Prophecy Story Index
Sword of the Protector
Old paper crinkled and crackled as the old scribe laboriously transferred the words from the ancient parchment to the new, inscribing the text carefully, working to preserve the tale for the future generations that would visit the Royal Darcabé Library. Preserving the historical literature had never been something Norseth had understood, so it hadn't been done very often. Later, someone else, one of the talented artists Regent Opella had found, would copy the faded illustration, matching colors as best as possible. The words and painting told of a great sword being crafted and then given to Bornathia's first king, Elhanan, shortly after his joining with Daelyn.
...A symbol was considered necessary to show the solidity of the new union the solidity and strength of the unity between the two clans of Bornat and Thia. Breawn, a young seeress to Elhanan, approached Iain, weaponsmaster to Daelyn, about that symbol. Together they were no longer two clans but One Clan...
The young woman stood silently at the edge of the practice yard, partially hidden behind a corner of a building. She watched as the weaponsmaster explained and demonstrated the advantages of his slightly different sword design to a handful of skeptical soldiers. A cold early morning wind blew across the yard, sending her loose black hair into her face and her cloak flapping against her legs, but she ignored both, focused on the scene in front of her.
Only four days earlier, they would have been fighting each other over land and food. And it will still take some time before everyone becomes accustomed to being allies instead of enemies, she mused. With only a few days left before the joining ceremony, I do hope they reach a truce. The weaponsmaster swung again, his body twisting effortlessly. The movement brought her into view and he shifted to attention.
The gathered soldiers snapped to attention as well, surprised by her appearance.
Breawn stepped away from the building and smiled at them, hoping to put them at ease. Only sixteen and she commanded such uncertainty among so many. She looked at the weaponsmaster. "Your name is Iain, correct?"
Iain inclined his head. "Yes, it is."
"I would like to speak to you."
"Of course." He sheathed his sword and headed towards her, pausing only to snatch up his cloak from a wooden bench. Breawn waited until he joined her, then pulled her cloak around her snugly before turning to walk away from the practice yard. Behind her, she heard the quiet murmurs that she was familiar with. Murmurs about the strange girl and her dreams.
The paths of the inner citadel were fairly empty, so she had little worry about being overheard, though she supposed rumors would appear later on in the day about the seeress and the weaponsmaster walking together in the early hours. She looked up at the tall man walking next to her. Outwardly, she saw an older man, heavily-muscled, strong hands, cropped brown hair, a tiny scar in front of his left ear. Looking closer, she saw a man very dedicated to his Lady Daelyn; she saw loyalty and honor and trust; she saw ability and strength of character and heart.
"Most would be afraid to walk with me alone, Weaponsmaster."
Iain raised an eyebrow and glanced down at her. "Why? You are Lady Breawn, advisor to the King." He paused, then added, "And please, just call me Iain."
"Very well...Iain." They passed a guard on duty. Breawn felt his eyes follow them as they turned a corner. "I am a seeress."
He nodded. "So I've been told. But I have nothing to fear from a seeress." Iain looked at her again, one corner of his mouth lifting. "Do I?"
Breawn chuckled. "No, you do not."
Iain smiled, his eyes softening just a bit. "My grandmother was a seeress. Not a very strong one, but she did see things now and then. I was very young when she died, but I can still remember a few of the dreams she told me about. She had a dream once about peace. My parents laughed at her, but I think now she was right. It was because of one of her dreams that I become a weaponsmaster."
"Really." Breawn's eyes widened a bit.
"Yes. She told me she saw me creating a great sword. A sword that would live beyond time." Shaking his head regretfully, he looked at his hands. "That dream, however, has never come true."
Breawn repeated quietly, "A great sword."
Iain nodded and glanced down at her, frowning at the wide dark eyes staring up at him. "What is it?" Stopping in the middle of the path, he touched her arm, forgetting for a moment that she was a seeress and only seeing the sixteen-year-old girl in front of him. "What's wrong?"
She blinked and the wisdom and talent of her calling filled her eyes again. She touched his hand where it rested on her arm. "Iain, let me tell you about a dream I had. A dream about a great sword."
