• Meg Sechrest

The Legends of Alexander - Preview

Updated: Jul 25


Prologue

In the Balands 5,000 years ago, a land where queens and kings ruled, ancients and legends were what survived on the lips and in the hearts of many for as far as history would tell, there was one story that had yet to be told and his would be the greatest yet to be written.

It had been two years since King Vahvuus Ramagi had retreated to his rooms and resigned his position to his brother, Prince Jerrad. The people of the Empire of Hoagan had all but given up hope for their future in receiving a new king. Vahvuus had been waiting a decade for the arrival of his promised child. All the while, another of Queen Priscilla’s pregnancies ended in tragedy.

“Vahvuus, the kingdom needs your return. Jerrad has ordered the armies to invade the lands of the elves in the north; he has completely stripped the mire of its vegetation, giving it to the Fenmire tribes and the Bantam lands where the dragons are destroying all that is left,” Benoff, his first advisor said as he stood outside the King’s chambers one morning.

“Take your issues up with your new king,” Vahvuus replied.

“You are our true king, sire. Prince Jerrad seeks the position merely for his own pleasures.”

Vahvuus opened his chamber door. “I no longer have the will or the strength. I’m becoming an old man.”

“What is it you need?”

“What news from Cosmo?”

Benoff shook his head. “I’m sorry, sir. There is no news.”

“There is nothing else I need.”

Vahvuus closed the door and retreated into his self-pity once more.

The birth of the first born son of King Vahvuus and Priscilla had been predicted by the most trusted and honored wizard, Cosmo, when the beloved King and Queen were told by the physician, they would not conceive a child. Cosmo, however, brought them the news that they would conceive if they were patient enough.

Patience was never something King Vahvuus knew or practiced well. Feeling despaired at the news of Jerrad, he had little confidence in Cosmo’s abilities now and decided to take matters into his own hands and he tried conceiving a child without his beloved queen. “Dwindling faith produces action,” Vahvuus whispered as he cracked open the door to his wife’s chambers. He sat and waited patiently on Her Majesty’s bed.

“Bethel,” he said to Priscilla’s lady’s maid as she entered and began gathering the queen’s dirty linens.

Bethel curtsied to her King. “Majesty, forgive me, I did not know you were in Her Majesty’s chambers.”

“No need to apologize, child. I came to see you.” The King stood from the Queen’s bed and approached the young maid.

“Me? How may I assist the His Majesty today?”

King Vahvuus brushed a strand of her golden hair back from her fair skinned forehead and looked into her pale eyes. “Are you dedicated to your King?”

“Of course, my lord,” Bethel nodded, her blush rising to her cheeks as she looked away.

“I have a task for you, young child.”

“Where is Her Majesty?”

“You do not ask the questions to your King!”

Bethel nodded. ”Forgive me, my lord.”

Vahvuus kissed her cheek and locked the chamber door.

When the servant girl conceived a child, the Queen’s jealousy became too much for her to bear.

“This is outrageous!” Priscilla screamed at the sight of the young servant’s pregnant belly, months later.

“You couldn’t conceive...” Vahvuus said.

“I am your queen. I demand your bastard leave here at once!”

“You would take my only child from me?!”

“I will give you a son!”

“Swear it.”

“I swear to it or it be my own life.”

At the demand of Priscilla, Vahvuus ordered her away and the king never saw his child. The King grew angry and became even more impatient, unleashing his outrage on the kingdom.

“From this day henceforth, every son that is born in Horgan until my promised son has arrived and is well, shall die.”

“Vahvuus! You musn’t!”Priscilla exclaimed.

“That is an order!”

“Dwindling faith produces a mistake one cannot correct,” Cosmo said.

Vahvuus moved closer and looked Cosmo directly in the eyes. What are you speaking of? I sent the mother and child away.”

“Priscilla will always feel unwanted, ashamed, and betrayed. The child will be out there somewhere. In her mind, she’s failed you.”

“She has!”

“Your queen will never be able to bear you a child until you treat her the way she deserves!” Cosmo reproached.

“You are out of line, wizard!”

