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Chapter 2. Rhymes of Grey

I have forgotten how being a child was. A hundred thousand years on this earth has deemed me unsuitable to enjoy the pleasures of childhood.

Yet I remember the joy that a child enjoys. The never-ending fascination that children have with every single aspect of life.

Elyren, when still in the grasp of Herulea, the goddess of youth (forgotten in our times), was similarly fascinated by the various aspects of Magic, and when his father brought Coun Rakre, a man of proud esteem and a mage raised to the rank of Seer in the confines of the northern school. Seer Savii was his given name, and he spoke the language of the druids as a part of the magic he followed.

Druidic wizardry had suffered a lot, yet it is fairly young, to say of it. The Western continent had druids in its glory, but the knowledge has remained in Cea long after its demise in its birthplace.

Seer Savii was brought to the court by Lord Arell, and Elyren was considerably exalted at the prospect of seeing a magician.

"Hear my voice and heed my words," called Savii, a quote stolen from the texts of ancient times, the words of wise Saren the First. "I bring magic of the highest order," as he showered the palace at Yoren with green droplets. "Witness the beauties of sorcery."

His displays were standard, the magic that usually glorified quantity and exuberance in the place of quality or usefulness. Yet the child Elyren was indeed caught, raptured by the beauties of artificial creations.

"I have heard your magics are the blessings of the Lady Threla." Solere asked Savii, and the magician nodded.

"The goddess blesses all, irrespective of magic, my lady. We limit our magics, however, to what she orders."

Elyren was impulsive and rash, in his early days. There happened a certain act, that day in the court, which was counted by Lord Arell as indecent.

The days were young, and not many were familiar with the threat of the foxes as we perceive them today. forty-eight years after Elyren's death, there happened a conflict at the Eastern city of Renshre, what we now call the Early Vixere Invasion. in Elyren's days, the foxes were no more than a figment of imagination, a few small mentions in the myths and legends.

As to what Elyren asked Seer Savii on that fated day, there is nothing more than speculation. I have heard six stories of the same day, yet none seemed to fit into the narrative. Elyren never told me of the same day, since it was his first experience with psychological trauma. Some speak of prophetic claims, as to Elyren predicting a war among humans and foxes. These have no founded claims since four hundred years have debased such fictitious changes to the original story.

In such cases, so as to fit the story with incident, I resort, quite sadly, to the most accepted version.

"Show me your goddess," called Elyren, his head held proud, with a golden sword raised. [This has been debated by many authors as to be a mere sword of wood, a stick, or an iron rod later finding its place in the head of Seer Savii, after his failure to demonstrate the same.] "Show her, so that I can make magic."

Seer Savii is said to have laughed and responded that he had no control over the goddess. Her will was supreme, and he was nobody to have a say in that.

Elyren proceeded to try to harm him, and demand for an audience with the goddess, herself. It must be noted that Elyren was in his eighth year since birth then and that his actions, however inappropriate they seem, must be considered with the eye seeing a child with no idea of his actions and consequences.

Lord Arell, on the other hand, was a critic. His views did not allow his son to misbehave in the midst of a court, and his honor was slighted at the actions of his blood. Lord Arell felt it was time that his son learned manners, and the fact that his advisors had suggested Elyren's death being close at hand, momentarily disappeared. He was no son of Lord Arell, if he were to die soon. If he dared to cause Lord Arell dishonor at the table where he dined, at the court where he ruled, he was no son of his.

Lord Arell was considered too harsh of a parent, but at heart, he only thought of Elyren as misguided, treated as too much of a child while he had to be a responsible man. His expectations clouded his eyes at Elyren's apparent lack of manners.

Seer Savii suffered no bodily harm, however, when I had the opportunity to meet him in the pilgrimage to the Gardens of Night a few years later. He dismissed the whole event as a fictitious account, but I would conclude as to Elyren causing harm to Seer Savii on that fateful day in Yoren.

Lord Arell treated his own son as he would any other. He commanded Elyren to be trained in the arts of the military. This decision may surprise the reader, but as to the fantastical nature of the other accounts, and the resultant known fact that Elyren eventually joined the army serves as proof to the plausibility of this version.

At the time I speak of, there existed a great army known to all by the collective term 'The Roviness'. These men were great warriors, and following their conquests, they were known to slaughter all those who opposed them. They treated those who challenged them as equals, though, and only the men who dared challenge them in single combat were deemed fit to survive.

The mysteries of fate are still unknown to all, since the Roviness, later destroyed in the brunt of opposition from the armies that vanquished them, had been reduced to a few survivors in the Eastern mountain ranges. Sources, by which I mean hearsay, reduce their current account to mere playwrights, which I found to be rather underwhelming.

The armies of the existing capital, which had found its base in the Eastern city of Voyasis, later diminished to Oasis, had prepared various campaigns to destroy the Roviness, which had taken the northern continent. the sea of Ice separated them all, and there were rumors that the Roviness had allies to the south, which later turned out to be true. Elyren was sent by his father to the south, where he inhabited a garrison of the legion which stylized itself upon the foxes, who were considered legendary fighters. The Foxes were led by many Generals during its lifetime, but when the lad Elyren joined the military academies at the Southern city of Umar, Elyren was merely ten, and the man who led them, was General Ophisthus. Such young recruits were hard to come by, but General Ophisthus soon found that wearing the grey uniforms of the military, did not necessarily translate into skills. Elyren was a disappointment, yet it was not to the ears of Lord Arell.

For not all men are suited to perform all deeds, yet all may aspire to be something more than they are, just to become more than what they were.

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