Legends of Belariath


Stories of Mayalaya Pt.1

Stories of Mayalaya OR

Stories of Cl’ Varmouth

Chapter 1 - Prelude

Maya felt a cold trickle of wet down her back. Flexing her 10 foot wide wings she looked above to see the grinning face of her friend Tamrael holding a water skin that trickled water down on to her.

“Tamrael Ezoral I’m going to strangle you!” she pouted and quickly flexed her wings to swoop up even with him as they flew over the fields..

She glanced to her side at the tall Torian young man of 19 summers, with his curling black hair down to his shoulders, white wings and deep emerald eyes..

“Hi Tam! That wasn’t very nice you know.” Her face scrunched into a pretend frown.

“Ah Maya, I thought you might be thirsty as hard as you practice. I’m sorry.”

But he did not look sorry..a roguish grin and twinkling eyes filling his face as he gazed at her with apparent affection.


“Hmmph.. well, if you are through playing..lets get to practicing . She said good naturedly. The cloud dance is only two days from now and I am still having trouble with falling leaf.

“Ok” he said.. “lets go a bit lower.”

Side by side they made a gentle soaring turn and circled down. Below them were the fields of Cl’ Varmoth. The home of their small clan. Set in a very large wide round valley in the mountains, the Varlil river ran through the middle of the mountain park. Toward the east, the steams rose into the autumn air from the many hotsprings and bubbling mud pools there.

In the fields along the river they could see workers and mage’s assisting in the tail end of harvest.. Farther up on the south side of the valley small homes could be seen, set here and there and various people going about their business. Towards the center of a group of homes and treehouses,.one could see the Elders hall..a wooden building that was meeting hall, elders hall and community center for Cl’ Varmoth.

It had been a good year..a good harvest and all Varmoth were looking forward to the harvest celebration and Cloud Dance – where selected Torians showed off their skills by performing intricate group maneuvers in the sky

They slowed and hovered about 100 feet above the ground.

“Ok Maya. I will try it first..then watch you as you do it. “

Tam spread his wings and hovered ..his body on the horizontal then he bent part of one wing to let some air out.. He slowly drifted to one side about 30 feet and down about 5 feet in a shallow arc... He then straightened that wing and bent the other one and then repeated the sequence as he drifted lower and reached the ground.

This was called the falling leaf.. for it made Tam drift down, in slow arcs as a leaf might fall to the ground.

Maya had followed him down,.hovering in front to see the timing of the wing bents,,

“That was perfect Tam! Let me try it now.. my arcs are too sharp,.,and I don’t know what is wrong.”

They both ascended into the air and then May tried it. She flexed one blue gold wing and started drifting to the right..but dropping to fast..then the other wing..

A look of frustration crossed her face “See! What am I doing wrong??”

“Hold up May”.. said Tam from his hovering position in front of her.

May pulled up and looked at him inquisitively.

“May.. I think you are letting too much air out..trying bending it about 3/4ths of what you are doing.”

She nodded her head and they both flew up. This time Tam was by her side about 50 feet away.

“He grinned at her and said: “On my mark lets do it.”


They both started the falling leaf…and a mage in the field looked up to smile at the lovely sight of the synchronized young dancers.

In tandem they swayed back and forth about 50 feet apart as they gently reached the ground.

They grinned at each other and Tam moved across the 50 feet to her.

“Perfect my princess!” and gave her a quick hug.

“I’ve got it now Tam! Thanks!” She said as she returned the hug.

May looked up at the sun.

“Oh Tam..I have to go. It is time for my lessons with Mother.”

Tam grinned down at her.. “I’ll walk you home..lets see how the harvest is going.”

They started walking side by side along the wide dirt paths through the harvested fields nodding and saying hello to those who were gathering the few remaining stalks of unharvested wheat. As they were gathered and bundled, a mage was at hand to make the bundles lift through the air to the winnowing and storage houses not far up the side of the valley. In the winnowing house other mage’s caused the wheat to be winnowed, and then ground by the giant grinding stone..into a fine flour.

