An Epic Tale of the Fall of Man
Sadness, O Korvas, sing unto us the sad tale of the fall of man,
that wrenching of the heart so lonesome, as vast as the death-black sky,
tormented by the wickedness of Sarvus!
Sing, muse, of the plight of the last days when proud warriors lost their souls,
their shattered bodies vacant of life at the hands of a bygone era.
By what immortal grace was this fate handed down from Thaemnius,
high atop his throne at the Heart of Darkness?
Sarvus, brother of Order, son of Love and Hate with Chaos as his name,
fell down to the earth below and swept away their souls.
The names of countless soldiers now rotting corpses,
food for jackals and carrion birds,
fallen to eternal slumber.
But what of the immortal hero Korvas,
the son of Passion whose father’s mortal soul once touched the face of a goddess?
Like the night’s wind tumbling down from the slopes of Termidus,
slinking away from the battlefields of the elements,
Korvas and his contingent retreated to the city of Sar.
Eyes blazing with white hot fury and weapons drawn,
Korvas lead his men with great speed down the shallow passes
through the belly of the soft green forest.
He winged them upon the cloud tops and delivered them with haste to the heart of safety,
that great-walled city Sar,
favored by Sarsus the healer and home of the white-haired King Serses.
They came to the city by night,
twenty strong at arms and twice as many wounded,
mounted atop valiant steeds–
the strong that survived–
and what spoiled food tired hands could scavenge.
This wretched troop of men, broken, shattered souls,
whose thirst for war now quenched by countless terrible losses,
splashed against the tall black gates.
The sounds of armor clanging awoke the midnight guard
to gaze down with great sorrow upon the crumbled army:
“Hark! What lost souls stumble up to the tall black gates of Sar
when all gods but Sarvus are content with soft and soothing slumber?
What clang and clamor of arms would find its way with stallions and lame men
through the shallow earthly valleys of the darkest night’s abyss?
Doth mine eyes gaze upon a small detachment of men,
lost for battle,
whose legs have brought them far from the killing fields of war
or an army of beggars who will starve us of food before they’ve overstayed their welcome?
Speak, I command, for the gates shall not move,
even when Sarsus’ yawning maw peaks over the eastern sky!”
Korvas, king of arms and war,
rose to his feet with Collomnus god of reason by his side and bellowed back the reply:
“We are no beggars, nor an army lost for war;
we are the shattered, hopeless men left of Teides’ great army sent against Tor,
that wicked king of tortured souls.
I am Korvas, son of Pleonus.
We wish only for a place to rest our weary feet–feed our horses, too–
and swear an oath to serve no burden.
Upon this oath I shall place my life
and promise you we’ll depart by morrow and leave no trace of our stay.”
But the guard fired back with a hearty shout:
“Pleonides, son of man and god,
we know well your name and timeless honor.
Open the gates, I implore!
Bring the king of war to Serses’ chamber,
for there are stories he must hear!”
And down the guard descended from his perch above the wall to greet the tired men.
A dozen others were dispatched to lift the heavy weathered rope
and labor against the weight of the tall black gates.
Korvas gazed into the blade of light slicing between the moving,
moaning iron walls and hurried his troop to attention.