The world was nothing, a blank canvas. Existence had not began, for there was only the Void. Then from within the Void came a Voice.
"I Will It into Existence." The Voice was kind and calm. So the Void yielded and Time began. The Voice again spoke.
"Again, I Will It into Existence." The Voice was again kind and calm. So yet again the Void yielded and the Universe was spun from the nothing. Once again the voice spoke.
"Now I Will Them into Existence." The Voice was no longer kind, nor calm, instead it was loving, and passionate. For this the Void spun itself into light. And the Void was no more, for in its place stood two beacons of pure incandescent light. They swirled like massive stars dancing in the vastness of Existence.
One last time the Voice spoke.
"We are Existence. We are pure, therefore we are all. We Will All into Existence." This time the voice was not alone. A whole Chorus of beautiful angelic voices rang out, as many incandescent lights sparked into Existence. The Chorus sang of Beauty and light. And so there was Beauty and light. Stars erupted into life. Planets flung together from the vastness of Existence. The Chorus sang of Life and Color. And so there was Life and Color. The stars changed color, into reds, blues, yellows, greens, purples, even some browns. The planets also changed, but in much more vibrant ways. Mountains grew. Oceans poured. Forests sprouted. Grasslands spread. Animals rose from the vastness of Existence to take residence in the Mountains, Oceans, Forests, and Grasslands.
And so Existence was, and the Chorus was complete. But the lights did not fade. Instead they took shape. The faces of the Gods and the Goddesses were many and All were perfect and loving of their creations. To name them All would span all time and all Existence, for names are but for the mortal tongue. But the Void will always be the Void, and the Voice will always be the Voice.
..................................Chapter I: Lengale’s farm..................................
He was a small baby really, around five and a half pounds. The two new parents looked down into his blue eyes and smiled as the babe looked back up at them with sincere curiosity. The mid-wives stood off to the side with a proud look upon their faces, as if to suggest this newborn was all their doing. Mid-wives often give themselves far too much credit where babies are concerned. The new mother looked over to one of the mid-wives and spoke gently, almost inaudibly,
"Madam Lengale, as the our son’s God-Mother, would you carry him for a time to allow me to rest?" She was a simple farm girl, nothing other than one of the many servants who worked with the gardening, and the cooking. Her name was Felner, she had rich golden hair, crystalline blue eyes, and a frail, underdeveloped figure. She had just recently turned twenty years old.
"I don’t mind at all child," replied the mid-wife known as Madam Lengale. She was of plain complexion and slightly leaner build, though her eyes spoke of an authority no man in all of Aellor could hope to attain, and were as grey as the fur of wolves. Her brown curls regally fell to mid-chest length and a faint air of nobility surrounded her being. No one would dare guess her age. "I always love holding babies."
"Madam, I would speak with you outside to allow my wife to rest." The tall muscular looking man beside the now weary mother spoke with a deep somber voice. There was a catch in his throat, as if he was on the edge of tears. He was taller than most men, easily six and half feet tall. His medium length jet black hair was messy and slick from the heat of summer. His arms were as thick as trees, and his hands were calloused from swinging an axe all day. He was a lumbermen and worked the forests surrounding the edge of the farmstead. He was only a few years older than his tiny wife, around twenty-two or so.
"Yes dear, I think my husband is waiting for us outside." replied Madam Lengale with an authoritative voice, beckoning the young man to follow her. They both exited the make-shift medical room in the back of the shoddy hovel and stepped outside. Madam Lengale turned to the new father and spoke quietly.
"You do have a name in mind for him don’t you, Heldrir?" She asked of the new father, he responded immediately with a beaming face.
"Obviously. We will name him Silar, after the once great horse lord of Khahl." Heldrir was not of Denwei, one of the seven Principalities of the City states of Telriae. Along with the rest of his family, he had come from a far away land. One surrounded by ocean and ships, Gredalen. It was an island nation ruled by barbarian fishermen, who constantly raided each other for superiority. One of the far northern islets of Hildkern was his ancestral home.
"What will happen now that the boy is borne? You had told me when you brought me here my first born son would be a special child, and I have not forgotten those words. What is it that will make him special, Madam Lengale? I must know, for should it be an unpleasant fate, I would do what I could to shield my child from harm." The new father spoke with a fervent passion.
