Chapter 6: The Madness of Olmus and the Kidnap of Aras

Olmus' magnificent citadel of Mulhata shimmered with a light of Pittok's making, which mingled and played with the Light of Vaalea and brought much joy to the hearts of the Aslah, for within its wall were the sounds of Thim and Olgden and Qayoba, the children of Olmus and Pittok. Gort spent much time watching the comings and goings of Pittok to and from Mulhata and became aware of the feelings of Shylar towards him, feelings that she kept hidden within her. Gort, in his disguise, after much time found the ear of Shylar, helping her in the building of Henipur and the design of many new creations. And always he whispered to her of Pittok and her heart bled from the pain of its solitude.

As time passed, Gort was always finding ways of bringing Shylar and Pittok together and slowly the fruit of their labor was as great as anything that had been seen in Damarkan. Shylar created upon Wynord a magnificent garden and gave to Pittok the Ikkuin, who were designed in his image and would later be called halflings, and who filled the halls of Wynold and tended his gardens and brought joy to Pittok and to all of Damarkan. And to Shylar, Pittok gave light to the Quru trees and their bark glowed a white silver and were a wonder to behold.

But as the joys of Shylar and Pittok grew, as they shared their company, and Damarkan was enhanced by their renewed efforts, so the light of Mulhata dimmed and was no longer the wonder it once had been and Olmus could only see the hard gaze of Pittok upon her, where once it had been soft and told a tale of passion. So her mind wandered and it was towards Pittok that her wrath grew, who now only visited so that he could see Thim and Olgden and Qayoba.

In time, the seeds of Gort's wicked plans bore fruit and Shylar and Pittok became lovers and Pittok fathered a second son, Tannun Maruth. Olmus' heart sank into despair and her thoughts blackened, for she could no longer look upon any of Damarkan without seeing the gardens of Shylar or the Light of Vaalea. And where once Mulhata had glowed under the Light of Vaalea, now it seemed that all light had gone and that Mulhata had fallen into disrepair. So was it that Gort put an evil curse upon Mulhata that broke whatever was left of Olmus' spirit and, consumed with madness, she poisoned both Thim and Olgden and also Pittok.

Mulhata was now closed to the Aslah, who begged her for entrance so that they could save Pittok and her sons from the poison that wracked their systems and would soon destroy them, but Olmus laughed at them. Onnus tore down the doors of Mulhata and was shocked by the dreariness that had consumed the once beautiful halls. After a great struggle, Pittok, Thim and Olgden were rescued and saved by the skills of Shylar and her servants, including Gort, who remained unlooked for and undetected.

The fate of Olmus, however, was fixed and none could change it. Try as they might, the Aslah could not succeed in repairing the damage to her mind, which sought only to bring the downfall of those that had betrayed her. With the joy of Damarkan once again ended, Gort looked towards the end of his plan. In the guise of an ambassador of reconciliation between Shylar and Olmus, Gort became a regular visitor to Mulhata, where he revealed himself to her and let her know his intent.

Slowly, with the worst of Olmus' madness seeming over, Damarkan looked to the Feast of Aras, where her flower would blossom and she would no longer be the child of Onnus and Desdemar. All of Damarkan was readying the feast and an excitement filled the air and during this time, as the preparations continued, Shylar gave birth to Rama and Adria, her twin daughters. And when the day came and the Aslah and their children met under the silver arches of Paradorn, with the gardens and halls filled with the servants of the Aslah and the air filled with their music, so the beautiful Aras was presented to all. And in this moment, Olmus, who had looked to this day, pushed a poisoned blade into Pittok and slew him and laughed at the horror of her brethren. As the Aslah rushed to Pittok and Olmus retreated to Mulhata, so Gort played out the glorious finale of his long ago hatched plan and, in the commotion, did take Aras under force and make for Herophet.

Desdemar alone was suddenly aware of Gort's deceit and she made chase to rescue her daughter and on the bank of the River Mothex did Gort and Desdemar fight over the limp form of Aras. But Desdemar was no match for the powerful Gort and he plunged his blade deep into her and made off. Now aware of Gort's deceit, the Aslah made haste, but arrived upon the shores of the River Mothex too late, for Gort sailed away towards Herophet and took Aras with him. And there Onnus found Desdemar, slain.

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