The Circle of Swords

The women of my line remembered. We remembered living in peace on the Jade Stone Steppes before the Whisperers came. We remembered fleeing before the sounds that drove men mad and toppled empires.

But the Whisperers had made a mistake in chasing us away from our homelands, our cities of gold and silver and stone. They had forgotten – if they had ever known – that across the mountains lay the godlands, and at their heart rose three great swords that had been thrust into the flesh of the world.

Old beyond measure, pitted and rusted, these gigantic weapons were revered by the plains people as proof of the gods they so slavishly worshipped.

But these were not the swords of gods, though they might as well be. These were the swords of the Argonath. The Titans who had brought order from the chaos when the world was new.

Yes, the women in my line remember. And we remembered that these swords were left here as a promise, that if called, the Argonath would come again. We remembered the words, we knew the way of smoke and bone, of blood and spirit. We knew the sacrifice required to gain the Argonath’s attention. It was a price I had never thought I could pay.

Then the Whisperers took everything from me. They took my home, my husband and my son. And now they have taken my daughter. The future of my line, the inheritor of my legacy. They left me with nothing and I have found that now, now I can pay the price of the Argonath’s.

The knife burns as it enters my chest, positioned to slip between my ribs. The pain that explodes within me as it pierces my heart , but I hold on. My lungs strain to move and my throat tightens, my voice a whisper as vile as those who have destroyed us. But I have enough breath for the word. And as my hearts blood wells over the fist that holds the dagger pressed against me, dropping to the altar with the Circle of Swords, I voice it before the darkness claims me.

“Return.”⠀

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