Four Lords were first to enter the Realm
Four Lords fought to rule it
And Volttus won
The isle of Xome was always a bone of contention between the two lords of Akronia.
It was never certain what exactly was so important about that tiny pearl shaped piece of barren land, locked in by two mighty flowing rivers on both sides that had captured the hearts of two friends and turned them into foes.
Lord Richesse was the hot headed one. He struck first and spoke later. So was his nature. But Lord Syhla was the one with a cool mind and spirit. He had the rightful claim to Xome as it was passed onto him by his father after the old feudal lord had discovered and flagged it on one of his hunting expeditions.
Later on, when Sikam replaced his father as the new Lord of Syhla, he invited his dear childhood friend Ric to share the beauty of the vast nothingness of Xome that glittered in the moonlit nights of winter.
That invitation proved fateful. Greed and jealousy took root in the gullible heart of Lord Richesse – all adequately fueled by his new bride Jana, the eldest daughter of Lord Ducai who looked after the neighboring lands of Kirtam. And why would they care to snatch such a small piece of barren land? Because more land made for a bigger landlord, of course. What a terribly dumb question to ask!
Akronia and Kirtam were two very tiny scraps of independent provinces in the vast territory of the current region of South Asia.
Akronia was divided into two parts – east and west. The west was ruled by the amicable and emotive clan of Richesse while the east was looked after by the strong, hardworking farmers of Syhla. Lord Ducai, an expert in weaponry, alone had complete control over Kirtam. Fortunately for him, none of his neighbors ever felt the need to challenge that. He, however, couldn’t resist scheming, no matter how insignificant the scope.
Not much, if anything is known about these domains since they ceased to exist well before man learnt the art of meaningful archives. We are talking some six to ten thousand years BC. What little is known comes from word of mouth well suited for bedtime stories and legend
While Lords Syhla and Richesse were busy bickering over Xome, a strange newcomer entered their lands. He was a tall, dark man with no apparent intent for good. His whole aura seemed to scare. To begin with, he dressed strangely. A long dark robe with a hood covering most of his face and a long slim sword carved out of raw iron hanging from his waist.
His name was Kalum. Or so he told them. He had come in search of fire, he told them.
Fire? They exchanged suspicious glances as two quarreling lords, joined by Ducai, sat beneath the huge tree where all three of them held courts or town meetings. Why would a man travel as far as he had for such an abundant and easily available element? Why, he could rub two stones together and make fire. Or twist a dry twig enough times in a bed of dry leaves and rocks and stoke up a fire as big as reached the sky! Fire? Really?
Yes. Really. Kalum said. For this was no ordinary fire. This burnt dull and scorched more. And it burnt blue.
They all laughed. Well, all except Sikam.
The meeting was adjourned. Lord Ducai graciously extended a stay-the-night invitation to the stranger that he equally graciously declined. He had a place to stay, thank you much for the kindness. He would prefer to camp in the empty unclaimed land of Xome.
Unclaimed? How dare he! Lord Syhla was quick to correct that misunderstanding only to receive a smirk from the dark man. Sikam did not know the true treasures Xome held, did he? If he did not know, the land could not be his. A land should never fall into the hands of one who doesn’t understand it. Hence, unclaimed it was.
Treasures? Now this was interesting! And it was enough to stop the two leaders of the enemy camp in their tracks too. Sikam of Syhla was in a pickle. For you see he knew what treasure Kalum talked of. But he could not disclose it. What was worse was that he could not wield it either.
“It belongs to me.” Kalum smiled decisively at Sikam. “If you are wise, you shall not contest.”
“I own that land.” Sikam lashed back. “You cannot usurp it.”
Kalum’s dark eyes glowed with comprehension. Sikam’s claim, no matter how displeasing, was true. It tickled Kalum's just nature and he could not find it in his heart to defy such bravery. Hence, he made a deal.
To be continued...