...Together Breawn and Iain created a broadsword that would be that symbol. Fashioned from the highest quality metals and best workmanship, it was nonetheless to be a sword of peace, to be hung behind the royal thrones to show that war was at an end. Two blood-red rubies were set into the crosspieces, representing the blood shed and lives lost during the many years of wars and the hope that never again would such anger, hatred, and loss of reason take hold of their land and their people. And the sword had a name...
Two full moons to the day that Breawn had first talk to Iain, the weaponsmaster smoothed the cloth over the blade of the sword once again, wiping away imaginary smudges from the gleaming metal. Lifting the blade, he watched as the afternoon sun streaming in from the high windows in his private workroom caught and reflected, sending bright shards of light glittering into every corner of the room. The rubies set in the hilt shone, alternating between dark and light as he shifted the sword.
"Is it finished?"
Breawn's hushed voice echoed just slightly from the door behind him. He had ceased to be surprised when she appeared in the workroom. She always seemed to know just when she was needed and simply came.
Turning, he nodded, sword still held aloft. "Yes."
She walked further into the room and stood beside him, one hand reaching up to delicately trace the rubies on the hilt and then the bottom-most part of the blade.
Iain hissed out a low warning. "Careful, it's sharp."
Nodding absently, she withdrew her hand to tuck it inside her ever-present dark blue cloak. "Tomorrow morning, when the sun is right, we will present it to Elhanan and Daelyn." She glanced up Iain and smiled. "Your grandmother's vision was true, Iain. You have created a great sword. A sword that will live beyond time."
Entranced by the sword, the older man said softly, "Such a sword needs a name."
Breawn whispered into the quiet, "It has a name. Lachiellian."
"Lachiellian. Sword of the Protector. A good name indeed." The silence held for several long moments, then Iain shook himself and carefully laid the sword on the cloth-covered table. "If this sword is to be hung behind the thrones, I should check to make sure what I have will hold it. It's heavier than the average broadsword..." He walked away, heading toward the back storage area of his spacious workroom, leaving the seeress alone with Lachiellian.
Wrapping both hands around the hilt of the sword, Breawn lifted the heavy sword for a few brief moments, her arms trembling. The sunlight crept across the blade, highlighting the runes inscribed on the base of the sword that only her eyes could see.
'To you the Protector of the land of Rill, we give Lachiellian.'
Replacing the sword on the table, Breawn kept one hand on the hilt and placed the other on the runes. Her eyes closed and she swayed, leaning against the table as flashes of images streamed past her inner sight. Finally, much of what she had seen in her first vision eight years ago was taking shape. In that vision, she had seen two great clans come together as one. She had seen peace overtake war. And she had seen this sword which would live through time, passed down through generations upon generations, until it was bestowed upon its destined bearer and warrior, a descendent of Elhanan and Daelyn. A prophecy spilled forth from her lips in a quiet whisper, witnessed only by Lachiellian.
In the days that the forbidden evil returns, darkness shall descend upon the land of Rill from the north, shutting out the light, bringing despair and lost hope. Lachiellian shall rest until that time when the Protector has come and it shall come to pass in those days of darkness that a woman shall arise to claim the right of protectorship. She shall have the gift of magery to aid her against the dark one. She shall have the blessings and token of the Light Sisters. And she shall be given Lachiellian to strengthen her battle against the dark and return life and light to the land of Rill. She is for whom destiny awaits -- she who has been broken and reformed into a sword by fire and trial. Only she shall have the strength of heart to wield Lachiellian, the sword of the Protector. She is for whom the token of the Light Sisters, the encircled sword, was given. She shall be molded by time, circumstance, and by the Light and Lachiellian. And her name shall be Kellessan.
A few tears gathered in her eyes as she re-opened them. Tears of regret for the future when Bornath would return to war and find the great sword, once holding a place of importance and great meaning, turned against it. Tears of sadness for more lives lost to greed and power in a country she'd only seen in visions. And tears of both sorrow and joy for Kellessan. If Iain noticed the unwept tears in Breawn's eyes when he returned to her side, he didn't say anything, just grasped her hand in his and held it warmly before returning to his work of making sure the great sword never fell.
...In a ceremony attended by new nobility and common folk alike, Breawn and Iain presented the sword to King Elhanan and Queen Daelyn. Long, heavy, made of only the best material, blessed by religious personages of both major clans, Lachiellian seemed to glow with its own inner light...
