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Reflections on Black: the Forsaken Blade

07 Oct

By Alicia Steen

 

On the second floor in one certain three-storied mansion sits a room. Tucked away in the farthest corner, the space beyond its dark wooden door is only visited once every six months, at best. At times it does not see use for two years or more. The solid door is left not open but not exactly shut, as the handbreadth of space between the door and its frame serves to keep out the merely curious so the desperate may enter.

Do not misunderstand, there isn’t anything in the room. Just a wood bench on the right hand and a dark curtain drawn halfway over a small window facing the door. The secret lies in what goes on inside. With no noise or visual distractions, the mind is free to wander. Visitors should beware of what reflections the walls reveal.

Seldom do circumstances draw a need to venture into the room of reflections, but today is such a day. A lone visitor, Prince Alexandr Parkr, pushes the door softly open. It slides quietly on the solid floor as it shuts behind him. The satyrs launched a fierce assault on Gathyra, causing the princes to be called home to rally Gathyra’s forces to meet it. The battle was rough on all who fought it, and though Gathyra won, the events leading to victory brought Parkr here. He drives a black sword with a red jewel, the object of his uncertainty, straight into the floor. Then he sits on the bench to stare at it in silence.

The black blade reflects the light dully, but Parkr remembers when it gleamed in bright daylight.

 

Way of SwordSmiths, Gathyra. Year After Shadow 2095.

Mykl’s new blade lays in the hands of the master swordsmith. Forged in dragon fire, the metal is strong enough to part dragon scales but still perfectly lightweight and flexible. Every youth in Gathyra receives their weapon as part of their coming of age, and being royalty means the master swordsmith puts extra care and pride into the blade.

The swordsmith speaks the familiar words of the presentation rite. “Here is your sword, a blade newly forged, its purpose to be determined by your use of it. A weapon for a lifetime.”

Mykl receives the presented sword as graciously as any youth can. His movements are steady and deliberate, as befits the rite, but his face betrays his excitement. The swordsmith too has a twinkle in his eye as he hands his latest masterpiece to the young prince-to-be.

The swordsmith continues. “Test its metal and measure its strength.”

Mykl needs no further encouragement. He swings the sword in practiced, precise, energetic arcs, his grin plain to see. “It is worthy of your skill, master swordsmith. May my use of it be so as well.”

The swordsmith bows from his waist. “It is yours to wield as you see fit.”

Mykl holds his new sword high in the air triumphantly. “All right!”

 

Room of Reflection: Royal Estate, Gathyra. Year After Shadow 2100.

Mykl polished that sword nonstop for a week after that, unless he was slashing some unlucky painted target. The blade was silver then, and it flashed brightly with every stroke. Now is stained from the tip of the sword upwards almost entirely black. Only part of the hilt remains silver, but the red jewel hasn’t changed. The deep bottomless red that refuses to return the light. Its unusual color has been the topic of debate ever since its creation at Mykl’s Crowning of the Prince ceremony.

 

Parkr. Gathyra. Year After Shadow 2096.

Gathyra’s princes are born, then made. Their blood alone does not earn them the title; it only makes the eligible for the training. In our third year of high school, our hard work finally pays off. James, Mykl and I have officially earned the title of Gathyran Prince, the proof of which we are about to receive in our Crowning of the Prince ceremony.

The ceremony always takes place at night in the outside air of our royal estate. Mykl, as the oldest, is first. He steps through a ring of dragon fire to meet our father, King Json, in the center. Father grasps Mykl’s arm, and Mykl grasps his. Father starts the spell and guides it. Mykl begins to pour forth his magic in a strong, steady stream. Though they both have their eyes closed in concentration, there is no sign anything significant is occurring save for the intense pressure emanating from the two.

All at once the color of deep red flashes into view. This is Mykl’s magic in its purest, concentrated form. With father’s guidance, the deep red folds in on itself until it solidifies into a crystal the size of Mykl’s palm. Inside lies a piece of Gathyra’s most powerful spell, which can be used alone or in concert with the other pieces.

“You are now a prince of Gathyra, the proof of which you now hold in your hand,” father pronounces in a proud voice. “Use the responsibility with wisdom and confidence. Now, mount your crystal into the weapon or armor of your choosing.”

Mykl proceeds to draw his sword and mount the crystal into its hilt, for now only temporarily, but the master swordsmith will later make it permanent. The silver sword seems to accept the jewel with a gleeful grace as it glints eagerly in the firelight.

 

Room of Reflection: Royal Estate, Gathyra. Year After Shadow 2100.

That sword was meant to be used, not abandoned in early retirement. Mykl must have come upon a shadow dragon in those caves of Jeshrun Below, and from the look of the cavern his blade did not fail him. Why then, Mykl, did you chose to leave behind your sword and your title which you labored for?

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1 Comment

Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Gathyra, Three Princes

 

One response to “Reflections on Black: the Forsaken Blade

  1. Charlie

    October 12, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Wow an enchanted magic sword made from dragons fire that is very interesting after catching up these stories are getting good wow it’s the best I have ever read

    Like

     

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