"Worry not Goodman Heldrir. Your son is safe. It is not until his manhood does bud that he will come into his inheritance. Though do not fail to guard him, for his blood is precious to all the world, and should it be spilt shall the world weep for the lose of one so pure. His path is safe, though not utterly so. Your son, I imagine, will be as curious and as utterly impulsive as his father was." A new voice spoke from behind Heldrir, a voice he knew immediately. He turned to see the owner of the farm and husband of the fair lady who had delivered his first-born son. Master Lengale was much like his wife: lean build, plain complexion and an unearthly authority about him no king or emperor of men could possess. His eyes were also a deep grey, though more steely in nature than his wife’s. Heldrir sheepishly looked between the two and briefly felt like a child again for not remaining calm.
"Master Lengale, is this true? My son is special? By the Gods I will not let the shadows take him like my father before me. If I must, I will take him all through out the seven principalities and hide him away from watchful eyes." Heldrir felt triumphant as he spoke the words, knowing little about what he had promised.
"Heldrir, my boy, do you even know who seeks him? do you even know who to protect your son from? You speak of shadows, but shadows hide many faces, and some may even be that which you already trust and believe. If the time comes for you to protect your son, it will not be by hiding him in some back alley town on the other side of the world. No, it will be done with steel, blood, and patience. My house has long been home to your family’s line. And though we do as we must to protect the ancient prophecies, even now a force greater than any other is amassing beyond the reach of our blinded eyes. This farm will not always be the safe-haven it is now. A time will come when you must make a decision to take your family and leave, or face a fate worse then death." The words fell from the man’s lips but were somehow silent, as if they resonated inside the solitude of Heldrir’s mind. Master Lengale was right of course. And the time might be sooner than what was once promised. He took a long look at the man he had always regarded as a father, and the woman he had come to know as a mother. When again he spoke, he did so with his mind, much like Master Lengale did.
"My son must be taken away then. What must I do to know whom I can trust, and whom I can not?" Heldrir was eager to protect his wife and child, as any man would.
"Patience Heldrir. The time is not upon us yet, child. We have some years, even decades, yet I do believe. I’m sure you will speak with your wife, Felner, about all this as well. The babe will have to be taught the way of a simple life for things to go the way we need them to. Don’t be overly excited to whisk him away to a life of travel and adventure too soon. Early life is easier in the hands of simplicity and ignorance."
After handing him his son back, The two embraced Heldrir in an ancient farewell that stretched back to the times of the kingdom Ehra and its wondrous Order of Wizardry and Sorcery. Madam Lengale briefly laid her open hand on the young man’s cheek and then turned to join her husband. They walked through the silky doorway, that appeared as if from nowhere, and vanished into nothing.
The next few years were unhindered in simplicity. The farm continued to prosper and the farm hands came and went, but Heldrir stayed and managed it as the Lengales had asked him. His wife Felner doted over her baby, for Silar was a beautiful child with short blond hair and brilliant blue eyes. He was a happy baby and never once cried or misbehaved. His father was nervous at how small he was, for as time went by, Silar did not grow at all like the other boys. By the time he was four years of age, he was half the size of other small children.
A time came when another young boy, named Escal, who resided with his mother on the farm was playing with Silar. They both loved to play in the muddy field beyond the row of hovels where the farmstead workers lived. This time however, the field had been sowed, and the farmers refused to let the boys onto the field, so they both went to the end of the woods, under the careful eye of both their mothers, and the forest workers. They play fought with sticks at the edge of the forest. That is, until Escal, who was seven years old and more than twice Silar’s size, hit the four year old boy square in the face with a thick oak branch. The young boy screamed out as blood streamed from a gash across his cheek. It was the first time Silar ever got hurt, and Felner nearly fainted when she saw the wound. Escal’s mother however was furious. She spanked her son until his bottom was a bright crimson and had several welts on his behind. And that was the end of that. Escal was never allowed within arms reach of Silar again.
Silar was already six before he ever even met his god mother and father. Master and Madam Lengale were as regal as they had left those years before and both beamed at how he had grown. The grass was wet with the late spring rains and the air had a sweet lavender smell that tingled the nose.
"Hello little one, it has been some time since we last met. This is Madam Lengale, my wife, and I am the Master of this farm, Master Lengale." Master Lengale doted over the child and Madam Lengale treated him to little candies that were sweet and tasted of spring berries. Silar loved Madam Lengale nearly as much as his real mother, whether that was because of the candies or because she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, he did not know. He had lost both his front teeth, so whenever he tried to address the Master, it instead came out garbled and rather wet sounding.
"Mather Lingle, can I ride one of the hortheth?" Silar spoke one evening to Master Lengale at dinner time.
"No child, they are much too big for you, but perhaps we can convince your mother to let you try a pony." He spoke softly and fondly to the small boy.
His mother, however, most certainly did not like the idea, since she had babied him since the day he got the cut on his cheek playing with Escal. This is when Madam Lengale stepped in.
