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|Ok, this is obviously the Prologue for something... in this case, my fantasy novel. Hopefully, this is self-explanatory enough that I don't have to explain anything... Except... the good guys don't use magic in this world. Ever.||
From the writings of Filin nic Telin-
Where does it all start, where is the beginning of it all, the beginning of our trials, the beginning of our war against Evil? Does it begin with the day we left the Shintay Citadel, or does it begin much earlier? With, perhaps, the events preceding of the first war of Prophecy, or does it go back even earlier, to the very rebellion of Shehol against Ya’vey? Back to the time when all was perfect, but yet Shehol, a created being, dreamed in his heart that he could be more than Ya’vey, his Creator?
These are not questions I have answers to, and indeed, the beginning may not even be at these points. It may lie with Bohringin, the race of magic-users (Sorcerers, the ancient texts say, is the proper term, but it is one which we have forgotten in all but our blackest memories.) that once enslaved the intelligent races which now reside in our world; the start of this all may lie elsewhere entirely, in an event which I have never even heard mentioned, which may not be recorded in history books, even.
For what does it take to set a person, a city, a nation, a race, or even an entire Realm on the course to disaster? A mere thought, crossing the heart, entertained and given root, leading to rebellion. This must be what occurred when Shehol revolted against Ya’vey- a thought, given room to grow and become a foul weed in the heart, choking out communion with the Creator of All. And certainly, it must have all started as a mere thought in the mind of Nasshal, my dead husband’s brother. Lust, jealousy, hatred- all these combining in his soul to create a mixture so evil that it upset his mind, a mind already precariously balanced on the edge of sanity, and made even worse by the fact that he was judged incompetent of being the heir to the throne of Havel, the island where humans dwelt, and that the inheritance of throne was given to his younger brother, Dihshin.
His mind fixated on that which was denied him. It was no secret that he had a desire for me, a false-love -what the humans call infatuation- and that it eventually overcame his decency; several times he was caught watching me bathe, and each time, his father punished him sternly, but to no avail. Lust had consumed him, and when I married his brother, it was the final blow. Not only was the crown denied him, but now, too, was the young half-elf, the only woman to ever capture his attention so.
And so, inside him, these things festered, a vile corruption of his soul, until, in desperation, he opened himself up to power that he didn’t understand, a demonic force that we still know only by the name Nasshal. It may be a lesser demon, a Taeyah, or perhaps a Alcione; or it may indeed have been Shehol himself, as it claimed to be.
Whatever it was, it was evil beyond comprehension, and it took hold off Nasshal, subverted his will, destroyed his mind. Once, in a skirmish with the demon-man that was my husband’s brother, he told me that Nasshal had believed that he and the... creature... would share the body, that Nasshal would be in control and granted power beyond his wildest imaginings. The change that occurred was far more evil; Nasshal lost his body to that creature. The two still lived in Nasshal’s body, but the invading creature dominated, and Nasshal was, or perhaps still is, trapped in his own special Hell. Trapped in a world where he absolutely powerless, where his mind exists only to provide the creature with information about his enemies on a more personal level, information that could be used against us. Trapped, his mind violated again and again, all to serve an Evil he never comprehended the enormity of.
The bargain was that if Nasshal served the creature, he would receive what he most wanted- me, and the throne- but instead, he became a slave. Gladly, he plunged the dagger into Dihshin’s chest, but after the act of killing his brother, the demonic intelligence asked him to slay me as well.
Nasshal had crept into the room I shared with Dihshin, knife in hand, and murdered my husband while we slept. I felt the bed shift at the impact of the dagger against Dihshin’s chest, felt the spray of blood; I opened my eyes to see, in the dim light provided by the feeble embers in the fireplace, Nasshal standing over him, bloody knife in hand, but yet I was unable to move, I was so terrified.
