THE FULFILLMENT OF TACUNIJA'S CURSE
by CURGAN


The elven prince Tacunija was murdered by Helcrani rogues on the foothills of the HŤckran volcano in 800 b.S., while travelling from the Goltherlon to Vontron. As he died, Tacunija cursed his killers and their people always to fight among each other and to be rewarded for the crime by fire. This was the Curse of Fire, sealed by three explosions erupting from the HŤckra. This symbolized that the Curse would be fulfilled three times...


fter the Fall of Milkengrad to the forces of the Red Alliance and the total annihilation of its people in 617 b.S., Cumrann, shocked by the disaster, willingly handed over his throne to the next Anactar, Sinrann, who was a minor officer that fought so bravely defending the Curonesta that he was allowed to leave with his men in honor. Thus, the great dynasty of the Menegulan kings was inaugurated. Cumrann and the men, who were placed fratric leaders of the renegade Helcrani and their families, left Helcrah self-exiled and their traces were lost.
 

However - and the facts, that are narrated bellow, became known many centuries later - somewhere near the western coast of the Ancythrian Sea the exiles were approached by some elves. The elves offered them a chance to avenge for the Fall, but in exchange they should serve their cause faithfully. They were envoys from the League, a secret elven organization fighting for the unification of the Sarvonian continent and the cooperation of all races. Cumrann and his companion were the first humans (and dwarves) to be accepted in it. They were told all about its history and ideals and undertook several missions assassinating Turacanthian leaders and rivaling dark elves. As years went by, they trained the forces of the League according to the superior Helcrani system and rose to be the core of their fighting machine against the Pure, another elven cult trying to revive the ancient elven tyranny over the other races.

Cumrann's son, Allengard, became the first human leader of the League and ever since his descendants hold this office (although the outline of their tactics is determined by a council where the elves have a majority). Cumragane is his direct descendant and devoted his life fighting to promote both the Centoraurian interest as well as the cause of a united Sarvonian Continent.

Until the age of 25 Cumraganeís life was a mixture of hard training in arms and fighting techniques, academic studies and practical use of the former in battle. He used to fight as a ranger and preferred to undertake operations with a few comrades in the wilderness against both orcs and dark elves. Cumragane had a great love for nature and wildlife. His best friend and personal emblem was Sasirra, a lynx he found wounded at a small age and which he managed to tame.

Cumragane became leader of the League in his early thirties, when his father passed away from pneumonia. At this time Santharia was prosperous. Santhros, the holy king, was dead long ago and his son Laeanthris was now king for many years. The elderly king ruled wisely but didnít have any children till he was very old. Until the birth of Mantheros, his first and only son, Staranos was cosidered heir to the throne, his nephew from his wifeís side.
 
The two pretenders of the throne were very different in character. Mantheros, from a very small age, had shown signs that he would become a wise and noble man. Indeed, as a youth he was acknowledged among the elder as a very wise person and was loved for his kindness. Staranos, on the other hand, was hard, absolute, dictatorial and lusted for power. Despite his blemishes, he was devoted to his people and was an honorable man. Thatís why Leanthris had initially proclaimed Staranos his heir. Furthermore, the bossy prince was allowed to have a personal guard. This squadron, which numbered nearly five thousand men, was used against potential enemies in the Ashmarian lands or the few who were opposed to the United Santharian Kingdom. The king tolerated this atrocious behavior against the dissidents, not only because he loved his nephew but also because he never got to know how brutal he was against them. Staranos had managed to create a veil of terror covering his name. When Manthros was born, the people rejoiced, because they hoped that the newborn heir would be more compassionate to their needs. However, Staranos continued officially to be the heir of the throne and to enjoy all his privileges, although Leanthris with his behavior seemed to consider his own son as his successor. Leanthris died in 77, at the age of 91. At the time of the funeral the people proclaimed king Mantheros, his son. Staranos, however, scattered the crowds with his own guard, that pledged allegiance to his rival and seized control of the empire. Mantheros managed to escape with a few supporters thanks to the citizensí help. The army was supporting the usurper, because Staranos was an brilliant military leader and nobody dared to oppose him. However, Erpheronian traders took the fugitive prince to the east, where he found willing supporters in the face of Stratanian, Avennorian and Caltherian warriors. They were the only ones who ignored Staranos and proclaimed Mantheros their king. Local armies were raised in order to help him claim his throne. The rest of the Sarvonian continent, with a few exceptions, was opposing Mantheros, mainly due to Staranos' horrible reputation. The elves supported the young pretender, because he was very close to their ideals, but were unable to unite and provide a considerable support.

