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Then No One Shall

Ascendance

In Days of Darkness, when the Mother of Majesty
  bears upon the Realm of all who live
  the Coming of Endless Night,
  From the Bosom of Blood, A Champion of her Progeny –
   a Sapphire borne from Silver and Gold –
  Will raise the Kingdom of Dragons
   within the Cradle of Man
   to reign eternal upon the land
.”

...A prophecy, known among the children of Vaghdystra, bred from dragons and men, since the time of the Basiblis Wars, all but forgotten for over 2,000 years, to all but the most devoted of believers, and those dedicated to the ancient wisdom of the Wyvergen ancestors. 

It has became legend, told at bedtime to children — as stories of heroism and promise to the faithful of the Queen of Darkness, as tales of warning to her enemies.  It would impact the lives in this chronicle more profoundly than any of them could have imagined or foretold.




In those days, rule of Wyvragen kingdoms passed naturally from each reigning sovereign to his or her heir, but maintaining the monarchy was not always a given for the line, nor even a simple task.  Leadership was determined not by blood, but by whomever had the greater power and will.  For this reason, Wyvergen kingdoms were often in turmoil, regularly undergoing many rapid and often violently brutal changes from one crowned head to another.  And yet, there remained many among their peoples who believed that the Bazylaethne tribe was the only true clan with a proper claim to rule any Wyvergen kingdom by birthright, as theirs is the only legacy whose lineage can be traced directly to the Time of Origin, when Vaghdystra herself created Dragons from Men.  But, it was mostly a moot point, since a true kingdom of Wyvergen had not been seen in centuries, due to their dwindling numbers and diminished social status in the known world as a result of the Basiblis Wars.

This is the story of their rise to power. . . 


*****


Ferrant the Silverskin, of the clan Bazylaethne, was born to modest means in a small, provincial hamlet within the barely chartered colonies of the Eastern regions.  He quickly became known to his family and the greater community as Ferrant Aldrik (which means ruler), for his natural inclination to take charge, dominating by power and might first the siblings of his clutch, then the other children of the countryside, and even a few fearful full grown citizens.  Despite his imperious disposition, as he grew, Ferrant was well received by most, well-liked by many, and respected by all of the locals of his and nearby neighboring villages.

Yet still he wanted more.

His kind, the Wyvergen, had been nearly decimated by the Basiblis Wars, their numbers scattered few and far between throughout the known world.  Ferrant took his companions from among those varied creatures who settled the outer territories along with his family, but knew that his people were destined for better than scavenging among ruins, and longed for a day when they would once again know power, and rule with great might.  Ferrant sought greatness for himself and his clan, a kingdom of Wyvergen, the men of Dragons, the chosen of his Goddess, Vaghdystra, Creator of Dragonkind, Architect of the Dragon peoples.




*****


Ferrant’s dream of power was as good as any, and young growing males should have something to strive towards, so he prayed to his diety, Vaghdystra, the Mother of Dragons, the Queen of Dark Majesty, to give him a life filled with conquest, a stronghold for his people, and a kingdom to call his own.  Vaghdystra, intent on the advancement of her chosen Wyvergen, received his request with intrigue, and responded by showing him great favor.

When he reached adulthood, Ferrant set out on a journey for adventure, and found just that.  Guided by the hand of fate granted him by the Goddess, Ferrant came upon a settlement of Wyvergen, where he found a kindred spirit in the beautiful and tempestuous Aryeath, also of the Bazylaethne tribe.  The two fell for each other like it was preordained; there was no grave they wouldn’t plunder, no temple they wouldn’t burn, and no rival they wouldn’t kill for one another.  They were instantly enchanted, and after a smattering of facile triumphs, easily overthrowing kings and empires together, they made a pact with one another and a covenant to their Goddess, and became mated for life.

