The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients
and Other Blades of Power
A Mythology By Kit Rae
Of Avaquar and Anathar, the Ninth and Tenth Swords
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In the ten thousand one hundred and third year of the Fifth Age, Queen Vaelen was at last released from her prison in the Neverworld by the sorceress Morgolien. In her ensuing battle with the sorcerer Navros and his dark son Naegolus, Vaelen was gravely wounded and thought dead. Vaelen's daughter, Aluen, was slain by a bolt from the staff of Navros. Morgolien had secretly used her magic to revive Vaelen wherefore she was taken to the Dead City and presented as a slave and gift to the dark oracle, Methuscia. That witch, an immortal daughter to an Ancient One, was one of the first sorceresses known to the world and she had been cursed by the Ancients for her witchcraft more than 10,000 years afore. Morgolien and Methuscia had long been allies and Morgolien was a great friend to the ancient oracle. She had designs to use Vaelen against Navros when the time presented itself, for Navros had betrayed her and taken control of her kingdom, Nokomis, and Morgolien desired revenge. Navros, upon learning of Morgolien's treachery, had her imprisoned, and to his son Naegolus he told that his mother had died at Vaelen's hand, for it could never be revealed to Naegolus that, Vaelen, in truth was his birth mother, not Morgolien. In the mists of the Neverworld, Vaelen's mind had been clouded of all knowledge of bearing this dark son.
The sword hand of Naegolus had been hewed off by Vaelen and seething within him was a deep rage and hatred for her kind. He desired to complete his mother's work and destroy every remaining Mithrodin warrior, the ancient protectors of the Great Realm and the Swords of the Ancients, though there were now only but a few left in the world. Thus through his dark arts he created an enchanted gauntlet to place on the stump of his right arm and he once again learned to wield the slayer sword, Molotoch, and he became as skilled with his new metal hand as he once was with his old. His prowess in combat was unmatched, but there was a burning pain in that sword hand ever and anon.
With his company of wizards Naegolus once again set out upon the land to hunt for the remaining Mithrodin. He visited the Oracle of the Dead City, Methuscia, and asked for her aid, for she was often a friend to the wizards of Nokomis, but she refused Naegolus until he brought her the sword of justice, Cinthorc, which she had greatly desired for many years. This Naegolus did for her, with the blessing of his father, Navros. Through the powers of the Oracle he was given sight of each Mith that still lived in the Great Realm and with the ancient sword Luciendar, also given to him by Navros, he was shown their hiding places. Over the course of seven years he and his sorcerers exterminated the last of that great order, including the priests and acolytes, and he burned their ancient temples, and the great protectors of the realm were no more; but Naegolus was troubled in his mind, for he could sense that there remained one Mithrodin he had not slain, and it disturbed him deeply that Methuscia had not disclosed the whereabouts of this one.
