Friday, July 12, 2013

Chapter 3: Or is there?

Rizon Kandarr gulped. Three people at the door – girls, to be specific – what could they possibly want? He cautiously opened the door wider.
“Come right in, the wizard shall be with you in a moment. He stepped aside as they entered through the archway into Rizon’s home. They stared around as they stumbled further inside, into the large entryway. He took silent satisfaction in their incredulous looks as they absorbed the fantastic place he had the pleasure to call home.
The tall girl was the first to speak up, “So do all wizards live in trees?”
“Well, we, me and the wizard, do,” Rizon had quite forgotten that their house was built into the base of a large, ancient tree. The inside appeared quite normal; in fact it was rather deceptive in that the simple outside appearance of a tree disguised the elegant furnishings within. Polished wood was everywhere, plush pillows adorned the long couches, and a grand, polished marble fireplace sat off to one side. And this was only in the front room, the rest of the house would take too long to describe.
“I don’t really know any other wizards, so I couldn’t really . . . “  Rizon trailed off, unsure how to finish answering the question. But the girl didn’t notice, instead she was wandering about, examining the detail on the marble fireplace. Instead the mouse maiden spoke up,
“How do you clean all this? With magic?”
Rizon lowered his gaze, “No, the wizard won’t teach me the spell for cleaning yet; he believes that I must learn to do it the hard way in order to truly appreciate the magic.”
The mouse smiled apologetically, “That’s too bad, but it’s still pretty impressive to clean all this by hand.” Rizon met her warm, friendly eyes, and found not disappointment in his lack of wizardly ability but rather friendly acceptance.
He looked over towards the tall girl and saw her gazing longingly at the pillows on the couch.
“You know you can sit on the couch if you want.” She thanked him and slowly leaned down to perch on the edge of the couch, as if it might break at any moment. Rizon laughed, and dared to make a jibe, “Is that any way to use a couch? I know you want to do it!”
She cocked her head, as if contemplating what he was saying. But a flying object blocked Rizon’s point of view as it flew through the air and rebounded off the couch, only to get back up and flounce back onto it. The mouse maiden giggled as she sank deep into the couch only to spring back up again.
Abruptly, the wizard swept into the room, long cloak billowing furiously around his figure. He went straight to Rizon. “There are some matters of most important consideration that I must attend to. This blasted strange weather has started some wheels turning in my old head. If all goes well, I should be back within a day or two, and if I don’t return within a fortnight you must seek lodging in the village for I shall either be captured, being tortured, or all-together dead.”
All of these possibilities seemed equally problematic and not at all comforting but that was just how the wizard was, straight to the point. Rizon merely nodded, what else was there for his to say. He could protest, refuse to be left alone –for this was the first time – but that hardly seemed something that the wizard would expect from his exemplary apprentice, so Rizon kept a lid on all his feelings. The wizard was gone out the door in a few fleeting moments, no time for goodbyes.
“But . . .” the blue sparrow cried out, “We didn’t get to ask him our question.”
Rizon apologized for the unexpected change of plans. He informed the trio that they would not be able to get any answers that day, but if they came back in a few days they might be able to receive an audience with the wizard on whatever matters they desired to request of him.
As he ushered them out of the house, he hesitated, unwilling to forget the friendship he had felt with them. But then in that brief moment, they were gone. He peered out of the doorway, watching with some regret as their figures slowly receded into the deepening twilight.
He closed the door, and immersed himself in various obligations throughout the house: feeding the animals, preparing dinner, taking care of the dragon egg, and then just overall straightening up. A hour or two passed by, and then he sat down to dinner. A plump, roasted flatebird caught in one of the air-traps was a little overdone but that didn’t bother Rizon. It would’ve definitely bothered the wizard- who might have proceeded to “entertain” him with a long lecture about the more particular nuances of cooking. But the wizard wasn’t there, so Rizon enjoyed the respite from his never-ending learning.
The deepening twilight swiftly turned to pitch black outside the windows of Rizon’s empty manor. Undressing quickly, he was in bed within minutes of securing the premises. The sheets were cold but quickly warmed up, especially after he closed his still-open window. Drifting off to sleep, Rizon’s dreams took him places he could never hope to aspire to.
Rizon woke to a soft light playing over his sleepy face. He realized he hadn’t turned off the oil lantern by his bedside before succumbing to the dreamworld. Through his drowsy eyes, he managed to distinguish a wavering figure between him and the light source. Slowly his eyes adjusted, and he realized that the figure was the wizard Martin. He jerked to attention, his lethargic movements clumsy. J
“Rizon. How many times have I told you to secure all the premises? This lamp was strictly forbidden to be left on past your own bedtime. But what has been done has been done, and although I wish you would have heeded my counsel, I am thankful for such a forgetful, and irresponsible apprentice like you.”
Rizon experienced several emotions during the duration of the wizard’s dialogue; at first, shame; then, regret tempered with resolve to prove his attentiveness; and finally, utter confusion. “But wizard Martin, how could my mistake be something to be thankful for? I clearly disobeyed your command and you are thanking me for it?”
