Disclaimer: Nothing here save the idea is mine...too bad...I would like the other stuff too...heh -;; The title is from the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack if you didn't recognize it.

Notes: AU. General messing with Ancient History, magic and such...yes Irish people were around back then...just not nearly as organized. Nor were the Romans, or sophisticated boats...just suspend your imagination for a while.

I always wondered how cards with very Irish/Chinese/Japanese themes made it into a game that was supposedly created solely in Egypt. So this is a story that kinda tries to explain that, within the idea that Pegasus didn't just add them in for fun. Also suspending the idea that this game actually started in Japan and Irish culture is relatively retro are always welcome.


May it Be

By, Nicole Silverwolf


"May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh How far you are from homeā€¦"

-Excerpt from Enya's 'May it Be' LoTR Soundtrack


The trio had been traveling for months. Almost a year if one were following the Roman or lunar calendars.

The weather had been mercifully temperate for the last month as they crossed the great sea to the head of the great river...the Nile...and the last leg of their journey.

So it was no surprise to find the three newest ambassadors of the far north Celtic kingdoms staring forlornly towards the land they had left behind...instead of to the place they would probably remain for the rest of their lives.

The Emerald Isle, her lush green lands and vivid blue waters never seemed so far away.

It was hot here. Worse than the hottest day during the warm months at home. And though they had been told to expect this weather as a normal and not a fluke, the three youngsters were overwhelmed by it. Even the loosest and thinnest clothing they wore was too heavy and they had procured even lighter material at the last port they had stopped.

Many had assured them they would get used to it. And within three moon turnings, they had to a degree acclimated to the radically different climate. That did not mean that they needed to like it. At least their formal attire was saved for when they actually arrived.

The splash and consequent ripples of the tossed stone were lost in the larger waves instantly.

'If I were any kind of great magician...I would have made sure fate passed me by for this position,' she snorted mentally as they began to move up the great estuary and into the deltas.

It would be two more days till they reached the capital. There they would greet the king of this land and pledge their loyalty to him in the name of their own clan leaders. And though they had been charged with teaching the young monarch all they knew about magic and their own lands...everyone knew why the three of them were really there.

A magician and two elves...trophy ambassadors for an Egyptian pharaoh who would use them for nothing more than Shadow Realm games.

They had all been raised to be more than that.

An uneasy shift to her right made her glance up at the burly elf beside her. She wondered if he was thinking of their home...missing it as much as she did.

He was an adventurer, her and the other elf had found that out on the land journey that had brought them to the edge of this great sea. But she had a feeling he had not really wanted to leave home to travel so very far away, for so very long.

The 'Celtic Guardian' may be his title, but Rowan was truly a family elf at heart.

The second eldest of a large clan of Elves located far to the north--of even her own home--Rowan was devoted to his younger siblings and numerous cousins. Many a night had been passed in laughter as he had recounted tales of playing horse and hanging upside down from trees while his brothers and more rugged sisters used him as a swing, ladder and rope. Or of the times he patiently sat still while his sisters practiced braiding and hairstyles with his own golden locks.

Most often, he had said...they had ended up creating a lovely knotted mess instead. He once confided that he missed those days greatly.

Of course those days had been shared with rigorous training as well. The muscles and the expert way in which he wielded the sword at his side spoke of a skill gained only through knowledge and practice. Being the second son guaranteed that he would not inherit the title of Lord of his clan and since it was common practice at the time, he had prepared to become a knight instead. Probably with the intent of roaming the whole of the Isle before returning to his homeland to take up a position and raise a family of his own.

His golden red eyes would go distant usually after a story like that. It did not take genius to realize that he would probably never achieve such a simple dream.

Kyna was not any different, and yet worlds apart. The refined and beautifully delicate 'Mystic Elf' of legend had a much smaller family and had been raised in the milder climate of the eastern shores. Aside from that, she had been raised among fae and was more knowledgeable of them than of her own people. Probably why she had been required to make this journey.

A regular at the high court, she knew much of politics and was an accomplished mystic even at such a young age. Her skill in battle spells was well known throughout the games.

And her tales of the fae and their customs had filled many of the traveling hours during the day since neither she nor Rowan had had any contact with the fabled race.

