The Ari'ilden Saga
The Battle of Avalon
The following is an excerpt from A Dashing Fellow, the memoir written by Vlad Dashing, a member of the Endseekers of Avalon, Ascendant, and later the patron of storytellers across Verden. It should be noted that much of this text is either exaggeration or outright fabrication.
It came to pass that the proud city of Avalon was going to fall, and all its residents were going to be killed, or worse, be at the mercy of the elves. Hope had been all but lost, for there was no way for the city to stand against the Dark Lord Ohtar and his army of elves, trolls, and bloodragers.
But lo’ in the city’s darkest hour, three strangers appeared. And at the time of their arrival the good people of Avalon were in a state of panic and chaos, for the city was surely going to fall. But then, one of the three spoke to the people in the city, and all who heard him were calmed, for this stranger who spoke great confidence in easing the minds of the city was none other than Vlad Dashing, God of Life, and of the Spirit. Yet the people did not know this, but gave worship to him anyway, for he had raised their spirits and banished the darkness from their minds.
And so the three strangers moved onward, going to the city wall to help in the battle. And it came to pass that the elven army was advancing on the city, and so one of the strangers made snow and ice rain down on the army from above. For this stranger was Zeekon the Everspring, God of the world, and of journeys. Yet the people did not know this, but gave worship to him anyway, for the tempest he summoned had slowed the advance of the army, and had slain many of those who had once stood as enemies to the city.
And as the storm raged on, the third stranger saw that the Dark One had unleashed his wretched bloodragers. So he rose into the air, and sent down a rain of hellfire upon the hordes that were moving towards the city. For this stranger was Alam Ka-enat Kyandr, God of magick, and of foresight. Yet the people did not know this, but gave worship to him anyway, for he had saved them from the bloodragers who had begun attacking the weakened shield around the city.
And harken, the shield was weak because the clerics of this proud city of Avalon sought aid from Likos, and gave worship to him. But his power was not what it once was, and he was unable to save the city. Yet the clerics, meaning well but blinded by their faith, did not know this. And so they willed the strangers, despite their immense power, to be taken away, even at the cost of letting the city fall.
And so, the stranger Vlad Dashing who had spoken first spoke again to those at the wall. And all who heard him were won to the side of the three strangers but the blinded clerics, who wished them gone. But as he talked, he revealed himself and his companions as the Gods that they were. And all but the clerics rejoiced, for the Old Gods had returned in Avalon’s hour of need to save humanity from the elves, when the once powerful Likos had not.
And so the good people of Avalon knew that the strangers were the Everseer God of magick Alam Ka’enat Kyandr, he who contains the universe, the Everspring God of the world Zeekon Tamuk, world-bender and journey-ender, and the Everclear God of life Vlad Dashing, bringer of hope and singer to the hearts of the pure. And so the proud people of Avalon knew them and gave them worship.
But the well-meaning clerics of Avalon were mislead by their blind faith and in turn tried to deceive the people, and tried to tell them that the Old Gods were their enemies. And some were so deceived. And when the clerics commanded that the archers stop shooting at the elven enemies and attack the divine saviors instead, some were tricked, and did so shoot them. But not all were so deceived. There was one soldier, Lieutenant Hawkins, a champion of Courage and Nobility, who was not tricked by the clerics, and saw through their delusions. And he stood up to the clerics, and because they were cowards, they stopped preaching falsehoods about the Beleaguered Gods.
And so the Beleaguered were allowed to help in the defense of the city, and they went to Hierophant Nilus Graylock, who was in charge of the human army. And they spoke with him and ordered the women and children get to safety, for the hierophant knew that even with the might and power of the Old Gods, it would be a difficult battle to win.
But Fate itself willed that Avalon would not fall this day. And schemes were laid to use the dried oil of the whale to create explosions underground to cripple the elven army. But the Beleaguered could scarcely be spared from the combat above the ground, for they were so powerful, and the elven army so large. Instead, the Brave and Noble Hawkins, First Champion of the World, assembled the best soldiers to carry out this task. For while the Men of Avalon were brave, and while they had wills of wrought iron to fight to the bitter end, they were still greatly outnumbered by the elves.
And so, after some time leading the Men of Avalon in battle, the Old Gods were approached by a messenger. It came to light that even with Hawkins, who was a mighty man of great fighting prowess, leading the men in their underground task, the mission was in danger of failing. And the Beleaguered in their infinite wisdom knew where their power was needed most.
And so it was that the Gods of world and life and magick took to the tunnels beneath the elven army, which were once and forever will be known as the Hall of the Gods. And there they found the human soldiers slain and defeated, except for the Bravest and Strongest, among them, the relentless Hawkins, fighting bloodragers to the bitter end, despite having sustained severe injuries. And so with the wounded Hawkins by their side, the Old Gods fought the commander of the elves, and his troops, who was trying to stop the inevitable explosions. And they had much success at first, for the elves were not a match for them, and it seemed like it would be an easy battle.
But then came to the battle the Dark One himself. And he knew the Gods would best him and his twisted creatures, for his malice was only surpassed by his cunning. And so with treachery and guile he brought down the deepest darkness on them, and the Beleaguered Gods were beset by enemies on all sides. But Alam the Everseer had foreseen this and the Gods were prepared. So Zeekon the Everspring called down furious winds to seize the Dark Lord in their wrath, and Alam brought forth purifying fires long forgotten, and above all noise rose the song of Dashing the Everclear, so pure it lifted the spirits of the Gods themselves.
But the barrels of the explosive whale powder were not yet ready to be lit. And so it was that Hawkins the Fearless offered to sacrifice himself to ready the last of the barrels. And he set out with pride and resolve, knowing his chances of survival were slim. Yet if the First Champion of the World had to die a martyr, it was not on this day, for Luck was with the Old Gods, and Cato the Fortune Bringer himself saw fit to guide Dashing’s arrow true to its mark, and gravely injure the elven commander, allowing Hawkins to slip past him to prepare the barrels.
And still were Luck and Fate with the Beleaguered Gods, for they defeated the Dark Lord. But because he was treacherous and cowardly, he fled before he could be slain.
Yet the day belonged to the humans and to the Old Gods, for Hawkins returned to say that the barrels were ready. And lo’ the barrels were lit, and the Old Gods returned to the city on the wings of time using their powers of world-bending. And they were successful in their endeavor, for the blast they created killed thousands of the elven enemy.
And so, the cowardly elves fled beyond sight of the city, for they had not expected a real fight. And elves and humans knew that Avalon was safe and that the elves were not a match for the power of Alam Ka’enat Kyandr the Everseer God of Magick, Zeekon Tamuk the Everspring God of the World, and Vlad Dashing, the Everclear God of Life.
The Old Gods had returned and Avalon was saved. And there was much rejoicing, for though the people of Avalon were greatly in the debt of the Old Gods, they were happy to give them worship, for they saw the power and wisdom of their divine saviors. And though they saw the other perils that threatened their world, hope replaced fear for they now knew they were not alone.