September 26, 1999
"Tell it to me again!" The small boy cried as he leapt onto the old storyteller's lap. "Tell me about Galadhil and Tyr!"
"All right, boy, all right," the old man complained as he shifted about on the ground, in search of elusive comfort, "But I must have told the tale a thousand times already."
"Not to me you haven't," the boy pressed as he waited expectantly, "Pleeeeeeeeease!".
Smiling, the old man patted the boy on his shoulder and began the old tale....
The small craft was tossed precariously on the waves as the struggling group within it attempted their dangerous crossing. The Sea of Infinity seemingly did her best to stop them from reaching the grim, craggy island in the distance. For years leading up to this day Galadhil had researched ancient maps and pored over tale after traveler's tale, searching for this isle who's very existence was improbable. Galadhil turned quickly to one of the rangers at his side, bellowing over the storm - "Behold! The Crag of Tyr!" With an expectant nod the gruff man put his back into the oars, bringing the skiff ever-closer to the rocky beach that footed the hulking mass of ancient stone.
The hull of the boat screeched in protest as it ground upon the harsh shore, and one after another its occupants scampered away from the shoreline. The gale increased in ferocity, threatening to sweep the three off their feet. Galadhil flourished in his embroidered robes, throwing his staff up violently and screaming in an arcane tongue. The rangers cringed as the sand and stones about them shot forth from the earth, forming a paradoxically sound shelter around the three. In the ensuing silence Galadhil sank to the ground and breathed a sigh of relief coupled with strange expectation. "I know I have been vague regarding the purpose of our journey, even though it involved great risk for us all," he began as his companions took seats (glancing nervously at the magically contrived shelter that swirled above them), "but all shall now be made clear." His eyes glazed over as he searched the depths of his prodigious memory...and began his tale...
"In the dim reaches of time, when the Universe in which we dwell now existed in a form unknown to us, the entity Vryce came upon--quite by accident--the world which all men now call home, Medievia. The inhabitants of the world came to loathe Vryce, for he threatened their very existence. The feelings were mutual; Vryce could not tolerate the vileness of the creatures that held sway in the land: Fanged Maelbreths, Mephits--all the stuff of legends now, mind you, but they were legion then. A great battle for supremacy ensued, and it is written in the ancient texts that Vryce conjured supreme magiks to destroy the malevolent hordes. The sky turned fire red as lighting raced across the lands and the world became a slaughterhouse, drenched in the blood of Vryce's foes. In order to cement his victory, however, Vryce required the aid of the Land itself. He turned to the chthonic powers of the Mother Goddess, and won her over with promises of a better world. The Goddess sent her son Tyr to assist Vryce in battle against his foes. As the last of the vile scourge of beasts was rendered to dust, Vryce contemplated his victory with Tyr by his side, and turned his thoughts to the future." Galadhil shifted and muttered a few phrases in the magical tongue. The shield about the three, which had begun to falter, immediately regained its rigidity.
"Vryce brought to this world a variety of races and peoples from regions he had passed on his planar travels. Some thrived and some failed; the most resilient populate the lands to this day. He caused the great cities of this land to rise up where they now stand, and then retreated to a great mountain peak in the epicenter of the land to observe the progress of His creation. The people of the Lands flourished and interacted. They were given tools by Tyr, crafted on his mighty forge, and all was well until the Goddess ceased communicating with Vryce and her son. The earth, which held Vryce's enemies imprisoned, loosed its bonds and Evil once again plagued the populations; those were dire days." Galadhil's companions listened, enthralled, as the Mage's face grew as dark as evils of which he spoke.
