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Although it began as a normal week for the Erathi, the week of the summer solstice would mark the end of their Golden Era. Already, I'm sure you're confused. "Who are these 'Erathi', and why haven't I ever heard of them?" is probably something you're wondering about. The answer to that is fairly simple, yet immensely complex. The Erathi are human-like creatures, but with a slightly smaller build. Their name comes from the name of their home world, Erath, located in one of the dimensions parallel to our own. That should answer parts of your questions, but lead to others. "What is this Erath place like?" is probably one of them. Basically, it is very similar to the way our world was during the Roman's golden era, except a bit more explored, and quite a bit of magical knowledge. Erath is also a noticeably smaller world then ours. I'll try to answer any other questions you might have while telling the story itself. Now then, shall I begin?
The story begins in the chamber of the Erathi King, Coromath, and Queen, Karana. The king is a tall man compared to the other Erathi, about five feet and two inches by our measurements. His hair is somewhat short in length, and is a light brownish-yellow color, commonly considered 'dirty blond", and his eyes are the same color except darker. He appears to be a man who is neither exceptionally strong nor weak. The queen is smaller then the king is, about four foot eight by our measurements, on the short end of the average Erathi height. Her hair is almost down to her hips, and is red in color with a slight rose tint to it, and her eyes are brown in color. Their room is slightly larger then the average bedroom is here. Their bed is proportional to something you would see here, and has an overhang attached to the headboard and given extra support by the wall. When one is lying in the bed, there is an archway leading out to a balcony on the right, and a door leading out of the room on the left.
A few minutes before the sun rose on the start of the twentieth week of the year, the king arose from his sleep. Coromath spoke gently into his wife's ears, "Karana, wake and watch the sun rise with me." He then kissed her gently on the cheek as she began to awaken.
Karana yawned and stretched her arms as she woke. The queen sat up and smiled warmly to her husband. "Let us gaze out upon the beautiful land," she said. The king helped his wife out of bed, and the two walked out on to the balcony. They held each other as only lovers do as they looked out upon the lands of Erath. "Isn't it just lovely how the lands become illuminated in the morn'?" asked Karana.
"Aye, 'tis nearly as lovely as you are, my dear," replied Coromath as he tightened his hug for a moment. An hour passed, neither saying much, but both sharing their love for the other as they watched the sun rise over the horizon.
At the end of that hour, a knock came from their bedroom door, followed by a voice, "Your Highnesses, the morning meal will be ready soon. We shall await for your presence at the table."
"My thanks Gerül, we will be down in a moment," replied the king. "Let us prepare for the day," Coromath said to wife. The king and queen walked back into their room and changed out of their nightgowns, and into their clothes for the day. After the two finished getting dressed, they walked down to the dining hall.
"Ah, ye are just in time. I just finished bringing out the last of the food."
Chuckling as she spoke, Karana said, "'Tis good to see our chef hard at work, having to suffer over the fire while preparing food for us every day. I am most glad that I don't have to do my favorite chore three times a day. Smiling, eh? Well how about I eat twice as much to give you extra work to do? Would ye be smiling then?"
"No, no. As much as I love to cook, three meals per day are quite enough for me," replied Gerül.
"Well the least I can do is offer you a seat at our table after having to hear such a terrible joke. Come, help us eat all of this lovely meal you prepared."
"My thanks M'lady. It would be an honor to dine with you both."
And so the trio was formed. But alas, it was not meant to last. For, you see, the trio could only last for but three-quarters of an hour, the time it took to eat the morning meal. So, for the first time in the story, a trio is reduced to two. The king and queen bid farewell to the cook for the morning, and ventured off to the throne room to meet with the mayor of Enshala. It just so happened that the mayor was already there, awaiting Coromath and Karana's approach.
"My greetings to ye sir Sharim. I hope we have not kept you waiting for too long," said Coromath as he walked towards the table that the mayor was sitting at.
"No, not at all. I had just arrived not five minutes ago."
"How have things been doing on the Eastern coast?" asked Karana.
"Fine and dandy, for the most part, but construction of the new church was delayed for a few days. Apparently the main road to our town was blocked by some fallen trees, which stopped the caravan that carried the rest of the stone. They told me it took four days to clear the path when they finally arrived," replied Sharim. "So, how have things over here in Hymlen been?"
"It's been very quiet for the most part. The only thing that has really happened recently was the development of the new mining equipment, but I believe news of that has already reached everyone on the mainland," replied Coromath.
