Metagore, The Battle For

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: House of Ghosts

Lord Brighton and his five grand dukes give speeches during the opening ceremony for the "New Life Festival"

Chapter 1 (v.2) - Opening Ceremony

Submitted: July 20, 2015

Reads: 576

Comments: 20

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Submitted: July 20, 2015

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***735 Years Later***

It was a beautiful first morrow of the Batell moon, as all of the Helanians gathered in the courtyards of the castle, along with other serfs and peasants who had traveled from all across Metagore, to celebrate the welcoming of a new year.

Inside the castle, Lord Brighton stood in front of the mirror in the boudoir off of his bed chamber, adjusting the belt buckle on his tabard. "I do swear, every year I have to loosen this darn thing."

Topaz, standing beside him and braiding strands of his hair, responded with a small giggle, "You still look astounding, my love."

Brighton turned his eyes from his waistline towards his wife, still in awe of how she could still look just as young as when they first met. Her skin just as smooth and her body just as toned as always.

His eyes trailed back to his reflection in the mirror. He didn't appear to have gained any weight over the past year---then of course he never did. His appearance was regal and proud, but his posture had stooped a bit. His hair had started to darken to a light gray, and grew as coarse as his beard, which he had let get out of hand from not keeping it groomed for a few years. His skin wore wrinkles upon it, where once it was tight and smooth.

Glancing down at the many rings that lined his fingers, he started to reflect back at all the things he once could do with his hands. All the fighting and training he had done while he was still young to build the perfect body for himself. All the constructions that he worked on as a young lord to build the city around his castle. All the fun and crafty things that he had participated on with his many children while they were still at home; but time had passed, and his hands weren't as strong as they once were.

Topaz could see the sadness growing on Brighton's face. "We all grow old. Some just show it a little more than others," she tried to comfort him as she finished with his hair.

Brighton turned and looked down at his wife, and gave off a smile. "You could be running around these streets chasing guys half our age, but I suppose you see something in this old man, huh?"

"I do not see an old man in here, I see an old heart that still burns with passion for what he loves," she responded as she gave him a slight hug. "Besides, I am going to be sitting beside Duke Kaprin, who is half our age; and trust me, he does nothing to warm me."

A slight laugh slipped from Brighton's mouth. "You could sit have my seat if you wish."

"It is not a big deal; you can sit in your own seat, my love." She paused as she grabbed for a silver and ivory crown off of the vanity, "Now, finish getting ready, your kingdom awaits you."

Brighton took the crown and placed it upon his graying hair, staring back at the mirror once more before putting on his pauldrons and bracers.

***

Outside the castle, at the front of one of the courtyards, was a large wooden stage. Upon it sat seven people, ranging in size and race, along with two large trolls---heavily suited in dull gray armor---standing guard, on either side.

Lord Brighton, sitting in the middle of the seven, was accompanied by his beloved wife and his five grand dukes. He stood from his throne, which had been placed on the stage just for the festival, and walked to the front-center of the stage. "Welcome to the seven hundred thirty-fifth annual 'New Life Festival'!" All of the attendants shouted with joy and aspiration. "First off, I would like to thank everyone here for coming out and celebrating with us. It's been another blessed year for us here in Metagore, and I'm sure we're going to see many more to come...We're going to start off this year, like many years before, with a few words from the grand dukes and their visions for the upcoming year. So if you would please, help me welcome up Grand Duke Azreal." The crowd continued to cheer and applaud.

Grand Duke Azreal was a djinn from the sweltering deserts of Talean. He had light blue skin, long bluish-gray hair, and white eyes with no irises. Standing almost a meter taller than Brighton, his body was sculpted to a perfection from training with his father's army from his years as a child.

