The Chamber of Raiyum/Epigraphs
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THE TALE OF HAFEZ THE LION
Long ago, when Raiyum was but a young prince, he set off into the desert in search of adventure. After traveling for many days, he came upon a large man standing in the middle of a canyon pass. All around him were the slain bodies of men and beasts. Raiyum approached, warily. 'Who are you, stranger?' he asked, keeping his headscarf wrapped around his face to hide his identity. The large man laughed. 'They call me Hafez, the Lion of Menechtarun.' Raiyum nodded. 'I see. And surely you are as fierce as a lion. Tell me, Hafez... did you kill all these men and all these beasts?' Hafez laughed again. 'Yes I did. Neither man nor beast may pass unless they beat me in combat. And as you can see, none have passed...' Raiyum considered this, then asked, 'So, Hafez. Must I fight you if I wish to pass?' Hafez nodded and drew a large bronze hammer. 'Yes, you must. You may not move forward, nor head back until you have beaten me.'
Raiyum smiled to himself and quietly slipped a ring onto his finger. He became as quick as a scorpion and darted past Hafez. 'Oh ho! Little traveler, how do you move so fast?' Hafez readied his hammer but Raiyum slipped another ring onto his finger, becoming as hard as stone. Hafez' hammer crashed into Raiyum and glanced off. 'Oh ho! Little ...
... skipped past the large man. 'I am Prince Raiyum, fool. And I have beaten you! What do you say to that?' Hafez became so angry that he smashed his hammer into the ground. The ground trembled and shook, sending large rocks crashing down from the canyon's walls. Raiyum was too fast to be hit, but Hafez was buried alive under tons of stone. Seeing this happen, Raiyum bent down and began to move the largest rocks from Hafez' body. When he was done, the Lion of Mecechtarun was battered and bloody but still alive. 'Prince Raiyum, for saving me I pledge my life to you, even unto death.'
And that is how the Lion became one of the Wizard-King's most feared men in Raiyum's Kingdom.
THE TALE OF HAMI THE JACKAL
Scourge of Menechtarun, the bandit known as Hami the Jackal preyed on travelers and merchants throughout the Valley of Raiyum. The guards could not capture him. Private mercenaries could not kill him. Finally, Raiyum the Wizard-King had an idea: he would dress in the clothing of a wandering dervish and find the Jackal himself. Raiyum removed his crown and royal vestments and dressed in a simple robe, staff and sandals and set off into the sand-covered wastes.
After traveling for the better part of a day, Raiyum stopped by a watering hole for a drink. A man dressed in black robes approached and drew a scimitar. Raiyum feigned distress and fell to his knees. 'Oh, do not kill me sir! I am a humble dervish and have no gold nor treasure to give you!' The black-robed man laughed. 'Foolish old man, I am the Jackal! I do not kill for gold or treasure. I kill because it is my nature. It is what I do and who I am.' Rayum smiled and spoke a magic phrase, summoning a demon from the sands. 'And I am Wizard-King Raiyum! That is who I am!' The Jackal fell to his knees this time and trembled before Raiyum's arcane power. 'Mighty King Raiyum, forgive me! Please, let me live and I will serve you into death!'
And so this is how a bandit became one of the most feared men in Raiyum's kingdom.
Here lies the Wizard-King, Raiyum-de. Wise Ruler of Menechtarun, Lord of Scorpions, Demon Conjurer. Look upon his works and despair, O Sons of Man. For His kingdom is Eternal, and he reigns supreme over all lands under the sun.