"Famine and disease spread through the Land, and for a time it seemed as if the world itself was in peril. The people called for Vryce to aid them, for they had come to view him as a God, but Vryce, without the power of the Goddess to call upon, was helpless. He enlisted the aid of two of his more able disciples, Shalafi and Raster, and the three, led by Tyr, descended into the bowels of the earth, questing for the Goddess. Ultimately they discovered her, at the very core of the world, entombed in the rock by a spirit of utter Malevolence. In the great battle that ensued Tyr brought his mighty hammer crashing down upon the Foul Spirit; amid the clamor of thunder and blinding light that followed both Tyr and the Spirit vanished." Galadhil coughed lightly as the cold, damp air sent a shiver up his spine. Reaching into his wet robes he produced a small bundle, wrapped loosely in selkie hide. Drawing back the covering he revealed an iron sigil, caressed by tendrils of grey mist, which soon began to pulse and shift in the Mage's hand.
"But the great Tyr, my brothers, is not dead!" Raising the glyph high in the air, Galadhil shouted in words unspoken since ancient days. The sigil erupted in scintillating colors, swirling around the magical shelter in chaotic rainbows of light. From the rocky earth shoots sprung. The shoots became saplings and the saplings became trees. Flowers blossomed forth in a profusion of hues as the rocky strip of ground bled forth life. As suddenly as it had ensued the chaos ended; nothing but a small warhammer rested in Galadhil's outstretched hand.
"By the Gods!" Shouted the Mage's companions as they gazed about in wonder, "What magicks have thee unleashed!"
Galadhil settled back heavily onto the ground and glanced about. "Behold," he muttered, "The might of Tyr..."
"This is blasphemy, Galadhil," Shouted Greenleaf, the larger of his escorts, "The Gods must surely punish you for this hubris!"
"Calm yourself, Greenleaf," Galadhil entreated as he returned the sigil to a pocket in his robes, "The Gods bear no malice to the works of Tyr. He aided in their fight against evil, and would continue to do so to this day, if we mortals had not forgotten him. I believe this sigil can be used to craft a bridge to Tyr's soul-prison. I have come to discover that it was forged long ago on this very Isle, for Tyr has called to me in my dreams. He has demanded a Regent, someone to stand for him in this world and draw on his power to levy justice...and I have come to answer his call." Abruptly Galadhil clambered to his feet and with a gesture of his staff the protective shield surrounding them dissipated. "Follow me," he muttered, and began the steep climb to Isle's summit.
The rangers followed in silence, panting from the exertion of the difficult climb, and mulling over the mage's words. After an hour of climbing they reached the summit and joined Galadhil at it's apex. "The Forge of Tyr!," he shouted above the deafening gale, "Our search is at an end!" Stumbling in uncontrollable eagerness, Galadhil descended into a dark cave in the cliff face, roiling with grey mist and smoke, and beckoned his companions to follow.
A voice, soft at first, carried on a light breeze, but growing in intensity as the wind that bore it to the party began to rustle their garments, spoke in low tones...
"Galadhil, son of Almore, son of Carlin, thou hast answered my call...."
"My powers live, but are emtombed here...Be my avatar, my Regent...Eradicate the evils of this land and restore my Mother's creation...This I task thee...Draw on my powers, I give them freely...Go now and gather force, and my blessing go with you..."
The breezes about the party subsided, leaving them in stunned silence.
"I accept your charge, Tyr!," Bellowed Galadhil into the fuming blackness, "I and those who follow me will secure your kingdom in this world, to the end of time if need be!"
The old storyteller groaned as he shifted on his unconformable perch. "Thus the long departed House of the Regents was born. Galadhil searched the lands of Medievia for champions to take up his cause, luring them with his power and the promise of glory. People from all walks of life rallied to the Regents and to Tyr, and built the old Capitol at Althuran that is now in ruins not far from here. I think Bebrick is his name..or maybe its Fedrick...hmmm...whoever it is; they say he claims to be a Regent and is rebuilding the ancient city to spread Tyr's glory once again. Fairy tales *I* say..."
"Tell it to me again!" The small, ragged boy interrupted.
"That's enough now lad...though perhaps someday you may follow the Regent yourself, eh?" The old man patted the hopeful boy on his head and sent him off before settling into an afternoon nap on the dirty sidewalk.