A FANTASY SETTING BY CHRISTINE H. RIETSCH
THE LEGENDS OF DARKSHOM: DAVID DRAGONSONG AND ANGELITA
Ages of course have passed and the truth has been forgotten over time. This story was a tragic one that people remember for the romance and pain of it. However, like most ancient tales it has been mixed up over the thousands and thousands of years it existed.
People think various things of course. Rumors exist that the God of Music is a vampire. Others think the Angel of Music was an angel, or that she made him a vampire. Others think she was a myth. The city of Black Water had faded into memory and is nothing but ruins now, so even it's existance has been called into question.
THE TRUTH OF BLACK WATER
It has been known that the Darkgate was at one time uncontrollable. It would oft take people or entire cities and transplant them. In this case a family was taken from a future time in an area known as France. One household was sucked up into the blue flame of the gate and pulled into a coastal area of the continent of Janus. Although it suprised the family Tiamerre, they quickly adapted to thier surroundings. They made pacts with local elves and dwarves. Eventually a new city was born and the Tiamerre became the ruling family. They were no longer just landed nobility and this suited them well. It was pure fortune that allowed them to escape the looming battle on the river Marques led by Phillip Augustus in the year 1214. This family had found themselves in a land of magic and potential wealth. They decided to take lessons learned from the war and the courts they left and create a new city. With them would be a new life.
It worked well. The keep was built on a basalt shelf that sat beneath the blackened waters of the bay. Cliffs surrounded 3 sides, but there was enough of lower land on one side to make some of the city expand on the cliffs. The core remained in the bay itself--and a bridge connected the city of Black Water to the keep that was the hallmark of dwarven and elven engineering. Alliances grew stronger and the kingdom prospered. A number of generations passed by the time the Fall of Black Water reared it's ugly head.
A newborn son arrived who was heralded to be a great king, and he was. Laird spent his time growing up as a monk sequestered away to protect him from a curse that was laid on him at his birth. In the monestary he met his future queen Iridine--a paladin to the gods of light. They eventually returned and ruled the kingdom fairly. However, time passed and Laird's curse came to fruition. A demon convinced the king to align with the gods of the dark. He looted the corpse of the first king, and act that made him immortal but required him to drink the blood of the living. The demon had changed Laird completely. Iridine eventually learned of this when the dead slowly took over the city. Other kingdoms backed away from their assistance--thinking that the royals of Black Water had become corrupt. When Iridine learned her husband was the source of the evil, he tortured her so badly that she swore allegence to him on her death bed. Her ghost wandered for almost 1000 years around the keep while the city fell to complete ruin.
Before Iridine discovered Laird's dark secret, he had made her pregnant and the pair had a son named Minstra. This child grew in his father's shadow and eventually kidnapped the princess Heather from the nearby elven kingdom and vanished. Well after Iridine's death, Laird learned he had a grand-daughter named Angelita. He killed her father but she had escaped his grasp for another 15 years. Eventually she was returned to him, and defeated her own grandfather. She restored Black Water to it's former glory in her 600 year reign.
THE BARD AND THE BLIND QUEEN
Angelita was blind. She had lived her life as a musician and believed herself a servant to a noble family before Laird showed her the ugly truth. Somehow her background had made her more attune to the plight of both the poor and the wealthy. She had been known for kindness, and her kindness is what made the future god of music into what he became.
David Dragonsong, known only as David at the time, was a slave to a travelling merchant. The slave was valuable for his violin skills and his voice. It caught the attention of the half-elven queen and she purchased him right on the streets of Black Water. Eventually she freed David, but the two found themselves in love. It had been said that for over 500 years she had never had a lover, male or female. David had won her heart. The two stopped an impending war of dragons that tried to take a foothold near Black Water. The combined power of the two bards caused the battle to cease, and one of the dragon rulers gave David an old guitar. With it came the power of his new position--the God of Music. Hence he earned the name Dragonsong.
Over time David had learned of a great evil hidden within the keep of Black Water. David pursued it until he discovered the imprisoned and impaled body of the still living Laird. The vampire was able to move although he was nothing more than a skeleton. It begged David to release it, but before the god could act Angelita had made her way to the crypt.
THE SECOND FALL OF BLACK WATER AND THE BLIND GOD
David had no intention of freeing the vampire. He was going to do a great good, and eliminate the beast beneath the keep. It would seal the light of Black Water forever and David could call it home. No evil should exist. What he didn't know caused the reverse to happen. Angelita had barely made it into the crypt when David slew the vampire king while it was still impaled on the Queen's staff of Black Water. The staff bound both grandfather and granddaughter to each-other for life. If one died, so did the other. The crystal on the staff shattered. David turned to see Angelita fall right after she screamed. The blind queen died in the God of Music's arms. Outside the land shook, and dark clouds tore across the sky to forever block out the light. Dead from the ages rose in the city streets and citizens died in torrents of blood. David cried with Angelita in his arms. He had kissed her, but she coughed blood. Before this moment she had shared some of his power...with that kiss David had it all. His power as a diety was sealed and could not be removed from him. And with this act he thought was a good one, he also sealed the death of Black Water. The city crumbled, and David Dragonsong took out his own daggar and gouged out his own eyes. He punished himself with the affliction his beloved Angelita held.
A thousand years had passed. These were called THE YEARS OF SILENCE. David vanished for 1,000 years. The other gods could not find him, or did not wish to. As Black Water once more became a city of the damned, all bards were damned. Throughout the entire world of Darkshom musicians, or anyone caught singing, were killed brutally. Eventually there was no more music. Stories became muddied. There actually was despair. At the end of 1,000 years it was said David Dragonsong returned to be seen walking the Keep of Black Water. At times, even this day, if you find the old keep on the water, he can be seen playing his violin on the ramparts. The wind carries the sound of the Lament for his blind queen.
Christine H. Rietsch. 5-27-2008