A young inexperienced mage is put under a geas that brings him half a world away to danger
The Powers Of Haddenspor
Chapter 1 - Tower Of The Elements
Tafon slung the bag containing his few possessions over his shoulder, with an air of confidence, he would not have credited himself less than a year ago. He sauntered down the gangplank taking a look back over his shoulder at the Kolo Duck. Captain Jessy stood on deck watching him leave, with a nod of his head.
All the farewell he would get from the captain even though he had asked Tafon only a short while ago to stay on as his first mate. Tafon acknowledged the nod with a wave before turning once more to look around the dockside. He sighed, like a man happy to return to dry land. The Kolo Duck had been his home for several months now, and although he had taken well to a life at sea. It felt good to have solid ground under his feet and to see faces other than the crew again.
None of this though took away from that feeling of dread, and anger that nagged at him. The thing that brought him here half a world away to Haddenspor. Somewhere not far away now someone or something he was not sure which waited. Waited for him, had compelled, forced him to leave his home. He had not realised at the time just what was happening to him already an outcast in his village for using magic lore which had been forbidden by the elders. Tafon had not seen any harm in it; at first, all he had done was use a little magic here and there. Only small things which he thought had gone unnoticed. Now it seemed he was paying for his sins. It was shortly after he had been caught using magic that he first felt the geas on him. At first, he had tried to ignore it until the compulsion became too loud for him to ignore any more. When he had set out, he thought it some urgent plea for help that his use of magic had somehow sensed. Then he met an old witch woman in Janolo that told him someone had put a geas on him. She had tried to lift it without success, in the end, she said the only one who could is the who put the geas upon him.
He walked along a dirty narrow street strewn with litter and reeking of an obnoxious odour that made him wrinkle his nose in disgust. Looking up, he could see in the distance a tower that dwarfed every other building in the city. Its steepled pinnacle seemed to touch the sky. Somehow he knew that is where he needed to go. He made his way towards the city centre the streets more and more crowded with people jostling one and other as they went to and thro talking and calling to one other. Their voice’s merging into one cacophony of noise never had he seen so many people in all his life.
Tafon found his way to a busy Inn, buying some food and drink and sat listening to the local gossip. There appeared to be some trouble from what he could gather a kind of political power struggle. The bit of information that caught his attention, however, was about someone trapped in a magic sphere there was also something about the daughter of whoever was trapped in the sphere.
After leaving the Inn Tafon made his way to the tower, the geas felt stronger now. There were guards posted outside the main entrance into the area of the tower. The tower itself seemed further back than he thought at first, Keeping his distance he walked around the circular outer wall. He eventually found a servants entrance and waited as the sun sank on the horizon. As he expected a horse and cart drew up outside the gate making sure no one saw him. He crept under the wagon hoisting himself up and held on to the central wheel shaft as the gate opened. The driver spurred the horse on entering the inner courtyard as the gate closed behind them.
“So far so good,” he whispered.
The cart came to a halt outside a storehouse Tafon could hear voices and a door opening. He waited several minutes listening when all appeared quiet he dropped down keeping low he moved between several buildings keeping to the shadows as twilight began to shroud his surroundings in semi-darkness. He came to what he thought was another wall at first; up-close it appeared to be a domed circular building. Feeling his way around the building, he eventually came to a locked door. Tafon smiled, opening locked doors with a spell; he knew well. Reciting the necessary mantra in his head, he expecting the door to open straight away. Nothing happened, cursing under his breath he tried twice more.
“Is it magically locked?” He considered, trying once more this time the door creaked open. Keeping low he peered inside. To the right, a wall blocked the way; left a wide corridor dimly lit by wall-mounted torches on either side. Silently he entered closing the door behind him. On the far side of the hallway diagonally across he made out another door. Nerves jangling he quietly approached the door on the opposite wall. Putting his ear to the door, he listened. Tafon could barely make out voices raised as if in bitter debate. Suddenly he heard footsteps echoing down the corridor drawing nearer. Caught in the light of nearby torches he sought to try and merge with the shadows. He moved away from the door noticing at the same time what looked like a small recess further along the hallway he headed towards it. The nook turned out to be a stairway leading upwards. Slightly relieved he took the stairs at the top he stood on a circular balcony looking down into a room with a long table in the centre around which he could make about six or seven men talking. At the head of the table sat a woman with long auburn hair braided at the back he couldn't make her features from his position but from the way she sat rigidly he guessed not too happy with the discussions taking place.
As he watched the woman roughly stood pushing back her chair and left the men still arguing amongst themselves. Tafon moved around the balcony finding an adjoining section that led into the central tower. The geas felt even stronger now he saw more stairs leading upwards. Climbing higher, he stopped several times to catch his breath. Finally coming to a door which opened seemingly on its own as he reached for it. Entering a room lit solely by a magic crystal-like substance inside which an elderly white-haired and bearded man stood transfixed. Instinctively Tafon knew the man frozen inside the crystal to be the one responsible for putting the geas on him. He studied the crystal and the man within for several minutes trying to think of way to break the barrier. He tried one or two spells none of them worked. So engrossed in trying to solve the puzzle before him he didn’t notice someone else enter the room behind him.