The Blades of Chaos
A Mythology By Kit Rae
Long ago in the Fourth Age, the age of chaos, there was malcontent among the three mortal races created by the Ancient Ones: Elves, Men, and the Uldurin. The mortals, though wise with many strengths, were also unstable through the weaknesses of the flesh, and there was much hatred and jealousy amongst them. Thus the Ancient Ones created the first enchanted talismans to temper the mortals and restore order and balance. They were given to mortals and each took the form of bladed devices bestowed with powers of many forms; but the mortals misused them and were corrupted by the new power, and there were many wars fought and much blood spilled by reason of them. The Uldurin surmised that the Ancient Ones did not favor them as equals to the other mortal races because they were only granted one of the enchanted blades, while Elves were given three and Men two. Thus they demanded the Ancients make more of the blades, and when the Ancient One sent to them as emissary refused, the Uldurin killed that one and set out destroying any enchanted blade they could find. This was the first slaying of immortal by mortal and Ammon was forever changed. Thenceforward the talismans became known as the Blades of Chaos, for that is what they created.
The Ancient Ones, seeing the grave mistake they had made, set forth to create the Umethar, a talisman to restore order to the Chaos. It was given the shape of many blades within blades, for it held powers within powers. The hilt was carved from bone of the Ancient One whom was slain by the Uldurin and the pommel was fashioned in the image of the Anath, whom created Ammon. The blade was quenched with the blood of every immortal Ancient and within it was held their greatest power. The Ancients commanded mortals use the blade to heal the hurts they had caused, lest ere long they destroy themselves by their own hands; and they took it and by the power of the Umethar they brought life back to the dead mortals who had been slain in wrath over the Blades of Chaos. Order and harmony were restored between mortals, for a time at least, until the Dark One came and unbalanced the world once again; and when the dark One was captured the first time and brought to justice, the Umethar was used to unlock the gate to the Neverworld and seal him in, for it had the power to open doors between worlds.
The History of Nasek
There were many Blades of Chaos created by the Ancients. Chief among these was the Umethar as has been foretold, which could open gates to other worlds, and The Blade of Isis, which harnessed the power of the sun and the earth. But there were others that have been lost over time, one of which was the Serpent Dagger, the most vile of all of the Blades of Chaos. The Serpent Dagger was called Nasek in the Ancient’s language and it was fashioned in the shape of many intertwined snakes and held a serpentine blade of unbreakable metal. Six spikes were thrust into the hilt to represent the six Ancient Ones who had each given it part of their powers, the power to command the serpents, worms, and belly crawlers of the land. Worms of the earth could be made to make infertile ground fertile for growing. Crop devouring insect hoards could be vanquished by calling forth the snakes of the land to destroy them. Unfortunately the Uldurin, in their hatred of Men and Elves, used the Nasek for evil purposes the Ancient Ones had never intended. A scourge of poisonous serpents was sent into their lands, killing the young of both races. When Men discovered the cause of the infestation they waged war against the Uldurin. The Uldurin hated other mortals, but Men they hated the most and desired them to perish forever from Ammon. They bent their thought and will on the Nasek, stabbing it into the earth and commanding serpents to multiply and breed into new beasts of the Uldurin’s twisted thoughts. Of these new beasts sprung the bane of mortals in the Fourth Age, the Nasnad, dreaded flying serpents with black venomous blood. No mortal could survive the strike of a Nasnad. A plague of the winged serpents spread across the Great Realm and many mortal Men were slain. Elves also perished in the plague, but they retreated to the Underworld below Ammon, great caves with glittering jewels and metals. Elves called the underworld Barkonia and they hid there during the plague while Men and Uldurin waged war on the surface.
In the ensuing years of chaos the Elves, deciding that Men and Uldurin would forever be at war, made permanent abode in Barkonia and became the Dark Elves, rarely visiting the surface or seeing the light of Ammon. It was in this Underworld that they unraveled the mystery of steel and began to forge weapons and jewelry of great worth. Many of the world’s greatest metal smiths sprung from Barkonia at that time. The Ancient Ones often visited them there and before long they commanded the Dark Elves to forge the Ten Swords, of which other tales have been told.
In the Fifth Age Men defeated the Uldurin and seized the Nasek from them, but wherever the serpent dagger lay the dreaded flying serpents would be abroad. As with many of the other Blades of Chaos, the mortals could not bring themselves to destroy this creation of the Ancients, and thus they hid the enchanted dagger in the dark wastelands of Eastern Dagorlund where it remained for over ten thousand years. It was sealed in an impenetrable stone chamber concealed in the desert and belly crawlers and flying serpents infested the surrounding land. Thenceforth that place was known as Nasnandos, or ‘land of the black serpent’, and no mortal dared ventured there.
