Opening his eyes, Mayen stood in the open and before him was an ocean. He was not anymore in that humble house of his uncle Soren in the village of Mildoyest... He was no longer sleeping on hay beside his father Rowen... Mayen was at the time sixteen years old, and his father brought him to search for a futur wife in Mildoyest for in Gimvault, their native town, none were free.
Opening his eyes, Mayen stood in the open and before him was an ocean... As he looked around him, the sky grew dark in a matter of seconds and a wind came violently on the surface of the water, stirring the turmoil in it to give birth to many big waves now crashing on the sandy shore. A second wind came, ordering the first to feed its fury and let it grow, and it called out to the ocea to free itself from its boundage. Though distant, the wind with the voice could be heard clearly. Though soft, it was gifted with authority which could melt like wax the mountains. Though a wind, it spoke, and it spoke to Mayen... --«Tell me what thou dost see?» --«I see the sky and the ocean dancing in their fury» answered Mayen not knowing what to say nor what to make of all this. --«Thou speakest true, now turn thine eyes and look behind thee.»
After having done so, Mayen saw a grand grass land. But behold! A man, clothed in regal garments with a golden crown on his head, stood there with a sword unsheathed and its blade stained with blood not yet dried. The voice made itself heard again. --«May the blood of the many innocents flow from the tip of its blade!»
The young man, Mayen, was astonished and terrified. And then the voice spoke to him once more as he saw in same time a red river indeed coming out from the blade to quelch the thirst of the grass. --«Tell me what thou dost see?» --«I see, as I am striken with horror, blood pouring out of the blade, and now the blood is covering the land...» --«Thou speakest true, now turn thine eyes toward the ocean again. »
Once more with the ocean before him, Mayen stood before the fury of the sea with the battling lightning in the sky. The bloody river sought to flow in the ocean and when it did... And when it did, the water level rose and broke the cage of sand that once prevented it to swallow the world. Waves cames one after the other, submerging and drowning the plain behind the young man. Though the waves stood two meters high, Mayen was spared and water avoided him as if invisible walls surrounded him. It was only for a while for the waters went back to the ocean and left the grassy plain, but with the waves went also the dead body of that regal man. --«Tell me what thou dost see?» --«I see the man once clothed in gorgeous garments being dragged by the sea, and behold is sword is broken...» --«Thou speakest true.»
suddenly, everything was calm. The coast was peaceful and the sky blue without clouds. On the far horizon, a castle stood with magnificient banners but they were unknown to Mayen. The architecture was quite impressive for the young man, but it was only half as good as the imperial High Castle of Kastos (but that Mayen did not know). --«I ask thee on last time: tell me what thou dost see?» --«I see a castle unknown to me on some coastlines uncharted.» --«Thou speakest true. Now, tell me where I could find a man worthy to serve me?» --"I am here, Lord." --"Truly I say to thee, thou hast well answered."
From the bowels of the sea, the crown of the previous man washed up on the shore. Now it laid at Mayen's feet. As he bent to touch it, the mysterious wind that was talking to him took it from him and with a gentle but strong wind lifted the crown to lay it on Mayen's head. --"Running away thou shalt know, drifting thou shalt be, but I am with you and I shall not leave your side. One of thy descendents shall come back and be Emperor of this nation soon to be judged for its sins."
Mayen woke up, freezing under the blankets of fur given to him by Zaira Wolfe of Wolf Song. Again, he dreamt about that prophecy from five years ago. He was not in Mildoyest, nor in Gimvault. He was not on the Saint-Milan Imperial Ship. Olwenson was not with him to help him. Verlos, his best friend's younger brother not there to cheer him up. Besides him, the others were still sleeping and snoring. As he intended to go back to sleep, a mysterious wind opened the door and divided in two. One part was keeping the heat inside the house while the other part came softly to Mayen's ears. --"This is but temporary. Thy place is not here forever, but thou hast need to learn before thou cometh back."
Mayen came from a continent known as Evozen, and his birth was but a humble one. He was a simple Road Peasant, a social economical class unique to the Kastosian Empire. Basically, the Road Peasantry was made of people living in small villages of 100-300 people. In the center of such settlements, one would have expected the Church to stand in honour, but not so. A tavern is always the main and first building to be erected. Sure, a tavern does not require 100-300 people to tend to it, unless its far from any cities. Unlike the peasantry, the Road Peasantry was not a source of food or of some wealth of any kind, they were there only to maintain a tavern for travelers following the main roads of the Empire. One could also describe them as miniature cities, for the houses were generally really close to each other. Why? If a tavern needs safety, nothing is better than a wooden or stone wall, and taking only the necessary space made it easier to have a closed area.
