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Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Quest excerpt

Chapter 1

The wizard often told the story of the magic sword to the children, it was their favorite. He enjoyed watching the children's' wide-eyed gazes as he told of the oracles and the tale of the dragon. It pleased him to see the avid interest in the eyes of Kiera, the kings' niece. He had been told the next would soon be coming, but that had been before Richard, the kings' son, had been born. Yet the wise one knew that Richard was not the one. Yes, Richard was wise in his own ways, but magic was not one of his strengths. Of course, convincing the people that their little Kiera was a wise and powerful wizard of great destiny might prove to be difficult. Then again, if Kiera were as gifted as he felt she was, perhaps it would not be that difficult after all. Her comprehension of the great oracles at the young age of five years gave him confidence that Kiera was who he had been waiting for.

Each time he told the story it started the same: "They were times of peace and of oneness. They were the days of legends. There were three brothers sworn to protect the lands of this great continent. Each was given a magic sword with which to protect their given kingdom.

"Each of the three returned to their kingdoms and ruled without much trouble or worry for years. However, as time went by with little direct communication between brothers, mistrust began to grow deep in the hearts of these men. Each slowly began to build what became great armies, this out of fear that one; or both of the other brothers would attack his kingdom. The great separation began.

"The facts leading up to it have been lost over these many years, but eventually there was a great war. The three brothers fought against each other as enemies for a long time. The three kingdoms were nearly destroyed when the great ones finally interfered. The great ones were sorrowful that these brothers were so full of mistrust, they knew now that none were wise enough to properly lead their people. To punish them for their wrongs the Great Ones banished the brothers for all time, to a great plane of existence between life and death where anything can exist. These three great kingdoms were combined and the great ones chose a young boy to oversee their lands. This boy is believed to be the son of one of the brothers, though it is uncertain which brother was his father. It was agreed that this boy would become a student of the magic of the Great Ones.

"The Great Ones agreed that until a proper ruler could be found the boy would stay a child and rule through the innocence of childhood.

"Many years later, when a new leader could be found, the great ones decided that instead of entrusting all knowledge to this new leader, he would be called king and the boy would be named wizard, to oversee all matters of the great ones. The boy was given one of the swords to show his mastery of magic, and that he was in great favor with the Great Ones. Finally, after so many years as a child the boy began to grow to adulthood." Valyn stopped at this point, already knowing who would break the silence and with what words.

As expected, young Kiera anxiously asked, "what happened to the other swords?"

"That, child, is the most important part of the legend. The first sword was destroyed, the second was hidden away for another great wizard to find, one who may need to prove their mastery; to themselves as well as others."

It was young Charles who interjected this time, "has anyone ever found it?"

"No, it still remains hidden for the one gifted enough not only in magic, but patience, with a great love of humanity, and selflessness. Anyone not pure of heart will not be permitted to enter even its hiding place. Only one person is truly meant to possess that sword, only after it is taken will we know who that person is.

"The test of magic is the dragon who watches over the hiding place, there are those who believe that the dragon is actually the youngest of the brothers, but no one knows for certain. All we are left with are the vague clues in this book."

Kiera approached Valyn and the book he now held in his hands. He placed it on the table next to him. Kiera ran her small fingers along the edges of the book. Always questioning, Kiera looked up at Valyn, "How is it you have the book?" Valyn gently placed his arm around the young girl, she was an observant one, but this was not yet the time to give her answers. He smiled down at the child, "That is another legend, for another time." Kiera was by no means happy with that answer, but something told her the wizard was right, she would know when she needed to know. The young Prince Richard stood protectively near his cousin. "I would someday like to find this sword, Kiera you will go with me."

Kiera spoke only in a whisper, "perhaps I will go myself."

"But you are a girl Kiera, remember."

"Really!!??" she said tapping her little foot. "I do not care, I like magic," she looked up at Valyn, "that is all right?" The way the child asked the question was as if her entire life depended on his confirmation.

In that moment, in that question, so much was revealed to Valyn - the cycle, finally, was beginning again. Valyn put his arm around the small child, "of course it is, my child. You must always remember that."

There was a knock at the door and one of the maidservants entered and quickly curtsied. "Sorry to interrupt sir." It was obvious that something was wrong. "His majesty has said the children of Perog must prepare to depart." She whispered the rest to Valyn, "Krinylian soldiers were spotted outside the border. His majesty and the Prince are heading out with a small army. King Bartholomew is also going."

Valyn nodded, "may the Great Ones be with them on their journey and during their struggle." The children were quietly escorted back to the dining hall.

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