The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients And Other Blades of Power
(This is an excerpt from the full tale, ŇOf Luciendar and MorthosethÓ)
BarlodirŐs company journeyed back to the Kingdom of Lumenia and returned to the citadel, after having been away from it for nine moons. By taking the sword Luciendar and speaking the words graved upon its hilt, the Shadow Army was revealed to them; and the company breached the citadelŐs gates. A fierce battle ensued, with many of BarlodirŐs former soldiers abandoning their dark master and returning to his side. The Barumen soldiers were slain, but BarlodirŐs men also were slain and much blood was spilled in the great halls. Barlodir then sought for his lady Althea, and upon entering the dungeons below, Barlodir learned of her holding place, not in a cell, but at a secret chantry of Borloth and the sorcerer Navros; and he made his way to her by the sound of her cries. Unseen by the shadowed Barumen soldiers, he at last found her, bound to an altar. Navros, holding a SorcererŐs Dagger above Althea, was in the midst of performing some dark sacrificial ritual upon her and he meant to sacrifice her thus empowering one of his dark spells; and Borloth was there, in the shadows, waiting for his brother.
Borloth, who anticipated Barlodir, commanded the shadowed Barumen to waylay him; but Barlodir, by once again speaking the sword LuciendarŐs ancient words, became invisible and charged the shadow soldiers, for he could see them by LuciendarŐs light which shown from its crystal pommel. Borloth, however, also held one of the Ten Swords and his brother was made visible to him by it and he did Barlodir a grievous wound. The two brothers assailed one another and Borloth, under the mad spell of the sword Morthoseth, bested his brother, striking the sword from his hands. Barlodir, however, held one other weapon, the Fang of Baelin, and with it he paralyzed his brother with its poison blades, but Borloth would not let go the hilts of Morthoseth, and the poisonŐs effect was but brief on him. Recovering Luciendar, Barlodir then hewed his brotherŐs hands from his body, even as they still grasped Morthoseth; but from behind, Barlodir was struck down with a Talisman blade wielded by the sorcerer Navros, who then escaped the citadel. The Talisman, with a hilt fashioned in the shape of the Nasek, dreaded flying serpents of the Eastern land of Nasnandos, was forged with the black, venomous blood of those ancient beasts and no mortal could survive its strike. Thus BarlodirŐs life ended, yet, by not allowing his brother to ever wield the Sword of the Shadows again, Borloth lost all of his power and was soon overtaken and imprisoned by the peoples of the Kingdom of Lumenia. The lady Althea and the other captives were set free, but as the oracle Methuscia had foretold, BarlodirŐs life was lost as payment for that freedom.
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 and ©2005 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).