Myth II Epilogue


Monday May 4, Seven Gates

The Fallen Lords are dead and the Dark has fled the land. Now we return to the difficult task of rebuilding. It will take many years to restore our cities and recover our farmlands and this time, we will remain vigilant.

I have chosen to follow the Emperor and his Heron Guard back to Muirthemne - there is nothing left for me in Strand, the place of my birth.

I have become fast friends with Nine Skull Crocodile, the man who has healed the many wounds I received during the assault on Tharsis. He is ancient, even by Heron standards, and speaking with him has given me some insight into what has happened to our world.

There are laws that govern the workings of the universe that have remained immutable for countless aeons. According to these laws, the forces of light and dark hold dominion over the world successively, the land belonging in turn to men, or to monsters.

Each cycle would be presaged by the appearance of a great comet, foretelling the rise of saviour or destroyer. Each golden age would give way to one of darkness, when foul things would stir beneath the earth, and evil spirits would plague the land. In turn, each dark age would fall to one of light; the evil would pass from the land just as the comet from the sky.

The saviours of each golden age were men who had risen to face the Dark and never turned away. They were men of unflinching heroism who would not rest until they had loosened the bloodless grip of wicked things which had dominated their lands. Many of these heroes were doomed to return in the following age as Fallen Lords, destroying all they had fought so hard to preserve.

Although the hero of every age of light is different, every dark age is ushered in by the same beast - a transient divinity that seeks only conflict - The Leveler. And so Tireces returned as Moagim to end the Age of Reason - and Connacht, the great hero of the Wind Age, returned as Balor to lay waste to the greatest empire the world had ever known.

The Leveler was never killed. He was immobilized by sorcery, beheaded and burned at the stake in the Second Era. A thousand years later he was drawn and quartered on the plains before Ileum, the tireless horses dragging the pieces of his lifeless body to the four corners of the world. Again in the Fourth Era his body was destroyed by fire, his ashes mixed with salt and buried under the Mountains of Kor. Balor, Moagim and all those before them wore the Mantle of The Leveler.

When I stated that Balor was vanquished but sixty years ago, Nine Skull nodded thoughtfully.

Soulblighter was not The Leveler. He may have been if he had survived into the next millennium - but, in his attempt to force the cycle, he perished and almost certainly will suffer at the hands of those who set it in motion. It is even conceivable that because of his actions the cycle has been broken, but we cannot be sure - at least not for another nine hundred and forty years.

Nine Skull chuckled, saying that with a little luck, he may still be around to see.

He told me about old Muirthemne, describing it with words that seemed out of place coming from such a grizzled warrior. He spoke of its many spired palaces and monuments and the grand bazaar during each year's harvest. When I told him that I wished I could have seen the city at the height of its power, he said I might see it in my lifetime.

Then he told me that next year the Heron Guard will be reinstating the septannual tournament to fill out their ranks. Men of bravery and warriors of renown from every corner of the empire will gather to compete for the honor of joining them.

I will be there.