The Descendants of Tarakona
According to the legend handed down from my grandfather and his fathers before him, in the dawn of time, the mountains and hills were alive and skipped like lambs to the songs of the flowers and trees. Some of these hills became kings among men and lived like men. Thus sprang forth the race of my princely forbearers.
According to another legend handed down from my grandmother and her mothers before her, hundreds of years ago my ancestor slept in a mountain. He dreamed a vision and hasted to the aid of the king of the mountains, and with his spear he smote down the demon that pesecuted that mountain’s peaks. Later on, his son was driven by rivals to hide in the mountains. There he met the mountain king’s five daughters. These five spirits of the earth wedded the young prince and his four brothers. One daughter was the spirit of the rocky roots of the hills, another the spirit of the wind on the heights, another the spirit of the fire in the volcanoes, another the spirit of the torrents that flooed forth therefrom in the spring and another the spirit of the lightnings and thunderings which cracked about the peaks and spurs.
This is the tale of how I came to the city of New Hope, for the veracity of which I solemnly swear upon the idols of my family’s gods. I was born the son of a prince in Hindaea, but ye know not of that land, it being as yet undiscovered by your races. Indeed, I myself know not where it lies from this present place, for I was borne hence in the arms of a whirling storm of wind after The Battle of Panipat.
That great battle on the plain near Panipat was between the last army of my father, Prince Vahishtira of Mahabarat, and his bitter enemy, the nameless Sorcerer King of Madhras. Our elephants and war-tigers could not prevail against his countless warriors and his demonic and undead allies, even despite the aid of genies of the earth, wind, sea and fire. Many a fair young hero shed his life’s blood into the dust of the barren plain of Panipat, many a noble and storied general saw his ranks broken and routed. I commanded the right wing, but my shame will ever be that I could not assist my own father in the van where he disappeared under an avalanche of Madhrasi warriors.
When all was lost, the god Sahatraya sent a spirit of the wind, which bore me unconscious away from the battle and from my conquered homeland to these parts. (The spirits of the elements have ever been close to my family, for a thousand years since first a prince of my line wooed a mysterious maiden, in fact a spirit of the earth as my grandmother has told me.)
Here I must make my way in the world, relying on all the skills and lore which I learnt from my father’s tutors and the palace’s libraries. All my childhood and youth were spent in the studies of history, genealogy, courtly etiquette and the military sciences. Neither was my body neglected, as I trained in all manner of exercises, in swimming, riding, swordplay and the javelin, climbing cliffs and racing against my fifty brothers.
When shall I see my native land once more? Or shall I found a new lineage in some far country? I must find my people again and deliver them from the chains of Madhras.