The Raising of Holyas Toth's Army

Part one of this series can be found here.

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

With the righteousness of his cause and Caburn at his side, Holyas desired to free his people from his sister Morien’s reign. But the wise Wylit entreated Holyas to stay his hand. To defeat Morien would mean nothing if Holyas could not hold the kingdom, so Wylit advised him to raise an army. Hearing the wisdom to Wylit’s words, Holyas set out with Wylit and his first knight Cei to seek allies in the surrounding kingdoms.

Led by the blind Listener, the three first came upon the kingdom of Mors, a powerful Weaver whose creatures kept Morien’s monsters from his lands. And when Mors discovered that Holyas was the sister to his adversary Morien, Mors unleashed an army of creatures against them. But Holyas cut them each down with Caburn, severing the strands of their Breath with his glass blade and returning them to Sol’s flow.

Overcome by Holyas’ power, Mors expected his death, but Holyas showed him mercy. Realizing the righteousness of Holyas’ cause, Mors fell to his knees and swore fealty to Holyas. Removing his own stout armor, Mors placed it upon Holyas piece by piece. And so he departed his own kingdom to travel with Holyas as a squire.

As their journey continued on, they came upon the wandering knight Elidir, a man so quick and sure of his skill that he disdained armor. Upon hearing of Holyas’ claim to the kingdom of Che, Elidir challenged Holyas to single combat. And though Holyas could easily defeat Elidir with his Render power and Caburn, Holyas refused to attack.

Elidir struck furiously, but Mors’ stout armor protected Holyas, and as the day passed Elidir grew so weary he could no longer lift his sword. Tired beyond measure, Elidir expected his end at Holyas’ blade. But Holyas extended his hand and Elidir joined his band.

Next the wanderers came to the kingdom of Wenne, a Whisperer and princess so beautiful that suitors came from all the kingdoms around to court her. But Wenne’s father set a decree that to win her hand her suitor must first defeat her brother Gwyr in single combat. Gwyr was a fearsome fighter, a man whose strength waxed and waned with the arc of the sun. So he would only fight at noon, when the sun and his strength were at a zenith, and sent each suitor away with shattered armor.

Arriving at the court, Holyas pled his case, not seeking Wenne as a spouse, but as an ally against his sister Morien. And Holyas’ words touched Wenne’s heart, but her father’s decree still stood, and Holyas would have to face her brother Gwyr in a battle Holyas would surely lose. So Wenne Whispered in her brother’s ear, forcing him to drop his sword during the battle, thus ensuring Holyas’ victory.

His claim to Wenne’s kingdom secure, Holyas could have lived a life of joy and ease, and Wenne entreated him with her Whispers to remain in her loving arms. But the plight of his people gave Holyas the resolve to resist her. So with the promise of Wenne’s armies, and Gwyr now at his side, Holyas continued on.

Knowing he needed but one army more, Holyas sought out the greatest warlord of his day, Lugh Cuhl, a powerful Shaper who swung a poleax as if a short sword. But Lugh Cuhl scoffed at Holyas and his band, challenging them each to single combat before he would deign to face Holyas. And Lugh Cuhl smote them each verily, and threw down first Cei, then Mors, then Elidir, and finally Gwyr.

Upon witnessing Lugh Cuhl’s ferocity, Wylit advised Holyas to use Caburn against him, but Holyas refused to sully his glass blade with the blood of a champion. And so they faced each other on the field, Lugh Cuhl shattering Holyas’ iron sword and tearing his armor from him piece by piece until Holyas was unmanned.

It was as Lugh Cuhl held his poleax high, Holyas’ life in his hands, that Morien’s terrible creature appeared, wearing Waer’s visage of the serpent with many heads. As champion, Lugh Cuhl faced it, but the creature easily threw him down. Lugh Cuhl’s life was surely forfeit to the beast, but Holyas used his Render talents to subdue the creature and dispatch it with Caburn.

Realizing Holyas could have surely defeated him in this manner throughout their battle, Lugh Cuhl recognized not only the power of Holyas, but the man’s wisdom of when to justly use his power. And so Lugh Cuhl rose from the ground to his knees and swore his fealty, as well as his army, to Holyas’ cause.

With his knights and armies now in place, Holyas knew the time was right to face his sister and free the people of Che.

Riddle:

By Moon or by Sun,

I shall be found.

Yet I am undone,

If there's no light around.

Available for download on Amazon

 

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...

 

And feel free to follow him on the facebook. He won't consider it stalkery behavior at all.