March 20, 2018

A is for Angduv

        Svarnil looked up at the side of the tower, and now in the pearly wall, twice the height of a man from the rock foundation, she recognized the outlines of a doorway.
        As she watched, it became darker and more solid so that from appearing to be a shadow on the wall, it became an opening in the wall.  In the opening stood a man in a black hooded cloak.  Staring up at him from below, Svarnil could make out little of the figure's appearance or expression, but she could see a short, sharp beard, and eyes deep and black under thick, dark brows.
        "You are of the Cumarún?" she asked.
        He laughed, his laughter harsh and velvety as his speech.  "I am of the Cumarún," he answered, "And yet I am not like them.  I am master of power the other Cumarún will never wield."
        There was a flash deep in his eyes as he spoke and Svarnil was suddenly frightened of the mage she had been prepared to trust.  But she answered sturdily, "Then you must know about the death in the Land of the Deerfolk."
        "What happens in the Land of the Deerfolk is no secret to me, but it does not concern me.  Only mortals fear death."
        "But the Deerfolk are not dead as mortals die, Sage.  They are living a death in life.  Are you not afraid that the shadowy warrior king could strike you also into this living death?"  A sudden gust from the ocean flapped Svarnil's cloak around her knees, and the loose strands of her fair hair whipped her cheeks.
        The voice of the black-cloaked man rang louder now, "Should I be afraid, mortal?  I am Angduv of the Cumarún, master of more power than your mortal mind can comprehend.  Should I be afraid, I whom that warrior king obeys like a whipped cur?"
        "Then you sent the warrior king to destroy the Deerfolk?" Svarnil demanded, anger lending boldness even in her fear.
        The mage laughed again from his high doorway.  "Svarnil of the Tungoldroleth, I do not need a warrior king to destroy the Deerfolk.  I could destroy them myself with a single word.  But I do not play with mortals.  No, I did not send Ãdun forth in order to destroy the Deerfolk."
        Bright clouds streamed across the sun in the wind from the sea, and light and shade chased each other across the beach and the gleaming walls of the round tower.  The man in the tower stood still and proud, looking down at Svarnil.  The elf stood in the dancing sunlight, her cloak tugging at her shoulders, her tunic flapping, her hair streaming, and she tried to understand what she had heard.
        At length she said, "The shadowy warrior is King Ãdun, risen from the dead?"
        "He is Ãdun," the mage replied, "I summoned him from the dead, for I am Angduv, master even of King Ãdun, whom the Deerfolk call their greatest hero.  I summoned the great warrior Ãdun, the great sorcerer, the great hero, King Ãdun.  I called him and he came, obedient as a sheep dog to my voice.  I called him, and I commanded him, and he obeyed."

        Angduv (and a bonus A, King Ãdun) from Song Against Shadow, a high fantasy for middle school or so through adult  (excerpt from Chapter 7: Angduv).  More information here, or “Look inside” at Amazon.

[Picture: Pleurant (Weeper), polychrome wood, 15th century, Tesoro della Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio a Milano, photo by Giovanni Dall’Orto (Image from Wikimedia Commons).]

A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter A.


Nancy Hill said...

Wow. Your own mythic world. Cool.

Kristin said...

Makes me want to read more. I didn't realize Svarnil was an elf until that sentence.