it worked then, it will work again. We train like fiends, and we fight with all we’ve got.’
‘But Onai, remember he fought and lost the last time too. He wouldn’t make the same mistake he did then.’ Ynana shook his head; he remembered only too well what it had taken to ward off the dark power inside Arensha. ‘He would definitely be better prepared this time.’
‘Thank you, Ynana,’ Ailarha interjected. ‘And, you know he is right.’ She looked around at the other Lords who nodded in agreement. ‘I shall visit the temple; I have to confer with the Great Spirits, and determine our next course of action. Try to find out what Darshi meant about the “one that comes not from Galwrock”, and how important it is in our preparations.’
‘May I offer company, Ailarha? I have a few questions of my own, and it would really be good if you were there for the answers, My Lady.’ Ynana glanced apprehensively at all the other Lords as well; after he saw Ailarha nod. Thankfully, no one objected.
‘Now that we have that settled, anybody have anything they wish to add?’ Ailarha asked; a formal courtesy before they left the council room to attend to their own tasks at hand.
Everyone shook their heads in a silent “no”, and looked deep in thought as they filed out slowly.
Ynana and Ailarha decided to visit the Zone of partnership as well. Upon their arrival, they were greeted with much enthusiasm from the Great Spirits. However, the temple told a completely different story. All around them they saw the amount of devastation Arensha caused being replayed. Neither Ailarha nor Ynana needed to see it to remember what they had both witnessed from way too close. Try as they might they could not avoid it. The memories awoke like they happened five, not five thousand years ago.
Once again, the swirl of blue and silver caught Ailarha’s eye. She beckoned Ynana over and even he looked perplexed at the sight of the warrior.
‘Who can it possibly be, Ynana?’ Ailarha tried to catch a glimpse of the face, but before she could, the scene shifted, to show more devastation. Only this time, it was from the apparent future; the scene was unfamiliar to them both.
‘I have no idea, Ailarha. Do you reckon it has something to do with Darshi’s vision; it could be who she mentioned would help us against Arensha: the one that has a chance of defeating him.’
‘I do not know, but whoever it is that is supposed to fight with us; we need to find them, and soon.’
‘Haste is never a good thing, My Lady.The first virtue that you teach your acolytes is patience, is it not?’ The spirits seemed to be swirling in a happier energy as the amusement in the voice calling out to Ailarha was quite clear, despite the sombre words used.
The sphere glowed blue as a sapphire, bright, almost to the point of emanating light.
‘Greetings, Ailarha and Ynana.’
‘Greetings, Great Spirits.’ They replied in unison. Ynana knelt near a pillar giving Ailarha the first opportunity to confer with them.
‘We just received a visit from Darshi; I believe she has contacted you since?’ The Lady began.
‘Indeed, she has. It is quite an interesting turn of events. Who would have thought Arensha was planning to return after he suffered such humiliation the last time?’
‘He will not rest until either he or I have been annihilated. As long as he is alive, we have to keep up our defences against him; that much I can say with absolute certainty.However, the previous fight was led by the Lords and Ladies of Galwrock, and, as I have understood Darshi’s prophecy, none of us stand a chance of defeating him this time. This warrior, who is supposed to avenge us; how will we locate him if he is not a Galwron?’
‘Leave that to us, My Lady. The Spirit Network has already been set in motion; we have begun our quest. As soon as we locate the... warrior to be, you will know.’
‘Thank you, My Lord.’
Ynana got to his feet as Ailarha moved away, ‘My Lords, I have one question.’
‘Yes, Ynana, do speak your mind.’
‘In the previous battle, what seemed to be working best against Arensha’s powers was Light. I was wondering if I may have the permission to specially train the new warrior with the powers of my tower.’
‘This warrior will not be a simple one, Ynana. He will be the Champion of Galwrock; able to harness power unlike anyone you have ever seen in a mortal before. He will lead the army in battle and he shall be a worthy leader. All the Lords and Ladies will train him in their respective powers, and he shall be a master of them all: an equal to each and every one of you.’
‘A Champion of Galwrock?’ Ailarha’s surprised voice joined Ynana’s. In all the years, she had never known that a person could exist who could harness so much energy and control it, that a Champion is required to do.
* * *
The leaders of Galwrock knew better than to question the Great Spirits. They kept up training like they had for many years, awaiting news from the temple. Everyone was eager to meet the new Champion: their saviour against the darkest of all dark forces.
The mood did not change in the next few months.
It was Welagana, the Lord of Flight, who came bearing the news, from the temple one morning, to pass on to the other Lords, that the Champion had been located.
‘Ailarha and I are going to seek him out, but before that, we need to build a portal to Earth.’ Welagana said, looking around the table as he saw the information register with the other Lords and Ladies.
‘Earth?’ The question, and the disbelief that came attached with it, was unanimous. And, all Ynana could do was nod. Even he did not think a human, an Earthling, would ever be considered to be a warrior, let alone their hope.
* * *
Welagana keeps a silent lookout as he makes the walk towards Ailarha where she stands well hidden under the shade of several trees, somewhere in the western Midlands of England. In the distance they see the house they are supposed to visit.
A simple house, with a simple enough looking family living inside of it. They hear the back door slamming shut and watch as a disgruntled teen makes a hasty exit. Ailarha and Welagana felt the Galwron energy emanating from him, even at this distance. Their eyes widen as they realise that this is who they have been sent to Earth to convince.
‘Matt, come back please? Mum is upset again.’ A small girl comes out of the same house, running towards the boy that exited earlier.
‘Matt, Matthew. So, he is the chosen one!’ Ailarha’s voice is barely above a whisper.
‘But... human?! They’re unpredictable and fragile. Besides, that one is not even an adult yet. Are you absolutely sure, Mistress?’ Welagana can’t help but voice his concern, even though he could feel that he was looking at the right person.
‘This is who the Spirits of Galwrock have chosen, and this is who our Champion shall be.’ Ailarha’s firm command leaves no room for questions as she turns and makes a stately exit, drawing her red and black robes tightly against her lithe frame, towards the path leading to the white house in front of them.
‘There is a lot to be done; you know the instructions, Welagana. Let us not waste time procrastinating on what we cannot change. They are expecting us. Let us go meet Matthew. Shall we?’
And so it begins...
Thank you Stu for letting me borrow the characters! It was so much fun working with them! :D
Thoughts, comments, crits are always welcome. Cheers!
2011 - Fall - Legends Entry
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