Gimvault was the name of Mayen's birth settlement. But it burned... It was now the seventh of October, of the year 3'410 according to the imperial calendar. The young man came back from gathering some herbs with his best friend Allos and a young woman called Ilyanna. They came running from the woods as they heard from afar the sound of marching troops. Most of the peasant died in the attack, and the Kastosian Soldiers had to flee, leaving the city behind in hope of regrouping with some larger forces of the Empire on the other side of the Melti's Mountains.
War was not the only danger, far from it! Beneath the chess board, the game of humankind known as international politics, things of times misunderstood though well kept in the Katosian's collective memory came back. Mayen lost his home, but he could only burry the bodies which were not underneath the rubbles. A creature known as the Norvinduntrahïm came and forced him to flee, leaving still many old friends without a grave to rest within. Even ten Kastosians could not handle it, though armed with muskets and bows.
During his escape, Mayen and some survivors of Gimvault were ambushed by goblins and bandits, and they had only eight or seven guards. As they hurried the survivors down in the basement of an old and half crumbled tower, they risked their lives pushing back the attackers. At one point, everything was so hopeless: the Norvinduntrahïm came and uprooted an adult tree, setting it on fire with electricity. It was only from divine providence that Olwenson, with fifty warriors mounted on horses came with full plate armour and more firepower. Their arrival forced the monster to flee, flee but not for good... One day it would come back...
After being saved, they survivors and the remaining escorts followed the cavalry dispatch to the port of Lorigan. For several days, war and the monster seemed like images only in the background, not threatening to come again and raid, but only memories of what happened. If only it was so! War, and even the civil war, came once again. This time, Mayen did not see a village burn, or more a city for Lorigan had over a thousand of inhabitants. The defenders managed to repel the enemy with the help of Olwenson's army.
And so was Mayen's life on the Evozen continent, for after these cruel days, he had to leave the continent on a ship. Due to a prophecy, of which Mayen was called to be the son in law of a foreing king, many adventures took place, too much to describe, but enough to say that they shaped Mayen, and in shaping him it would shape the future of Kastos.
#12958576 Jan 02, 2017 at 08:03 AM · Edited 1 year ago
Olwenson, the First Admiral of the Kastosian Empire, was a pious man, worshipping with much dedication the only god he knew, wanted to know, and believed in with much heartfelt convictions. He was tasked by God himself, the God of creation, also known as the God of his Ancestors and the God of life, to protect Mayen as he was to board his ship and go across the ocean. It took him only a few seconds when he first met by glance the young peasant named Mayen, it took him only a few second realizing who he was beneath that young man's ignorance of his own purpose. This young man Mayen would be no Emperor, but a dynasty would nonetheless bear his name.
The day when three ships left the dock of Lorigan, this historical turning point which would be known in later centuries as The Great Departure, Olwenson requested Mayen to come in his office. --"Yes my lord?" asked with genuine respect the young man. --"Mayen, do you know what burden I carry with me each time I rise in the morning?" the First Admiral said as he took a quill to write on a parchment. --"You told me you have to protect me? Because of the prophecy..." --"The prophecy is never a reason. The prophecy is the container of a message kept inside. Why have I sword my allegiance to your bloodline?" he said as he wrote the day and the year. --"Because I am to become the son in law of a far away nation? And that three hundred years later one of my descendants will come back and be crowned Emperor?" --"I care not for an emperor. I care for the Empire and its ruler. An emperor without a people is nothing more than a man with a title without claim. A people without a leader is but a group without unity. You hold in your veins the blood of him I hope for. I wish only I could live long enough to see him come forth from it's mother's womb, so that I may cast my eyes on he who shall unite us the Kastosians under the banner of righteousness. Mayen, you are small and your enemy was a giant. You survived. Mayen, you were not fighting and could not fight, yet you were beside me in my heart when I defended the city wall against the enemy. Take a seat your Highness..."
