A young prince is ordained to bring together a warring land.
Prince Cronus looked afar off from one of the towers of Athareal at the burning war ground stretching before him. It brought tears to his eyes. His father King Murian came from behind him.
“Get used to it son. It has been this way for generations and it may go on for generations still-maybe forever.”
Cronus was silent for a while. “Where is your faith father? If God could create the whole earth, He can stop the fighting between the kingdoms.”
Murian shook his head. “If that were true, why is the warring still happening? You’ve always been so faithful in your spiritual devotions. I admire that. However God allows things like this. There are some situations we must live with.”
“True, but I know there has to be a way to usher in peace for the whole realm. God can bring it about.”
King Murian put a hand on Cronus’ shoulder. “Son, what can God do to end centuries of war?”
“Do you doubt his miraculous ways?” asked Cronus.
King Murian looked down and rubbed his forehead. “It’s not that it’s just…we can’t rely on God to do everything for us.”
“But believe He can do this.” He walked past his father. “I must go to the cathedral to present my prayers.” Prince Cronus walked past Murian and down a spiraling staircase.
Prince Cronus went to the Silva Cathedral built into the main hall of the castle. As he entered the cathedral he met Priest Olvan. “Greetings Prince.” he said.
“Hello Olvan. I’m here to do my final prayer of the day.”
“Ah, Prince Cronus. Even a man in estate such yours, you have never ceased to offer your alms three times a day.”
Cronus smiled. “As I have done since I was a child, so will I continue.”
“In light of the wars, you’re one of the few who hold genuine piety,” stated Priest Olvan.
“I still believe there is hope for the realm of the five kingdoms.”
“Your faith is admirable. I envy you for even I have doubts that the almighty can bring about peace.” Olvan took a breath and sighed. “If you will excuse me, I have to travel to the mountain chapel to do my vows. God keep you son.”
“Blessed travels Priest Olvan,” said the prince as the old man exited the cathedral.
Cronus knelt at the altar and focused his thoughts. He was about to speak when, a bright golden light appeared in the air over the altar. Cronus covered his eyes and trembled. Then he heard a loud voice from the light. “Hail you that are favored of heaven.”
Prince Cronus looked and beheld a shining man with silver stork’s wings. His face was childlike but his eyes burned like fire. “Fear not. I am Salem, an angel of God. You have been chosen to rise up in power and unite the realm in peace.”
Cronus was speechless for at time. Then he boldly replied mustering all his courage.
“How will I do this?”
“You will be given wisdom from the Most High to speak to the kingdoms,” said the shining man.
“When will this happen?”
“It will happen shortly. First, I must give you this.” Salem held out his hand and a glistening sword appeared in his grasp. “I give you-Excaliber!”
“The sword of King Arthur?”
“Indeed. Take it.”
Cronus stepped forward and took it from the hand of the angel. “It is key to help you to aid you in the uniting the kingdoms.” Salem drifted over to Prince Cronus and touched his head. “Receive the Great Enlightenment.”
A strange force wept over his mind, body and soul and Cronus fully understood what to do.
“I leave you here. Go now and fulfil your destiny.” Then Salem disappeared.
Immediately the Prince left the cathedral and walked out of the royal hall to the stables and mounted a horse with some provisions. He sped off to the nearest kingdom of Grimborn, to the east. It was a two day’s ride including setting up camp and sleeping to reach the gates of Grimborn. There he was met by a guard who knew the Prince from a crest that he wore on a red cloak.
“Why have you come enemy of Grimborn?!”
“For peace. I would speak with the king.”
“You are a bold one Prince Cronus. Very well. I will consult my king.”
Fifteen minutes later, the iron gates opened and he entered and he immediately met Sirion, king of Grimborn. “You are either brave or foolish in coming here. In your defenseless state, I will hear what you have to say.”
“I’ve come in hope that we could make an alliance”
Sirion laughed. “Why is that?”
Cronus pulled out Excalibur that shone with the luster of burnished silver. He spoke powerfully as he took the mighty tone of the angel Salem. “I bear the sword Excalibur, forged in the aisle of Avalon!”
Cronus could see the power of the enchanted object reflect in the king’s eyes. “By the might of heaven! It is!”
“Will you help me?”
King Sirion’s mouth was agape before he spoke. “Of course. How did you come to wield it?”
“It was bestowed upon me by a messenger of heaven himself.”
“You must be a most wise and holy man to possess it!” exclaimed King Sirion.
“I am but a humble man of faith blessed with fulfilling noble task.”
“What is it that you wish of me? I will give my whole kingdom to help you.”
“With the wisdom given me, I foresee that tomorrow the kingdoms will come to battle on the mountain of Khrine.”
“Have you come to stop it?”
“I will do exceedingly more.”
“What else can be done?” asked the king.
“I will win over the hearts of the realm to come together in peace. Never again will kingdom lift up sword against kingdom.”
