The Dark Secret Saga
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The Dark Secret Saga is a fantasy story written by the Italian band Rhapsody of Fire, written by Luca Turilli, told under their concept albums. The story is a sequel to The Emerald Sword Saga. Taking place a few years later, it includes one of the characters from the previous saga, Dargor. The story was told largely through character quotes in the CD booklet, in addition to actual voice-overs on the CD tracks, placed intermittently throughout each album.
All parts of the story have been released, split in five CDs:
- Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret
- Triumph or Agony
- The Frozen Tears of Angels
- The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony
- From Chaos To Eternity
Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret
Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret is the beginning of the saga. We are presented with the story of "The Seven Black Books" written by Nekron, son of the Hell God Kron. The books, written with angel blood and then becoming indestructible, tell a part of a prophecy known as the Dark Secret. The prophecy would one day awaken the seven demons who would open the gates to hell, releasing every kind of ancient monsters, alive and dead. Nekron would then be reborn to reign again in the unholy name of cosmic chaos, "And this time, he would reign supreme."
A search for the books was conducted. Through the ages, six of the books were found; however, the seventh book, containing the secrets on how to resurrect Nekron, remained unfound. Nevertheless, there was still hope. After he discovered the black books, an angel named Erian had a vision where the Gods of Cosmic Light told him how to stop the prophecy. Erian then wrote, in his own blood, the White Book which revealed how to stop the prophecy. The book represented a threat to the hellish prophecy and to Nekron's resurrection and then, in the age of the Red Moon, 3000 years before, the Lords of the Darklands won their battle against the Army of the Nordic Plains and found Erian's Mystical Book in Ainor's sacred halls. The book was then hidden in the Darklands, in a place known only by the master wizards of the Black Order.
There was hope, however, that the seventh black book held a clue as to where Erian's White Book was hidden, and so The White Dragon's Order, an order dedicated to protect the Enchanted Lands from the Darklands, was founded. A man named Iras Algor wanted to lead a search for the seventh black book. However, no one knew of a way into the darklands. Iras Algor then recalled that Aresius had told him to search for Dargor. Surely he knew the way. There were many objections to this, but Dargor was their only hope, and so Iras Algor, the hero Khaas, princess Lothen and the elven king Tarish, led by Dargor, set out to find the seventh black book hidden in the caves of Dar-Kunor. They took the pass of Erloria, the safer way to reach the grey mountains. At the beginning the journey was full of wonderful visions, in the Dragonlands they found a lot of lovely creatures. But after ten days this sight was over and, when they finally reach the falls of Erloria, the sunlight was over.
Now they were near the grey mountains. The path was full of rocks, the air was cold, but Dargor lead them through all these dangers. They also had to hide from the Black Order, the soldiers of Nekron. That night, in a magical vision, the father of Dargor, Vankar, appeared to the shadowlord. He reminded Dargor that he was half demon, and now he was a betrayer. Dargor faced him, even when he knew it was the truth.
Then, Iras led them to the mountains of Erinor, the only passage known to men in the plains of the Darklands. When they reached Hargor, it was time for Tarish, the elven king, to find a way through the caverns to Dar Kunor's entrance. The journey was dangerous, but Dargor protected them those two days. Finally they saw in the black and evil marsh, there lied the passageway between snakes and hellish mud. They saw the Dar Kunor river. Tarish knew that the only way was through the black ice water. He dived into the marshes and he soon disappeared. But he soon returned, with good news: he had found the entrance to Dar Kunor.
Symphony of Enchanted Lands II ends here, with the heroes taking a short rest in the Grey Mountains before entering Dar Kunor.
Triumph or Agony
Triumph or Agony, the second part of the Dark Secret Saga, depicts the journey of Khaas, Princess Lothen, Tarish, Dargor and Iras Algor through the caves of Dar-Kunor. It gives some history on the land of Hargor and how it was originally Irith, inhabited by Elves, before Nekron rose and took it. It also tells the story of the creation of the Emerald Sword and its sealing behind the gates. In the second-last song, the group journeys into Dar-Kunor. They are halted at a wide gap over a red river, but Iras discovers that Nekron's name is the key — the letters in his name correspond to different numbers in the Nekranos alphabet, aligned in accordance with Black Geometry, they cross on an invisible bridge.
They find the book, but taking it from its pedestal causes hands of rotting flesh to come up out of the ground. The group flees, attempting to escape, however, they reach the river again. This time, they have no time to solve the riddle again, and so, they leap into the river, reasoning that any death is better than the one waiting for them at the hands of the demons behind them. Luckily, they all escape with the final black book. Then, in Orin, the city of the grey walls, Hanos received them, one of the wise kings who believed in the order's plan to save the known world. After a long rest, they began their long journey back to home. It was time to open the seventh black book.