Mayen felt strange, taking a seat in a bumbling fashion which made someone laugh in secrecy when left alone. As much as Olwenson believed in the prophecy, when alone he would let his laugh get out as he reminded himself the funny moments of a poor man not knowing how to behave or to speak. It felt good though... Something in Mayen was refreshing... His innocence of court's intrigues and of political conflicts lasting over the generations till the roots of a family fued became almost forgotten. --"Olwenson..." said the young man with disgust quite visible on the face, still showing that he had a hard time to realize he could not keep on calling the Admiral a lord, for he was higher. "I... Am not the Emperor, and three hundred years will be enough to have me forgotten. I--" --"With all the respect I have for you, I beg you to stop and let me interrupt you your Highness. Three hundred years is nothing in the collective memory of a people with a strong sense of identity. They will remember your name and your sacrifice. Mayen my liege, take this parchment with you when you leave, but not now though. I still need to write a message for Fredalched my tactician, and I have to talk to someone." --"Me." --"You learn slowly but that which you learn you keep for good, that I admire."
What Mayen did was to notice the indirect attention given to him in the "talk to someone". It would be quite useful later for often nobles talked indirectly to make the other one say that which they did not want to say themselves. Of course, there was nothing to hide or to censure but Olwenson wanted to prepare this young man for the wilderness of civilization's highest social playground: rhetoric. Sighing, he wrote some more in silence for a minute, then he spoke with a heavy voice. --"Mayen, I follow you and my men will follow you because we believe firmly in you. Though you won't bring the outcome we long for during our days and yours, we know for certain that you shall through your bloodline you will make our banner fly once more and break the chains we ourselves forged. His majesty, the Emperor Zemekis, shall not be forgotten though, and I adjure you to keep in your linear memory his name and demise. "
Outside the cabin office, Verlos was trying so hard to write his name with the help of a soldier not knowing what to do with his free time. Verlos was the little brother of Allos, Mayen's bestfriend who stayed behind with his spouse Elior. --"Okay, now just make a line from up to down" said the soldier as he slided softly his finger on a raw clay, leaving his fingerprint at the end. --"But how do I know afterwards if its up and down or not left to right?" asked the adolescent. --"No-- What? Up and down is up and down... Wait, why are you turning the clay?" --"Oh, I should not?" --"The first thing you need to learn is writting is always in one direction." --"In what?" --"This will be quite the toil..."
Back inside, Olwenson asked Mayen to kneel besides him as he kneeled himself. The wooden floor made of the most sturdy wood of the Empire, planks made of Elder Pine trunk, gave such a sweet smell even after being chopped down and nailed together. The soft rocking mof the boat tackling the first real ocean waves, gave that impression of being transported somehwere else in spirit while the eyes were closed. Placing their hands for a prayer, they remained silent for ten minutes, a cultural silent prayer. Then, Olwenson spoke... --"You who rule over the raging sea, who does not close his eyes not even for a second, please here my words. I ask of you eternal God to protect my friend Mayen in these unknown waters and the upcomming times. You know how we are fragile and weak, failing to resist temptation and always running after our heart's desire for self sovereignty. We kneel nonetheless, despite our rebelion, before you and dare to ask of you your guidance in the days to come. You have shown us your plan to revive the Empire in three centuries, meanwhile you have plans for us we have yet to know about. Whatever you may hold in store for us, prepare us for the imminent testing."
After another ten minutes of silence, they rose and Olwenson gave leave to Mayen while tasking him to give the parchment to Fredalched. When he was once more alone in his cabin, the Admiral opened the small window and gazed for a moment at the two galleons following his ship, the Saint-Milan. The sails of the Empire now tall and proud, giving the wind much more power to push these wooden small buildings on that vast and seemingly endless sea, reminded him of his first day sailing as a deck officer many years ago. They were now already far away, far enough to see already the Jorvendill Strait, a dangerous area for shipwrecks because of those sea mountains sprouting out of the water as sharp as wolf teeth. He knew it would be easy to pass through and then go east for the new technologies in navigation made it easier to navigate in areas with not much space to maneuver.
