Author Topic: The Tyrant and the Sun  (Read 333 times)

SLiV

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The Tyrant and the Sun
« on: May 29, 2018, 10:28:03 PM »
The Tyrant and the Sun

Long ago, long before any of us were born, the Far South was ruled by a tyrant named Imras, king of the Dramites. And king Imras had as many wives as he had toes. Every time one of his wives displeased him, he killed her and raided another village, saving only one woman. When his armies reached the village of Illus, a beautiful young woman named Meadna rushed towards him and begged him to spare the lives of her people. He accepted on one condition: that she would be faithful to him. And Meadna of Illus promised that she would never tell him a lie. Satisfied, king Imras spared the lives of the villagers and together with Meadna he returned to his castle.

As they rode on horseback in the midday sun, Meadna was smiling, lost in thought, but never looking at him. So he asked of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, is there someone you love more than me?"
And Meadna answered: "Yes, someone I knew long before I met you, and someone who is coming with me to your castle."
Worried about this secret lover, king Imras locked her away in the highest tower, and had every villager locked in the dungeons.

The next morning, when king Imras and his wives sat in the garden, Meadna was still smiling, but never looking at him. So he asked a second question of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, why are you thinking of someone else, when everyone you knew is locked away in the dark?"
And Meadna answered: "But he has never been inside your dungeons. You lock me in my room, but it is completely open to him. Every night, I lay awake and I know he will visit me again."
Mortified of some nightly intruder, king Imras had his masons close off all the windows of her bedroom.

But the next day, as king Imras enjoyed a dinner at sunset, Meadna sat next to him, smiling, but never looking at him. So he asked a third question of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, is this rogue still visiting you?"
And Meadna answered: "Yes, his fingertips touch my skin every day. And even after he has left I can feel his warmth where he kissed my neck."
Furious with this daring seduction, king Imras had her cloaked in black garments that revealed only her eyes.

On the day after that, as king Imras showed off his skills with a bow, Meadna watched with a smile on her face, but never looking at him. So he asked a fourth question of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, what magic does this trickster use to evade my guards?"
Meadna answered: "He never hides when he arrives, and until he leaves everyone in the castle knows where he is. But his splendor is so great that few dare look at him."
With that king Imras faced Meadna and laughed: "You are afraid to look at him? Be afraid of me! I am the king of the Dramites. Who does he think he is?"
And Meadna answered: "His reach is much larger than your kingdom."
Fuming, king Imras nocked an arrow on his bow and bellowed: "No matter where he is, my arrow can hit him from where I stand. Tell me! Where do I find this fiend?"
Meadna answered "He is with us right now."
Seething with rage, king Imras strung his bow and roared: "Tell me! Tell me his name and I will strike him down!"
And Meadna of Illus answered: "His name is Sun."

King Imras looked up at the sun above and loosed his arrow. And the arrow went up and up, ever higher, but it did not reach the sun and instead was sent back to earth.
Thus died Imras, king of the Dramites.



Not sure if this story belongs here, as I haven't actually told it to anyone, but I figured it fits the style and I would love to tell stories like this if I ever muster up the courage. I wrote a different story with the same ending back in highschool, where the king's daughter kills herself out of loneliness and he attacks the Sun as revenge. It didn't make much sense, and I was inspired to rewrite it when I came up with the idea of 'he touches her skin every day, but she is afraid to look at him'. I have a couple of stories like this based on a pantheon I came up with; I'd like to revisit them but for this one I decided to keep the sun god abstract.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 10:47:43 AM by SLiV »

Glaurung

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Re: The Tyrant and the Sun
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2018, 11:02:15 PM »
I like this - thanks for posting it.

I think it's suitable to go here too - I expect it would work well as a spoken story. I think it also goes well with the other stories here, as it shares a theme with quite a few of them, of a powerful character overcome by someone weaker but wiser.

Jubal

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Re: The Tyrant and the Sun
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 04:50:09 PM »
I agree with Glaurung - thanks for posting it, it fits well to the style and I think the repetition works well. I've highlighted it, and this section generally, in the newsletter: https://exilian.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=5647.msg121674#new

It might also help if telling it to enumerate the "Tell me and..." statements e.g. "He asked a third question of Meadna: 'Tell me, and remember your promise, is this rogue still visiting you?' ". I hope you get a chance to try telling it sometime. :)

On that note, are there any more resources I should be thinking about putting into this section about telling, do you think? What's good about what's here and what are we lacking?
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

SLiV

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Re: The Tyrant and the Sun
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 12:21:50 PM »
Glad you like it!

It might also help if telling it to enumerate the "Tell me and..." statements e.g. "He asked a third question of Meadna: 'Tell me, and remember your promise, is this rogue still visiting you?' ". I hope you get a chance to try telling it sometime. :)
Oh that's a good one, to avoid accidentally skipping one of the middle parts. I'll edit the text a little bit.