End of Wars
The longest night of our lives was over. Finally, we had reached the end of our travels. But the new day would only add another episode to our cursed existence. For as long as I could remember, we had faced death with each waking day and wondered if the approaching sunrise would be our last. We had traveled all night, through desolate, dangerous lands, keeping our eyes on the burdened individual who led us here.
As the sun leisurely crept over the horizon, the features of the land we had come to visit slowly revealed itself. We squinted to watch as he marched up the jagged bluff towards the highest point this region of Zeele offered as his stage. Kye Naan found the steep slope's edge as the vast expanse of this unforgiving, desolate land emerged before him. Shading his eyes from the bright morning rays by placing one hand over his brow, it appeared as if he was saluting the birth of the new day.
As the dawn matured, the sunlit skies emerged like a dream depicted on a painter's canvas. Splashes of red, yellow, and green pastel-like colors reflected upon the morning dew on the sandy ground. Each sunrise in Zeele introduced a sense of newfound vigor. Nowhere else on Ay'zarrius is there a more beguiling, arid, and dare I say, a more beautiful view. Soon, the radiating heat from the sun would brutally scorch the landscape as it had always done.
Life flourished here, however, from its distinct flesh-eating fauna to the many species of voracious creatures such as the blood-sucking Smogsquitos, to the thirty—eyed Terraptulas. Many believed the sands of Zeele earned its crimson hue from the blood spilled upon its surface over the centuries of its never-ending wars. The reddish highlight of those grounds, we expected, would not be duller by the end of the day.
At the top of the bluff, the lone figure stood motionless. The trek to arrive here had taken more out of our leader than the weight of his fully armored attire. Unbuckling his single shoulder guard and chest plate, he dropped them onto the sandy ground as another layer of soot coated his leathery footwear. After a sigh of relief, he gazed across the expanse of the desert.
A faint rumbling sound permeated the air and shook the dust-laden ground. I looked up at the partly-clouded sky — no storm was approaching. But we knew what was causing the tiny loose pebbles that covered the sand to tremble. As our leader squinted into the distance, a lazy cloud drifted across the sun, allowing him to see what we all expected to face that day.
I could see a massive cloud of dust kicked up by a mass of moving objects carpeting the terrain from where I stood. It steadily swept toward us. Our leader appeared unfazed as a breeze brushed the long dark hair across his face. His thick scarf served as a temporary mask, protecting his nose and mouth from the dusty particles kicked up by the sporadic gusts of winds. His hair was held back in a long ponytail, with flowing, unsecured strands flailing about uncontrollably with the warm gusts. Beads of sweat rolled down his temples and glistened as they crawled down his tanned cheekbones.
Slung over his left shoulder was a long object draped under a gray cloth. Grasping it with both hands, he pulled it closer to his chest. He took a long deep breath and slowly exhaled, forcing me to suspect that whatever this object was weighed heavily on the strategy of this uncanny expedition.
After watching the distant corpus march closer, he turned around to face his troops as we patiently awaited our orders.
Thousands upon thousands of his soldiers stood at attention behind him in synchronized rows. Divisions of pikemen carried the front line, followed by his swordsmen. Rows of archers, strategically arranged in coordinated formations, stood behind them. Further back, the cavalry sat at attention upon their mighty Kavaramms. And well beyond them, catapults and trebuchets covered the rear for long-distance attacks. Spread throughout the divisions, the flags standing for our faction stood tall and proud as they fluttered with the desert winds. It was difficult to trace the emblem as it danced, a blue hand grasping a torch with a caricature of the sun in place of its flame. It represented how we accept the power of the sun to enlighten our paths each day. Fires can be extinguished, and the sun has never faded as far as we have known.
I mentioned that it had been one of the longest nights of our lives. Not because of the struggles we had faced to reach Zeele, but because we did not want to be here to begin with. We had lost so much lately in our confrontations with the Vandakors, and our warriors are weary and thinning.
