Of Tosandik Krusayn Part 1
Author - Rukain
Written on - Thursday 4th October 2012 (07:30am)
This tale begins many years ago, in Pellbuldur, the continent, when Argalion was king in Ballinder, and the most powerful king on the land. It was at the end of the most prosperous time of Pellgal, the region over which Argalion reigned, when the queen, who had been ill for many months, breathed her last. And the king was left, without his queen, and without an heir. So great was the sorrow of the king, that the entire country felt the pain emanating from the city of Ballinder, and from the very palace of Argalion. King Argalion called to his side all his greatest friends and advisors, summoning them from all the corners of the continent.
One of these was a man named Erildior, who was an Orinthian, not of Pellgal, who was at the time of the king's summoning, living in the city of Yren, in Nurend, the country on the eastern border of Pellgal, with his wife and his young son, Tosandik. Upon hearing the news of the queen's death, Erildior moved his family to Ballinder, so that he could serve there in the king's court. There, small Tosandik lead a very different life than in Yren. The people of Ballinder were separated into three classes, the highest being the nobles and royalty, the middle being the citizens, merchants, shopkeepers, and so on, and the lowest consisting of the thieves, beggars, the slaves and those who had no home or money, or means of getting it. These poor, Tosandik saw, and tried in every way he could to help them, but often he was chased away, hated because of his father's position. In this way, Tosandik grew older in Ballinder, and in wisdom and compassion, and a longing to change the world. It was after Tosandik had become old enough to be called a man, that his father grew ill, and, though he was strong, he was unable to pull through, and he died.
Tosandik, though distraught, then filled his father's shoes, and took his place in the king's court. The King Argalion had dearly loved Erildior, and so greatly loved Tosandik, for the boy's visage was very similar to his father's. Tosandik proved to be wise and full of good counsel, and observant, learning quickly. And with his ability, he pleased the king. For many years, Tosandik served faithfully the king of Pellgal. But his happiness was scarred, when his mother, who had never recovered from the death of her husband, followed and sharing in his fate, died. Tosandik could stand not in the presence of the king and his officials, for his grief was great, and so he took his horse and rode for many hours, hiding not his tears. It was here, that he saw a great and terrible sight, one that would forever change him, and his world.
On the horizon, far to the north, Tosandik saw what no man before had seen. Tosandik looked out to the horizon, and saw a great cloud, yet not a natural cloud. It was dark, not like a storm cloud, but far darker, as if it held in its center a void, a nothingness, from which it drew strength, and from which spawned the every fear of man. This he not only saw, but he felt, in the innermost part of his being. The evil, the malice, growing, convulsing in the cloud of darkness. Under the cloud there was nothing, not as a barren land, or a desert. There was nothing, eternal nothing. Tosandik felt the pulsing emnity that was destroyer of all. He turned round his horse and fled, racing with every ounce of his strength. He must tell the king.
Arriving at the city of Ballinder, he leapt from his horse, his legs not for one moment stopping, as he ran to the palace, and into the throne room of Argalion. Once he had entered, he stopped, heart racing, gasping for breath to speak,the terrible image still clear in the forefront of his mind. There before him, sat the aged king on his throne, his white beard hanging to his knees, and a rich crown upon his brow. Beside him stood a man of the court, a Modeneel who had long lived and served in Ballinder, who was called Sieldiriovan. He was older than Tosandik by many years, and had for far longer served the king. He stood now, beside the throne, watching Tosandik as he struggled for words.
"Majesty!" finally gasped Tosandik. King Argalion acknowledged the boy with a nod of his head. Gaining back is strength, Tosandik declared, "Majesty, the king, I have on this day witnessed the death of my mother, who has raised me with love even after the passing of my father. I had gone, with my steed, for many hours outside the city, when I saw, on the horizon, far to the north, a cloud. The greatness of it is indescribable, my lord, but that it was terrible and evil beyond the reckoning of even the wildest imagination. It was, my king, as though every evil, every sin, of every man was gathered there in the form of a cloud, which fed the nothingness in the center of it. Below it, there was that nothingness, simply nothing! It was no wasteland, no desert which we would call nothing. It was true, utter nothing, a darkness and destruction that is terror to everything that lives and breathes. It is evil, great king, and it is coming."
After he had finished recounting what his eyes had beheld, a silence fell upon the three that were there in the room. This silence was, after time, broken, by the man Sieldiriovan. "My good and noble king," quoth he as he glared at the boy standing before him, "This young man has been through much today, and he is tired, and in need of rest and guidance. I am sure, my lord, that he has seen only the creations of his troubled mind." The king Argalion then turned from Sieldiriovan to Tosandik, studying him with concern. Sieldiriovan, now behind the king, stared at Tosandik, eye to eye, and grinned, a sly, crooked grin. Rage filled Tosandik, and he cried, adressing the king, "My lord, you must listen and believe me! Please, your majesty, this-this thing! It is coming, and it will devour the entirety of the kingdom, not just this, the world, if it is not stopped!" Chuckling, Sieldiriovan stepped out from behind King Argalion, and spoke, "My good young sir, please, listen to my sense. There is nothing out there. You are safe, and have nothing to fear." Tosandik straightened his back, glaring at the older man. "You have spoken the truth, once, and for one thing. There is nothing out there. There is nothing, and there will be nothing here, if nothing remains out there!"
