An old man was sitting in a beautiful garden on a bright summer morning. His thoughts were his own until he heard the familiar sound of his approaching grandson. All of 5, he was just shedding the look of being a toddler and gaining the appearance of being a child. The boy’s chestnut hair and slightly pointed ears gave away the trace of elven blood that coursed through his veins. He smiled as the boy came to sit next to him. With an earnest look, the young boy turned to his grandfather, “Tell me about the Empire grandfather.”
“Well now my grandson, what do you want to know about it?” The old man asked in reply. “There is so much to know, where would you like me to start?”
The boy paused in thought and then replied, “Everything grandfather. I want to know it all.” A smile came to his face, both because he thought that answer quite bright and because the smile his grandfather gave back to him.
“Well then child, get yourself comfortable and I will tell you all that I know about the Empire of Solvestra.” He said as he himself shifted on the bench, hoping that his hip and back would be accommodating for this long tale.
“Well let’s start with some of the basics. Our empire is nearly 1600 years old. That is just slightly older than your grandfather.” He said with a laugh. The child laughed with him. “Grandfather you’re not that old.”
“No, no I’m not. But some days I do feel that way. Do you know dear boy who founded the empire?” The old man asked.
“The elves of Trevalion, the humans of Daynor, and the pirates of Solvestra found the empire.” The boy replied with a laugh.
“I hear your father’s answer in that. But you are correct; Trevalion, Daynor, and Solvestra founded the empire.” The grandfather said. He hoped his grandson wouldn’t be as arrogant as his son is, that some humility would enter his life.
“Now the reason the three kingdoms formed the empire was because of a great evil that was plaguing the land.” The old man continued.
“Grandfather, what was this evil?” The boy asked. The story was always same the boy thought, but they never told him what the evil was.
“That my young lad I cannot tell you. The original emperor and the crown council seem to have sealed that knowledge in some way. Our greatest sages have not been able to determine what the evil was. We know before the kingdoms joined up the great empires of the dragonmen and devil men had fallen to this enemy. Of course, the dragonmen and the devilmen continuously had been at war for centuries.” The grandfather began. “What is the lesson of the dragonmen and devilmen?”
The boy spent a moment thinking of the question, “To not let anger blind you to everything around you.” The old man smiled at the answer.
“So the dragonmen and the devilmen fell and the refugees spread into the lands around Solvestra. The merchant princes knew that if the enemy had defeated the two empires that they would soon be facing the enemy alone, with refugees to try to feed and house at the same time.” The old man paused and picked up a goblet he had with him and sipped the wine. “So the merchant princes elected a leader to speak with King of the elves and the Queen of Daynor to form an alliance. So they met in Solvestra and it was quickly determined that they were going to have to be more than three nations joined together to fight a common enemies. They were going to need to be more united than that. But the immediacy of the coming war left those thoughts for the moment.”
“I wish I could know who the enemy was? I bet it was ogres and orcs.” The young boy said. The old man nodded his head. “So do I.” His voice held gravity not intended for the young boy’s ears.
Just then another voice called out, breaking the momentary silence. “Jenzen, are you bothering your grandfather again?”
The old man waved his hand and looked in the direction of the voice. “No Tasran, my grandson is never bothering me.” A smile came to his lips. “And as the emperor, I can declare that a law.” He chuckled. The younger half-elf approached and embraced his father. “Yes and that overrules anything that the Grand Duke of Elmsfjord has to say.”
Tasran looked to his son, “Though as his father, I’d like to think I’ve got a little more pull.” Kelech, the old man, chuckles, “But would you cheat me out of spending time with my dear grandson?”