"Aye, we are usually one of the last to receive news from here, but we have already been told of the new invention. I apologize for cutting this meeting short, but I only have a day here and I've promised some people in town that I would visit with them before I left. Is there anything else ye wish to speak of before I leave?"
"There is nothing else I can think of. Enjoy your stay," replied Karana. "And safe travels on your return trip."
"My thanks to ye. Farewell to you both," said Sharim.
Coromath replied with a goodbye as Sharim got up to leave.
Waiting in the main doorway as Sharim got up to leave stood Aaril, the High Priest to the king and queen. Aaril looks much older then he really is. His hair was once a dark brown, but is now a silver color. His blue eyes look like the eyes of a very knowledgeable man. He can almost never be found wearing anything other then a dark blue or forest green robe, wearing a blue one this day. Aaril exchanged a quiet greeting with Sharim as the mayor left, and then walked towards Coromath and Karana. The priest said nothing until he reached the table and bowed slightly before the king and queen. "My Lord, we finished our research on that spell last night. If ye have time, I can teach you the spell as well as what it will work on." After a short pause, Aaril changed his focus to the queen and said, "I would offer to teach you the spell as well, My Lady, but Aralyn has asked me to send you to her after you finished meeting with Sharim. She said that she would be waiting for you in the garden."
"Thank you Aaril. I will go see what she wanted now," replied Karana. She got out of her chair and walked out of the room.
"Ye may lead the way, as I am nay sure exactly where you wish to go to teach me," said Coromath.
"We'll go to the library. I'll start telling you more about it as we walk." Aaril motioned for Coromath to follow and the two started off towards the library, Aaril explaining the history of the spell as they walked along. "The spell's base was created by a priest about six hundred years ago. About one month ago, his journals about the spell's creation were found by one of the priests here. We learned a lot about the spell from these journals. The priest that created the spell wanted something that would allow him to have access to his Holy Books wherever he was. Before he began to work on how to speak the spell and what gesture to use he fixed himself on which words of power to use. What he decided upon were 'Gol Ra Lir Renor' to summon the books and 'Gol Ra Lir Sora' to store the books. In today's language, those phrases translate closest to 'Godly Words Written Return' and 'Godly Words Written Store' respectively. Everything past that seemed to pose more trouble for the priest then deciding upon the words did, and the same thing happened for us. His notes for the gestures and vocal characteristics were written for his own use only, so none of it was very descriptive, and much was in shorthand." Aaril stopped speaking for a moment as he allowed Coromath to enter the library before him. Pointing to a slightly cluttered table, Aaril began to speak again, "Take a seat here and I'll continue. The gestures he used, or at least the ones that worked for his spells and ours, were basically the same as those used by parlor magicians today. A curved 'covering' of the object when sending the object away, and a tap with the back of your hand on the container to return the object into. Is that enough of an explanation for ye M'Lord?"
"Aye, that was a good explanation. I would just like to know exactly how the spell works."
Aaril explained to Coromath the workings of the spell as well as teaching him how to use it. In a little longer then an hour, Coromath learned how to cast both parts of the spell and what he can cast the spell on. Although he did not master it, Coromath felt confident that he knew it well enough to teach Karana.
"Any other new information for me?" asked Coromath.
"Nothing that I can think of. And besides, it is nearing lunch time," replied Aaril.
"Aye. I'm going to go find Karana, and then to the dining hall for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day Aaril."
"You too sir."
Coromath left the library and started off towards the garden, as he knew Karana would probably still be there. When he reached the garden, Karana and Aralyn were still talking. Aralyn looked very similar to her sister Karana, except for one aspect. Aralyn's hair was shoulder length and a golden color, as opposed to Karana's long red hair. They were sitting on two benches that were facing each other on one of the smaller paths near the center. The king walked up to the two women and gave his wife a quick hug. "In case ye two didn't know, the lunch hour is near."
Smiling as she spoke, Aralyn responded, "We had not yet been informed of that, but I did have an inclination after hearing your wife's stomach grumble at me not to long ago."
"Aye," Karana laughed. "I was thinking it was about mid day for that very same reason."
"Well then, will ye be joining us for lunch 'Lyn?" asked Coromath.
"I might as well, as I haven't any other plans for lunch."
The three went off and had lunch together in the dining hall, and then talked for nearly an hour after that. The rest of the day was quiet for the most part. The king and queen had a quick meeting with a man who wanted to setup a store that finished shortly before dinner. Other then that, the only thing of any interest that happened was that Coromath taught Karana how to use the newly researched spell and they both practiced it for a little while. The next day was very similar to the last, as well as almost any other day in the Golden Era for that matter. As far as the structure of the day, it was a bit more ordinary. Instead of having the meetings in the morning, they met with others in the afternoon.
