Date Published: February 16, 2016
He Who Seeks Power, Seeks Destruction.
Over 1000 years ago, nearly all the ancient wizards were destroyed after the Wizard Wars. However, the one who started the War still remains, having worked his will in secret. If he can find the last Dragonwand, he will regain his powers as the dark dragon. Unaware of the Dragonwand or the betrayer, sixteen-year-old Markus is looking for a wizard who will give him a letter of recommendation for the College of Wizardry. During his journey, he stumbles upon Tolen the Wise, who sends Markus on a quest to end the darkness and find the Dragonwand before it gets into the wrong hands. As Markus discovers growing powers and makes allies, will he find what he needs to complete Tolen’s task, or will the ancient, dark wizard uncover the Dragonwand and forever change the fate of the land of Gallenor?
The Rakki representative decided he might address the King in person, in private. His people had been asking him for almost a year now to negotiate the return of their wizards from the Pale Labyrinth. He would be returning home soon, and he wanted to at least go back with the knowledge that he had tried everything he could.
Norl approached the throne and asked the Chief of the Palace Guard for an audience with the King, as procedure dictated that the Chief must escort any who ask for an audience. Chief Alex quickly agreed and walked Norl back toward the King’s personal chambers. Few courtiers were more respected or well known as Norl of the Rakki. He was wise, calm, humble, and, above all, intelligent. The Palace Guards held him in high regard and would often give him allowances not granted to others. In fact, Norl was escorted to the King’s chambers. It was not customary for anyone to stand there to wait. If the King was speaking with anyone else, the person waiting was usually asked to wait by the throne until called upon. Not even the Guards stood so near the King’s chamber doors, but Norl posed no threat to security, and surely the King wouldn’t mind.
The dog man stood there quietly. Being a courtier meant a lot of waiting and patience, which Norl demonstrated often. As a Rakki, he had superior hearing over most humans or any of the other races. Right then, this keen hearing picked up on the conversation within the King’s chambers all too well. The King was speaking with Wizard Hallond. Norl attempted to ignore the conversation for their benefit, but their words drew his attention.
“Do you think we can keep them at bay for much longer?” the King asked Hallond.
The wizard responded coolly, “Yes. By the time they finally realize what is truly happening, it will be far too late.”
“The Shlan ambassador was in to see me a day ago about freeing her people, and I’m sure the others will not be far behind. Keeping up the pretense about the wizards is not easy,” the King lamented.
Hallond calmly replied, “History supports our story. Wizards did dark deeds during the War. If it had not been for the dragons, the dark wizards could have taken control of everything.”
“Are you sure this will work?” the King asked the question as though he had asked it many times before.
“As sure as I am a wizard. Once we have the Dragonwand and can finally destroy that horrible statue, my real students will be able to put to rest all the pathetic leaders of the people and make you supreme lord of all. Then, with the combined magic of all the prisoners, I can finalize the spell that will grant you and all my followers immortality.”
“What of Tolen’s plans?”
Hallond’s response was quick and sharp. “Tolen is dead, and with him died any possible resistance. I have waited for over a thousand years for that old fool to die. I cannot say I did not try to help him along a few times. How amazing that time itself finally did him in.”
“The dragon statue still stands and keeps your powers at bay. Tolen’s statue should be dead if he is dead!” The King was angry.
“Rest assured, My Lord, the statue’s seal over me and my followers is waning quickly. Once we have the Dragonwand in our possession, the statue will be rubble and a new age of Gallenor will rise.”
The King let out a tired sigh. “I don’t know, Hallond. I’m still having second thoughts about all of this.”
Hallond put on the convincing tone that politicians attain for such situations as the present. “Sire, you must not let those foolish ideas enter your head. We are too far along with this to have second thoughts. Besides, we are doing this for the good of the kingdom.”
“I know. But, it is just so many lies. We have told the people of Gallenor nothing but lies for years now.”
Hallond comforted the King. “Is it not the duty of every citizen of Gallenor to work for a better tomorrow?”
“Well, yes,” the King answered.
“You have no heir, and, pardon me, but at your age, you are unlikely to produce an heir. So, my plan is the best thing for our future. You will be granted immortality, along with a few others with real power. Gallenor will have a leadership that will not age or die, and a brighter future will be ahead. All it will cost are the lives of a few loyal citizens of Gallenor.”
“Do we have to kill all of the wizards for this?” When the King said this, Norl whimpered a little outside the door, but it did not draw attention to him. The Rakki quickly covered his mouth and though his tail was between his legs, he stayed to keep listening. He had to hear this.
“I am afraid that it has to be.” Realizing the King was in need of more convincing, Hallond asked a leading question. “Would you not ask your soldiers to die for Gallenor?”
“Of course. But, this is different.”
“I don’t see how. Do not worry. In time, the brilliance of this will truly sink in. Once you are granted immortality, all the answers will be made perfectly clear. Trust me.”
The King asked the question that was on Norl’s mind. “Won’t the people resist this once they find out the truth?”
Hallond calmly answered, “Have faith in me, Sire. All will work out according to my plans.” He paused and then said, “I think I hear someone.”
Norl’s ears perked up and he started to step back. When he realized Hallond was approaching the door, he bolted. Hallond opened the door to find exactly what he hoped: nothing. So, he returned to the King, after making sure the door was securely closed.
Standing on the other side of a square column, Norl’s heart was pounding and his breath was trembling. In all his years of service to Gallenor and his people, he had never expected to hear such hideous things. A deep part of him begged for it to be a dream—a terrible, horrible dream. But, the reality was that it was no dream and he had to tell someone. But who could he trust? He had to go home. He had to bring this to his own leaders. The head of the Rakki people was a wise and honorable man. He would know what to do next.
Daniel Peyton is a fresh author whose talents includes, writing, sketching and dreaming out adventures in faraway places that he seeks to bring to paper. He lives in East Tennessee where he draws a great deal of inspiration from the unique landscape.
He has been featured in short story e-zines as well as flash fiction blogs. Legacy of Dragonwand: Book I is the first book in the Dragonwand Trilogy. Outside of authoring books, Daniel is an award winning cook, artist, and embroiderer. He is a distinguished member of the Sigma Alpha Iota, and often can be found teaching classes at his church.
Before he began seriously devoting himself to becoming a published author, he spent over ten years traveling the country as a member of the Miyagi Ryu Nosho Kai dance school, performing Okinawan classic and modern dances.