Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2256814-Southwind
by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Fantasy · #2256814
A realm seeks salvation from a devastating blight from a vile wizard.
Artemis the elder stood atop the tower of Tanith. He looked at the blighted south land of Bane. And took a trembling breath.

The sound of clicking of footsteps on stone came from behind Artemis. “Elder Artemis, all have assembled and wait for you in the meeting chamber,” said the voice.

A gale wafted his blue cloak and he turned. “Thank you, Troas.”

Troas nodded and scampered down spiraling steps.

Artemis looked at Bane. “What is the realm of Ethereal destined for?” he said. “Is there nothing but doom?”

Artemis turned and descended the steps. At the base of the tower, he mounted a grey horse and sped to his home, the kingdom of Grayle. He rode, and admired the cone-bearing trees that rose like sentinels, keeping watch over the realm. Small bushes with green berries doted the trail to Grayle as birds perched on branches.

Artemis took in the fresh scent of tree bark and dewed grass. The trail was veiled by tree shadow until he broke through an open grove. The sun shone with honey-light through clouds.

Time went by fast as Artemis dazed in his reverie of nature. He came to the castle gate and slid off his mount. He entered the castle and walked through a large door to the right wall and sat at a square table with the eyes of about ten people on him.

“Your majesty, king Bronus.” Artemis said to a man in a blue and green robe with a cloak.

“Greetings, elder,” said Bronus. “Let us be frank; how do we keep the lands from being devastated by the burning hot Southwind of Bane?”

“It is obvious! We must take that cursed magic book!” said a man in grey robe with golden hems.

“That is true, king Kirtan, but we cannot just walk into Bane and steal it from that terrible sorcerer,” said Bronus.

Kirtan pounded his fist on the table. “Then I say we send in spies!”

The remaining kings broke into commotion.

“Order! Order in my chamber!”

A hush followed.

Bronus looked at Artemis. “What do you suggest, Elder?”

Artemis clasped his hands together and put them to his chin. “There is one thing. It is slim though. In my study, I have read of a book that is said to be more powerful than Jaden’s magic.”

“That does sound slim, too slim,” said another of the ten kings.

“King Pharen, my elder, is wise. He has never failed me,” said Bronus.

King Pharen folded his arms. “Humph…”

“Where is this book Artemis?” asked Bronus.

“It is said to lay in the eastern caves.”

Pharen shook his head. “That place is a labyrinth! Unless you have a map, how can you find this book?”

Everyone looked at Artemis. “Alas, I do not.”

“Then we are lost!” said Pharen, throwing his hands up.

“Peace, King Pharen! I am High king. I will decide.” King Bronus peered across the table of Kings and raised his voice. “I make an order to scour the caves and find this book.”

The kings murmured and looked down.

“The sorcerer, Jaden, could send his searing Southwind any day. We must begin looking in the caves.” Bronus clapped his hands and gave a deep nod. “Return to your kingdoms and send whatever help you can.”

The kings broke up and began exiting.

“My Lord, I wish to be among those who are to search,” said Artemis.

“Very well. I will give the order to look,” said Bronus as he walked off.

Artemis rushed out of the castle and towards the stables to get a mount. He took a torch then rode off on a mare, eastward. The other kings’ retinue had not disembarked, and Artemis rode alone in the moonlight.

Grayle lay east more than the other nine kingdoms, which were arrayed in a crescent shape on its side. The horse’s hooves pounded like drums as he came to a cave.

A dove with milky-white feathers stood there.

“What is a dove doing in a cave?”

Artemis went to the bird and it flew deeper into the cave, stopping at the far left of a fork in the cave with four more tunnels. Artemis followed the dove as it perched from tunnel to tunnel. The dove brought him far inside the cavern. It stopped in front of an old wooden chest with no keyhole. Artemis opened It and a burst of light filled the cave. He covering his face.

The light abated so he could see a man in shining white clothes, hovering over the chest. “This book is the Word of the great Lord. Speak its words in the hearing of Jaden the wizard and he will fall.”

“How will I reach him?”

“The book will keep you from anything forged by magic, even the tar pits brought about by Jaden. I will take you to the citadel of Jaden.”

In a flash of light, Artemis stood at the entrance to castle of the sorcerer. A harpy shrieked and lunged for him, but it burned up as it came. Artemis walked into the crypt of the castle and two wyverns spewed out balls of fire and it bounced off him. The two creatures fled.

Artemis stood baffled; there were no doors.

In a plume of smoke, a man in a black cloak with pale face, yellow eyes and a narrow face appeared. “What magic is this?”

“Your threat to unleash the searing Southwind on the realm is done. I hold the Word of the Great Lord!” Artemis opened the book and read. “Greater is He in us then he that is in the world!”

“Nooo! What power is this! This cannot be! None surpass me!” The wizard made wild hand motions, obviously trying to use magic. “My Power! You’ll die for this!”

Jaden lunged for Artemis, but he held his hand and twisted Jaden around.

“You’ll spend your life in a cell fallen wizard!” Artemis sighed and smiled. The enemy of Ethereal was conquered!

© Copyright 2021 brom21 (ion_7 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2256814-Southwind