“Why? My boy, use your eyes. I am not in my usual form. Your eyes can reveal volumes to you if you only know how to use them. Tell me, what have I done? Why did I do it? How do these solutions resolve your first question?”
Rizon focused on the wizard’s wavering, shimmering form – wait, a minute, wavering? Shimmering? Aha, Rizon had found variation in the wizard’s form, but what did it mean? Why was it wavering? It was almost like the wizard was a pool of water that some little kid relentlessly continued to poke, spreading ripples throughout the entire pool. The form was wavering, sometimes substantial, sometimes almost like a ghost, like he wasn’t all the way –Rizon perused his mind for what the technique was used for. Surely the wizard had told him this sometime during a lengthy speal.
Wizard Martin studied Rizon thoughtfully all the while he was racking his brain to find the answers to the wizard’s questions and Rizon’s own.
Rizon slowly fitted various pieces of information and observation together to form a thesis. He finally managed to get into word-worthy proportions and was planning to give his answer, when a notion appealed to him that would allow him to test his theory. In a swift fluid motion, Rizon’s hand swooped down, grabbing the pitcher of water by the bed, and in a continuous upward motion Rizon flung the contents directly at the wizard’s face.
The wizard flinched and lifted an arm, as if to shield himself, but the water passed harmlessly through him to splash onto Rizon’ bedstand, wetting the wood and dousing the flickering oil lantern.
“Oh well done, young apprentice. You’ve succeeded in discovering the answer to your questions and eliminating my light source. Would you be so kind as to replenish the light you so thoughtfully doused.
Grinning from ear to ear, Rizon fumbled around in the darkness for another lamp, which he proceeded to light and set upon the damp bedstand. It’s brightness illuminated the entire room, much to Rizon’s disappointment.
“Oh dear, it seems to be a day for reprimands,” remarked the wizard sourly, as he gazed at the pile of soiled clothes that had collected in the vacant corner.
Eager to forestall any possible lectures or additional chores, Rizon forged ahead in the conversation. “But surely you didn’t come here in your spirit form to merely chastise me for a solitary lantern and a microscopic little pile of unwashed laundry. What has prompted your current state? What danger are you in?”
The wizard turned his head to face Rizon’s. “I’ve distracted myself with your faults when this is a time to encourage you for your strengths. I need your help. I gravely underestimated what I was up against. This weather lately, it was no mere wizardly accident. It was the experimental work of an extremely talented group of rogue wizards.”
Rogue wizards? Where had Rizon heard that before? Ever? Not that he could remember. Rizon stared questioningly back at the wizard.
“Ah, that’s right. I apologize. I have kept you shielded from the more hostile factions of our powerful group. The wizards are powerful, with magic that can be used for both good and evil. And since no one is more powerful than a wizard we came together and devised what is now known as the Wizard’s Code. It defines certain moral lines that shouldn’t be broken without severe punishment. All wizards are subject to them. Whoever crosses any of these lines is immediately banned from our presence and declared a rogue wizard, a direct enemy of all steadfast wizards. Now that you have heard our standing in a nutshell, without any of the more tricky scenarios and political scheming, I can explain my situation . . .
The wizard talked for what seemed like a good hour or two, describing what Rizon must do to free him from the prisons of the rogue wizards, in addition to all the backstabbing politics of the High Council of Wizards. Rizon found himself listening attentively, enraptured by the drama of all that had been going on without his knowing about it; he also found himself wondering just how much the old wizard had kept from him and maybe was still keeping from him.
Abigail feverishly scoured the big black cooking pots from the Royal Dragon outside the aforementioned establishment. Her thoughts were immediately centered on the unusual occurrences of the day before when she had gone to see the wizard. Something was up, she knew that much. The weather, the mysterious departure of the wizard, it was all pointing to . . .? Grrrr.  Why didn’t the wizards just say, “The weather is perfectly natural, so don’t worry about a thing. Oh, and I’m just going to go outside to check on some of my gardenias.” Nope, of course that was not what had happened. Instead, the wizard had appeared all dramatic and gave a bleak list of what might happen to him, along with instructions for his apprentice, should something actually happen. But although she might enjoy adventures and risk, she hated to be aware of an adventure but not have even an idea of what it was about. That very minute she resolved to return to the wizard’s house to pry whatever the apprentice knew out of his head and then if she was still in the dark, to . . . uh, finish scouring the pans.
Not far away, a mouse maiden and her companion blue sparrow were consulting each other, and coming much to the same conclusion that Abigail had. The wizard’s departure was extraordinary and they loved a good story. Life was a wee bit boring just then, so a bit o’ shakeup would be extremely therapeutic.
A tall, shy human girl, a mouse maiden, a blue sparrow, and a wizard’s apprentice all are about to realize just how lucky they are. Or are they?


  1. Oh my goodness David!! You've really outdone yourself, this chapter is FANTASTIC!!!! Great job=D!

    1. Thanks! =) I kinda got caught up in Rizon's character and at 10pm last night, I wasn't really able to add much more to the others. But I'm glad you liked it.

    2. It was great:)!! I thought it was cool that he was more the "center" of it, well done! Super excited to see what happens next=D

  2. This is awesome, David!! Great job!