At The Table Of War

This is the first part of my story called "Chronicles of the Realm-The Shadow Ranger" Part 1.... this is the first of three parts of this Realm Tale.

At the Table of War Part 1

The winds of war blew through the Realm, starting with the whispered seed of a rumor, and grew into a desperate hum. Unease settled like a swollen and darkening cloud over the areas of the Ultimate Realm, which had always held a delicate balance between peace and unrest.   "The Table of War has been rebuilt." This passed by word of mouth from one nervous creature to the next, until Lutece heard it for himself, and approached the council of Extreme- Elderlies, who lived in the far reaches of the Realm, and almost never involved themselves in the day to day goings-on of outer Realm society. 

"I request a meeting with the mighty Ragwan, Elderliest of all Elderlies." The Keeper of the Key was well respected in the Hidden Realm City, where the oldest Realm tribes lived in peace and protection from the fierce wildness of the outer  Realm. They went on with their peaceful existence throughout all the madness that swirled around them through centuries. For Lutece to request anything from them at all was unusual, for he kept his distance and went about the business of keeping the Realm safe from intruders and escapees. This did not bode well for the balance of things, for Lutece to have approached the Elderliest of all Elderlies, and a wave of fear rushed through Realm City as the news passed from one to another. 

"Lutece wishes to meet with Ragwan; war is afoot." The word spread like wildfire and thousand year old Elderlies scurried about, looking for new places to hide. 

King Ragwan, whom some said was a million years old, raised his ancient eyelids for the first time in fifty years to look at the vibrant angel he knew as Keeper of the Key. "So, it is true then, Baron, that war seeks us out? Come closer to me and sit; it is not easy to see you in this light. It has been a long time, my friend." Ragwan spoke to Lutece's mind at first and then out loud, surprising the angel, who was not easily surprised.

"I did not know if you remembered my language, Ragwan; it is both kind and generous of you to use it. I know it has been a long time since you have done so,  and it shows me you still have the gift of memory." Lutece and Ragwan bantered back and forth, using the proper protocol for such illustrious company, and exchanged many compliments and elegant flourishes until they came to the business at hand. 

It was difficult for them to speak about the terrible thing that they both knew was inevitable, and yet they knew that they must, for arrangements needed to  be made, which were for the security of all Realm inhabitants. They knew what this meant in the long run, for to upset the balance of the Realm was to set off a chain reaction that might mean the end of an already tenuous peace. 

"You know I would not approach you Ragwan, if it were not most important. I know you love your quiet maintained inside the City,  and for me to come here heralds the end of that quiet. But if I had waited longer, there might not be time to prepare to the extent that is needed, and indeed, prepare I must. War comes to the Realm; I am gathering angels already here to aid me, and I must know where you stand. Will you call the Table?" Lutece had dreaded telling Ragwan his  news, and now, from the expression on the great King's face, he knew that his word had not been received lightly.

Ragwan, who always weighed his words carefully, waited as long as was possible to answer without seeming rude.  There were so many things to be  considered. If in haste, he missed some small detail, there could be grave consequence. 

Ragwan had lived as long as he had, because he always thought carefully, and never missed small details. This time was no different from the rest. In fact, this time, it was more important than ever before, for Ragwan knew the universe was at stake, not just the Ultimate Realm. He was old and wise enough to remember when the prophesy had been made in the past about this moment in history. 

"I felt the ripple of excitement when the Sun Princess arrived.  Most did not realize what it fully meant, this bringing of the Prul’tanon to the Realm, but I remember. At days' beginning, it was said that the Prul’tanon would pass through the corridor to the Realm, and it would bring hard days with it."  Ragwan paused for long moment, as if he could see this in his mind's eye. "I will call the Table. It has already been rebuilt, for I have known it would be needed. It greatly saddens me, friend Lutece, that you and I must meet because of this ill wind which blows so close to us. I do not see enough of you, and it saddens me to see you now." 

The Baron lowered his head in respect for the great King's feelings, which he shared silently. They both knew that war inside the Realm would be long and grueling, as it had been before. This time , they knew as well, it would be worse, for this time there was so much more at stake. This time would be the beginning of the war to end all wars. The final battle between the forces of good and evil would start here in the Realm, and the outcome of this fight would affect the outcome of the bigger battle fought in the Heavenlies. 

"Will you fight with me, Ragwan, on the side of Good?" Lutece dared to ask him, knowing full well that he would not answer him, for that was the question he would put on the Table of War. "I could use one so mighty as you on my side. Already, Warrior Wodor and Ether Dalin are here, inside the Realm. If the Elderlies will join, then surely we can conquer this evil seed."

It was Ragwan's turn to be taken aback, for he had not heard that other Angels had entered the Realm. "I must surely be losing my touch, for I admit I did not know that angels gathered inside the Realm. How did they come to be here so quietly?" Ragwan's eyes grew large in surprise and respect.  Few things, if any, passed through the consciousness of the Realm that Ragwan did not know about. He smiled his crooked smile at the thought that something could still surprise him. 

Lutece returned his smile,  and assumed his most mysterious look." I am sorry my friend, but I cannot tell you how, only that it was done. He Who Rules All has ways that are mysterious, His wonders to perform. We will need many more angels before it is over. The Few have been summoned from the far reaches of the Universe." 

"The Few! " Ragwan's mouth dropped in utter disbelief. Who had not heard of the chosen Few who stood for the ultimate good? For all of them to gather in the Realm was a monumental event in history. "Surely, things are not as bad as that already? Are we out of time completely? This is a day unheard of in Realm history."  Ragwan's massive head shook mightily, throwing his ancient locks about his face in disarray. 

" I shall call the Table of War immediately! I did not realize things had become so dire, so quickly. Guards!" He shouted for the guards and instructed them to bring the council of Extreme-Elderlies together quickly to the Table of War.  

"Help me to my feet, Baron; it has been many years since I have walked to the Table of War. We shall see what the others think about all of this. Come, we shall indeed see."