Unto the Gates of PoazachbyTivanosa©
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UNTO THE GATES OF POAZACH:
The Argument of the Moralists
"What? This is a travesty of justice, an abomination of the moral code! You cannot twist our values so that we might sacrifice the woods! Have you any conception of the horror inflicted upon forests visited by the enemy, by townships which lay in their path, by people who cross them in the shadowy midst of night?" shouted Tivanosa.
"I am fully aware of the situation within Adair, and have seen first hand that of which you speak. Do not seek to lecture me on the horrors of war and casualty, little girl...I seek only to serve the greater good, at a time when to do otherwise would be the ruin of us all," the King chided with a venomous rasp.
"Greater good? That is the very abomination in question! Never may you legislate the deaths of the innocent, so that others may flourish! Thousands have died already, and many more shall follow in the subsequent weeks. How can you let that happen? Answer me!"
"Impudent cur! How dare you speak to me thus? I should have you removed, but for the power you possess. Both in mind and spirit are you the greatest of our number, a sorceress of piety and purity and respect. Yet heed my warning, and let not the rumours of your divine ancestry fill you with such unreasonable righteousness. Do not sully your manner, nor the good name you have earned for yourself; Tivanosa Evangelista, I ask you to reconsider the haste of your youth; seek not to rush headfirst into the woods of Adair. You cannot destroy that fortress alone. Poazach is too strong, too well established, you would surely perish."
"Othyome, never shall I be dissuaded from this task. Too long have we spoken whilst the forest has withered, too long have we bantered in this frivolous fashion! Tonight you must decide! I shall burn a path of ruin unto the fortress, alone if I must, but I ask that you lend me the third army. Together, we would surely prevail, and save the forest from the blight that has already begun infect it."
"No!" commanded the King. "You are our only hope, our only potent weapon against the enemy. The third army is needed on another, more vital front, and you must lead it in those battles! I too grieve for the loss of Adair; once were its woods fair, its air clear and its grasses green, but no longer. Now is it an abode of the damned and stronghold of the enemy, but there are more important things to do. It is not worth the risk!"
"Fool of a King, I am the very leverage which you cannot control, the only force powerful enough to reckon with the darkness which strangles us! If you would deny me the third army, then I shall not contest that, nor risk the lives of those wizards against your will, but you have no authority over me!" The gaze of Tivanosa narrowed into a glare, as dark and furious as the depths of midnight and madness.
"Choose carefully your next words, Heiress to the Light," The King warned through the fire of his disposition. "Some utterances cannot be retracted, nor oaths revoked."
"Then I call upon the very Gods themselves, whom are named the Seyillien, that their witness might give due gravity to the oath which now I swear. Hear me, oh immortal lords of Light and Love, and you, Luthien, whom art their chief and champion! Dark are the times in which we find ourselves, and grim the tasks which befall us, and so have events shaped that which is to come. Through strict devotion to your laws, to purity, mortality, virtue and piety, am I forced thus to declare myself the bane of Poazach'Ugraaldin, which shall I destroy one day hence! Should I waver, then strike me down, for then I am a coward, and no better than Earthly kings. But should I fail, then let my final example inspire such justice, such righteousness in the hearts of all Lorun, that their faith alone might rise up and banish the enemy for all eternity!" Tivanosa bellowed.
And so had it come to pass, that Tivanosa Evangelista, the Heiress to the Light, spoke passionately the words of her oath, and thereafter disappeared in a flash of mist and of smoke, which dazzled the keen senses of the king. Verily had she called his bluff in their last, great struggle, the two titans vying for power over the kingdom, and only would the morning tell if he would submit to her demands, or let the fiery spark of hope dwindle in the face of suicidal odds.. As the mist settled and fell to the ground, the King was left with a cold sense of introspection, and pondered long all that had befallen him.
However, Tivanosa had already begun. There was no turning back. With or without aid, she had set for herself a grim task, and as she peered off into the distant forests, so beset by peril and by doom, the fire in her eyes raged all the brighter...