Kyna had an affinity for music and had been trained in most of the classical instruments. Her playing had reminded them of home on the many nights when nothing familiar surrounded them for miles.

And herself. The 'Magician of Faith'. Or any other number of names her position had been given over the centuries.

Aidan; the lone human of the group.

She had been born with magic in her blood, so in the strictest sense she was a bit more than human. But the very obvious physical differences of Kyna and Rowan made hers insignificant comparatively. Her only slightly pointed ears were easily hid behind her waterfall of red hair.

Born into a proud tradition of Magicians, Aidan hadn't really ever thought of being anything else in life. It was almost a given that she would train to be a Magician. Her brothers and sisters were the same.

And it wasn't to say that she disliked her life.

Far from it.

She had always had a passion for the use of magic. She expected that she would have been asked to succeed her tutor and teacher for the court position as Magician of the entire Isle.

But her knowledge of the Games and her superior skill had instead brought her to here. Thousands of miles from her beloved home and family.

They didn't even know the boy they were being sent to and already they hated him for what he had taken away from them all.

"Well...it's very...golden..."

Leave it to Kyna to try and find something nice about this barren wasteland.

"Like dead fields," Rowan retorted as they looked beyond the flourishing banks to the waves of golden sand that stretched to the sky.

"Even the water," Aidan pointed out as she looked over the edge of their vessel. Indeed it was a murky yellow color...perfectly monotone to the rest of their surroundings. At least the captain of this vessel--who had taken this path often--said that the water did clear up the further inland they went.

"How can anything live here?" she asked as Rowan caught a glimpse the large horses grazing at the shore. Though they weren't horses. The large hump on their back--an obvious difference they had never seen before.

Rowan tensed again. Raising a hand, he pointed out over the water.

"Do you see that friends?" He asked, his voice betraying his astonishment.

Miles from the bank stood a structure against the golden sands. It was easily larger than anything the three Celts had seen before in their entire lives.

"It's huge!" Aidan breathed, leaning heavily on the rail as if it would help her to see the structure in more detail. "Bigger than anything I've ever seen before outside the Shadow Realm...at least..."

"The Elves have never created something like this."

"Nor the fae," Kyna's lilting voice added.

They watched the towering pyramid as the boat drifted lazily past. Such structures could only be the work of magic! No one could build something so large without it.

Much discussion was raised that night at the evening meal about the huge structure: what it was, how was it built, who had ordered it.

The captain of their vessel and her crew did their best to fill in information they knew of.

As far as they knew the former pharaohs of this land had ordered those large temples to be built. The bodies of past pharaohs were placed inside along with their families and the things required of a king, things he would need in his next life.

As to how, the three were appalled--but not really surprised--to find that slaves had built the entire pyramid, stone by stone. It had taken years, but there were many in servitude here. If a slave died, it was of little consequence to these people. There were always others to take their place.

Kyna and Aidan had both been exposed to slavery, but nowhere near the level that was being described here. Rowan had not even known what a slave was until they had stumbled upon some being sold at a port near Rome. He had never heard of such a ridiculous concept as that. Why would they be necessary...certainly these people deserved more than to know they were owned and could be killed for the slightest transgression?

Slavery was not common on the isle...what use would there be for so many people to be under your command...how would a household...or even a clan take care of them all?

This land must be huge then...it's population far vaster than all their lands combined.

If nothing else, this trip would be a chance to see something no one else in their kingdoms had ever seen before. Perhaps, when the pharaoh tired of them they could spend some time learning about the buildings and how they might be created in their own lands.

Out the port windows that night they could see the evening stars about them...and marvel at the differences from their own world.

It was only a day until they would be presented to the ruler of this land of endless sun. The Pharaoh of Darkness...Yami.


TBC

Ehe...well...I wasn't sure where this even came from when I started it...and I don't know where it's headed yet. So expect parts to be added in a SLOW fashion if at all...all depends on my interest/free time/reviews and your interest.

The idea may seem a bit cliched but...give it a chance...I'm definitely trying to take it in a different direction.

Soooooo comments, questions, praise, flames...anything you'd like to throw at me?? Please do so now...