The Adventure Never Ends...

The Myth of the Mirror of Fog

Millennia ago, before the birth of the most ancient of beings; before the Master of Darkness first cast a shadow; yea, even before the people of the world knew the concept of good and evil, a smother grey fog arose to cover the world. Dark shapes moved in the fog, and now and again, one or two innocents might go missing from their settlement, never to be seen again. And the people looked out from their doorsteps at the fog, and were afraid. So it was that fear first entered the world.

Time passed, and the creatures of the fog grew bolder. Whole villages would vanish now, swept up into the mist and devoured by whatever lurked there. What had been fear turned to terror and hatred, and, fearing the end of the world that they had only just begun to understand, the tribes prayed to some supreme being to save them.

Then, an unknowable time later, footsteps were heard in the grey mist, so strong that the earth trembled with every step. Those that dared leave their firesides and peer out into the ever-shrouding fog spoke of a tall giant striding to and fro among the mist, a giant clad in armored plate and crowned with a helm of adamant, and with eyes that blazed with the light of the stars. In one hand the giant bore a shield polished so that it gleamed like a mirror, and in the other it wielded a silver sword, and pale flames ran down the blade. 

 In the midst of the fog, the giant raised its shield high and cried aloud a single word. There followed a flash of light so bright that it seemed as if the sun had exploded, and all the people of the tribes fell into a deep slumber.

When they awoke, it seemed for a moment as if they were still dreaming. For the sun shone down from a clear blue sky, and all traces of the deadly fog had vanished utterly. There was no sign of the mysterious giant that many tribes had already named as their savior—their yostwell, in the old tongue—but, on a high hill in the midst of a great forest, they found the giant’s sword and shield. The sword seemed virtually untouched, but the surface of the shield had clouded and darkened, and it seemed almost as if mist swirled inside it

The tribes called upon a master craftsman to melt down the sacred sword and make of it a new relic, a symbol of the light that the giant, the Yostwell, had brought to the earth. The result of his long labor was even more beautiful than the shining sword had been: a tall silver candelabra, seeming to glow with an inner fire. The chieftains of the tribes were well-pleased, and declared that the candelabra would endure as the most holy of relics for as long as the world lasted, and they called it the Yostwell’s Light.

As years passed, a great village grew up around the hill where the Yostwell’s sword and shield had been found, and it was called Questport. The Yostwell’s Light was placed in a hallowed temple in the center of the village, and much honor and reverence was given to it. But the giant’s shield, ever after known as the Mirror of Fog, was placed in a distant attic in the temple, with a lone swordsman to guard it, and slowly passed out of memory.

 

The wheel of time turned again and again, and still the Mirror of Fog lay concealed
in the Hidden Room of the Questport Temple. Dust gathered on it as the Master of Darkness rose, was defeated, and rose again. Cobwebs spun intricate traceries across its clouded surface as the keys were lost, and the Fellowship reunited them, driving out the Darkness for the last time.
And then, scarcely a year after the return of the Yostwell’s Light, footsteps were heard again amid the dust, and the Knight Protector's lifeblood was spilled before the door of the Hidden Room.

For the Lord of Angels and Demons, the cunning and sly, had dared uncover the legends of the Time of Mist, and, divining the mirror’s location, began to scheme. Deep within some ancient text, he had found a dark spell, a dangerous enchantment, to release some of the fog from the mirror. For it seemed to him that he could catch one of the terrifying fog-beings as they slipped from their prison, and bind it to his service. And so it was that the Lord of Angels and Demons stood before the Mirror of Fog, and spoke the words of the spell of release.

But he was deceived. For during the countless years spent trapped within the mirror by the Yostwell’s power, the fog-ghosts had turned on one another and strove to devour each other. Over time, fewer and fewer remained, until there was a single being that had consumed all the others. This dark creature, trapped alone within the mirror, bitterly called it his kingdom, and named himself the Prince of Shadows and Illusions. 

It was this terrifying entity that surged forth from the mirror at the lord’s command. Such was his power that the Mirror of Fog burst asunder, shattering into eight shards. The Lord of Angels and Demons, perceiving his peril, tried to undo the spell, but the shattered pieces of the mirror had not the strength of the united whole.

The Prince of Shadows and Illusions spread his dark wings in flight from the roof of the temple, and all of Questport looked up in fear and awe. But the power of the Yostwell’s Light strove against that of the great fog-ghost, and the Prince of Shadows and Illusions was forced from Questport, and the borders of the realm were sealed in his face. Then a great wrath filled him, and he sent a fog to cover the rest of the world, a fog so deep that no sunlight could penetrate it. And the Prince of Shadows and Illusions sat in the midst of the fog and brooded, pondering how he could defeat the Yostwell’s Light and bring ruin to Questport.

 

 The Three Tasks