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Prologue - Crimson Dew

Author: 
David Hummer
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
515

The thin grass rustled hollowly in the purplish twilight as a damp breeze sneezed along a rutted valley that separated the expansive lower Monacian steppes from the wide salt basins of Cordeley. Here, the soil is a tired mix of cracked mud, desiccated hubris, and scattered sands, pitted by the occasional splotch of crabgrass and salt bush, all brown grass, that quite literally sucked through thin straws what little life they could from the ground.



The desert rarely experienced rain, and even then only for several minutes once or twice every six lunar cycles. As a result, the landscape remained a barren environment, subject to the intense blows of Semrel’s hammer by day, and borderline freezing at night. Legend held that Semrel, hammer of light in hand, would resume his forging of the corporeal world each day with vigor, and retreat by night to reexamine his work.



Or, at least the cult held such. No one knew for certain: only that those who challenged an assumption had a prevailing tendency to suddenly disappear, as if by magic.



To the northeast, the valley trailed off into a narrow blue line that disappeared into the pink-silhouetted aiguilles of the Cordellian peaks. Of course, it was not known so to the people of this region, who had, for thousands of years, declared such the domain of their warrior-god Kushkehl. Cordeley was a foreigner’s term.



But everyone knew that a god who could not live up to his promises was false indeed.



For it was here within this small pocket of life that a thinned river ran, and so brought the first of the conquerors. The Mercenaries of God they called themselves, ironically so, and with them arrived the first of the Aldebter Crusades. These one-sided, short bloody brush wars vindicated the Northern Glory-Seekers, and their revelation in death further encouraged their twisted mission of domination.



But one day, as it is said, the armies of the Northmen halted mid-battle, formed up, and marched for home, never to return again. Such a strange occurrence left so powerful a mark in the minds of the desert people. It became the stuff of legend, of myth, and of tall tales.



Yet not a one could recall the fatal sacrifice of a few, and the spiritual sacrifice of many more that contributed to the victory at val-Alakein.



Let me tell you the story of Regalworn.

 

Prologue - Crimson Dew © David Hummer

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