The Birth of Wylan
This is the story of how The Lord of Deception came to be, and of the great trials the sweet mother of Keldan the Just, Dorn the Wise and Asta the Gentle had to endure. For we must never forget the crimes of the Enemy!
Aesha the Innocent, a maiden so beautiful as to be envied by Elves, even gods, was seduced by the wily deity nowadays known only as Shadow, for his other names have been blown away by the Winds of Time. It was not until they had lain together that Aesha realized what darkness hid in the creature’s soul, and fled Shadow’s realm. She could hear how Shadow let chase, and she hid in the tangles of Dream.
In the Dreamlands she waited, her belly ever greater, until Wylan was born to screams of agony that echoed in the minds of all dreamers. Shadow had not given up his pursuit, and hearing Aesha’s cries set forth through the many folds of that land, swift as thought. Aesha’s thighs were yet to dry when she could hear the dreaded whispers that ever preceded her hunter, and the affection in her eyes for her newborn son soon gave way to fear at the thought of what fell fate mother and babe would share in Shadow’s grasp.
She had all but despaired when the child squeezed her thumb, pointed toward the Sylvan Gloaming and uttered, words clear and unslurred, “That way, mother-love! The vines will hide you!” Bewildered by the infant’s words, she did as he bade. But Shadow’s Hounds were not so easily shaken off, and soon their master was approaching the runaways.
Aesha shook in terror at his approach, but Wylan made not a cry nor a squeal, only whispered, “Fear not, mother-love,” and gestured with his left hand toward the underbrush, from where a fox appeared skulking. “The Hounds have your scent, mother-love,” he continued, “but there is a way. Stroke the fox with your soiled hand!” Aesha obeyed, spreading her crimson upon the squirming beast, who shot off into the Untamed Wild, Hounds and hunter in pursuit. And thus did foxes gain the red of their coats.
Relieved of the chase, Aesha wandered away, Wylan guiding her steps through Dream. Long she walked on islands adrift in the Ocean of Time, and soon Wylan grew into a boy holding her hand tight, and then into a youth clasping her arm. Then they came upon the Border, beyond which lay the Mortal World. There Wylan stopped. “What is wrong, my son,” Aesha asked, “what halts you when home is but a step away?” But Wylan stood firm, and spoke, “Your home, mother-love, not mine. My home is and ever shall be the Realm of Fancy and Wonderment, a world of possibilities only. The drab waste yonder is but a pit of sand in which to toy with the desires of the petty souls that infest it.” And only then, looking for explanation in the many-hued eyes of her firstborn, did Aesha see the arrogance and malice the father had seeded now in full bloom in the Dream-twisted heart of the son.
Hard was Wylan’s gaze and evil his visage when he hissed, “For the service of being my bearer I reward you with the return to pitiful mortality you so crave!” and pushed his mother back to this world from Beyond.
And so Aesha tumbled back into the Mortal World. Unaged though she was, the sadness of her son’s betrayal left its mark upon her unrivaled beauty.