Vaelen was indeed now the last of the Mithrodin. Broken-willed and defeated, she had been a slave and servant to the lamia Methuscia in the Dead City all of those years, and she had no knowledge that she was the last of her great order, which had existed since the time of the Ancients. Never once had she attempted escape from the Dead City. She simply served Methuscia, locked in the bowels of her dark stone temple, never seeing the light of day. Her only companions were the other women enslaved by the witch. There were no men, for they could not endure the sight of Methuscia lest they be stricken with fear and death by her appearance, which was so hideous that it would freeze a man as if he were stone. Thus was Vaelen's curse by the Ancients. Though many men came to her for advice or to hear the Oracle, none would ever look upon her. Thence came a day when a troubled Naegolus returned yet again to speak with the Oracle. Methuscia agreed to see him and her slaves led him to the hideous throne room of her palace, crawling with snakes and other foul creatures and stinking of death. Naegolus averted his eyes and once again asked Methuscia about the last Mithrodin warrior and why he could not detect her with the power of the Ancients that resided in Luciendar. To this Methuscia only laughed, and said that only one with the blood of the Ancients in her veins could hide from a talisman of the Ancients; and she revealed that he had already seen this one slain, but that the slain still walked the earth, and yet she was a prisoner. Naegolus, who had grown tired of the oracle's mysterious clues, demanded that she tell him the truth he sought or he would slay every slave in the palace, leaving Methuscia alone in her Dead City. Hearing the certainty in his words, and knowing him to be truly evil, even more so than his twisted father, Methuscia told Naegolus that the one he had been searching for was Vaelen, once queen of Lumenia, and slayer of the Dark One with whom his father had been in league with for so many years. She also told of his mother Morgolien's deed in masking from he and his father the fact that Vaelen still lived. Naegolus balked at this, for he had been told that Vaelen had slain his mother, but the Oracle declared to him that this was untrue, a lie told by his father to hide that fact that his mother still lived and had been imprisoned in his dark dungeons all of these years. Naegolus grew angered at this talk, for he loved his father greatly and deemed that Methuscia had spoken an untruth, for she had still not declared where the last of the Mithrodin lay hidden. In a rage he unsheathed Molotoch and, averting his eyes, he swung at Methuscia and beheaded the hideous witch. The blood of Methuscia flowed and smoked from her neck, and to Naegolus' astonishment it set the stone chamber ablaze in a white fire. Hurriedly Naegolus escaped the palace and sped back to Nokomis so that he might confront his father with this news. He knew his father to be cunning and capable of such a deed but he refused to believe the witches lies.
Numerous slaves burned in the great fire, but many there were that also escaped the palace in which they had been imprisoned for so long, for Naegolus had broken its four iron gates open upon his escape from the flaming palace and he killed all of the door wardens. One of the slaves hastened to the lower levels before the entire palace was engulfed in flame and set the prisoners below free, and Vaelen was among them; and she helped many others to escape that fiery tomb. All told, twenty-three slaves had escaped the Dead City, and Vaelen learned from one who witnessed it, that Naegolus had killed the Oracle and caused the fire. At being free once more, Vaelen declared to her companions that she was once Queen Vaelen of Lumenia, the one for whom Naegolus had been searching, and that she would help them in any way that she could to find their old homes and kinsman.
That night the women camped near the forest far away from the Dead City and Vaelen was awakened by a voice calling to her on the wind. The voice beckoned her from inside the forest and upon entering she saw a black wolf carrying a grotesque decapitated head by the serpentine hair growing out of its skull, and Vaelen knew that it was Methuscia. Her head, though horribly burned and scarred, was still able to speak in Vaelen's mind and look upon her with its milky, eyeless sockets. The Oracle revealed to Vaelen that the curse the Ancients had set upon her would not let her die, no matter how broken her body became. Seeking revenge upon Naegolus, she informed Vaelen of a hiding place beneath her burnt throne wherein lay the sword of justice, Cinthorc; the sword Vaelen once wielded against Naegolus eleven years before. She beckoned Vaelen to seek it and return; and she found the sword there in that ruined and blackened palace, and grasping its hilt, Vaelen felt alive once again and the spirit of her former self returned.
When Vaelen returned to the woods she found the wolf there in that same place holding head of the witch in its jaws. She showed Methuscia the sword she had recovered and Methuscia thence let it be known that Vaelen was special, for she was of the original bloodline of the Ancients, a direct descendant, and that she could end the Ancient's curse of eternal life placed on Methuscia with the sword of justice, if she so desired. It would be a just revenge for all the years that Methuscia had kept her enslaved. Methuscia had a vision long ago that this day would come and in her vision Vaelen was the one to freed her from this world with Cinthorc. She had sought for the sword ever and anon until she had acquired it from Naegolus. Vaelen agreed to do this thing, but to herself she thought this was not punishment, for Methuscia desired an end to her own wretched existence. She begged Vaelen to listen to one last prophesy, and she told that Naegolus in his quest for ultimate domination, would seek the sword of power, Anathar, the last and most powerful of the Swords of the Ancients, and that he would find it in Dagorlund. She told that Vaelen must find the sword of the deep, Avaquar, for that blade was the only balance against the sword of power, and without it Naegolus would surely enslave the world under his dark dominion with Anathar. The Oracle told Vaelen to seek Avaquar on the Isle of Fire in the Sea of Ardere, but she must move quickly for Naegolus already possessed seven of the ten Swords of the Ancients. This said, she begged Vaelen to free her from the curse the Ancients had set upon her. The wolf placed Methuscia's abominable head upon the forest floor and Vaelen swiftly brought Cinthorc down upon it, cleaving it open and freeing Methuscia's soul. A great white light spilled from the head and filled the forest. For a moment Vaelen saw her as she once was, a beautiful woman in white, but the vision faded to nothingness; but the great power that was released in this act caused Vaelen to fall into a swoon, entranced in a dark sleep.
