Wandering Through Terran–Chapter 01

January 1, 2010

Reposted with a variety of revisions, because I can…

Link to the rest of it…

Chapter One: The Warning

Where a King Gets Some Advice

and Conspiracies are Emerging…

The histories of Terran tell that Albert, the fifty-second High King of Aven and thereby Lord of Terran, died in the fifth month of the 1414th year of Peace in the Kingdom of Aven. The cause of his death was unknown to most, but a long and mysterious illness that no physician had been able to treat was the true reason. No one of great import challenged the ascendancy of Sydney to the Throne of the Righteous—with the exception of Sydney himself. The eighteen year-old had contested vigorously that the Knights of Duramar take the five-year stewardship they were entitled to until he was fit to be the ruler of Aven and the Supreme Sovereign of Terran. As was their right, they had faith in Sydney and refused to do so.

Two weeks had passed when the last person to see the High King Albert alive walked down the long and dark corridor leading into the audience chamber of the Palace of Heritage. Urza wore white, shimmering robes that seemed to reflect the light of any room—the clothing he always wore in the presence of the High King. He wore a metal cap upon his bald head as the Guardians of Sorcery do. His thick white beard covered the lower portion of his face. He walked along with Link’s staff—a white staff that had been forged from the bones of Magnus Draco centuries ago. It ended with a wide mouth opening around a white large jewel embedded in the opening, swinging through the air as it tapped upon the ground.

Due to the procedure of the appeal for the Knights of Duramar to assume stewardship, Sydney’s coronation had taken place only a week earlier and the general routine was still being established. Sydney was barely eighteen and—although very smart and talented for one of his position—was far from confident in his ability to assume the duties of High King. He fidgeted on the Throne as the day progressed, both bored and nervous.

Urza walked into the audience chamber and knelt before the throne of the High King, dropping to a knee. The main audience chamber was enormous, taking up nearly a quarter of the original floor space within the Palace. It had no floors built above it—only the towering ceiling above. It made the ceiling seem impossibly high above the people who came to see the High King, adding to the mystique of the chamber and Palace. The gold ceiling reflecting down on the white marble floor played with the lights of the auburn room. Balconies lined the walls for seating during major events of state, giving a bird’s eye view of the proceedings. On either side of the room sat six rows of desks where the recorders and court officials worked meticulously. Directly across from the main door was the raised dais which the Golden Throne of Aven sat on. The High King’s generals and advisors stood along the wall behind the rows of desks, waiting to offer their counsel on the issue that had been brought before the High King or to act out his orders.

Urza rose to ascend the dais and knelt again to the left of the throne, as was customary for the Guardians to do. According to the ancient customs, that signified how he was an ally who came from the darkness to aid. Sydney knew the rituals well, but cared little for them.

Sydney was a thin young man, although deceptively strong. In the time since he had ascended, it seemed as though he was getting thinner and weaker—worn down by burdens placed upon him. His black hair was trimmed short and his face still had the perception of a child upon it. His light blue eyes betrayed discomfort in this seeming unwanted environment. Dressed in black trousers and a red tunic trimmed in black, he looked to Urza calmly.

My liege,” Urza said. “I come bearing grim tidings.”

Stand,” the High King said, gesturing to emphasis the point. “You have long been a trusted advisor for this Kingdom and all others who call on you. Your words are always welcome in this hall. What tidings do you bring?”

Urza got up and moved closer to the throne, standing by Sydney’s side. He looked imposing to nearly everybody in the court, but most trusted and accepted him after his decades of service to the Kingdom of Aven. The High King himself gave off little concern.

Our seers have prophesied a possible end to your kingdom in the near future,” he said.

The High King was silent for a long moment. It was a moment such as this that he dreaded hearing. “How will it come to pass?” he finally asked.

It has been seen that a Ranger will come to Aven and kill you,” Urza said. “He’ll feign friendship and betray you.”

Last I checked the Rangers were counted amongst our allies and the most respected of the guilds. Why would he feign friendship and do the deeds you report to me?”

There is a renegade among them. One who wishes to sew chaos and disorder. It is not unheard of for one to do such a thing.”

Intriguing… but what should I do?”

Forbid the Rangers from entering Aven. Kill any who violate this order. That is the surest way to ensure your safety until the crisis has passed.”

The guilds will consider that an unforgivable violation of the free travel pacts, pacts that my father last year amended to counter such actions as what you propose. Many of them employ Ranger mediators and escorts for a variety of purposes. And I’m sure that the Ranger Council will have something to say about this and consider taking some form of action. This course of action cannot be taken without proper consideration. The Rangers could declare war on us and we might not have the backing of the other lands in action.”

Sire, you must establish and solidify your rule. These early months are when you are at your most vulnerable to these types of threats. The politics of this situation should be easy to manipulate to your advantage. Eliminate your enemies before they can spawn further opposition against you and spread their discord. You must act now and remove all malcontents.”

The High King nodded and gestured for his Lothgar, his lead general, to come over. Lothgar was a middle-aged general who had won the Helios Wars almost single-handedly with a series of brilliant maneuvers, and was possibly the greatest military mind that any nation or kingdom of Terran had ever seen. His hair was graying at the temples, but his hair and beard was still mostly dark brown. Powerfully built, Lothgar quickly moved to the right of the throne as the ally who could do no wrong. He knelt and awaited orders.

Call forth the Knights of Duramar,” the High King said. “Direct them as such: The Kingdom of Aven will be closed to the Rangers until such time as we can be completely certain they pose no threat to the safety of our kingdom and we have completed a thorough investigation into the matter. Also, send an emissary to the Ranger Citadel at Bru. They will be assigned to report on our actions and encourage their own investigations, as well as their cooperation.”

Yes my liege,” Lothgar said. He almost stopped to question what Sydney directed, but a glance from Urza silenced him. He ran from the hall, stating troop assignments to the orderly that struggled to followed him, scribbling down all that was ordered.

The High King turned back to Urza, giving a tired glance to the old wizard. “Have I acted wisely, Guardian?” he asked.

The wisdom of any decision you make here will be determined more justly by historians,” Urza replied. “Such is not for us to decide today. It is good to trust your strengths and avoid tempting your weaknesses until you are more certain of yourself. The Knights of Duramar are by far your strongest asset, so they are really the only ones to be trusted with this task.”

I took my father’s place too soon,” Sydney said sorrowfully. “Years too soon. You know I never wanted to be the High King. It was always something I assumed I would have to live with. My father was a great man and I’m much too young for this. My advisors have questioned every decision I’ve made. And who can blame them. I’m a boy doing a man’s job and there are far too many things I don’t know.”

Your father was indeed a great man,” Urza said. “Possibly his greatest skill was to be able to know who he could trust and who he couldn’t. Your advisors were all chosen by him. He trusted them to tell him what had to be done, and you must trust them as well. They challenged him when necessary and he could be that much more sure of his choices when they gave such challenges.”

As always your words have been a great help to me,” Sydney said. “You have eased my mind on many doubts. If you have any further advice or counsel to offer, I will listen. Thank you Urza.”

No,” Urza said. “Thank you, my liege. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and aid you.” He bowed. “May your rule be long and prosperous.” He turned and left the room, leaving the High King Sydney sitting upon the throne, awaiting his next visitor, pondering the fate of the kingdom that had been forced into his keeping.

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One Response to “Wandering Through Terran–Chapter 01”

  1. ahelmic6 said

    Interesting read so far…only have two trouble areas to report 🙂

    “Urza rose ascended the dais and knelt again”

    “They challenged him when necessary and he could be that much more of his choices when they gave such challenges.”

    The second just really didn’t make much sense to me haha.

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