There was only one meeting of any importance that day; the other two were just minor legal issues. The meeting was with a man in his late middle ages who had not visited the castle for at least ten years. Since the last time he visited the castle, his hair had grown down to his shoulders, and lost most of its black color to gray hairs. Like his fading hair, his olive eyes seemed to have lost some of their color.
"Izkar, it has been a great time since ye last came to see us," greeted Coromath.
"Aye, it has been a while. I Assume things have been well since we last talked?" asked Izkar.
"That they have," replied Karana.
"In your message ye said ye had a vision with mixed possibilities of meaning. I don't mean to rush you, but your note has gotten me in a very inquisitive state."
Izkar nodded slightly and then spoke, "First I will tell ye what I saw, and then I will give ye my interpretation." Izkar paused for a moment before explaining his vision. What he described was a series of three scenes. The first was of an undistinguishable woman holding a newly born daughter. They were in a large cavern surrounded by many others. None were in a well cleansed or fed state, and they all rejoiced about the child's birth. Most were saying that the child was a symbol of good fortunes, a promising future, and proof of a future victory of sorts. The only thing the mother said was, "Then ye shall be called 'Yan'Chi'." Yan is the Erathi word for good or positive in nature, and Chi is the Erathi word for fortunes. There was one noticeable feature of Yan'Chi. She had the skin color of the cave floor, as opposed to the typically lighter Erathi skin. The second scene was that of a man whom Izkar describe as a person with what we consider human characteristics. The man was giving a young Erathi girl, almost definitely Yan'Chi, a gift. He appeared to be celebrating her birthday. Izkar estimated that the girl was five to seven years of age in the vision. Izkar described the transition between the last two scenes as a blend of sorts, as opposed to the dark pause between scenes that he considered normal in a vision. In the third scene, he said he saw what appeared to be a large-scale battle, but the view was too far away to determine who was fighting. The battle ended before the vision, and the victors seemed to rejoice much like he imagined a winning side would rejoice after winning a long and arduous war. Izkar paused for a moment after the descriptions to regain his thoughts. After the pause, Izkar gave his interpretation, "On the more obvious side, a child will be born in the near future, most likely in about two years. As for the rest, I have multiple ideas. The one I feel most confident in is not one that bodes well for the future. Some time before the child is born, this world, or at least part of it, will fall into a dark time. I would guess either an old enemy has been regenerating its forces in secrecy, or a new enemy, from whatever source, will invade this land. The birth of a child will bring a turn of events, possibly for us, possibly for the enemy, whoever or whatever it may be. About six years after the child is born, the war will end, and one side will be an obvious victor, and the other side will be almost, if not completely destroyed. As for the strange man, I think that could also have multiple possibilities. One is that the man will travel here, another being that the girl will be sent away. Overall, I cannot find a way that this shows any hope for the near future, but should give us hope that we have a noticeable chance to end up the victor when all is done."
"That is just about how I see it as well. Let us hope that this is your first vision to give false information, or at least that we are the victors in the end." Coromath paused before he spoke again, "The captains of each of the cities' guards are having a meeting here in two days, and most have already arrived. I'll give them this warning, in case you are right about this."
"Aye, but try not to get them too alarmed about this so that they do not panic," added Karana.
The rest of the day went be very strangely for the king and queen, but a bit more noticeably for the king. The day passed as though many days had went by quickly, as opposed to one day going by slowly. Karana, Coromath, and Izkar talked a little longer, and then went in their own ways. Karana and Coromath both met with the two others they planned to meet with together, but were in different places the rest of the day. Karana spent most of her time conversing with Aralyn, while Coromath was moving around the town to meet with different people. The king visited with each of the guard captains that were already in town, the palace guard captains, and the off duty scouts that were staying in Hymlen.
Nothing that needs to be explained in any detail happened for the next five or so days. The king and queen told of the prophecy to those who they saw fit. Although they kept their minds aware of the strong likelihood of danger, they tried not to worry about it too much. On the third day of the twenty-first week, the worry was no longer held back.
Bowing slightly after he entered, Sharim trembled as he said, "M'Lord... bizarre looking creatures, uncountable in number. They're heading east along the shore... The scout I spoke to said that they started marching from the Vueshal Isle two days ago. I fear that they may be headed towards Enshala... and unless the scouts are wrong... then they don't have friendly intent."