Monday, 6 June 2016

The Prisoner of Parison by Eddie Gubbins

Book 3 of the fantasy series The Rombuli Saga - ' The Prisoner of Parison ' by Eddie Gubbins.

Edward and his friends had gone. Now all that was left was for the Rombuli Army to retreat back to the Alskar River. 
Silker the Commander of the Rombuli Army had said "We do not have enough trained soldiers to do anything about a direct attack on the enemy. With odds of twelve to one . we can do nothing ultimtely to stop their advance. All we can hope for is that Latask and Nelvask can hold the enemy at these places by using their magic. The other thing we can do is leave some people behind enemy lines to harass their backs and their supply lines. I have to admit it is not much of  strategy but it is the only one I can come up with at this time. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I realise it is only a delaying tactic, hoping hat something will come up in the fitire. I can see little hope of it succeeding."
Deep down they all know it is suicide but it is all that can be done until somebody leads a party to Parison and frees Tulka, the prisoner of parison. He is the leader of the magician's faction called the Covenent but has been imprisoned by the Black Elves. With his magic and the rest of the Covenent there might be a chance of confronting the Black Elves.At the same time urged on by Edward Eastland, the elves of the Golden City stir in their forest and agree to help the humans. 
Who will lead the assault on Parison  or will it need to be a clandestine mission? Where is Edward Eastland and will he come back in time to use his magic to rescue Tulka? The situation is desperate. The enemy appears to have much stronger magic and more soldiers. Will Nelvask find Edward in time and will the elves of the Golden Citry help in the war. Can Tulka be freed?

The Elves of the Golden City go to war!
" As the King’s army approached the valley, Devron and Over Master Rudric, standing on the stone keep overlooking the defensive earthwork, watched as the elves and humans fought off another assault. For over two week they had fought every day, either defending the earthwork or sending out patrols, under the protection of the elves, to disrupt the enemy in their camps or along their supply lines. Even though the earthwork was held, both Devron and Rudric knew that both the men and the elves were exhausted. They were so few against what seemed an almost endless stream of the enemy. Moreover an enemy pushed on by leaders who did not seem to balk at the number of casualties.
Devron said to Rudric, who had become more than a comrade over the last two week, “ It is only a matter of time."
He never finished. A mental message came into his head and he let out a shout of joy. He could not stop himself pounding Rudric on the back.
With great difficulty, Rudric maintained his soldiery manner. “ What have you heard? I will never get used to this mental communication even though I have seen the Covenent do it before I met you.”
Devron turned him away from the battlefield and pointed. “ Over that ridge down the valley in about one hour will appear an army of elves. According to Corlina there will be three thousand elves and thirty lore masters or magicians as you call them. The tide is about to turn.”
Just as Devron had forecast, over the ridge at the end of the valley the elves of the Golden City marched. Riding at their head was the King flanked by Corlina and Dormont. Behind in ranks of four flanked by cavalry on either side rode the lore masters. After the riders, into view came rank upon rank of infantry, bows over shoulders, sheaths of arrows at their backs. Further back came more cavalry escorting the supply packhorses. Proudly fluttering in the breeze were the banners and pendants of the great Elven families and districts. The ground seemed to shake under their feet and when they came in sight of the earthwork a ragged cheer went up from the defenders."

" That night after eating, Dormont confronted the King. “ Your Majesty. We cannot hold out against the Hundro of the Sea Elves. They were bred for fighting and we can only put up energy shields against them. None of us possesses the power of Edward Eastland to bring one of the creatures down. In the Great Civil war that almost ended civilisation, the Golden Dragons came to our aid. Though there were only a few of them, they matched the Hundro. When the war was finished and the black elves banished, we agreed as elves never to call the Golden Dragons again. They however laid on King Manulus what they referred to as the KING'S CALL. I have no idea what that means but it is said that a true prince of the blood can make that call. I know you do not have the power of your brother or your sister Corlina. However, you are a true prince of the blood. You have an obligation to invoke the call now or we will never defeat the black elves and their allies. Call for the sake of your people and our very survival. Prince Maraud, I know, wanted you to use the Call. Don’t be angry with him for telling me. He was thinking of ways in which we might gain some advantage over our enemies.”
King Oleron looked troubled. “ The CALL has never been made since the instruction was given to King Manulus. Two things worry me as the King of the elves of the Golden City. Twenty generations have passed since the Civil War. Who knows what compromises have been made to the true blood in that time. I do know as King how to make the call. My father like his father before him passed on that knowledge just as I have to Prince Maraud and his brother. What worries me is that my blood has become so thinned over the years that the CALL will not get the Dragons to come. Then there is a question mark over the Golden Dragons. What happens if they have all died out?”
Dormont laughed. “ My King, stop trying to put off the moment. As my father always said one never knows what the outcome will be until one has tried.”
“ You win my old friend.” The King smiled sadly, his blue eyes still troubled. “ Tomorrow we will go back down the valley with Corlina out of sight of the earthwork and I will try.”
The next morning, Dormont and Corlina accompanied King Oleron down the valley away from the earthwork until they were over the ridge and out of sight of the keep. They tethered the horses near a stream on the edge of the moors and walked out into the meadow.
 King Oleron stood facing west and thought of all the words he could which might have some significance in this situation, shouting these into the morning air. Nothing happened. There was no answer.
He was close to despair. It was not going to have any effect.  Then he sank deep within himself searching for the right phrases. It was like descending a mountain through low cloud. He could see nothing. Every thing was indistinct. He concentrated even more.
Suddenly, the mist cleared, tumbrels fell into place and it was like turning a key in a lock. He knew what to do. The knowledge planted by his father became distinct.
He opened his eyes and stood upright facing confidently west. The words of the ancient language, which had become tainted and modified so much over the centuries, sprang into his mind. His thought projected these words towards the west and, after a pause, a roar in his mind told him that his call had been answered.
It was too quick for the distances involved. The King had expected a wait but, almost instantly, three great shapes appeared diving into the meadow from the west. Large beasts whose scales glowed golden in the sun. The great nostrils trailed smoke at the end of wedge shaped heads. The tails were used to guide them down.
They landed one behind the other surprisingly gently for creatures of such a size. As the King approached struck dumb by their beauty, the leader bent his forelegs and lowered his head to the ground.
Greetings, Oh King of the Elves.” The words vibrated in Oleron's head. “ I am Vibrus, the foremost Golden Dragon. I have answered your call. Kallis and Umbrosa have accompanied me. What can we do for you?
King Oleron of the Golden City stood tall but was only as high as the dragon’s head. “ Thank you for answering my call.” he bowed deeply, his expression full of wonder. “ I did not know whether there were any of you left in this world.”
Valhalu, my father, gave a pledge to King Manulus. As you see we are a long lived species. Unfortunately we do not produce many offspring so there are few of us. How might we be of assistance?
The King looked sad. “ Vibrus. We are troubled. After the Civil War, the Sea Elves were banished, along with the Hundro, to another time and place. We do not know how but they have found a way to return. They are once more enslaving the humans and regimenting the land. The few who are back along with the Hundro are searching the land for us. They want to be able to force us to combine our power with theirs and bring all of the Sea Elves back. We can fight the Sea Elves and the human magicians in blue robes but we are powerless against the Hundro. We would like to ask you if you will help us fight the Hundro.”
The Golden Dragon Vibrus raised his head and let out a bellow that echoed off the hills and away up the valley. “ We will challenge the Hundro, my king. You will ride to war on our backs leading the elves of the Golden City once more into battle. Mount and we go to war!” "

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