As told by Aeowyn in Dark Ages
Just another day Aishe, a local citizen, thinks as he continues to walk around Mileth in search of food for the days meals and preparations for his next hunt. He has already become quite frustrated by this time, because no merchant is selling a single Split Rock Cobbler Shell, an item that on any other day would have been considered an easy find. Deciding this attempt near hopeless, he begins to head toward the city gate and further on towards his quiet and peaceful home. But suddenly, breaking him momentarily out of his disappointment, an energetic voice floats into his ears. He turns his head this way and that, scanning the crowd for the holder of the voice that seems to delight him. But as he finds the sought after person, he only see a cheery young man, clothed in the bright garments He is wearing an exquisite gold ring with a white crystal placed in it, a ring that might have been worth over 3 million Temurian currency were it ever sold. You are surprised that such a man would be earning his living by telling stories. The man identifies himself to those around him as a mere storyteller, telling others of the wonderful stories he has to share, asking for only a few coins in return. He sits on a small log, with a pot in front of him and a few coins inside of it. Repulsed, you turn away.
"Excuse me, young man," the man motions toward Aishe.
His curiosity spiked, Aishe replies in an inquiring tone, "Yes, are you talking to me?"
"Aye, I am," the storyteller says in the continuing energetic tone that brought Aishe to him. "You look like a curious man who could use a good story right about now." Aishe walks over to the man to listen.
"I am Aeowyn," the beggar begins with a declaring voice. "No, that isnt right," he then says with a sigh as he looks toward the ground and shakes his head. "A long time ago, back when I too was still merely a Mundane my name was Iuslius, meaning "balance" or peace in my tongue. During that time, I was able to see the caring faces of my parents every day. All three of us, my dad and my mother and I, were farmers at that time, and specialists in the growing of red cherries. On my sixteenth birthday, I received a special gift from parents, a beautiful ring called a Garmi, which could never be found anywhere except in a Dracos den. The ring resembled a silver ring with a ruby placed in it. As only a Mundane would, I received it with great enthusiasm and gratitude and went inside to grab the satchel I used to carry my seeds. I put my satchel of seeds around my waist, and placed this extravagant item inside the satchel."
The beggar continues with a saddening voice. "Upon my return to the fields where I left my parents, I noticed that the sky had darkened rapidly. Suddenly, a shrill cry erupted from the back of the house. I quickly rushed to its origin to see what was wrong. When I arrived, I found my fathers dying body thrown to the ground in front of my house. I ran to him to see what had occurred but I found him only minutes away from death. With love in his eyes, he looked up at me in his last moments and whispered to me, "Be strong my son, Iuslius, for I shall continue to live on inside of you." He reached his hand out and toward my chest, but before he could touch me for a final time, he breathed his last sorrowful gasp of air and died.
At that moment, I immediately rose from his limp body with a tear falling from my eye. I brushed the tear from face as anger expressed it self on my countenance. I gazed at my fathers murderer, a dark man, who was dressed in the flowing robes of a wizard. But these were colored a dark gray, the gray seen on the skin of the Dubhaimid. He had a long black cape attached to his robe, which he flung aside as he whirled around to face me. "You have them!" he said as he directed a menacing finger in my direction. He stared at me, but with such a face. His eyes were covered in shadow, but it was not a shadow that you had ever seen. It was the shadow of evil, evil that absorbed all light within it. "Return to me what is mine, young lad," the dark lord issued its command to me in a low and menacing voice. "I shall kill you with the same power that I used to kill you father, should you not obey me!"
I arose to full height. "I shall avenge my fathers death!" I yelled. It was not until later that I realized what was happening now. Light covered my flesh as my mind began to fill with dreams and thoughts of what could be and of what I could do, imagination and creativity now flowed through my body. I was becoming an Aisling. But with the thoughts that could only be found in Aisling, came the thoughts of evil and hatred. My hatred directed itself toward the dark lord who was gloating in front of me.
The dark lord began to laugh. "Ha! You havent the power to kill me!" He raised his hands upward and created a small ball of fire that he contained within his hands. "I summon the elements that I have mastered to punish this foolish peasant. Ard Srad!" He threw the ball of fire to the ground in front of me. A ring of fire formed around me, and I could feel the blazing heat burn my skin. The ring of fire drew closer and closer, as the fire blazed hotter and hotter. I quickly assumed the best defensive stance that I could and closed my eyes as I braced myself for the fire to burn my flesh until I was dead.