Kneeling once more, he prayed in silence, but his thoughts poured out before his God in a plea for even more protection. All of a sudden, he fell asleep, or so it seemed. Opening his eyes, he was no longer in his cabin but on a snowy mountain, and there stood Mayen in a pround building, sitting on a small throne made of wood. Before him sat many guests taking part in a regal banquet. But wait! Right beside this young man stood a beautiful woman garbed in rich robes and she had in her hands his right hand. Such a gesture was known to mean a recent wedding, or a new noble wedding. Knocking on the left arm of his throne with a small mallet, the newly wed Mayen attracted to him the attention of all. --"I thank you all my friends and brothers, my allies and my sisters, to join here for my wedding with your beloved princess, and I am honoured to have as a guest our King Alfonso. I do not deserve to be given such authority and such prestige, to be bestowed upon this morning the title of Grand Sire. I wish also to give thanks to Olwenson and his men, but mostly also to those who died in protecting me during my days fighting against Çatal Pekli. I raise this cup in the memory of Solvencer, most reliable man I ever knew. I raise this cup in the memory of Simonched, most merry of the livings and still though now dead. I raise my cup in memory of Radnol and Tomnol, the bravest twins I ever knew who died while engaging the fallen angel before my eyes. I raise my cup in memory of Yemoreft, captain of the Singing Galleon, who died in the most dishonourable death, by poisoning, but who's openmind allowed us to befriend a nation we at first thought to be cursed because of their black skin. Ah! If only racism had not been within our hearts at first, if only we could go back in time and swallow those words of hatred before they were spoken! For Kwitet Amwirn was a great man... He died also protecting Verlos, showing us all just like Yemoreft that colours must never seperate humankind. Raise your cups!"
Everyone in the hall shouted a victory battle cry as if charging in the fray. Then once more the noise died. --"I kiss my ring to thank those who are yet alive and present with me in this very hall. I kiss my ring in gratitude of Mikwato Abbrah, one of my best friends who stood with me when I thought I was but a peasant and a pretentious little man. Mikwato! Forever I shall recall that you and your previous kingdom defended us when we were outnumbered. I even remember when you treated the wounds of a Kastosian who had only disgust for those with black skin, and I owe you three times my life!" --"I owe you much as well Grand Sire Mayen" answered Mikwato Abbrah. "You gave me a reason to live when I was alone. May my wife and my family here with me shall always be there for you." --"I thank you again Mikwato Abbrah... I Kiss my ring to thank Olwenson. You may have lost an eye but you do see futher than I do and for a half blind to guide somone like me who cannot see with two healthy eyes, you are mostly appreciated under my rooft at any time." --"Your Highness, you honour me and I shall tell my daughter how great you are."
The dreaming Olwenson felt weird to see a futur him with now some gray hair. --"And I... I wish to... Oh goodness.. For me to cry is qu--quite embarrasing... I wish to raise my cup and kiss my ring in the memory and in gratitude of Zaira Wolfe, most gentle and stubborn ruler I ever met, stubborn to the point of laying down her life for those who were meant to do so for her. Ironic... She didn't die and she so many times risked her life... She taught me much. She was there when I was alone freezing, she was there when I knew not how to find strength in me. I also wish to..."
Everything went blurry, and Olwenson heard names such as Thargar the vigilant watcher, Edward Ironhammer the master of metal and the fire dancer [fire dancer meaning forging with high skills and precisions], Tyche the powerful.
He woke up, or Olwenson just came back in the world of present realities. He was still kneeling and he decided to give one last prayer. --"I know not why you have showed me such an answer to my plea to protect Mayen, but surely my heart is in awe of your wisdom. God of life, please fulfill your plans and I beg of you, prepare Mayen for those adventures he will mostlikely have without me and my men to protect him. Whoever this Zaira Wolfe is, give her wisdom and power to protect as Mayen said in his speech."
He was proud, proud of having at long last a house to live in. A house that he alone built! It was not easy though... Thargar was kind enough to teach him how to build with thatch and pillars, which reminded the young man of his father Rowen. He felt warm when he was near him. After two failed attempts of laying foundations and the first walls, Mayen was about to give in to failure. Yet, Thargar kept encouraging him. It took time but now he had a good home! And it was maybe not fitting... Sure it had the same style as the other houses in the tribe, but it was even higher than Zaira's longhouse. That and didn't Thargar warn him not to make things overcomplicated? Ah, listening would be something to put in practice if he was to stay alive...
Wolf Song offered him much protection and everyone was ki-- well... Most were kind... Maybe one, Tyche, was not, but truth be told Mayen gave her many reasons. Before arriving in The Center, the Kastosian peasant met a fallen angel named Rephizim Felonae. Just like Tyche he had wings, but they were still as similar as water and fire... Even Zaira had to mention to Mayen something so obvious that she almost sounded stupid, though Mayen was the stupid... Tyche was a woman, not a man! But some people need to learn to trust others... Mayen had a trust issue... And his trust issue ran deep... Quite deep and it shall affect his survival in these lands... Several times, the young man fled Tyche, talking in her back, which only led to some well deserved rebukes from Zaira.
