Chapter 16: The Elvenwar
Gandichaun was the first of all beings to take the Great Power...to exchange shadows with Sagin and gain a good part of Sagin's might. Added on to his own magical might, it made Gandichaun formidable indeed. He was determined to end the dominence the Kaanho had over his people, and instead make them the masters, not the servants, of the world. To this end, he enlisted some of the elves secretely to his cause, both high and light, and dark. Strange spells were laid on the weapons of the Kaanho secretely, and hidden passages were built in the newest buildings of Chialta.
Angusin, after a time, sensed that all was not well in Chialta, but he did not want to ask the Flame--too proud to ask; for he had not had a real challenge save for Tuao's attack on Linfal since Tu was created, and did not want to go running to C'Don with every little thing. His weapons, having been created by C'Don, were not affected by the spells of the elves.
Gandichaun's heresy spread, and even a few of the jinn he enlisted to his cause--not many. Titaror found out about it, from another, and confronted him. "What are you doing?"
"Taking our world back. For this is our world, more than the Kaanho, who emigrated from the Greater World."
"You will cease this. I can feel spell upon spell laying on Edonarter's bow, and Tjisir's axe and whip, and..."
"I am your father and your king."
But elves were more amoral than humans at the best of times. "You were. Now you are just...a memory."
It is debated whether Gandichaun really meant to destroy Titaror, or just was unsure of his new power and used it carelessly. The result was the same. Titaror, the elvenfather, was destroyed utterly. There is no ka nor soul for elves, and nothing remained of him. He turned to his fellows. "Now is the time."
Fully two-thirds of the elvenworld, especially those who did not live on Chialta or on Wal Langand, were backing Gandichaun, and together they concentrated and wove a mighty spell. The magical weapons of the Kaanho flew into the air, the thunderwhip, the lightning axe, the spectrum-bow, and flew to an isle on Under-Ocean. It was nighttime, and thus Tuao was underneath Tu where Under-Ocean rolled. He wondered at what he saw.
All the Kaanho felt a great sleep trying to overcome them. They are mightier than the elves, but there were thousands of elves, and only a handful of Kaanho, so though they did not fall asleep, they did not move with their accustomed speed, but like men asleep. Then through secret ways chiseled over decades, the elvenarmy emerged in Chialta.
But Angusin still stood, unaffected by spells. His blue armor could not be pierced by anything, including spells.
He noted Gandichaun's shadow. "So. I fight two foes."
"Yes. I have killed my father earlier today. It is only right that I complete it by killing the elves' creator. It is time for a new order."
The shadow spoke with the voice of Sagin. "See, little brother? See how your own creations betray you? Now you know how C'Don feels...about me."
Angusin turned back to Gandichaun. "You know that Jequeror, your younger brother, could sense it as soon as your father died. He has gathered many of your people that are still loyal at Jequeror's island."
"The relatively shallow and loyal. We don't miss them."
"But you will feel their power now."
Suddenly there was a counter wave of power, and the massed elven might could feel their power being chipped away.
"Don't underestimate my strength, weapons or not,"said Tjisir.
"Or my speed," said Edonarter, who was grinning hugely. He loved conflict!
"Or my wisdom," came a voice from above. Linfal, the Moon had come down from the sky, and with her, falling on the great mountain were the star-warriors, who dropped down in their thousands, till the White City was almost blindlingly bright. Each star was a warrior, male or female, clad in enchanted weapons, which the elves had made no provision for. If any humans had been walking the Earth then, they would have seen the curious sight of the sky being emptied of stars and funneling to the west.
Tjisir took a dozen elves with one great blow and swept them to one side when they started to attack him. Edonarter ran so fast that the elvenweapons were taken from dozens of elves before they could move.
The others, eyeing the star-warriors' weapons and demurred. Gandichaun saw the victory slipping from his grasp, but no one molested him, save Angusin stood facing him.
"You at least I will settle, Starfather!" he cried, and his elvenblade ran with the shadows of Sagin, and he swung at the armored Angusin.
"Neither your might, nor Sagin's, can pierce this armor. It is a gift from C'Don, and cannot by pierced by man, elf, star-warrior, or Kaan."
Angusin aimed his spear, but then the shadow of Sagin leaped and covered his face, so he could not see to aim. Gandichaun used another spell, and the floor beneath Angusin fell in. But Angusin leaped out, the shadow dislodged. Fell magicks came on Angusin, but he brushed them aside like webs. "It will take more than the shadow of my brother to make you my match, elvenprince."
