The Emissary's Battle

This is the first draft of a story I wrote this week.  It is primarily dialogue.  I will add descriptive narrative in the next draft.  This story is based on a fictional world I created many years ago.  Enjoy!

The Emissary’s Battle

Trouble brews in Elvendell, Land of the Elves.  Adurelain, son of Adurelair, Overlord of Elvendell, has befallen an assassin’s dagger.  Demeri, Honorable Emissary of King Sceptere of Somoland, Realm of Men, appeals to Adurelair to end his threat of war against Dwarfberg, Home of the Dwarves.  Can Demeri persuade one bent on vengeance to desist?

Demeri the Emissary stood before the throne of Adurelair, Overlord of Elvendell.  King Sceptere’s envoy to the Land of the Elves beseeched the king to hear her appeal.  The grief-stricken Overlord acknowledged her presence with a faint glance of his distraught eyes.

“O great One, I come bearing words from the King of Somoland,” Demeri said with measured breath.  “The king sends you his utmost condolences on behalf of the realm of Somoland.  Your loss is great, and our land is pained by Elvendell’s terrible sacrifice.  O that fate could be unmade would we join you in unmaking it.”  The withdrawn Overlord ignored Demeri’s somber greetings.

Demeri continued.  “My king asks you to consider his appeal.  The Huntsmen who patrol the edges of our realm caught wind of news of a stray Gnome wandering through the mountains that divide our two lands.  He may very well have been making his way back to Gnomea after carrying out his foul deed.  Gnomes do not pass lightly through our lands.  Our King’s ears believe that the Gnomes carried out the assassination of your son in the guise of a Dwarf to spur you to assail the land of Dwarfberg.”

“You speak lies!” Adurelair hissed, thrusting an accusing finger at Demeri.  Adurelair rose ominously from his throne, his lithe body steeled with rage.  His piercing eyes bore into Demeri as lance on flesh.  Demeri cringed and covered her eyes.  “Do not whisper lies in my ears, Speaker of Man.  My son’s body is still warm, yet you come to deceive me with rumors and lies?  Do not burden me with your lies!  You seek to derange my thoughts.  It was not a Gnome, but a Dwarf who killed my son.  The evil remnants defiling my son’s room belong to a Dwarf.  This have I seen with my own eyes.  The scent I smelled is that of a Dwarf.  Dwarfberg will pay for stealing away the beloved hier to the throne of Elvendell.  Dwarfberg will pay with blood.”

Demeri bowed humbly, shielding herself from Adurelair’s tirade.  Her guards reached out to her, trying to pull her away from Adurelair’s venom.  Demeri pushed them away, raised her voice and meekly outstretched her arms towards Adurelair.  “O Great One, I beseech you to stay your armies!   This evil deed was not done by the Dwarves.  Please, you must understand.  I was informed that the dagger you found was stolen by a Sprite from the House of King Bergorod one moon ago.  I have not seen the dagger that took your son, but I can tell you that it bears the seal of the King of the Dwarves.  The King’s servant saw a Sprite steal the dagger in the darkest hours of the night from the King’s private armory.”

Adurelair interrupted, “The Sprites have no grievance with Dwarfberg.  The Gnomes are sworn enemies of the Dwarves, not of the Elves.  I do not see why a Gnome would take my son.”  

“King Bergorod believes that the Sprites and Gnomes formed an alliance and that they planned to use his dagger to precipate war between the Elves and Dwarves,” Demeri continued.  “The offending Sprite remains at large, but his possession of the dagger reveals more than his identity.  King Bergorod’s moles pursued the Sprite as he crossed into Gnomea.  They believe the dagger fell into the hands of the Gnomes, who carried out the evil work of the Sprites by sending an assassin into your fair land.” 

Adurelair glared angrily at Demeri, his cobalt eyes shimmering.  “Why was I not told of this?  Why did Bergorod not tell me of this news?  Now my son is dead, killed by Bergorod’s dagger.  Even if my son was not taken by a wretched Dwarf, Bergorod and his ilk will still pay for their silence.”

