The legend of Mar'le'in

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm


A popular legend in the Kingdom of Fire, of IGSFA. Originally an own chapter in my book, but it's separate enough to be its own Short Story. It is set in year 7, what we would call the middle ages.



Edited a bit after Icomment suggestions

Submitted: December 26, 2017

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Submitted: December 26, 2017

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In the time of king Blazando the first, there was still a tension between The kingdom of Ice and The kingdom of Fire. It was long before laptops, cars or even trains were even thought of. It was the time of the old Kingdom of Fire when the only ally was the Kingdom of Air. The capital was the King’s City, or today’s Old King City. 

The king had a young little princess, with beautiful red hair. Unfortunately, the princess had gone missing.  Big Falcon approached the king with the bad news. He was a member of the Kingdom of Air and a good friend of Blazando. The king shook his head at the news and asked Big Falcon to check again. The Air man spread his brown wings and took flight. The king waited anxiously and when Big Falcon returned, he ran toward him. 

Big Falcon looked down. “It’s true, and it’s much worse than we thought.” 
“How bad?” the king narrowed his eyes. 
“There are witnesses. Men from the Ice have taken her,” he said gravely. 
“Kingdom of Ice? But she can’t survive that cold weather for long! She can freeze to death at any moment in that tundra,” Blazando stared at Big Falcon. 
“Any good ideas, king?” 
“I was going to ask you just the same.” 

They sat around a small table in desperate silence. Soon they chatted in an attempt to come up with a good idea. After a few minutes, Big Falcon mentioned Marshmore. 
“Marshmore?” the king smiled. 
“You know, the man from the Kingdom of Stone,” Big Falcon replied. 
“Don’t you get it? Marshmore! He has a Stone and Ice mix friend, living in the Kingdom of Ice. What was his name again? Gronge! And if I recall, he was even an ambassador once. Do you see what I mean?” Blazando practically jumped for joy. 
“Eh, yeah. I will send a message to Marshmore, and that he needs to contact Gronge. But what can Gronge do, anyway?” Big Falcon pondered.

“My white feather winter cape is lined with burning coal. Even if its fire goes out, it will provide her with plenty of heat. So if Gronge can get it to her - before it’s too late - she’ll be quite safe,” the king smiled as he explained. 
“I’m ready to go at any moment. Just give me the cloak and I’ll deliver it to Marshmore,” Big Falcon said impatiently. 
The king gave orders for the staff to fetch it quickly. Big Falcon snatched the garment from the footman and soared away.

*

Further north, in a cave, sat a Fire girl, with her back against the cave wall - shivering. She remembered waking up in a sack, then thrown into this cave. Through the cave opening, a blizzard raged. Cold nibbled her to the bones. She looked down at her hands. They had gotten more and more grey, as she got colder. They were completely grey now. If only she was strong enough, but at her age, she was still weak. The smoke of her dying fire coming out of her mouth as she breathed. Her mother's had done the same right before she died. 
“No, not me too! I don’t want to die. Not yet!” Mar’le’in cried out. 
“You won't,” a voice said. 
Mar’le’in looked up at a man, holding a cape. White hair circled his stony, light grey face. A mix of Stone people and Ice people? He wore sealskin as most Ice people did. She shuddered. He was probably hired to kill her. If Ice was as Fire, his mixed nature would mean he had low status.

The man walked as gently as he could towards her. She tried backing away.

“Dear princess,” he said.

She looked at him in surprise. Wasn't he going to kill her? Was he a friend?
“This is no place for you. Let me drape this cloak around your shoulders. It will make you warm again. Don’t lose it. You're far too weak for a long travel now, but I will come every day until you are strong enough. I’m Gronge, by the way.” 
He gently wrapped the cape around her and gave her something to eat. It was just frozen fish and not bread, but it would have to do. Mar’le’in ate, and Gronge watched. After a couple of hours, her skin was back to orange and her eyes were once again filled with fire. 
“I see you are getting better. I have to go now. See you tomorrow, with more food and water,” Gronge smiled and left.

*

Outside Blazando’s castle a man with grey, stony skin, and grey eyes waited. He had clothes of leather and his hair and beard were thick and dark grey. 
“Who are you?” the guards asked, blocking the way with their spears. 
Being from the Kingdom of Stone he was neither foe or ally. 
“I’m Marshmore. A friend of Big Falcon, I…” 
“Let him in,” Blazando said a stern voice.

