Monday, September 9, 2013
The Hero of Legend
From its establishment the Realm has remained the only magical kingdom in existence. As a result, it has never known peace. Although the kingdom has never fallen, it must now defend against the Warlord Damian – a brilliantly merciless conqueror who uses history as a weapon. Rallying those resentful of the Realm’s magic, Damian has amassed a Legion of Warriors – the largest military force ever assembled.
The Kingdom’s defeat is imminent!
Maebus, the Realm’s newest King, has only ruled for six days. Yet he must now lead the magical Realmsic Kingdom through its most perilous conflict ever.
OUT THE CORNER OF HIS EYE, King Maebus thought he saw a flicker of lightning. Thunder wasn’t uncommon this time of year. But weather had nothing to do with this impending storm. He’d watched the dark clouds slowly gather over a period of time. Where normally his life was filled with relative repose, he now observed the rain pour from the sky like a flood of emotion.
Listening to the water droplets splat against his balcony, he stood in silence while taking in the horizon of the only magical kingdom in existence. The Realm. Such beauty on its surface; such terror in its heart. Maebus sighed a great breath as he contemplated the duality of both.
Thoughts inundated his mind as rapidly as the falling rain. Yet, within the present moment, the King felt relaxed. For what it was worth, still moments in time were the closest he’d ever come to knowing peace. As elusive as they were, he learned to cherish them. The Realmsic Kingdom, with its history of continuous war, was filled with endless uncertainty. Stillness, he discovered, was all anyone ever really possessed.
For thousands of years, the natural condition of the Realm had been the unyielding state of war. According to those who knew history, it was the discovery of magic that initially divided the Realmsic people. Those who based their lives around the use of magic referred to themselves as Wizards. Those who shunned energy manipulation preferred to be called Laymen, which to them meant, Common Man.
Escalating tension between the two communities resulted in brutal skirmishes. Both sides, having claimed their natural right to the Realm, refused to leave it. Full-scale war ensued over the land, and also over the Realmsic Crystal—the source of all magic. Years of mutual suffering eventually led to a compromise. At the historic Conference of Amity, laws were established for the protection of both communities. Going forward, magic would only be used practically and would be governed in the form of a monarchy. The Realmsic Kingdom, as it was later named, would be a nonbiased entity structured for the benefit of all. Wizards would select a Layman King or Queen, who in return would select a Grand Wizard-Realmsic Advisor. A council comprised of members from both communities would guide them in creating laws for regulating the fair use of magic.
Because of this arrangement, the Realm experienced a techno-magical revolution, producing a surge of mechanical inventions that were fueled by magic. Eventually, conflicts within the Realm diminished significantly. However, insatiable greed and fear of magic continued to flourish, and war never officially ended. Centuries passed, the Wizard-Laymen conflict continued, and conquerors seeking the crystal were met and ultimately defeated. But now, Maebus—the new Realmsic King, found himself facing the volatile headwinds of the Realm’s greatest storm yet.
“Magic … both our blessing and our curse,” a voice said from behind him, disrupting his thoughts. Maebus turned swiftly to discover a dark-hooded man standing just a few feet away from him.
“Did I interrupt you, brother?” Kelm asked.
“Never. But I didn’t hear you come in.”
The man removed his hood, revealing a tempered smile. They greeted each other with clasped hands. Grand Wizard Kelm was not only Advisor to the kingdom; he was also Maebus’ life-long trusted friend.
Kelm walked past Maebus and leaned forward against the balcony. He focused as far as his eyes could see through the rain.
“A storm is coming,” he said.
“Unfortunately, a storm is already here,” Maebus replied.
He joined Kelm and pointed in the direction of the distant Western Nations.
“War is upon us.”
The Grand Wizard chuckled to himself.
“When is it not, Maebus? For two thousand years, our history has been a string of conflicts and conquerors.”
“True. But not like this. Not like him.”
Kelm said nothing in response, for he knew Maebus was right. No matter how much he tried to trivialize his own anxiety, his own fear, Kelm repeatedly found himself face to face with the unequivocal truth. Their defeat was inevitable. Never in history had the kingdom ever fallen. Yet, never had there been an enemy such as Damian.
The Wizard’s eyes intensified as he concentrated upon the well-worn features of his friend.
“Does he worry you?” Kelm asked.
Maebus shook his head no. “It’s not the man who worries me,” he replied. “It’s the fervor in his voice. It’s the intensity of his influence. Almost overnight, one man spawned a Legion of Warriors. With them, he now unleashes indiscriminant, disciplined death. Where previous conquerors have demonstrated haste, this man is poised; his tactics, erratic yet calculated, intricate yet unsympathetic. Our Realmsic Army is sharpened by centuries of physical combat. But it isn’t men they now fight against. It’s ideology.”
“Yes,” the Grand Wizard said, “but at the basis of all ideology, there exists one fatal flaw. Man’s own desire to be more than he is. The Warlord’s tactics are different, I agree. But his motives are the same as those who came before him. Beyond his pretty words and promises is nothing more than common greed.”
As Maebus contemplated this, he walked from the balcony back into his chamber. He’d only recently become King. Therefore, it was no surprise he still found the chamber of a King to be somewhat uncomfortable. Its royal décor, passed down from generations, felt like it belonged to someone else. The shaded skies outside did little to illuminate its interior. Aside from a single candle flame flickering its resistance against a cold draft, the room was blanketed in shadowy darkness.
Maebus sighed yet again. “To his people,” he said, “this man’s greatness is impervious. It’s with that passion that they fight.”
Kelm stood centered within the balcony doorway, his form silhouetted by the drab grayness behind him.
Maebus continued, “We would be wise to acknowledge the unity they’ve created. Think of it, Kelm: thousands of individually focused minds, all in one harmonious agreement to destroy us.”
Kelm laughed uneasily. “I would consider it a beautiful notion, if it didn’t mean our own demise.”
The King chuckled also, followed by brief silence.
“Maebus …” Kelm’s eyes quickly filled with concern, “an attack upon the kingdom is imminent. Swords and magic will not be enough to face it. How are we to defend it when this man comes?”
Maebus thought a moment before he answered. “I have a plan, but I need to speak with the council.”
Kelm pointed to the door.
“They’re already waiting.”
Demethius Jackson is a fiction writer from Washington, DC. He is the author of The Realmsic Conquest book series, which chronicles the struggles of the only magical kingdom in existence.
Jackson is an alumnus of American University’s School of Communications. Through his ten year career, his written works have spanned numerous forms of media such as music and television. He has also held positions at global media and cinema companies.