“No, you are out of line! You were born to be a king and here you sit in your room watching your kingdom wither into nothing, impregnating young servants because your queen hasn’t given you a son according to your insignificant timeline! You will have a son when you are meant to have one!”

“Guards!” Vahvuus yelled. The guards rushed in and took Cosmo by each of his arms as Cosmo yelled, “The gods are punishing you!”

Vahvuus stormed out of the room and went straight to his advisor to sign the order declaring every first son born to a family to be killed... until Vahvuus have a legitimate heir.

As he signed the document, all he could think in his mind were Cosmo’s words to him... the gods are punishing you.

“Punish me if you want. Stop punishing Priscilla for my sins.”

***


Alas, in spite of the wicked rule of Vahvuus and the slaughtering of many sons throughout the empire, many years later, they were finally given the news they’d waited to hear for a long time.

“Vahvuus,” Priscilla said as she entered the throne room. “I have news for you.”

He motioned for her to approach him. “Sit with me, my queen. I am glad you are here this day.”

“Vahvuus, I have to tell you that...”

Priscilla sat in the throne chair net to the king, uncertain how to give him the news he’d been waiting so long to hear. Yet, as she stared at her large framed, white bearded husband, she was intimidated to say anything.

“Priscilla, what is your concern, my dear?”

She sighed.

“Are you unwell?”

“No.”

“Then what is it?”

“I am with child.”

“Tell me it is true.”

Priscilla beamed with happiness as she cupped the King’s face in her hands. ”It is true. I am to have a child in .”

“Their beloved Alexander was born and the people of Hoagan were brought hope once again if only for a brief time.

“Look at his beauty, my dear,” Queen Priscilla said to King Vahvuus as she held her newborn baby in her arms and tears fell from her eyes as she admired his blond hair that reminded her of amber and blue eyes that sparkled like the sea. “All these years we have waited and he is finally here and is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.”

“Yes. One day he shall make a great ruler over all the lands.”

King Vahvuus felt pride in the son who would take up the throne in his place and he was even prouder of his wife for bringing this young life into the world and wanted to let the whole kingdom know of them.

“I shall give word to Benoff to have a party in Alexander’s honor. I shall also send word throughout the whole land for them to know of his birth,” he said to his wife.

However, when Alexander came into the world, there was more tragedy to befall them as Cosmo had received a vision to change their lives.

“Sire,” Cosmo said with a bow as he entered the King’s chambers.

“Why have you called upon me at such a time?” the king responded.

“My apologies, Majesty, for my intrusion, I mean no harm. I bring you word of the most important matter.”

The King looked to his wife where she laid on their bed holding their son. “Is it my son and wife?”

“Your wife will be fine.”

“Tell me good news of my son if you mean no harm!” he yelled and grabbed the wizard by his gray cloak.

“Majesty, I am merely the messenger.”

“You are right. For this, I apologize.”

King Vahvuus calmed himself to listen to what the land’s most trusted wizard had to say about the future of his only child and son.

“He...Prince Alexander will grow to be a great man, greater than you. However…”

“Greater than me?!”

“That is what I said, Sire.”

“Continue,” the king said, his temperament much changed, eyes fixed on the Queen and his newborn Prince.

“Send him away. His safety depends upon it.”

“What on earth?” her Majesty chimed in. “I’m not sending away the child I have waited more than a decade for! You must be mad!” She turned her back to Cosmo and clutched Alexander tighter in her arms.

Cosmo knew his words would be rejected and he would need to employ other means as a way to convince the King and Queen of how necessary it would be to ensure Alexander’s safety.

“It is late. I will return to you another day,” Cosmo said and exited the large double doors to the king’s chambers.

“The audacity!” Queen Priscilla huffed as she prepared to ready herself for bed.

“Do not worry of his words, my love. I will see that it all gets straightened out,” King Vahvuus said as he slipped into his own nightwear as he thought on Cosmo’s words… his safety depends on it … and King Vahvuus fell asleep with that thought on his mind.

Much later in the darkest hours of the night as he slept, he sprang up, shaking the Queen from her sleep. “I’ve had the most disturbing vision.”

