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Artifact and the Princess by R. D. Ray - HTML preview

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As is conventional all other worlds revolved around Jhevek, from the smallest moon, for there are three Icero, Tiat and Lesh, to the great and burning sun. Very little is know of ‘other’ worlds, yet the scholars insist that they are there, out there somewhere in the vastness of black space itself, of course there were various maps and charts to prove their existence, but that does little to convince the common man that these other worlds mean anything to him or her.


But this story takes place upon Jhevek, at least that is what it was commonly referred as, the world of Jhevek came into being many eons ago, from where or from whom we have yet to discern, this is the subject of great debate among scholars, but at this time that is not as important as the story before us. The world itself has suffered through the ages from various wars and cataclysms, but it has survived, and thrived until the present time.


During the last great cataclysm that shook the world and caused great destruction upon the land and to the seas, the very gods themselves disappeared! What became of them, no one knows for sure. But since that time all the clerics and priests have all but disappeared also, for what do you need a priest or cleric for if they cannot commune with their god? Oh of course there are charlatans out there still, pretenders only, for no one has heard from the elder gods for almost five-hundred years.


So in light of this situation there has been a rise in the worship of nature and the land itself. Scattered across the world are pockets of druids and such who proclaim that by worshipping nature itself that will bring back the elder gods. But most scholars scoff at this idea, saying that it is founded in lies and half truths. Yet they are still attracting many to their cause, leaving the ways of the cities and villages behind to live off the land in the wilderness.


In addition to this there have arisen many magic users, mages, sorcerers, and others who can use their minds to shape and mold things to their wills. They rule the lands now in the wake of the disappearance of the gods and the downfall of the clerics and priests. So people flock to them in time of need as they draw upon the energy of the very world itself the mysterious flux of power that seems to abide in all living things. They guard their secrets well and only allow a chosen few to enter their ranks.


There are numerous and diverse races scattered throughout the world, from the stoic dwarves and their various clans, to the charming and genial elves, to the gruesome goblins and their kind. There are also the humans, whom seem to be spreading and multiplying quicker than most, and of course there are the minotaurs, who prefer to keep to themselves due to fear and prejudices’, but as of late have gotten more and more involved with the affairs of the other races, yet their kind seems to be becoming more and more uncommon. There are other lesser races, such as the lizard men and the giants, but the predominate races of men, elves, minotaurs, dwarves, and goblins were the crucial ones who built kingdoms and great cities across the known world.


The year is 493 KR, or King’s Reckoning, the 493rd year of the reign of Kings in the Kingdom of Lijissa, one of the largest, if not the most dominate kingdom in the world of Jhevek, most all the inhabitants of the known world used the King’s Reckoning as the recognized form of time measurement due to the influence this kingdom has upon the world, and because some of the wilder races simply don’t care, thus it has been for the past four-hundred and ninety-three years.


We should now look at the known world, known as far as the scholars and learned men of Lijissa are concerned. It is widely held that there are five main continents scattered across Jhevek, from the mysterious frigid northern land of Hemporia or the Frozen North as most call it, to the eastern great land mass known as Trirakkal, of course where the Kingdom lies is part of the continent of Jhavari, and to the west is the continent of Utensonia. There is little known of this area, for not only is it cut off from the rest of the world by vast oceans of water, but also the vast ocean of sand known as the Desert of Despair and the towering mountain chain called the Skag Mountains. What lives in this land are only heard in legends and tall tales shared around the camp fires of adventurers and travelers or by parents trying to scare their children around the home fires late at night. Also before we forget, in the far south is the land known as Cyzad, where the dragons rule the sky. An interesting place indeed, but all this has to be told at another time.


Our story begins in the Kingdom of Lijissa, in the reign of the elven King Lonthonis Brightwater, who had a very beautiful daughter named Lunansa. King Lonthonis was the fifth king in a lineage of kings who had reigned in Lijissa since the time of King’s Reckoning. He was at this time a widower, having lost his wife, Queen Taleth in the last war. Lunansa was now his only heir, for he and his wife had no other children. She was the pride of his life and the jewel of the kingdom, for all the people loved her and would do almost anything for her. But there was another war brewing on the horizon, the goblins and their allies, the dark dwarves, were massing along the border of his great kingdom and the King was worried. It seemed as if this war was inevitable, for it looked as if the forces aligned against his kingdom were going to cross the border as they had not more than ten years earlier, unless he could find a way to prevent it. Nevertheless for now he knew no way for that to happen, and then his only daughter came up missing! And thus the story begins…