Excerpt from "Guardians of the Telenanth"
Appendix B: Draginol & The Morning Star
Kona the Dread Lord had fashioned his empire on the premise that he was the supreme power of the world. Central to his power was the orb of dominion, a tool that he had conceived and helped wrought with the aid of his brothers.
Of the nearly 100 Dread Lords in the beginning, only 20 remained – the 20 mightiest. They were aided by thousands of fledgling Arnor who had turned on their own long ago in their inherent need to follow those they believed were the strongest. Chief amongst these fledglings was Calax the Dread Knight who led the effort to seek out new Arnor to bring to the Iron Fortress.
The Dread Lords had trained the most promising of the fledglings to be Battle Mages. Their life forces were augmented by the power of the orb. Once near the orb itself, they could draw on its power to exact terrible retribution on the enemies of the Dread Lords. When far away from the orb, their powers were diminished but still terrifying to those who had defied the will of Lord Kona.
Kona’s chief advisor was the ever loyal Draginol. Some argued that Draginol was the one who conceived of the idea for the orb of dominion but Draginol never had a thought that did not first come from Kona, or so Kona believed.
The great civilization of the Arnor had been brought low due to thousands of years of war. Tandis had gathered the survivors of the Arnor and had made them a formidable opponent. No longer were the Arnor cattle to be slaughtered but instead fought back with a level of sophistication that Kona and the other Dread Lords had never dreamed possible.
On this very day, Tandis and his allies were assaulting the Iron Fortress in an effort to rescue Amanda the Morningstar. The Morningstar was a fledgling, not even a first-one among the Arnor and yet a great effort had been made by the Arnor to save her. She emanated more energy that one would have thought possible of a fledgling and today was her day to have her life force absorbed by the orb of dominion.
Kona looked down into the great courtyard of his mighty fortress and saw that Mascrinthus the Mithrilar was slowly being worn down by the Dread Lords and the Battle Mages. Even the Mithrilar were no match for the Dread Lords when inside the Iron Fortress and the full might of the orb brought to bear.
It was at this moment that Amanda the Morningstar was brought in front of him by Calax for the absorption. Draginol, his loyal advisor, stood by in silence. Yet, Kona could feel tension and fear emanate from Draginol. Before Kona had time to consider the significance of that, Tandis the Arnor appeared.
Long had Kona sought to confront Tandis. Tandis had spent much of his life amongst the Dread Lords in the time before the Arnor recognized distinctions amongst their kind. Now, Tandis was their greatest adversary. Tandis was no match for Kona or the Dread Lords in inherent power. Yet, Tandis seemed to grow in skill over time to the point where he was a threat to any Dread Lord in single combat.
Kona and Tandis engaged in single combat. Kona’s sword was broad and jagged. It sung of the raw might of the Dread Lords. Tandis’s sword was shorter and thinner with only one edge sharpened. Tandis always fought with discipline and restraint as his guide. His discipline was legendary and always led to his triumph.
Today, however, in the heart of the empire of the Dread Lords, inside the Iron fortress with the orb of dominion at hand, Tandis could not overcome Kona. Kona swung down on Tandis’s sword so hard that it rang out in a grief so loud that the walls of balcony they stood on shook. His sword dropped.
Kona laughed and knew his triumph was at hand. Tandis was defeated in mind and body and with a gesture, Kona threw Tandis against the wall.
Amanda the Morningstar, restrained by Calax, watched with grim determination. There was never a question of the outcome. Calax nor Draginol had even moved to aid Kona as the inevitability of this moment was certain.
Kona wanted Tandis to see the end of the Morningstar and moved forward to take her essence into the orb. That was when Draginol spoke.
“Kona, my lord, I beg of you, do not end her life. Free her. You can have all of Arnor but not this one life.”
Kona quickly returned to his memory of Draginol’s sense of fear of this coming moment. Draginol had served Kona faithfully for a time so long that the stars themselves had changed over the duration. But Kona was the master and no servant may question his will.
In Draginol he saw something that he could not believe or understand. Draginol loved this fledgling, this Morningstar of the Arnor.
Kona said with contempt to Draginol, “You serve me. You have no life outside of me. Your feelings for this fledgling are of no consequence. “
Draginol did not move or speak. Yet, something changed in that very moment. Draginol’s visage changed to reveal a being of regality and might.
Kona was astonished and instantly recognized what he saw.
“You are a Mithrilar! All this time you have stood by my side as my servant and you were a Mithrilar? To what end? You will answer me here for no being, Mithrilar or no, can resist me in my place of power.”
Draginol looked upon Kona and Kona felt fear. Draginol’s eyes flickered with a potency that threatened to bring Kona to his knees. Kona commanded all his forces to turn on Draginol in that instant.
Every battle mage and every Dread Lords converged on Draginol in that instant. Mascrinthus, the Mithrilar, looked on in stunned silence. The surviving Arnor and himself had been given a stay by the dark Mithrilar.
The energy that rained onto Draginol could not be described. So much raw power had never been concentrated onto a single point since the beginning of time itself and yet Draginol seemed undaunted.
Calax rushed at Draginol only to be brushed aside and fell from the balcony. The torrents of energy came to an end as the battle mages and Dread Lords fell in exhaustion.
Amanda the Morningstar looked on Draginol not with fear but with love and hope. The energies that rolled off Draginol created a glow about him that brought a glimpse of the being Draginol might have once been, a being with a desire for justice and righteousness.
Moments later, the storm of energy about Draginol faded leaving Draginol and Kona facing one another. It was only then that Draginol finally spoke again.
“You fool. Do you really think that the orb was created for you? Do you really think that this is your place of power? Behind your every decision and behind your every thought I lurked. Here it is I that stands supreme, not you. I would have given you all but the murder of this girl I would not permit. There are events yet to unfold that require her and you. I will banish you to a place far beyond Arnor. Do not think it a mercy as we shall meet again and when that time comes you will know that your end has come.”
And with a gesture Draginol sent Kona away, never to be seen on Arnor again.
Draginol helped Amanda to her feet and in Draginol’s eyes one could see a warmness and love that was matched by her.
“You must return to your people. We shall meet again in time though I will not know it is for a second time.”
Amanda returned to her people and never forgot the love in Draginol’s eyes or the nobleness that had not been entirely extinguished from Draginol’s soul. They would not meet again for a long while.