Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Chapter Five, Part Seven
The mountains of the Ellberron Range were silhouetted in shadow against the sunrise beyond them, as she looked out from her castle’s high tower across the Bay of Ellberron. Queen Allantyss surveyed the quiet waters of her prosperous kingdom, wondering what the future held for their seafaring land, as trade and travel on the seas around Myllanthar grew ever more dangerous without the escort of her navy’s best warships.
Without free-trade, the Kingdom of Ellberron was certain to diminish and wither, as it relied on open sea routes and the free-exchange of its goods with other kingdoms for its people’s livelihood. The situation distressed her, for there were no easy answers to ensure the kingdom’s prosperity, yet she vowed to find one.
The City of Allonyl was waking beyond the castle’s exterior walls, and goods were being loaded aboard ships for voyaging along their designated trade routes. The harbor would see ships arriving later in the morning, as they made their way into the Bay of Ellberron from the Sea of Pulthyar. In the previous year, King Ellyular had begun an ambitious ship building campaign, adding four new warships to the kingdom’s fleet, but they had come at a great cost.
The people grumbled at the thinning of the forests, as the tallest and mightiest trees were felled to construct the warships, and Royal Decree had prevented them for harvesting the forests themselves. The king realized it was an untenable situation for the kingdom to be in – to either loose the ability to sustain the kingdom with free-trade, or loose the support of the people by denying them access to the the forest’s resources – there seemed no other choice.
The kingdom had increased patrols along the Dorrimar Range to the west, and the Tregarron Range to the north, and contact with the Kingdom of Dorrimar was forbidden in light of the deception woven between Vyanthal of Talgar, King Tucar of Nierron and King Cyulthar of Dorrimar. It was this forbidding atmosphere just across the Dorrimar’s that dried up all border trade to the west, while trade with the Slejuv to the north had become ever more dangerous due to outside interference.
Only the eastern trade with the desert Kingdom of Kardune remained at previous levels, putting more emphasis on sea trade with the distant ports of the City of Errayll in the Kingdom of Errayllor, the Sojar People, the Island of Ayall, and the City of Penmarth in the Kingdom of Pengarth.
Yet the queen felt a distraction from the turmoils of her kingdom in that moment, a sense of urgency not far removed from thoughts of the kingdom’s future, but from another perspective entirely. There was a distance in her thoughts now, an elusive yet compelling desire to follow them. She debated with herself this desire that may decide her kingdom’s fate, yet knowing all along she had no choice but to follow it.
Queen Allantyss recalled the days of her youth, when her father, King Thyantyss, revealed to her a destiny of lineage that was hers to carry. There were long walks together on the palace grounds, with detailed discussions of life and truth, and of light and darkness. She was twelve at the time, and fascinated more by the dedication of her father’s teaching, than the lessons of that season – but the knowledge she retained.
It was at the very beginning of her father’s private lessons, that King Thyantyss had placed his hands on her head in a corner of the Palace Gardens, and recited the words, “Go forth, and light the light of truth within her,” followed by a tender kiss on the top of her head. She knew it was this light that her father had spoken of, that now beckoned her to journey beyond the kingdom, to a place her father had described was an enchanted and little-known woodland in Myllanthar’s far north – between the Kingdom of Errayllor and the River Sojar.
Calling the Admiral of the Navy, Admiral Tuyllar, to her study in the castle, Queen Allantyss queried him as to the coastline of the northwest, and when his descriptions of an unknown forest matched her father’s lectures from years earlier, she ordered a warship equipped for the journey to be readied at once. She informed King Ellyular of her decision to partake in a journey, and gave him the full authority of the kingdom’s defense in her absence, for the Royal Lineage was hers from her father.
The next day the Warship Celestial Light, carrying her and a crew of 250 men under the Admiral’s Command, set sail on the journey. The Celestial Light began making its way southwest around the Kingdom of Dorrimar, through the great western Sea of Cultharr beyond the Nyllaythel or the Nether Realm, past the Kingdom of Errayllor, and to the northwest coastline of Sylthar Wood along the Sea of Kuhlarr. It was here that the Celestial Light dropped anchor off the coast, and a longboat was rowed ashore carrying Queen Allantyss, the admiral and a crew of sixteen sailors.
Once ashore, the queen gave a command to Admiral Tuyllar in front of his sailors, causing them all to openly protest, for she ordered them back to the Celestial Light to immediately return to the Kingdom of Ellberron without her. She said it was her duty to go on alone, and to find an alternative way back to the kingdom.
This was her journey to make, and Admiral Tuyllar and his sailors had no recourse except to follow her orders. Once the longboat was lost from sight, she turned to face the Wood, and without provisions, began walking towards the forest’s edge…