“But what would you have me do?”
Prince Cronus poised himself. “Allow your men to gather at Khrine bearing standards of white with ‘Peace’ written on it and appear before all the armies.”
“But we could be slaughtered!” said the king.
“No. With my wisdom and the authority of Excalibur, they will surely hear me. “
King Sirion blinked his eyes and ran his palm down his face then took a trembling breath. “It will be done.”
That night Cronus enjoyed the hospitality of Sirion with a hot meal and a soft bed to stay the night. The Prince of Athareal woke as the top of the amber sun shined over the dark silhouette of the Khrine Mountains. He left the room he was in and was pleased to see the king already informing his men of the plan.
Cronus approached Sirion who spoke with a shaky tone. “When do we go to Khrine?”
“At mid-day. Fear not. We will succeed.”
“I trust we will,” replied the king.
For the duration of the wait, the king paced around in his throne room while Cronus made his final supplication to his Lord in Heaven.
Roughly an hour before mid-day, King Sirion marched in front of his army to the Khrine Mountains with Cronus at his side. The top of the Khrine Mountains were flat like a plain with nothing but tall, wind-swept grass. The mountain was in the center of the five kingdoms: Athareal, Grimborn, Tidal, Vorta, and Nimbus.
“We will hide in the forest on the edge of the mountain. When the kingdoms array their armies we will emerge and I will speak.”
Sirion’s army situated themselves in the forest that stretched across the rim of the mountain top.
Then the ground began to drum with the march of the armies. The different groups of warriors of each kingdom took their stand against each other.
“The time is come! It is time to reveal ourselves.” said Cronus.
King Sirion’s army exited the forest holding up the peace standards. All those gathered at the mountain stared at them. At last Cronus came forth to deliver his word.
“Hear me! To all kingdoms of the realm: for over three centuries the land has been decimated by war. So I ask you-what has it accomplished save bloodshed and hate?”
A general of Vorta reproached him. “And who are you?”
“I am Cronus prince of Athareal. Yesterday I had a vision of an angel of heaven that said I would unite the realm in peace.”
“Can you prove this?” asked the same general.
“Yes. To prove my integrity, I was given a token that would persuade you I am truthful.”
Next, Cronus took out the enchanted sword. “Behold the sword of Avalon, Excalibur!”
Not a word was spoken and most of the men were wide eyed with gaping mouths.
“I’ve never felt or seen anything like it,” asked the general in a trance.
Various, King of Tidal, stepped forward. “It’s the most beautiful and wondrous things I’ve set my eyes upon.”
Cronus spoke boldly. “In the name of God I beseech you all to create a written declaration of peace here and now. From this day forward, we will live as brethren under God for it is not His will that man should shed man’s’ blood. I ask you all to forgive the harm done from your fellow kingdoms and forget the past to embrace a new golden age.”
None answered at first then Cronus’s father King Murian stepped forth. “I am proud of you my son. I never thought such a thing could be done.” Then he placed his sword at Cronus’s feet.
Everyone stared at each other until Bronus, king of Tidal like-wise came forth and put his sword at Cronus’s feet. Finally the remaining three kings followed suit and surrendered their blades. Next a messenger was sent to get a parchment and a quill to be signed on the top of Mount Khrine. Soon the messenger returned with the items.
Prince Cronus took them and put the parchment on a large stone with a smooth top. The red-orange sun burst through some clouds and it lighted upon the soon-to-be declaration of peace as if heaven itself was blessing the agreement. This is what Cronus wrote:
In the name of God and of peace, I pledge good fellowship and camaraderie to all neighboring kingdoms that I will uphold for as long as the realm thrives. I will give help to all other kingdoms who are in need of help. I will never lift my hand against my neighbor or vex them with words. In all things I will submit to the rule of God to bless his name and His children. No longer will we separate ourselves and be divided from one another. All men will be free to sojourn from kingdom to kingdom. We will allow the kingdoms to intermarry and bare sons and daughters. I do hereby swear by these tenets with my whole heart.
One by one each king signed their names under the words of Cronus.
When the agreement was signed, Cronus took Excalibur and thrust it through the parchment, pining in to the stone. “My purpose has been fulfilled. I will return to my home in Athareal.” He turned to his father king Murian. “Will you come with me?”
“This is not right. You should be honored for your heroism,” answered the king of Athareal. He looked around at all the masses of people in arms. “I vote that the Realm should have a name. And I see a no title more fitting than that of my son.”
The crowd yelled and shouted and praised Murian’s words. Cronus opened his mouth to reply but his father spoke before any sound came from the great champion who had risen up to unite the land. “I know your humble heart but it is only proper. Please allow it to be.”
“Very well, if that is your wish,” said Cronus with a bow and soft smile.
Then all the people shouted. “Long live the Realm of Cronus!”