Azreal stood up from his seat, and made his way to the front of the stage. "It is a beautiful day, is it not?" Azreal paused for a brief moment to allow the crowd to respond, then continued. "Duchess Anina and I have been working on a trade agreement with the kingdom of Direfell. You all are probably wondering 'Why?' It is quite simple really. Emperor Berez does not know how to run his land, or how to keep his people safe. He summoned me...oh I do not know...about three moons ago, asking if I would be gracious enough to help him defend his land and keep his people feeling safe. Over the past few moons, we have been working on an agreement with him. We will be sending him two hundred of our best warriors. In exchange, Emperor Berez has agreed to house and feed them, free of charge. He has also offered to pay us a thousand dragon pennies per head that we send him." The crowd roared in excitement. "Thus, leading to more money for us to use to refortify our capital cities, and more spending on training more knights, and for purchasing better weapons and armor." The audience continued to cheer. "The deal has not been set in motion; but in a few weeks it will be established, and we will be sending over a boat of warriors to help defend their land." Azreal bowed before the crowd. "Thank you all so much for your time and patience." Azreal turned around and walked back to his seat.

Lord Brighton made his way back to the front of the stage. "It is always nice to be able to help out our allies from across the Abyss. Next I would like to introduce Grand Duke Darius." Lord Brighton turned around as Darius made his way up to the front of the stage.

Grand Duke Darius was a very tall and muscular demon---just a quarter of a meter shorter than Azreal. His dark ashy gray skin was littered with scars, mostly on his arms and torso. His eyes burned fiery red, and his head housed two horns growing out of his forehead, curving backwards like a rams. Upon his bare left shoulder rested his pet salamander, Meek, constantly emitting flames keeping both it and Darius warm.

"I hope you all have had a wonderful year," he spoke in a deep voice. "Anybody that has came out in previous years, knows that I'm not much of a talker and I don't like to drag things out. So I'm going to just be straightforward with you all. In this upcoming year, we, the Senturians, will be mining deeper into Mount Dumas' core. Thus, allowing us to be able to make our blades more lethal, and our shields even stronger!" Darius announced as the crowd cheered. "Thank you." He turned around and walked back to his seat as Lord Brighton made his way back to the front.

"Give it up for Grand Duke Darius." Brighton said as the crowd continued to cheer. "He did keep his speech short, didn't he?...Now, the next person to come up and say a few words is Grand Duke Moll'ar. So if you all would, make him feel welcomed here in BrightHelm." Lord Brighton walked back to his seat as Moll'ar walked to the front of the stage.

Grand Duke Moll'ar was a very muscular skinwalker. He had dark tan skin with black tribal markings on his chest and arms, and green eyes. He wore a leather outfit with beads and feathers decorating it. He had long, wavy, brown hair that extended down to his shoulders, and was accented by a headband and a feather.

Whenever he chose to morph from his elven form to his animal spirit, he became a large foo dog with a dark brown coat of fur. With the emotional strain that was put onto him from morphing back-and-forth, Moll'ar developed a slight bipolar issue, like all other skinwalkers, forcing him to choose carefully when to change into the beast that he could become.

As Moll'ar approached the front of the stage, the women in the crowd grew extremely loud, taken in awe of Moll'ar's seemingly flattering looks. "Thank you all." He gave the crowd a smile as he paused, allowing them to quiet down before he continued. "This past year has been a great one for us in Alberon. The gods of the eight divides have blessed us with beautiful weather and so many wonderful crops. In this new year, we are goin' to expand our farmlands outside the city into Raven's Bow and Pixdale." The crowd erupted in a roar. "Thus, givin' the villagers outside of the city more jobs and easier access to the food supply...In this upcomin' year, we will mostly just be workin' the land and gettin' it prepared for next year's crops; but in just two years, we will have double the plantation space and double the produce!"

The crowd started to cheer and celebrate as Moll'ar turned and gave a slight nod towards Brighton before walking back to his seat. The elderly lord stood up from his throne and walked back to the front of the stage for the fourth time.