Marshmore looked up. The king stood on the balcony, gazing at them. 
“Certainly, my king,” one of the guards replied and they let Marshmore pass. 


“The princess has gotten the cape, she is as safe as she can be,” Marshmore said.

Blazando couldn’t help but throw his arms around Marshmore. 
“My daughter is safe, my daughter is safe!” he cried out.

After some time, the king pulled himself back to dignity. 
“Don’t tell anybody about that. I can get a little emotional, sometimes,” the king said to Marshmore. 
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of. You just showed that you are a father who loves your daughter,” Marshmore smiled.

A few weeks later, Marshmore came back. 
“There is a problem.” Marshmore looked down. 
“What kind of problem?” Blazando looked at him. 
“There are two guards outside the cave the princess is inside. Gronge said two weeks ago that he wonders how long he is allowed to deliver food and water to her. We do not know what to do. So we decided that I should ask you for advice. One thing though. They let her have the warm cape,” Marshmore explained. 
“When do the people of Ice sleep?” the king asked. 
“Well. Usually, around midday, when Frigon (the sun) is at it’s brightest. There are guards there all the time. But have you noticed how Gronge reacts to warm weather? He gets sick if he visits me in the summer,” Marshmore answered. 
“I will talk to the weather experts. I will ask them to find out what the hottest day in the nearest future is. I hope you will tell Gronge to get her out of that cave on that day,” Blazando said. 
Marshmore waited until he got the info before he left.

*

A door to a chamber opened. Two firemasters stood, glaring at the door in the brick wall. The king came in, and the two masters bowed their head in respect. 
“I know you are stronger than me. You could dethrone me if you wanted to, but you have chosen not to. You believe the world is better off with me as king. And I am grateful to be your king. But in this chamber, there is no king. To get the truest, purest power of fire. We must join our powers. Have equal respect. Now - in this room - we will all three be one thing. A joined master of fire.”

The king took his scarf and tied it around his mouth. An ancient tradition, forgotten today. The scarf gives the person absolute control over emotion and power. The masters already had theirs on. The king also took off his cape and hid it. His firemaster clothes were now visible. Then they started the special fire ritual. 

This is a ritual forgotten hundreds of years before modern time. According to the ancient monarchs, it’s something like this: Firemasters stood in a circle and held hands, transferring fire through their palms to one another. During the power, joined in equal respect, they become telepathic. And with really high skill, they can control a separate fire power. Don’t worry if this is weird for you. Most people of IGSFA would find this weird too.

Anyway. They woke up from the trance. 
“This is all we could do to help you,” one of the fire masters said. 
“Thank you. I’m very grateful, but I must go now. Remember who I am when I have gone,” the king said calmly. 
The others nodded. Then he took on his cape and left.

*

The snow outside had begun to melt and the guards couldn’t stop complaining about the warm weather. It almost seemed like the temperature was higher than expected for the season. Mar’le’in's lips curled into a grin. Dad must be doing this. As temperature rose, the guards became more docile. But it was not so much that it raised too much suspicion. Gronge appeared in the cave entrance.

He walked fast and quiet towards Mar’le’in. When he was near her, he held his hand in front of her mouth, lifted her and carried her out of the cave. He made sure she was completely covered in the cape, so they would be a little bit camouflaged against the white landscape. After a while he allowed her to talk. 
“Gronge, what is happening?” 
“I’m rescuing you, of course,” Gronge smiled. 
“Why didn’t you visit me more often?” 
“The guards didn’t allow me to. I understand you might be hungry…” 
“I am hungry!” 
“I will give you something to eat and a place to sleep in my house. I have a guest room for Marshmore there, it should do for tonight. I can’t offer royal quality, but it should be better than a cave.”
“Any type of bed will be better,” Mar’le’in agreed. 
“By the way. I have some shoes for you in my backpack. I hope they fit, at least a little,” Gronge said.

He let her stand on the ground. Mar’le’in jumped as her feet touched the ice. She put on the shoes immediately. After that, they began to walk. Gronge gave her dried fish as they walked through the light night. The next day, they arrived at his house. It was like a really big igloo but made from stone. Inside, stone walls separated it into four rooms. Gronge’s room, the guest room, the toilet and the main room. Gronge showed Mar’le’in her room. It was a small room that only contained a big, flat rock with leaves in it that was supposed to be a bed. Some leaves were on the floor. Were they some kind of carpet? Gronge gave her some food. 
“I’m sorry I can’t offer you any more than this. Eat this and then try your best to sleep. It will be a very long journey tomorrow.”. 
He walked out of the room. Mar’le’in laid down on the “bed”. She laid down and drifted to sleep.