The aura in the air was unnerving, to say the least, so we followed our new superior to confront our most formidable enemies once again. None of us expected to return to our loved ones. Still, we needed to muster every inch of hope we had remaining to preserve their survival, nonetheless.
Our brave leader remained on the edge of the bluff, watching the approaching mass come toward us before turning to face us. He briskly made his way down the slanted side of the precipice of loose sand and gravel, almost losing his balance as the ground gave way with every step. He headed straight toward me, unsheathed his sword from his hip and placed it into my hands. He also handed me the cloth-draped object, which I hesitantly accepted. I had no idea what it was, but when the wind pulled back a corner of the fabric, my attention was captured by the shape of a serpent's head in golden splendor. Before I could see more, our leader quickly grabbed the fabric's edge and covered it from view.
"Gerras," my leader called out to one of our colleagues. "Send a signal to the Archsires and have them prepare their longbows while I engage Roghenn. Order them to aim their arrows toward the Vandakor front line and hold their positions. I do not expect any danger as I approach Roghenn unarmed. I do expect him to honor my request that his forces withhold their fire as we meet. However, remain vigilant."
"Lord Kye Naan," Gerras insisted as our leader adjusted the vambrace on his left forearm. "Allow me to speak freely. I know what you wish to carry out, but do not take Emperor Roghenn Zarroda lightly. He will not stop until every one of us Mezniks have met our demise. He is cunning and thirsty for our blood, especially after defeating our beloved Lord Gegorro by the cold blade of his sword. That menace expects victory at all costs. Forgive me, Lord, but you are foolish for agreeing to lead us, and I imagine we will be showered with no benefits from this encounter."
"This war ends today," Kye Naan promised Gerras. After a long pause, Kye Naan turned to face me again with an order, "Jeyko! My Kavaramm!"
I swiftly made my way over to him, leading his trusted, armored steed by its reins.
Zar'duun's four sturdy legs carried the weight of this majestic creature as I guided him to his master. A pair of thick, long, spiraled ramming horns, scuffed and scarred from years of battle, sat above its brows. Scars covered the thick skin of this war-ravaged beast, a hide which helped him adapt to either the sun's heat or the winter's bitter cold. His heavily padded double-toed hooves had trekked every terrain and season known on Ay'zarrius. Our former Lord Gegorro had adored him in life and had credited his survival for many years to have such a formidable beast at his disposal. Kye Naan had inherited him from Lord Geggoro. He now placed all his trust in this magnificent creature.
Now unarmed, Kye Naan mounted Zar'duun without giving us another look. He rode out to meet with our adversary, and we all nervously stared as he trotted forward. Distancing himself from his troops’ defenses with every step only made him more vulnerable to our enemies. We all scrambled to find our assigned positions, preparing for the battle we had come to face. The scent of death drifted through the air, but was it in our minds, or was it from the ancient blood spilled on Zeele's sands?
As Kye Naan's Kavaramm headed toward the neutral zone between the two armies, another lone rider split off from the Vandakor army to meet with him. He, too, had surrendered his weapons, and his sights were set on Kye Naan the entire time. The two Kavaramms crept to a stop several yards apart, and the leaders faced one another for what seemed like an eternity in silence, evaluating one another's strengths and weaknesses.
Lord Roghenn was broad and muscular. Vandakor males towered over us by two or three feet. Their protruding brows and pale green skin were covered in wart-like growths along their upper backs and shoulders. Although they could grow a full head of hair, thick and straight like our own people, Roghenn and his warriors chose to shave their heads. Their small, dark green eyes sat deep within their sockets, just above hooked noses, making their already menacing grins even more terrifying. The Vandakor soldiers were covered in heavy body armor consisting of elaborately designed metal plates. Menacing spikes protruded from their armor to further instill fear unto their enemies.
