Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zander: The Sorcerer and the Stone

A long time ago in the land of Guilliamia, legend tells of a great warrior who may have been a son of Zeus himself. According to myth, he was a demigod, bourn to a mortal woman who had been seduced by the Olympian and raised by his mother.

The young boy was named Zander, and he grew to be a strong and intelligent fighter and a talented poet and artist as well. His works were often mistaken for works of much more well known sculptors and painters, and he was able to support his aged mother rather well in her latter days. He often performed for kings and dukes at parties and became a very wealthy landowner in time.

Although he was bourn into poverty, Zan became a wealthy Count in the kingdom and lived in a great castle by the River Acheron. He was a good leader and kept his county very happy. 

Immortals are usually born as demigods and live out their lives like mortals only turning into immortals when they die or sometimes, according to legend, they can be transformed into immortals by another immortal, usually after completing a quest, or sometimes just by performing a ritual and casting a special spell that only an immortal or a sorcerer can cast. It’s a little bit complicated and mysterious and so I may be totally wrong about some of the details of the system, but for the most part, immortals are created by other immortals. 

Now Zan was out hunting one day, when he met an old man in the woods, a mysterious man who walked with a cane and told tall tales of great knights and dragons and damsels in distress. Zan and his court became fond of the tales and often asked the old man to enlighten them with his stories after dinner each night.

 The old man introduced himself as Malory and often performed wondrous magic tricks for the court if he was not in the mood to tell a tale. 

Zan became fascinated with Malory’s stories of these great knights and there round table, and so he had a special round table made for the dinner room and nicknamed it Valhalla. It was a large room. Large enough to seat and feed the entire court and the chairs had names from Malory’s stories carved into them. Zan had the village masons to inscribe the name Valhalla over the entrance to the dinner hall, as it was the name of a dinner hall in his tales as well.

In time, the knights of Zan’s court began calling each other by the names on their chairs in jest, and soon they all began to feel like the mighty Knights of the Round Table. The knights kept one chair empty each night in honor of their hero king Arthur, who was supposed to return one day according to Malory.   

When the Counts birthday came around the members of the court had a special battle hammer made for Zan and presented it to him calling it Mjolnir. They had some maidens from the castle dress like Valkyries and bring it to him. Everyone in the courtyard had a good laugh, and Zan smiled and placed it beside his throne, telling them that he would treasure it forever.

Malory saw the hammer and just smiled then he told Zan that he had a special gift for him and that he should like to give it to him personally if Zan would ride out to the lake with him. 

Zan agreed and the entire court rode out to the lake with them and there sticking in a large rock was a beautifully crafted sword laced with gold. Recalling the tale of Excalibur, the knights laughed and pointed at the sword and some of them tried to pull it out of the rock, but were very surprised when it would not budge. One after another tried very hard to remove the sword from the stone, but none could budge it.

Malory turned to Zan and told him that there was only one in all the kingdom who could pull the sword from the stone, and Zan laughed with glee, thinking it some kind of magic trick that Malory had set up for his birthday.

Zan walked over to the sword and pulled it straight way from the stone, almost losing his balance as he thought it should be harder to pull out than that, and pulled too hard as a result.

The court was awe struck and kneeled before him, vowing their allegiance to him. Zan laughed in delight still thinking that it was all a hoax created by Malory.  

Malory announced that Zan was destined to be king of the kingdom. The entire court bowed down to Zan and vowed to put him on the throne. Zan laughed, thinking it a joke, but was deeply moved by the gesture.     

As the sun began to set Zan and his party returned to the castle with the stone and the sword and placed them in his courtyard to display. Zan returned the sword to the stone but no one else could remove it. Over the next few weeks Zan's army grew in numbers and more than a dozen Barons and Dukes swore their allegiance to him, despite his having no desire to actually take the throne. Zan's army camped around the palace and waited for him to lead them to victory. Malory told Zan that he was the one chosen to rule by the gods and that he could not lose. Zan told Malory that he was not interested in taking the throne but he would think about it.   

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