Chapter 1.1: Princes and a Princess

28 3 6

The Lonely Highway. Kingdom of Rocklands

"And he sayeth to me, 'My sweet Queen Tala, I took all of my most prized relics, the greatest heirlooms of the greatest house that ever was, and buried them in a chamber so unfathomable it will be forbidden to all but the most worthy suitors

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

"And he sayeth to me, 'My sweet Queen Tala, I took all of my most prized relics, the greatest heirlooms of the greatest house that ever was, and buried them in a chamber so unfathomable it will be forbidden to all but the most worthy suitors. And God help them should they solve its mystery. May their hearts be true, for the power they discover within will awe all the world.' "

It is these words, laid out in Omar: the True Story from Those Who Knew Him Dearest that kindled the legend of the Forbidden Chamber, the mythical cache for the treasures of Omar Roberts I, the Hero King. The account is purportedly written by Tala Roberts, Omar I's fourth and final wife. Many scholars, however, posit numerous explanations for why the account and reality might be divergent, from heavy-handed embellishments by a so-called "ghost writer" to intentional deviations from the truth by Tala herself. One popular theory suggests that the book was actually fictionalized much later, perhaps has late as 1350 NE, three and a half centuries after the Hero King's death.

Although the legend of Omar's Forbidden Chamber—usually thought to be located in his luxury fortress of Shamala—is perhaps the most broadly-syndicated myth in the modern canon and has drawn the interest of countless historians and tomb raiders for many centuries, no indication of any secret treasure has ever been discovered. So little evidence has been found, in fact, that recent decades has seen a steep decline of interest in the pursuit of the Forbidden Chamber. Chamber Hunters, as they were once called, are now all but extinct.

*          *          *

"What are you reading?"

The fiery gaze of the sun filtered down through the gossiping leaves of a cottonwood onto Vallario Roberts where he sat beside the crystal-cool water of a murmuring brook. 

"Legend of Omar," he replied to his twin sister, Galia, as she wrung soap from a beige tunic. Vallario thumbed the book closed and dropped it into his leather rucksack.

Galia leveled her eyes on him. "You're not thinking about that again, are you?"

"I know you don't believe in it." Her stare was heavier than gravity as he tossed pebbles in silence. "At least it takes my mind off..." He trailed away pathetically. The embarrassment was still too fresh to say the rest. Even to his twin.

Galia scooted closer. "Don't think about it. I'm sure she just—"

"Just what?"

Galia crushed her lips together. "It doesn't matter what she thinks! You're too good for her anyway!"

Val tossed another pebble, more firmly than the last. No one in the family ever faced such an insult.

"Are you excited to see the capital, Val?"

The Razed Ruins Part I: Ill TidesRead this story for FREE!