Behold! Thrice-crowned Cronos where champions are common
Matchless in might a world of men
Where shimmering stars shine at sun's setting
Reflecting on fanes formed of fine stone.
Power over the people to three was permitted.
Zedek the strong, liege-lord of great legions,
Menelkir, the archmage, the archanum's master,
Traductus true Churchman rending transgressors.
Over every people these elect reigned.
Happy was their hold oe'r healthy lands;
Prosperity and plenty abounded for princes;
Water and wine for men and wheat grown plenty.
Golden set the good sun in the gathering season
When harvest held feasts gave heaping bounty.
Night passed in pleasure till morning wakened
Killing star gleam as East was kindled.
Though gladness grew in golden seasons,
As days dwindled and dread cold mustered,
Zedek counted his years and yearned for youth
Menelkir and Traductus his mind met.
For peace and prosperity pleasured the heart
And magic could mend nature's cruel malic
But no man escaped the end of all things
And dread of cold death tore dauntless hearts.
Then remembered they their forefathers
Beyond turning time in tombs renowned
Kinsmen whose craft held Cronos of old
Preparing the way for their peerless power.
Magic reigned first muscle's might breaking
Mages unflinching fought many foes
Towers they toppled retaining their own
And raised they great ramparts far in the North.
Voludar led them in vengeful valor
Against mirthless men who long hunted mages
And lands and lords fled fleet before him
Until his hand stretched to Helevor's hold.
Helevor led legions that mighty lords dreaded
War he waged then to Voludar's woe.
Red ran the rivers that rushed through Cronos
As sword and staff met on plains they spoiled.
Leaping like lightning, Helevor's lords
Charged the foe's fire unflinching they came.
Beside Helevor, Timon the Titan, whose feet made stone tremble,
Awoke the blue magic of his bloody ax,
And mage met new magic in merciless warrior,
For a traitor had traded mages' secrets untold
To gain glory from warriors whose great deeds would be
Sun in songs through endless time speeding.
Thus Helevor came hunting the hellfire mages
With shields enchanted by star shine and dark
By cloud and good care and calamitous storm
By whispers and whistles and warbles of birds
By fire and fear and fell wrath and danger.
Thus, to north reaches rode the grave retinue
Of Helevor the mighty with monstrous men
To tear down towers and rend the tyrants
Who long held sway o'er languishing lands.
But as they stood a thane approached them.
"Hail Helevor!" cried he, "whose mighty hand
Conqers fair Cronos with crushing force.
I bid thee hold thy brothers in battle
Lest my lords their wrath unleash."
He received harsh laughter as Helevor's answer.
"Return to thy masters and give them my thanks
For a wishful warning so wanly given.
But spare their strong wrath of hot spirit.
For none shall defeat me so fell is my coming
Undefeated till now and dark dread withstanding
Your threats neither faze me nor find friendly ears."
Moved to the mountains the messenger did
While Helevor's host looked to the heights
Seeking a winding way they may wend.
But while they idled thoughts consuming them
There arose in the North a ravaging raincloud
And a fell wind flung it with fury
And a storm assailed with anger smiting
Until blighted were banners and barren was land
The wind split rocks and spoiled trees
Till all seemed lost and languid, and loath
Were men to face the wild wind's torrent,
But Helevor pressed on suppressing pain
To reach the glory he sought to gain.
Titanic Timon and Besok the terrible
Hold strong beside him with hammer and axe.
But wrath yet filled the roaring rain
Flames released from fantastic clouds
Engulfing grim men in ghastly red glow
Thus fell Timon with terrible axe
And Besok beside him blighted and burned.
Said he to Helevor: "Hear me good lord,
My spirit is spent, but speeding onward
Bring retribution to those reckless rogues
Whose larceny robs of life and love."
Thus perished he in pain most potent
But Helevor now held both hammer and axe.
Quick to add them to Quietus his sword.
With axe at his waist and arms bearing others,
Helevor hurried up the disheartening height
Storms assailed him with slippery slope
Flashing lightning and furious flame
But onward the strove under ubiquitous storm.
Against wizards upward an army of one
Harrying Helevor to winding course held.
Until at last finding foe's mighty fortress
And assaulting it then his sword his own storm
Till breaking the bones of iron-barred gate
And facing Voludar his foe now fain met,
But over this enemy he overtly slowed
For Voludar's charms charged and brought change
To his frenzied assault, and forgetting all fear
The mage boldly made a magical mending
Of all his foe's pain. Proudly then praising
Helevor's might he turned his heart
To preserving new peace unknown to the past
And there the two talked training their hearts
To look beyond battle to unblighted wealth
For all people under their prosperous power.
