Journey to Ábrelyn

Journey to Ábrelyn (a tale of Emélrenè) - Part I - the Call of Home

Kélroth and his companions had travelled several days on their journey up the Legáma river valley from Ráleth, making their way along the trail through the foothills of the Jerinálian mountains. They had been provided hospitality at Hiténos keep, the seat of the Earl of Negáros.

The group's guide, an aged émhlè, had been warmly welcomed by the Earl's constable, and they had been provided with accomodation of a higher standard than Kélroth had encountered either at home on his uncle's humble manor far south in Berémashire, or anywhere else on the road. Rumour was that the Earl was away hunting or possibly even south in Beréma; Kélroth and his companions were not privy to such details.

After Hiténos, the group continued up the river valley for some time, but then the trail turned northwest, striking towards a pass between two high peaks - one of which their guide informed them was mount Negéros. The going was much harder than it had been along the river banks, but they made good time, and soon stood on the saddle, looking down upon the valley of the Marnad and the lands of Neóma fief beneath the heights of mount Tîrdhwy.

Neóma, their guide reminded them, was the official seat of the Duke of Jerinál, Anávras al Edhélen, designated heir to the throne of Emélrenè - but that, of course, they were scarcely likely to see, let alone meet, the Duke. As they made their way down the trail towards the castle and its settlement, their old guide told the tale of how the current Duke came to hold the title, this being granted by Her Majesty Queen Yólanda when the previous Duke's son had chosen to "take the Freedom". Some of the group knew this tale, but the reminder of possibility that some of them might end their journey by chosing the "Freedom" caused a buzz of amongst them. Not for the first time, Kélroth's mind turned to what life as one of the émhlèn might entail...

As they had been warned, their stay in Neóma afforded them little opportunity to come in contact with the Ducal household; they stayed instead in a hostel devoted specifically to providing accommodation to groups of pilgrims and youngsters such as they on their way to fosterage with their clan's émhlèn-aína ('sibling-clans').

Kélroth's 'sibling-clan', the Ámeldhen, were a minor émhlèn clan who dwelt high in the Jerinálian range, on the upper reaches of the Marnad river. They shared a 'range' known as Márnasem, and owed allegiance to the émhlèn mélkula (middle-noble) clan of Súdhrem. The Súdhrem were 'siblings' to Kélroth's uncle's liege, the Baron of Daímin. Kélroth would foster with them for at least a summer; longer if he found the "free" life conducive and they would have him.

From Neóma castle, the trail became even less defined, but their old guide had travelled this route many times. They were accompanied by other pilgrims and fosterlings, but the group had come to know each other, and stuck together. Travel up the Marnad valley was relatively easy, until they reached a ford in the river.

As they prepared to cross, the old guide drew Kélroth aside.

"Young Master Ámelar," he said, pointing up the river valley, where the high mountain forests loomed. "There lie the lands of your sibling clan, and the vales where you will spend your fosterage. They are good lands; with fewer dangers than most, especially in summer," he added.

Kélroth simply nodded. He was still in awe of the ancient émhlè, who despite his age, seemed hardly to tire throughout the whole journey.

"But first, we must journey to Ábrelyn, the Home of the Free, so that you may become an initiate of the Covenant...." The old man's voice had dropped to a hush, and all of the group were attentive. Everyone knew something of the sacred Covenant, but all were eager to see if their guide would share more.

He did not. He simply smiled, and urged them across the ford, and up the trail that rose higher into the mountains.

After several hours, they reached another saddle, and high to the northeast loomed a set of great peaks. Here he paused, and pointed towards the highest of them.

"There is great Hérelym, under which Holy Ábrelyn lies. There lies our journey's end; but the beginning of your days as full Eméla!"

His voice was filled with pride and fervour, and none in the group failed to feel a swelling in their hearts as they looked upon the mighty snow-capped peaks.

After a short pause, he hurried the group forward. Kélroth, however, held back, his gaze held transfixed by the mountains, the rushing streams, his blood pulsing with the very spirit of the land....

At that moment he knew, without any doubt, that he would not return to the quiet lowlands of his uncle's manor. He was home, and he knew it.

rwgrainger's picture

More please.

Just got sucked into this and realized ....... no more. :-(

More please.


Fástred's picture

Ok, richard... but I have to be careful :)


I'm certainly not averse to sharing more, although I have to be careful I don't preempt too much of the as-yet-incomplete kingdom publication for Emélrenè.

I will give it some careful thought this coming weekend...

I have, however, added an extract from the forthcoming map of the kingdom... this too is unfinished, but I think it helps with the story.

Fástred na Beréma,
Rowánti na Sávè-k’nôr

rwgrainger's picture

Not a problem.

Hello Fástred,

It is not a problem at all. I was just reading the story and could easily visualize the characters and their journey. An excellent start. I understand completely about your constraints.

Have a great day!


talkitron's picture


I enjoyed the article and the hints of Emelrene cultural mysticism.

sard's picture


i love this narrative style. it brings atmosphere to the world.

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