“What is it, my dear?” Priscilla asked, sitting up in bed as she rubbed her eyes.

“We must send Alexander away until he is 25 years of age. Do not ask me why for I will not tell you. Your heart will not bear it.”


ONE

Twenty-four years later

“Alexander!” his friend, Stephanos, called to him from across the field where he stood playing his favorite sport.

“Don’t break my concentration, Stephan, or this arrow will end up somewhere it shouldn’t!”

“I have news!” Stephanos said, running up to him.

Alexander looked back over his shoulder to his friend but said nothing as he aimed and shot one more arrow across the long field of grass. Once he was finished, he put down his bow and said, “Is it so important you came all the way out here to inform me?”

“Imperative.”

Alexander stood with his arms crossed, waiting for the information, yet his friend still said nothing.

“What is it, my man?”

“It’s your father.”

“My father? You mean the father who never speaks to me and sent me away from his castle before I could even walk?”

Stephanos nodded. “Yes.”

Alexander went back to his archery, not being very interested in the father who practically abandoned him. “Well then, what about him? What is this big news?”

“He is ill.”

Alexander lowered his bow and turned his face to his friend. “Gravely?”

“Yes.”

Alexander nodded but was unsure how to feel about the possible impending death of a man who he should love, but the reality was that Alexander hardly even knew him.

“Let us head back into the village,” Alexander said as he gathered his bow and arrows and his mind drifted to only one thought—Elia—the woman who’d brought him great comfort and solace over the past many years.

“What are you thinking?” Stephanos asked as they began the walk through the lush and thick forest back to the small and secluded village where Alexander had spent his years growing and becoming a man.

A wide grin appeared on his face and he said, “You don’t want to know what I’m thinking.”

“Elia?”

Alexander raised his eyebrows. “Life is unfair, isn’t it? I’m a prince yet I don’t live the life of one.”

Stephanos sighed and slapped his friend on the back. “You are living a good life. No, you might not be able to marry any woman you want, and your attraction to Elia has your bitterness at its peak right now, but you have many advantages in your life that most of these villagers have not,” he said and pointed around at the small village as they stepped out of the other side of the woods and looked out on the village. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

Alexander stepped down the hill behind his friend, considering his words but also that there was a great deal Alexander actually did have to feel sorry about, the first being that his father was going to die without having ever truly known him, the second being that he was deeply in love with a woman that he could never marry for more reasons than one and it was all because of the workings of his own father.

“Stephan, I need to do some thinking. I will see you later.”

“Does your thinking include the fair and very beautiful Elia Berslurie?”

Alexander opened the door to his house and tossed his bow and arrows onto the floor just inside the door and he turned around as he closed the door and answered, “My thinking always considers her.”

“I do believe that is true. Meanwhile, it’s getting late and I’m going home. My wife is a great cook and I’m famished.”

“Go home to your family.”

“You can come for supper if you want.”

“Thanks anyway. I’m perfectly content with more Emilash bread and dried meat.”

“Elia has brought you more?”

Alexander nodded. “She brings me more every time she is away.”

“Suit yourself. I’m sure Colette would be happy to have you.”

“Let her know I said hello.”

Stephanos nodded and waved as he walked away from Alexander.

“To the river tomorrow?” Alexander yelled after him as he left to his own stone cottage.

“Some of us have work, you know!” he hollered back.

Alexander smiled, shaking his head as he stood in his doorway and watched his stocky, happy-mannered best friend walk away. Alexander looked around the village of Gartha, remembering his earliest memories there when he was just a young boy and he lived with a family whose own children were grown. He remembered meeting Stephanos when he was just old enough to leave the house on his own and from that moment on, they’d been inseparable. Alexander had always been drawn to Stefanos’s light temperament and care-free attitude. It also benefitted him that Stephanos didn’t care that Alexander was the King’s son as many others did and tried to use it to their benefit, which was why Alexander hadn’t ended up in Gartha until he was nearly five years of age.

Alexander turned to step inside his house and heard a voice from his kitchen room.

