The Glass Harp
The Glass Harp
As the story is told, although some may tell it differently…
Four years ago, in the second year of the reign of King Ordin and Queen Hela of Saphil is where our tale begins. The prosperity of the land had continued to grow as it had for their predecessor, Steward Mane, for season after season. Their daughter, Princess Melanie, had turned seventeen and had begun searching for a suitor that would one day rule beside her.
Barons, dukes, and kings from distant lands presented their sons before Princess Melanie. They came with gifts of jewels and gold, neither of which Melanie cared for in the least. It was song that she loved, for she boasted a voice that could charm the wrens in the tangles and she desired someone to share her gift with. Though she asked each of her would be husbands to sing for her – none of them could do so to her satisfaction.
There was one particular father who brought his son before Melanie, and when the princess turned him away he became angry, filling the royal hall with words foreign to all who heard them. It was the foulest of curses that he bestowed upon the princess – one that stole her voice and entrapped it within a harp made of glass, so fragile, that if it were to break it would shatter beyond all means of repair.
‘Orjik the Sour’ was the name of the man who stole the princess’s voice. He dangled the harp in the air, threatening to drop it if any stood in the way of his or his son’s escape. With trickery Orjik eluded the royal guard and disappeared into the Twisted Forest taking Melanie’s voice with him – for a voice that could charm wrens in the hedge could also speak to darker minions if it were so employed…
Orjik did just that; Pestilence he summoned. Farms saw fruits rot in the field, wine turned to vinegar, and hogs grew sickly and died. His sorcery did not end there – children fought with fever, and those with unborn child prayed to the gods, too often without answer.
Ordin and Hela did not remain idle. They enlisted the aid of any and all who might help their daughter break the curse and regain her voice. Sages, magi, and men of science all failed, and warriors in their gleaming armor fared no better. Even doctors, herbalists, and those claiming druidic powers could not change the course of the scourge.
It has been four years since, but no cure has been found. The land has faltered, settling into a wounded tempo that has forced life to dance in ways it was not meant to dance.