**Muses Note: This week, we’re featuring guest writer Robert Nugent! Writer of medieval fantasy, Rob has two books he’s already self-published in the world of Aerothos. Catch a glimpse of this awesome fantasy world in his story down below.**
72nd of Autumn, year 362 of the Halryians,
Sir Jean d’Fleurais
Long has the road been from L’Artaine and blessed Tanbria. Earth and water I have traveled in search of the glory that will reward unto me the deepest desires of my heart. From Aquillon to Valonesse and Mastonne to Aris, no barrier known to man could keep me from this end, no wall of stone nor the waters of the sea which bore me to Aerothos.
Aerothos. A land not unlike my own Tanbria, but for the strange languages which sound from the tongues of Halryians. There is a strength here unlike any other I have felt, but it is for that purpose I ventured forth from the green countryside I call home. Whether it is the scorching touch of Summer’s hand upon my forehead or the cold brush of Winter as she recoils from my trembling cheek, Aerothos has granted its strength to me, and I will stop at nothing to achieve my ends.
The Halryians build cities which rival the magnificence of Fleurais and Briesse and castles able to withstand the most terrible of sieges. I have gazed upon the pride of Arathen, the city of white stone, a beacon on the coast of the Halryian Sea, and I have stood in the shadows of giants at the walls of Sorenhal and touched their feet with my bare hands. In the Holy City I prayed and in Orastus I traveled the black mountains where dragons once reigned. Even when the sands of Asdanria blistered my feet and enveloped me in fierce winds, just as the waters of the Halryian Sea sought to swallow me whole, I have scoured Aerothos for that which I seek.
The vision told me I must venture here and here I have ventured. My heart yearns for home, but home is only a fleeting dream, one which my desire alone cannot return to me. No. I must act, and act I have. My sword did naught in Tanbria to restore my soul, nor did the gold I showered upon the courts of L’Artaine. The lady of my dream, lithe and graceful in her dress of silver silk, showed me the chalice, the device which would do what nothing else could. With its holiness promised unimaginable glory, and with that glory lay the restoration of my soul, the mending of my heart. The Lady of the Grove deemed me worthy and I swore to find it.
And found it, I have. O, a glorious thing it is! Hark, the knights of the heavens and her grace which consecrated this quest upon which I have embarked. Praise! It is just! A spectacular thing, made of pure gold and a band of blackened steel about the lip, a vessel fit for any king of this earth. And it is mine to cherish, for its power will make me worthy.
Worthy of her heart, the woman whom filled my own with joy. It is of no coincidence the Lady of the Grove has shown her face to me. Lost love shall be reclaimed, for she herself wills it and deems my chivalry righteous, my passion true. All those years ago when my happiness was torn asunder, I begged the heavens to return my life’s meaning. For what is my life in a world without her? The Lady has nourished my soul and laid the path at my feet, with purpose as my vitality and resolve the whetstone which sharpens my blade.
They called me a fool, speaking words of how my mind had been poisoned by this errand. But I will have shown them. Ten and three years I have wandered this land, devoted to my oath before the Lady. And now triumph is in my hands. Fools are they to have doubted my perseverance, my undying tenacity.
Let the bells toll in Fleurais at my coming and the knights of L’Artaine raise their swords in salute, for with this chalice I bring light. I bring salvation. I bring life.
*A letter is found protruding from the back of the journal. It bears a broken seal of black wax, the design of a crown in the center.*
His Imperial Majesty,
These pages are nothing but the ravings of a madman. He carries no chalice of which he writes. He possesses nothing but a torn coat of maille, a rusted sword, and this journal, which reads more of the scribblings of a broken-hearted lunatic than a knight entrusted by His Eminence of L’Artaine.
I regret to inform you the relic of our Savior is not to be found and this vain adventurer led us to naught but his own insanity. Our search shall resume promptly upon the discovery of new intelligence. Until then, my knights and I garrison in Rionis, eager for orders.
Though, I am left to wonder. He describes the chalice with such detail… Could he truly have found it?
Yours in service,
Sir Landon Wrynn,
Order of Saint Artanis