In contrast to the Vandakors' menacing appearance, Kye Naan was a handsome specimen, as many of us Mezniks are. He was significantly larger than the average Meznik, almost as tall as Roghenn himself. His thinner frame was lean yet muscular. The hastily tied ponytail, with swags of dark strands flailing about in the wind, revealed long pointed ears that complimented his sculpted face.
The sweat on his skin gave him a bronze-like glimmer, and the scarf he used as a dust cloak now rested around his nape, revealing a neatly trimmed, short beard. A discernible scar started from behind one of his pointed ears and across his right cheek, stopping short of the corner of his thin lips. Kye Naan was entirely adorned with traditional Meznik armor: Ska'varium vambraces on his forearms, a leather shoulder pad on his guarding side, and a Ska'varium breastplate and leather pads covering the front of his legs. Not much to defend against a Vandakor battle-ax, but his legendary speed more than compensated for his lack of defensive gear.
The troops and I anxiously watched from our positions as both commanders met to decide the day's outcome. As both armies looked on, Kye Naan broke the silence between Roghenn and himself.
"Emperor Roghenn, I am Kye Naan. My people have chosen me to lead our forces after the honorable Lord Gegorro met his demise by the raw edge of your blade."
Roghenn sat on his Kavaramm with a stone-faced stare. He was sizing up Kye Naan, searching for a hint of weakness. Kye Naan stared back, showing no sign of such a thing.
"You seem bright, yet naïve," said Roghenn in an acerbic tone. "Asking for peace like your leaders before you makes you appear as weak as they were. Lord Gegorro believed the causes of our wars had been lost in time. We should band together to defeat the other threats endangering both our people, like the Yzzirians and Ska'vari. Even they are nothing compared to you, Mezniks. You are the true parasites of this world. Selfishly draining the resources of Ay'zarrius as if it were your right. Your people are a disease spreading across the land. And we are the cure to the infectious residue you leave behind!"
Kye Naan looked down. I believe he felt disheartened and unsure of how to respond to Roghenn's slur. I believe that’s when he realized Roghenn was fixed on destroying the Mezniks at all costs. I was sure Kye Naan was convinced that — whatever he offered — would never sway Roghenn's judgment about us. Yet, Kye Naan was determined to persuade Roghenn to abdicate himself, one way or another.
After a brief and uncomfortable pause, Kye Naan began to negotiate. "I believe you seek peace for both our people despite your arrogance. I implore you to agree to a truce."
I’m sure he realized those words made him appear weak in the eyes of the Vandakor emperor. After another uncomfortable pause, Kye Naan added, "I brought something I only wish to exercise as a last resort. We can all walk away without a single sword raised in aggression today. I assure you, the Mezniks will remain unscathed before the sun sets, and your army will be left decimated across the sands of Zeele. I wish never to unveil it, but you are leaving me no choice. Allow me to begin our peace by asking you what you would need to seal a pact between our clans. Whatever it is, I am sure it would be a reasonable request."
Roghenn stared into Kye Naan's eyes with a penetrating glare. "What I want is to never rest my eyes upon a living, breathing Meznik, for the rest of my days!"
Kye Naan's heart sank. He glared back sternly, yet sympathetically into Roghenn's eyes, "May peace find you."
Kye Naan pulled back on his Kavaramm's reins, and Zar'duun took a few steps back while still facing the enemy. Cautiously turning his back, Kye Naan and Zar'duun rode back to our side of the battlefield. Roghenn squinted and watched Kye Naan ride away with a smirk growing from one corner of his lips. He steered his Kavaramm around to trot back and meet with his army, prepared for the inevitable confrontation.
Kye Naan called forward the heads of his divisions.
Gerras Weynrook, Colonel of his Jia Mahdi forces, the specially trained multi-purpose contingent of the Meznik army. Sai Marra R'nei, Colonel of the Archsires, our archers, and long-range battalions. And I, Captain Jeyko Tazzbith, serving under Colonel Gerras Weynrook and personal aide to Kye Naan. The commanders of the other various divisions stood by, awaiting their orders as well.