The Cl Varmoth had wandered long before finding this valley after a harrowing winter that left many starved.. They found this mountain home the day Maya was born. They had gingerly settled in here, for a year or two to recuperate, enjoying the thermals of the mountains, the fertile soils of the valley, the plentiful game and the hot springs area where even the earth was warm and green all year long.. The one or two years originally planned had lengthened into many.

Though wanderlust still was a part of them, this place had become a home to return to no matter how far they might roam. The never ending migration common to Torians had not been lost..but for them, after the fall harvest, those who had their role births that year or had the urge to wander, commonly left for a year or more. on a task assigned by the elders, or just to learn, or just to wander. They usually returned to their clan in the fall for a visit or to settle down.

“It is a good harvest this year Maya” Said Tam..looking around at the plentiful harvest..

“Yes it is… so many good things this year..just think:. Our Role Births tomorrow, then the harvest celebration and then us both being picked for the cloud dance! All in the next two days!”

Tam nodded…and wrapped an arm round her shoulder as they walked.

Maya looked serious for a bit..

“What is it? You look thoughtful and we can’t have that.”

She looked up at his handsome face with a rueful grin, laughing. “Oh you are so mean to me!” then went on…

“I wonder what my Role shall be.. I mean it is clear you will be a warrior Tam..for you are the best in your class with weapons and such,”

Tam stood a bit straighter, puffed out his chest a bit, and tried to look like a warrior at these words, unnoticed by May.

“Maya .you’re well skilled with your wristbow and firebolt. And..you have your fathers muscles. There is none better than you except Arkal..and me in our class.. But with your mother a Mage and your skill with spells…. “

She wrinkled her brow and looked at him saying slowly: “That’s just it… I like them both. Well the Elders will reveal it soon, tomorrow in fact. And then I will know.”

”Just remember Mayalaya …he said with a loving grin.. that you also will have another Role.. my wife!”

May turned to him with eyes gleaming with love. “Yes Tam..and you will be my mate.”

They had made their vows a month ago, .and the clan approved.. For it was clear from the earliest age that these two had a special bond playing as children and now grown into a young man and woman. People smiled to see such a lovely couple.

But nothing could be done until after the role births for that is when Toirans were allowed to marry. Still they had made their pledge.

Having left the fields and ascended a wide path up into the gentle hills, they arrived in front of Mayas home.

They turned to each other.

“Fare thee well Tam. I love you.”

He grinned down on her with his deep emerald eyes.. “Fare thee well May. Until tomorrow!”

She watched as he took off into the dusk and then turned to hurry inside.

She flew up to the landing platform on the spread out wooden tree house that stood anchored on several large branches of the tree. A warm yellow light shown out through its many large windows… She saw her mother, Janalaya already at the table in the kitchen. For a moment she just looked at the white winged woman, with long blonde hair and blue eyes that bespoke wisdom and kindness. A mage and healer, she was well liked in the clan. Her face today though, looked troubled.

“I’m sorry I’m late…”

Janalaya looked up at her “Nay..tis not that May..its..Arewell. She had her baby today there were problems and Arewell did not live.

Maya’s face turned sad..”She died..oh …..This is bad news indeed..and the baby?

Janalaya’s expression turned even sadder and darker. “He lived but has wings of black.”

Maya froze in shock…”Black wings…no wonder his mother died. What will be done with him??”

Her mind was reeling, this was the first dark winged birth in many years. The last, one of purple wings had not lived long, sickening and dying in the first weeks, or at least that is what was told in the clan. His mother though had made accusations that something else was the cause of his demise.

It had been 14 years since then, and Maya for the first time as an adult, and one day short of a full clan member, faced what had simply been a myth and subject of many long scary stories told around the hearth or fire.

Janalya sighed. Her blue eyes turned away and she stood up, her wings drooping a bit, and went to the hearth, taking a cloth to wrap around the wire handle of the cast iron teapot, and pouring steaming water into two mugs on the table that contained various herbs, making krot – a tea the Torians loved. She gestured Maya to sit down at the rough wooden table as she her self sank into back into her chair.

