ANDALORION Part III: The Book of Wizards
Introduction and Background
The wizards of Parth-Num and Vidar incited their respective Winarian and Danfalk peoples to fight numerous battles that were the Mage War. The war grew to such great proportions that even the gods participated. It is said that the Mage War stunted the potential of the two wizards, such that to this day they have not risen to the lofty ranks of the gods, but remain mortal wizards.
Prior to the Battle of Beltenil, the Danfalk god Fothnow forged the Sunray Sword as a symbol to unite the Danfalk. But Vidar cast a spell that caused the sword not only to split in two, but also to foil any attempt to mend it. Fothnow responded by creating an amulet that could defeat the spell. A consequence of Vidar's action was that Neverthan now saw a weakness in the Danfalk to exploit. At the same time Ain-Down saw an opportunity. He would take the sword for himself. Neverthan sent two armies against the Danfalk, not knowing that Ain-Down had planted his agents amongst them. To meet the challenge, Newrath and Bayloth each took half of the sword and raised their armies.
Battle of Beltenil: The Hovar of Castlorn invaded the mainland and Newrath raised an army of Danfalk to fight them. Newrath wielded the Right Blade of the Sunray Sword. This was the earliest battle, before Row was born. His true form revealed, Newrath chose to give up his positions among the Danfalk of Belmerth and went into hiding amongst the Lants. He was followed by the agents of Ain-Down, but they did not see him hide the Right Blade. Later Newrath would give the amulet to his son Row.
Battle of Raithmoor: Bayloth fought Neverthan's army on the plain, wielding the Left Blade of the Sunray Sword. He lost the sword in the heat of battle, so he reluctantly resorted to his magic. His powerful spells resulted in the wasteland that Raithmoor is today. In the aftermath of the battle, the Left Blade was discovered by an agent of Ain-Down and brought to Parth-Num.
The Adventures of Row
Birth of Row: When king Theynlow sired a boy-child with auspicious omens, Vidar manufactured an accident and the boy was lost. This child, named Row, was then raised by foster parents, one of whom was a spy for Vidar. Although growing up only as a simple peasant, one day Row encountered an old war-master in the forest. This war-master was actually Newrath in disguise — Newrath who had fathered Row through the seed of Theynlow. As the war-master he instructed Row in the martial arts, in strategy and in statesmanship. All the while Newrath kept his true identity from Row, who would not discover the truth until much later.
Meanwhile Vidar was using his spies to keep a lookout for the whereabouts of the swords and amulet. He would do anything to prevent a Danfalk prince from acquiring all three items. Unbeknownst to him, Row had acquired the amulet from war-master Newrath. At the same time, Ain-Down wanted the items for himself, and his own agents were in the field searching for them. Row grew up under their watchful eye. They suspected he might know, or would be told, the location of the Right Blade.
Adventures of Row: One day Row was herding wurches in the high hills a good walk from his home. He encountered a young girl who was searching for something. She was trained as magician and discovered a magic wand that pointed the way to some wonderful magic item. Going against all sense, she ventured off accompanied only by a maidservant. Lo and behold, the item she sought was a strange amulet in possession of this humble wurch-herder. He explained to her that the amulet was an heirloom from his true parents. So much for her adventure. She explained that the amulet was part of a set of items including a sword and a crown. The agents of Ain-Down, who were nearby because they were keeping an eye on Row, heard this and launched an attacked. “We want the amulet,” one of them said. “Yes,” said another. “For our master.” Fearlessly, Row took his good herder's staff and beat them senseless.
After the excitement, Row and the girl spent time talking until the sun dropped low. “I'd better be going. I must reach my home before dark!” He then accompanied the girl to her home town.
Row was surprised to discover that the girl was the Princess Deyrtrew and her home town the kingdom's capital. She suspected that Row must be the prince from the legend, but how can he be a herder? She still needed to find the two halves of the sword. If the stars smiled on her, she could become high queen. It was said that if the amulet joined the two halves of the sword then that event would allow the Danfalk to be united. Alas, before Deyrtrew could go on another adventure her angry parents forced her to spend the next few years with her aunt and uncle far away, to keep her out of trouble. They were very upset by her little adventure.
Row had further adventures and entanglements with Vidar and Ain-Down. He fought a snow monster in its lair and for a time was believed killed; instead he discovered and explored deep Cawglaw warrens under the ice. Row eventually resurfaced and returned home to find his old war-master. After hearing Row's amazing stories, Newrath decided to reveal his identity. His heritage established, Row was reunited with Princess Deyrtrew.
Cathindas: His birthright was the sun, but Newrath had built Dalacast and denied him. So Cathindas became lord of the winter. He made a deal with Ain-Down, promising the wizard divinity in return for his magic. So Ain-Down agreed and together with Cathindas they brought a great freeze upon the land. They summoned warriors from the dead and created a huge terrifying army that threatened to extinguish all life from the land.
The Adventure of the Spitfire Spear: In this adventure, one of his last, Row travelled to Draygfire Mountain (Draygafraydon) to claim the fabulous Spitfire Spear. Vidar had by now realized that his manipulations had brought the world out of kilter. He urged Row into action:
“You must fight Cathindas,” he told him. “He — the battle-hungry son of Neverthan — is your counterpart.”
Knowing that Row could not defeat Cathindas without a powerful weapon, and knowing that Ain-Down possessed the Left Blade, Vidar realized there was only one weapon left that could do it. To retrieve it, Row would have to journey to Draygafraydon and brave its mighty fires, fires which no ordinary mortal, perhaps not even one sired by Newrath, could survive. So the Wizard of Vidar used his magic to imbue Row with flame-proof skin. Once there Row would claim the Spitfire Spear, mankind's defense against the dead of winter.
Showdown Between Vidar and Ain-Down: Just before the final controntation between Cathindas and Row, the two wizards faced off. As a result, they were both indisposed during the final battle. The outcome of this fight was inconclusive: Ain-Down retreated to his tower Parth-Num, and Vidar left the Andalors to found his private kingdom to the east.
Battle of Parthan Vale: In the climactic battle, Row fought Cathindas. Strong men and mages of the Danfalk were Row's army. Dead winter creatures and the mages of the Winarians were Cathindas's. The Winarians mages summoned spirits from the earth, elemental forces that groped at the Danfalk and tried to drag them under. In response, the Danfalk mages called fires from the sky and scorched the ground. Back and forth the mages fought and blasted the landscape. In the meantime the Row cut a path for the Danfalk warriors through the undead enemy. At last Row and Cathindas clashed.
When the magic and the fighting had died down at the end of the day, Row and his men were left standing, Cathindas at their mercy. Row had won the day. For this, he attained divinity and visited his father's true self in Dalacast. Cathindas came to the realization that he had become corrupt and no longer worthy of the Sun Throne. He resigned himself to live in the Underworld. Bayloth took pity on him and invited him to visit Dalacast for at least part of the year.