Caladuril, Flame of Light
Two tales are presented here. The first recounts the legend of Tarin, the curse laid upon his house, and the forging of the Shadowsords. The second tale presents the young life of Jamerend Tarinson, heir to Tarin, as portrayed in Caladuril Flame of Light. Readers are warned that the second story reveals plot elements from Caladuril, and thus could spoil some of the enjoyment of playing that story in person.
The Fall of Tarin
(Being the histories of Tarin's house and of the Shadowswords.)
And in the ages that followed the Conception of the Worlds, the love Tarin, Lord of Fire, felt for Ossea Lady of the Sea grew and they dwelt together in happiness for a great age.
While in the jealous mind of Tarin's brother Silmnoleh, darker Lord of Fire, there brewed a most malicious envy for Ossea's love for Tarin. "Am I not the stronger? Am I not more able to shape the events of Worlds than he?" thought Silmnoleh and schemed to destroy Tarin.
In the darkling depths of the Earth, Sllmnoleh came unto Mulromar, Death Feeder, darker Lord of Earth and Stone. "Forge me a sword, mud-lover, for I must do battle with my brother!"
Mulromar saw and loved the hate in the other's eyes and, since he also had no love for Tarin, forged the sword requested of him. Mulromar pulled from the earth a lode of iron and beat it into the shape of a blade with his fists, then keened the edge with many bites of his stone teeth.
"Here is your sword, spawn of evil. May it hew your hands as you wield it!"
Sllrnnoleh snatched up the blade and uttered many curses at Mulromar, then ran with all speed to the house of Tarin, set high on the slopes of Mount Elandin.
Tarin saw his brother climbing the cliffs below, as he stood with Ossea on the rampart of his castle. He looked down with pity and with fear, for he knew his brother's hate would give him strength and Tarin found he could summon no hate from his own heart. He bade Ossea stand on the balcony above his court and to await the ending of the duel. Sadly, Tarin descended the steps and shortly came to stand at the centre of his court, facing the granite doors.
Then did those doors open and Silrnnoleh and Tarin gazed at each other.
Silmnoleh saw Ossea standing above, eyes filled with dread, and shouted "Mine! She shall be mine!" The Lord raised his sword on high and threw himself on Tarin, who raised up his own hands and caught the blade.
Long did they struggle to gain sole grip on the sword and Tarin's hands ran with fiery blood as the keen edge bit deep.
Then, with a cracking cry, the sword was rended into two halves, both a lesser image of the whole. Tarin held in his hands a brightly glowing blade of white, while his brother held a shadowy black twin. The two lords stood still a moment, wondering at the strength of the First, who had rended whole worlds apart in this way. Conquering his amazement, Silmnoleh swung and hewed at his brother, while Tarin parried and counter struck. Such was the force of their blows, that thunder cracked and clouds billowed and blew strong winds whenever the two blades met.
For many days the two battled, neither winning, neither losing, until at length they relented and collapsed gasping, staring their defiance at each other.
Silmnoleh crawled to his feet and backed away. "Thrice damned are you! Thrice I spit upon you! Thrice I wish death upon your house!" raved he.
Then, gathering himself, he said in a steady tone "By the will of all that hate, I deem and curse that both Ossea and Tarin shall feel the torments of the union of their forces, whenever they draw near to each other. Forever shall Ossea's blood boil and forever shall Tarin's fire be doused when these two draw together!" Silmnoleh laughed and staggered out, bent over with exhaustion and glee.
Tarin looked up at Ossea and she back at him. At once both felt the curse at work. Tarin's body slowed and cooled to a frigid nothingness, as would a fire doused with all the Ocean's water. Ossea stood and screamed, for her blood and flesh boiled, as would water over all the fires ever lit.
Tarin looked and saw the agony on his love's face and turned and ran, knowing that only if they were separated, would their torment abate.
He ran and ran and crossed the sea to the Infant Continent, and only there could his torture find surcease.
Once there, on Aran's favourite land, Tarin struggled to become a mortal and to weave himself a new life among the men of Aran.
Consumed with his remorse, he took within him a great draught of fire water, the Gift of his brother. And as his senses were dulled, when a maiden of the town came to him at night, he thought that he beheld Ossea and that the curse was lifted. He led the girl unto his bed and there they lay until morning.
When Tarin awoke, he saw the woman who slept next to him, saw it was not Ossea and then did he remember the events of the night before and was wrought with shame.
And Tarin could see that he had ignited a spark of life within this woman and to that unborn child he spoke: "You are of my flesh and of my spirit. By all the Lords of Light, I prophesy that after seven times twelve generations have been and gone, you shall arise and destroy Silmnoleh my brother and fulfill rny love for Ossea."
In the pale morning, Tarin stole through the deserted streets of the town and ran, full of remorse, ran to the mountains that surrounded, whereupon he cast himself beneath the earth.
For nine days and nights the townspeople stood in awe and fear, as Tarin's mountain, proud above the sea, belched forth fire and shook the earth for miles around.
