The Tale of the Swords of the Ancients And Other Blades of Power
In the four hundred and eleventh year of the Fifth Age of Ammon a great war was fought between the forces of the Dark One, the last of the Ancients, and those of the dark elf Agnemmel, his former general. Once allies, they had decimated the kingdoms of the Great Realm in their conquests together, but Agnemmel turned on his master in the end. Their vast armies clashed in the Elven city of Castel and utterly destroyed each other. Victory came to Agnemmel in the last hours of that battle and he was near to ending the Dark OneÕs life, but in the end Agnemmel was slain by his true love, the Dark OneÕs own daughter, Methuscia.
Enethia, a young Mithrodin cleric whose entire family had been slain by the Dark One and his sorcerer Norothos, watched this battle unfold from the shadows. When Agnemmel was dead she stole away with his twin swords, the Exotath, which had been enchanted by the Dark One with the powers of the Ancients. As once of the Mithrodin order, she was a sworn protector of all blades of power. Though she had betrayed her oath in the past, she now sought to redeem herself by taking these powerful swords out of the hands of the Dark One and his minions and presenting them to her Mithrodin masters, who would keep them from being used again for evil purpose.
As the remnants of the Dark OneÕs army vacated Castel in their great fleet of ships Enethia found her steed and fled south into the forests of west Deylund. She rode non-stop to the Fael river and there was given passage across it by the rangers of Elund who guarded its outskirts. Thus she made way to its fortified city on the western coast, with ranger guards as her escort. Thereupon she presented herself to the king and the Mithrodin masters who held temple there. She told a tale of the siege of the cities of the north, the thousands of Men and Elves killed by the Dark One, the final battle at Castel, and of the Dark OneÕs defeat and retreat from the realm of Deylund. She also told of the betrayal of her oath when, fearing death after the murder her family, she had aided the Dark One in finding the swords of power in Castel. Thence she brought forth the Exotath swords and presented them to Athollos, the chief Mithrodin master.
Athollos listened to her tale. He knew well of the wars to the north as his forces held charge to protect the city of Elund from those invaders. He also knew of Enethia, for she was daughter to the slain king of Deylund, Elliasthol, with whom he had fought alongside in ancient days. He saw that Enethia had been broken but had carried on through many hardships, and he saw she was still bound to her oath as a Mithrodin. Thus he accepted her into his order and she was made to continue her apprentice training as a Mith-Avoloch. The old Mithrodin master Kethol av Torketal was given charge over her training. Kethol was ancient among the Mithrodin, for he had been trained by the first master, Toukol, over two hundred years before. Many scores of students had been schooled under him. He was the finest living mentor and combat instructor among the Mithrodin, being a master in all forms of hand to hand combat and melee weapons.
Enethia trained alongside another of TorketalÕs students, a young apprentice named Ellexos. Ellexos was the adopted daughter of the Mithrodin chief master, Toukol. Both women were near the same age and level of training for the warrior class. They soon became close comrades and in the following years each challenged the other to be the better warrior. They passed each level of KetholÕs combat training and earned their scars, as well as their tattoos of achievement for hand-to-hand and bladed weapon combat. Enethia trained with her own sword, Avoloch, and Ellexos with a Mithrodin sword of her own forging. KetholÕs training lasted seven years, but by the fifth year both women were fierce fighters in the top levels of their class, as well as astute students in the lore of the ancient Blades of Power. Kethol grew very fond of these two, and they soon became his favorites. He spent much time outside of training with them, for both women were orphans and they become a part of his great family, though he was a stern master.
In the ensuing years after the war, the Dark One had returned to Dagorlund with his sorcerers. His body had been healed after his defeat in Castel, though a great part of his powers never returned for he had lost them when he enchanted the blades of the Exotath. The long years of enchantment over his army of mortals, causing them to follow his will in battle, had also drained him. Those powers, granted to all Ancient Ones by the Anath in the first days of creation, were now forever diminished. Compared to mortals however, he was still their master. Though he had been defeated in Castel, the Dark OneÕs conquests had weakened the northwest kingdoms of Deylund. Those kingdoms were rapidly rebuilding their armies, for they knew the Dark One would return to continue his conquest. His forces had destroyed LumeniaÕs army and his general, Agnemmel, had killed their king. Those forces still occupied the kingdom of Lumenia in the center of the Great Realm, awaiting the Dark OneÕs return. His sorcerer Valegil commanded in his absence, and ruled harshly over the people he enslaved. Lumenia would be the Dark OneÕs new strategic center of military operations. There he would set out to conquer Deylund, though his passage to invade those lands was blocked by the Tellorien Mountains. The Dark One knew of a way under the mountains however, a way that would hide them from DeylundÕs scouts and rangers, who were always closely watching the south for sign of attack. This was the realm of Barkonia, a long network of caves, tunnels, and underground cities where the Dark Elves made their abode. Thence the Dark One and his forces set out from Dagorlund by ship to continue his resume his plans for the world of Ammon.
In this time Enethia was awakened from sleep by a terrible nightmare. In her dream she saw the back side of a naked woman, kneeling before the robed figure of Atnal, one of the last remaining Ancient Ones, creators of all mortal life upon Ammon. Atnal is holding a sword, which he names Vorthelok, and he presents it to the woman. She rises, takes the sword and bows, and thence pierces AtnalsÕ heart with itÕs fullered blade. Strangely, Atnal offers no resistance. As the blood of creation flows from the Ancient OneÕs chest, he falls. The woman drops the sword and begins to turn and face Enethia. At this she awakened in horror. Though she did not see the shadowed face of the slayer, Enethia saw the woman was adorned with the tattoos of a Mithrodin warrior.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.