Here Helevor left holding new purpose
Returning home, he raised then new hosts
To march out together with mages in might.
But forgetting not friends nor foe's cruel malice,
For uneasy alliance the mages had earned.
He held both axe and hammer still with him
And trusted not troth of tragedy bringers.
Nonetheless knowing no nobler power
He cleaved to the mages clad in clean robes
Until won was the West and the wastes of the East
The South surrendered to North's savage war.
Conquered was Cronos where champions are common
And peace gained by sword proved its full power.
Long lived these lords the land at their feet,
But dreadful death comes to dour grave sending
And dust was their dole who darkness had conquered.
Though power prevailed to their progeny
For descendants shared in their father's story
Reigning with ruth and raising the land
To wealth and well-being all woe depleting
Till only death could drive men despairing.
Generations passed with this power unprotested,
Till arose a tall man teeming with spirit
For angels had offered to view the eternal
And guided by glory a world he glimpsed
Where God became man a martyr who mended
The fullness of all for both friend and foe.
And given a mission to mend there all men
Thokos the theocrat set out with thanks
To God of all glory who grateful prayers hears
Whilst seated above. Spreading salvation
Thokos thought then of thralls in Molor
A city far south where servants were many
But protected by power from patrols of Pelros
The heir of Helevor angry and old
Who held no man safe for hated rebellion
Then spake Velem thane of good Thokos.
"Listen my lord and linger still here,
For Molor is mighty and men will not aid you
And Pelros brings pain to all who oppose him
By cold steel and cunning , he communicates only
And suffers no servants of our saving God.
Rest here and write our retainers sending
Rebellion to raise in Pelros's realm,
For slaves he makes suffer and sending them hope
Of bright and blest morrow may bring them to valor
Against lords and longswords to labor for freedom
While you wait safely wholesome and well.
Receive thou my rede remembering my service
And knowing that no one nearer I'll stay."
But Thokos did heed not his holy friend's wisdom,
And forward to Molor his faithful friends went
With him came Wraithverge for ravaging rogues
Who dared to oppose their ethereal aims
An artifact deadly dark spirits directing
To rend flesh from foe till forgotten they bleed
A tool for toiling among tangled sinners
Protecting good priests and garnering praise.
But weapons to wield would not bring safety
From warriors fierce and fallen were many
Good folk of Thokos followers and friends
And even Velem with vociferous voice
Till grieving he called upon God the Gracious
To silence the savages who brought all this suffering
But much to surprise him a miracle mended
The wounds of his thane waxing in wisdom
For death he had entered but heaven returned him
And breathless they bade him his silence to break.
Spake he then sated upon Helevor's statue:
"Good friends do forgive my flawed retelling,
For splendor beyond all my senses have stolen
And I cannot contain in language to copy
The majesty given to men beyond mourning
But glorious gates of gold and fine gemstones
Rose to meet me with might unmatched
Silver shone water by glass stained like gold
The houses beyond were happy and hallow but held
Only few people of this pained planet
And a voice called violently vexing and shaking
The mighty stones many but mirth was within it,
'Blessed mortal so brave to walk beneath battlements
Of heavenly hosts out battling hellfire,
But your world fails fading in fellowship
With demons undaunted for lack of devout men
Return thee sent forth to rise and rally
The people together to ponder the pain
Of afterworld sorrow in sadness unsated
When welcomed not to world without woe.
And rending their garments reduced to repentance
They shall again find good life in the grave
Bear thou these promises to Thokos my thrall
And turn these torn people to times of good service.'
Thus spake the voice of soul saving Master
And this word I take to tell tired folk
Of peace and salvation through sorrow for sin."
Then people of Pelros raised pitiful cried
And threw down their weapons in wonder and woe
Pelros wist then what fate him awaited,
And fled far away to furnish new armies
For Molor was changed made new or maddened
By charitable churchmen with unworldly charms
Healing the sick and helping brokenhearted
Thus Molor was conquered by caring and Christ
The name for the God the good churchmen gave
And soon the Church challenged the champions of Cronos
And power they gained by the guidance of God
These three held all the world there before them.
But yet yielded not death's yearning for souls
And fearless defenders found themselves fey
Though no enemy dared to enter their doorways
For time alone terrified and taught men to dread
On thrice-crowned Cronos where champions are common.