A wizard wants an object of great power from a king, but at what cost?
|King Darvy stood atop the White Mountains, smitten by the vicious blasts of snow, pelting his thick wool cloak. |
“Where to go? Which direction do I take? I know you’re here, son.”
A man dressed similarly ran up to Darvy’s side. “Lord Darvy, we have explored more caves to no avail.”
“The sorcerer’s cave lair is somewhere on this mountain. What have I allowed to occur, Jasper? It is all my fault,” Darvy said.
Jasper shook his head. “No, my Lord. None could have protected the young prince from a cunning wizard. We will find your son.”
Darvy was not a reader or one to take to religion but in his desperation, he kneeled. “Oh, God of the Word, I pray you to return my son, Drake, to me.” He rose and sighed. “It is enough for now. Let us return.”
“Yes, my Lord. I will inform the others,” said Jasper as he ran off.
King Darvy held his peace all the way down the mountain. Along the way, a flash of lightning followed by thunder echoed around the mountain when everyone was almost at the base of the mountain. They were out of the harsh blizzard and now a light gale wafted past Darvy.
“I wish to speak to Priest Eckart, Jasper. Tell Queen Ithia and my children I will be late for dinner.”
Jasper bowed his head and ran off.
As Darvy approached the edifice of the Grand Cathedral, he noticed one of the pillars of the colonnade entryway had a large crack in it. Who would desecrate a place of religion like this? he thought.
Darvy entered the spear shaped door and walked down the pew to the priest, kneeling at an altar at the front of the building.
“Priest Eckart, I am no pious man, but I am at a straight. I ask you, will I retrieve my son?”
Eckart stood and faced Darvy and bowed. “I have been in much prayer. And I do believe he will be returned to us.”
King Darvy smiled broadly and stepped closer to Eckart. “Truly!”
“Indeed, my Lord.”
“I do not know.”
“We shall see it together, then,” said Darvy.
King Darvy took a deep breath and put a hand on Eckart’s shoulder. “I thank you.”
Darvy left the priest and walked outside. When he had taken less than ten steps towards the castle, a plume of purple smoke rose from the ground.
When it dissipated, there stood the vile wizard Nephaal, with prince Drake at his side. “Greetings your majesty. I hope your son’s absence has not ailed you,” said the wizard with a cackle.
“Wicked sorcerer! How dare you steal my son!”
“Father!” cried prince Drake.
Darvy went after him but Nephaal put up his palm. “Stop! Or else.”
“Why have you taken my son?” Darvy said with tears.
“I want a trade. I will return your son for the Stone of Raffa.”
“So be it then! Give him back!”
Nephaal narrowed his eyes. “First the stone!”
Darvy heard the words of priest Eckart from behind. “My Lord, you cannot do this! If he gets the stone, it will grant him unbelievable power!”
“Silence!” shouted Nephaal. “Bring me the stone. I will wait.”
Darvy turned but Eckart caught his sleeve. “You must heed my words.”
“I will not! My son means more to me than you could ever know. He is worth more than the whole kingdom!”
King Darvy rushed for the castle and when he arrived he ordered the royal treasurer to fetch the Stone of Raffa. With the stone in hand, he took a horse back to Nephaal. Darvy dismounted.
“Please! If you give him the stone, he will have enough power to decimate the kingdom!” said Priest Eckart.
Darvy glanced at Eckart and then at Nephaal. Darvy let out a cry and fell to his knees. “What shall I do!”
“Give me the stone or he dies!” said Nephaal.
“God forgive me,” Darvy uttered as he gave Nephaal the stone.
Drake ran to his father.
“Ha, ha! Foolish king! You should have listened to your priest!”
Nephaal rose into the air. Dark clouds gathered above as the wizard laughed.
Pellets of hail began to strike everyone like tiny darts. They retreated into their homes as cries of helplessness sounded.
A knight threw a lance at the wizard but it fluttered away in a strong wind whirling around him.
“Eckart! What shall we do?” asked Darvy.
“Plead with me that the Lord will come to our aid.”
The king and the priest kneeled as Eckart prayed. “Oh, Lord forgive our foolishness and deliver us from the hand of this vile sorcerer. All things are possible with you. Amen.”
“Destruction rains from the heavens!” shouted Nephaal. Moments later bolts of yellow lightning began to strike the ground. Many stone structures were scorched and broken through.
“Now is the real fun!” Nephaal lowered to the ground. He struck the surface with his fist and the ground quaked.
The trembling of the terrain continued as Nephaal stood with folded arms.
Suddenly a man with a strange, long, cylindrical mechanical object stood before the evil sorcerer. The man with the mechanism pointed it at Nephaal and a burst of lightning erupted from the device, going straight for him.
As the lightning volley was dispersed an invisible shield protected Nephaal from the attack.
“I see you have discovered the way of science. Not many have such knowledge,” said Nephaal, skulking.
When all seemed lost, a bright light in the shape of a man appeared.
“An angel of God!” said Eckart.
The angel pulled out a glistening sword and rushed at Nephaal, piercing him in his chest, penetrating his magic shield.
Nephaal fell, lifeless. The shining being vanished and there was a calm in the ground and the wind ceased. It was over. The wizard was dead and the king returned to the castle and his family reunited. That day Darvy dubbed that day Family Day from then on.