I tried to hand back Kye Naan's weapons and shield as he approached, but he only shook his head. He only took the new apparatus, hidden in its gray cloth. I almost dared to ask him what it was, but I deferred to do so for fear of stepping beyond my bounds. Gerras and Sai Marra glanced quizzically at one another, also curious about what our leader had kept hidden from us all. Kye Naan's demeanor seemed melancholy yet confident about his plan. How was he able to act so serene with the battle about to begin, and the only thing he held was this mysterious and unassuming tool to accomplish his goal?
Our new leader raised a closed fist above his head. As soon as he spread his fingers apart, he ordered our regiment commanders to hustle back to their assigned troops and prepare for battle.
Kye Naan calmly climbed the bluff once more and stood where the light of the morning sun had earlier greeted him. The Meznik leader gazed across the short span of the desert to find Roghenn's position. He intently glared as the Vandakor Emperor raised a massive battle-ax over his head in one hand and a long pike in the other. He crossed them together above his head, signaling his troops to prepare for battle. Kye Naan unwrapped the mysterious tool from the gray cloth and dropped the fabric onto the ground, where a dust-laden breeze carried it away.
The item Kye Naan held measured around five feet long from end to end. On the top was a red shard encased within a semi-transparent, amber-colored material. Surrounding the shard were five small crescent-shaped metallic blades surrounding the fragment like some dark, metallic hand clenched in a semi-closed fist. It remained attached to a three-foot-long staff, carved with a serpentine design that spiraled across its length. Another shard was embedded in the center of this staff. At its other end, there was the likeness of a serpent's head with a gaping jaw. On the serpent's forehead, another red shard sat between two red gems forming the serpent's eyes.
It was an odd-looking instrument, indeed. Although it appeared menacing, I wondered how it could be of any benefit to us whatsoever.
Kye Naan turned himself around to face his army and raised the item into the air for all to see before addressing us in a thunderous voice.
“Today marks a new beginning on Ay'zarrius. Roghenn has refused to peacefully end this futile war. I am disheartened by his decision. However, it will not sway my determination to breathe peace unto our world, even if it means that many must die, so the future may thrive for all. Unfortunately, the Vandakors will pay the price, but trust my words, those who survive today will walk side-by-side with those they once deemed their enemies before the sun sets. My vision of peace will come to its fruition before my spirit is forever added to the Light. I wish for all of you to forgive me for what must be done."
Kye Naan turned back to face the Vandakor menace once more, taking in the sight of the eager and battle-hardened Vandakor army before him. The Vandakor warriors howled and cheered for their brave leader, who had promised a final victory beyond compare. Roghenn swore they would never bow to their enemies, and he was confident his outcome of the upcoming confrontation would be proven to be true.
And so, the Vandakors asserted they would offer their lives once more to help seal their dominance over the Mezniks. They dared Kye Naan to unveil the threat that would force the Vandakor army to its knees.
No sense of fear was evident in our leader’s demeanor — with no sign of despair. We stood behind him, weary, afraid, and demoralized from the past year's defeats. But this untested Meznik Commander had recommended that we look forward and have no need to fear.
He promised us not one Meznik warrior would shed a drop of blood in the ensuing battle. A promise which sounded impossible from even the most narcissistic warrior Ay'zarrius could ever spawn. But Kye Naan was different. He realized a conclusion the rest of us had yet to understand.
He vowed to us beforehand about a secret that can finally end the wars. Skeptically, we backed him on his word, but only because we were desperate for fresh leadership and guidance. Lord Gegorro had failed us so many times before he met his demise, and we grew weaker with every battle under his command during his final days. He was brave and cunning yet had surrendered many of our resources and land to help spare our people from suffering more than they have already endured.