Only then did she turn her eyes back onto Maya.

“Maya the child will be given away to the next traders we meet, if he lives that long. Such Torians tend to have short life span here and with his mother dead, it is doubtful any others will nurse him. He can not stay, it will bring ruin on us all.”

Maya held her steaming mug in both hands, looking across the table to Janalaya. Her young face, serious.

“Must it be so?? How do we know those stories are true?”

The StoryWeavers often told tales of dark wings and disaster, and of their origins. The story told was hard to believe and she had just thought it a myth for she could not imagine Maedel and Sazera as real beings, whose curse was the dark wings.

Janalaya tapped one slim finger on the side of her mug, thinking, her eyes staring at her daughter, thinking .perhaps now is the time. Maya was soon to have her Rolebirth and become an adult member of the clan. Her fingers quit tapping and wrapped around the earthenware mug as she leaned forward a bit over the table....

“Maya, you are young in summers. Since you were born, we have had only 1 such birth, and that when you were young. But, that has not always been so. In our long travels before we settled here, we had several. Each one seemed to be associated with misfortune for our clan. “

Janalaya lifted the mug to her lips take a long sip then placed it back down on the table. In her mind, the long decades of travel and her own life in the clan came back to her. The good hunts, fast breezes and sweet water, the trading, the bad times. Her life as a girl, and her work as a mage/healer. The long travels and new vistas, the trading..the whole complex and colorful fabric of her life and the clan.

“Maya..there have been 4 such births that I remember. Each was associated with Trouble, in the worst way. One brought disease, another the death of an elder. One we kept, and he became insane, raping and killing. And the red winged one that caused us to almost starve to death. Our winter stores fouled by some sticky growth, and our hunts failed completely.

She raises an eyebrow at her and says softly....”Maya, that red winged one was born .in the Winter of Despair, the winter before we found this valley.”

Maya’s eyes widened, for of all the tales told by the Storyweaver, the Winter of Despair, was one of the most frightening..for it involved parents, and uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters that would never be known..cut down early.

Janalaya’s expression turns again, as her eyes seem faraway, seeing the almost daily Sorrowing Days, where the thin, wretched, starved corpses were burned. The ones left barely able to carry them in their own weakened state. She saw how their clan had dwindled and the despair that came upon them in their starvation and Trouble. How hope had forced Janalaya to carry on. Hope, not for herself but for the life she carried within.

” But oh, I thought I would lose you Maya, for I carried you then..and many miscarriages happened. Many starved..many died…but yet..there was reluctance to kill the darkwinged babe for long had it been..since one was born..and the old tales seemed weak in our minds...

She goes on, her gaze moving to at her daughter’s blue gold wings, now folded..

“We wandered on that winter..but finally, he died at the hand of a clan member. Then shortly thereafter, actually on the day you were born we found this valley, full of game, and with good soil and sweet water.”

“The Winter of Despair took a bit of the wanderlust out of those whose were left. Too many had seen their children, mothers and fathers starve to death to want to travel again right away..

And so we settled here, for what was to be a year or two to grow strong again.. But that year or two has been turned into many more.”

Janalaya sits back in her chair, her kind face serious as she comes to the point. “Maya, tomorrow you will find your Role and become an adult member of Cl’ Varmouth.

Know you that dark wings are killed or gotten rid of as soon as possible. This is known by all adult members of our clan. The Storyweave tales of Dark Wings and Troubles are NOT just myths or legends..meant to scare fledglings. There is some truth to them. I too did not believe it at first.. But now I do, as I’ve seen it with my own eyes several times.

Maya jaw dropped, her eyes round in surprise. .”We…we….kill them? Clan brothers and sisters??”

Jana nods with finality. “It is a fact of life. If their wings change when they are older, we banish them. The young ones we try to find traders to take and if not possible, they are killed.”

Maya nods slowly. “I…see…” her face is frowned, with some indignation, some shock and the thought of wondering what else she would find out, once she became a full member of the clan.