(To this day, I am angry with myself for not fighting Nasshal, for not trying to stop him, for being immobilized by fear. In the more reasoning part of my mind, I understand that I should not blame myself, for how can one expect a young woman, only 14 years of age, to fight back after experiencing such a traumatic event? Yet I can still only wonder how many lives would have been saved, how many souls rescued from Nasshal’s evil taint if I had somehow managed to kill him after he murdered my husband?)
After withdrawing the knife from Dihshin’s chest, Nasshal slowly made his way to my side of the bed; I watched him, silently, eyes wide in terror, fully expecting to be the dagger’s next victim, or possibly worse. How badly, I wonder, would I have been scarred if Nasshal had been permitted by the creature to do what I knew he wanted to do? Would rape have left me so traumatized that I would have been unable to fulfill my part in the first War of Prophecy? Would I have even lived that long, or would I have succumbed to the self-loathing, fear, and hatred that causes so many victims of that foul act to commit suicide?
Thankfully, even in our darkest hours, Ya’vey’s providence is evident, and the demon had more control over Nasshal than had been bargained for, and he merely- how odd that word sounds, applied to an attempted murder- tried to kill me. At the last instant, I managed to regain control of my own body and rolled off the edge of the bed, and the stab only sliced open my arm. Desperate, I scrambled under the bed, emerging on the opposite side and running out the door into the corridor, screaming like a woman possessed, and collided head-long with a soldier. The guards in the palace of the Havel royalty were well trained, indeed. Rather than wasting precious time asking me what was the matter, the guard handed my weeping frame to his companion, then stood to his feet, sword drawn, and moved to investigate what had caused me such a fright, while a third soldier, on guard at the King Sehnils’ door a little farther down the hall, rushed inside to waken my father-in-law, and to make sure that nothing was likewise assaulting him.
The first soldier never even made it to the door of my chambers before Nasshal emerged, raging. The brighter torch light in the corridor made it apparent that he was covered in my husband’s blood; the guard made to restrain him, but was thrown against the wall as if he were nothing but a rag doll. He leapt at me and my guard, and hitting the guard’s chest with both his feet, and narrowly missing me. Still, the impact tore me away from my protector, and Nasshal immediately forgot about him and shifted his attention back to me. Immediately he began assailing me, tearing at my clothes and striking me with his fists when I began to struggle. What, I wonder, truly made him stop? The guard had recovered by then, and had drawn his sword, lashing out at Nasshal with the flat of the blade, and smacking him in the chest, knocking him away from me. Still, it seemed to me, as I frantically backed away from him, that it didn’t actually hurt him, and the only effect was from the sheer physical force driving him backwards, for he looked up at the guard, then once again turned his gaze to me.
“My most formidable enemy, indeed,” he growled, in a voice that was not his, but yet was- it was as if two beings spoke at once. “Nothing but a harmless, frightened girl. I do not see how you could ever be a threat to me.” Slowly, he climbed to his feet, and his eyes shifted from me to the door to the king’s chamber. “Father,” he hissed, mouth twitching into an awful parody of a smile, “how good of you to come.”
Slowly, almost unwilling, I turned my gaze to the king of Havel. Old and frail, he stood with the support of his guard, and motioned the other two in between me and Nasshal. P“Filin,” my father-in-law ordered, in a voice quavering with age and emotion, “Step back.” Silently, I obeyed. Nasshal looked for a second as if he were going to lunge at me, but glanced at the soldier’s swords and frowned, ever so slightly. “Why Father, don’t you trust me?”
“The blood which soaks you is not yours, and you ask for trust?” Sehnils replied, slowly.
“Of course, Father. I did what was best for Havel, I removed a weak son who would have been ruler, but should never have been born. Dihshin was soft, and would have allowed this kingdom to topple to the ground, forgotten. The end of Havel. The end of human civilization, Father.”
Again paralyzed by fear, and by hatred for the demon-thing, I could do naught but watch and listen to the conversation.
“You killed Dihshin.” The king showed no surprise, no anger; just... sadness. He was mourning for his sons, both of them, not just Dihshin, but for Nasshal, as well. He understood the truth of the situation far sooner than I; but then, he was far older than I at the time. Now, he seems in my memory to be a mere child- Oh, how little I knew at seventy years of age!- but how much younger was I?