"Dear, children have to be allowed to learn what to do and not to do in the natural order of things. Otherwise the more you coddle him, the more he will be driven by his curiosity to experiment the second you aren’t around. He will be perfectly safe. A scrape here or there won’t kill him. It will only add character." Felner though did not feel right letting her baby boy ride such an unwieldy creature. Heldrir pulled his wife over to him and spoke softly in her ear.
"My love, if you think about it, what Madam Lengale said is true. My mother coddled me too much... Then I met you. Do you remember that first summer we met? I had earlier had a huge argument with my mother that same evening we met. To spite her, I decided to try to sleep with all the single women I could lay eyes on. As luck turned out, you were the first woman I saw." His words brought a deep red crimson to the woman’s cheeks and she turned to hit her husbands shoulder, which prompted him and several other lumbermen to burst into laughter. Most of the farm workers knew the story of how Felner had snared Heldrir nearly ten years ago. At the juvenile age of sixteen she batted her eyelashes at the young Heldrir and boldly led him off to the lake on the south side of the forest. The squeals of the two young teenagers could be heard for miles in every direction, as lakes can carry sound a fair distance.
Even Master and Madam Lengale laughed openly at the remembrance of the story and chided her to let the boy ride the pony for the sake of not letting such the same thing happening to Silar. The boy had no clue why everyone was laughing, so instead he leaned up and kissed the cheek of Madam Lengale as he snatched another one of her candies he liked so fondly. This small gesture however sent his mother into hysterics. In a sudden show of compliance, Felner hurried him out into the night air to find a pony for him to ride.
In the time after his pony ride, Silar grew more and more attached to Madam Lengale. He’d stay with her when she was doing laundry, or while she was tending her special garden. He loved the smell that radiated off the flowers there, they smelled a lot like how his candies tasted. She regularly smiled at him as he took a deep breath of her spring flowers. On one occasion, he asked if he could take one to give to his mother, and she gave him a whole bushel. She had seemed to pull the bushel out of thin air however and he was amazed at how full and smelly they were. He looked around and didn’t notice any flowers missing from her garden. That made him intensely curious.
"Madam Lengale, where did you get thith buthel of flowerth from? I don’t thee any flowerth mithing." His new teeth were still growing in the front and he still had a lisp.
"Does it matter, dear child? You have the flowers you wanted to give your mother, so run along and give them to her. I will explain when you are older." Her tone took on a slightly more authoritative voice, which shocked Silar, he had never heard her use that tone of voice towards him before. He relented however and ran off to give his mother the flowers.
The Lengales stayed for the next two months, during which time Silar was given more and more freedoms. His friendship with Escal had ended, but that was only one of the dozens of children on the farm. There were, after all, many families living on the massive farmstead. On Silar’s seventh birthday, he joined a group of four other boys, all of which were near his age. Silar didn’t speak much, so he usually silently watched them having fun and followed along behind them. But today was his birthday so the attention was entirely on him.
"Silar, did Madam Lengale get you anything for your birthday? She got a ball last year for mine." The boy who asked was Philip. He had mangy brown hair and was rather tall for his age of five. His father was from the capital, Pinsive, where boy’s were named for the day of the year they were born. As such, there were a lot of Philips, and a lot of Johns. Philip however had grown here on Lengale farm since the day he was born, so he was as much a Denwei resident as Silar was.
"No, She hasn’t given me anything yet. I’m sure shes waiting til after dinner time." Silar was only guessing however, and he was slightly worried that his god mother had forgotten his birthday. The other boys began to wander off to the barn where the animals were kept, and on an instinct, he followed them. Silar had never been in the barn. His mother feared that a horse might decide his head was a great toy to kick around. This fear, however, was unfounded as the five boys climbed the ladder to their "secret" base behind the stacks of hay. It was a hollow mound of sticks and wooden boards surrounded by bales of hay, but it was sizable enough to fit them all. They were after all small children still. One of them had a lantern with them and had found a match to light it so they could see inside their makeshift base. It was at that instant that something rather unusual happened.
Silar had seen odd things happen before, usually when he was watching Madam Lengale in her garden. He would see seeds planting themselves, or watering cans pouring their contents onto the anxious soil below. One time he even saw a rabbit that was nibbling on a leaf poof and turn into a fly. That had all happened while Madam Lengale was around, and he was fairly sure that she was some sort of Illusionist as the older farmhands called them. This time however, she was not even on the farm, and it was not her thought that caused an illusion. Silar simply thought of the lantern igniting, and in a burst of light, the lantern ignited, and the boys fell back in amazement. The match wasn’t even lit yet, so how could fire suddenly spring as if from nowhere? they each looked around for a source of this mysterious candle of flame, but found nothing. It was at last the oldest of the boys, Ciln, spoke up.
