Prologue

A dark shadow of evil has spread across the ancient kingdom of Jamkard. King Jamshid, the beloved ruler of Jamkard, mobilizes an army of his brave allies to come together and defeat the evil forces wreaking their destruction and plaguing the land. Miraculously, Jamshid defeats the dark forces and orders a fortress to be built to protect his lands, should the evil return. Jamkard prospers and so too does Jamshid. Jamshid, intoxicated by his triumph and new found power becomes greedy for more. He calls forth his allies once again to invade other lands and to hunt down the lurking and dormant dark forces which causes new found destruction and misery. Consumed by his own vanity and desires for domination, he becomes self-destructive and loses favor with his people and the divine force that watches over him. Jamshid falls prey to his own madness and avarice.

Obsessed and haunted by the perceived evil across the lands, Jamshid decides to enlists an army of valiant warriors to join him in the northern lands to hunt down and destroy once and for all the evil forces. He abandons his beautiful young daughter, the Princess Shahrzad, and demands that the Council of Ministers replace him with Mardas, an ally, and the strong and respected governor of the southern lands. The Council agrees, and accepts for Mardas to rule in his place. The next day, Jamshid sets out on his journey to the north with his army of men, vanishing into history…

…Years Later

Many years have passed and the people of Jamkard have lost faith in Jamshid’s return and rumors spread that his replacement, Mardas is dead. Zahak, Mardas’ son is summoned to Jamkard to take over his father’s throne. Upon his arrival, he continues the will of Jamshid to fortify the kingdom and continues to construct a fortress to defend the city. To achieve this, he demands that all the young men of the kingdom enlist for work to help secure Jamkard. However, he is not as loved as Jamshid once was or even his father before him, and the people suspect his heart is filled with darkness and they are being tricked. Evidence to that is two infected wounds on his shoulders which has the murmurings of an evil force taking possession of him and has forced him to be a slave to the dark forces in return for his power.

Outside of the palace in the countryside of Jamkard, a farmer couple Faranak and Abitn give birth to a special boy whose face shines like the sun. They name him Afaridoun. Having to enlist like the rest of the young men of Jamkard, Abtin must leave his wife and young son and go to work at the palace. Faranak is fearful of this, as she has heard ill fates await men in the palace, but Abtin has little choice and must leave.

Rumors of unholy sacrifice to feed Zahak’s evil ambitions begins to spook the townsfolk. As each day passes without news of the young men, people become increasingly worried about their fate. Among those people is Kaveh, the courageous Blacksmith who has sent his seven sons to the palace for work and has been waiting for news about his children ever since.

 

 

One night, information arrives in the form of an escapee from the palace, Abtin. He is terrified at what he witnessed and tells the townspeople of the nefarious enslavement and human sacrifices that is happening in the palace. Shocked, the townspeople listen on with horror unsure if he is mad or telling the truth. Abtin gathers his family and hurries to flee the kingdom but they are caught by Zahak’s soldiers. Abtin is beaten and shackled before his wife’s tearful eyes who desperately pleads for his release to no avail. Abtin is taken away and killed.

The people’s fear and anxiety reaches its peak when Zahak’s soldiers (Rouzbans) come to collect taxes from all merchants and tradesmen in the bazaar. The soldiers demand unreasonable sums from each shop owner which makes the discontent in the town boil over. Kaveh and others in the bazaar protest and confront the Rouzbans. Fighting breaks out and the townsfolk turn into an angry mob attacking the soldiers and demanding to know what has happened to their children. The soldiers are run out of the city and the townsfolk are still desperate for answers.

Kaveh and his followers plan a covert operation to enter the palace and find out the truth. They secretly enter the palace and in the pits of Zahak’s work dungeons, they come face to face with the headless corpses of their sons. The rumors of Zahak’s sacrificial evil acts are true and his dark secret is revealed.

Meanwhile, suffering from nightmares of his own destruction Zahak seeks the advice of a sorcerer to interpret his dreams. The sorcerer prophesizes of an infant boy whose father was killed by Zahak, who will one day grow up and rise against him thus, fulfilling his nightmares and ending his reign on the kingdom. Based on the sorcerer’s predictions, Zahak summons his Rouzbans and commands them to go into the town and slaughter all newborn sons.

