IV: Council of Archons
Chapter IV - The Council of Archons
Click to See Full Image
The suffering of the Elves of Nhob'ru is often lost in the tales of war. But their suffering was, perhaps, the greatest. For they too had lost their king that fateful night and much of Nhob'ru, the middle-ground, was but a battlefield in the great Gokkholm-Teria conflict. However, unlike young Prince Erian and Mada Drekkagh, the Elves did not rush to war. War was a great tragedy, only to be participated in out of necessity or self-defense. The Elves did not pretend to understand the workings of the Great Lake. They were wise enough not to blindly search for solutions in battle. Nonetheless, something had to be done. And so it came to be that they called the ancient Council of Archons in the sacred city of Gelmeerim.
Power in the Elven Realm is equally divided between the King and the Council of Archons. The ancient conclave of nobles representative of the High Elves holds judicial and emergency powers in times of war, times of chaos, times like these. The Archons are made up of all archetypes of High Elf nobles: lords, diplomats, sorcerers, wealthy merchants, warriors, naval captains, healers, and so on.
Archon Benathos, the slender, gold-clad merchant from Illas Tiltos, stands to address the conclave, “Birethos, haxario of the boleta. Greetings fellow forest-dwellers. I trust that you all know why you have been summoned today? Our Great King is missing, leaving behind the throne to a na´ve young girl. The Ridrino and the Gelmee wage war, using our land as a battle field midway between their great kingdoms of Dagbor and Makkada. The boleta burns and the Great Lake weeps. But, alas, it is not our responsibility to seek conquest or to take sides. The men and orcs are foolish, their fighting is inevitable. It is our job to preserve the order. Just as the Moota, the Ato, and the Talltia – the earth, the water, and the sky - coexist, so must the three great races. Archons, I emplore you to remember that we are a peaceful people, keepers of the forest. We fight but out of necessity. We will find our King, but we will not act without reason.”
Most of the conclave stands in support of Archon Benathos’ request, but not all share his sentiments. Chief among these opponents is the battle-scarred Archon Axerlos, a naval captain from Bilt’Rana. Axerlos, whose very name derived from the elven word for sword, towered over most of his fellow archons with his impressive physique. He speaks over the applause, “Benathos is the na´ve one, not the princess Alidea. He is young; he has not seen warfare in his lifetime. Neutrality will not save the boleta. Neutrality will not save the innocent nhoblio pulled into the war of the men and orcs. With every passing day, the enemy is spotted closer and closer to my leso, my home. We must stand strong against any who threaten Nhob’ru. The peace of Nhob’ru requires the death of the enemy! We must send Asthmo, warriors, to every corner of the world in search of our King. Erdro, death, will be brought upon any who stand in their way. We are the proud and immortal race of nhoblio, none shall threaten our kingdom!”
At this, the tranquil humming of the City of the Sky is drowned in uproar. On all sides, archons reach for their weapons. Some step back. Others rally in support of either Benathos or Axerlos.
“You bring shame to Nhob’ru,” Archon Benathos shouts in response. “You belong in Illas Tortra with the feral Wood Elves! We must not lower ourselves to the level of the men and orcs. We seek wisdom and harmony, not bloodshed!”
Motioning for Axerlos to keep silent, Archon Oresfah clears his throat. A true diplomat, he is generally revered and considered wise, even by the Archons. “Archon Benathos, my mallee, my friend, you are most wise, but this outroar should show you that there is no real way to avoid conflict. War has been brought upon us. It will do no good to try to ignore this fact. We do not need to raise a great army, but it may be in our best interest to form and honor an alliance...
The sophisticated technology of the humans and the sheer number of the orcs means that this war may carry out for many of their generations. During which time, our middle ground realm will be all but destroyed. Prince Erian, son of Hamilon, will wage war on every orc tribe imaginable. That is, if he is even still alive after his perilous defeat at Makkada. If it is true that he has no evidence of his father’s whereabouts and Gokkholm is not to blame, there will come a time when he turns to Nhob’ru. He will accuse us of taking the King. The war will have no end.
But, there is a third option you are all forgetting: the rebels of Teria. The Menthorns consider themselves the rightful heirs to the thrones and have refused to come to the aid of Erian. The Salicians have long-since declared their independence and refuse to do business with Dagbor. Perhaps, just perhaps, we can use this to our advantage? The rebels will help fight off the invading orc troops, and in exchange, we will witness the crowning of the ambitious Rastagon of Menthorn. Hamilon has been a true mallee, a loyal ally, but the security of Nhob’ru must come first. If Erian lives to declare war on Nhob’ru, he will find himself without any support from his people. Thousands of our fellow nhoblio will be saved, the boleta will live on. It is our only option. Nhoblio must triumph.”
“I agree with Tar… Oresfah,” Archon Lee’Har looks up after he speaks Oresfah’s name after a brief pause. Few would second-guess Lee’Har, the most senior member of the conclave who preferred listening to talking, except out of necessity. “Trikio speaks harmony to our souls, friendir. May our alliance prosper.”
The ancient territory lines have vanished. The war has begun to uproot much more dangerous conflicts. Not even the gamena, the wizards, can predict what will happen next...
Alex Walz | Former Assistant Producer & Publicist of Reverie World Studios, INC.
Last edited by Alex Walz : 12-21-2010 at 04:29 PM.