But the heat suddenly stopped. I could no longer feel fire searing my flesh. The sound of fire crackling continued, but the fire was no longer able to harm me. I opened my eyes and saw a ghostly substance that had formed a shield to protect me from the Dark Lords wrath. "What is this?!?" the dark lord yelled as he futilely tried casting spell after spell, each one bouncing off of my protective shield.
Suddenly, the voice of my father erupted in my head. "Run, my son, run," he told me in his old warm and caring voice. "I shall keep you safe for now." Immediately, the ghostly substance detached itself from me and encased and immobilized the dark lord. I ran as quickly as I could toward sanctuary in the woods and away from the evil wizard.
I ran to the enchanted woods as quickly as possible, hoping to find safety there. I ran as fast as I could, glancing behind me as I went. I did not make an effort to look ahead of myself as much as I was watching behind me to make sure that the beast would not follow me. I was so unfocused about what was in front of me that I ran into beautiful woman that had just materialized in front of me.
"Oh," I quickly exclaimed trying to get a breath. "I sorry to have hit you. Are you all right?"
"I am fine, Iuslius," she replied in a compassionate voice after she had dusted off the twigs from her long blond hair and flowing purple robes. A gold cord laced around her waist and a beautiful white headband held her hair back. "You need not be in such a rush though. That which has caused your fear has subsided."
Perplexed, I whirled around and scanned the skies and the ground in search of my enemy. "How did you know that something was chasing me? And how did you know my name?"
"Know you not of who I am?" she asked, surprised. I merely shook my head. She arose and began to speak majestically. "I am Glioca, goddess of compassion. The creature you fight is a child of Chadul and pure darkness. He feeds upon the hatred of each and every Aisling of Temuair, and will do anything to cause that hatred to grow larger, even kill the kin of another person." Glioca now paused and looked at me with an examining stare. "By Danaan, I feel you are the one who can stop this evil force."
"Me? What can I do? I tried to hurt him once, but I failed and was forced to flee."
"Do not be so hasty young Iuslius. I and my son shall help you in your quest." Suddenly, Glioca turned to the sky and whispered a name into the winds. A flash of light erupted before us, and as the light dimmed, a burly and spirited young man stepped out of the light. He was dressed in only with a piece of cloth covering him, with no sword, shirt or boots, as I had seen other fighters from Mileth sporting. He was adorned with a red and green necklace around his neck and blue-white bracers covered his wrists, ankles, and upper arm. His chest was sun burnt and darker than Gliocas skin, and his face was covered in scruffy beard and bushy eyebrows.
"Ah, Cail god of nature, my dear son" Glioca greeted.
"Greetings, Mother!" Cail said as he greeted Glioca.
Glioca put her finger to her lips and pointed to me with her other hand. "Cail, he is here."
Cail then directed his attention toward me. "By Danaan, you are right, mother. He is the one who can defeat the Dark Lord. But right now, he doesnt have the power." Cail stopped and walked over to me. From the small distance that we were at, I could tell that he was extremely tall and very powerful.
"By the Hy-Brasyl, I can give him the power he needs." Cail extended his arm toward me in a spell-casting fashion. "Iuslius, thou shalt be called by that name no more," Cail began to chant, "From this day hence, thou shalt be called by the name of Aeowyn, meaning survivor in the tongue of the wise. And to allow you the greatest chance at fulfilling the destiny that is yours, I entrust to you the blessing of Cail, and the ability to harness your bodys full potential and to draw from nature to unleash devastating attacks upon thine enemies, as only a Monk would be able to."
As Cail began to say these words, a beautiful faerie light began to crawl over my body. When Cail finished his blessing, the light exploded like majestic fireworks, and I found myself clad in a fine culotte. "Now, go!" finished Cail. "Go and defeat the unholy force."
"With your blessing, Cail, I will go and destroy the evil wizard. I thank you both for all that you have done," I said, as I rushed off to return to my house.
About 10 paces away, Glioca yelled one last thing to me, "Ah, yes Aeowyn. You will be needing this." Glioca then threw a magical vial toward me, which I caught with the newfound accuracy of a monk. " You will find out what it is for." With that, both of the gods faded away and left me to return alone to face that which I would loathe for the rest of my life.