Naegolus and his company sped day and night back to Nokomis so that he might confront his father, but upon arriving he found that Navros had departed to the North mountain springs of Deylindor, as he was wont to do often in those days. Navros had become weakened and lazy in the years since he had subjugated rule of Nokomis from Morgolien, feeling that no one would dare challenge the power of he, one of the most ancient sorcerers in Ammon. These were the days of the sorcerer's reign, since the Mithrodin were all but extinct and the great kingdoms of men and elves had fallen. Navros had become content in this life. Still troubled over the Oracle's words, Naegolus descended into his father's dungeons to see for himself if his mother truly still lived, but he was confronted at the gate by his father's watchmen, the Simokon, who kept order in Nokomis while their master was away, and they were great sorcerers in their own right; but Naegolus had within him the blood of the Ancients and he was the most powerful sorcerer in Ammon at that time. He easily deceived the watchmen, making them think he was Navros, and they showed him the hidden chamber where his mother resided, deep within the dark catacombs.
Upon seeing his mother's ancient and decrepit form he became enraged at his father, and felt sorrow for Morgolien, whom he had lost for so many years. Now, Morgolien had become very weak and had lost all of her powers in these waning years, but she still had her wit and venom. To Naegolus she told all; of his father's betrayal to her when he stole the rule of Nokomis and of the seduction of Vaelen in the Neverworld to produce an offspring; and she told Naegolus that he was indeed the offspring of that union, and that she was not his true blood mother, but that it was Vaelen, slayer of the Dark One. She told that Aluen, whom Navros had slain, had been his half sister, and she also told of her own deception regarding Vaelen's death and of the giving of Vaelen to Methuscia, in hopes that she could one day use her in revenge against Navros. This news shocked Naegolus and he became bewildered, not knowing whom to believe, but in his heart he knew Morgolien's words to be true, and he wept for the first time in his life. His mother had been made but a shadow of her former self, his father whom he loved had deceived him, and his true mother must have surely perished in the burning of Methuscia's palace that he himself had caused. Morgolien comforted him, and when one of his tears fell upon her she regained some of her former strength from it. Naegolus swore revenge on his father, and Morgolien fueled the raging thoughts in his head, telling him that he should be the ruler of Nokomis, not Navros, for he was the more powerful sorcerer. She told, that to do this he would need the sword of power, Anathar. Morgolien knew of its true hiding place, a secret once known only to the Mithrodin, revealed by her long torture of those warriors.
Legend held that Anathar was the last and strongest of the Ten Swords forged by the Dark Elves in Barkonia for the Ancient Ones. After its use in the second defeat of the Dark One in the beginning of the Fifth Age the sword was hidden by the Mithrodin in the caverns of Annundos, under the Kilgoriun Mountains in Dagorlund. Many foul creatures dwelt there and none that have entered that land over the ensuing years in search of the sword have returned to tell of it, but Morgolien knew of its exact location, and that it would require the powers of each of the other swords of the Ancients to claim it.