Then, the king rose to his feet, and held his hands out, saying, "Men of Ballinder! There is truth in the words of only one. I have heard your speech, and to both I pass my judgment." There for one terrible moment, stillness. After this, the king's words fell on the ears of both men. "Tosandik, I have for many years watched your growth in my palace. I have taught you the ways of the court, and you have learned well. I loved your father dearly; he was one of my greatest and wisest friends. But I must act on what I deem true. You are faint, my boy,and distressed. I cannot trust your words. So young are you, to be so troubled. I hereby release you from my personal service. You may now leave the palace. May you be well, and prosperous, as you grow older, and may you have rest and be satisfied. You have my blessing." With this, the king resumed his position on the throne, signifying that he was finished. "You have made a mistake, my king. I hope, for your sake, that you will see sense." Tosandik declared, then left the room.
Before doing so, he felt an evil, so familiar, too familiar an evil. But what made this all the more terrifying, was this fact: this evil malice, emanated from the man who had the king's trust, the king's confidence. Sieldiriovan.
Though Tosandik left the king’s court, and dwelt not in the palace, he remained in Ballinder, determined to save the king. His anger towards Sieldiriovan was great, though he tried to control it. For some time, he lived only for seeking out the traitor Sieldiriovan. But as time passed, his rage faded, and he saw that he must find some work and make some sort of living.
After searching not long, he found a merchant from Suraq who was looking to hire an extra hand, and when Tosandik inquired about the job, he was eagerly accepted. This merchant’s name was Hobrim, and was Modeneel, though he had for most of his life lived in Kelldi in northern Suraq, near Durhang, and had married an Orinthian woman there. Hobrim had one son, who was about Tosandik’s age (which at this point was 17 or 18). He was tall, as an Orinthian, and yet had the thick bones and hard muscular structure as a Modeneel. His name was Massedhir*, and his hair was raven black, and his eyes stone grey. He was a cheerful man, full of laughter and always with a shimmer of joy and often mischief in his eye. He had been born and raised in Kelldi, but now traveled often with his father to Ballinder.
Hobrim’s wares were of many varieties. He sold not his own craft, but other’s in Kelldi who could not afford to travel abroad. He carted the produce and crafters’ work from Kelldi to Ballinder, sold them there, and returned with the money, which was distributed then so that every man made a profit according to his work. Tosandik’s work was to maintain the animals, the market stands, and the carts and wagons, etc.
Tosandik at first spoke little, and laughed never, but as time wore on he became closer to both Hobrim and his son, but especially Massedhir(whom he called Mass). The two young men soon became very close and dear to each other, each the best friend the other ever had. And once their confidence had grown immensely, Tosandik told Massedhir of his experience with the king and Sieldiriovan.
“What monster is this who calls himself a man?” Mass fumed, for he was very passionate and made his feelings well known, though Tosandik was never afraid of him divulging a secret. “The man himself concerns me not as much as the evil I saw in the North, and felt in him.” Tosandik told his friend. “This evil,” Mass began less ardently, “It was not coming from Suraq, or from Durhang?”
“No,” Tosandik said, “It was beyond…”
“How can you see beyond Durhang?” Mass queried, “A keen-eyed man cannot see farther than the edge of the city!”
“I cannot see more than the average Orinthian,” Tosandik stated, “it was only that one instance.”
“The strangest thing…” Massedhir turned back and forth, pacing across the wooden floor of the room where he slept, and they were now in. “Yet you are certain it was not simply of your imagining?”
“No.” Tosandik declared. “I am certain.” Mass paused, comtemplating, then turned to his friend. “I believe you.” He stopped again, with his hand on his chin. “You tell me this Sieldiriovan is of the darkness, and that he has the king’s confidence…no traitor such as he is senseless. He must have a purpose.” Both young men stood and gazed at each other. “He must be stopped.” Tosandik avowed. Mass replied with sincerity, “What do you need of me?”
*Massedhir, though an Orinthian name, is also different than the Eraned, or Old Orinthian which most Orinthian names are derived from. It is a name from an uncommon Suraqi dialect of the Orinthian language in which the 'ss', two of the letter 's' side by side, is pronounced as the English 'z' as in 'zebra', thus 'Massedhir' and it's short form Mass is pronounced like 'MAZ-ed-heer' (heer as English Hear) and 'Maz'.