The Tale of Nevare
Alas, war had ended and freedom was nigh. The city, its turreted walls gleaming in the half-light, awoke to the sound of harmonic beatings of a far off drum. War was the first thought, it had come forth to the very walls of the kingdom. However, as the children gathered out upon the roof tops shouts of a new hope filled the air—the soldiers had returned! War had ended!
Soon the whole kingdom began to run out into the main road towards the entrance gate, bringing even some of the most prestigious men from the dumfounded castle. Shouts and cries rang out upon the dismal scene as men returned, and some did not.
However prideful the city was it could not match the pride of the victorious soldiers, triumphant in their campaign to save numerous villages from the hands of their greedy neighbors, finally returning to their joyous capitol, back into the arms of peace.
They had been away for nearly a year, loosing half of their men, yet not even this solemn fact served to perturb their infamous valiance. Although each was but a hero within themselves, one man stood out upon the crowd. Lord Nevare Ne’Palm, a nobleman and the only son of Baron Ne’Palm, Minister of the kingdom, was hoisted far up into the heavens upon the shoulders of his comrades, glistening faces that had never seen war smiling back at him like a herd of lame cattle.
Nevare himself had been the most daunting man to the enemy ranks, using superior tactical training to gather as many advantages as possible into the hands of his nation. With these tactics he rose to top ranks, becoming the main general after the death of the previous one in which the general had made a monstrous error, leading to the massacre of his whole unit. With this merit of wartime Nevare returned home, held above the soldiers like an effigy of time gone past.
His return was not well met by everyone however, for his father, deep in the king’s counsel, told of his son’s avaricious ways. Both men soon became convinced that his wartime prestige would lead Nevare to have deep interest in the throne, hence he was barred from the castle and thrown out into the winding and squalid streets of the city.
For 2 years Nevare remained within the city, his wartime popularity bolstering higher than ever as he brought a congregation of freemen together weekly to discuss politics and gossip. Equipped with a wife at his side, Nevare was portrayed as a fierce soldier with the power to love in a steadfast nature.
A bitter political battle soon broke out, father against son head to head with the blind old king as the mascot. After another month passed Nevare had put a strangling hold upon the city. In what seemed as a matter of seconds, the majority of the city fell into his arms, and with this power he barraged himself upon the castle.
Entrenched in obligation to look at the nation’s best interest, Baron Ne’Palm allowed his son to enter the castle for a brief meeting and dinner that would ideally lead to a compromise. The dinner went more graciously than expected, and together Nevare, his wife, his father, and the king all heard each other out through a night of bloodied meats and hearty wines.
The end of the night was less promising then wished however, and no compromise was met. After the meeting broke Nevare went off to take council with his men in the city as the king and Baron Ne’Palm came into council with each other. Both men were extremely pleased with the fact of still holding on to the kingdom but knew taking Nevare out of the picture altogether would be difficult. His wartime reverence still lingered despite its long time passing and nearly seventy percent wished to see him in some high position within the kingdom, even the throne if possible.
The rest of the night the castle was filled with languid laughter and dauntingly formulaic ideas of how to get Nevare cut away from the worries of the king. The morning saw a different light however, one much more dark and concealing.
Whence morning came Baron Ne’Palm cast himself out of bed and up into the king’s chambers. The door, paint peeling in large sheets, opened softly and hadn’t been locked from the night before, the obvious reason being the king’s drunkenness. However, neither drunkenness nor soberness could had made any man ready for the next stream of events, for in his lonely old bed lied the lonely old king, weathered chest no longer beating the songs of life. This absence startled the groggy Baron, yet the whole climax of his uncertainty could not be reached until he brought his hands towards the old king, taking up the covers that so loosely constricted him.
Within mere minutes every building—sophisticated or not—rolled tidings of the death of their king through one door and out the other. The king’s death was untimely, but not a mark left in time, and despite the death the people crowded around Nevare’s homestead, cheering aloud in the bliss of a new era.
