For some odd reason I’ve never considered keeping a journal. As a king I’ve always figured other people would be all too happy to write about my life eventually, and probably not in the most flattering terms either. Btu putting down my own thoughts on events for all to see? Other public figures have left published records of their exploits, I know. However, much of the time those feel more like elaborate justifications for the things they have or haven’t done.
Still…perhaps I should just try it. See where it leads. There can’t be much harm in talking about the mostly mundane details of my life now and then.
So. How about we start with some recent event? Why, just last week in this very place I nearly cut my older brother in half.
Erm. All right, for some reason that didn’t sound quite as horrific in my head. Um…but he deserved it because he intended to do unspeakable things to the woman I admire? Oh dear, that sounds an awful lot like those justifications I mentioned earlier. Hm…
Oh, I have it! Why don’t I tell you a little about my sword’s history? It is a unique weapon, and there was no time to stop and describe it while I, er, put it to use.
Ahem. So, yes. Being of special make and having been passed on through several generations, my sword possesses a name: Blood Oath. I’m fond of the moniker, I must admit. While it does have “blood” in it, the name’s not some declaration of excessive violence or masculinity meant to impress others. It’s actually a reference to how my family came to own the sword in the first place.
Now, I can’t say for certain whether this is true, but Blood Oath’s one-of-a-kind nature does lend some credence to the story. I was told by my Uncle Kay, who is our family’s unofficial biographer in a way, that the sword was a gift from a True Dragon, one connected to the element of earth. Which makes it the second gift we’ve received from a mystical being, the first being our phantasmal wings, given by Zephyrus, god of the sky.
The LeMartas have only recently become rulers of Mortigany. In fact, my country doesn’t really pass the throne on through blood—the current rulers name an heir based on merit. That’s how my father became king before me, as a matter of fact. So, technically, we’re not even royalty, as humans understand it.
But I’m wandering off topic. Yes, so before my father and me, the LeMartas were just simple night-born citizens. Well…we did have a bit of a reputation. As adventurers, dreamers, and philosophers, according to the polite version. And as suicidal do-gooders, starry-eyed idiots, and bleeding heart busybodies amongst our less staunch supporters.
It was on such an adventure that my great, great, great, great grandmother, Talitha LeMarta, happened to run into a True Dragon. Well, all right, she didn’t bump into a chance encounter so much as inadvertently awaken It with her sorcery.
Talitha was a rather talented terramage apparently, who made a living by being hired to fight monsters, rescue damsels, and whatnot. At the time, she was scouting a goblin warren inside of a mountain as part of a job she’d undertaken on behalf of a nearby human town that had been plagued by their subterranean neighbors.
Or so the lord of the town had claimed. In reality, he was motivated by greed, wanting someone to wipe the goblins out so he could mine the rare crystals and minerals found in that particular mountain. Talitha had just started to suspect such a thing when she was discovered. The warren residents she’d been watching immediately rallied to arms and attacked her. Touchy, territorial people, goblins.
As you might imagine, while she was powerful Talitha was still grossly outnumbered, plus she really didn’t’ want to hurt the goblins since she figured they’d been minding their own business all along.
Anyway, out of desperation, she finally tried to get the mountain to seal off the passageways and spit her out to freedom using sorcery. Instead, she got the attention of the True Dragon, who was slumbering inside the mountain.
Or it might be more accurate to say who was the mountain.
Both Talitha and the goblins were quite surprised to feel the tons of rock around them suddenly shift and move, accompanied by a voice as deep as the roots of the earth sleepily asking what in blazes all the racket was about.
To skip ahead a bit, after much confusion Talitha, along with the goblin chieftain, eventually made it back outside. Where they discovered the mountain had raised Its enormous, craggy head. The Dragon regarded them with cavern-like eyes filled with glowing crystals. When It opened Its mouth to speak they could see the red glow in Its throat from the magma contained in Its innards.
It wanted to know why they were fighting. So, each explained their side. The Dragon gave a laugh that shook the ground with a moderate earthquake for miles around, and asked what they meant to do now. Talitha said she had no desire to harm the goblins in light of recent events, and was going to have some very strong words with the human lord back at the town. The chieftain stated in that case he could let her go not only in peace but also in friendship. They sealed the pact with a bit of their own blood mingled in clasped hands, in the similar night-born and goblin traditions.
The Dragon, pleased with their actions, bestowed a gift on each of them. What It gave the goblins I can’t say; you’ll have to look into their history or folklore for that. To Talitha, however, It gave a sword formed from the unique crystal that grew from the silvery rock of the Dragon’s very heart. It told her that the blade, after striking a foe, would absorb blood or life force. What’s more, only she or a person she gave permission to could touch it; dire consequences awaited anyone who put their hand on it uninvited.
Talitha named the weapon Blood Oath, in honor of the event. And it’s been passed down to one LeMarta or another ever since, finally being given to my grandfather, my father, and now me.
I do love having it at my side. Not necessarily because it’s a beautiful sword and it kills things very effectively, though. Because I love what it represents: different people setting aside misunderstanding and committing themselves to peace instead of greed or mistrust. It’s a legacy I’ll strive to uphold and be worthy of as long as I carry it.