Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PROLOGUE
















Which cover design do you like?

Let me know.....











The master elf, a smith by trade, waited for special instructions from the two strangers standing in the entrance of the cave. Their faces, lit only by the fire pits being stoked by the elves, seemed tense.

“You must do this work now,” the stranger said, handing him a carved box. “And you must do it quickly.”

The master elf nodded and took the elaborate box and opened it. Inside the box was a sword. He took it into his hands. The blade glistened. The handle, made of ivory, felt good in his grip. He turned the blade over and noticed the intricate design, a most rare filigree he had never seen before. He studied it closely.

“Where did you get this?” he asked.

The stranger shook his head nervously.

“That is of no concern to you,” he said.

“I knew this was a mistake,” the second stranger spoke. “He will discover us.”

The elf, tall and thin with long white hair braided over his shoulders, adjusted his robe to protect himself from the cold. He studied the anxious strangers and motioned for them to follow him into the cave.

“I will do this work,” he said. “Follow me.”














PROLOGUE

In the beginning stood the mountains rising out of the western lands blocking out the sun as it set casting a long black shadow over the desert plains. Upon seeing the sight, the first settlers named the mountains “The Black Hills” when they compared the silhouette of the mountains against the violet sky of sunset. They surveyed the lands, the rolling grassy hills, the flatlands for farming, nourished by a river of blue waters, and hemmed in by a mysteriously dark green forest standing to the north.

Here the kingdom Théadril rose out of the dry desert plains east of the Black Hills encompassing the vast grasslands heading out toward the sea. And it was here that the settlers, men and women and children, began their work. It was here they came after fleeing the darkened lands behind the mountains to claim their own region where they bravely evaded the menacingly dark presence by passing through the elfin kingdom of Vulgaard and by traipsing through the great mountain gorges, until finally finding their paradise. Time and again this kingdom of man stood firm against invasion from the west by enemies who sought to destroy all that had been built.

In those early years, ten leaders arose and divided ten regions. Certain boundaries were set, as they always are where land is concerned, in which one region faced the sea while another took the hills to the northwest. One region claimed the desert plains and more took the eastern lands.

But one particular leader claimed the grassy hills facing the green forest for reasons unknown. Deagan of Illiath and his family obtained the land south of the forest for themselves. Each region, with its own customs and traditions, still came together as one when called upon. These lands and the people therein shaped the kingdom of Théadril much as it is found to this day if it is found at all. It was at this time when leaders chose to chronicle their lives in the kingdom as they had learned from the Elves who had mastered the art of letters. This is how the history of Théadril had come to be long before it passed into legend, long before legend passed into myth.

One thousand years had passed in the land as peace reigned. In the later years, large castles of grey stone were built by the rulers of the ten regions where they faced the endless sieges of the dark knights named Baroks, their wolf-like Zadoks they used to attack, and, of course, the dragons.

These monstrous flying beasts, with black talons and leathery wings spanning several feet, would swoop down and breathe their fire onto the farmlands destroying everything in their paths: all the harvest as well as the villagers. Occasionally, the ogres from the desert plains pilfered sheep, and the trolls from the mountains alarmed the regions with their brooding packs, but nothing caused more grief than the threat of the Dragon.

But one Dragon stood out from among the many. Year after year it rested within its cathedral of trees in the forest green north of the kingdom of Illiath, son of Deagan. Appearing only to protect Théadril from certain doom, this Dragon destroyed all the Baroks with their black armor and kept the ogres and trolls to their own country in the desert hills. Because it protected the people, it earned the respect of the villagers and certain Kings, but it instilled fear in the hearts of the other dragons, keeping them at bay. The harvest was allowed to grow. The people were allowed to rule. Peace had come to Théadril.

The ten rulers of each region gathered together annually to seek counsel from the great Dragon of the forest for they knew only the Dragon could help them keep the peace.

But, as with all kingdoms of man, the peace did not last. The vanity of man entered into the hearts of the rulers who sought power to rule over their lands without the help of the Dragon. All turned to their own ways except one: King Illiath. He ruled with humility and taught his son, Aléon, the ways of the Dragon Forest. And as a result, only he and his heirs could enter into the forest realm.