Edward was nice, though a little bit oblivious to some rude comments or remarks from Mayen. But the young Kastosian warmed to him faster than with Tyche. His house was near his, and so maybe seeing him coming here and there every now and then got him used. That and his forge reminded him of Ceydoren, the chief of the militia back in Gimvault.
One day, as he went in the woods with his loyal beaver Canada, the smartiest beaver in the north (from the movie Yeller, the smartiest dog in the west lolz!) someone came out of his house, a being not from The Center... It was an old being, older than mankind. How he managed to appear in Mayen's house remains to be explored, but there he was, and he remained in spiritual form for many hours which drained much of his energy and spiritual strength. This angel had brown wings, and his eyes were like shining emeralds, of a beautiful green. But inside it was not so... Mayen met that angel in the war against Çatal-Pekli and this man was a twisted but most knowledgeable man. Knowledge and corruption in a perfect alloy...
Rephizim was his name, Felonae his last name... Felonae for he was a traitor from Heaven...
He came first in the den, looking at the animals for surely he would know more about something back from by studying such beasts. But wait, there was no dinosaurs back on Evozen... Then why? Maybe he knew the past would rise again, giving flesh and muscles to bones long forgotten in the sand... After it was Zaira's house he visited without so much as a footstep noise. Nothing of importance in here. Then, Edward's forge and Tyche's home... In both buildings he detected some unusual energy as if something with some spiritual affinity repeatedly came there... And he was not wrong... But where he was, it was about Tyche... She was divine, but not anymore. He decided he would then use this power stripped being as the turning point of his first night in The Center.
Remaining in a spiritual form drained much of Rephizim, and eventually he was forced to ''hide''. He didn't want to be seen, but only by surprise. Of course, nothing better than the classic. Enjoying the fire of someone else's home... As Edward and Zaira came in running, for the Wolf Queen had detected an unusual scent from Edward's home, the fallen angel waited for them to ask him who and why he was there. Mayen Had already shared some details of his past adventures to Zaira and she was aware what it meant when the angel answered by introducing himself. She warned Edward not to trust the intruder. Of course, she was not referring to an unwanted and shady looking trespasser, but to a fallen and corrupted being.
Being described as a wicked only served in the end to amuse Rephizim. What was wickedness anyway? Both Zaira and Edward admitted that wickedness and righteousness were relative. Then why was he being accused? What Zaira had in store for answers was only Mayen's words. Now that was rich... You cannot just give such a title to an angelic being without serious claims... As he gazed at Edward's wings, he sighed some words filled with envy: how he desired his angelic powers to be restored! But no, not so... He didn't answer much of Zaira's questions directly often he gave more attention either to the subject of what is good and what is evil, or he gazed with jealousy to Edward's white feathers...
Without any warnings he vanished from the physical form only to become a spirit. Good thing Edward was there, for he tracked the angel to Tyche's house... What they didn't know at that moment, was that Rephizim hopped for exactly such a response. The poor divine woman, being deprived from her spiritual affinities, as well as in dire need of rest, was no match for Rephizim. She was forced in slumber and then Edward came in and with much authority in his voice, ordered most urgently the stranger to leave Tyche alone. Two blue torches light the room, providing a menacing ambiance. Several times Zaira and Edward forced Rephizim to use his spiritual powers to keep a distance between him and them, which really did hurt, provoking some bloody coughs. At one point, Zaira had a sword blade tip beneath Rephizim's neck, which he ... Didn't like at all... --"What have you done?! I told you not to use your weapons here!"
He had used his knife truth be told, but it was mixed with spiritual properties which allowed it to be unaffected by the blue light. But this time, Zaira's sword, though also enchanced by Edward's magical skills, reacted to the light and it became boiling hot, forcing Zaira to drop her sword. She in turn became a wolf, not because of Rephizim, but partly nontheless. It was not a spell, but the burning provoked something already inside of Zaira. Not because of the fallen angel, but in part provoked by him unwillingly.
Finally Edward took him by surprise and as he struggled to cut one of Rephizim's wings, a sound of chains breaking was heard and Rephizim had now much more power, but apparently that was all he asked out of this encounter and he got precisely what he wanted.