Preface – Madness Ascendant

Welcome back, noble reader, to The Tale of Ages, that grand story of heroes and champions from a world that endures only in my fading memories.  With each passing day, with each new page, those memories become more fleeting and my hand races to write them down before they fade forever.

Capturing the far-famed glory of yesteryear and preserving it on this brittle parchment is all I have left, and it is enough.  The Herald himself, who came from beyond the Girdle, charged me to listen, record and thus, to preserve.

This is my blessing and my curse.  I alone, of all who tread Sangrar’s hallowed earth, remember.  I remember everything.  I remember the struggles of the Warrior, Prince and Priestess against Erlik One-Eye, the Dark Lord.  I remember the Primals in the Void, silver and gold.  I remember fair Lindivar, murdered in the spring of the world.  I remember the searing vengeance of molten fire and the World Walker’s march of chains.  I remember love gone wrong and the breaking of the Stones.  I remember the Sword’s forging and reforging.  I remember the Keeper who cannot be named.  I remember the scent of honeyed-musk and the roaring symphony of the earth song.  I remember everything and the weight of it is too great.  Today, my head bursts with The Tale of Ages, yet come tomorrow, I may remember none of it.

With trembling hand I lift pen to paper and recount all I learned at the feet of Kandol Elf Lord, greatest of the Fair Folk, and I am ashamed of my feeble skill.  Were he here, I would beg his forgiveness for my clumsy retelling.  Like a master composer, each note of his Tale struck a deep, resonant chord.  Next to his symphony, mine is a bar song for sailors on leave.  My only excuse is that I’m running a race I’m destined to lose.  Each day is precious and I have no time to craft each sentence with a diamond cutter’s perfection.  I am no tender gardener to lovingly prune each branch; I am the scythe.

Yet, as poor as I tell the Tale, you are back, noble reader, back to see where Hali’s quest will lead and to learn of the Sangrar that came before yours.  In this adventure of the Warrior, Prince and Priestess, you will discover the terrible might of the God Reborn, the evil machinations of the prince coveting the Pearl Throne and those who resist tyranny.  Tales of wonder and amazement shall reward your curiosity, tales to share with your children and your children’s children, tales to whisk you away to a timeless world, a world of gods and magik, a world of hope and betrayal, and yes, a world of triumph and sorrow, a world of the Necessity.

Enjoy noble reader and salute the glory of yesteryear.  Through you, may the Sangrar of my youth live once more.  May the Maiden’s kiss bless you and may the Explorer guard your path.

Jerilyn Haligar,

Master Historian,

Dean Emeritus of History,

University of Colcester,

Sangritharian Fellow of the Ages

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