Their travels through the Eastern regions became legendary.  Ferrant, with his gray exterior, his chrome armor, his shining blade, glistening with the glint of sun and the sting of fresh blood, became known as “The Silver Sword.”  Aryaeth, more copportoned of scale, had a style for destruction that was almost a graceful kind of dance... she was soon dubbed “The Golden Glory.”  Their horde, a loyal pack of dedicated Wyvergen and faithful mercenaries, wanted for nothing as they ripped across the Veridian Isles and over the Ankali Range, hopping from cay to peninsula to continent, their trail of arrogation indomitable on either land or sea.  Together, they ravaged everything of value, power, or pleasure when the tore through.  Dripping in victory and in spoils, they shared a great admiration, love and respect for their leaders, whom they called “Silver and Gold,” because everything the deadly duo touched turned to treasure.

Ferrant claimed every newly conquered citadel for Wyvergen in the name of Vaghdystra, setting up a Pantheon therein to honor her, and establishing a fortress with a Wyvergen Commander-in-Charge at every new post, leaving behind enough affluence for everyone stationed to rule with the power of an iron fist, and to live out their days like kings.  And yet, even thinning their starting ranks as they pressed forward, their numbers never dwindled.  They were sought out by every pirate, rogue, and ranger with a spirit of adventure and a love of battle, spreading carnage and amassing wealth in their wake wherever they went, as the allegiance and devotion to their traveling band of conquistadors only grew.


They were invincible. 


*****


After a particularly fruitful sweep of a dazzling palace, the most magnificent they’d yet seen, Aryaeth relayed to Ferrant that she was heavy laden, and it was time to nest.  Her followers rejoiced.  Having been like a fighting mother to so many of them, their battle-tested regent / proven heroin became known among her people as Aryaeth Querangyn.  Ferrant determined to settle his newly growing family into the dominion they’d just defeated, renamed it Raltakun Praenago, with himself as King and Aryaeth as his beloved Warrior Queen, and took a band of brethren to subjugate the masses at the outer perimeter of his new domain in order to fortify their new stronghold.

Before they returned, however, an enemy dissenter, a Basiblis remnant of the previous regime, snuck in through secret passageways in the castle not yet fully known to their new inhabitants, and destroyed the unhatched clutch of The Silver and Gold King and Queen while the royal party slumbered.  Ferrant returned in time to catch the culprit, but not before every last Wyvergen egg had been demolished.


The vengeance that Ferrant exacted in his rage upon that guilty party who’d robbed him of his heirs is one that will be whispered of for generations to come.  The infidel was flayed alive, his finger and toenails ripped off, his eyelids removed, his bloody body skewered by spikes driven through his thighs and biceps and hung up to dry in the relentless, blazing, unforgiveable sun.  His screams of agony could be heard for miles.  For weeks while he hung there, he begged any passersby to kill him.  But all feared the wrath of their new ferocious and fiery tempered king, and none would dare act against him, nor would any have wanted to give succor to the beast who had so gravely wronged their beloved leaders.


Ferrant turned the bastille upside down and inside out to fully comprehend every subtle nuance of its structure down to each brick and stone, and the tiniest last nail hole of every nook and cranny within the castle walls, so that none could ever again pass through at any point without full knowledge of the palace guard.  Still, Aryaeth could not be consoled over her loss.  She fell into a deep, brooding silence, hardly bothering to emerge from her bedchamber; she would suffer none but Ferrant near her, and even then, she barely let him talk or touch her.  She could not forgive herself for not being at the royal nesting lair to defend her eggs.   She would gladly have ripped to shreds with her bare teeth even the smallest fly that would walk across their delicate shells, had she only been there to shield them, but instead, they had been left alone while she slept, with no bosom to tend them, no blade to guard them.  There was no absolution for a mother who did not fight for her young, she said.


Ferrant was beside himself to know how to please her, and for the second time threw himself upon the altar of Vaghdystra and prayed for guidance.  Vaghdystra’s response was to demonstrate to him how to give his bride love and security, showing him a vision of himself raiding the surrounding and far off lands to fill his kingdom’s storehouses with treasure to strengthen his refuge against future foes, enough to outlast the longest siege against the heartiest enemies.  He saw his triumphant hoard winning caches of fortune unmeasured, so expansive as to be incomprehensible beyond his already accumulated masses.

She also showed him a passionate vision of conceiving the next clutch with his love, but, unbeknownst to Ferrant, that was no vision, but Vaghdystra had entranced him, and she herself had come to him in the embodiment of his mate.  And so, the Goddess of Dark Majesty, Mother of Dragons took into her own flesh and blood the Bazylaethne seed of the powerful conquering hero of her people, Ferrant Aldrik, The Silver Sword, and with it and her own divine ovum, she conjured a single enchanted spawn within her loins.