Naegolus, still in the guise of his father, demanded that the Simokon release Morgolien and restore her authority, and this they did; and he also declared that thenceforth Naegolus would be his heir and all rule of the kingdom was relinquished to him, and all swore allegiance to Naegolus. Later, in his own form, Naegolus stole the six swords of the Ancients held in Navros' chambers: Elexorien, Kilgorin, Luciendar, Morthoseth, Anathros, and Valermos. With a large company of Simokon warriors under his command, Naegolus departed westward to cross the sea of Valesthia to Dagorlund to find Anathar, the sword of power. He gave one of the swords of power to each of the six most powerful Simokon, and for himself he chose to wield Molotoch.
Whence Vaelen's companions found her in the dank morning forest she was in a deep sleep, and a dark wolf lay watching over her. They could not wake her, but they took her from that place to hide and care for her, and wherever they went the mysterious wolf lurked. It appeared that the wolf intended her no harm, but only seemed to be watching over her as a guardian. After seven days Vaelen awoke and felt the power of the Ancients burning in her veins, for Methuscia had delivered a touch of her own essence to Vaelen in dying, and Vaelen now had a fragment of oracular sight. She saw in her mind that Naegolus was now seeking for Anathar, but that he had not yet reached the West sea. Her companions told her of the strange wolf that had watched over her in her slumber and Vaelen wondered at this, but she befriended the beast and it hunted and brought back game for the company to feast upon. She named the wolf Scylla, and it remained her guardian and companion thenceforth, never leaving her side.
Vaelen told her companions of the Oracle's words and she declared that no immortal must ever be allowed to control the fate of the Great Realms. Once more she rallied the people to her cause and devised to raise an army with which to defeat Naegolus and destroy the kingdom of sorcerers in Nokomis. Each of her companions agreed to join her, for Vaelen was a great leader of almost legendary stature. Of those that were able-bodied Vaelen trained in the ways of the Mithrodin. Of these, some were sent to Lumenia, and some to Deylund, to recruit others to her cause. They hid themselves from the watchful eyes of the Simokon sorcerers whom were posted in every city, village, and town, for Navros' ruling arm stretched long in the Great Realms, and no place was immune to his power; but Vaelen's secret army grew strong even under his watchful eye. She made a secret abode in the forests along the Ragendeld River, east of Lumenia, and there she and her companions made store of weapons and trained the worthy and willing to her cause.
Naegolus and his company set sail in many fast ships from the Western shore of Lumenia and many moons passed before at last they crossed the Sea of Velesthia and passed into the Strait of Kelledros where they landed on the Eastern shore of Dagorlund. With a band of twenty Simokon on horseback, Naegolus rode West to the Kilgoriun Mountains, South of Annundos where the Orwenoch reigned, in search of the entrance to the Mithrodin temple that held Anathar. Morgolien had given him a map with which to follow, and after twenty-three days Naegolus came to a hidden valley with a river that flowed under a mountain. This was the secret entrance to the temple, and Naegolus led his band of Simokon forthwith, and they found no guard or sentinel, for the entrance was so well hidden that none could happen upon it without exact knowledge of its location. The interior of the mountain flowed hot with the fires of the earth, and there were many pools of molten rock, but with the powers of the sword of fire, Valermos, the flames were moved away and a protected path was created through the caverns. Naegolus followed Morgolien's map and its landmarks led him to the chamber wherein the sword lay; but there were great and terrible guardians left there long ago by the Ancients.
In the center of the cavern lay a black stone obelisk surrounded by fourteen giant stone golems, and they now awoke for the first time in over nine thousand years. Each began to glow and burn with life, and Naegolus knew these as fire golems, ancient terrors from the Third Age of Ammon, created as guardians to the Ancients Ones themselves. Naegolus called for his Simokon to use the swords of power against them, and they battled the golems with all of their might and sorcery. With the power of Anathros, sword of the earth, and Valermos, sword of fire, Naegolus at last gained control of the fire golems, for they were made of elements of both stone and flame. He caused them to halt their attack, but before Valermos could be put to use to quench the flaming giants, the golems had beaten and burned three of the Simokon sorcerers to ash.
