SONG OF HEROES

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PROLOGUE

The snow keeps falling in the West border of Midgard. It was Wintermonth. The last month of the year.

The first day of the month. Moonday. Today the Devotees of Selena pray in Her Temple when they have time.

The date was 12 Wintermonth 1500 Afterfire.

The 12 year of Julian Era. The story began in one of the Seven Kingdoms of Midgard. In the most westernmost part of the continent, a dragon is born.

Westhold.

Land of the brave.

The peace of the Seven Kingdoms, the equilibrium of power that has been maintained for 1014 years, the shifts of the times that have been stagnant, began moving today.

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WESTHOLD

In the region of Lindberg, the closed shops hang the symbol of the Moon outside the door for the worshipers of the Goddess Selena.

The Seers of Her temple entertain those devotes who comes to give offerings.

Here, in the West, the Old Gods still lives. And it is strong. The culture of the Eresian though it seeps, it did not eliminate the belief of the Seven Gods.

The Son of Heaven has a place in the Northmen heart, and so is the Seven Gods.

The Golden Emperor of the Eresian and Aesiron as the Chief Prime God of the Seven Gods has melded to create a diverse culture and belief in Midgard.

You might not believe the Golden Emperor or the Seven Gods but everyone believes in the Son of Heaven, the ruler of all Midgard, gifted by the Gods, the Mandate of Heaven during the time of the illustrious imperial dynasty.

But it has been about a millennium since there is a Son of Heaven, and no one sits on the Dragon Throne anymore.

The once united land of the Imperial land fragmented to create the Seven Kingdoms.

The last Imperial dynasty that once ruled all Midgard was a short lived dynasty.

The Pendragon dynasty ruled only for 15 years unlike the long rule of the Bourbon dynasty that ruled for 200 years.

But today, a miracle happens in one of the village in Lindberg. One born under the star of a unifier awakened but is clouded by the star of strife.

There is a manor in the villages in the region of Lindberg.

The manor was cold because of the winter that is approaching and the white snow begins to fall as peasant huddled up in their home around the fire to keep themselves warm.

Outside that manor stands a steward of the manor overlooking the white snows and sigh when he gazes at the second floor.

The Third Young master of that manor is sick whenever winters come.

Then closing his eyes he sighs.

Lindberg which sits around the western border of Midgard is peaceful this year without the Western Barbarian coming down the mountains thanks to the General Who Pacify the West Rheon Shone.

General Rheon Shone was reaching the age of forty but still his presence on the border keep the barbarians from entering the Central Continent.

He is called the Black Dragon.

He was called this by the King of Westhold, one of the Kings of the Seven Kingdoms. He was not only an accomplished military leader but also known to have strong interest in the arts like his father.

His family had a long career as a government official during the Bourbon dynasty before being hunted down during the Pendragon dynasty.

His family fled to Westhold and the previous King of Westhold appreciate the noble lineage of House of Shone and employed them on his service.

During the time of the previous King, General Rheon Shone father is known as the Minister that Admonishes the King.

His father Leofrid Shone was a scholar official, a superb and prolific writer of both prose and poetry.

Because he took strong stands on many controversial political issues of his day, he got into political trouble several times and was repeatedly banished from the capital.

Twice he was exiled for his sharp criticisms of the kingdom policy.

But in the end, the previous King was gracious and not fatuous.

After His Majesty calm his anger, he recalled back this minister of him that kept admonishing him when he was about to stray from the virtuous path.

Leofrid Shone could imbue his paintings with ideas, making them much better than paintings that merely conveyed outward appearance, the sorts of paintings that professional painters made.

But now even after his death, he is respected and revered as much as the Patriarch of the Wellham’s family which was executed by His Majesty Julius when he ascended the throne.

During Leofrid time the bitter rivalry between revisionist and conservative factions at court made a political career precarious.

For Leofrid, known for his sharp wit and stubborn personality, it was even more difficult.

However, the ups and downs of his life and career provided constant inspiration in his art and writing, for which he is so highly regarded by later generations.

Which is why even though Rheon Shone is clearly a high ranking military official, the scholars did not mind mingling with him and is even honored o know of the general.

The fame of the General in Westhold is even above the King, yet Julius was not suspicious of this General and has always depended on General Rheon to guard the Pass.

It is true what the wise master said, A wise ruler does not envy talents.

In one of the King banquet to celebrate the continued peace of the western border and to commend on his diligence of protecting the border, the King grants him the title of the General Who Pacify the West.

It was a great honour to be titled as such. In time immemorial only great general was given such title.

During the time of the Bourbon Dynasty, when the Imperial Court controls all of Midgard, such titles are awarded to the Four Heavenly Guardian of Midgard.

The Four Heavenly Guardian is the four general entrusted with the safety and protection of the four corners of the empires from barbarians and invaders.

Each one of the Four Guardians is renowned general and powerful men.

When the Imperial Court was dissolved and the seven kingdoms were formed nobody dares give that kind of title to anyone lest they receive the scorn of the scholars and the admonition of the common people.

There is no longer Son of Heaven who sits on the dragon throne.

But when the other Kings of other kingdoms heard that the receiver of the title was the Black Dragon they all sent their congratulations.

The western borders have been peaceful because of General Rheon, Midgard did not have to worry about the Western Barbarian and the people live in safety and peace.

There is no one else in Midgard that is qualified to receive the title other than Black Dragon.

The common people cheered, the scholars praise and the Kings send gifts.

Drinking all night in this celebratory banquet, one of the scholars become drunk and incidentally ask the General whether in his heart he had never any inclination to rebel and whether he is amassing his force on the Pass to plot a rebellion.

And if he rebels, can the King even stopped him? The scholar’s words shock the banquet and make the distinguished people speechless.

The Black Dragon drink a cup, then he kneels to His Majesty and said

‘When the seasons of Heaven are reversed, we have calamities when the virtues of men are reversed, we have disorders. The king occupies the most honorable position and receives Heaven’s precious decrees. Like Heaven and Earth, he acts to shelter and support, thus serving as the father and mother of the masses. As his children, as his subjects, they must be loyal and filial. Should they dare to cherish wickedness and have rebellious hearts; however, they will run counter to Heaven’s constancy and violate human principle. Therefore this is called plotting rebellion. I, Black Dragon have never done anything wrong in my life and am not afraid of slanders.’

He then got up and sits back on his seat.

King Julius orders the scholar to be put into confinement for three years and revoke the scholar’s qualification to attend the Official Examination for seven years.

When he received the honor, Black Dragon express his gratitude to the King, drink with his fellows generals until late at night and when dawn came he rides to the border once again with his black horse, riding away as gallantly as he came.

But our story is not about the general. It’s not about the western border. It’s not even about the king of Westhold or his family.

It’s about a ten year old boy.

Living in one of the region of Westhold. A ten year old boy who had something miraculous happens to him in a world void of great magic.

This story started at an unassuming little manor in one of the village in Lindberg. It started on the day the boy died.

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