|The Palace of Yldari|
Designed by Nisroch
Lifespan: 60 minutes
Medium Groups: 24-26
Large Groups: 20-23
An ancient noble from an unknown kingdom had two sons. One of them was a skilled mage, and the other a skilled warrior. Their father was killed in a war, and his lands lost forever. The brothers wandered together for several years, fighting alongside each other for protection. Eventually they took wives for themselves, and both had many children. They continued to wander the land, taking their families with them.
After years of travel, they happened upon a forest filled with the most beautiful silver trees with emerald green leaves. It belonged to no one but the faeries and unicorns. The brothers befriended the faeries, and in return the faeries offered a part of their land to the brothers as a home for their families.
"I shall name this place Yldari, and I shall build for myself and my family a beautiful home, one suited to a land as lovely as this," declared the warrior brother.
"That is a good name," said the sorcerer brother, "And I would be glad to dwell in your home with you."
The brothers built their home, and the warrior brother proclaimed himself Lord of Yldari. The mage brother was content to let his sibling rule, and thus began the line of lords.
Many generations passed, the families of the two brothers grew quite large, and the home expanded each generation until it became a palace. One day the eldest son of the mage brother's line came to his cousin, the Lord of Yldari, and said, "Cousin, your line has ruled for many years. But long have my ancestors helped and protected yours and their rule. They were content to allow your rule, but I wish to rule alongside you, that we may better our kingdom even more with our combined strengths."
Alas, this Lord was not as virtuous as his ancestors and feared his cousin. He had some of the guards waylay the sorcerer by a pond in the forest and kill him. The mage's family discovered the Lord's treachery, and a great feud began. Many members from both sides of the family were killed until the treacherous lord was destroyed by one of his own sons. The new Lord ended the conflict and asked his cousins for forgiveness. Many of them accepted, but a few were embittered and left the palace.
Those who left built a black tower in the forest, a mockery of the palace, and began to plot some evil deed. They were discovered almost as soon as the tower was completed and locked inside forever before they were able to work whatever mischief they had planned.
That was all many hundreds of years ago. The current Lord is a decent man, and although the rebellious mages still dwell in the tower, they cannot escape. The Lord has a daughter who is as beautiful as the silver trees, and who he hopes will marry a powerful prince someday. He knows she has a secret lover who is most certainly not a prince and possibly a descendant of the ancient rebels, but has been unable to catch the man.
Until one night...
The moon shone brightly this evening, bathing the room in a soft white glow. It reflected off the Princess of Yldari's pale skin, giving her an almost angelic appearance. Her lover, Angantyr, admired her with his deep emerald green eyes.
"If my father should discover us...," she began.
"He never has before, and nothing will keep me from you," said Angantyr.
"Still, you must go soon. He knows about us, about you and your ancestors, and he would have you killed in a second."
"I'm not afraid of him. I've fought pirates in the Mellorian Citadel, battled against vicious trolls while trading across the world, I can deal with your father's guards. Someday we will be married, my love, and I will take you far away from this place to one where we will not be persecuted by our families, where we can..."
Slowly, the door opened with a quiet creak. The Lord of Yldari walked in, looked up, and noticed the young lovers.
"What goes on here?!?" he screamed.
Wordlessly, Angantyr lept up and drew a long, curved-bladed knife from his belt. He rushed at the lord, and the two men engaged in a struggle. The lord began yelling for his guards, and the princess rushed over to try and lock the door before they could arrive, but to no avail.
Brynjolf, the captain of the guards, burst through the door, grabbed the young Angantyr, and flung him against the wall. He stood up groggily, and the guards surrounded him in a semi-circle. The lord grabbed a broadsword from a guard and slowly advanced towards his victim.
He raised it high above his head, and, as he drew it down, his daughter tried to push her beloved out of the way of the blow. The lord could not stop his cruel strike and slashed his favorite child across the chest. She fell like a downed butterfly to the carpet, where Angantyr grabbed her limp body and lept through the window, escaping into the forest.
A few minutes later he laid her still-breathing body on a soft bed of moss. He looked at her wound and knew in an instant it was mortal.
"My love," he began, but choked and counldn't continue.
"Do not cry, my love," she said,"I will be with you always. I will watch over you and protect you forever."
Her head slumped sideways as her last breath escaped her body. A brilliant glow began to emanate from the corpse, and her spirit rose up and left it, hovering in the air just above Angantyr's head. It mouthed the word 'always' and faded into the night.
Angantyr pulled out his curved knife, and slit a line across his left palm. "I swear on my blood, and the blood of my beloved, I will have my revenge upon the Lord of Yldari, and all those who destroyed my fathers..."
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