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Magus Magnate (Chapter One)
Chapter One: Recruited!
Before everything turned upside down, I was much more sheltered and innocent, both in mind and spirit. If only my master had known what was going to happen, would he have made the same mistake? Or perhaps he did know all along, my companions and I being nothing more than pawns. Either way a series of events were put into motion that would change the lives of all the races of Marneria.
I will go back to the beginning so that everything is made clear, that all truths shall be known. It all started in the great city of my birth, Teras, when I was summoned to my Masters office. Although not completely odd, I thought it strange, however, because we had just spoken. Tap, tap, I knocked on the large wooden door, in response I heard a muffled voice say, “Enter.” I did as was commanded. The room was its normal mess of books piled high and scrolls half rolled littering every surface. Strangely though, we were not alone, two others stood in the room already. I first noticed the warrior priestess of Relon, she was beautiful, yet I could sense the danger in making mention of it. She was tall, athletically built, with long braided blonde hair, her eyes were the green of a glacier fed river. The other person in the room was obviously military; by the way he stood to one side of the room, his medals and badges displayed proudly on his chest. He was tall, powerfully built, with muscles bulging from any available opening in his armor; his face had an ugly scar that ran across the left eye and down his cheek. Like opposite sides of a coin, his complexion resembled the dark muddy underside, hers, the fair bright top.
I felt quite uneasy around them; I even had the brief thought that they had come to arrest me. Reassuring myself that Master would never let that happen, I bowed low to each in turn before turning to my Master, saying. “You have summoned me, Master. How may I be of service?” My voice must have betrayed my uneasiness, because I thought I heard the soldier chuckle.
“Flavion boy, sit, sit. These people are here to help out with a task. This is Arannia,“ said my master, waving his arm towards the woman, “a cleric of Relon. And this is Vandagar, a hero from the front lines of the Orc Wars.” The man stood at attention at the sound of his name saluting me in greeting.
“What services do you offer us at the library of Teran.” I asked, doubting that the man could probably even read or even write anything other than his name.
In answer to the masked question my Master said, “They are going to retrieve some very important texts for us, ones that will help our people better understand Relon. Am I wrong, priestess?”
“No, your lordship, you are right. According to my commanders a great library that Relon himself, uncovered the treacheries of the heathen races. If it is, as I believe that we live in a blessed time.” The woman spoke with a melodic voice. “That is why we need the help of scholars, to hopefully find the secret to the door.”
“This is all very interesting, but what do I have to do with all of this?” I asked, forgetting my place. “Am I to dig through texts to help solve this puzzle?” Looking at my Master with complete concentration, I stood waiting for some clue as to my required presence here.
“No, my boy, you are to escort these people to the library in my stead. Now, don’t look so worried.” He reassured me, I think I had gone pale. “I am too old and have far too many duties here in Teranus. These two are well trained and will protect you, and besides you have the blessing of the Church of Relon and the authority of King Teranus.” Our visitors did not seem to catch the barely perceptible amount of sarcasm.
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Vandagar spoke up now, in a booming voice that demanded attention, “We are to leave on the morrow soon as we break our fast. All the preparations have been made, horses, supplies, and now a scholar.” I could hear the scorn in his voice, and I knew this was going to be a very long journey. After a few other minor details were discussed, Lady Arannia and Vandagar departed, leaving Master and myself to ourselves.
“We are alone, and we need to talk now...” Master started to say, though I knew what was coming, so I cut him off.
“...Do not let them figure out what you are!” I said in a mocking tone. Master was not amused, I thought for a minute that I might have actually over stepped my boundaries. Just as quickly his face turned to a smile.
“Flavion, you have grown into a fine young man. I see in your future greatness, you may even be a greater wizard than me. But, alas, only we shall know of this.” With that last statement his face turned sadly serious. “You must not let the priestess know that you wield arcane magic’s. If the church learns of our treachery, than we will be put to a brutal death. Remember what happened to the other races?”
“Yes, Master, they were labeled as enemies because they were not willing to cast down their gods or be enslaved by the Empire.” I stated. I had learned these things years ago, although not everyone was privy to this part of history. “Will I ever get to show people what I can do? What if I have to save the life of Lady Arannia or this Vandagar? Do I let her die only because her clergy is so full of arrogance?” I could feel the heat in my temples flaring as my temper started to get higher. Taking a few deep breaths I forced myself to calm down. Master conjured me a drink of cold water, which I drank thirstily.
“Someday, son, you will learn to harness that anger and channel it properly. This mission is important however, so we need to tread carefully.” Master was very serious now. “The place that you journey to, if I am correct, may hold more secrets than the church will be able to keep.”
“Secrets, Master?” I inquired.
“Yes, secrets, but that does not matter right now. What does matter is your safety on this mission. You are to go and bring back any books that might have information about Relon, the other races, or what might have happened at the Library.” He was looking very fatigued now as if a weight was crushing him. He looked so frail to me. I stood to help him sit in his favorite chair as he spoke, “Flavion take my spell book it contains all the knowledge I have acquired over my nearly ninety years. Use it wisely, and do not let it secrets be known to anyone.”
I almost fainted. He had to be joking. “Master...” I started to protest.
“Do not argue this, Flavion, I have made up my mind. And beside you might need it to get into that library. There are a few other volumes that you should take, they might be of service. I have already had them gathered; they should be in your quarters shortly.” He was artfully changing the subject; I let him have it his way.
“What do I do if they try to keep...whatever we find, for themselves,” I was sure I knew the answer already.
“You will do what you must to make sure the truth is told,” was the only comment that Master made just before he drifted off into one of his many cat naps.
I left shortly after that, with my new treasure, however my heart was heavy. The task I had been given was huge, to protect the truth (as was the duty of every Library Keeper since the creation of the Library at Teras). I knew that everything would change; my life, master's, and everyone else' would change as well. My mind would not stop reeling! Walking to my quarters I thought to myself, “There will be no sleep tonight.” Tomorrow was a new day and with it a shadow that has encroached upon our lives will start to dissipate.
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© 2013 Jeremy Floyd