A powerful stranger proposes a grievous ultimatum.
|King Abithar stood at the pinnacle of the Western tower overlooking the kingdom of Olencia. He observed people going to and fro about their business in tents and stands. He also saw the peasants working, and plowing in the fields of grain.
“Ah, another splendid morning,” said the king.
Then he noticed a man in black approach the castle gates on a horse. There was something ominous and deviating about him.
“What do you seek stranger?” he yelled to the man below.
“I come bearing gifts for the royal treasury,” the mysterious individual said as he pulled out a large sapphire from a big sack slung over his horse.
The king eyed him suspiciously. “Where do you come from?”
“I am a traveling merchant who does not dwell in a house but goes from place to place.”
He seems to be harmless. I might as well allow him entrance . The king thought.
King Abithar motioned for the guards to let him in. The stranger’s eyes were narrow and had dark bags below them. He seemed to be about sixty years in age with brown greyish hair.
The king was curious about this odd fellow and he hastened to meet him below in the main hall. He went down a set of steps lit by torches on the walls then to through the way to the hall. There he saw the man and rushed to meet him.
“Greetings and welcome to Olencia.”
“I must speak with you privately.” The man’s voice was harsh and raspy.
“My, you certainly are an adamant person. You did not even address me appropriately,” the king said annoyed.
“You have idea who I am. I suggest you accept my request.”
King Abithar was now quite angry. “You come here sojourning in my kingdom and this is how you treat me?”
“It appears that I must give a demonstration of my power.” The man widened his eyes and a pitch black hue covered them. “Tomorrow at this time part of your crops will be incinerated by barrage of lighting.”
“Who do you make yourself to be? A soothsayer?” enquired the king.
“Far greater. My name is Syndicus. I am the last of the elemental sorcerers. For centuries I have gone from kingdom to kingdom conquering each one.”
“I do not care who you are! Leave my kingdom!”
“I will return tomorrow,” said the evil sorcerer. He smiled coyly and left with a pompous poise and a small cackle.
Abithar watched him until he went out of sight. “Of all the nerve! Captain, set a guard at the entrance of the kingdom,” he commanded a bulky tall man who nodded. “I do not want him coming back.”
The day went on as usual. At dusk the shops were closed and people getting ready to rest. Then King Abithar retired as well.
The king awoke with a big boom that shook the castle. He jumped out of bed to his balcony. A tremendous flashing explosion filled the skies. Lightning struck the fields over and over. The people ran for cover screaming. The king grabbed his scalp.
“No!” he cried.
“After a few minutes, it was over. A part of the fields were singed to ashes.
“My word! He does have power! I must plead with him. Captain, the sorcerer must be at the gate. Allow him entry.”
The king waited apprehensively as he fidgeted with his hands on his throne. At last the evil fiend came before him.
“What do you want?”
“Why the kingdom of course,” he sneered to Abithar.
“If I give it to you, what will you do?”
“All people will pay homage to me and build statues in my honor. Everything else will stay the same.”
The king took off his crown and held it tightly. A few tears came from his eyes. “Very well.” With that he handed the crown to the evil man. He felt like he was about to cry a river of weeping and darted for his chambers. There he cried out his aching heart with wailing. His consuming emotions made him tired and he slept. Then he had a dream. Seven men in grey cloaks stood before him.
“King Abithar, do not despair. There is yet hope. My name is Cycher. I hold in my hand the implement of the sorcerer’s demise,” he said.
He held out a golden scepter. “Long ago we were elemental wizards as well but Syndicus destroyed us one by one. We seven come to tell you the place of the scepter.”
“How do you commune with me?”
”Our power allows us limited ability to make ourselves know to the living. Listen, the scepter lies in the deep of the cave beneath the castle.”
“The cavern flows with natural energy that lets us to physically cross over to the living realm. Find it!”
Then he awoke. It was midnight. He got dressed and made his way to the cave mouth stealthily while none were awake. He entered and it did not take him long to find the scepter. Yet it was floating over a pool of water. He looked around franticly and found large rock. He inhaled then then threw it at the scepter causing it to fall in the water. He recalled the last time was there and recognized a skiff wading in the water with paddle. He recovered the scepter that was afloat near the stone edge. As soon as he touched it, it glowed violet and with a great flash he found himself right in front of Syndicus on the throne.
“The Scepter of Theramoor! But how?”
“Just a few who you murdered!”
“Arrr!” said the sorcerer as he snapped his fingers creating a harsh wind that blew against him with hale as big as oranges.
Abithar held up the scepter and a vortex appeared that pulled in the wind and the hale. Then Syndicus was pulled in himself. Abithar collapsed.
“It’s over.” The king smiled and laughed.