“Your Highness, the King of the Dwarves believed that the Gnomes would turn his dagger against the heart of Dwarfberg, not against the beloved son of Elvendell.  He did not know what evil purpose would be fulfilled by the dagger’s thrust.  King Bergorod sought counsel from my King because the dagger had passed through the Realm of Man into Gnomea.  He was unaware that the dagger would fulfill its fiendish purpose in Elvendell.  His Emissary could not warn you because he was expelled from your court after Dwarven mines were discovered in Elvendell.” 

“I do not believe you,” Adulelair said warily with an aggrieved voice.  His voice rose again.  “Dwarves undermine my Land.  We will never live at peace with the Dwarves if they continue to conspire against us.  My son is dead.  Elvendell’s heir is gone.  Bergorod is to blame.  So too is Somoland, Land of Man, if it conspired with the Dwarves to kill my son.”

Demeri struggled to deflect the Overlord’s accusations.  “O Great One, Somoland and Dwarfberg have not conspired against you.  Our lands seek to live in peace.  Please understand that this is what the Gnomes and Sprites want.  Long have you fought the Sprites within your borders, and long have the Gnomes lived at war with the Dwarves,” Demeri tried to reason calmly as her knees shook.  “If the Elves ride against Dwarfberg, then your enemies will have won, Your Highness.  They will have brought their twin enemies to the brink of destruction.  The Gnomes will fulfill their ancient claim to Dwarfberg’s lands, and the Sprites will overtake Elvendell.  Your great lands will fall.”

“Emissary, I shall banish you forever from Elvendell for your insolence.  You insult the memory of my son with your clever stories.  Harsh will be my retribution against Somoland if you stand in the way of justice.”

Demeri flinched and turned away.  She cried out, “Great One, please wait!  Remember what happened with Vexsios.  Do you remember Vexsios, a memory of your youth?”

Adurelair suddenly froze, puzzled.  He stopped, and his face dropped as he fell into thought. 

“Ages ago, your beloved father nearly fell victim to the Sword of Man.  Elven guards seized the one who wielded the Sword, the rebel Sprite named Vexsios.  Vexsios stole the Sword from my King’s father, Amulet of Somoland and sought to bring our lands to blows.  Please remember the past and see that it returned with a vengeance.  Where the Sprites failed in taking your father’s life, they succeeded against your son.  Please, I beseech you to remember Vexsios and stay your armies.”

Anger receded from Adulelair’s eyes.  They the faintest glimmer of tears glistened in the corners of his eyes.  A pause ensued, and finally the Overlord answered, “Yes, I remember.  I remember now.  You…are right, Emissary.  Sinister forces may have caused my son’s death, as you say.  I heed your words, Emissary.  I will stay the armies of Elvendell to give this further consideration.  I must uncover the truth.”

Literary musings

On Sunday I started reading a book I purchased early last year, “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini.  It’s a wonderful debut by a young man from rural Montana.  I haven’t had much time to read since I bought it, but I managed to read a bit yesterday while at work.  I read a little over 100 pages—not many, but as much as I could while monitoring laborers.  The novel is a fantasy about a 15-year-old boy named Eragon who finds an egg that hatches into a dragon.  Set in the mythical land of Alagaësia, it is the story of how dragons and dragon riders are reborn in an age when evil rules the land.  Touted as an epic reminiscent of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s works, the book is influenced by many fantasy classics, including the “Lord of the Rings” and “Dragonriders of Pern” series by Anne McCaffrey

