Navarr - Legend Part I
Thousands of years in the past, humankind were just beginning to settle, grow crops, raise their first cities.
The world must have seemed full of magic and mystery on those far-off times, and indeed there was much that was hidden from them behind walls of mist and power.
The Elder Races had claimed the world as their own for unnumbered years.
The greatest of these in power, though fewest in number, were the Dragonlords; they dwelled in high, remote mountain ranges, their huge white cities blending with the snows.
The Elves lived in many different regions, beside the oceans, the forests and hills, although all answered to one High King. Their cities and settlements, beautiful and spacious, sprawled across the lands, lifted proud towers into the clouds.
The Dragornlords and the Elves rarely met; both were powerful and the world was wide. They were not allied in those days, but neither were they enemies.
There were other beings too, of the air, the deep seas, and freshwater rivers, the wild forests. Magic ran through the Elder Races like water through the veins of the Earth, effortless, powerful, unquestioned. They were unchallenged in their glory and brightness. The skies lit with flame when the dragons danced, and the Elven cities rang like harps in the wind.
There was an innocence, in those ancient times, when war was unheard of and unknown, a golden age that echoed in their dreams long after.
It came, they said, long after, out of the night, the gaps between the stars and, at first, it was subtle, like mould slowly growing on a fallen leaf, unnoticed. It came as shadows that were more than darkness, touching the edges of the mind, sparking unfamiliar thoughts of anger, jealousy, mistrust, fear. It was a new thing, and troubling to the wise.
At length they purposed a council in the great dragon city of Khathan-Khaladon with its towers limned with gold and silver and the Well of Fire, which reached into the heart of the world. For the dragonlords, this was a holy site and the birthplace of the first of their kind, Kath-dannan, the Dragon King. It was he who presided over the council.
All of the Elder Races, whom we now know only imperfectly through myths and legends, were represented. Many were shapeshifters (save the Elves, closest to humans) and took human form when they arrived, men and women of beauty and power. To our own eyes, had we been there to see, they would have appeared as all the races who populate the Earth.
There came the High King of the Elves, Taratharr, he who was born out of the ancient starlight, and his children, Shadonai the warrior-prince and his sister Amirai, mistress of the bow and of song. These two met and became friends with the Dragon King’s son, Xadath, the High Prince and thereafter, friendship flourished between the Dragon Lords and the Elves.
The council lasted many days when a messenger arrived from the east, telling that a darkness had fallen over a distant land of men, and out of the black clouds came the stench of war and slaughter.
The Dragonlords took wing, bearing the Elves upon their backs; the spirits of earth, water and air shifted into their own shapes to travel eastward. In a faraway land they saw the shape the Enemy had taken: a monstrous black dragon seemingly formed out of darkness itself.
So they battled it, in their first war, and called it the Soth Nagoth, or the Battle of Darkness. At length, the Enemy withdrew, coiling into nothingness, but behind it left the ruin of war.
In human shape, the Elder Race went among humankind to aid and heal them, but still they were troubled. While they themselves might battle against the Dark Enemy, humans were as children, easily slain — and easily corrupted. There emerged those who saw the Enemy as powerful, and worshipped it, others who turned toward the Elder Races. It was a situation that could not continue.
But now, the eye of the Enemy was firmly fixed on the Elder Races, and they knew that if they fought the Enemy on this Earth, humans would suffer, perhaps be completely destroyed. And so they determined upon a plan: they would leave the world, create another out of the very fabric of their minds and the power that ran in them. It would be like Earth, but there would be no humans so if — as they believed — the Enemy followed them, the Earth would be left for men to grow and prosper.
They came together to create their own world, which they called Navarr, and put forth their combined power. A great, shining portal, ringed with fire and crowned with starlight appeared in the city of Kathan Khaladon and in groups, or one by one, the Elder Races vanished through.
The Dragonlords and Elves remained until the last, for the Enemy was approaching; they felt it in the icy winds, the deepening shadows, in unearthly voices that wailed among the empty towers. At the end, the Dragonking and the Elven King stood shoulder to shoulder as, in a thunder of terrible power and darkness, the Enemy swept down into the empty plaza.
Of that battle, the Dragonking, did not speak. Taratharr, the Shining Star of the Elves, was slain, and Kath-danann himself was wounded as the Elder Races poured power into closing the portal. Then, in grief, they went into Navarr to build their lives again.
At first, all seemed well. They mourned, and the children of Taratharr vowed they would neither take their father’s place nor have any other High King again, but Navarr was beautiful, rich, like a new tapestry woven by their minds and now unfurled before them. They founded towns and cities, those who lived in such places, or melted into the woods, the wind and the waters.
But Kath-danann became silent, solitary, brooding alone in his tower.
Xadath, his son, increasingly worried for his father, spoke in secret to his friends, Shadonai and Aimira, for one of the powers of the Elves was to see into the hearts and mind; nothing was hidden from their sight.
What they found was...Darkness. In its fury, the Enemy had sent shoots of its evil into the Dragonking, burrowing deep. He was its host. Destruction and madness was growing like a canker within the greatest and most powerful of the Dragonlords...
Notes - Legend Part i
- Khathan-Khaladon (The Birth of Fire) The first and greatest city of the Dragonlords.
- Kath-danann (Fire-jewel) — First king of the Dragonlords. Corrupted by the Dark Enemy in the Battle of the Crossing, allowing the Enemy to enter Navarr.
- Xadath (Jewel-storm) — son of Kath-danann who became King of the Dragonlords on Navarr. The dragon met and ridden in ‘Dragon Rider’.
- Taratharr (Shining Star) — First High King of the Elves. Slain at the Battle of the Crossing, when the Elder Races left Earth for Navarr.
- Shadonai (Sun-radiance) — Son of Taratharr, High Prince and Warden of the Elves in Navarr. The Elf of the Sea Haven and Towers of the Wind.
- Amirai (Song of the South Wind) — daughter of Taratharr. Most skilled of the Elven archers and spinner of magic through her music.
- Soth Nagoth - Battle of Darkness. The First Battle against the Dark Enemy fought on Earth.