The new Archon and the end of an era

Marius looked glanced over his shoulder, long tired of starting at the wall, his fingers practically numb from rapping on a table as the door behind him opened. Syrian and Loretto stepped through, both ashen. “How is he?” asked Marius. Syrian shook his head, whereas Loretto struggled to keep back tears before excusing herself. Likely off to find her sisters that she may find comfort in their company. More likely that she was leaving Marius alone with Syrian to have a long and hard discussion about the days ahead.

“Bentarum doesn’t have long. Days or so at most.” Marius nodded, trying to stifle a wave of nausea. The very idea of succeeding his father, something he had not planned on doing for some time, made him physically ill. Syrian draped a hand over his shoulder. “You’ll have our complete support, the council has already agreed to your succession and even now Bentarum has ordered that we begin preparing the ritual.” Marius wanted to speak, but his mouth was too dry. Their support was never in doubt, Syrian’s or that of his father’s council. His life would change, forever, and if he were permitted to visit Fracture at all it would only be in passing. The Tel’fahrians, or Ethereals as the lesser races called them had fought the demon princes eons ago, losing their foothold in Fracture in the process. Only a small portion of their ancestral holdings remained under their control, referred to as ‘The Gate’ for its link back to Tel’fahria. Those that served them, the humanoid races, were granted their freedom for their service in the war. They went to the surface world and brought the teachings of the Tel’fahrians with them. It was his mother that had brokered their freedom, so certain of their success. To some degree she hadn’t been wrong, and yet, having lived in their world for ages Marius knew all too well their failings. That was not to say they were beyond salvation, but the races who ruled the world of Fracture today were a mixture of their best and worst qualities. Some seeds of their teachings yet remained, none more prominent than ‘holy’ magic. Under his father’s reign the Tel’fahrians largely remained in their home realm where they prepared for the next great war. Some, like Marius and Arimus who hailed from noble and royal houses, traveled to Fracture to learn their history and to seek advanced warning of any impending threat to Tel’fahria from the demon princes. Living life after life there, continually reborn in the form of a human they learned the skills they would need to survive and to lead. Now, at his ascendant point, Marius was bound to leave Fracture behind.

Arimus would remain. After all, he was one of the war kindred. Leaving him in Fracture would be a better fit for him, a favor, besides he had ascended long before Marius. Still, he did not need to prepare himself as Marius did. His place was not to be king. True, Arimus would always be acknowledged as his twin. He had never been disloyal even in his disagreements with the family, even now with some of his questionable allegiances, in his heart he remained true to the spirit of the war kindred. The chaotic and shifting nature of Fracture suited him. He thrived on their struggles, bathed in their sins, and relished in a torrent of combat that gave the ‘mad’ ones their namesake. He was not mad, however, he was free. True, he was not able to accept a Tel’fahrian’s nature, but that is what it meant to be war kindred. Even if the native sons and daughters of Fracture rejected him, he would remain if for nothing else than for the battles. Like all war kindred, he would live out his many long days in exile, but to those like him who saw the Tel’fahrian way of life as torment he did not consider exile a punishment but the relief of the only burden he found too heavy to carry.

Syrian had been talking for a while now, with Marius only half listening. Of course he knew what was to be expected, he had been preparing for it for nearly a thousand years. Syrian glanced up as Erin and Ariel, his other daughters, came with news of Loretto. She’d gone to her chambers after she’d calmed down and would not be joining them at dinner. Dinner. He paled. His father was dying. Even if he’d always known it was going to happen and yet Syrian and the rest of their advisors were planning a dinner. Marius knew they were only doing as Bentarum wanted, and that he’d long laid contingencies for this day, and yet it seemed none of them expected that it would arrive this soon. Soon, was of course, a relative term. Bentarum’s reign had been an overly peaceful one that lasted what most could only count in terms of eons, he had seen their armies rebuilt, their stores replenished, and even reestablished an entry and exit point in the realm of Fracture. Certainly, the intention of The Gate was little more than the equivalent of a watch tower. The frontier of the realm, watching for signs of another incursion. It was also where Bentarum would be interred once the process of transferring his legacy had been completed.

Marius felt a lump in his throat. He had a family he would have to leave behind. A wife, as the lesser races knew it, even children. Would she raise them on her own? Would she abandon them as he was about to do? In her absence, would Arimus care of them? Would he be able to explain himself to them if he was given the chance to see them years from now? All very human, very mortal, thoughts. Such words, soon, would not be able to define him. Soon, he would rise as his father once had, and become Tel’fahria’s new Archon. Soon, his father would be dead.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Comments are closed.