Archive for the ‘Shadesphere Chronicles’ Category

The Shadesphere Chronicles

Rumblings of War

Prologue: Reflections on the War

It’s hard to say when the War of Fire and Thunder began. We can point to the ending easy enough but who can say what truly started such a war? Did it begin with the invasion of the Wesknotlands when the first battle was fought? Did it begin with the armies journey through the passes of the Colossal Reaches on their way to spill the first blood? Or did it begin much earlier, with a young man running through a thick forest, terrified for his life. Perhaps centuries earlier still, with a different man fleeing in terror through a different forest? Or with something more innocent, when a cold hand was warmed by the first touch of comfort from an unexpected friend?

Perhaps if certain events had not happened then war would have happened later, or perhaps sooner. Doubtless there are some events that, had they never occurred, would have meant that nor would the War. Certainly if the Shadesphere had never left the Halls then the War of Fire and Thunder would not, could not have torn the Known Lands asunder. Few would argue that the world would not be better without that War. But, if not for that great loss, could we truly have learned the lessons that prepared us for the Darkening that followed? Could it be that the greatest loss of life in three thousand years of recorded history was actually responsible for the prevention of something far, far worse?

What would have happened if the Known Lands were not united? If the peoples had not the weapons, the armour and the skill to use them? If the Darkening had come upon a people who knew war as only a distant legend from generations lost? I do not ask these questions idly, they have tormented me most of my life. The Darkening will come again and we will not be prepared. Not without another Great War. The decision falls to me. Do I, to save the world, bring damnation and death upon it? I stare into the Shadesphere, seeking some desperate insight amongst that blackest of fog that dwells within. All I see there is darkness. Can that truly be our only hope? Dare I unleash such horror upon the peaceful populace of the United Lands? Dare I not?


to be continued…