Naegolus' face was horribly burned and disfigured, and he was blinded in one eye. The agony and pain did not dissuade him however, and he grasped the hilt of Luciendar, sword of light, so that its power would reveal to him the hiding place of Anathar; and the stone obelisk in the center of the room did glow with a white light. The sword of power had been encased inside the stone by the Mithrodin. Naegolus then grasped Anathros once again and summoned its power to crack the stone, and it shattered from around the sword causing Anathar to at last be revealed. The largest of the ten Swords of the Ancients, Anathar's blade was inscribed with runes in the lost Second Age language of the Anath, Thant, that named it as the sword of power. Its hilt was formed with a curve - spiked triple cross guard and the pommel was in the shape of the ceremonial winged and horned headdress of the Ancient Ones. The grip was carved from three pieces of red Thorcan, a reddish stone jewel said to be a high talisman of the Anath that harbored their greatest powers whence they left the world. When Naegolus grasped the sword in his enchanted gauntlet his pain left and he was overcome by a feeling of absolute power. In his mind came visions of each of the Ten Swords in Ammon and he felt the power of each of those blades flowing through Anathar. He discerned that Cinthorc was in the hands of Vaelen yet again, and he sensed Avaquar, the sword of the deep. He now had knowledge of its hiding place, on the Isle of Fire. His lust for it was deep and he knew that he must possess it and all of the Ten Swords to gain ultimate rule of Ammon.
Whence Navros returned to Nokomis, Morgolien stayed hidden from him in the secret passages of the castle. Unaware that his kingdom had been taken from him, he entered his great hall and found that the Swords of the Ancients had been stolen. When questioned, his Simokon commanders told that Naegolus had taken them on a quest in the West, and they did not question him for he was now the King of Nokomis. Enraged, Navros killed the commanders with bolts from his bladed staff, Tallisett, and in an unthinking fury he took his remaining throng of Simokon sorcerers into the West in search of Naegolus and the swords of power he stole.
Now, Vaelen kept spies to watch on Nokomis at all times and when she heard word that both of its chiefs and the greater part of its host were away she mounted an attack upon Nokomis with her legion of warriors. The siege lasted four days, but in the end the forces of Vaelen overtook the city and killed the wizards left behind to guard it. Morgolien, powerless to stop them, was captured by Vaelen's swordmasters and brought before her. Vaelen demanded to know the whereabouts of the swords of power, but Morgolien would not betray Naegolus, so she lied and told that Navros had taken them and left the city two days before. Vaelen's black wolf, Scylla, was an enchanted animal that could sense lies and deceit, and she growled ferociously at Morgolien who cowered in fear of the beast. Vaelen asked a second time, warning that there would be no mercy for her if she again told a lie. Morgolien offered instead to tell Vaelen a truth that was more precious to her than swords, if she would spare her life and allow her to flee the city. Vaelen granted that she would not be slain by her hand if she spoke a truth of this value, and Morgolien thus told the full tale of Vaelen's seduction by Navros in the forgotten Neverworld and of her bearing him the son that was Naegolus. Vaelen was aghast at this, and she knew by Scylla's truth sense that the hag spoke rightly, and she did not slay her as promised; but Scylla, being a beast, owed no such honor to this promise, and she leapt upon the sorceress and mauled her. Morgolien, close to death, spat upon the wolf and vowed to Vaelen that Naegolus would defeat her utterly, for he now possessed the sword of power, and soon he would have Avaquar. Thence the time of mortal men and elves would end by his hand; and she laughed at Vaelen, but her mirth was silenced abruptly as Scylla once again leaped upon her, this time breaking her neck and ending her wretched life. Disturbed deeply at the news that her greatest enemy was of her own flesh and blood, Vaelen was dumbfounded in a trance, but Scylla comforted her. Vaelen's lieutenants urged that they depart the city in haste, and so she thence commanded that all of Nokomis be burned to ash, and thus every building in that accursed place was set ablaze and the city of sorcerers perished.
