Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Plains of Llyrian (Part 2)

Thrice she knocked on the door. Thrice, none came to answer it. The fourth time, she struck the door into the hall of Llyrian with her black bog wood stave. A great noise akin to the shattering of a tree when struck by lightning came from it and the doors opened of their own power. Silence descended among the Kordid and they made ready to defend their handsome King from this unknown threat.

Outside in the storm, a coal black horse screamed. When dawn came, no sign of the horse's presence would be found though signs of struggle would be apparent and the other noble beasts would shy away from that place in the pen. Thus, the one known as the haruspex of the Kordid's grief entered. As she looked over the armed warriors and their shield-maidens, a great many of them avoided a direct gaze in her eyes.

"Who disturbs my rest this night" she demanded, "With shrill horn, restless drum, and shrieking whistle? By whose order did the quiet of my rest be broken, unable to be soothed even by the storm's lullaby?" Eyes the color of gory icicles looked over the assembled from within that pale, seemingly bloodless face. At the high seat at the head of the groaning board, Llyrian stood. Some say that the mad god Kaileth whispered to him great glory stood in challenging this diminutive woman of strange power. Others say that the evil of Morgoth invaded his mind for a time and made him break the customs of hospitality and summer peace. Still others suggest that Llyrian was far too deep into his cups to speak sensibly by the late hour.

What ever the reason, Llyrian looked at the dark haired woman dressed in winter's clothes during the summer's heat and laughed. At his laughter, she frowned and the Kordid looked to him in askance. "Girl-child of the black marsh, your mother beckons you home. The hour is late and you trouble the men with your foolishness," he said with a hearty laugh. The harbringer of sorrow raised her head slightly, scenting the air for a moment as her expression turned grave.

"Two pups whelped by the alpha bitch lay nearby," she says, looking back to Llyrian, "and the mate antagonizes the great cat as the alpha bitch lay weak in childbed. Be wise, Wolf of Sigurt, recant your prideful words. Let silence descend here." At her statement, Llyrian's people drew back uneasy. Llyrian turned and bellowed for his hunting horn. A wary thane brought it to him as the fey woman watched with gimlet eyes.

"Your words are nothing but empty noise on the wind, spoiled daughter of the storm," Llyrian replied, "here is my answer." He took his gold banded horn and put it to his lips. He blew a loud and lusty blast that rang in the hall. A sound that awakened his newborn sons and set them to mewling as their mother drew them to her breast to comfort them. The small woman took her stave and struck it on the floor. Again, a great echoing crash sounded. Those closest to her covered their ears and fell to the floor dumbstruck.

"When the elder's star rises higher then the younger's," she intoned, "all of the Kordid will lay abed in weakness as the alpha bitch does now. Your boldest men will have no rest for the shrill scream of pipes and whistles. None will stand to oppose the storm that comes and all that will be left of you shall be your name." Silence trailed in her wake as the Kordid watched the strange one leave their presence.

"Words of an angry child timed to the storm," Llyrian cried as the doors were shuttered against the rising fury of the storm, "Drink. Eat. Let her sulk out in the night's cold." As the people of the plains returned to their celebration, some watched the night uneasily.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Plains of Llyrian (Part 1)

The Plains of Llyrian sit betwixt the eastern most ridge of the Dragon's Spine and the south-western end of the Dragon's Teeth. Now a barren place, it has been named as cursed for the past seven generations. Once, it had been verdant and lush grasslands. That was long before it was named for the ill fated sons of Llyrian.

I suppose the place to begin this story is at the beginning. Long ago, when they were known not as the Plains of Llyrian but as the High Reaches or the Marches of Elspar and Corinth, the plains were a windswept grassland. There, lived a proud people of heroic stature. Masters of the horse and fearsome warriors, these people were known as the Kordid.

In the language of the men of Elspar, Kordid means simply 'Riders'. The Kordid were frequently a people of commerce. When the seasons turned harsh, those who hadn't trade agreements with the Kordid found themselves the object of raiding parties. Bands of the Kordid would offer their services as mercenaries, frequently battling others of their people during the bitter winters.

Among the Kordid was a line of impressive warriors. These warriors and their kin rose to power within their people. Ambition was in their blood, as was fire. This was wedded to cunning intelligence to produce the flower of that lineage, Llyrian of the Golden Hair.

Llyrian was different from several of his kinsmen. For he was an excellent strategist and gained a reputation for brining home more warriors alive then others had. So it happened that Llyrian came to be a King among his people. It was shortly after this that trouble came among the Kordid that not even his strong hand could turn away.

One night, Llyrian's hall rang with the sound of celebration deep into the night. Llyrian's wife, Unnr, had borne him twin sons. This was the cause of great joy for Queen and both Princes were hale. It was also taken as a sign that the Gods smiled on Llyrian. Thus, mead flowed freely and the Prince of Shield-Breakers called for song far later then usual that Summer's night.

Their revelry, however, angered one who lived in the near by marsh. To this day, it is not known if it were a Deamon Princess or a powerful, ill spirited enchantress who came to his door. Hooded and dressed in a cat skin robe of white, she walked in to the hall from a storm that seemed to bear the wrath of Gods within it.

*Edited for spelling and grammar.

Setting & Other Details

The works on this blog are a digital version of a series of writings that I am doing for a dear friend of mine. All work here is my intellectual property. Quotation and references made to it can be done for educational or personal use with proper credit given.

The setting of these stories is the world of Evandar. This is not only the setting of these stories but the name of the kingdom wherein a great deal of the action of my novels take place. Excerpts from the novels will be placed up here from time to time. I will give updates as to how I am progressing in my efforts for publication on these. This is a fantasy world and has many elements in common with the works of other authors in the genre.

It is not my intent to copy another's style or plagiarize their ideas. Any resembelances you find to another author's work is purely coincidental. The world, the characters that people it, and their stories are all the result of over 15 years of world building. This includes an almost obscene amount of research into various things that range from herbalism to medieval fabric making techniques. I will occasionally give commentary on these details, look for the tag 'Notes' or 'Commentary' attached to those posts.

All of this said, I'd like to dedicate this on going work to my friend Jerry and his wife, Jaime. They're two wonderful people who are working thru some significant difficulties right now. I hope that my stories serve as a plesant escape from their problems.

To all others who are reading this, enjoy and welcome to my little world.