A cheery nobleman with a single thin piece of glass in front of one eye went into the throes of Nevare’s house, congratulating the legendary hero and his wife for their surefire rise to the top of the kingdom. Nevare tried to mirror an ounce of uncertainty and modesty upon the man’s singular lens, yet, if the man wouldn’t had been so blind, he would had been able to feel Nevare’s utter rapture.
So, hand on hand, Nevare and his wife went forth through the whimsical crowds off into the long and winding road one last time, leading into the darkened threshold of the castle. Bringing every citizen who could fit into the castle, Nevare streamed wistfully into the throne room, looking upon his battered father who sat like a mystic in modern times upon the interchanging throne. His father only gave a sigh, looking at his son with a glance that was an even greater abomination than disgust. “Aye, you have come ere to claim this throne, have you not? And to claim me to? Well then, claim what is rightfully yours!” his father yelled, his tone starting slowly and building into a more powerful winding together of the epochal words. For a moment all stood silent until Nevare began to choke up a slavering laugh from the very bottoms of his stomach. Slowly all people who stood packed together in the large throne room began to mimic the laugh, shouting in reinforced vigor.
“I will claim thee, and all that you stand upon like a tyrant! Be gone, back to your cave!” Nevare said, nonchalant and certain. With the slow rise of his father from the moistened and black throne Nevare brought about his sword, hilt coming out from scabbard in a deafening clamor. Through the yells of support Nevare brought his sword half mast and forward, streaming it right through his fathers rumbling chest and out to the other side, nearly missing the throne itself by inches.
So ended an era, and so birth was given to many eras to come. With the king “mysteriously” dead(no one ever questioned the means of his death, although poison was later found), and his father murdered in front of the greedy eyes of all, Nevare rose to the very top of the kingdom, bolstered by war and murder, and on a light and fair day in Spring he was crowned.
So began the reign of Nevare, which for 20 years saw the coming of one of the greatest times ever witnessed within the kingdom. No war ever broke out, yet the empire nearly doubled. No blood was spilled, yet freedom continued. It was a time for all to come together, and flourish under the shade of Nevare’s idealistic and triumphant ideas. His wife stayed faithful to him and was but his beautiful jewel, despite her inability to ever conceive an heir for him. He was not troubled by this, and continued to stamp a glorious foot upon the past by his upbeat demeanor.
Years passed and the empire swelled, until the aforesaid 20 year mark. Delving slowly into this new decade of his leadership, things began to immediately change. Although they were not outright apparent to himself, the one closest to him could see it. He began to become cold and reserved as he had once been, long before royalty clouded his mind. He no longer shared his opinions in senatorial meetings, and began having his minister relate all issues described. After a while he even fell from this tradition, leaving most issues at the hands of his most trusted.
It was not just his political agenda that began to dwindle however, for his public relations began to wan away with this turning point in his career also. No longer leaving his self proclaimed prison, Nevare would watch all events and functions of the outside world from his curtained window. Dinners were much calmer, casting away his old ritualistic views of dinner that would cause him to entertain a gaggle of guests for a more simpler dinner, that of just him and his wife.
Although things seemed to be moving into a direction that would suggest age was beginning to strangle Nevare, his wife saw different. More and more often Nevare would begin to shake violently when doing nothing more than sitting still or taking on an easy household task. Most of the kingdom disregarded this sort of behavior, saying it was only his age and was a natural occurrence. His wife thought differently however, and out of fear called in a number of specialists.
Each would monitor Nevare for an elapsed amount of time, and in the end come up with the same lame postulation: that Nevare’s behavior was normal on his condition and standard, and was more than likely just some regrettable reflection of his war time days. At first his wife was forced into accepting this, but as Nevare’s actions became stranger, his wife’s horror of what may be brewing swelled.
Her doubt and fear was finally breeched and acknowledged one perilous night. Awaking to some low and far off whisper, she slowly gathered herself into consciousness, peering around for the source of this low noise. It took her no longer than half a minute to find the creator of the low mumblings, for it was her husband, hunched over and squinting in the half-light. She watched on as he seemed to speak to the air for nearly an hour. What it was she could not know, but believed it had to be some apparition that supported the blunt hypothesis that each specialist dictated.
