Excerpt from The Last Bladesinger …

So, I received some feedback regarding the prologue of my upcoming Legends of Vandor Novel, The Last Bladesinger. The feedback asked for a deeper explanation of the gods and how they came to contend with each other. My Vandor pantheon is based on the pettiness of the Greek and Roman gods, so you might see some similar elements in the excerpt below.

Bhaskar’s Tears – Age of the Opening: Year 1611
5th Caleralda of Frafer: Calal – 7th Hour of Eralda

Maedoc’s spoke in a low whisper, the baritone of his voice lending a darkness to the sound. Aodhan leaned in, paying attention to Maedoc’s words as much as the intonation of his voice.

In the days before men walked the world of Vandor, the gods formed the land and the seas. Bhaskar, mighty and benevolent was the king of the gods. His queen was the mother of beasts, Kokila. They had many sons, who the people call the Oban, which means fate in the old tongue. Among the gods, Bhaskar and his sons, it was well known that Kokila was unfaithful and made beasts for with whom she would lay. In his jealously, Bhaskar banished the beasts to the depths of the world, forever sealing them in the burning pits of its center.

Kokila was enraged and she spake, “This thing you have done, it is unacceptable. I shall forever contend with your will.”

The story unfolded before Aodhan’s eyes, he could see it in his thoughts as Maedoc told the story. In Aodhan’s mind, Bhaskar was a man, tall and bearded. His hair as white as the metal on the anvil. Kokila was the most beautiful and attractive woman Aodhan had ever laid eyes upon. Her lithe frame was accentuated by perfect curves. Ruby lips curled into a snarl that somehow did not mar her beauty. Storm clouds rolled and clashed in her gaze. However, Aodhan could see they had little effect on Bhaskar’s resolve.

Kokila drew her hand back and slapped Bhaskar across his face. The impact was thunderous and it shook the ground. Aodhan thought he would fall from the impact, despite it being a vision. Bhaskar accepted the slap, slowly turning his face back to Kokila. His eyes burned with white fire, and he gathered his will to strike against his queen.

“Father,” the Oban said. “Do not slay our mother, lest we forever be at odds against her.”

Bhaskar turned to his sons. “I shalt hear thy caterwauling this once,” he said. “But shouldst Kokila strike me again, I shall slay her.”
Some of the Oban were displeased with their father, Bhaskar, and spoke to their brothers. “We must free the beasts from the fiery pits,” they said.

A third of the Oban agreed, another third disagreed and threatened to tell Bhaskar of their plans, the final third remained neutral, unwilling to commit to either argument. Battle broke out between the brothers and the first third descended to the depths of Vandor. Kokila learned of their plan and joined her sons in their endeavor. The loyal brothers returned to Bhaskar and told him of their brothers’ plan.

Incensed, Bhaskar declared punishment on the Oban and Kokila. “You, whom didst betray thy brothers’ trust and toldeth me of their plans, I shalt grant thee concession to liveth in the heavens, but I revoke thy power to mold the ordinary to thine liking. To those who didst nothing, I did cast thee out, still thee shalt liveth with thy indecision forced to gaze the result of thy inaction. As for Kokila and her loyal sons I shalt maketh those folk burn still in the pits of Vandor with the beasts of her loins.”

Aodhan scrunched up his nose and stared hard at Maedoc. His words sounded odd and flowery. Biting his tongue the young apprentice held back his questions and leaned in closer. The old smith did not miss the look, nor that his apprentice was fully engaged. Maedoc allowed his voice to rumble as he continued the tale.

So it was that the gods warred with one another. Bhaskar’s power was great, but it was not without limit. The image of the great god formed in Aodhan’s mind again. Kokila rose from the depths of the pit, her skin aflame. In rage she struck at Bhaskar and tore his hand from his body. Bhaskar roared in anguish and great anger. He struck at Kokila and cast her down to the pits once more.

The flames consumed her as Bhaskar spake. “You has’t struck me again, and so as I did promise I shalt slay thee! Still thee shalt burn in the fires of the hell the has’t wrought. Burn still Kokila, the fallen queen. Taketh with thee thine fallen sons,” he said, and so it was. Kokila was slain and her sons were banished to the fiery depths of Vandor’s center. Realizing what he had done, Bhaskar wept for the loss of his love and his sons.

Aodhan saw the flames in his mind as they burned away the flesh of Kokila, and her blood flooded the ground. He watched as great trees rose up from where she had fallen. The bark was blood red, like that of the slain queen of the gods. The skies opened and fire rained from them. The great burning stones struck the places where the trees had grown, and waves of energy washed over the land. Over time he witnessed the trees harden and split and the red darkened to black. The great fire from the sky cooled, turning to white slags of metal. The trees fell and grew harder still until they shone like stone. Aodhan shuddered and looked up at his master. Sweat covered the boy’s brow, his breathing growing quick. Maedoc nodded.

“There are few who learn to master the art of forging the Blood of Kokila,” Maedoc said, his voice lowering again. “A few with a long line to the past. Fewer of us still perfect the art of forging the Tears of Bhaskar, these great blades can only be tempered with the Blood of Kokila. However, They are drawn to the release of the power, when the Blood of Kokila meets the Tears of Bhaskar power is unleashed. They crave that power.”

Maedoc never said who they were, but he had genuine fear of them, so Aodhan learned to fear them as well.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you like or don’t. Until next time folks.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Author,

DJ Morand