Elhanan stood with Daelyn at his side, waiting as Iain and Breawn joined them on the dais. Iain held a long, cloth-covered object in his hands which Elhanan knew to be the sword he had been working on in secret nearly ever since he had arrived in the Bornat stronghold. A sword that Breawn had helped design. A sword he had never seen.
The two stopped and both lowered themselves to one knee with the grace of an old soldier and a young girl. Elhanan touched Iain's shoulder while Daelyn touched Breawn's. Elhanan spoke quietly. "Rise, Iain, Breawn. What is it that you bring?"
Once again standing, Iain withdrew the cloth from the sword and held in aloft. "We bring you a symbol of unity, Your Majesty." At the moment, the sun broke through the morning clouds and hit the blade, sending light throughout the throne room. Gasps of appreciation from the assembled group echoed in the room. Daelyn's eyes widened and then she smiled, feeling a bit of pride for her weaponsmaster who had created such a work of art. Iain held out the sword flat towards Elhanan. "I give you, my King, the sword, Lachiellian."
As Elhanan grasped the hilt of the sword, Breawn stepped forward and placed her hand over his. Everyone stilled, watching the young seeress, waiting for her to speak. Dark eyes locked on Elhanan's face, she spoke in a clear, firm voice. Time seemed to hold as the words echoed in the silence.
"And it shall come to pass that this sword shall destroy kings and save nations, save kings and destroy nations. Destruction and rebirth shall precede and follow it. It is the beginning and the end of the circle of time. It shall protect and be protected for the one who will protect -- for she who is to come."
...With prophecies given, the sword was hung with all due majesty on the wall behind the throne where it would remain, never removed except for the coronation of new kings, for two hundred years before the Wars of Power began and Bornathia faltered. In the year that King Lorren was killed, the great sword was lost forever, vanishing into history and myth.
Dorien strolled through the Library quietly, Kellessan close behind him, as he ran fingers over the spines of books, wishing they had more time here to explore and perhaps find a some new tales to tell. Kell, however, was anxious to get back to Brightstar. She didn't like having to leave her parents and her country so soon after retaking it from Seth, but the ambassadorial trip had been necessary, if only to cement better relations between Rillanda and Regent Opella and eventual-king, Aeric.
They stopped at a desk where a scribe was just finishing up copying an older text onto new parchment. Gesturing toward the text, Dorien asked, "May I? I won't touch it; I'd just like to read it." Seeing the older man's reluctance, Dorien shifted his cloak back to reveal the bardic knot on one shoulder.
The scribe eyed him another moment, then nodded and stepped aside silently.
Dorien sat down and began to read, conscious of the older man watching him and of Kell walking up behind him. His eyes widened slowly with every word of the text until finally he turned and snagged Kell's arm, tugging her toward him. "Look!" He pointed at the text and the faded illustration.
Leaning over Dorien's shoulder, Kell squinted at the text, her mouth moving silently as she read the older Bornathian language, struggling a bit with the translation. She paused when she came across the sword's name and her eyes immediately went to the picture which showed a king holding a sword up. His queen stood beside him and two others, an older man and a young girl, stood in front of them.
Faded colors and all, the sword still glowed and the rubies still glittered. She instinctively reached out a hand to touch the picture but stopped and just let her fingers hover above it for a moment. The girl's dark eyes seemed to catch hers and Kell caught her breath, hearing the echo of an echo of 'she for whom' in her ears. Then she blinked and the picture faded again.
Straightening, she lowered her hand onto Dorien's shoulder. "We need to go."
Dorien rose without complaint and whispered his thanks to the scribe. Kell hesitated, then lifted a hand to touch the hilt of her sword. "Yes, thank you." As she and Dorien left the Library, Kell wasn't sure who she had thanked. Perhaps the scribe for allowing them to read the old tale. Perhaps Dorien for pointing out the story and making her read it. Perhaps the unknown writer who recorded the original story.
Or perhaps those that made the sword so long ago and bequeathed to her the mantle of Protector, giving her ability to use the mantle to save her country and her people.
- The End -
Prophecy Story Index