.Jana sighs as she sees her daughter’s slightly disbelieving look.

“It is the way of Cl Varmoth..dear..the clan before all else….or any individual.”

She sips her tea, changing the subject:

“Now Maya, lets go over what you have been practicing.,”

Maya nods and stands up…her expression changing to one of concentration and mischievousness as she holds out a slim hand at waist height.

A blue glow flows around her hand and down on to the floor, flowing into a plane of energy about 5 by 5, centered beneath her mothers chair.

With a thought, the disc of magic slowly rose into the air, taking jana and her chair with it, till about 4 feet off the ground.

Maya smiles.. “How’s that mother?”

Jana laughs..”I think you know that one well. Remember, with practice it will follow you anywhere.“

Maya nods. In fact that spell had been easy to learn, as most of them had been. Most magic seemed to come naturally to her, except healing spells. More than one wise Elder eye was raised when she transformed a lighting spell into a powerful energy bolt and taught her clan how to do it. Always her magic seemed bent toward attack spells.

Maya smiled and lowered Jana and chair the rough wooden floor.

Janalaya stood up and gave her daughter a hug.

“ Now tis time for dinner, Janrekl will be home soon from his patrol”

Janrekl was a commander of the warriors, though in fact the patrols had become just routine in recent years. The time of the chirots battles, were over, the leather winged ones being slain, or moving elsewhere. All the caves were now cleared and no chirot had attacked for 10 years.

For many years the clan had had NO serious trouble here, just the occasional rabid animal or lone thief.. Most often the patrols’ bolts were shot at a menacing wiggling eared rabbit or a golden mailed trout in the river. The warriors then proudly brought home the prizes of war, to be cooked for dinner.

Janrekl was also one of the teachers of the young Torians who showed a bent toward weapons and magic. Without the immediate life or death menace that stirs hearts and courage, he relied on the long history of the clan, told around fires, to inflame the passion in youthful hearts. He often suggested a stirring tale to the Storyweaver , especially when younger torians with a bent toward weapons and magic were at the fire. ...

At Janas words, Janrekl flew in, a tall white wing, dressed in a wooden breastplate, short sword and wristbow.

After kisses all around they soon they sat down to satisfactory and pleasant supper filled with much mirth and laughter and serious talk too.


Chapter 2 - The Battle

That night Maya was asleep in her bed, and awoke to hear a hard rain pelting the wooden shingled roof above her

. “Odd..” she thought drowsily as she stirred in her warm bed. “Rain this time of year.”

Suddenly she heard the loud, long sound of the horn of Valmorth . That silver embellished mountain sheep’s horn which was only blown on celebration days. And then it was not blown as celebration but as education. So that all might know the sound. It was a sound of danger and a call to arms.

Maya’s eyes snapped open in her room..noticing a strange flickering light that filled the room with a glow and hearing faint rain muffled yells and screams. .

Her mind came alert. DANGER!!!

Maya leapt out of bed, and strapped on her armor and wristbow, checking her dagger. Her bedroom was filled with the red glow, filtering through the shutters. She threw them open. From her bedroom window she could see the red flickering glow of flames in the cold, damp, raining grey dawn as the sun came up. She blinked with puzzlement wondering how the flames could rise so high in the rain. Suddenly she gasped with alarm..as she saw the many large dark figures setting fire to the homes in on the hillside..and moving toward the storehouse!!..

.As she hurried out to the landing platform through the deserted kitchen, she heard more soft yells and clashes, cries of fear. Her parents already gone to their duties.

From the door platform in the trees .she looked over the scattered tree and ground houses that in a far stretch of the word, was called the village.. It seemed to be over run with large tall barbarians. And not far behind them, as they stormed down the wooded gray slopes above the village, something else came.

Maya’s heart faltered. Her hands shook as a sudden wave of fear racked her. She sensed, more than saw, SOMETHING coming down the slopes to the village. To her eyes it looked a large aura of blackness, a shadow in the grey dawn. To her heart it reeked of evil, fear and despair.

She thought of what her father had told her.,.

