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Folly of Fools

Tales of Esgarond

By Tomos JacksonPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Read with music for best effect.

Note from Author:

Resubmitting this after realizing that my challenge stories haven't been published in the general search area.

Marcus stood in the pear orchards outside the Mountain holds of the Dwaryn. Here was where they could grow their food and sustain their mighty stone fortresses within the mountain ranges. The golden fields and bright colours of the fruits in the rows of orchards that stretched for miles away from the shadow of the mountains and fed by the streams that ran down their sides. The warm sun gave everything a pleasant glow and the pear trees were at their most radiant, their soft fruit giving off a feint but pleasant fragrance.

Marcus saw none of it. His mind was a storm, filled with the destructive winds of doubt. In his hand a cold stemmed from the note that was clenched in his grasp and spread throughout his body with its implications and requests. The cries for help from his people were nearly audible in his ears and his doubts raged against them. He knew his deeds, he knew his exile was just. The damage he had wrought on his people through a his vanity, ambition and pride. The note had been written by High Vicarius William and signed off by a list of names from both the legion and the senate.

A dark horde had struck Esgarond, Consulus Sertorius Marius had died attempting to stop them and the battle hardened veteran legions of Atlas, those not ruined in Marcus's civil war, were broken and scattered. Only Marcus and the Legio IV Imperator remained as a stable force with any loyalties to Atlas.

But how could he go back, after all he had done? What if he did it again? He had not intended harm the last time he returned to Atlas with a legion at his back, but still he had wrought great destruction.

Marcus felt the storm of doubts within his mind intensify, blocking all reason and filling him with fear. He fell to his knees and clenched at his eyes as tears began to fall down his face. Despite it all he knew what he must do. The only thing he could. The Rest was in the hands of the Almighty.

Sitting on the ground he turned his face upwards into the light of the sun. Half laughing at the absurdity of the situation half crying in fear of what may come of the days ahead, Marcus lifted his voice to the sky and cried out.

"Oh Yehua save us from the folly of fools!

I was once a simple man. A naïve youth who sought to flee his duty to his country and strike out to forge a destiny that was better suited to him. A foolish notion. A man is not his own and his purpose was decided before he was born. The Almighty had laid my path out and I scorned it and fled in cowardice seeking the life I had deemed myself worthy for. The life of a soldier, a savior and a hero.

Now with my deeds in the past and with the tired wisdom of age I see clearly that the cruelest thing the Almighty can grant a man is the leave for him to do his own will, apart from the designs of Man's Master. For always the way of man is the way of war, sorrow and destruction, and so was it with me.

On a path to glory was I, led by, and then leading men from battle to battle. From conquest to conquest. As my enemies were humbled before me, my hubris grew and soon I deemed the ways of my superiors inferior to my own. I would seize power and save my people from the endless cycle of violence and then return to them all power.

Oh Yehua save us from the folly of fools! Once man falls for his own greatness he has already deceived himself, and from their, one deceit leads to another. From the deception of savior, to conqueror, to ruler did I fall, until all those who did not acknowledge or accept my authority seemed to me to be their own enemies. Such an arrangement can last for only so long, and as the strength of single sinful man was never made to bear the weight of a sinful world so did it end in my destruction and the ruination of my people.

And so I am now the man I am today. An exiled Emperor. A weary warrior, bruised and battered by the conflict of the world into which he fled. A tyrant and a traitor to the very people he sought to save.

Now they call me back. They need me, and I shall return.

Oh Yehua save us from the folly of fools! For I shall return"


About the Creator

Tomos Jackson

Stories have always been a source of inspiration. I aim to reproduce that in my own writing. Developing ideas of one's potential by reading it in the lives of others can be a powerful force to encourage bettering ourselves in the real world

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