(The Crossing, Zoluren: 25 Akroeg 351)
We gathered around Wyett, answering his call for a meeting on this cold day. Briefly I wondered what it could be about, and saw my curiosity measured in the eyes of many others. As far as I could recall, this was the first meeting of its type, and we wanted to know why. The Town Green in Crossing was more packed than I had ever seen it. So crowded one had to wonder how there was enough air to breathe. The noise of such a crowd was tremendous, making me half hope this would end quickly. Finally, Wyett stood to speak, and respectful silence fell.
“I thank you all for coming,” Wyett said serenely. “But I’m afraid that I have brought you together today to hear terrible news.” For a moment he closed his eyes as if in though before returning his gaze to us. A gaze full of unease.
“I have been informed that Teiro is alive again.”
For a moment there was stunned silence as those of us who remembered our histories took in the importance of Wyett’s words. Those who did not, however, soon raised their voices in demands to know who Teiro was. I remembered all too well, having been schooled by parents who were bards. Teiro was the instigator of some of the battles fought in the Human-Elven Wars as he tried to claim the Ilithi Empire as his own. I felt colder than the weather could account for with this bit of information. Nothing worse could have come up at this particular time.
Then again, I thought to myself, this meeting has only just begun.
“Moon Mages have been recieving odd visions of late, some of which point to the deaths of specific people. Those people who will most likely be a key in the future for us all.”
Again the reaction of Wyett’s audience was surprised dismay. No names were given, possibly to protect the privacy of those who would be involved. Wyett allowed the babble to continue for a few moments before once more raising his voice to be heard.
“Teiro has been recruiting people to his side, in hopes of restarting the Human-Elven Wars. So far he has asked only elves, but no one can know or predict if any other races will become involved later. A few other visions have been brought to my attention as well.” He paused for a moment, glancing at his hands as if he wished to call on his god for aid.
“For those that do not recall, our histories recorded that Teiro killed his daughter Nissa. She was Lanival’s love, and after her death, a ring was made to remind him of her. In the end, Lanival was put into a deep sleep by his dragon friend, Glacius. He was to sleep until he was needed once more.”
Heads nodded at Wyett’s words. Some people remembering, some simply agreeing. Again Wyett glanced at his hands, a peculiar expression on his face, waiting once more for silence as comments and reminders were made.
When things had calmed once more, Wyett raised his eyes, seemingly meeting every eye in the room with one glance. “A while ago a snowbeast came to me. It did not attack, nor offer any other violence, but instead brought to me a ring.” He tapped a silver ring then, the object he had been looking to as if for guidence. It was of the purest silver, masterfully forged into the shaped of two hands clasped together. “This is supposidly the same ring that belonged to Lanival.”
There was once again stunned silence, then someone whispered softly, “Nissa’s Ring.” Other’s repeated it just as softly, even I, unable to hold back a feeling of awe.
Tafkapp, my mentor and companion, leaned close and whispered to me, “He was given that ring before the reopening of Shard. I remember because I was with him.”
I nodded slightly to Tafkapp as a voice demanded to know the meaning behind the ring. Wyett was uncertain, and could not answer, nor did he know why the ring had been sent to him and not some other. For a short while, the conversation continued, until Wyett finally changed it again.
“The visions that I mentioned foretold Lavivals return from his long sleep. It also spoke of the festival, and that there would be invasions during the time of the festival. From what I can understand, Shard will be attacked by three waves of World Dragon Priests, at the North, South and West Gates simultaniously. At the same time, Crossings and Riverhaven shall also be invaded, according to these visions.”
Mass invasions foretold, I thought. It sounds almost like then end of the world. People were becoming frightened now, and raised their voices, demanding answers to this or that. What would happen. What can we do to prevent this? What does my race have to do with this new war?
I am human myself, but after the deaths of my true parents, I was raised by an old, elven couple who had never had children of their own. They had taken me and my sister Nahrya in without a second thought. What would happen to them if such a war broke out and it was discovered? My worry was enough to drown out the confused shouts of my comrades, but not enough to cover the sudden sound of voices crying out in fear, yet a very different fear than those voices that now spoke here. As curious as my familiar, I turned my head to look. Just in time to see three World Dragon Priests walk into the room, shields ready and swords drawn and already bloodstained. One of them, perhaps a leader of some sort glanced at Wyett with a sneer. Then, in a hateful voice he called out, “To me, sons of the Dragon! We shall slaughter them all and cleanse the world with fire!”
I sat stunned, forgetting my training and my hard earned spells as more of the enemy poured into the room. For what seemed like decades I sat there frozen, recalling that these same beasts had slaughtered my human parents, destroyed my home…thrown back in time to witness once again the terrible distruction of the only family I had ever known while others, not seeing my frozen state, fled at once or promptly engaged the enemy.
Finally a blaze of lightning caught my attention. Something differed from that time I remembered. There had been no lightning then. Suddenly, I surged to my feet, reaching for my broadsword. I was no longer a frightened seven year old, but a full Warrior Mage with knowledge of weapons and magic at my command. At once I began to look for an opening, any opening in the lines of battle.
There was none. I had waited too long. The room was havoc in itself with too much to see, too much to comprehend. I wondered briefly as I resheathed my broadsword and unslung my crossbow if this was the way of true war. I did not think long, however, for this was a time for action, not thought. Carefully I took aim, and let loose my bolt at a priest. The bolt flew true, and thudded home, instantly killing him.
Finally, the last of them fell, whispering into the sudden, panting silence that always followed battle, “I have died a warrior’s death.”
There were people dead, and those on the verge of death. Quickly, empaths moved in to aid those they could, leaving those they could not to the hands of others. Wyett ordered the fallen taken to the temple, promising them aid as their ghosts cried out in want of revenge.
Hours later the meeting resumed. “This is nothing compared to what our future holds,” Wyett warned, his voice tired, his eyes full of grief. “I ask you all to prepare in any way you can. The darkest hour of our world will soon fall upon us, and for everything that remains undone, we shall have a weakness. Heed my warning, and pass it to others, and let us hope that all we can do shall be enough.”
All that Wyett knew had been said. We dispursed to resume the things the calling of the meeting had inturrupted, or to find other things to do. As for me, I could only wonder what the future had in store for me. Only Meraud knew if I would live or die. But I, like others, would put aside my fear of death to aid the side of Good in this new fight against evil, and perhaps still survive.
By my hand
[Ed Note: Updated Akroeg 357: Velmix was the one recruiting for this at the time of this writing, but his name was kept hushed. It was never clear to me whether Teiro was named or whether someone inferred that is who Velmix was recruiting elves for.]