At length, when its fury was spent, the mountain slid.away from the shore and came to rest in the sea, steaming. The townspeople knew then who it was who had come amongst them and they grieved for the loss of the Lord of Light, and sailed to the new island and raised a tomb unto Tarin, high and strong, in the shape of a sword. And inside the hilt they carved a likeness of him and consecrated that place in the name of all Light.
The Life of Jamerend Tarin's Heir, First King of Aran
(Being also an account of the events recounted in Caladuril: Flame of Light.)
Jamerend was a smith's son and dwelt with his kin in the southern region of the mountain enclosed part of North Aran, known to its inhabitants as Footfall Vale. Jame had lived all his life with the knowledge that it was forbidden to leave this valley and that all who did so never returned.
Yet within him he found a wish to leave. Some force without the valley commanded that he go, commanded that he fulfill the chunk of destiny allotted to him.
Amidst the gentle snows of winter, Jame stole through the morning's mist and climbed the Valley walls.
And when he passed the highest point, miraculously the sky changed from its normal flickering green to a deep and sinister blue. Jame had broken the magical seal on the Vale. He had destroyed the warding spell placed there ages ago by the last of the Lords and left his home open to the spying eyes and thieving hands of the enemy.
Even as Jame stood and realised his folly, he heard behind him approaching rapidly the jabber of many evil voices and he hid himself behind nearby rocks.
Past him marched a thousand stunted and evil creatures, pressed on by hooded horrors on horseback.
When at last they had passed, Jame crept back down the mountain and ran to where his family's smithy had been. He found only ash and ruin. Filled with guilt as he realised that he alone had allowed this to come to pass, by breaking the Seal on his beloved home.
He vowed vengeance there and then and ran back towards the mountain pass, hoping to find and slay the evil creatures that had destroyed the Vale.
Many leagues south, across the plains that swaddled the foothills of the Vale's walls, Jame came to Aran's River. This obstacle he crossed through the tree-borne home of some unseen creatures.
Further south and west did he come upon the sea and he saw across its expanse the tomb of Tarin and here did he feel the first stirring of his noble blood. For several hours he gazed at the monument, as in his mind half-remembered words and faces flickered and danced.
A days journey brought Jame to the famed Gap of the Gods, where a giant fortress stretched across the valley between tall and impenetrable mountains. This had been the last bastion the Lords of light had held against the forces of Silmnoleh.
Jame had entered the fortress and found beneath its battlements an underground shrine to Mulromar, Dark Lord Of Earth. Therein he found one of the First's Orbs and, beholding it, he felt strength within him. This strength he used to go on and find the circlet of Sarrazin himself, whom Jame believed to be imprisoned within a statue of himself on the slopes of Mount. Haiyarat. The statue proved to be a device of Silmnoleh and the evil creature took the circlet and broke it, scattering its dust to the winds.
Broken by this tragedy, Jame fled across the sea to Tarin's Isle, and there mounted the steps of the sword unto the tomb wherein, he now knew, rested a likeness of his ancestor, Tarin Lord of Fire.
Here appeared before him Arian, Lord of Air, revivied to fill wakefullness since the formation of the spell that had kept the Vale safe from all evil. Arian spoke to Jame and explained his true inheritence and destiny: to confront Silmnoleh and to destroy the curse laid upon him and Ossea Lady of the Sea, seven times twelve generations ago.
Arian now used his strength and summoned a wind to carry Jame to the place where he might find his evil brother Silmnoleh.
Jamerend discovered an arch that roared before him and showed within it the black and dead land of his brother. He crossed through and at once found himself upon the iron battlernents of SlImnoleh's Castle.
Within the Castle Jame avoided many traps and came at last to a shrine that contained a Shadowsword. Overcome with joy, Jamerend Tarin's Heir took it to be Caladuril flame of light, his ancestor's sword.
When he reached for the blade, he saw then that it was Morduril, the evil Shadowsword of Silmnoleh. Its malice battled Jame's blood and he fell through the stones of the castle, slowly fading into the nothingness that the union of Morduril and his flesh created.
But at last his grip weakened and he dropped the sword, finding himself in the labyrinth in the base of the Castle. Silmnoleh was filled with joy, since he believed his brother destroyed for all time.
Jamerend had not died and now schemed, thinking that he could replace Morduril with Caladuril and consign Silmnoleh to the same fate that Jame had almost suffered himself.
And in Silmnoleh's treasure room did he find that which Silmnoleh guarded with most fear: Caladuril. Jamerend fulfilled his plan and Silmnoleh withered before him and he and Caladuril passed from this world with a cry of hate that echoed in the caverns of the place for years.
Jamerend then travelled home in triumph and all those of his people who were not slain by the beasts he gathered together and bade them expand their lands out of the Valley and onto the Plains below. The people looked upon him and saw the power of Tarin in him and took him to be their king.
And thus did Jamerend Tarin's Heir come to the end of his road, as king of Aran.
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