"Alright, something fishy is going on here. Which one of you lit the lantern? Fire can’t appear from nowhere. That’s impossible." Ciln was a boy of roughly nine years old, and he was fairly fat. The son of one of the cooks, he often stole food for his friends and became rather plump from the excess food. His mother had recently fallen ill and died due to plague. He knelt inside the base with a slightly frightened look upon his pudgy face. The other boys often looked up to him as their little posse’s "leader" (meaning he always picked who was It when playing tag and what have you).
There came a sudden surge inside Silar’s head, a long screeching surge that made his eyes roll back and his body go totally limp. He fell writhing on the floor of the upstairs loft. The other boys gaped in horror at the seizing boy before them. Ciln’s face blanched a pasty white and jumped up, shouting at the other boys to run as fast as possible and find an adult. The boys bolted, but not before the lantern that had sat off to the side was knocked over and smashed to bits, pouring out its oily contents. As all people know, oil is extremely flammable, and the lantern had a full canister, so when the flames of the lantern licked their newly freed fuel, the entire puddle exploded into a destructive inferno. The three other boys gaped in total horror as their play house, wreathed in flame, collapsed, nearly crushing both Ciln and Silar. They all tumbled down the ladder, past the shrieking barn animals and out the barn door to find help.
This fire could not be natural, as it moved almost like a snake, spreading to more and more of the barn. Flaming pieces of wood lay strewn across the loft, one of them nearly crushing Ciln’s arm. Ciln shrieked as his arm caught fire, though he quickly pulled his shirt off and tried to bat the flames out. After a moment black smoke poured out from the shirt and into his nostrils. He choked and coughed and spurted, then leaned over to pull the still seizing Silar out from the burning mess of wood. A few moments later a voice rang out from below them. It was not a voice either of the boys had ever heard before, and one they hoped they’d never hear again.
"VELN CAER ULD NUEN THAL KELN MAER!" The thunderous voice was deep and malicious. It echoed with in the darkest chambers of Ciln’s mind, filling it with ultimate agony and wretched imagery. Ciln screamed and put his hands to his ears to try to block out that horrible voice. He retched from the amount of smoke in the air and reached down to pull as hard as he could on the arms of the violently seizing Silar. All around them both, the flames were leaping to life, reacting to the voice, raising higher and pulsing into different shapes. Seemingly like a horrible creature of flame and smoke, the fire raged and destroyed everything it touched. Slowly it reached out to surround the two boys, leaving no escape for them. The voice boomed again.
"FE’NACH SA CEL ECH NAER ULD VEL MERD!" This time the entire barn shook, and hay bales fell from their stacks onto the fire, bursting into flames. Most of the upper loft was now engulfed in a blaze. Each way Ciln looked, there was inferno. And through the fire he could see a shrouded face. It was not the face of any mortal man, but a face of burning shadow and of utter monstrosity. That face burrowed into his mind like a hot knife and erased all thought as it dug.
When finally that face reached the core of his mind, Ciln froze, the color draining from his face. Though he had never seen one, the recesses of his mind screeched with the knowledge that the face that hovered in the flames was a Demon of Kazad. His eyes bulged and his tongue stiffened, for the face of a Demon strikes terror in the hearts of all men. He collapsed into spasms beside Silar and began mumbling into insanity from the horrid sight of a Demon. The Demon continued to chant and reached out with a gigantic long black hand to grasp the boys body, and in a single instant, spoke a fatal word.
"ELN!" And with that one word, all the world went white as Ciln burst into flames, his screams not even audible from the intense eruption of flame consuming his body. His skin did not crackle, it melted. Like metal in a forge, his flesh turned white hot and seeped like liquid to the floor in globs. The hand threw what remained of the boy to the floor. Ciln blinked but did not see the truth, his body was whole and untouched, but his mind still saw the horrid image of his flesh lying in pools all around him. In his convulsions, Ciln rolled onto the burning circle surrounding the boys, his screams of pain echoing in air.
Madam Lengale suddenly burst through the burning barn door and a shining beacon erupted from her outstretched palm. The shadowy face dissolved from the shear brightness of the beacon. Ciln continued screaming even as Madam Lengale approached the boys. She raised her hand and muttered a word, and Ciln went silent and still. Silar could sense hands on him now, as he was being dragged out of the barn. He was coughing and retching from excess smoke inhalation. Through his delirium, Silar could see a face of pure white light hovering above his. The face uttered a single word in a bell like tone of voice.
The bright beacon of pure light faded into darkness as unconsciousness took him.