Holyas Toth and the Claiming of Caburn


[Compiled and translated from mid-Bancel by Malorie White]

Long ago when glass was still new, King Uetas ruled the land of Che. But Uetas was forlorn, for he only had one daughter, Morien, who was a Weaver. So, as old age overtook him, Uetas forsook his wife and took a servant to bed. And the servant bore him a son, who he named Holyas. And as Holyas grew, Uetas took great joy in him.

But Morien became jealous of her brother and called out to Sol for aid. But it was not Sol who answered her, rather Waer in the guise of the beguiler. And Waer found a kindred spirit in the treacherous heart of Morien, and taught her new ways to weave hitherto unknown before on Ayr. So Morien wove a creature to kill Holyas. And that night the creature stole into the boy’s bedchamber.

Though the creature was bound to Morien, and should have done her bidding, the infant Holyas spoke to the creature, for he was a Render. And upon hearing Holyas’ voice, the creature realized it could not murder the boy who was Blessed by Sol. So it bore Holyas away, to the far reaches of the kingdom, where it found the lowly knight Rance. And there it left the child at Rance’s doorstep, fading back into Sol’s flow once Rance took the child in.

Upon finding Holyas’ empty crib in the morning, Uetas was sorely distraught and his heart was nearly torn in twain. And Morien concealed her joy behind a mask of tears.

But in Uetas’ court there dwelt a clever Listener named Wylit, who acted as Uetas’ advisor. And Wylit Listened upon Morien’s thoughts and gave voice to her treachery. Upon hearing of his daughter’s murder of his rightful son, Uetas’ heart gave way. And the king died, Morien taking the throne.

Wroth at Wylit, Morien wove a creature to blind him. And she exiled the Listener, her creature at his heels. But the creature would not kill Wylit, instead tormenting him and giving him no rest until it faded back into Sol’s flow. So Morien summoned a new creature, day after day, to torment Wylit, who was forced to blindly wander the kingdom. And so the blind Wylit suffered, none in the kingdom willing to give him succor and thus earn Morien’s wrath.

But Morien was a cruel ruler, and her subjects’ hearts turned upon her. The people rose up against her, and so Morien summoned hundreds of her creatures and smote them terribly. And so Morien ruled for six and ten years.

In that time the blind Wylit roamed the land, tormented by Morien’s creatures that refused to let him rest. Nor would they let him die. And the people turned their backs to Wylit, the Listener forced to live as a beggar and sleep in the fields like a beast.

But one day Wylit’s roaming delivered him to the home of the knight Rance, who had raised Holyas beside his son Cei. Cei he trained to be a knight, while Holyas served as his squire. And when Wylit came to their door, Rance turned him away so as not to displease Morien.

But Holyas took pity upon the blind Wylit, and drew him away so that he might spend the night in the cowshed. And as he did, Wylit touched the boy’s mind, recognizing him for who he was. And Wylit cried, “behold Holyas, the lost heir to Uetas.”

Upon hearing Wylit, Rance disbelieved, but Cei knew the truth to the Listener’s words. So Cei knelt beside his squire, proclaiming Holyas to be the rightful king. And the creature that had been tormenting Wylit that day also heard his words, returning to his creator Morien to inform her.

At this, Morien was sorely wroth, and wove a terrible creature to put an end to Holyas and Wylit. And so the two fled, Cei with them, the creature at their heels. And though Cei was a knight, he could not harm the creature with his iron sword. Only Holyas’ Blessed influence over Breath kept the creature at bay, but it still hounded them. So they fled, deeper and deeper into the forest.

Holyas’ flight took them to the heart of the wood. And there an emet with the head of a heron dwelt beside a vast nodus. Though Wylit and Cei wished to pass the emet by, Holyas knew it to be an engel, for he was a Render. And so Holyas beseeched the engel for aid.

Hearing the boy’s words and the depth of his need, the engel knew Holyas was the one it had been waiting for. So the engel reached into the heart of the nodus and drew forth Caburn, a sword with a blade of glass. And the engel gifted Caburn to Holyas.

Seeing the glass sword, Cei was sorely dismayed, saying, “This blade will surely shatter.”

But Holyas knew the true gift the engel gave, and waited for Morien’s terrible creature. And with Caburn, Holyas smote the creature.

Though Cei’s iron sword passed through the creature like a knife through wind, Caburn’s edge cut the creature and scattered its Breath to the four winds.

Upon bearing witness to Caburn, a weapon able to slay Morien’s monsters, Cei again knelt beside his former squire, declaring Holyas the king that would end the rule of the murderous Morien.

Riddle:

I look at you,

You look at me,

I raise my right,

You raise your left.

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MD Presley is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout. But if you’ve ever got a hankering for some grimdark gunpowder fantasy with a female anti-hero, I have a suggestion...

 

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