The next day shattered all hopes within her innocent mind. Not an ounce less important was the way the day also ended the last and prolonged murmuring of great deeds of war some 22 years earlier. This day showed but one thing: the day you are in is the only that must be feared.
So, with the morning came the absence of Nevare, his wife waking to him being gone for the indented spot where he had spent most of the night was now vacant. A city wide search burst out, and for almost 5 hours thousands of awkward and blundering bodies searched for the only ray of hope that had ever been in their lives—their king.
It was almost dinnertime when they found him; or rather, he found them. Large search parties still combed the streets leading up to the castle threshold, checking every nuance that could be found in hopes that they had merely missed the spot where he sat in silent meditation. Aspirations began to fall as his whereabouts were frustratingly attempted to be divined, but no divination could sentence any to the fate that was about to be tried.
Dinnertime hit its peak when all within the town square and the winding road leading up to the castle, including his wife, heard Nevare shouting something from the direction of the castle. Indeed it was him, standing out upon the balcony that gracefully swept away from his room some 5 or 6 stories up.
With the look of a mortal god he began to yell, “Ah, my people of this glorious villa, this dell, this nook in the graceful spires of what our lords have erected for us! I see you have been looking for a man that once lived here, but he does not stumble among you any longer. He has found a path, and with words spoke gently into his ear of some viper he ought not had listened to, he has rose above you all. The man that sits before you is but a shell of what you all will become, glorious and misled! Battered and cradled! Would you all wish this fate, or would you enjoy tasting the sweet poison that I have found so many times? All of heaven and hell has been told straight to my ear, in a cycle of wind like utterances that have shown me the way, and this way I would give to you! Crawl now, out of your skin, all of you. And come with me. Come with me. Find my body, cast this shell away! Join me in Hell!”
Maniacal laughter streamed steadily from the mouth of the man before them all, brows raised in defiant and fearful scowls by all others.
A nobleman with eyes of bronze stepped forward in defiance. “What is this of Hell? Where have you come from, man? Where is our glorious and headstrong leader that hath brought us through battle? Whatever shell of him you are is not enough for me, cast yourself away! Let the Devil now speak if he wish to intervene, if not, be gone with you!”
The wife of a man who was once on her own level now sat looking up at this entity that had been thrown before her. Sweat glistened down her face intermingled with the tears of some blind intuition that she faced. Hastily she tried to break through the crowd that had now gathered, but her efforts were in vain, none would let her through.
The figure on the balcony cried out once more: “What is this Hell? What is this Hell? Must I reiterate? You are this Hell, and except it you must. Join me in this prophetical understanding, join me in the breaking of this paradox! I have come from the very shores that you now toil within. I fought your good fights. I fought for your freedom, but who else is there to fight for the freedom of the enemy? Which side are we really? Are we not all blasted like seedlings out of the hands of a distraught mystic into this Hell—does this not make us all one? Think for a minute man, and you will find the intervention you wish. What Devil do you seek? There are many! Look now. Look closer than ever before and you will see!”
The man did this, looking through his bronze eyes up into the glistening crystal lattice of the balcony. Suddenly he did understand, as if the eyes of the man upon the balcony had told him the answer he had sought. With spastic and fearful breaths he began to pull back, pushing all people within the crowd that sat in his way. Fingers clawing in every direction he tried to run, but was barred from his fleeing when the crowds over encumbered him, pushing him violently to the ground.
As if the man’s wisdom had spread, everyone began to understand. Spastically swinging in all directions the crowd tried to lumber away, people smacking into another from every direction, screams coming as understanding was reached. In seconds the crowd began its flight, total chaos ensuing.
Under foot the man with bronze eyes was trampled to his death. Upon the balcony a whole man smirked. “That is right. Run. Together we are but the manipulations of the Devil, and this. This is Hell.”