An old fashioned sword & sorcery, transgender serial!
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis
Sorcery is alive in Aswin where monarchs have absolute power and politics is driven by the sword and conquest. In this alternate Earth, Riclamin the Younger, Novice Knight in the legion of Lord Walril undergoes a transformation that leads the Known World of Aswin to a new destiny! From Älvdalen, the northern most province of the kingdom of Everhaven, to the golden capital, Therilia and to the Northern Reaches, this is an epic transgender tale of swords, sorcery, Kings, Queens, Wizards and, of course, romance!
Preview Episode 1 of the Tales of Aswin.
Sometimes, when the occupants of Castle Estosia and the small surrounding villages are asleep, I perch on the battlements to gaze at the white shape of the moon.
The Castle Estosia has stood for three hundred winters and is the centre of our world! It has withstood the hordes from the North and many would be conquerors from the southern parts.
It may be the centre of our world but, in terms of Aswin, our world is small. The Castle Estosia and the surrounding villages are the population centre of Älvdalen, the northern most province of the kingdom of Everhaven.
From time to time, Lord Walril, our Chieftain and Ruler, receives messages from the capital of Everhaven, Therilia but usually we are forgotten.
As I am usually forgotten! It is easy for me to climb the winding stairs to the ramparts. No one challenges me.
The guards are few and most sleep on their shifts so there is no chance of discovery. The top battlements are high enough for me to see down the valley and, if I turn behind the castle, the snows of the distantBorderMountains.
There is much to see from such ahigh point. Only the eagle himself is higher!
The valley winds away from the castles vantage point and, behind us stand the mountains which serve as a border from our small world and the Northern Reaches, the land of ice and snow and fierce warriors.
Anyone standing on such ahigh pointwould be lost in the details of such a landscape but, it is the white faced Lady of the Moon I come to see. When I can, in the dead of night, I climb to watch her sail serenely through darkness. In those stolen moments, I dream of a different world, a world where all things are true, where my presence means something!
Some boys struggle as the days of the child are left behind and it is time to learn the arts of manhood. The others seem to grow into being men with ease while I am lost.
I do not know what that means but the world I live in does not seem to fit me as it should! I watch others and see them live their lives while I feel as if my life is an ill-fitting garment, one that does not fit in all the places.
Of course, I dare not say such a thing in the cruel, harsh world I inhabit.
For some strange reason, I believe things should not be as they are! I feel I have lost so much but do not know why.
It is easy to say that, as a lost child, it was clear I had lost much but it is more than that. Much more but it is just an uneasy feeling and one I cannot substantiate in any way.
My life began poorly.
Cheated of a mother and especially cheated of a happy childhood. All those things were not given to me when I was small. My childhood seems but a dream and sometimes, in many memories, a bad dream!
Not quite a nightmare but on the border of night sweats and terrors!
My mind cannot conjure up peace and security. Strange visions come to me in my dreams, visions that puzzle and tease me and yet, give no answers.
And so, I stare at the moon and dream.
Some whisper that dreams are evil portals to a dark world. That we should not dream of better things and even better worlds. We are but men and, therefore, should accept our dismal lot!
Others say that dreaming is a waste of time and a man should not be idle.
Lord Walril has said many times that we have our lives and we must make of each life as best we can. There is no point, he would shout, in thinking of a different future!
His favourite saying is that we are all born and we all die! In between, there is only duty!
And so, here I am between a vague birth and a certain death!
Of course, I would never disagree with Lord Walril. What fool would? Such disagreement would result only in death! However, I secretly believe it is not so wrong to dream of what might have been and, perhaps, to wish for Magik!
Wishes and dreams cannot really hurt anyone, can they? And is it wrong of me to dream of another place, another time where I can be happy and free of obligations? Where, perhaps, I have a life that fits me? Is that too much to ask?
Does such a place even exist?
Can I be free of this life and live fully with satisfaction and, dare I speak of it, love and respect?
What do those strange dreams mean that have plagued me since my childhood?
Why cannot I not recall all details of my childhood?
Why is it all a blur?
The same questions would fill my mind each night of the full moon as I stared at the delicate orb, bathed in the white shimmering moonlight.
The Moon always chose not to answer me!
I am Riclamin the Younger, Novice Knight in the legion of Lord Walril who is Natural Ruler of Älvdalen and the Mountain Passes.
The Province of Älvdalen is nestled in a river valley that is lush in spring, desolate and cold during winter. In those times when the sun is low and the snow is thick, the frozen river would appear as a winding mirror from the castle battlements and the valley would be white and pure in the grip of winter.
Lord Walril has ruled this valley for many years. My adopted father, Riclamin the Elder sits at Lord Walril’s round table of advisers and is revered throughout the Province as a wise knight.
Some claim that he is even known in the capital of the kingdom of Everhaven, Therilia. I do not think that is possible! How would anyone in Therilia know anyone from the most northern province of Everhaven? I suspect the stories about my father were seeded by himself to build his myth amongst the followers of Walril.
One myth that made me chuckle was that he held the feared Knights of the Northern Reaches in the Mountain Passes and forbade their passage unless they paid a toll.
I am sure that is a myth as no man could hold the Knights of the Northern Reaches who are feared throughout the Known World of Aswin. They are the fiercest warriors in all of Aswin and feared accordingly.
It is plain to me the tale of my adopted father holding the Northern Knights single handedly is a myth. He enjoys sowing myths of his so called deeds.
I fear my father cares more for what people think about him than he does of his own obligations. If I were his flesh and blood would he treat me differently? Unfortunately, there is no doubt I am a disappointment to him.