Vaelen had knowledge of Navros' fleet of elven ships harbored on the Eastern shores of Deylindor in the Bay of Volcemis, and thus she lead her legions there intent on capturing them. Her oracular sight told her that Naegolus was rapidly traversing the seas South of Ammunach, heading East to Ardere, the dreaded Sea of Fire; but Naegolus was not in advance of her yet, and there was still time to overtake him. At Volcemis Vaelen's forces were triumphant in overpowering the elvish ship wardens and she took command of three swift sailing vessels. When she demanded that the Volcemite mariners take them to the Isle of Fire, they refused, for to cross Ardere was a treacherous and deadly course due to the dreaded Sea Drakes, which could paralyze men, and the violent fire storms that swept the waters. Vaelen told them of the deeds that Naegolus intended. Mortal men, and even elves such as they would not be spared his mercy, for he proposed to destroy all mortal beings, or to enslave them; and the elves sensed a truthfulness in Vaelen, and they agreed to man the ships at her command.
When Vaelen's ships were two weeks into their Westward journey they sighted a dark ship far to the South, navigating the same course as they, and Vaelen knew it to be the vessel of her son. Abruptly the sea and sky ahead turned red as blood and fire erupted from the waters in cyclones, engulfing one of Vaelen's three ships. The other two craft were able to alter their course in time and sail North and pass around the storm, but the burning ship could not be saved, and all her passengers and crew were lost to the red sea. Naegolus was far enough South of the storm that he did not pass through it, and he now raced ahead of Vaelen to the Isle of Fire.
Seven days passed and the vessel of Naegolus entered a fog where it encountered a hoard of Sea Drakes. The giant serpents invaded his ship and paralyzed many of his crew, but by summoning the power of Anathar he caused the serpents to withdraw. His journey was not deterred or slowed for Naegolus had brought with him those stone golems that he now commanded and controlled through Anathros. He charged them to operate the posts of his ship that were unmanned, and this they did far better than the Barumen mariners who were slain, for the golems never tired or slept.
After three weeks and four days at sea, Vaelen's lookouts caught sight of the Isle of Fire far in the foggy distance, its fiery volcano spouting a haze of black dust that clouded the sky. Naegolus' vessel was also spied far ahead of her own, but the red seas were ablaze with many treacherous fire storms that had to be navigated. At nightfall Vaelen's two ships sailed into a large bay of the isle and ruins of ancient temples could be seen high on the hills of its shores. The dark ship of Naegolus was already anchored there and many landing ships could be spied on the shore, but his host was nowhere to be seen. Vaelen, with Scylla and thirty of her swordsmen boarded their own landing craft and headed swiftly toward the shore. There she looked upon the largest of the temples, high upon a hill overlooking the bay and she deemed through her oracular sight that Naegolus was there. As her company landed on the shore their great ship was attacked from the opposite shore and set afire with volleys of flaming arrows launched by Naegolus' archers, who now revealed themselves to be hidden in the openings of the ancient buildings. At this, the oarsmen of Vaelen's second vessel withdrew their ship out into the open water lest they face the same fate. The elves of Vaelen's vessel, unable to control the fires, abandoned the ship and swam toward the shore, but Sea Drakes were attracted to the flames and they devoured all of the mariners.
Vaelen and her swordsmen set out to climb the hill of the temple by torch light, cautious against another sneak attack; and at the top of the hill they entered the many columned ruins, and there was sign that Naegolus and his men had come this way and entered the temple. Vaelen made to pursue them but the wolf Scylla beckoned her to follow another way, thus Vaelen commanded her swordsman to remain at the temple entrance while she went on. Scylla lead Vaelen to a smaller crumbling shrine farther up the hill, and upon entering it Vaelen found a chamber of fourteen pools of clear water, arranged in a circle, and in the center was a well. Scylla beckoned Vaelen toward the well and Vaelen climbed down that dark hole by means of a spiral staircase carved into its sides. At the bottom was another clear pool, and by Vaelen's torch light she could see the pool was empty; but when Vaelen reached into the water a sword hilt came into her hand, and she brought it forth. A wave of power swept through Vaelen, and she knew that she now held Avaquar, the sword of the deep. The sword was of a double-bladed design, engraved with Annundtal runes, an ancient language of Annundos. The runes told of Avaquar's powers over the waters of the world, and that Mahgnim, a famed Elven sword smith, had forged it. Its long hilt was fashioned with a lower grip caved of red thorcan, and a longer upper grip wrapped in black skin of the venomous Sea Drake.