“Everyone fears ,even the bravest,.unless they are fools. You must learn to ignore the fear. Maya. We all die and you will too someday. Accept the reality of death and fight through the fear.”

Maya took a deep shaking breath..and let it out..her hands steadying..as she loaded a wristbow bolt.

Her head turned up, hearing the whistles of bolts flying through the air..

In the sky about 100 feet above the rampaging barbarians was the patrol – the clan’s warriors. With a grim set to her lips she took flight to join them, flying up in the wing dampening drizzle.

The group of about 30 torians has moved into the Wheel of Death, circling and letting loose bolts one after another at the barbarians on the ground, then moving to the upper part of the wheel to reload.

Many metal bolts hit their mark, and many a barbarian fell,.their swords and spears useless, to reach the high flying warriors.


Maya joined them the wheel, loosing several bolts.. However one by one the Torians fell to the muddy earth as their wings soaked and they could not fly, foiled by the rain and the fear that seemed to quake all their hearts.

Maya peered down, squinting her eyes to see through the drizzle, while reloading.

The Torians banded together on the ground, short swords and arrow bolts flying in the face of the much larger barbarians. The occasional use of energy bolts cracked through the rainy dawn.,sizzling the moisture and leaving a trail of steam as they flew toward a dark scowling face, an uplifted brawny arm, but causing only occasional damage. .

Soon in the grey morning Maya felt her wings soaked, unable to fly. As she lost the ability to maneuver, she plummeted more than swooped , down, unable to direct her movements. She would not join the band she saw..but instead..land on a hillock that was covered with bodies. As she swooped down she shot off a bolt into a barbarian on the hillock even as she saw one of her clan brothers falling from his sword thrust . The barbarian fell with a scream as the bolt flew true and Maya landed with a UMPH on her feet, even then reloading and sliding in the mud,


As she turned to finish off the ravager, if need be, her face paled . She saw the downed wingbrother was Tamrael, her beloved and betrothed.

She wiped the rain off her face and ran over to him, stepping over two barbarian bodies. The last gave a mighty sigh as he died from her bolt. He had fallen near Tam, his gauntlet covered bearpaw of a hand still gripping the sword, and the blade still impaled in Tamrael’s chest

“Tam…Tam are you..alright?” she cried out…as she neared..

Tam lay there and his eyes slowly opened to gaze upon his death day.

Maya pulled and kicked the barb away from him, the sword pulled out of Tam’s bloodied chest as she did so. She .kneeled down on the rain slicked hillock. She lifted his muddied form into her arms, tears falling onto his pale face. His black hair wet and covered with gore, his lips blue and a trail of blood steadily dropping down his chin from this mouth.

“Tam…Tam.,….don’t die…please don’t die!!” She hugged his light form to her. Her hand uselessly cast small heal on his chest wound., even as it was covered with the spurting dark blood of her love.

Tamrael’s eyes opened slowly. Already distant, they saw her but also looked as if he was gazing at some far sight. With an apparent will and effort, his eyes focused on hers..

“Maya…may..” he whispers out slowly and a his lips curved up into a painful, blood covered smile. “My love…I am…dying.”

Maya’s tears started in earnest for the practical part of her knew it was true. No healers in sight. She holds him tight, kisses his bloodied lips, feels his rain cooled chilled skin.. “Oh Tam…oh Tam..I love you….I love you…”

She can see his face pale even more and his lips turn purple. His breathing is labored and each breath a sickly gurgling sound. His eyes narrowed in pain, then suddenly his face relaxed as his breathing slowed.

“May..” he whispers. “You were the best thing…”.

“Oh Tam…” the tears flow down her cheeks, her body tensed with grief, yet her voice takes on a more calm tone. Nay, his last sight would not be of her begging for what could not be. As she steeled herself her voice speaks slowly and tenderly. “I love you and I am here love. I am here. Sleep, sleep now in my arms…love…sleep”

Her head bows as she presses her lips to his in a soft kiss…and feels him taking a deep gurgling breath, then exhales into her mouth, to breath no more.