The History of Archeros
In the depths of the Underworld the Dark One bred many terrible creatures in hopes of spawning a beast that could destroy the creations of the Ancients. He drove out most of the Dark Elves that made their abode in the cavernous kingdom of Lokonia under the Tellorien Mountains, but many of the Elves stayed to serve him, ensnared under his evil power. Above all, the Dark One desired power and subjects that would worship him and do his bidding. Even though the Dark One’s body had been destroyed by the Mithrodin in the four hundred and eighteenth year of the Fifth Age, a powerful dark spirit remained that could ensnare the weak willed, and it endured for thousands of years in the Underworld.
Through those ages the Dark One created many foul beasts, but none were as terrible as the great Baelin that he created in the four thousand and forty-ninth year of the Fifth Age. The Baelin were immensely powerful beasts that towered twice the height of the tallest Elf or Man. They were covered in thick furred hides with great bony plates of armor and sharp spined backs. Their great fangs could paralyze and devour with ease. The Dark One created a Multitude of Baelin, but the greatest in stature and might was the first, the one the Elves called Folkor. Folkor was twice the height of the later brood and he sported wings that allowed limited flight, which the beast used mostly for surprise when attacking.
Whence the Elves made their exodus from the Underworld to escape the Dark One they settled in the Realm of Ammunach along the great river Ragendeld that ran from the Tellorien Mountains to the Southern Sea. Many of the greatest Elven houses arose in the forests on the banks of the Ragendeld over the ensuing ages. Anvari, an Elf of the Evesdrou family, was a renowned warrior of those people and he rode his great horse Eglanti along its borders, protecting it from invading enemies. The Elves were a fierce people and their lands were forbidden to all but Elven kind.
Upon a day Anvari and four of his companions were patrolling the edge of the marshlands to the South of Ammunach they came spied an encampment of Men trespassing their lands. This was in the early hours of the day, before the sun had arisen, for the Elves were night creatures that lived in the twilight while men lived in the daylight. Hearing the Elves’ steeds approaching, the Men awoke, and fearing they were being attacked they drew their swords and bows and took to battle against the Elves. The Elves were the swifter on horseback and easily overtook the Men, but one man fought fiercely and grievously wounded one of Anvari’s companions. At this Anvari, a most skilled lanceman, sent his finest lance, Occsdrow, through the man and killed him. The other men were disarmed and bound. When questioned the men claimed to be of the house of Nattan, from an isle to the south on the great lake Eldinyed. They had been sent on an errand to make contact with the Elves of the North and request aid. The Dark One desired their island to build a fortress, and when the Duke of the Nattan refused to give it up the Dark One had sent his great Baelin, Folkor, to torment them. The Nattan hunted and grew crops in the lands surrounding Lake Eldinyed and Folkor had become a great bane to them. Many warriors were sent to slay the Baelin but all had perished at the horrible fangs of the beast. The Duke had sent his son and the last of the Nattan warriors through the dreaded Balach Marsh to call upon help from the Elves. The Duke’s son was the one whom Anvari had slain, and now Anvari had great grief over this, for he hoped to one day befriend the strange people of the misty isle.
Anvari took the men deep into the forest kingdom and their story was told to the elders of the great Elven houses, but the elders refused to help fearing that the Dark One would seek vengeance upon them if they interfered with his doings. Anvari argued that the Elves should help the men, for the Dark One may yet attack their own lands and the Nattan would be needed as allies. The elders laughed at this, but even so they allowed Anvari the choice to join the men if he so desired, since he had been the one to kill the Duke’s son. Anvari owed a blood debt for his wrongful slaying, and the Elves were an honorable people in all things. The Elders armed him with their most sacred heirloom to aid in his task, the enchanted blade Archeros, for no Elf or Man had ever defeated a Baelin; and as many tales had told, Folkor was the greatest of all Baelin.
Anvari gathered his most prized lances and he gave horses to the five men of the Nattan. Together they traveled along the outskirts of the dreaded Balach Marsh to the eastern shores of Lake Eldinyed where Folkor hunted. It only took two nights before they found sign of the beast roaming the shores of the northern inlet of land where the Nattan grew their crops. Anvari, knowing they could not hope to defeat Folkor on open ground, waited until night and alone he silently followed Folkor to his lair in the ruins of the ancient kingdom in the Red Marsh, north of the inlet. Folkor slept there among the ruined stone walls of a long forgotten people, thinking he would be hidden from attack. To Anvari it seemed the perfect place to ambush the beast, but he feared death for the ground was littered with the skulls of many men whom Folkor had devoured and the grass was red as if stained with blood.