Kye Naan refused to adhere to additional Vandakor demands. He was tired of it all. The Mezniks had suffered enough, and the new Meznik leader was determined to change the direction of a river’s current if he needed to.
At this time, Roghenn looked down at a young Vandakor warrior who appeared to be his second in command. It was later disclosed what he had stated to his younger comrade.
"They will surrender to us today, my brother. He was not born for this. I sense the fear in his eyes. After today, the Meznik scum will serve us. I promise you, Sallus."
Sallus gave his older brother a favorable gaze and responded with something like, "Force them to bow to us before we enslave their worthless hides!" Roghenn smiled and then turned back to face his foes.
Roghenn pointed his pike toward the Meznik army and directed his troops to advance.
Kye Naan gazed back at us and gestured with a short wave of his hand to reassure us we had nothing to fear. Gerras, who was standing by the base of the bluff, received his orders to signal our regiments they should not advance until given further orders. Gerras reluctantly turned to face us. Raising both arms straight up with his palms facing us, Gerras instructed us to do nothing as the Vandakor army charged toward us with a thirst for blood in their eyes. Our Meznik troops appeared puzzled. Despite our orders to remain at ease, most of us lifted our weapons and shields to prepare for what we were sure would be an epic battle.
Roghenn waved his pike and ax in a clockwise motion high enough for all to see. His archers pulled ahead of the other troops and drew their bowstrings. An intimidating barrage of arrows cast eerie shadows over our forces and rained down towards Kye Naan and our army's front line. We all braced ourselves from the incoming storm of projectiles, raising our shields to defend ourselves with fear-filled haste.
But Kye Naan raised the strange instrument he possessed; his arm extended before him. The three shards on the weapon began to glow, and the five blades spread out like fingers reaching out to grab something with exigency. An eerie breeze began to surround us. A semi-transparent dome of energy containing strange, amber-colored waves emanated from the mysterious weapon’s blades. It enveloped Kye Naan and our front lines from harm. I had no idea what to make of it. I was beginning to believe all as arrows launched by our enemies
The salvo from the Vandakor archers bounced off the energy dome! The arrows splintered the moment they made contact with the semi-invisible force. The Vandakor army continued to march forward, barely noticing what had happened as adrenaline raged through their veins. I was in absolute awe and refused to believe my own eyes. How could those deadly arrows be stopped in midair? Still, we kept our shields up high as the fear of death engaged our hearts.
Roghenn led his army forward. His trebuchets and catapults commenced brightening the sky above the Meznik army with a brilliant hail of fiery ammunition designed to maim and cripple our defenses and char our bodies to the bone.
We braced ourselves as we saw this second wave of the aerial onslaught. Still, once again, thanks to the mysterious dome created by Kye Naan's weapon, not one of those attacks from the Vandakor barrage reached any one of us.
While Vandakor soldiers continued to advance, Roghenn stood aside and allowed his infantry to reach the Meznik front lines before him. A regiment of Vandakor soldiers on foot and riding Kavaramms directed their attacks toward Kye Naan's position.
Kye Naan turned the weapon in his hands and pointed the serpent’s head at the army of determined Vandakor warriors as they charged. The red shard on its forehead flashed, and a blade of energy beamed from its gaping mouth. The beam sliced through the Vandakor ranks with unimaginable power. Everything in its path was immediately destroyed. Blood and limbs sprayed in every direction and disintegrated into dust and ash. in their hearts for the first time.
Our jaws dropped as we watched, astonished at our Commander’s sudden display of power.
The Vandakors never stopped advancing, however. It is in their nature to never stop, no matter what they faced. As much as we desperately wanted to meet the Vandakor attack, we only needed to stand our ground. The closer our adversaries came, the faster this mysterious weapon ended their existence. And yet, whether it was their drive to fight or reluctance to show fear, they ignored the carnage occurring around them. Confidence filled my heart as the confrontation turned in our favor. Overhead, the field of energy protected us from the Vandakor long-ranged ammunition. Their attacks were obliterated hundreds of feet from their predetermined path. Anxiety and bewilderment began to set in as we remained frozen in place. We had never witnessed such sorcery. I never believed such power could exist. In my mind, I replayed over and again the moment Kye Naan had promised before the battle, 'not one Meznik life would be lost today.' I finally understood what he meant.