She starts shaking as she pulls her lips away,.holding his last breath,.not willing to release it . She stares at his face and sees his emerald eyes are gazing at the skies of Toria and no longer at the clouds above. Finally, she exhales and feels her life, her heart, all rational thought leave with the breath.

Her tears dry, as a black anger grows in her She sees her love..the light of her life..dead.. His cooling lips would no longer warm her, his bright smile no longer quirk at her in amusement. His emerald eyes no longer with just a look, would convey a hundred words to guide her or laugh with her.

Her minds spins into blackness as the Torian girl screamed out in pain and anger, shaking her fist at the sky.. “NOOOO!!! YOU WILL BE AVENGED!!!!!”

Her body feels her minds agony and anger and becomes a thing of dark strength and energy. She feels preternaturally alert. She hears a guttural cold laugh, from behind her. Her eyes are dark blue/grey and the light of murder shines in them. Her lips thinned to grim resolution, she flies to her feet picking up Tam’s short sword even as her wrist bow flies up. She sees three barbarians coming up the hillock, their leather armor mud and gore spattered, blood on their swords and death in their eyes.

With the strength of the dammed, and with the madness of the world ending, Maya screams out with fury, her mind black and only one thought:


Her wrist flies up as she snaps the wristbow.. The bolt flies into the eye socket of the nearest barb even as he raises his sword to slay her. A surprised grunt and he falls writhing on the ground, then stops.

The other two keep scrabbling up the hillock.

”You will pay for that Torian cunt!!

They charge her. And she steps back before the towering ravening pair, no time for a bolt, she ducks and turns to the side as a mighty sword flies down on her, and brings her sword up to stab at his waist with a metallic ring. His waist is covered with mail and the sword slides off and down. She continues her turn, in a circle and brings the sword up again, her eyes ablaze, her strength adrenaline pumped, as she stabs into his throat, where helmet and mail meet and twists her blade.

His black eyes widen in surprise as she yanks the sword out and steps up to the slowly wavering barb’s massive body, using it to block the other. “Die! Die!…Scaborus Pig!!!” spittle flies out from her mouth..

The barb topples even as she sees a black circle with a sword on his tabard. She whirls to see the other swarthy muscular barb stepped back, paused in shock at the sight of two of his companions slain by this slip of a girl, but only for a moment.. His face grimaces and he lets loose a blood curdling yell. He rushes forward, swinging his sword in a sharp arc of death. Maya feels no fear, feels nothing but cold murderous rage. She looks at impending death, a dozen feet away and cooly raises her hand to simply point at his eyes, her hand glowing yellow. Like a mad ox., the barb knows not his peril and the smirk of victory is in his lips, seen beneath his helm, as Maya lets loose her energy bolt..aimed at those hateful barbarian orbs.

The bolt sizzles through the damp air, hits his eye and cleaves his brain with a burning stench as his eyeball explodes spewing it small package of liquid . The barbarian is dead before he knows it and Maya simply steps to the side as the body continues to charge on one step, two steps, three and then he falls to the mud.

Maya stand there rain soaked a few seconds, her flesh paling and chilling in the cold rain then slowly moves. Her mind is black as is her heart as she moves among the fallen barbarians roughly pulling off their helms, then slashing and sawing at their necks with her borrowed short sword until one by one, they are beheaded.

She stands and looks at her work coldly, not satisfied. Her eyes look over at Tamrael’s body then back at the barbs. A feral murderous growl escapes her lips. She pulls her dagger and kneels by the barb who killed Tam and slices his armor laces..then starts stabbing him in his bare chest..over and over,.slowly steadily, then as pain filters in faster and more raggedly.

Maya hears horrible screams “Die” that rise and fall over and over. She hears the soft thunk of blade on bone. She hears someone breathing raggedly. She knows not that it is her.

And so did Janrekl find his daughter after the battle was over. She heard not his words to cease, felt not his strong hands pulling her away. Her own arm kept slicing into thin air as he lifted her. Till finally he cast a spell and she fell into sleep.