The High Wizard of Silvinesh - Chapter 1 - Message from the Past The High Wizard of Silvinesh by R.A. Scully E Eloquent Books New York, New York This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Copyright © 2009 R.A. Scully. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, typing, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher. Eloquent Books An imprint of AEG Publishing Group 845 Third Avenue, 6th Floor—6016 New York, NY 10022 http://www.eloquentbooks.com ISBN: 978-1-60860-214-8 Book Designer: Bruce Salender Printed in the United States of America. To my dearest friends and family. I care deeply, for each and every one of you. Our lives, and the precious moments we spend together in this beautiful world, have inspired me. Thank you for everything, especially your time, patience and love. It will never be forgotten. Chapter 1 – High Wizard of Silvinesh Message from the Past The fire within the hearth of the ancient library flickers brightly casting its warmth and twinkling light outward, breaking through the shadows along the endless rows of dusty old tomes. Alone in the very centre of the ancient library, a tall, slender figure with flowing white robes, which have been lovingly lined with silvery glowing trim embossed with magical elvin runes, sits quietly while he leafs through several curled scrolls upon a small oval oak table. William Silverblade sits silently concentrating with all of his focus upon the ancient elvin text. He had studied with his grandfather, centuries before, learning all the different languages of the Silvinesh people, but it had been a very long time, almost an age, since he had read this extremely old dialect. In the beginning, seven races of elves had been born into the old world that now made up the whole of Silvinesh, but like so many things, the history and origins of those early beginnings were mostly lost to the passage of time. As the old wizard tries his best to decipher, the many carefully scribed elvin symbols, the light becomes far too dim for him to continue on, and he stops for a moment to rub his tired, pale blue eyes. The old wizard turns away from the yellowed parchment, and stares into the blazing fire of the hearth, pondering the meanings of the words he has been able to extract so far. William realizes beyond a shadow of a doubt that some hope may come from what is yet to be revealed within the final passages of the ancient message. It was only days before, when William’s oldest, and dearest friend, Steven, first discovered these worn parchments on the shambled remains of a lost elvin messenger. Within a perfectly sealed scroll case hanging around the skeleton’s neck, the once ivory pages remained safe, and lay waiting for nearly three centuries within a cave in the northern forest of Silvinesh. The important message had been protected from the ravages of time within the sealed ornate scroll case that was originally meant to reach the White Tower. Tragically, the mortally wounded elvin messenger attempting to return home so long ago, had fallen. Alone in the wilds, far off the main road, this poor lost soul had lain undisturbed until the fateful day Steven had come across him. What had happened is still unclear, but he had no doubt suffered grievously, as evidence gruesomely suggested from the many long unnatural gouges through his weathered elvish armor. The old White Wizard slowly turns back to the writings, but finds the light far too dim for him to continue on. William reaches out his hand, and draws his long wooden staff towards him. The magical staff suddenly shimmers with a faint blue glow, and floats through the air from where it has been quietly resting upright against the cold white marble wall of the White Tower Library. Originally carved long ago from a solid straight piece of fallen white pine, it was crafted into a six-foot long walking stick for the old wizard to use for both practicality, and as a deadly magical weapon when necessary. Atop the smooth white staff, made from the hands of the most skilled elvin craftsman in Silvinesh, rests the source of its power, a faintly glowing blue orb. The length of the staff shimmers with an aura of magical blue light, and the crystal orb flickers with crackling electrical energy, hinting at its awesome power just waiting to be unleashed. William draws the staff telepathically into his outstretched hand, and grasps it tightly. He whispers to the staff, like one would talk to an old friend, and utters the command to bring forth its inner light. “Illuminaetus!” the old wizard softly speaks, as he has spoken so many times before, and the room fills with the warm glow of the blue crystal orb. “There!” he says to himself, and continues his study of the ancient elvin text. The wizard reads on, and finds that this once lost message refers directly to the Crystal Mountain Fortress far to the north of Silvinesh. It speaks of a power within that was beyond the control of a group of White Wizards working there. The message pleads for the High Wizard of Silvinesh to send help immediately, or all would be lost. The message also warned of a deadly prisoner that had somehow escaped his magical bindings, and was running rampant within the mountain tunnels. William searches his memories, and recalls the stories he had studied when he was but a young novice of the White Tower. These vague stories hinted at the magical workings that went on within the dark depths of the mountain citadel, but never directly confirmed anything. The Crystal Mountain Fortress was created centuries before William’s own birth, and was where this message had originated. It is a topic of heated debate, and secrecy amongst the older White Wizards. William could remember his grandfather’s reluctance in confirming his early suspicions of what was truly going on in the northern citadel, and the old elf’s silence spoke volumes of the risks that may have been taken there. William knew in his heart that the White Wizards of old must have delved far too deep in their search for magical