Suddenly, the storyteller arises, as if the story had ended. "Wait," Aishe exclaims, "Aeowyn, the story couldnt possibly be over!"
"Ah, but I grow weary," Aeowyn replies, "And I am beginning to find that storytelling is neither a well paying nor a well-respected job". Aishe quickly tosses 10 Temurian currencies into his collecting pot. "Hmm," the storyteller says, "I might be able to finish the story after all."
"I quickly ran back to my house," continues the storyteller," as I slipped the hydele deum inside the satchel I was using to hold seeds before the creature had attacked us. As I came into the opening of the woods, I could see fire and smoke rising from my house. Panic rushed into me and I increased my pace. When I reached the house, I saw that the creature had decided to give up on me and instead ransack the house. Fortunately, my mother had taken into behind a few trees near the house. I walked up to her, tapped he shoulder, and asked, "Mother, are alright?"
"Oh!" She said as she jumped and turned around quickly." Oh, it is just you Iuslius. I thought it was the Dark Lord."
" I am no longer, Iuslius. Cail gave me new powers and a new name, Aeowyn!"
"New powers? Have you seen what he can do? After you left, he chanted just one spell, and the whole house burst into flames! Just one spell!"
"What? Why did he burn the house?"
"He keeps on mentioning something about a mystical artifact that was stolen from him. He must think it is in the house."
Then I must keep him from getting to it." I then rushed out from behind the trees and charged toward the Dark Lord. My mother yelled for me to stop and that it was too dangerous, but I did not listen. I leapt into the air, outstretched the blade of my foot and struck the Dark Lord with a sidekick to his exposed back.
He did not even wince from the blow. "Ha! So you think that you have some power now?" said the evil wizard. "Do you truly think you can hurt me even more than you could last time?" He waved his hand and the very ground below us rose up and threw me aside.
In desperation, I leapt to my feet and instinctively released the force of the Chi in the form of a swift punch, greatly poisoning the creature. The monster yelled in pain. "I see that you have been empowered," said the monster," with the forces of Cail."
"I have been and now, I have come to kill you," I replied, as I arose and stood in front of the creature, assuming an attacking stance.
"Do you truly believe that you can defeat me? I have been empowered with the powers of all of the gods. Watch!"
" The power of Cail, god of nature and patron god of the Monks, masters of their body, will lead my attack " The Dark Lord then attacked me with a devastating series of martial arts attacks. I staggered backwards, dazed.
"The power of Fiosachd, god of luck and patron god of the devious and trap laying Rouges, will start out the combination " He then dashed circles behind me and laid tens of traps around me. If I were to move from where I was, they would all set off.
"And the power of Ceannlaidir, god of war and patron god of the hard hitting Warriors will complete it " The Dark Lord then reached into the folds of his cloak and produced a sword sharper than the teeth of the Kelberoth, and swung it at me. I impulsively dodged the weapon, but I painfully triggered the traps. The pain forced me to fall backwards, but I was able to grab onto the tree next to me and pull my self up to my feet.
"Very good, Aeowyn. Most would be unable to survive this long. The power of Deoch, goddess of the light of creativity, will ensure that you do not continue to survive " He then attacked me with a blinding light, rendering me totally vulnerable to its attacks.
"The power of Gramail, god of the law and its punishments, will curse you " The evil wizard then cast a spell on me, as I felt my magical powers being drained from my body.
"Luathas, god of the gnosis, and patron god of the spell casting and element harnessing Wizards " He then chanted a spell and the very athar, creag, srad, and sal around me began to attack. I fell to the ground with a loud thud. Blood dripped from my wounds, and I did not think that I would get up again.
"And Glioca, goddess of compassion and patron goddess of the healing Priests!" The priest then raised his hands to the air to finish me. Then, a tiny wisp of light appeared and touched my satchel, and then disappeared. The brown vial that Glioca had given me fell out of my satchel and broke open, as I lay there unable to do anything. The brown potion seeped out of the broken glass and formed a puddle around me. Had I not know any better, I would have thought that the potion was trying to reach my mouth. Suddenly, I felt revitalized. I rolled aside just in time to the dodge the Dark Lords cradh spell.