Kye Naan had given himself adequate space between himself and the weakened Vandakor army. He allowed Roghenn to approach him with his weapons drawn.
Kye Naan turned the weapon around again and pointed the weapon's headpiece with its encased shard and five menacing blades toward Roghenn. A burst of bright red energy knocked Roghenn off his Kavaramm. His body landed on the ground with a heavy thud, leaving him temporarily shaken but otherwise uninjured.
"Last chance, Roghenn... do you yield? Order your troops to stand down!" Kye Naan demanded from the Vandakor leader.
"Never!" answered Roghenn as he pounded his chest, with an ax in hand to try and intimidate our novice commander.
"Roghenn, you leave me no choice," Kye Naan apologetically stated before he took aim with his weapon. A dome of sheer energy spilled forth from the object, its amber hue engulfing Roghenn and his Kavaramm. It was designed to protect them both from the oncoming power Kye Naan was about to unleash. Roghenn placed his hands against the dome of energy in an attempt to break free from his unexpected confinement. Fear and desperation filled his gaze as Kye Naan pointed his instrument's serpentine head toward the Vandakor warriors to his far left. A massive beam of energy emerged from the serpent's gaping jaws as a gust of wind engulfed the entire site.
The brilliant ray of pure power further emerged from the serpent's mouth, stretching out before him. The serpent-s eyes glowed brilliantly as its force engulfed the Vandakors and scorched the advancing hordes into plumes of ash. Hundreds of warriors were decimated at once. Everything in the beam's path—plant life, Kavaramms, long-ranged weapons, even the ground beneath their feet—was charred beyond the scope of what the sun had done to it over a millennium.
Kye Naan's sweeping motion finally reached the margin of its destructive path. Sallus and several other Vandakor soldiers managed to escape the attack by retreating as fast as they could. They survived by mere inches as they jostled past other warriors attempting to avoid the deadly beam. It was later revealed that Sallus, Roghenn's younger brother, hit the ground hard during his desperate escape. The left side of his face met with the blade of a discarded sword lying on the ground, permanently scarring him for life.
Everything else utterly disintegrated. Giant clouds of smoke, dust, ash, and the scent of death were all that remained on the battlefield.
The energy dome protecting Emperor Roghenn and his steed began to fade away. Roghenn dropped to his knees in disbelief, trying to make sense of what had happened to his army. After the dome had vanished entirely, Kye Naan lowered the weapon to his side. The ashes of Roghenn's fallen troops stuck to the sweat pouring from his face.
Roghenn shakily stood, hardly able to see anything through the debris and dust blowing across the battlefield. The red sands of this unforgiving land, with its blaring sun and waves of heat, created an illusion of a giant pool of blood. All Roghenn could make out were bright spots of fire and dark plumes of smoke beyond the clouds of dust and ash. Otherwise, there was no sign of life.
Something churned within the Vandakor leader's bones. I was able to recognize it in his eyes. It was a chill he had probably never felt since his childhood — fear. It was a look I was all too familiar with when I first joined the Jia Mahdi Knights — I was barely a child. It was visibly there, in his eyes, in his heart, in the knocking of his armor-covered knees. Unwilling to believe or accept if the end of your life was coming to an end.
A voice called out to him.
Kye Naan stood only a few yards away as he emerged from the smoke, "Roghenn... turn and face me!" Kye Naan did not mean to sound stringent in any way. It seemed like the voice of a friend trying to capture Roghenn's attention as if offering a word or two of consolation. Roghenn faced the scorched battlefield, overcome by what had just occurred, unable to hear Kye Naan's attempts to reach him. His Kavaramm grunted, whinnied, and ran away. The wind subsided, and a sense of startling peace embraced us like a warm blanket.
