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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Tower 28


I held my breath in anticipation.
“He told the king that the people from the mountains to the north had been attacked by a mysterious army of gangly monsters that destroyed everything in their path. The people had fought back valiantly and managed to save the city of Elderich, but the losses were heavy and the monsters showed every sign of returning when they recovered. The people of Edlerich had asked for volunteers and Mehean agreed to travel south to Perdeen to beg for help.”
“Is that what happened to Rutheus’ sons?” I asked interrupting.
“Rutheus thought so, but no one really knew the answer. Rutheus was at a loss for words when Mehean finished. Anderosean’s were a peaceful people who didn’t really have much of an army or weapons. They had lived simply and relied on the services of local men who kept the peace and discouraged rowdy behavior. He had never wanted nor needed an army.
“That is when Sareanne had stepped up. She offered to gather together a hundred men from Perdeen and the surrounding villages and take them north to help Elderich and the other cities either evacuate or prepare for the monsters’ attack. She then suggested her father send word to her elder sisters and ask for help from their husbands. Rutheus and Abrigal set about immediately to do as Sareanne suggested while Sareanne gathered her small force and started north. She had Mehean teach the men about the monsters and their weaknesses so that when they reached Elderich they would be prepared.
“They had only traveled for seven days when they met with a host of refugees from the north countries. The monsters had returned more ferocious than ever and the people had fled in terror. Sareanne’s soldiers were just as frightened as the people and everyone turned to flee back to Perdeen. They traveled for two days when they were overtaken by the monsters and forced to stop and fight.
“The battle was fierce and many were killed. As they were about to be overcome Sareanne rushed to the front of the fighting and placed her staff in the ground. She then called upon all the powers that be to give her strength to protect her people. She then spoke two words which no one heard and the ground began to shake and move.
            “The two forces were thrust apart and when they were finally able to regain their feet they found an enormous chasm separating them.”

“She used magic?” I asked skeptically.
“Magic was not unknown among our people, most people knew a spell or two to help their farms prosper or their gardens remain rodent free, but this act was more than anyone on the continent of Gemal had seen or done in the history of time. This went beyond any knowledge of the known world to something deeper. Sareanne had spoken to the gods of the earth and they had responded.”
“What happened to her?”
“No one knew. Both she and Mehean had disappeared. The Perdeen soldiers thought she had fallen into the chasm, but the villagers from the north swore they had seen her floating on top of the mist that rose from the chasm. The only thing they knew is that they were now separated from the monsters by the chasm. They could hear the howls from the monsters and knew that many had tried to jump the chasm and had fallen to what they assumed was their death.”
“Has no one discovered what is on the bottom of the chasm?”
“No one dared to try. It seemed foolhardy and certain death to attempt.”
“What happened after that?”
“The survivors returned to Perdeen and shared the tale of their miraculous escape.”
“I bet Rutheus and Abrigal didn’t think there was much that was miraculous,” I mentioned sarcastically.
“They were heart broken. Rutheus threw himself into the work of the vineyard and all but left the ruling of the kingdom to Abrigal. She was tough though and she shouldered the responsibility. She took in the refugees who had fled the north countries and gave them land to start over.
“Three years later Sareanne showed up at the city gates barefoot, in rags and clutching a baby in her arms. On her finger was a thin circlet of silver and on her tongue was a tale that brought fear to the people of Perdeen."

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