The blade of power the Elders had given Anvari was Archeros, and it was a Blade of Chaos forged by the Ancient Ones in the Fourth Age. Its hilt was fashioned in the form of its namesake, an ancient paralyzing sea drake that lived in Ardere, the sea of fire. The blade was decorated with the form of the drake and one stroke of its steel would cause time to slow to a crawl for the one touched. If the user were to touch the blade he would be unaffected, but by drawing a drop of his own blood with the blade he would gain the foreknowledge to accomplish his goals; and this Anvari did.
In the morning Anvari returned to his camp and told the men of his plan to defeat the Baelin. He then trained them in the Elven ways of lance fighting from horseback. After a week had passed Anvari felt the time was right and he led the men to the Baelin’s lair. When Folkor settled into sleep that night three of the men rode upon him from opposite directions to confuse and surprise him, but the Baelin’s great sense of smell had alerted him to their presence. Before the men could throw their lances Folkor gave a mighty flap of his wings and leapt high into the misty air. He came down and crushed one man, and with another leap he landed on the other and devoured him and his horse. At this Anvari signaled to the third man who charged from behind Folkor and launched his lance, but Folkor again leapt before it struck. This time when he came down the other two men and were waiting behind a stone wall and each sent a lance into his chest while Anvari rode with lightening speed at the Baelin’s side. Folkor sensed the trap and with a mighty swipe of his clawed hand he sent the stone wall crumbling around the two men but he was too late to stop Anvari who had slashed his belly with Archeros as he rode Eglanti under the beast. Folkor tried to leap upon Anvari but found he could no longer move with great speed for Archeros had slowed him down almost to stop. Before Folkor was aware of it, Anvari rode at him again from the opposite direction and sent his finest spear, Occsdrow, into the beasts heart and Folkor was at last slain.
Whence the Nattan sent a ship to shore many days later Anvari greeted the men and told of the heroism of his five slain comrades against the Baelin and he gave them gifts to take back to the Duke as payment for Anvari’s mistaken slaying of his son. One gift was a bladed weapon forged from the metal of Occsdrow’s steel tip and the armor of the dead Baelin, which he had beaten into its handle, and he called it Folkor's bane, the Adrasil. The other gift was an impenetrable shield made from a single plate of armor from the back of the beast, which he had boiled and beaten to shape with Elven skill. Thus was the tradition born of weapon making from the bones and armor of slain Baelin, and an alliance between Men and Elves was forged from that day forth.
The History of the Umethar
It came to pass as has been foretold that the Dark One’s offspring, Vardor, came into power, and with the aid of the evil sorcerer Navros, became the Lord of the Shadows. Thenceforth the high priests of the Mithrodin ordained that the known Swords of the Ancients must be protected lest he seek for them. The leadership of Vaelen, whom herself was of the order of Mithrodin and had slain the Dark One, was sorely needed in this dismal time. Thus the Mithrodin commanded that the warrior Aluen and a company of seven Mithrodin search the lands of Ammon for knowledge of the fate of the Umethar, which had been lost for over ten thousand years, and with it attempt to release Vaelen from her prison in the Neverworld. Their quest led them to the far corners of the Great Realm; Lumenia, Deylund, Deylindor, and Ammunach, with no wisdom of the blade she sought.
Aluen’s company then set sail with the mariners of the Rocinante, a white sailing vessel of the great fleet of Lumenia, and they crossed the sea of Valesthia to the Southern realm of Loringel wherein lay the Mithrodin hall of records in Athelstan. For seven moons Aluen studied the ancient scrolls and tablets of the Fourth Age. It was there she found knowledge of the Blades of Chaos, the first to be given powers by the Ancients. Indeed, the Mithrodin still held one of those blades, the Isis, in their possession; but its power was for harnessing the sun and the earth, and could not open the gate to the other worlds. The others were mostly weak talismans, lost over time, but one blade, the mythical Umethar, was accounted to be the true blade of creation and destruction, harnessing the original force the Ancients used in the conception of all mortal creatures in Ammon. The Ancient texts told of a great battle between Elves and Uldurin many thousands of years earlier and of its hiding place in the realm of Ulaine. The Umethar had long ago passed out of memory and was recorded to have been destroyed; but Aluen knew a blade of the Ancients could not be unmade. Thus Aluen’s company and the mariners of the Rocinante made for the frozen lands of the North. All the while, back in the homeland of Lumenia, their King had been slain and Vardor’s Shadows swept over the land.