knowledge, and brought into the mountain something that was beyond their control. In all his studies, William had found little information about the Crystal Mountains other then the design of the tunnels, nothing of the true workings within, nothing specific, only shadowy clues of what may have been. William knew his predecessors left such information out of the Silvinesh history intentionally because of both their pride, and the shame such things could bring to the White Tower. The elvin wizards were too blind to see when they were wrong, and too stubborn to not admit when they knew they were. Three hundred years had passed since the White Wizards had used the Crystal Mountain Fortress, and none had returned home alive who were sent to investigate the missing mages. A few mortally wounded elves sent on these treacherous investigations had managed to describe the horrors they faced at the foothills of the Crystal Mountains before they died of their grievous wounds; not unlike the dead messenger Steven had come across. From these few tales that had been recorded through the hundreds of years since that time, William had pieced together enough clues as to what this beast may be that had attacked them all, and no doubt still guarded the entrance of the mountain citadel. The old wizard turns back to the yellowed parchments upon the tiny oval oak table with the glowing warm blue light of his staff to continue reading the last of the tragic message. Several hours of study continue on into the early morning hours as William completes the translation of the ancient elvin text. It is as he had suspected all along, since first seeing the curled yellowed parchments, the glimmer of hope for both Silvinesh and Thelentia, but to reach such a power will prove more difficult then he could have ever imagined. The device he will be seeking, is a creation forged by the Creator herself, and within the mountain is where it waits, behind protective shields, or at least this is what William hopes is still the case. He had learned from the desperate message that the White Wizards of the Crystal Mountain were attempting to fight off a powerful creature sent seeking retribution for some wrong they failed to mention in the letter. Whatever had happened, the terrified wizards were calling for the aid of the High Wizard, and Council of Nine to come immediately. What terrible things had happened to those poor lost souls trapped in the northern fortress remained a mystery, but one thing is certain, help had never come to them. With the creature loose within the mountain citadel, their fate was surely a gruesome death beyond imagination. They had made some kind of fatal error, and it cost them all dearly with the most precious thing they had, their own lives. After carefully rolling the yellowed parchments into a tight mass, the old wizard slowly slides the whole into the ornate scroll case that had originally kept it safe for three centuries. With a sigh he breathes, from both the exhaustion he feels and the sense of dread weighing on his heart because of what now lay ahead of him, William slowly begins to make his way over to the library’s massive window. The rays from the rising sun, streaking across the eastern horizon, have just started to light the land, and call out in all its glory, the beginning of a new day. Looking out through the clear sections of the painstakingly crafted panes of glass resting between two stain glass depictions of White Wizards standing guard over the White Tower Library, William admires the garden below him, with the rays of golden sunlight shining through the pale green leaves of the giant oak trees all around. The old wizard smiles, as he remembers times long ago with his lost love Katrina. They had only been married for two years, when William had tragically lost her. Katrina had loved the garden, and spent countless hours sitting under these same great oak trees surrounding the beautiful greenery, and fountain area within the garden’s centre. William smiles even more, while thinking back to that precious time long ago, and how he loved Katrina, with all of his heart. That same old heart now aches for her, and all that has been taken from him with her untimely passing. William sighs once again, and hangs his head low for a moment, swallowing back the heartache. He holds himself up with the aid of his long wooden staff, his age weighs heavily on him now, and he doesn’t know how he will be able to complete the task he has in mind to accomplish. It will be a risk he knows that he has to take, and one he will need help from both family, and close friends, if any chance of success will even be possible. So many preparations had to be completed before the journey can begin, but so little time is on his side. The siege to come in Thelentia will be rapidly approaching, and little hope remains for his human brethren to defend the walls that lay between the White Tower of Silvinesh, and the advancing army of darkness. Both William’s elvin and human brethren will need his help before this clash is over, and acquiring the power from the Crystal Mountain Fortress, must be successful, if all he holds dear to his heart will have any chance of survival. A tear runs down the old wizard’s cheek, and his head begins to ache from all the many thoughts of what lay ahead. “Just a little longer old wizard and you can finally rest for all eternity,” he whispers as comfort to himself. William slowly turns from the view of the garden Katrina had loved, and makes his way to his bedroom down the long dimly lit hallway exiting the library. A few hours of sleep will be all he’ll have before the others call upon him. The meeting with his fellow White Wizards, known as the Council of Nine, is scheduled for later this same morning to discuss the fate of Thelentia, and also to review William’s findings from the ancient message. He knew he would have to be well rested before facing his Council brothers to reveal what he had learned, and the plan he hopes above all else, may help save them all.