"Thank you, Grand Duke Moll'ar." Lord Brighton looked back at the crowd. "Isn't that going to be great? Double the amount of food? Looking at some of you, I don't think you could handle double the food." Laughter flowed throw the audience. "Next, I would like to introduce you to Grand Duke Kaprin from Medsa'lear." Lord Brighton turned around and motioned for Kaprin to go on up as he made his way to his seat; as he did so, he could see Topaz glaring with annoyance as Kaprin walked forward.

Grand Duke Kaprin was just a head taller than his lord, and his body was covered in blue scales, along with webbing between his fingers and toes. He had solid black eyes, and a face that looked like a fish with fins on both sides and a crest going down the center of his scalp. Being a finfolk, Kaprin had both lungs and gills for him to be able to breath in and out of water.

Kaprin gave a full bow to the crowd. "Aye, thank ye for comin' out. 'Tis a wonderful day isn't it?" The crowd responded with cheers. "'Tis past year hasn't been thee best for Medsa'lear, but thee next shall be better," he shouted as if giving a pep talk to the crowd. "We have seen evidence that thee megalodons are approaching closer to our shores. More than likely, they are lookin' for food."

The crowd gasped and started to grow quite frantic. Kaprin desperately tried to get the crowd under control. "Calm down! Calm down! Aye, I beg of ye to calm ye'selves! There is no need to panic! They will become motionless if they try to venture onto land...Now, I have assembled some of my best fishermen, that I, myself, have trained. We are goin' to hunt 'em down, and we are goin' to kill 'em!" The crowd erupted into cheers once more. "We're goin' to make our oceans safer; and once we rid thee megalodons from the Abyss, we shall feast upon their flesh," Kaprin shouted as he raised his fist into the air. He then returned back to his seat, and Lord Brighton, once again, made his way to the front of the stage.

Lord Brighton pointed towards Kaprin, "Give Grand Duke Kaprin another round of applause." As he had asked, the audience broke out with cheers and claps. "Now will you all help me welcome forward Grand Duke Galach?"

Grand Duke Galach was a treefolk and the tallest of the seven on stage. His body was covered in bark---branches and vines grew out of his shoulders and arms.

Galach stood up and walked towards the front of the stage, shook hands with Lord Brighton, then commenced his speech. "Good morrow, dear friends. During this past year, I have had a group of djinns and liches working on a special elixir. An elixir that, when it is made, can revive dead trees and make them stronger than they were before. Once we have completed the crafting of the elixir, we will begin testing in Black Rain Forest. If it works as we have intended, 'tis will bring all the dead, soot covered trees back to life. They will bear leaves and fruits. They will stand tall, and house some of the strongest wood in all thy land." Galach paused for a brief second. "We are so close to completing the potion, that within a few short moons we will begin testing; and within the next year, Black Rain Forest will be revived with trees stronger than any other tree in Ringwood, and within all of Metagore."

The crowd, who had been silent throughout the speech, started cheering as Galach turned and headed back to his seat. Lord Brighton stood up, shook the towering treefolk's branch-like hand once again, and then made his way to the front of the stage for the last time.

"I know you all may not be interested in reviving dead trees; but to our treefolk community, this new elixir will change the way they live. Capable of becoming stronger and living longer. Plus the lumber from the new trees will make for great strong defending walls around our beloved cities...Doesn't the new year sound so amazing?" Lord Brighton paused to let the crowd cheer for the grand dukes one last time. "I'm not going to keep you all much longer; I know most of you all are wanting to feast. So one quick thing---we will begin blasting into some of the rock structures in MireBane, this upcoming year. MireBane's lands are filled with graphite. We will harvest it, and we will manufacture it!...So this new year is going to be filled with wonderful things for all of Metagore!...Enough with all this squiddle, who's ready to feast?" Lord Brighton shouted as the crowd erupted even louder than they had before.



© Copyright 2018 D. L. Stewart. All rights reserved.

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