The journey took three moons time, with one sojourn on the isle of Kelledros off the Northeastern coast of Dagorlund, before finally landing on the frozen Eastern shores of Ulaine, which were strangely broken and in upheaval as if the earth had been twisted and wrenched. The Elves making their abode in the villages of the coast had no word from the Mithrodin for many a year and were elated by Aluen’s visit. She learned from them that the Uldurin, who had degenerated into vicious savages since the time of the Ancients, harshly ruled Ulaine. The king of the Uldurin possessed the sword of the earth, Anathros, and he used it to govern the Elves by threat of its power, which could melt the ice and crack the earth. With it he had all but destroyed the great cities of the Elvish kingdom and the Elves now lived in many scattered villages. Anathros had been given to the Elves long ago, but was later stolen by the Uldurin, who now resided on the shores of the West. It was there that the Temple of the Anath was rumored to lie, hidden in the Eldriun Mountains. The mariners transported Aluen’s crew to the Western shores where they parted company. The main host of the Uldurin dwelt there and Aluen chose to travel around the city to the foot of the mountains by night and avoid detection.
The ascent through the mountain pass was harsh and cold, but this did not distress the Mithrodin, and after many days travel they finally descried the three great peaks of mount Eldriun, wherein the temple should reside in the valley between the peaks. The company took rest for the night but were assailed in the twilight hours by an Uldurin patrol; and they were twisted beings, savage and unrecognizable, with bare, scaly spined black skin, and taloned hands and feet. They fought fiercely and three of Aluen’s company were slain, but Aluen also took six of the intruders to death with her Valdris before the others retreated. At dawn they crossed the mountain and advanced into the valley below, which was peculiarly devoid of snow or even cold, but was bright, green and warm like midsummer as if some magic had averted the elements. In the center of the valley stood a great ring of immense fir trees, but when they came closer they could see a grand palace hidden within, ancient and in disrepair, but still majestic and beautiful: The Temple of the Anath, now vacant of the Ancient Ones since they passed from the world ten thousand years beforehand.
Upon entering the magnificent temple halls, which were carved of a polished black stone, the company was beleaguered by more of the Uldurin, deranged guardians set to watch ages ago, their minds bent by long abuse of the Blades of Chaos. A prolonged battle ensued but the Mithrodin were triumphant, and proceeded into the inner labyrinth in search of the chamber that held the talisman they sought. Aluen, using all of her skills and training, deciphered the puzzle of the labyrinth and found the great hidden chamber within, a circular room ringed by fourteen statues of the Ancient Ones, each holding a bladed scepter. In the center of the ring there was a stone pedestal that firmly held the Umethar, and Aluen knelt in front and grasped its hilt; and by invoking the names of the Ancients she asked for it to be released from the temple. It broke free of the stone and a brilliant light shone from the blade as Aluen held it aloft, and through it she was given a vision by Vaelen from the Neverworld. In the vision the hoard of the Orwenoch were coming out of Dagorlund to destroy the Great Realm, commanded by Vardor; but Aluen was also in the vision, commanding an army of the undead against them, and she held the sword Anathros in her hand. Aluen then knew that her fate was to lead the Elves in conquest of the Uldurin and wield the sword Anathros against Vardor.
Aluen, after she received her vision from Vaelen, returned to the Elves in the East of Ulaine with the remnants of her Mithrodin company; and she convinced them that it was now the time to attack the Uldurin, who had been weakened by their loss of the Umethar, and remove the sword Anathros from the throne. She told of the vision and how Anathros must be used in the coming war against the Shadow Army. Utilizing the Umethar’s power to create doors, Aluen opened a passage between Elven villages and the Temple of the Anath in the Eldriun Mountains. When all of the forces of the Elves were assembled there they made an assault upon the Uldurin ice city from the rocky mountains to the North where it was least protected and broke through the confines of its frozen outer walls. Aluen sent her sailing vessel, the Rocinante, and all of Elven ships they could muster to feint an assault on the Southern coast of the kingdom, and thus all of the Uldurin forces were on the wrong side of the city when it was attacked. The Uldurin king, who dared not use the destructive power of Anathros within the city walls, was soon overwhelmed and cast down from the throne by Aluen, and his encircled troops surrendered to the Elves. Aluen took possession of Anathros and used its power to bring down the icy walls of the city. Thence the city was secured and the Elves praised the Mithrodin and gave Aluen a company of twenty Elven foot soldiers and archers; and Aluen hastily departed with her forces in the Rocinante for Dagorlund.