“You killed him, but not to protect Havel, Nasshal.” Nasshal’s eyes narrowed, and he licked his lips, moistening flesh parched by exertion. “So your mind has not slipped as far as your body has, old man. No, he was not slain in order to protect anything but my control over this host, control which I am gaining at every moment. If you have anything to say to your son,” he added dryly, “I suggest you say it now, for his mind is rapidly losing control. This may be the last you see of him.” Here, his voice grew slightly deeper, more of one voice, less a mixture. His tone grew to be very dark and very evil. “I honestly could care less about this world, other than the weapons it gives me against Ya’vey.” He paused briefly, then continued, his eyes wild with hate directed, not at us, not at my slain husband, but at a greater being, the Creator of this Realm and all others. “For so long He has oppressed me. He fears me. Fears my greatness, my power, my perfection. He made me, but did not make me perfect- I attained that. I evolved. I became greater than He, greater than any being who ever existed. “For so long, he and I have battled; Universe to Universe, we have fought, and at each world, I was defeated. Whole Realms left dead, destroyed by our clash, but each time, no matter what I did, He destroyed me, destroyed my army utterly. But this Realm is different; here exists a resource which I have known of, but have never found before- mortal beings.
“He truly loves you- this is His greatest downfall, for you are so fickle, so capable of being turned against Him. Through you will I strike at Him. Through you I will mortally wound Ya’vey. You are His doom.”
“Why do you tell us this?” Sehnils whispered. “Why do you reveal such things?”
“Because,” Nasshal replied, “Your knowing will increase your suffering, and suffering is one of the most effective weapons you could ever provide me with.
“Now, Father,” -he spat the word with such vehemence that I jumped at the sound of it- “I’m afraid I must be leaving. If I were you, I would move my city away from this little island, for it won’t last long when the war begins.” Slowly, deliberately, he turned his back to the king, to me, and began to walk away.
And Sehnils let him. Frantic, I turned to the aging king, and demanded that he stop him. The only answer was a slight shake of his head; in desperation, I wheeled about, wrenching a sword from the first guard’s hands, and swung at Nasshal with all my might.
The demon-man pivoted to face me as I struck out, and the blow caught his right arm, slicing it cleanly away at the elbow. Rage flicked through his eyes, but his only action was to shrug, and cover the wound with his hand. “It can be replaced,” he said nonchalantly.
That was the last we saw of him for almost a year. When he returned to Havel, he lead an army against us. He had changed from the overgrown boy I had known to something, far, far darker. He had indeed replaced the arm, but instead of with living flesh, it was a perverse thing, a limb made of mythril silver. Conflict raged across the island of Havel, and eventually spread to the continent; when the battlefield finally left Havel, the island had been left a charred, ruined mess, for Nasshal, or Shehol, or whatever he was, had uncovered the secrets of the ancient magicks, and used that foul knowledge to destroy that lovely island.
The war raged on for more than a decade, and in that time period, in accordance to ancient prophecies (I shall not set them down, not here; they appear in so many other works that it is not necessary.) I learned to fight Nasshal. I studied the ways of war, and taught what I learned to my ever-increasing army, the Shintay, or Knights of God. I grew older, I grew more mature, and I led them into victory against the demon-man that was my husband’s brother.
But, alas, the tale does not end there, for Evil is not so easily vanquished; the first War of Prophecy, my war, was but a prelude to a larger, more cataclysmic event four thousand years later. The war in which we are now embroiled in, the war that I have lived in preparation for these past millennia.
Many believed my part in Prophecy ended with the first War, and I wish it had- Even elves do not live for more than a millennia, but here I am, having outlived all my friends, my lover, and my countrymen. Here I wait to fulfill my final role in Prophecy, that of Guide to the younger warriors who will engage in the true fighting.
I pray to Ya’vey that we will not fail him, for if we do, then we are all doomed.