Gandichaun then made a desperate leap...not at Angusin, but at Linfal, with a elven hunting knife in his hand. "Let me go, or the moon shall know pain it has never known, and I will wound wisdom." He held a knife to her face.
Angusin paused, and the whole host stood still.
Then came another light, from the east, and the whole elvenhost screamed. Linfal, whose face had never looked worried, used her centaur form to throw and kick Gandichaun. Angusin stood over him.
"Too soon. Too soon. The sun was not due for hours...."
"Linfal sent a message by his lover, Sashang. She had guessed your plans months ago. He has the weapons in his hands that you hid. And all your plans are dust."
Then Angusin's spear ended Gandichaun's life. He then turned to the elvenhost, a fey mood on him. They were screaming, and the sounds were horrible, as the sun-dragon dropped the Kaanho's weapons to them.
"Do you want to endure the sunlight? I can do that."
He gestured, and the entire attacking elvenhost began to shrink in the sunlight, like ice before the sun. As they shrank they lost intelligence, and most grew wings. The gnomes who helped them grew small without wings. They could endure the sunlight now. But they were mindless. Small they became, as small as the first joint of a mortal's finger, thinner than they were, which was considerable, and those that could fly left a glowing trail.
"Fairies I name the flying ones. The once-gnomes are pixies now. Mindless they are, animals--tiny animals to spread over Tu. I will not tolerate such a betrayal."
He eyed the few jinn who had aided in the rebellion, and the other jinn, the vast majority of them, surrounded them. The king of the jinn said to Angusin, "Lord, what is your pleasure concerning these?"
"A different fate, I think."
Angusin took some of the jars the elves had made for fair Chialta, and sang songs of power over them. Then the jinn who rebelled were forced within. Being flame-beings, they could fit in any space. "No power of theirs can force these jars from within. Only a force applied from without can free them."
He handed them to Tuao. "Despite your dispute with my children and my wife, you have shown yourself a true friend. One other favor I ask of you. These flame beings...drop them in deserted places of Tu, where they will likely be undisturbed."
"Thank you, Angusin." Tuao's dragon mouth grinned widely. "It was self-preservation, though. I'm sure the sun-shunners had plans to bind me too, since they hate my light so much."
"They did," said Linfal. "They had plans to bind him Under-Ocean, so the sun would never rise again over the surface of Tu. Sagin's shadows would confound the sun, and deep spells would bind him."
"Then we aided each other, Starfather," said Tuao. Then he flew off.
"Edonarter, come with me. In fact, if you wish, the rest of you can come also."
Soon above Wal Langand the Starfather, the Stormking, the Supreme Hunter, and the Moonlady came, and Edonarter announced, "The Kaanking has come to Jequeror's Isle."
Jequeror came out into the wooded realm where they landed, with his wife, Thorifay. (Thorifay had been Ganichaun's great-granddaughter, so though techincally a great-great-niece, no close relation to Jequeror.)
Also waddled out Astusya, Gnomemother, flinching at even the half-light coming through the leaves. Angusin smiled at them both.
"I am well pleased, Jequeror. The kingship of the elves is now yours. And what Ganichaun wanted...though he would have put us all in his yoke in the giving of it...I give freely. This isle, at least, is yours, till the end of Tu. Your people's servanthood to us is over, though you shall always be welcome on Chialta. I do lay some restrictions on you, for the humans' time is approaching. The woods are wide and deep on this island, and Mayalaph will take away the fertility that once was yours, so you will have chlldren more seldom, just so you won't get overcrowded in this island. But I ask you to restrict yourself to this island, for the most part. Let the new people...who will not have your magicks or your skills...proceed on their own."
"The woods here are sweet," said Jequeror, "and sheltered against the sun. We shall do as you say, Angusin."
"But past this boon, you need never obey me again. The same is true of your folk, Astusya, the gnomes, for Linfal can instruct us in the making of things almost as fine as yours, and we can always pay you, as free workers, for anything you want. We ask if you come above ground, you only do it in this island, though you have the freedom to tunnel through Tu otherwise."
"Are all the others...dead?"
"Only Gandichaun. The rest..." a small fairy crawled out from Angusin's blue armor, and balanced on Angusin's finger..."have been changed."
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