The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients And Other Blades of Power
In the four hundred and eighteenth year of the Fifth Age, the Red War had come to its bloody end on the hills before Deylund City. The great Mithrodin warrior Kethol Av Torketal had mortally wounded Evruc, the Dark One, before he himself was slain in the final throes of battle. With Evruc’s enchantment broken, his massive army comprised of immortal sorcerers and Uldurin foot soldiers splintered and was defeated by the forces of men and elves that day. Prince Athollos, commander of Deylund’s army, thence brought forth Anathar, the tenth Sword of the Ancients, to imprison Evruc’s spirit. As the Mithrodin had instructed him, Athollos pierced the heart of Evruc with Anathar’s blade. By the enchantments bestowed upon that sword by the Ancient Ones, Evruc’s black spirit was trapped in the steel, forged by the powers of the now slain Ancient Ones, the order Evruc had been outcast from. His mortal body was thence devoured by the Orwenoch beast, Ourn, brought forth from the Neverworld by Evruc’s brother, Atnal, and commanded to protect and obey Kethol and his two Mithrodin warriors in the war. Evruc was father and creator of the Orwenoch, but he had betrayed them to his enemies, causing their kind to be cast out of Ammon. With this act Ourn and the Orwenoch had their ultimate revenge upon Evruc.
The combined plans of the Mithrodin and the great kingdoms had finally succeeded in the utter defeat of Evruc and his army of sorcerers and the Uldurin horde. The source of true evil in the world had been vanquished. Though Evruc’s mortal body had been destroyed, his spirit now remained imprisoned in the blade of Anathar, which must also be destroyed to truly remove him from the world. Ellexos, the Mithrodin who had slain Evruc’s high sorcerers in the final battle, instructed Prince Athollos in the manner for which the blade must be destroyed, for she had been given this knowledge by Kethol, her former master. Before the deed was accomplished, the chiefs of the Kingdoms held a great council and questioned whether this should indeed be done, for Atnal, the last Ancient One that fell before Evruc, had told thus; even though the fourteen Ancients were the first immortal beings created by the Anath to dwell upon and rule Ammon, it was inevitable that the flesh and blood bodies of each would be destroyed in time. Even so, Atnal told the Mithrodin that the Ancient’s spirits would live on as shadows and continue to guide mortals from Avallos, the Neverworld, by speaking to them in dreams. However, once a single spirit was destroyed, the bond between Ancients and mortals would forever be broken. Their presence would thence leave the worlds of Ammon forever and return to live with their creator, the Anath. The Ancients would never have influence in the world again, and mortals would be alone to guide their own destinies.
Even though Evruc was deemed evil by the Ancients, and had been cast out of their order, the council questioned whether Atnal’s words would still hold true, for Evruc was now the last Ancient One to have his body destroyed. He would be the first to have death in spirit if this were to be accomplished. The Ancients had always guided mortals, and the council feared choosing their own destinies without aid of the creators. Thus the decision was made that Anathar would not be destroyed, but would be taken deep into the bowels of the earth, and there guarded for all time to prevent Evruc’s escape.
Though Ellexos and Prince Athollos voiced strong opposition to this, they agreed to abide by the council’s will and see that the Dark One was imprisoned. The Evesfael, ruling clan of the Dark Elves, sacrificed that they would allow Anathar to be placed deep within the bowels of their underground kingdom and sealed behind solid rock, with the guardian city of Barkonia above to forever watch over it. And Barkonia would be renamed Lokonia, for the ‘dark kingdom’ would now be the ‘kingdom of light’. The name would let all know this place was there to hold in the darkness. Its caves, recently defiled by the Dark One when his army used its passages for entry into Deylund, would now be the final prison of the Dark One.
Athollos and his two younger brothers, Sarafel and Morweth, were sons of King Koelyth of the line of Avonthia. The Avonthians were the first kings of men in Ammon, proudest and most honorable of all of the great houses which came out of the First Age. King Koelyth was a direct descendant of that line. When King Elliasthol was defeated by Evruc, King Koelyth was called to replace him as ruler of Deylund, for no other royal family remained in line of succession after the Red War. Athollos was the eldest and wisest of the three princes of Avonthia, and would one day be king. He wielded Sedethul, the first sword of Avonthia, a cherished sword and heirloom of his family line. Sedethul was ancient, for it was forged in Deylund for the first king of the Avonthian line, and was passed on to each successor through times of war and peace. In the First Age there were three Avonthian swords, one for each of the kings who ruled across the expanse of the Great Realm. Only Sedethul survived the ages, for the other two swords had been lost to time and war.
The three princes of Avonthia, assembled an armed caravan for the nine-day journey to the Tellorien Mountains, and Lokonia beneath. Each commanded a company of men to protect Anathar, for the Dark One still had loyal agents and across Deylund. The sword was wrapped in a Mithrodin cloak, sealed in a steel coffin, and placed inside an armored carriage. The Mithrodin warrior Ellexos accompanied the caravan to ensure that Anathar and the Dark One were properly entombed beneath the earth in Lokonia. The caravan was well protected for its journey. Even so, Evruc’s spirit, trapped in the steel of the Ancients, was aware of the doom planned for him by these men and elves. He began to scan the minds of his jailors and enemies surrounding him, seeking one that was weak whom he could control and force his will upon; one that would facilitate his escape before he would be forever imprisoned. After a time he sensed one that could be molded to his needs, the youngest Avonthian brother, Morweth. In that one he found seeds of jealousy for his elders, and a lust for power. And thus Evruc worked his dark will to make those seeds grow…
To be continued.
The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients and Other Blades of Power and its previous versions, The Swords of the Ancients and its abridged excerpts, and other forms, are ©1997,©2005, ©2008, and ©2010 by Kit Rae. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any other form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, computer networking, or otherwise without prior permission in writing by the copyright holder(s). Avoloch is a trademark of Kit Rae.