“How many days do you believe I would let you go on eating dried meat and Elvish bread before I intervened?”

Happiness became him when he heard her voice. “Elia,” he said and approached where she stood at the stove hearth, making soup.

“I got back earlier today, but you were out.”

She turned around and wiped her messy hands on the apron she was wearing before reaching her hands up to hold his face.

“You have no idea how much I missed you the weeks you were away,” Alexander said, leaning in to kiss her.

Elia, savored the taste of him for many moments, pulling him close to her as she reached her arms up around his head and entangled her fingers into his very dark blond hair that was almost brown when the light hit it just right, and she allowed his hands to untie the apron and pull it off her as his hands needed to refamiliarize themselves too.

When Alexander’s passion was too much for him, he pulled back and ran his fingers through his hair as he let out a long breath.

“I missed you too,” Elia said when he slumped into the chair directly behind him. She held his strong chin in her hand and moved his hair back from his face so she could look his blue eyes directly into her dark browns.

“How was your journey?”

“Just the same as always. What has you so down?”

He patted his lap for her to sit and he wrapped his arms around her waist. As she sat and began stroking her fingers in his hair, he rested his head on her shoulder and admired everything there was about her beauty from her dark hair to her acorn colored eyes to her wide, plump lips, he adored her.

“I received word that my father is ill.”

Elia frowned and kissed his cheek. “I’m so very sorry.”

“You do know what this means?”

She shook her head.

“I’m the only heir to the throne in Hoagan if… or I should say when he dies.”

Elia gasped and stood, placing her hand on her forehead, becoming very distressed.

“You will leave.”

“I must.”

Her sadness became tears and she said, “You will forget me.”

Alexander held his finger to her lips and brought her close to his chest.

“No. You are too much a part of me. You would never allow it.”

Elia nodded, agreeing to his statement. In reality, she knew when he left Gartha, she would have to return to her homelands for good, separating them even more, creating a distance too far to be traveled regularly. In turn, causing him to seek his love elsewhere.

“Eat,” she said and served him the food she had made and poured him wine.

Alexander sat with his elbows on the table and his forehead rested in his hand, concentrating on his thoughts as she tried her best to coax him to take food.

“Are you not hungry this evening? What have you eaten today?”

He glanced up to her from under his hands. “I had some of the bread you left me.”

Wiping the hair back from his brow, she said, “Lex, you need nourishment if you are to be King.”

Alexander took her hand and brought it to his lips. “We don’t know when that day will come. When it does, my first order is to unite nations so that the race of men can marry Elethians.” His blue eyes looked up to her. “I want that more than anything.”

Sadness dispensed her body and she leaned in to kiss his cheek.

“The Elves have never taken issue with men. Somehow, men take up war with every person they can.”

“Not when I am King.”

He took her hand and brought it to his lips. “You have my heart, Elia. The only thing I want in all these lands is to make peace and take you as my wife... my queen.”

“I want that too. You know I do.”

He continued kissing her cheek and lips for a few moments.

“And what will you do of the problems in the Boroughs where the Bantam people live?”

“You mean the invasions of the mire tribes into the upper territories?”

She nuzzled her head into the crook of his neck and began kissing the soft of his skin there and she breathed in his scent. “Mmm.”

Rubbing his hands up and down her back, he said, “I already have word that my father has made an alliance with the Fenmire lands near the sea where the dragons are being raised and bred.”

Alexander lifted her up and carried her into the next room as he kissed her, wrapping her legs around his waist to sit on his bed and strip off his shirt.

“I’ve heard the people of the wetlands aren’t very friendly,” she said as he leaned her into him and peeked over her shoulder to untie her dress.

“Well,” he said, laying her back onto his bed with a kiss. “I’ve been known to be just as unpleasant. Fortunately for you, you’ve never experienced that side of me.”

“Is that so?”

He raised his eyebrows and lifted the covers over them, disappearing underneath.


***


“Your Majesty,” Cosmo said upon his entrance into the throne room.

“What news have you brought me today? Is it about my son?”

“It is, sire.”