As the Rouzban soldiers force their way through the town a violent struggle takes place between the soldiers and the townspeople. Faranak, panicked and scared tries to sneak out the town to save her son Afaridoun’s life. However, she comes face to face with a wall of the Rouzbans. In order to save Afaridoun she fights back and is mortally wounded. Dying, she hides her son in her robes trying one last time to protect him from the deadly soldiers. Her lifeless body becomes a shelter for the young boy.

At the same time, Kaveh and his followers return to the town to reveal Zahak’s betrayal and wickedness only to find the town in brutal chaos. Kaveh comes across the dead body of Faranak slumped against a wall. Still alive underneath his mother, Kaveh takes Afaridoun in his arms and heads out of the town for a monastery at the summit of the Alborz Mountains, where a great and trusted holy shaman, Shahrasb, lives.

Years pass and Afaridoun has become a young man who has benefited greatly from the knowledge of the Alborzians’ military and virtue. During his years in the mountain sanctuary he has been trained, like all who live there, to be a great and righteous warrior. One day, Shahrasb the shaman, is inspired by a divine message to gather an army lead by Afaridoun to fight the Zahak rule. Afaridoun however, does not yet have the adequate knowledge or experience to guide such an army. Emotionally he is in turmoil and carries the seed of vengeance within his heart, incessantly thinking of taking revenge on Zahak for the death of his parents. Furthermore, he is in love with Mandana, one of the girls who was spared the slaughter of Zahak and sought refuge. Adhering to Shahrasb’s call, Afaridoun and a group of followers head for Zahak’s dungeon to save a number of youth still imprisoned therein. The mission doesn’t go to plan and Afaridoun causes the death of one of the leaders of Kaveh’s army due to his rashness and inexperience. Unable to free the prisoners the mission is a failure and the only way into the palace is now sealed off forever. All advances against Zahak’s treachery is lost.

Afaridoun returns to Alborz defeated. No longer having the desire to lead or the heart for the fight he is ashamed to face his fellow warriors and the woman he loves. He leaves Alborz Mountains heading for an unknown destination in exile. On the way, he comes across a mother and child who are the victims of the evil Rouzbans. Unable to control his rage he slaughters several of the Rouzbans but not having enough strength to confront their small group all by himself, he is overpowered and captured. Afaridoun is transported to Zahak’s dungeon like so many of the other youth of Jamkard.

Having lost all hope and filled with despair, Afaridoun surrenders himself to his fate in the dark, damp dungeon of Zahak as he awaits death. Suddenly, a peaceful light descends upon him and a dream fills his heart with hope: it’s a dream that reminds him of who he is. With an inspiration that fills his very being together with the bitter experience he has gained, he finds hope and lightness of heart to fight again. With the help of the other prisoners, he makes a plan for them all to rise up and escape. Intrepidly, Afaridoun and his followers with the mediation of Lady Shahrzad, free hundreds of young people imprisoned in Zahak’s dungeon. They head for the sanctuary of the Alborz.

Afaridoun and the freed prisoners arrive to Alborz just as Kaveh, filled with despair, is drawing up another plan to conquer Zahak. Afaridoun’s return reignites hope in Kaveh and his army. With new found courage and resilience, Afaridoun is chosen to lead the army. With the intent to uproot the reign of Zahak and destroy him once and for all, Afaridoun’s troops head for Jamkard reinvigorated.

Afaridoun’s army reach Jamkard without encountering any obstacles on their way.  Suspiciously, the town is empty and there is no sign of either Zahak or of his troops. Immediately, Afaridoun and his men capture the palace, but they are merely caught in the spider web of Zahak. Zahak rises from the very heart of the palace and commands an unearthly dark force of demonic soldiers to fight Afaridoun and his men. A terrifyingly deadly battle begins and in the very heat of war, Rouzbeh (Kaveh’s last and only son) dies a heroic death. Likewise, the power of the dark forces reaches its pinnacle but Shahrasb, the divine shaman, rises to sacrifice himself to break the spell of the evil dark forces. At the peak of the battle, Afaridoun comes face to face with the insidious Zahak. A formidable fight takes place and Afaridoun is victorious and defeats Zahak. Afaridoun shackles Zahak and drags him to the summit of the Damavand where he is imprisoned forever. The crowds, finally free from Zahak’s evil reign, cheer Afaridoun and welcome him as their hero and new leader of Jamkard.