"No! I will not surrender!" I yelled to the creature, as I leapt through the air, striking his shoulder, detaching it from the rest of the body. "I will kill you for the death of my father!" My kick opened a large wound in the Dark Lords shoulder. He clutched it and tried to move his arm, but he found that he could not.
"You have done what no one has done before, Aeowyn," he retaliated. " And for that, I will kill you with the power of Sgrios, god of death!" He then raised his arm to cast the final and most deathly spell he had. A black light began to issue from his fingertips and soon encircled his whole hand. He lowered his arm and pointed directly at me. "You wont be able to dodge this!" The black light grew larger and larger and the fired toward me. I dashed aside, but the ray turned direction as I did. I could begin to feel the cold touch of death as the deathblow approached me.
"Noooo!" The voice of my mother yelled out, as she jumped in front of me with the light a mere foot away from me. The light could not turn itself in time and struck her instead of me.
The monster laughed evilly as the body of my mother went limp in front of me. I kneeled, and reached into my satchel and looked for the potion that Glioca gave me, but I realized that it had broken open. A teardrop fell. "I should have saved the potion for you, mother; I should have saved it for you."
"No, my son. You needed to save yourself more than you need to save me," replied my mother in a saddening tone. "Now let me die in the form I have always wished to be in, an Aisling. No longer am I a mere Mundane, a mere human repetitively continuing on the same one task throughout their entire lives, without the ability to ever create something new. I am finally a true human, an Aisling with the power to think, the power to create, and the power to love." A tear rolled down her cheek and fell to the floor she was laying upon. "And you my son, are the dearest thing in the world to me. Do not let this evil kill you, use your wits to defeat and remember that your father and I will always be in your" but before she could utter her last words out, her newly found soul left her body.
I grew enraged. "You horrible beast!" I yelled as I got up to face the monster for the last time. "You have killed everything I loved, and now I shall kill you!" I leapt at the Dark Lords torso and let loose with a blinding fury of punches and kicks, but the monster was not even fazed, he merely knocked me away as if I was a fly.
"You havent the power to kill me, you puny Aisling!" I posed to unleash another strike against my enemy without uttering a word of response.
"No, boy, wait!" A voice broke out, the voice of Cail. "Keep your wits about you. Think about what could defeat him. Your parents have left you a great inheritance." Then it hit me, the last thing that my parents had left me, the Garmi ring. I quickly withdrew it from my satchel and put it on my finger.
"What?!?" said the monster. "No! That ring is supposed to be mine!"
A bright light and a lovely voice came forth from the ring. "This is the holy Ring of the Fae," conveyed the voice, "It represents the person who controls. If the person is good, then evil will be vanquished. If the person is evil than wickedness will rise up and rule." The bright white light then began to grow lighter, until it was blinding. I turned my eyes away and shielded my face from the light. "And this man is fighting for a good and just cause!"
I opened my eyes and looked where the Dark Lord was standing. Now instead I saw a lifeless corpse. Glioca was standing behind it. "What is going on?" I inquired, perplexed.
"The ring that we gave you was quite magical in nature. Originally it belonged to Danaan, but when she first created the Fae, she gave it to them to protect them from the evil of Chadul. But one of the Fae was a traitor and gave it to Deoch. When Deoch allied with Danaan again, Danaan reclaimed the ring. But she had grown wiser this time. This time she fed the ring to a magical Draco, which was constantly keeping the rings power tapped and therefore, even if the ring were recaptured, it would take ten years to recharge and allow itself to be used." Glioca then cast a spell and the ring glowed again with a magical light. The ring now had turned to gold with the crystal in it becoming a magnificent white gem. "The ring is now bonded to you, Aeowyn. You are destined for this opportunity. You must prevent evil from arising like this creature, no matter what may try to stop you, and you must always try to keep the good on the proper path." Glioca then disappeared as I walked away from this bloody battle and from the many memories that would haunt me forever.
"A good story, Aeowyn," Aishe says as the storyteller arises and begins to leave.
But before he does, he picks up his collecting pot, turns it upside down and replaces it upon the ground. "I believe you were looking for this." He says as he disappears into the shadows.
Aishe picks up the pot and sees that a split Rock Cobbler shell had been left underneath it. "Thank you Aeowyn! How did you do that?" Aishe says, as you notice that he has left. "Aeowyn? Aeowyn?"