|The Barbegazian Alps|
Designed by Arethusa
Lifespan: 120 minutes
Medium Groups: NR
Large Groups: 31
"Mother, how is it we came to live here?"
Aaicluj looked upon her mother sitting in their cavern. It was not that she didn't approve of her residence; she was just curious. The Barbegazian Alps was not a natural homeland for humans. On the contrary, humans were generally not welcome here. This was a playground for the ever-youthful elves, pixies, and fairies. All was not so pleasant and carefree, however, and Nathelian leaned back into her chair, gazing into the inquisitive eyes of her daughter.
"I was wandering from my village, child. My family was very sick. Papa had already passed away, and the plague was close to destroying my whole family."
She recalled how she had fled her city, Tachard, in an effort to find help for her people. She had been pregnant at the time, quite young herself. Her husband had also died of the plague that threatened to destroy the only home she knew. The village elders refused to leave; they claimed it was the Will of the Gods. She soon found herself in the middle of the tundra, exposed to a harsh and frigid climate.
"The elves found me, and although I was human, they took pity on my fragile condition."
She continued to explain to her daughter how humans, her own people, had nearly destroyed the sanctity of this forest. Although Nathelian had made this forest her home for many years, she had never actually seen a Barbegazi. They did exist - she knew this without a doubt - but they lived deep within the mountain, and she had promised never to go there. Nathelian poured her daughter another cup of hot chocolate into a deep, round mug, and ushered her outside to play. Nathelian sat down to once again decipher the scrolls before her. They told a story, and as a painter, she wished to portray this story in a mural. She began to draw out the tale of the Halvina Wars, named after the first Barbegazi who lost her life to the mages. She silently mouthed the words to herself, how they described the horrible tortures they had put the innocent creatures through. She remembered how they would drag the Barbegazis in large cages to Tachard, where they were taken to the Great Temple.
The mages of Tachard were interested only in their Higher Knowledge. They performed what they believed to be the works of the Gods, forgetting their own humanity in the process. So intent was their focus that their own lives began to suffer. A terrible plague infested the city, livestock suffered and died, crops began to dwindle, and food became very scarce. The elders took no notice, caring little, and forced the townspeople to head toward the temple and continue their magickal works. It was believed that the Barbegazis held mystical powers, allowing them to stay youthful and healthy. It was this power the mages sought. Nathelian sighed and leaned back in her chair once again. How had her own people come to this? She did not understand it. It was devastating to know that her family had once been a part of these atrocities. Once again leaning toward her desk, she began to read aloud the story of Iona.
Iona was a young woman, and a powerful magician. She had prophesied that her daughter Rheas would one day have the strength and power to destroy the mages. She sent her daughter away to live within the mountain, with the powerful Snake Spirit. When the wizards began to take up residence in the forest, the Barbegazians fled, and the elves took up a futile battle against the mages. The forest was nearly wiped out, the resources were drained, and the evil magi were winning. They had made camp near the bottom of the mountain, and planned to attack the Barbegazi mountain at dawn. In the light of the full moon, Iona threw herself from the mountain, killing herself in a desperate effort to defeat the wizards. It is said that she was able to lend her powers to Rheas, who crept down from the mountain and seduced the mages. The mages, under a hypnosis-like state, went mad throughout the night. Legends tell of their horrible screams as they died to their own blades, and how the crisp white snow had turned crimson. Rheas walked back to her home within the mountain, never to be seen again. It is said Iona still walks the forest after the sun sets, forever guarding the home she spent her life for.
Tired, Nathelian closed her eyes. Her thoughts dwelled on her husband, a stern but loving man who had led several battles in the Halvina Wars. He would never know the stubborn but beautiful daughter she had borne. She held in her hands a golden wedding ring, and placed it in the desk on the far wall. She closed her eyes to sleep. She knew deep within her being that if need arose, she would easily give her life for her daughter.
Copyright © 1992-2015 Medievia.com, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
For more information contact: Webmistress: Soleil