“Wake up, princess!” Gronge shook her shoulder. 
Mar’le’in looked at him with sleepy eyes. 
“I don’t think we can stay here forever. I fear someone may come and attack us. Eat some breakfast, I will tell you when we will leave.” 
“Where are we going?”
“We are going to meet Marshmore. Then you will follow him to his house and sleep there. I’m sorry I will only walk with you till we meet him. It’s hot in the south. Anyway, Marshmore will deliver you to Big Falcon…” 
“Big Falcon! Am I going home?” 
“Indeed you are, now eat your breakfast,” he tried to say sternly, but the princess saw a faint smile.

They walked through a white landscape, which turned to a landscape of slush and stone. There were gentle mountains in the background. Gronge told her the names of all of them, but Mar’le’in didn’t remember them. After a while, there were only stones with some kind of white, thin moss. The evening had come and they walked through the night. It was darker now. The mountains had begun to get a little bit higher. When Frigon again appeared, she could see the landscape was now covered in moss and grass. Frigon’s warmth was a bit much for Gronge, though. She soon had to support him. She saw someone in the distance, walking towards them. He was a man of Stone. His clothes were simple, but he wore quite a lot of jewellery. 

“Marshmore, the very man!” Gronge said to the man as they met. 
“I will take her from here. You go and rest, you look terrible,” Marshmore responded. 
Gronge nodded, gave Mar’le’in a little hug, said goodbye and left.

“Marshmore?” 
“Yes, princess?” 
“How long is it to Big Falcon?” 
“Quite a long trip. But I will lend a horse or two in Sølv. We are there soon.” 
“What about food?” 
“Of course. And something to drink too. But we might only get wine. And maybe also a place to sleep.” 

They saw a town made of stone. The ground was covered with big, white stones, quite different from the sand ground Mar’le’in was used to. As they entered the town, Mar’le’in saw so many grey faces. She was afraid she would lose Marshmore if she wasn’t careful. Marshmore laughed at her dilemma and said that their pattern of stones in their skin was unique. Mar’le’in looked back at the strange people. Many looked at her. Some were happy to see her, but others were more sceptical. Marshmore bought some bread and they sat down on a bench. Bread was much better and familiar than frozen, raw meat. This was delicious. 

“I need a hotter fire!” someone shouted. 
“What was that?” Mar’le’in asked Marshmore. 
“The reason why there is a conflict between our countries is the blacksmiths’ need for fire. Some people of Fire have been taken as slaves since food is cheaper than wood. Wood is scarce in this kingdom,” Marshmore looked down. 
“Will they kidnap me?” Mar’le’in was worried. 
“You are a princess, so they respect you. If they don’t, I will protect you,” Marshmore said with confidence. 

They continued the next day, but now on horseback. They continued until they got to Marshmore’s house. Or rather his apartment. There was a cliff with five caves. He lived in one of them. He introduced her to his wife and his kids. All the children played until bedtime. When it was time to sleep, Marshmore’s wife played them a lullaby on her violin. And the bed was still stone format. 

The next days they travelled to Geomond. It was a magnificent city with tall stone buildings, broad stone laid streets and a thick wall on the outside. The lowest floor in the buildings was reserved for shops, while the upper floors were apartments and other stuff. It was a lively city too. The shopkeepers shouting, grey people walking everywhere in a hurry and some stray pets begging for food. They slept the night at a hotel. Marshmore told Mar’le’in that the next night they would spend travelling.

They travelled through the grey, slightly barren and humid countryside. It got more and more wild, as they travelled south. The mountains were steeper than before. The nights became darker and came nearly without warning. Just as Mar’le’in was used to. Marshmore encouraged Mar’le’in to try making a fire. She tried, but she could only make her hand glow. 
“Dear Lu’on, Lunon, and Luron. Appear in the sky, so we can see our way. We are beings of Frigon and Hardon, but please help us,” Marshmore prayed to the sky. 
After an hour, the clouds pulled aside and Luron shone on the terrain. 
“Not long until we cross the border to the Kingdom of Air. They are your allies, so there you will be truly safe,” Marshmore said after a while. 
Then the moon suddenly became darker, shone red and there was an earthquake. The horses got scared. Marshmore jumped off his horse and held both of them. Scared horses in the dark in a terrain of wild mountains and cliffs. 
"Frigon, help!" Mar'le'in screamed clambering around the horse's neck.
"Don't scare them even more," Marshmore tried to say calmly.
After a while, the earthquake stopped. 