The bright glow of the shards of Kye Naan's weapon dulled into lifelessness, and the five blades unwound into a relaxed grip.
Everything was quiet until one Meznik warrior excitedly exclaimed for all to heed, "We did nothing, yet we have won...WE HAVE WON!!!!!" And with that, the troops behind him — myself included — cheered exuberantly. The look on Kye Naan's face became solemn, then angry.
"NO!!!" He angrily bellowed. Our celebration ceased as Kye Naan’s booming voice carried through the contaminated air. An eerie silence followed.
"There will be no celebrating here today! This cannot be called a victory. Many lives were unnecessarily vanquished today.” Kye Naan turned back to Roghenn and strode to his side.
Shivering on his knees, a look of utter shock and disbelief on his face, the Vandakor leader seemed oblivious to his rival’s approach. Kye Naan stared into the eyes of his defeated opponent, knelt, and placed the weapon on the ground beside him. With genuine sympathy in his eyes, he placed his hands upon Roghenn's shoulders.
"You will return with us to Desiddia. Not as my prisoner, but as my guest. Together, we will tell the world what has occurred here today and assure everyone that it should never happen again. All I wanted was an end to these wars. Despite what you have witnessed, I do not consider this object to be a weapon, only a tool designed to create a path to a peaceful future." Kye Naan reached out to the horrified and spiritually broken Vandakor Emperor, hoping to somehow help him come to terms with witnessing his army's destruction.
The distant mountains that separated Zeele from the Meznik city of Desiddia were now faintly visible on the horizon as the remnant clouds of debris began to settle. Roghenn remained frozen in place, Kye Naan still kneeling before him.
Roghenn suddenly looked up at the sky. At the time, I believed he then appreciated what he had never realized he had before previously ignored. Such as the beauty of the sun-laden sky. The hints of blue, red, and yellow surrounded by broken clouds as it complemented the morning sky while still in its infancy. Roghenn’s mind was still trying to process what had just happened. The ashes and the stench of his burning troops would linger with him forever — as he later admitted to me — so I may legitimately add this fact to the archives.
Roghenn allowed Kye Naan to help him rise to his feet. He was shivering uncontrollably. Kye Naan glanced at me and signaled for some assistance. I wasn’t sure what he wanted. I walked over to our leader and handed him a blanket I kept for those chilly nights when out on the dunes a blanket I kept for those chilly nights without hesitation. I realized Roghenn appeared as if he were naked in the snow-filled peaks of Northern Meznia. Kye Naan unfolded the sheet and draped it around Roghenn's shoulders to help calm his shivering. The swathe was a gesture from Kye Naan, showing that he would embrace him as an equal, unlike how the Vandakors had treated the Mezniks for so many years.
"From this day forward, we are no longer foes. I will help you and your people understand and move beyond this. What was yours — remains yours. What is mine, I offer to you."
After hearing these words from Kye Naan, Roghenn looked at him despondently. I brought Roghenn a Kavaramm. A brief time later, our leader gave us the order to return to our city of Desiddia.
Kye Naan mounted his Kavaramm. He confidently trotted through the lines of divisions with Roghenn riding beside him. The Meznik divisions formed a path for Kye Naan and his new guest to pass before we followed. Confusion filled our heads as they slowly rode through the ranks, curiously watching Kye Naan with the great weapon slung over his shoulder. As we followed them, we were left questioning why Kye Naan would spare Lord Roghenn's life, for Roghenn would have never spared his.
We had all dreamed of someday defeating the Vandakor forces. That day had finally arrived, and we learned what it was like to feel a sense of profound victory. There were still so many questions. The one undeniably etched in our minds was...how did Kye Naan acquire such a magnificent instrument?