Upon returning to the surface and leaving the temple Vaelen found that a huge battle had ensued in her absence. In the bay, Naegolus' ship was ablaze with fire, the doing of the mariners from her remaining ship. At the temple below, her swordsmen were in the midst of a ferocious battle with Naegolus' host of sorcerers and his burning stone golems; and six of the golems wielded the swords of power. As she watched, her swordsmen were utterly defeated, for they were no match against the might of her son's host. Vaelen watched as Naegolus, in full battle armor, beheaded her general.
Naegolus had spied Vaelen's torchlight and he came up the hill at her strait way, and in his enchanted gauntlet he wielded Anathar. Vaelen tossed her sword, Cinthorc, aside, and grasped the hilts of Avaquar firmly. By speaking the runes engraved in its twin blades aloud she summoned the power of that enchanted weapon, causing the seas to come upon the land and a great wave to crash into the host of Naegolus. The sorcerers were drowned and the golems were swept away, and the those great swords that long kept the fate on Ammon in balance were lost to the depths. Naegolus halted with disbelief at the sight of this. Six of the ten swords of power were now lost to the sea. He turned and focused his rage upon Vaelen and thence summoned powers deep within Anathar to destroy her; but Naegolus was as of yet unskilled with this great weapon, and he caused the ground to quake violently and the volcano high atop the isle began to spew flame into the night sky, and rivers of fire flowed down from its peak less than a mile in the distance.
Vaelen grasped Avaquar in one hand and her Cyexx, a fighting scythe, in the other as Naegolus came at her. They battled long as the ground shook and the temples collapsed around them and Naegolus was given enormous power from Anathar; and he beat Vaelen down violently with it. Just as he was about to deliver his death blow, Scylla leapt upon him, chewing at the weak armor about his neck in a fury. Naegolus threw the wolf down and slew the animal with his mighty sword, but Naegolus blood flowed fast and he was gravely wounded. Vaelen, realizing that this was her only chance of victory against Naegolus, threw the double-bladed Avaquar like a spear straight at his heart, and it pierced the armor, sinking deep. Naegolus fell to his knees and he knew he had been dealt a mortal blow. Vaelen pulled the sword from his chest and cradled him as he died. She had hoped for some word of repentance from her only son, but there was none. He only stared at her oddly until the life left his eyes. Thence the earth shook violently and lava began to flow and boil into the bay. As the ground began to crack open around her Vaelen searched and found Cinthorc. She hurled it into the sea, but Avaquar and Anathar she strapped to her back. Seeing her only escape, Vaelen dived from the cliff wall into the bay and swam the boiling water to her ship where her crew pulled her aboard before she drowned. She urged the elves to retreat with great speed and, as if commanded, a sudden wind filled the ships sails and pushed it out to sea. Vaelen was weak, but she used the last of her remaining strength to summon Avaquar's powers once more; and she caused the waters to foam and rise, engulfing the island, and it crumbled and sank beneath the sea in a torrent of steaming and swirling waters. Thence she hurled Avaquar into the depths and all of the swords of the Ancients were lost, save Anathar, the sword of power; and Vaelen kept this sword with her until her dying day. The Ancients were long gone, and that sword alone held their lasting powers in the red thorcan of its hilt. Vaelen, last of the Mithrodin, returned home to the Great Realms and was made ruler over all of the lands, and the kingdoms of mortals arose once again to greatness, though not without trial and despair; but those are tales for another time.