King Ia'ar the Great
Lo! the glory of his land through dazzling feats,
The maker of heroes of former praise we have heard of,
Honors and tribute from all, when allowed,
To see his greatness and confess of his rule.
Famed is him, far spread his glory!
The greatest son ever born in the Antiom lands.
The source of all wealth we had, have and forever will abide to,
Lavishing gifts on his heirs, unabridged.
The one who is known by His Name to us all.
Please welcome my friends,
The gentle, most humble, your honest, brave, king Ia'ar.
In those years of my young days the world lay at my feet. And my nature, that chidingly – in a good measure then - wanted me to please others in return, induced my mind to feel good, proud of it, for all those around me kept telling with many words how great they would all feel to be there in my place, if only for a moment. Though at all times that I have tried, to reward them, to find that new me - I failed. I could not.
Instead, rather a feeling of awkwardness grew inside me with time, of wanting out of my skin – of this apostate outer shell carving to ever growing improper demands, to escape from the embrace of that awful creature made out of people who devoured me slowly. And while my hopes to freedom among them became with time a withdrawal, a hiding from their smiles and happiness which turned sour to my eye, their mother creature turned its angry-hateful-but-smiling-at-the-surface-mask towards me, to confront my attitude.
For I saw them for who they were. Once good people turned now little monsters without a heart. Parading one without shame. Who wanted to steal mine as well. I could not let them have it so I had to hide.
I see him as if under a spell.. As if he's not here. No. He is not here, he cannot be. But I see an image of him and he feels more real than other things.
Ia'an .. I look at you and I see me then. How life can change us.. Take away all of our hopes, even being able to hope again one day. And what do we get instead? A fervor of the worst kind, masquerading in the emptiness left behind. Not worth it..
The words persist in the air for a while, as if unable to take flight. He talks of other things now. What I did.. and he stops. Meaning he cannot tell me that himself. But words are not always needed. You will find out one day – was not in my power to do. But what I did was making the choice. And after that a flow carried me through the acts. Could not stop. There were those, more than a few .. many who said I did it for my own benefit. Not true. I only played a part and by then I stood no chance. And he's back into the story.
There was something wrong with the world the grownups have made, with the fake beliefs they imposed on us. A child could see through it, before being taught to ignore its awkwardness. And ignore it - everyone did. Try.
In that year, just before the battle, my father confronted me saying it was not for the good of our people, what was happening. The way I talked to the young, the stories I told them about about the great tribe of Rham, of which our people were part. But people are rallied by things of greatness, of enigmatic beauty, and the past has a way to emphasize that; even more when the flowing past is of your own making and one in your command.
Did I want to build an army to fight our own? No. But I wanted to change them, and they resisted. Until it got to the point of no return. For both. Out of control. By then it was us and them. And losing - I refused to imagine it. Would have rather chosen death. The old generation, the world that they built was now striking, with their full force against the sons and grandsons they betrayed, cheated, and impose upon and now – feared.
But that war was won before they started it, a statement of how well my army of story tellers had done their job. The others marched into their deaths. I knew that. My father knew it. But they did it nonetheless, out of despair. For not knowing how to fight this impossible battle – with their sons and daughters, a battle of words more than anything else, words that filled the air their ears breathed.
When the people of the North lost in the end, those that were left - I scattered them away. The balance was restored. My queen came from our midst, from the most powerful people of Antiom, of those who sided with me. And the fortunes payed me back. Five girls. No other heir. But my heart opened to her for hers was pure, and she gave herself to me with it all.
And those were the golden years of my reign. For more than a generation the people were happy, and their lives were safe from the evils of the past. Until, slowly, it wasn't anymore. I could see the cracks appearing all over, and I knew it was the time for a new change. To bring in the new blood, to renew. And so I drove that change. With fortitude, and patience.
When my queen died, I mourned her for three years, yearning for her presence that time took from me, for in my heart buried deep beneath the layers of brave lies I felt left alone again. As when my mother left.
Then, they say I was smitten. But she had all the things I never knew I wanted. That energy, those throbs the young age make one feel they are indeed destined to be great, heroes fighting to escape the realm of their imagination. I thought she was very beautiful and wise.
And I set myself, filled with this new young energy to change the time again. The past, the present, the future. A leap like no other others have dreamed before.
But something greater than me awaited us all in the last year before.. before the last battle. It so happened that the past came back. Time to pay. By dismantling everything, for there was a new plan. This party I have made a truce with in the past - whom they called themselves Neratlos, in the times following their first generation - their might, and work, and designs now cross the time. And while it was I who recognized their different kind, and their ability and promise, and gathered them and made them stand proud among their own - in form and presence - and in their own minds not less, this was before the war. After that, their ways went unchecked, submerged, unknown to none besides themselves, and their minds devised the most bold plan ever made, one that cannot be set to words, for there are no words for such things never imagined before.
Ia'an, you are the last one in my line here. I need you as much as you will need me one day. There's a chain by which we are all bound that goes back to times forgotten. You will have to break that Ia'an. You're the one that can do it. I know you can.
I feel a light hand touching me and I open my eyes to find Aiska sitting next to me. I've been sick for two days, raving through my sleep, she says. But The Great Healer has sent help through his apprentice. I see Delayron whom I know I've met before, guarding the door.
“You should take time to rest Ia'an. I can see that for a long time you are not yourself. Why do you exhaust yourself like this?”
Delayron comes with a large cup carrying the signs of the Great Healer and sets it on the tray. I see a light twinkling in his eyes before he turns away. Perhaps Delayron can stay with me to help me come right? “Sure.” And Aiska leaves with her smile.
“Do not drink that!” Delayron is next to me, whispering to the air. “Here, try this instead.” I know, no - I remember - that I trust him. He calls it the Nectar of Truth. It's weird, it's almost as if the drink appeared out of nowhere and I cannot even see it anywhere, but I know of it, and realized I have already drank it before? It makes no sense. My head feels light, unbalanced. It's as if I'm dreaming of it, a dark drink that sputters you belly. “Remember?” Delayron keeps checking the door. Don't drink the other one.
Everything is so clear. I keep poking the air, and it resists me. We both laugh and Delayron says something, no idea what, but I cannot stop agreeing. We sit there for a while, and I see them mushrooms floating in the air, I bump him and I'm so happy.. “Ia'ar's paws!” I scream, “Ia'ar's paws..” when master Moito came through:
“Who are you conversing about? Ia'ar? Oh, the great king of all, the son of the leap? for indeed no one would say that he hasn't, right? He, who himself unasserted his life's start to come a good many years after the day of his most treasured, clarioned to the world - victory? Really .. Ia'ar?”
“I'm willing today to account you on this,” said Delayron. “So, there, you say he changed the time line, years, he added a few. A silly game, I agree, this, of making time pass faster. One day they will tell us the world is many times older, how times had passed and it grew, our world. And how they represent that, which was there to witness when it all started, whether it was something or nothing. And it will serve them, empower them further in the game they play. What if the world is no older that one of us? But regardless, Ia'ar, his legacy well it is known, for the evil of the old he defeated, burned to the ground. Won't you say?”
“Play the evil, oh.. yes, of which he might have had thrown away some, as you hope to assert, but the evil remained, for he was replaced and added anew. One that still follows us - in today's day..”
“No way this rhyme can continue!” I thought, surprising myself, but the others as well.
“Hell, what rhyme?” they both stuttered in sync.
Then I caught myself starting to think that the mushrooms' brew, and the drink, they must have all plotted.. me away. And I chuckled.. how sweet is this moment that comes with no worries, just hardly a few light matters, young, barely troubles that can be sent away by a wink of a thought.