The League and the cause of a united Sarvonian continent faced a terrible situation. Cumragane sent Hecuran, the so-called "Elven Lion", in a guest to join the elves and form an army with every warrior available. This army was to be placed at Mantherosí disposal. At the same time, Cumragane gave the title of the Councilís Prime to Artemidor, who was along with Lycoborne, the backbone of the League for more than 2000 years. Cumragane then took all men recruited to the League, the descendants of the exiled Helcrani, a total force of about thousand warriors, and headed to Helcrah, his homeland. There, in the Gathering building, he revealed himself as descendant of the Sostrian kings and leader of the League. He urged the Helcrani to fight for Mantheros and found many supporters there, but nobody would campaign with him, because they obeyed only to the Anactar of Milkengrad, since there was no Santharian king. Nevertheless, many came with him to Milkengrad in order to help him depose the Anactar of the time, an eerie and sly person, called Semgon. Cumragane made a royal entrance to Milkengrad, since his fame preceded him, but he didnít claim the throne as everybody expected. On the contrary, he recognized Semgonís authority and placed himself in his disposal in the war against Staranosí tyranny. In the Great Hall, the building where the Fratric Assembly took place, the two of them were confronted as to be heard by every citizen. Cumragane explained his reasons why they should support the wise and noble Mantheros, not forgetting to expand on his legitimacy. Semgon, on the other hand, intimidated the citizens with Staranosí might and his merciless revenge. The subject was not a matter of justice but of survival. Semgonís speech had such a great impact on the Milkengradians, that he managed to incarcerate Cumragane and his companion who didnít engage their kin in battle. He, moments before his arrest, urged the Helcrani not to abandon their king twice, as they did with Curgan, the last of the Sostrian kings.

With Cumragane arrested and waiting to be set under trial after Staranosí victory, the Helcrani marched with their entire army westwards to encircle Manthros and his army, who were at Jernais and already preparing for combat. Staranos, on the other hand, was advancing fast after capturing Carmalad to Veltim. His plan was to cut off his cousin from the sea and then crush him captured from both east and west.

In Milkengrad, when the Centoraurian army was already closing near Mantherosí army, who was retreating towards Helcrah in order to avoid encirclement, Cumragane was released from prison. The entire male Milken population of the city, with full battle gear, gathered in the Square of the Singing Heavens. They were ready to abandon their families and march to support their king. Many elder men, elves and dwarves that supported Mantheros were encouraged to decide to go to war even against the orders of their Anactar. The words of the Brownie High Protector of the Artapherana, Ponten Lightblade, were also written down in the history books: "You Helcrani are cursed and us among you, who became Helcrani by choice and not by luck, are twice cursed; Centuries ago, when the curse struck you for the second time, we were fighting not Fratra against Fratra but brother against brother. We were more damned than this. We abandoned not only our brother but also our king in the time of need. And it was us who armed the hands of the enemies against him. And he who even in the time of our betrayal loved us and didnít let us leave unequipped, without provisions, nor disgraced, without our weapons, suffered all that and among with the noblest of our kind - those who remained with him - died defending our city. Only a few survived to tell the horror of the slaughter, the horror that led the troops we sent to the enemy as an assistance to turn their swords against him and die with their rightful king. We all then took an oath never to abandon our king again. An oath we forgot, an oath that the son of the usurper had to remind us. The Milken will not abandon their king again, the Milken will fight and die with Mantheros!"

Pontenís speech made the Helcrani understand that they were abandoning their king, just like they did with Curgan, the last of the Sostrian kings. No, they wouldnít betray him once more. They didnít only release Cumrannís descendant and his companions but also followed him to battle. Men, women and everybody who could bare arms joined Cumragane in his march to the battlefield. on their way this strange army gathered all those citizens who wouldnít succumb to fear. Finally when they reached the battlefield the two armies were ready to engage in the final battle. The Centoraurians, when they saw their families on the side of the righteous king, realized their mistake and abandoned Semgon with the tyrant. However, along with the Centoraurians and the rest of Staranosí forces they abandoned their master. Now, the tides had changed. The tyrant managed to escape and managed to reach HŤckra, the volcano. He was unlucky once more. HŤckra exploded once more, burning him and his men. Cumragane, Sasirra and many of his men were burned too as they chased the tyrant in hairbreadth distance.

Thus ended Cumraganeís life and Tacunijaís curse. It was now fulfilled. The Helcrani from now on were redeemed from their crime. No more would they fight with each other. Now it was them who saved the day. Cumragane was honored by his men and his nephew, who managed to escape HŤckraís wrath, was assigned Anactar of the city.
 

Story written by Curgan View Profile