“He is almost 25. Are we to bring him home?”

Cosmo shook his head. “No, my Lord. I must go to him.”

The King stood out of his throne, demanding answers. No one had gone to see the Prince but only a few times in order to keep his location a secret from invading armies and enemies who would seek his demise.

“What is this?! You seek our destruction?!”

“Of course not, sire. It is of the utmost importance that I see him regarding his return home within the year.”

King Vahvuus urged Cosmo to continue.

“The enemies are planning to invade your lands and he must be protected.”

“We will shelter him here!” King Vahvuus shouted, pounding his fists onto his throne. “It is time to bring him home!”

“No, my Lord. I’m afraid it isn’t.”

“I’m dying.”

“Which is precisely why he needs protecting.”

“Why? We have nearly passed the 25-year mark that you showed me all those years ago in my dream. His birthday is just next week.”

Cosmo held his staff up which held a crystal sphere on the top. Through the globe, he brought forth another vision for the king to see: Alexander’s death.

“Show me no more!” he said, closing his eyes and pushing the staff away.

“As you wish,” Cosmo said and ran his hand over the sphere, causing the images to disappear. “Now you have seen.”

Vahvuus thought on what he had been shown for only a moment before he said, “Go to him. Take my guards…”

“None of that will be necessary. Once I have seen him, I will return to you.”

***

Elia pulled the curtains open on the window above Alexander’s bed to gauge the sunlight.

“It is early,” she said and leaned in to kiss Alexander’s cheek. “Would you like some breakfast?”

Alexander blinked his eyes open to look upon the most beautiful creature on earth to him and he nodded, mumbling something unintelligible that Elia knew meant he did.

“I will make our favorite.”

He rolled onto his back and watched her hop out of bed and slip into her robe.

“Elia,” he said as she walked to the door.

Elia glanced back at him from where she was in the doorway, her lashes enticing him as they batted over her sparkling brown eyes.

“Yes?”

“I’m happy you’re back.”

Elia’s face shower her happiness. “Me too. You’re home to me now.”

“Then never go away again.”

“Lex, I still have a people and a homelands. We are not married.”

“Fine. Make the happiest man in the world. Marry me.”

Elia’s smile faded and she moved to the closet now, where she began changing into her day robes. “Lex, you know you’re just speaking nonsense now. You are a prince,” she peeked her head out from behind the small wooden doors of the closet but remained standing in such a way so that her body was unseen. “You aren’t just any prince; you’re the prince of Hoagan.” She slipped back behind the doors only to reveal herself a moment later clothed in a long white dress and navy blue hooded cape that was connected at her collar bone with a beetle shaped emerald gemstone.

“That means what?” Alexander asked, sitting up to look at how beautiful Elia was in her robes.

“Lex, Hoagan is the empire of men, who rule over all the lands. You know that very soon... too soon... you will be king of all men.”

“You are important in your lands, are you not?”

“Elves do not have princesses and princes like men do.”

“Perhaps not, but you still have importance. In that importance, you rank high.”

“Why does it matter?”

“So when I make my case to marry you, I can give every reason for good.”

Elia walked over to him, took his mother’s chain he wore from around his neck and slipped her ring off her finger.

“Even if the day never comes that you and I can marry, I am yours and you are mine, Alexander Magnus Ramagi.

He looked down to the silver, flower shaped ring with an opal stone in the center as she slipped it onto his chain and put it around his neck.

“Your ring of protection?”

Elia kissed his cheek. “I need to know you’re safe.” Her lips brushed his as she stood and touched his bare chest where the ring dangled from the chain. “I’m going to cook. You dress.”

Like what you read? There's more soon! Follow me for faster updates!


© 2020 Meg Sechrest All Rights Reserved.

This is only an excerpt. This novel may soon be purchased in its entirety in either digital or paperback version.

This article may not be reprinted without the author's written permission.

 © Meg Sechrest 2020

DISCLAIMER: All of Meg's works are copyrighted under the protection of the United States Copyright Office. You must get written consent from the author to reuse her works in any way, shape, or form, except in a small quote for the purposes for a review.