She then rousted Ferrant from his erotic haze, directing him in a wisp of inspiration to carry out her dream induced instructions, bewitching him with an aphrodisiac pheromone so potent and robust his bride would be powerless to resist, so, not believing that he had yet done so but in a fantasy, he made love to his mate, who became once again impregnated with the strongest line yet known to Wyvergen kind, as well as the charmed semi-deified spore that Vaghdystra herself, present in spirit, passed into the surrogate Bazylaethne womb of Aryaeth Querangyn, The Golden Glory.


Upon the following morrow, Ferrant, still enthralled with a divine sense of purpose, kissed his bride and crept away to the spoils of adventure, as his vision had ordained, intent on bringing home a paragon of riches for his Goddess and his Queen, as his holy mission dictated.  Within a few weeks, word arrived to his fighting troops on the front lines that the kingdom once again rejoiced with his family over the clutch his reigning consort had borne, a fine collection of silver and gold specimen, and, most notably, one solitary cerulean egg, larger than that of the greatest giant ever known, darker than a royal jewel, deeper than the ocean blue, shining more brightly than a dying star.

Ferrant was addled.  Could it be?  Had the ancient prophecy been borne at last upon his time?  Was he in fact to be the sire of the Chromatic Cobalt, the Wyvergen Deliverer?  Had the love of his life brought forth the Herald of his Goddess’ Majesty?  He could hardly contain himself.  He left his army where they stood and raced back to his home.  If he’d have had wings, he’d have flown.  The weeks of his journey back felt both like the blink of an eye and all the fleeting sands of an entire lifetime.  But nothing could have prepared him for what he found upon his return.



*****


Ferrant arrived at Castle Praenago to find his people in great distress.   Once again, the royal nesting lair had been destroyed, but this time, the crown jewel, the fulfillment of the prophecy, had been stolen.  And, worse.  Far worse.  His one true love, his companion, his partner, his consort, his Queen, had been slain.  They’d found her in a pool of Eidoli blood, surrounded by a mob of slaughtered bodies.

The number of the fallen astounded even the heartiest of weathered warriors.  Never had any known in the history of war the stand of any one combatant against such insurmountable odds.  Not in the bloodiest battles recorded among Wyvergen, nor man, nor any known entity had any living creature withstood for so long, taking out so many, in the face of such a relentless onslaught.

And even so, her battered, beaten, bruised and bloodied form showed that she’d not been felled by blade nor tooth or claw, but by an unyielding barrage of magic, the sheer power and force of which could hardly be fathomed, that she could even see or breathe, much less wield a weapon and continue her path of destruction to protect her eggs.

It was suspected by her people that in that moment, the Queen’s bombarded body could only have been powered with the strength of the very Goddess herself.   The tale of her last stand to this day among all peoples of the known world who’ve heard it has become the universal symbol of a mother’s undying ferocity in love and devotion to protect and defend her young.



*****


Ferrant, believing that no outside force could have broken into the castle, thought the massacre to be the result of an inside job, and set about to execute the whole of his palace guard.  His frenzied paroxysm of violent fury could so scarcely be subsumed, those near him nearly believed he would explode from within.  But, a wily servant, newly having worked his way into the employ of the royal castle from the most recent overthrow of this alcazar, one Basiblis Dronall Volrethien, spoke up against such madness.

Dronall pointed out to Ferrant that the invaders were Eidoli, of the Penumbral, and that their passage into this realm could only be achieved by magic.  He referenced the murder of Ferrant’s beloved as one of magical forces, not of brute strength.  Ferrant realized of course it couldn’t have been any of those he trusted.  Dronall further proffered that only the enemies of Vaghdystra could have executed such a heinous crime against the most elite among the chosen of the Dark Queen.  He implied that no matter its physical defenses, the castle could not be secure from enemies of this sort, and proposed that only magic could fight against magic.  He humbly offered his meager services to the king, simple trifling parlor tricks, he professed, a few mere potions and spells, he would gladly surrender his eternal submission to project the majesty of the Kingdom of the Silver Sword.