At this time, the rulers of Théadril sought more powerful weapons from the hands of the mystical Lord Bedlam for they feared the rulers across the seas. Lord Bedlam, a mysterious ruler from the far west lands near Vulgaard, had survived the darkened times that caused the settlers to flee for their lives. Some say he survived with title and lands in tact because he entered into accord with the darkness. With his sorcerer’s ways, Lord Bedlam forged great weapons of war as the rulers fought against neighboring kingdoms for wealth and more power.

With time, each ruler died one by one, passing onto their heirs the desire for power. But when Illiath died, he passed to his heir, Aléon, respect of earth and of the Dragon. Aléon did not trust Lord Bedlam for good reason: Lord Bedlam sought the scales of the Dragon for himself. For the scales of the Dragon were more powerful than any weapon forged by man.

In order to show his respect for Théadril, Lord Bedlam bestowed great and wonderful gifts to the sons of the ten rulers.

Ten swords were given. Ten Kings stood together and vowed to respect the lands and live in peace.

Glaussier the Brave

Aléon, Son of Illiath

Baldrieg, Son of Glenthryst

Théadron, Son of Ulrrig

Mildrir the Warrior

Byron, Son of Gundrehd

Beátann the Wise

Hildron the Mighty

Niahm, Son of Egan,

Naál, Son of Leámahn

After the swords were graciously bestowed upon the rulers, Lord Bedlam retreated to his land where he lived in quiet solitude. All was well within the kingdom once again as the sun rose and set on many prosperous days. But wise Aléon was not deceived by the impressive swords of Bedlam with their intricate designs carved into the steel blades. Hiding his sword away deep inside his castle, he waited patiently for the appointed time to use it in war.

Over time, a change came to the land. Subtle at first, many storm clouds hovered in the air above the land as a strange darkness approached. The moon remained new and the winds blew cold. There were no more harvests and the stench of death was thick in the air as the people began to starve. Then the people remembered the legend of their fathers about the darkness that caused them to flee. But Aléon, son of Illiath, questioned the strange phenomenon as he suspected Bedlam. So he ordered a meeting of the ten rulers.

But the vanity of man is a powerful thing. The ten rulers refused to listen to the reason of Aléon, for they loved the weapons of Bedlam and the power they wielded. With no where else to turn, Aléon sought the counsel of the Dragon. And in its counsel, Aléon was warned of the coming of war.

Lord Bedlam deceived the Kings and, in his betrayal, met them in battle, vowing to destroy the Dragon Forest. But when he reached the threshold of the forest, it was the Dragon who put the siege to an end. Bedlam was spared. He fled and the darkness lifted.

Three rulers fell, but seven held fast. After the wars when they buried their dead, the seven rulers came together and swore an oath. Never again would they put their lust for power ahead of the land and the people. Together they vowed to protect the Dragon Forest at all costs and leave it in peace. They vowed never to enter into its realm.

As they stood beneath the stars on the highest hill in the kingdom of Théadril, raising their swords into the sky, they sealed the covenant of Théadril with their words, with their swords, and with their blood.

Seven swords remained. Seven rulers returned to their lands:

Glaussier the Brave

Aléon, Son of Illiath

Baldrieg, Son of Glenthryst

Théadron, Son of Ulrrig

Mildrir the Warrior

Byron, Son of Gundrehd

Beátann the Wise

Three swords were lost.

This is the legend of Théadril, the legend of the Dragon. As the years came and went, the legend became myth, and the myth passed into history. The legend was written down in a book for posterity. But as generations of Théadril passed on leaving behind no remembrance of the swords or the covenant or the Dragon, the legend was soon forgotten.

When the skies grow dark, some say it is the coming of winter, but others say it is Bedlam returning for the harvest, to claim the scales of the Dragon. The time of the Dragon has come to an end. The time of man is only beginning.

….and the Dragon Forest remains.

4 comments:

linds213 said...

Hi, Mrs. Douthitt. I think the story line is cool. I think you should go with the second cover design, since it's not quite as dark and catches the eye better.
Good luck with the book!
-David

Ruth Douthitt said...

Thanks, David! I posted Chapter One...so let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. D.

qaz said...

Hi
I think you should go with the 2nd cover
It looks better.
Good luck

qaz said...

Hey Mrs. D
This is Shreya R.
Just like everyone else,
The 2nd looks better