The next evening they arrived at Big Falcon’s home. It was a tree house up on the mountain. Big Falcon welcomed them. 
“Hello, princess. Hello, Marshmore. I have tried to tidy up this mess but failed. Please come inside, anyway.” 
They did and Mar’le’in gave Big Falcon a hug. Then she tried to grab his brown wings. He changed position and flapped the gently, but that made her want to play more.
“Now you little. I guess that is how the combination of wings and kids usually is? But please stop,” he said to her. 
“How is my dad?” she looked at his brown eyes. 
“He is quite worried for you. He loves you very much. And… he would be so happy to see you again,” He said to her, slightly flapping his wings. 
“Yes, indeed,” Marshmore joined in. 
“Anyway. You two must be tired. I got some beds for you. Tomorrow we will travel the whole day and the whole night. And the evening after that. We will travel through the desert and the plains. And the day after that? You are going to go home to your king dad,” Big Falcon tried to hide his emotions. 
The princess was delighted to see the bed because it was actually a proper bed. Big Falcon sang her an Air lullaby.

*

A week afterward, the king was walking in circles on the checkerboard floor. The only thing Blazando could do was to wait. Frigon was pleased today. He let his light beam down on the castle. It beamed through the windows and down on the black and white floor. He noticed something. Were there three shadows in the light? Without doubt. Three persons, where one had wings and one was smaller than the others. They walked in the glass door. Blazando ran towards them. 

“My little princess!” the king cried out in joy.

He could not do anything else than give her a good, proper, long hug. 
”I can’t lose anybody else. It was more than enough to lose my queen. I don’t want to be alone in this world.” 
And they cried in each other's arms.

“Daddy?” 
“Yes, my little princess?” 
“Can you call me my real name? I’m so fed up only being called princess.” 
Blazando looked into her eyes and smiled. “But you are my little princess, Mar’le’in. Or maybe not so little, hmm? So you want me to call you Mar’le’in? That’s alright. But please get used to the fact that you are the future queen of this country. Therefore, nearly everybody will call you princess. I also get tired of everybody calling me king, but I understand it has to be this way. You will understand,” Blazando explained.

He stood up. 
“Anyway, I want this castle to have a celebration as soon as possible. A celebration for the rescue of princess Mar’le’in,” he said loudly. 
And then he turned towards Big Falcon and Marshmore. “I do not have power over you. But I want you to be my honoured guests at the celebration. Do you take the invitation?” he looked at them, hopefully. 
“Certainly. Who wouldn’t join a celebration invited by a king… and a friend?” Big Falcon said. 
“I will join, too. I have always been curious about how celebrations are in this kingdom,” Marshmore said.

Blazando smiled. 
“Uhm, dad?” Mar’le’in asked. 
“Yes, Mar’le’in?” 
“Can I be in the celebration?” 
The king chuckled. “Of course you can be in the celebration. It’s all about you this time.”


The celebration was held the next evening. The king held a speech. 
“Ladies and gentlemen. As you might know, my daughter Mar’le’in was suddenly taken away from me. She is now home, where she belongs. It’s all thanks to three men whom I am very grateful for. I’m sure you too would also like to give them a good thank you. Well. Two of them - Marshmore and my good friend Big Falcon - are here. Gronge couldn’t come. Anyway, I do also want to use this celebration to do something else. Mar’le’in, I think you have proven yourself to be old enough to wear this." 
He walked to a chest, opened it and the guests gasped. He held the princess crown. It was a web of golden necklaces. 
“I know most princesses got this when they were one or two years older. But then again, Mar’le’in has proven herself to be mature enough to wear this. So Mar’le’in, can you come over here?" Mar’le’in came, and he laid the princess crown on her head. 
“I hope it won’t be too heavy to wear. With it comes responsibility, but I do have to give it to you sooner or later. You are beautiful in it,” he whispered to her. 
“Thank you,” she said. 
The guests rejoiced. Then the guitars played again. 

Many years later, the princess became queen Mar’le’in. Just as her father, she was liked and respected. And when the king of the Kingdom of Air died without an heir, Mar’le’in became the queen of both Kingdoms. And therefore, Mar’le’in was the last queen of the Kingdom of Fire and the first queen of The Red Kingdom.

 

 

 


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