Author: Scribe of Elhnaka PM
As the mysterious Shaman wishes to hunt the Elhnakans from the steppe, Nogalen faces the challenge of his life. Meanwhile Derina has to make some difficult decisions that may have consequences for millions of people on the steppe. Sequal to "The Ice Realm". Rated M. Reviews are highly appreciated!Rated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 6 - Words: 19,831 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 12-21-12 - Published: 08-05-12 - id: 3047940
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Forty years after having been proclaimed the Protector of Sihakan Nogalen rode north to conclude a treaty with Intiopaglaton.
He had heard that the Paglatonians had erected a monument to frighten away future intruders. As he and his companions approached the Xy'in Pass they could see that the rumors spoke the truth. An enormous arch spanned the valley. The construction consisted of stone and ice, but also of bones and skulls from those among the Ice realm's enemies that had fallen during Laeveros's catastrophic campaign. It was not without right that this hideous monumnet was called the Bone gate.
"That's the Elhnakan's price for their greed!" Ysar, the grandson of Wergar, commented.
"These Elhnakans were our comrades," Nogalen said patiently. "They froze and bled side by side by your grandfather and me. I feel no joy that their corpses has been treated in this despicable way."
Nogalen was weary of the youths' simplified view of the events that had happened long before they even were born. He stared impatiently into the icy mist. The Paglatonians were late. Age had hardly made Nogalen more patient, on the contrary. He had made many laws and created many improvements, but many people still held on to the old ways and a primitive lifestyle. There were still much to do.
Nogalen were torn from his own thoughts when he suddenly glanced something in the corner of his eye. A face that looked familiar to him sent ice cold chills along his spine. The emerald green eyes of the small girl looked right into his.
"You?" he exclaimed and drew his sword. "You should be an adult! You should be old!"
Nogalens guard became anxious to see their leader loose his ground. "It is just a little girl, Your Grace." But Nogalen ignored them.
"This is no little girl!" He turned towards the being in white. "What are you?" he shouted.
She smiled compassionately towards him. "You possess power and glory, Nogalen of Sihakan. But now you understand what I meant when I told you that glory has a price?"
A horn sounded and from the mists the Sihakans could see a couple of shades approaching from the other side of the inhospitable gateway. Nogalen turned towards the girl again, but she had disappeared without a trace.
"You call me to a meeting to threaten us with your wizardry?" Nogalen shouted threateningly as the Paglatonian King approached.
King Ivalias looked uncomprehendingly at the Protector of Sihakan. His parents had told him about the great Nogalen, but the man in front of him did not seem to have all his senses. He decided to ignore the peculiar accusations and present his proposal.
"I, King Ivalias of Intiopaglaton, son to King Lysias and Queen Elastana, welcome you Nogalen lawmaker!"
"Convey what you have to say, King Ivalias!"
"We worry what you will do now that you have united all of the tribes on the steppe? What will you do with all your warriors?"
"Chase away all those who try to conquer the steppe and enslave its people!"
"We Paglatonians promise not to interfere in the affairs of the forest and the steppe people if you, Nogalen of Sihakan, in return promise to leave Intiopaglaton in peace, from now until eternity!"
"I have seen your halls, I know that your riches are nothing but a myth," Nogalen said. "You can keep your damn ice and your sorcery!"
Nogalen felt tired, weighted down by the burdens of power. He felt old, but that did not bother him. He had seen much death in his life and death did not scare him. It was actually of some comfort to him to know that he would spend his eternal rest next to his beloved.
Favio stood and examined the small stone he had been given by the founder of Sihakan as a child. During the forty years that had passed since then he had seen his motherland be devastated by civil war. Millions of human lives had been extinguished, but now the fighting was finally over. The Empire was rising out of the ashes and the Court in Tsivra had regained control over most of the vast realm, even if the land north of the Aion river had been lost to the Sihakans.
"Do you know who gave me this?" Favio asked his wife.
"I have always assumed that it was a love from the past," she smiled.
"Nogalen of Sihakan," he said.
She looked at him with doubt. "Now I'm afraid that it really is a love from the past..." she jested, but suddenly remembered the stories about her husband's childhood. "Is that from the day you met him outside Elhnaka?"
"I was young and stupid, and he mistook my stupidity for courage," Favio smiled.
"I think that he saw something in you long before you saw it yourself," she said gently.
"We are here," he said and kissed her cheek. They had arrived at the newly build Rose palace's gilded gates.
"Is the Guard ready?" he asked the Palace's officer of the watch.
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
The Imperial herald announced the ruler's arrival. "Favio Sapanes, amar alosae vo Elhnaka!"
The Guard greeted the Emperor. "Vahya!"
Per J.H. Olsson