Shaken by grief and distemper, in a daze of shock, Ferrant, scarcely aware of his surroundings, agreed to Dronall’s assistance, and left the scene, mumbling incoherently.  It was the last time his people would see their leader in his right mind.



*****


What Ferrant did not know, was that Dronall was no low level magus, but a Master Warlock — of the Demonshade, and that he did not serve Vaghdystra, but Darwyrdios, the Lord of Destruction, Progenitor of Demons.  His magic was powerful, malicious, and deadly.  He knew of the prophecy of the Dark Queen’s progeny, as well as what the ramifications would be to his race of people, and to his own house, and he had recognized the signs that pointed to its fulfillment in Ferrant’s family, his history, and his destiny.

Dronall was an outcast from a dynasty who had enslaved a moiety of Blethine, and through decades of practiced wizardry while still in his family’s good graces, he had acquired the skills of the cognalescants.  Dronall had learned to focus the sound of his voice so that he could both mark and manipulate his target when he spoke, as well as attack his will at such a subconscious level that he wouldn’t even feel the intrusion on his senses, as Dronall’s magic latched on to his very lifeforce, and slowly drained it of its essence.

It was in this manner that Dronall managed to obtain Ferrant’s agreement and cooperation; it was in this manner that the caitiff rose to power second to the King himself, as Chief Advisor to His Majesty; it was in this manner that Dronall Volrethien enslaved the mental facilities of the Silver Sword, and it was in this manner that the black sheep of the house of DeSouzza controlled Ferrant Aldrik of the Bazylaethne line, the kingdom of Raltakun Praenago, and the growing Empire of Wyvergen.




*****


Under Dronall’s manipulation, Ferrant retreated deep into the castle, failing to go forth and conquer new lands, refusing to tend to the duties of his kingdom, neglecting the needs of his people.  Dronall become his mouthpiece, and spoke on his behalf, saying the heavyhearted ruler could not bear to know that when his love had been murdered, she died suffering alone in his castle while he was away from her side, and so he could not bring himself to ever leave the presence of the spirit she imprinted on the castle walls with her blood in the most glorious combat ever witnessed this side of the heavens.

Nevermore seeing him, but hearing only rumors that at night he roamed the empty halls she last tread, his people came to know him as Barkarne Ferrant Aldrik, and prayed to Vaghdystra that on some sunny day his lonely soul might know peace, and that he might restore his people to their former dignity and grandeur, for under Dronall’s usurped authority, they had come to know naught but misfortune and misery.


Dronall informed the citizenry of Praenago that their leader had ordered every available resource go towards an exhaustive manhunt, an unwavering quest to all corners of the known world for the safe return of his missing kidnapped offspring, Nadira, the Sapphire Wyvergen, and he imposed and brutally enforced a hefty, stifling tax throughout the land to secure infinite funding for his intractable crusade.  It was believable to the King's subjects that he would spare no expense, leave no stone unturned, to return the stolen treasure that had cost the queen mother her life, but, in reality, it was Dronall himself who squandered the treasury to his own ends, pandering, pressuring, and politicking, making back door deals with other territories, even those the Wyvergen would know as enemies, and driving the peasantry and nobility alike into abject poverty.  Though, none knew the truth or the extent of his underhanded dealings.

With the freeflowing fountain of Praenago’s prosperity dried up, the mercenary hoard who’d loyally served the king in battle and in conquest made to flee the realm, but were met with opposition from Dronall’s military guard, made up of enchanted gollum and undead soldiers.  Those fiercest and most hardened fighters managed to escape with their lives.  Those who were not put to the sword were sold into slavery to the enemies of the kingdom, or whichever peoples offered the highest bidding, including some which had met defeat at the hand of the king’s forces.  Eventually, even the best of the most dedicated Wyvergen houses retreated from the oppression of the Basiblis tyrant.

For a while, it seemed Vaghdystra no longer smiled upon the silverskin ruler of her dragonmen.  But, that is not the end of this story, and this would not be the fate of the Bazylaethne line.  For somewhere out there, a seed sown had yet to be nurtured, cultivated and grown... upon its development, that little sprout would change the face of history for all creatures under the sun...