The Frozen Tears of Angels
The Frozen Tears of Angels was released 4 years after Triumph or Agony. The heroes returned to Elgard, where they hid the book they discovered in one of the secret chambers. However, the book took with it the sinister laments of the damned. In the meantime, the Black Order is organizing itself. After studying the book, Iras and the others became aware of the fact that Erian's book was not just a legend, and had to be found in an unknown place located between the white mountains in the northlands. The book had to be found to fully understand Nekron's prophecy and to stop it. To find it, Iras, Dargor, Khaas, Lothen and Tarish rode to the town of Ainor. In the highest tower of its fortress, the heroes found themselves between thousands of books. After a long study, they became aware of the name Har-Kuun, a fortress used by Nekron in the past, located somewhere near Nair-Kaan, the holy mountain in the north. This fortress was the supposed location of Erian's book. The heroes had to journey into a world, where even the tears of angels can't be anything else but frozen.
The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony
The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony was released in 2010, 4 months after The Frozen Tears of Angels. The EP has one song of 37 minutes divided in 7 acts. Khaas, Iras, Dargor, Lothen and Tarish travel the long journey to the icy frozen northlands at the borders of the known world and facing concrete natural obstacles and the inner demons lying in the depths of their conscience. They reach the ancient gothic fortress of Har-Kuun, a real monument of evil trapped between ice and snow, the mystic place where they finally can find the Erian's book - the book of the angels - which is the only possible way to understand the dark secret threatening the whole known world. After walking through an endless maze of gothic nightmare they find the legendary White Book. A black dragon made of stone stood guard over it.
Tarish betrays them and says the book belongs to the Black Order. Khaas and Dargor attack him and in the end Dargor was able to kill the elf king, but before dying he was able to tear some pages out of Erian’s book. The heroes travel back to the village of Nairen, home to the little elves. Here they could rest, and Iras after being treated by the elves could examine the White Book. But what he discovered in doing so, he never expected. Erian's words were not only completely clear, but they were tragic and prophetic as well. A revelation of angels...
From Chaos To Eternity
From Chaos To Eternity is the end of the saga and starts off with the words written in the White Book. Erian's words were clear, and finally the Dark Secret threatening the whole known world was revealed. During the last of the primordial wars the black dragon Thanor betrayed Nekron and told the angels where he was hiding. When Nekron discovered this the rage of hell quaked the earth!
Thanor was tortured, and his eyes ripped out of his face before he was killed. The dragon who stood guard over Erian’s book in Har-Kuun was Thanor himself. After the last of the primordial wars the angels took the eyes of Thanor and turned them into two precious stones; Aelin and Mornir. The angels threw the two stones on the earth, symbolically spreading courage and wisdom throughout the lands.
Erian’s book also revealed that on the day of the seventh eclipse (the last one of the century), the mystic energies of the eclipse would awake the seven winged demons who were capable of opening the gate of hell. But on the same day, if Thanor had gotten his eyes back, the scream of his soul would quake the earth again and he would rise for one last time to stop Nekron’s dark plans.
Aelin and Mornir were found, but at the cost of Dargor’s horse and the life of Khaas. The heroes went back to Har-Kuun where the fate of the world would be revealed. The Black Order is preparing for battle, and the smell of war is in the air. After long days of battle and bloodshed the army of darkness was defeated, but the war hasn’t been won yet. Time was running fast and the moon was slowly moving towards the sun. The heroes run through Har-Kuun and see the majestic statue of Thanor once again.
When the moon swallowed the sun the seven winged demons lying on the high dark columns surrounding Har-Kuun were slowly starting to open their eyes staring at the eclipse. Nekron’s laments became more and more audible. The time had come to give Thanor his eyes back. Thanor’s spell was broken and his majestic flight begun.
Etherus, master wizard of the White Dragon’s Order gave his life for the beloved lands. He used the forbidden spell to kill Koras, the mightiest of the seven demons. Thanor returned victorious after destroying the six other winged demons and returned to the main hall of Har-Kuun where he magically returned to stone. Thanor opened his eyes once again and two white rays of light hit the body of Dargor. Some prophetic sentences in the holy alphabet of angels were written across his body. The missing pages of Erian’s book were carved on Dargor’s body.
‘I am Erian’s reincarnation and the chosen one to walk through the gate of the ancient world in order to challenge Nekron’s hellish soul and the evil energy that generated him.’
Dargor Questions why he was chosen to go to the afterlife, knowing that he is half Demon. Iras tells him the gods and the angels have chosen him because Dargor chose light over darkness. He then accepts his fate, going into the heavens and challenge Nekron.
The portal closes behind Dargor, and Dargor must leave his physical body behind to serve the will of the angels. Dargor's destiny was finally clear; Erian's angelic spirit now embraced Dargor's immortal soul. Combining the supreme energies of the cosmos to become pure divinity. A god of cosmic light did breathe on the Earth... again