Legon Awakening - By Nicholas Taylor


A New Star

“Those at the serpent’s head first swallow the tail of defeat.”

-Articles of the Mahann

The Senashow walked down a passage taking in his surroundings, trying to remember how to get to the queen’s study. His eyes scanned the dim, torch-lit hall. Flickering light played on the granite, giving it the appearance of shifting in and out of existence. The smell was earthy from the recent rain; he could still taste the last bit of moisture. The scent was not unpleasant; it reminded him of home, as did stone. Most men had a difficult time walking these dark halls without tripping on the uneven stone floor or occasional rug, but this was not a problem for the Senashow, for he wasn’t a man. He was not even human, for that matter.

It was a cool spring night and the castle seemed drafty and cold, no doubt from the feeble craftsmanship of dull human hands. The Senashow hated these old human dwellings. They were so poorly made that they didn’t even keep out the cold. It was cold at home too, but at least you didn’t feel the wind. He honestly didn’t know how these creatures had made it out of the Stone Age.

A particularly uneven stone on the floor caught his attention. Pathetic beasts, thought the Senashow as he walked. They aren’t fit to clean our boot straps, and here our queen, their queen for that matter, is living among them. Disgusting! That was beside the point now. There were more pressing matters on the Senashow’s mind. What if the prophecy is true? What if the new star in the sky this night is a sign that it is coming true? It was not in his nature to believe in what he would call “mindless mysticism,” but he did know that the resistance and the crusade twigs did. If there was anything worse than people believing in prophecies, it was that people usually found ways to make them come true. It was for that reason that he was in this horrid place tonight. One of the signs of the prophecy had come to pass not more than one day ago.

As he passed another corridor he saw a door at the end open, flooding the hallway with light. Bah, thought the Senashow, the animals can’t even see unless it’s as bright as the noonday sun. He was by the kitchens that, when revealed, were full of light that enabled the servants, or rather the slaves, to see what they were doing. As the warm air from the cook fires flowed into the hall, the smell of the food forced him to admit that at least the animals could be taught to cook. Whenever the Senashow passed too close to people he would catch little glimpses into their minds, if you could even call them that. Most showed the fear and panic that the servants felt upon seeing him. Good. Fear your masters, filthy apes! he thought with derision.

As he approached the Queen’s study, he could see the door at the end of the hall. There was a man coming out, another Iumenta like himself. He knew this person. It was Parkas, the Queen’s chief warlord. He was a tall, slender man, with a firm jaw line and an almost wolf-like appearance. His light grey skin shone in contrast to the dark hall, accented by thin lips and pale yellow eyes. At first glance he looked almost weak and frail, but he was an Iumenta like the Senashow. Iumentas, like elves, had deceiving appearances. They were at least fifteen times stronger and faster than any human, with sight rivaling that of any bird of prey, and such sensitive hearing that they can hear a heartbeat across a room. They also were as close to immortal as was possible; they did not age, and would live forever unless physically killed.

None of the Elves or Iumenta looked to be over twenty-five years old. Parkas had been the queen’s chief warlord for over a hundred years. His long silver hair came down past his shoulders, and he was wearing a black belt with a sword attached to it. The sword was in a grey sheath with a polished steel handle. A sapphire embedded in the hilt glinted in the near non-existent light, so fine was its quality.

The Senashow could see that Parkas was looking flustered and displeased. He obviously did not have a good conversation with the queen. Fantastic, thought the Senashow. The queen was temperamental in