(An Epic Tale of the Fall of Man.)
Serses laboriously lifted himself from his throne with a hearty grunt and responded to his guest:
“Pleonides who has his father’s narrative gifts,
I chastise you only for the fate that is rightfully yours to keep:
The burden of the fall of man.
No greater, stronger soul could bear the weight you must endure.
I’m sure your intentions are well-advised and that your thoughts are pure!
But bear in mind that should you stay,
Tor’s great army will come to take your life away!
Now speak, Korvas, and share the words you’ve promised me!”
The hero nodded solemnly, and with a thoughtful pause, he began the verbal descent:
“Teides, when life was still flowing within his veins, urged a messenger to bring the news to me:
‘Run with all speed toward the setting sun and never give up your pace.
The hounds of Hell will follow suit and never tire in their pursuit.
Rest for a time, you may, but never let sleep grasp you under the light of day!
Go to Thaemnius,
tell him of our plight;
climb the forbidden ranges of Taemnos and reach the peek of Termidus’ great height.
Only there and then will the tide of war turn!
‘But for the cities on the edge of death’s war,
I have a message for them.
Tell them, I implore!
They must make hast and take up all they own;
run they must, lest Death reap what they have sown!
Go now, Korvas king of arms and war,
go swiftly to the tall black gates of the noble kingdom Sar!’
“Gather your people,
white haired king of Sar;
loose them upon open gates to flee with all their strength.
They will become refugees to an unknown land;
they will become nomads to a world of strife.
Should you choose to stay instead, each of you will be cut down where you stand!
I offer you what Teides’ messenger brought to me;
the choice is yours to make.”
The king contemplated the hero’s offer:
Stay and die or flee and live.
But just as the thoughts beneath his long white hair caressed the face of life,
Klemnos gazed down from the terrible heights of Termidus, deep within Taemnos’ forbidden range.
“Pity the poor man’s soul,” cackled Sarsus,
his heart gripped by a wrenching sorrow, as he addressed the god of Law,
“even you, Klemnos, cannot justify such scornful fate toward an aged, troubled man!
You promised me yourself that the burden of the fall of man would haunt the life of Korvas.
Sar has done nothing to deserve this retribution!”
With his godly wits, swifter than all, Klemnos’ reply came raining down upon the god of Order,
“Quiet, Sarsus whose orb brings life to earth!
You will have your time, I have promised you this much!
Perhaps you may be given Raethia’s favored city, the home of Korvas himself,
or when Trest is risen from the ashes, you may raze that once more.
But the city of the tall black gates is fated to fall;
not even I may alter this course!
“Should the white haired king choose to flee at last,
then Fate herself will be judged!
I will place within the king’s heart the false strength of pride,
maybe a dash of overconfidence for good measure.”