King of Scythia

Douglas J Cook

While King of Scythia makes a thrilling epic adventure/drama, it lends itself well to being an animation adventure.  Most of what we know about the Scythes comes from the Greek historian, Herodotus.  Amazing is the presence of such mythical characters as:  Amazon Women Warriors, Alexander the Great, Darius the Great, and Cyrus the Great.  They are all together in this story, not by my fabrication, but by historical account.

What if – the most powerful kingdom on earth erupts into civil war over the dispute of twin brothers who both claim the throne?

What if – Their quest for the throne is more over love of an Amazon Princess than the crown itself?

What if – This rivalry drives the nation into civil war making it vulnerable to invasion by hostile neighbors who have harbored the desire to destroy them for centuries?

The story opens during a decisive victory by King Atheas of Scythia over the King of Sarmatia driving the Sarmatians off Scythian lands.  Historians credit Atheas with uniting the four tribes of Scythia and forming the most powerful fighting force in ancient times.  Their might was so respected that Alexander the Great swung clear of Scythian land when he invaded Persia.  When Atheas returns from war, he is presented with newborn twins.  He names Melcore as his successor seeing that he is robust and thriving resembling his father; while Lemcore is the opposite in stature.

The King’s violation of tribal law is challenged by three witnesses:  Shaman Artemis, the Royal Nursemaid, and Queen Yazamante.  Lemcore was the first down the birth canal and by law should be named the heir to the throne.  Atheas refuses Lemcore anyway saying that he would not trust the fate of his kingdom to a shriveled runt.  To insure there are no problems over his indiscretion, he swears Artemis to secrecy and expels the nursemaid.

Twenty years pass and the two boys are raised to fulfill their individual roles in the nation; Melcore to be king and Lemcore to be his faithful adviser.  Everything is working out perfectly as Melcore is the athletic champion of the land which a good king should be, and Lemcore is wise and kind.  Then Darisa, daughter of the Queen of the Amazons, enters the Royal Court.  Both boys are love-struck, but there is a great problem for Lemcore.  Darisa is to be pledged to the successor to the throne.  With heart pounding, Lemcore decides this is unacceptable; he must have her for himself.

An unholy alliance forms in a cross town tavern.  Lemcore, Shaman Artemis, and a collection of discarded veterans plot to put Lemcore on the throne in place of Melcore.  The plan gets accelerated when King Atheas is killed in battle against Phillip II of Macedonia (Alexander the Great’s father).

Lemcore anxiously waits on Shaman Artemis to execute his plan (not realizing that murder is included in the agenda.  Amazon law requires Darisa wear the scalp of her first kill in battle on her wedding dress which buys Lemcore some time.  After the coronation, Melcore walks with his fiancé discussing their future together, when hired assassins from China (called Shinobi) attack the King.  Darisa, an Amazon Warrior, is a crack shot with a bow and arrow.  She cuts two of the assailants down before they can get to Melcore while the body guard intercepts the third assailant.

Thanks to Artemis’ plan gone awry, the wedding is on.  The honeymoon is cut short when the Persians invade.  With Melcore out of the city, there is time for the conspirators to grow the seeds of discontent.  The plan is to get the people to rise up and force the King to allow the people to elect their king instead of it being a matter of birth and tradition.  Artemis conducts a campaign to ferment dislike for Melcore and foster love for Lemcore.

The plan works; when Melcore returns from battle a war hero, he is met with insurrection rather than a hero’s welcome.  Despite a substantial backing for Lemcore, the mass still supports their King until the big reversal of the story occurs; Artemis, who remember is under oath of secrecy and cannot reveal the truth about the twins’ birth, produces the Royal Nursemaid who is not under oath.  This capsizes the ship-of-state and Melcore is banished from the kingdom.  When he leaves, his faithful army decides to follow him instead of staying with the new king.  This renders the kingdom defenseless from its traditional enemies.

The “BIG GLOOM” comes when Lemcore realizes that he has no chance of raising an army to fight three invading forces:  Alexander the Great and the Macedonians; Darius III and the Persians, and King Taurus and the Sarmatians.  With the unseating of Melcore, the four tribes fragment.

Melcore camps on the edge of the kingdom preparing to leave the land he was raised to reign over and protect; the land he promised his father that would never perish while he was alive.  He laments at his failure when he decides to make a suicidal charge into the heart of Alexander the Great’s forces.  He hopes his sacrifice may reunite the four tribes and they just may be able to fend off their enemies:  If they unite in time.

Meantime; Lemcore runs to Darius III and begs him to join forces with him to repel the Macedonians saying that they are enemies of both Scythians and Persians.  Darius laughs off Lemcore’s plea and orders him to be taken out and killed when suddenly the great ancient of the Scythians, Queen Tomyris, appears in an apparition before them.  She reveals that Darius and Lemcore are descendants from her affair with Cyrus the Great of Persia two hundred years before and therefore are brothers.

Word passes over the land that Lemcore and Darius have joined forces which rallys the tribes and they gallop to Melcore’s side to save him from destruction and save the empire.  In a historically recorded battle (Battle of Thates River), the Macedonian army was completely wiped out by the Scythian forces.  Lucky for Alexander, he had stayed behind in Thrace.

With Scythian power restored the two brothers find themselves back at the palace with the same problem before them.  Who is to be King, but ever more important, who gets Darisa?

Melcore realizes that Darisa has always loved Lemcore more.  He also realizes that he was called to venture out and find new lands.  Darisa does select Lemcore, and this opens the door to Melcore to go off on his adventure.

All three men: Melcore, Lemcore, and Darius; consequently are kings of their respective people.  Queen Tomyris from her cloud rejoices in the completion of her plan that has developed over centuries to install all of her offspring as kings.  All is well that ends well.

 

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© 2013 Douglas J Cook.  All rights reserved

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