...but that is a story for another day.




LJ Idol | Season 9 • Week 26 - Topic: CRABS IN A BARREL
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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
i_17bingo
Oct. 29th, 2014 12:31 pm (UTC)
Now this is one epic tale. It had an almost old-testament feel to its grandiosity and over-the-top characters and divine intervention and so on.
karmasoup
Oct. 30th, 2014 01:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for seeing that in it, that's exactly what I was going for! Well, maybe not so much as Old Testament, but a style that suggested it had been passed down as legend by by generations of storytellers. There is much more to the story, but this is sort of the opener to it. It is all the lead in / backstory for a character that has not yet appeared here, as she has not yet quite been born. Was definitely trying to pull off epic, though, so I'm glad to know it worked. ;)
rayaso
Oct. 29th, 2014 08:42 pm (UTC)
I agree -- this is epic! This had everything in it. Excellent job.
karmasoup
Oct. 30th, 2014 01:32 am (UTC)
Thanks much! There's still much more of the story to come! (Though I might not get to it right away, assuming I'm still around next week... depends on the directions the prompts take me, but I've always wanted to put this story out there... this is just the buildup to the actual story, which would then adjust to more "normal" style delivery.)
halfshellvenus
Oct. 29th, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
I really felt for Ferrant and his warrior queen. I can't help wondering what happened to the blue egg, and whether it might lead to Vaghdystra's heir returning for vengeance.
karmasoup
Oct. 30th, 2014 01:35 am (UTC)
There's a lot more to the story... if I'm kept around, those details will reveal themselves in time as the story plays itself out. Many more characters to be introduced, many more epic battles to come. This is really just a summary of the ground level one has to know before getting to the main plotline.
watching_ships
Oct. 30th, 2014 05:54 pm (UTC)
I really hope you are, because this hooked me! And the names...mmm. I love a good name :)
karmasoup
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I've really enjoyed writing this... I dreamed up these characters and their impact on this world a few years ago, and the scale of it really is epic... this is more or less the prequel to the story... I think of it kinda like the opening of Man of Steel with Russell as Jor-El on Krypton. (Yeah, I'm a nerd.) It felt really good to give them a place to live here.

Also, if you're really into names, you might enjoy the summary of characters I've put out here. (There are more to be introduced, and not all of them made it into today's story, but these are the ones that show up in the beginning, which is still so far only half told.)
jem0000000
Oct. 30th, 2014 10:03 am (UTC)
Awww. Hopefully the blue egg hatches and comes back....
karmasoup
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC)
Definitely not the last the people have seen of the blue dragon egg. ;)
witches
Oct. 30th, 2014 03:07 pm (UTC)
i really enjoyed this and the style :D
karmasoup
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It has been in my head for a few years... about time I finally started to bring it out. :)
eternal_ot
Oct. 30th, 2014 06:39 pm (UTC)
Ah! Sounds like a historic novel in making..waiting for more..Got me hooked for sure..:)
karmasoup
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
Very glad I could reel you in! By the time I've told the whole thing, it certainly might be more novel-like in like. Happy you enjoyed it! ;)
bleodswean
Oct. 30th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
*thunk*

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. I'm absolutely floored by your utter and complete and magical command of your world. This is gorgeous and inspiring and full of fervor and exaltation. This is a story that wants/needs to be told and if it takes you five years you must write it out. I am in awe.
karmasoup
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:51 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's really high praise, and thank you very much! I think I might get around to trying to at least lay the rest of the groundwork. I'm so happy you've enjoyed it.
mamas_minion
Oct. 31st, 2014 02:17 am (UTC)
This is a beautiful mix of Greek Mythology and Norse Epic poem. It uses the straight forward summary storytelling of the Greek and mixes it beautifully with the poetic verse of Nordic tales. Simply put this is fantastic.
karmasoup
Oct. 31st, 2014 04:45 am (UTC)
I don't think I had actually thought of it that way, but I'm sure some part of me was going for that... I was trying to give it a feeling of its own mythology, so I'm glad it does have that sense of an epic story, while still standing on its own in an entirely new space. Thanks so much!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )