The Dragontorc of Avalon
When sons of Troy did win this land
There lived a mighty king called Bran.
He carved a realm from shore to shore,
Strong in peace and feared in war.
But all things change. All men must die
As times and seasons pass us by.
So he summoned to his side
The Lords of Lore from far and wide
And bade them forge for his weak son
The Dragontorc of Avalon.
With utmost skill ne'er since displayed
The Dragontorc was wrought as bade
And when Bran's mighty soul did pass
To dwell within the Isle of Glass
A powerful force he gave his son:
The Dragontorc of Avalon.
But power strong is power to heal
And power same the strength to kill.
His mortal mind could not restrain
The Lore of ages in his brain.
A tyrant king in torment spread
His bitter reign of fear and dread.
The supreme lorelord tried in vain
To seize the torc, now Halgar's Bane.
Scattered remnants of the wise
Did seek to mend the Land's demise.
Far from the Orient they brought
The Crystal Gem of Antithought.
While the King in torment slept
Into his room the Lore Lords crept.
When crystal touched, all power gone,
They stole the Torc of Avalon.
But as they gazed upon the Torc
The sleeper stirred and then awoke.
The King's hand reached in action swift
And grasped the Torc, that deadly gift.
A grim faced warrior drew his blade
And with a mighty blow he made
A rift between the hand and arm,
The Torc fell down amidst alarm.
The hand with power lit up the gloom
And crawled in terror from the room.
Although the Lore Lords searched around
That living hand was never found.
The Torc could never be unmade
Lest all the power of magic fade.
So from the Dragontorc they cast
Five crowns for sons of Royal caste
And carefully they did divide
The realm that each might rule in pride.
The Torc of Power must ne'er be one -
The Dragontorc of Avalon.
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Many years have passed since Maroc vanquished the Lord of Chaos and banished
him from his earthly realm, freeing the soul entombed within the spell of
Avalon Wraithbane. The Rod of Power and the Servant Ring are Maroc's only
reminders of this terrible encounter. Long he has wandered, avoiding the
affairs of men, living the life of a nomad in the great forests where the old
magic still lingers.
The fragile peace of Britain had been threatened by many dark forces ever
since the last legions of Rome left to shore up their crumbling empire.
Vortigern, Lord of the Five Kingdoms of Britain struggled to hold his Lands
united in the face of the onslaught of the barbarian nations who were sweeping
across the North Sea from the troubled plains of Europe. In desperation he
employed a Saxon army, recruited from the very forces of his enemies, to guard
the eastern shores.
For several years the Saxons fiercely defended the British realm, but Morag
the Shapeshifter, Witch Queen of the North, was twisting their hearts, weaving
webs of treachery and deceit. At a great feast given by the Saxons for
Vortigern and his warrior lords, the hosts turned and treacherously murdered
the king and his followers. The night of the long knives threw the five
kingdoms into turmoil and the Saxons prepared to conquer them each in turn.
Morag the Shape-shifter cared not for Britons or Saxons. Her purpose was to
recover the five crowns made for the legendary Dragontorc of Avalon, so that
she might remake the Torc of Power. She rejoiced when her evil plan succeeded
in giving her the first part, Vortigern's crown, the Crown of Dumnovia.
One night, not long after the night of the long knives, Maroc sat gazing
into the glowing embers of his camp fire, hypnotised by the dancing patterns as
the cold night wind fanned the ashes. As he watched a strange numbness overcame
him and he felt touched by some magical presence which faded away as quickly as
it had come. He started thinking he had heard a voice but no-one emerged from
the gloom. He lay down to sleep but he was restless and could not settle,
feeling as if someone or something were trying to break into his consciousness.
In the cold hours before the dawn, he surrendered to the alien disturbance,
packed his sack and started walking.
For many days and nights he travelled, sleeping and restling little. The
giddy alien sensation grew each day. He did not know why or where he was going.
He travelled until he came to a clearing deep within a great forest. He sensed
power emanating from an old tree stump. It was hollow, filled with the sodden
leaves of Autumn. He dug amongst the leaves and his hand touched metal, not
cool dead metal, but warm vibrating steel with the unmistakable energy of
magic. He stared at the artifact he had been drawn to and trembled. It was the
great seal of Merlyn, last of the Lore Lords, guardian of the Dragon heir.
As he peered into the emblem of the great Dragon, the power passed through
his shaking arm, stirring his nerves until it seemed as if he were floating on
a bed of warm air. Again he heard a voice. This time it was recognizable, but
faint. It was the voice of Merlyn, his old tutor.
"Maroc, at last... you are the only one who can help me... listen..." He
told Maroc the terrible deeds of Morag, concluding. "For many years I have been
her prisoner." Merlyn's voice was weak and his last words as it faded to a
murmer were, "Seek the Ley Rod..." Maroc could hear only the rustling of the
leaves. He shivered, suddenly aware of the cold damp air. His knees weakened
and he slumped to the ground. As he lay recovering, he wondered what lay before