A malevolent wizard seeks domination of the realm of Crom.
|It had been ten years since the last battle in the realm of Crom had been fought. Now, all is at rest in the realm. But one duplicitous man will change that.|
Nobleman Drachma of the kingdom of Heron, walked inside the royal gardens. He approached a man sitting on a wooden bench next to a large fountain. He stood and bowed to Drachma.
“Good evening, master Drachma. I have been waiting for you as you requested.”
“You are my faithful personal servant, Norman. I must ask you-how devoted to me are you actually?”
“Can I trust you with my deepest intentions?”
Norman looked away, squeamishly. “Y…yes master.”
“I have a task for you. I do not mean to reuse questions but can I trust you with anything?
“I am yours to command, no matter what,” said Norman sternly.
Drachma grinned. “The realm has been complacent and lazy. No longer is there any ambition to unify all the six kingdoms.”
Norman frowned. “But all realms are at peace.”
“The realms lack a true ruler. Only war can fix this. We must make timeto address this issue. I need you to attack the prince Neelan of the kingdom of Atlath.”
Norman widened his eyes and shuddered. He looked away.
“Remember where your loyalties lay, my servant,” said Drachma.
Norman closed his eyes and cringed. He shook himself and looked his master and spoke. “As you wish. But I will certainly be killed in response.”
“The death will be blamed on the head of an assassin of the kingdom of Wrethmire. I would not ask you to sacrifice yourself-at this point anyway.”
“I understand. What do I do?”
“Drink this potion and it will transform you to look like Gilmore, the personal servant of the king Hathic of Wrethmire. He is a welcomed and frequently visits, Atlath. Wait until Prince Neelan goes to sleep. Ask a guard for a key to Neelan’s chamber. Then plunge this dagger into his shoulder. It is essential that he does not die but sees you in your false guise fleeing through the chamber window. After you do it, you return to your normal form. When it is revealed an agent from Wrethmire attacked Prince Neelan, war will be sparked and I will make sure it spreads to all kingdoms! Then I will come along and use my power to unite the realm under my own rule.”
“I hear and obey, master. When do I carry out your wish?”
Drachma gave the potion to Norman and his body coalesced to appear as Gilmore, the servant of Hathic, king of Wrethmire.”
“Now take a horse and go to Atlath!”
The ride to Atlath, was the closest kingdom to Haren. And in three hours Norman reached Atlath, at its main gate where two soldiers stood.
“High servant Gilmore, what are you doing out this late?” asked a guard.
“I was on an errand from his majesty. It is confidential. Please let me in.”
The gates were raised and Norman dashed inside. All in the castle were asleep and it was empty. He spotted a satrap and neared him. “I lost my keys to my Lord Neelan’s chamber. Can I use yours?”
“This is unescapable. What of someone found it to harm the prince? I give you my only warning. Here is my key.”
Norman bowed and sped away into the dim main hall, waiting for the satrap to leave. Norman silently opened the door to the prince’s room and snuck to his bed side and stuck the dagger into his shoulder. He gasped in pain and immediately took notice of the culprit.
Norman barged through the glass window as he made his retreat. His body felt strange as he turned back to his normal appearance. He walked through the town like a late-night loner, strolling the streets. He found his horse and slowly rode out of Atlath, completely overlooked by anyone.
When he exited the kingdom, he shot forth towards Heron. When he arrived, he went to Drachma’s chamber door and knocked. The nobleman appeared.
“It is done.”
“Excellent. Now we wait.”
The next day, the king of Atlath was wroth with rage, and immediately sent a messenger declaring war on Wrethmire.
King Hathic of Wrethmire was greatly insulted. And sent out troops to meet the forces of Atlath. When their army dwindled, they sought help from Heron and Drachma insisted they join. The three warring nations caused collateral damage to the other kingdoms and soon they joined the war.
On a morning where the forces met to do more battle in a valley, Drachma used his magic to appear atop a mountain overlooking the battlefield. He raised an iron staff and it shown like the sun.
Drachma made his announcement to simplifyand force his will onto the men of all kingdoms. He used his magic to amplify his voice like a trumpet. “I command you to cease fighting and end this horrid bloodshed! Come one and all to my leadership and protection.”
All the men murmured and were hesitant.
“Bow to me, so all realms will be unified under my rule!” said Drachma, his voice echoing.
The exceedingly bright shine of his staff and his loud voice sent people bowing before him. One after another people prostrated themselves making the plain look a wave of kneeling humans.
Drachma had done it. The entire realm was his. And he ruled with an iron fist over the years. The time came when he was old and ill, ready to pass. The royal healers could not detox his disease. What was to happen to the realm when he was gone?
Drachma lay on his deathbed and called for Norman. “My servant, you must take up my mantle and take power over the kingdoms.” Drachma gave him the staff of light and told him to assemble the nations and use the staff’s shine to declare the transfer of power.
Norman did so and he took power from then on.