The Crystal Kings
Excerpt from the book The King of Men:
Thousands of years ago, before sorcery and fae creatures left the realm, Elianor was a world of much greater expanse than it is now. Some historians, who have searched the tomes in the ancient libraries, surmise a world whose longitudinal expanse was five times what it is at present. The world was terminated east, west, and south by the sea, which was not the vile expanse of doom it is at current, but was rather a more pungent and expansive version of the inland seas of today. To the north, the world was terminated by a line of giant stone sentinels who were said to watch over the realm and would become active if anything threatened their charge. While men in this time kept their minds on their work, and produced food and resources for the creatures of the realm, the fae creatures dabbled in dark arts and sorcery. Men and the fae would hold councils where men would advise against the wicked practices of sorcery, only to have their wise words fall on deaf ears. Eventually, single wizards would rise to great power and men would wage war to keep their power from being corrupted and turning against the innocent of Elianor. Hundreds of years and nearly as many wars between men and the fae wizards passed, all leading up to the rise of the most powerful fae wizard of all time, Magorian. Fortunately, men had a hero to lead them. His name was Sysaphons and he was the most powerful warrior the realm had ever seen. He towered above other men and could throw other soldiers with one arm. He wielded a greatsword with one hand and used a tower shield with dexterity and ease. Magorian had amassed an army of hundreds of thousands, larger than any fae army established to that point, and the war drug on for almost a decade. In the ninth year, the army of men had dwindled to less than five thousand and faced a fae army of over twenty thousand. As the war horns rang out and the two charged each other, a great shaking overtook the earth. In the distance, men and fae alike saw the stone titans of the north marching in rank and file. Sysaphons sighed a great breath of relief and called his men to retreat to their ancestral home in the east. So it was that the great march began. Sysaphons was sure that he only needed to stay out of harms way until Magorian was struck down and his men could return to their lives. The fae also fled to the east and, after months of marching, Sysaphons decided his men would have to prove their valor one last time. They stood against the fae one final time, on what is now the Idep Hills. The titans were still marching in from the west as they battled and Sysaphons hoped to trap them between the strength of the titans and the fury of his men. The battle raged for days and Sysaphons soon began to realize that titans were had not come to add their strength to his own, but that they came to destroy anything in their path. Sysaphons turned his attention to the titans and swung blow after blow against them, each clanging louder than the last as they harmlessly bounced off the titans stone skin. Weary and ready to accept defeat, Sysaphons saw Magorian coming to him with the titans at his back. Magorian muttered some dark words and lobbed a glowing orb of energy at Sysaphons, but Sysaphons refused to be beaten by a man such as Magorian and used his greatsword to block the energy. It soaked in to the blade and gave it a faint glow, giving Sysaphons hope. He threw the sword as hard as his massive arms could, piercing magorian and driving him into one of the female titans behind him putting her down as well. Sysaphons realized that his sword had become imbued with some magic power that could destroy the titans and from that point forth he and his men waged war down the country side until the titans surrendered. He lay the bodies in piles and began to attack the piles with the sword once more, to the confusion of his men. They asked him “Brave leader, the battle is won. Why do you waste your energy this way?” to which Sysaphons responded “I waste not. I will build a grave so great that no evil will dare come down on the realm of men again. We were betrayed by those we thought watched over us. Now I will watch over us”. The first pile contained Magorian and the female titan he had been driven in to. He shaped her in to a mountain with a face, so that she could see what had become of her people, and as he shaped the rest into the mountains, her eyes turned to waterfalls and she became The Weeping Mother. In the center of the realm, where he had the best view, Sysaphons built the largest of the mountains and when it was finished, he climbed to the top to look out on what had become of his world. To the west, where the titans had been, all the earth was crumbling and sinking into the sea. To the east, he saw the unspoiled beauty of what Elianor had become. He built a throne of the bones and skulls of his victims and a crown from their teeth. He knew that corruption or some evil malady has made the titans turn on the innocent men and he knew that, if he were to take on the role of guardian of men, he could have no corruptible part of him. He plunged his sword into his stomach and pulled out a small black mass and threw it to the ground. It grew into a shade of his own form, and he called it Dagon. He cast it out into the evil places left in the world, beyond the seas. With a pure heart, Sysaphons held trial on the titans who had surrendered and punished them according to their crimes by diminishing their size. Those with the smallest offenses were shrunk just a bit and became the giants that roam the wild places today. The worst criminals were shrunk as much as Sysaphons could, and became the Ocina that, to this day, infest Elianors streets. With that Job done, Sysaphons went into waiting and began to collect warriors for his next great battle, that with Dagon at the end of times.