5341 Netheril Year
And so it was that Kalsi’anon, the most favored and secreted land within the deserts of Calimshan, lived for a two millennia in peace and prosperity. The mythical oasis was known throughout legend as place of learning, introspection, and ultimate harmony, though few ever gained admittance. For Kalsi’anon was a sacred place, where only those invited to walk the lapis lazuli halls could enter.
The sanctity of this most blessed city was threatened as it never had been, three decades past, with the arrival of the Jin. The Jin, long enemies of the peaceful people of the desert, were known, yet their petty squabbles and selfish initiatives never posed a threat. Yet in the rule of Oron yn Yael yi Almraiven, the Jin aligned with powerful and evil primordials. These beings called themselves the Evil Elemental Princes and Princess, and served a strange power known as the Elder Elemental Eye. With their new found allies, the Jin threatened to bring war to Kalsi’anon, and shatter thousand of years of peace.
It was at this time of dire peril, that Sultan Oron and his first wife, Alya, were approached by an emissary of Shar, the blackest mistress. Normally one of that ilk would not be permitted within Kalsi’snon, however Shar’s ability to avert the impending disaster was known, and so Sultan Oron heard her offer. At the time Alya was round with child, and the Lady of Loss savored few things higher than the sorrow of a mother parted from her child.
Thus Shar’s compact was simple. She would divert the Jin and their primordial ally’s and in return, Oron and Alya’s child would bear her mark, forever to serve the Mistress of Night. Oron refused outright at first, yet after a time he had no choice. He acquiesced to Shar’s request.
Unbewknowst to any, Alya was pregnant with twins, and on the glorious day of their birth, the heirs to Kalsi’anon were born Assof yn Oron yn Yael yi Almraiven for the son, and Amalia yi Oron yn Yael yi Almraiven for the daughter. So sooner had the babes taken their first shrieking breath than Shar’s Emissary arrived, a demon of shadow and vilest putrescence.
“I have come to claim that which is my misstress’s,” The creature spoke. “You must choose which one I will take and mark.”
The son, Assof shrieked and wailed, even in his new life knowing the corruption that was in his fragile presence. Yet Amalia, was still. She made no sound, and though it not possible, seemed to return the black gaze of the demon she now beheld.
Though it pained him, Oron knew that Assof, as the son, though technically the later born, would be a more acceptable heir to the people of Kalsi’anon. And so, his heart heavy, he gave Amalia to the beast. The demon wrapped the newborn in his shadowy arms, and though the babe contorted, and her form changed, she did not make a sound.
“The babe is marked,” the demon hissed, “As in congruent with the arrangement. Yet I will not take her yet. I will come to claim her later, when you have come to love your daughter, and the loss will be the sweeter.”
Alya wailed at her child’s corrupted form. And the sanctified halls and gardens were heavy with the sorrow of Oron’s pact. Yet Shar upheld her bargain, and war never came to Kalsi’anon.
The next day, Sultan Oron called upon me, his humble advisor. He held his new daughter, his eyes heavy and red with sorrow and lack of rest.
“We will deny the black-bitch of loss this at least,” his imperial voice sounded aloud. “Amalia’s presence will cause only discord. For if her mother comes to love her, Shar’s bargain will be broken, as she will never surrender the child. You must take the child away from here, where her mother can never know her. Where I can never know her. Where we can never love her more than we do now. You must take this discord from us and keep it forever away from Kalsi’anon”
And so it was, that at my Sultan’s command, I fled with the child, to a remote hermitage that was sometimes used by contemplative scholars who visited Kalsi’anon. Knowing nothing of fatherhood, I raised the child as best I could. I called her Discord, in reference to the last instructions her father gave me, as I could never use her given name and risk discovery. ( Discord my child, as I came to know you as my own, should ever you read this, I am sorry. Sorry for my lack of knowledge in parenting, sorry for any mistakes I may have made, and sorry that I could not protect from a fate that you did not ask for.)
Now I lay near death, telling this story for the first time, as much has happened.I am not long for this world and hope to find the next life less cruel than this one.
First off the visitor came, strange and foreign. She knew of Discord’s past, or her parents bargain. She spoke of a pact that could be altered, as it was never freely given by Discord, and how it could be altered. She spoke with the girl in length, and when she departed, she left a strange and magnificent sword she called Myrkur with the child.
Days later, although it had been decades, I immediately recognized the sinister presence of the shadow demon that had visited Kalsi’anon upon the day of the heir’s birth. The voice of the shadow demon was filled with icy rage, and it raked me with ephemeral claws that tore my flesh as if they were solid steel.
“What has she done!” the creature shrieked as it struck. “My lady will have her payment, yet I cannot command her to come with me!”
As the creature raged I called to Discord, telling her to flee into the desert. After she had fled the beast’s rage subsided only slightly. Turning to me with a malevolent leer the creature spoke these words with finality.
“Your Sultan is not so clever, and neither is she,” The shadow demon spat. "My lady will have her due. If she cannot have the daughter, she will claim the son. And if she cannot the claim the son, the compact is broken, and she will allow the Jin to usher in the ruin of Kalsi’anon. For they, and their hatred, are eternal.
I write these words as the last of my life leaves me. For I may be the only one to know the danger that Discord (My beloved child), Sultan Assof, and Kalsi’anon are now in. This cannot die with me, for they must be warned. If not, I fear the worst, as both the heirs are lost, and the primordials return to to our land to claim that which Shar denied them.
I die a loving father, though I have no children of my own, and a faithful servant to the Sultanate of Kalsi’anon.