I chose to read this book for three reasons.  First, I have long been a fan of fantasy and science fiction books.  I especially enjoyed reading C.S. Lewis ’ “Chronicles of Narnia,”  Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Piers Anthony’s “Xanth” and “Incarnations of Immortality” series, Terry Brooks’ “Shannara” series, and David Edding’s “Belgariad” and “Mallorean” series.  My love of fantasy began when I read Lloyd Alexander’s “The Black Cauldron” while in elementary school.  Although some would disagree with me, I still regard David Eddings’ twin series to be the prieminent works in the fantasy genre.  I remember reading the entire five-book “Belgariad” series in one weekend as a kid (I read a lot).  I digested fantasy novels as quickly as I could afford to buy them.  I rarely have time to read novels anymore.  Any reading time is usually spent studying foreign languages or perusing magazines.  I can’t remember the last novel I read.  Perhaps it was “Memoir of a Geisha,” an excellent debut novel by William Golding about the life of geisha in Japan from the 1920s to the 1950s.  Regardless, I rarely read anything in the fantasy genre anymore.  I did read J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" a couple years ago.  It was an enjoyable, easy read, but it lacked an epic struggle I always enjoy in a fantasy series.  Rowling’s villian Valdemort is too abstract a character, and Harry Potter is too front and center in the series.  Paolini’s "Eragon" is an excellent debut for a young writer, but it too lacks the depth of earlier fantasy series.

I also chose to read "Eragon" because the author’s story personally resonates with me.  Christopher Paolini grew up in a place I know well, Paradise Valley, Montana.  I also spent some of my childhood in Montana, and I see vivid images of Montana thread throughout his story.  Someone who has read “Eragon” but has never visited Montana might not pick up on the allegories of rural Montana he weaved into his story.  I can picture the mountains that surround the area where he grew up, the streams, forests, and valleys.  I can imagine the subsistence farming and farm life that he saw around him while growing up in rural Montana.  Paolini was just 15 when he began writing his story.  Not coincidentally, his protagonist is 15 years old.  Eragon is Paolini’s alter ego, and the dragon is the mythical friend that Paolini imagined as he read books such as “Dragonriders of Pern” amidst the majestic countryside surrounding him.  Palancar Valley in the story is none other than his very own Paradise Valley.  Paolini’s own story makes me wonder about a life that wasn’t meant to be for me.  I was also a teen with a vivid imagine and a penchant for enjoying fantasy.  I immersed myself in reading, and I loved creative writing.  The dust now covers the many fantasy stories that I wrote and never published.  One of my stories written years ago actually reminds me of “Eragon”—it features a naïve boy with a strong sense of wonder and a search for destiny, a youth stuck in a place where he doesn’t belong who is suddenly ripped away from all he has known, thrust involuntarily into an epic adventure.  Paolini must have felt the same way as Eragon, and he found it cathartic to draw from his own life experiences when writing his book.  I know he did, because did too I when I was young.  Paolini probably felt that he was “stuck” in rural Montana, and he escaped from its mundanity by reading about fantasy worlds far beyond Paradise Valley.  He turned his story into a gem of a book that is now a critical and financial success.  My own stories are still sitting on a shelf, waiting to be polished and published.  

Finally, reading Paolini’s book inspires me to write.  Paolini represents to me someone I could have been—a professional author.  Instead, I chose this life.  I don’t regret my choice at all.  Here I am in Korea living a great life.  Paolini is a bit of an alternate reality for me, representing a life that never was.  Fate has a funny way of messing with you.  Ten years ago I made a fateful choice not to do what I am doing now.  My life came full circle, and here I am living one of my dreams.  Writing professionally is another dream of mine, and something in my mind tells me that someday I will.  I do want to return to writing fiction.  This blog sustains me while I only have a little time to write.  Someday I will return to writing full time and will publish a novel.  I have some great ideas.  It is amazing to me to see how many of my ideas have turned up in popular books and movies.  Unfortunately, many are dated, and I have not had an original idea for a long, long time.  Time and responsibility have dulled my creative mind.  I used to daydream about great, lofty ideas, and now I am resigned to focus on day to day tasks.  Still, I’ve never lost my desire to write stories.  One of my dreams is to walk into a bookstore and see one of my books featured at the front of the store.  It won’t happen anytime soon, if ever, but I will continue to hope…and write.