My head began to clear and I realized that we were in a small stone chamber. With the view I had from the only window, we were in an upper floor of the building, which was at the top of a hill.
“Where are we?” I asked.
Whindel stopped glaring at Rawcliph and said, “We are in the Sorcerer’s Tower, the very heart of the land of Wizards. This is the most sacred spot for my race.”
“As such,” Rawcliph said, “it is our Hall of Justice for the largest crimes against our race. And Whindel, none have commit a crime as great as the one you have suggested.”
“I don’t understand,” I said. “We are planning on taking Glumoric out of the picture so he can’t just come back, as he recently did. This is the only way to heal Blavour.”
“I know all of that,” Rawcliph said. “The problem is, you plan on sending him to the Void. There is no higher treason to the Wizards.”
“It might not be that bad,” Whindel said. “There is a chance it will restore Equilibrium.”
“But there is also a chance it will destroy us.”
“I still don’t understand,” I said.
“Did you not teach this being History?” Rawcliph asked?
“Of course I did,” Whindel answered. “I just didn’t teach him Myth.”
He took a step away from us, and then turned, looking like a professor in front of a lecture hall. “The story tells us that in the beginning there was a perfect world, a world in balance. The only name we have for this world is Equilibrium. It was the prime element, the most important and the other six were balanced around it.”
“OK,” I said. “Uhm, Earth, Water, Air, Fire and…?”
“In a direction we shall, for the sake of argument, call ‘up’, there was Good,” the wizard said. “In the opposite direction, for which you have no concept, there was Evil. To one side were the substantial elements, first Earth and then Water. In the opposite direction there were the unsubstantial elements, first Air and then Fire. These all lived in perfect harmony, in perfect balance, with Equilibrium as the focal.”
“Great,” I said.
“But then, balance was lost, Equilibrium nowhere to be found,” The wizard said. “In its place was only Void. Good and Evil, no longer tied together, floated farther away, becoming concepts instead of solid worlds. Air and Earth tried to fill the void and moved so close as to almost touch. But they didn’t fill the Void, for Equilibrium, as I said, was no more.”
“So that’s why the world is out of whack….” I said.
Ignoring me, the wizard continued, “With the movement of Earth and Air, Water and Fire began to oscillate, now closer to, now farther away from the Elements that they touched. So the places where your world had contact with the world of the Fair Folk shrank and grew, and so the conflict ebbed and flowed. The same is true for Air and Fire, they grew closer and farther away. So, conflict between my people, the Wizards, and the Fairies ebbed and flowed.”
“OK,” I said.
“But then, there was the greatest wizard, Glumeric,” the wizard continued. “He subverted Fire and used it against us. He then went on to conquer Blavour, the world of Air and the Fairies. While he was away conquering, the wizards who were left reached out for something new and found only Void. But then we made a discovery. We could use Void to create a new power not dependent on Fire. So the wizards who did not follow Glumeric chose Void over Fire and were able to overcome.”
“You did tell me that Wizards were beings of the Void, so I was a little confused with all of this talk about Fire,” I said. “I guess this makes sense.”
“But now there is a problem,” the wizard said. “The only way we can permanently get rid of Glumeric is to send him to the Void, but nobody knows what will happen. Some think that Equilibrium will be restored. Others think Void will be corrupted. If Void turns against the Wizards, and Fire can’t be trusted, my race will be no more.”
“Exactly,” Rawcliph said. “So in the fight against Glumeric, the only option that we rule out is sending him to the Void.”
“But the prophecies,” Asheelin said. “The prophecies say he must be relegated to the Void. There is no other choice. For one, if your people hang onto the Void, balance can never return. It is blocked.”
“There have been no signs that the prophecies are correct,” Rawcliph said.
“There is now,” the Fairy replied. “Look at us, Brandon, Whindel and Asheelin. We have been foretold. Our meeting was predestined.”
“But there was to be a fourth. Where is she?” Rawcliph asked. “And with her, there were the words, ‘When the three were to be set to the fire, the water would flow to the rock, and the air would give new birth to a flame.’ That has not occurred, has it?”
Asheelin, bowed her head. “Not yet.”
“Whindel has committed the highest treason and the two of you have been accomplices. The three of you will die.”
A blinding sheet of flame burst up in the middle of the room.
“You will be pushed into the Flame of Justice and be reduced to ash.”
One of the wizards pushed Whindel towards the flame.
“Just a minute!” a voice shouted.
A dark cloud blew a strong rain into the tower. The puddle on the floor pulled itself up so that it looked like a mirror. Alashina stepped out of the mirror. She slid over to me in a fluid movement. Without thinking, I hugged her. It felt natural.
But it appeared she was too late, for Whindel couldn’t stop and continued into the flame.
Asheelin screamed and another strong gust of wind came into the window, this one blowing out the flame.
Whindel stood in the middle of the room, eyes tightly shut. Asheelin ran to him and took a hand. He opened his eyes and everyone, except for Asheelin, stepped back.
There was a flame in Whindel’s eye.
“I am no longer a creature of the Void,” he said. “I have returned to the Flame, and it is pure, uncorrupted by our enemy.”
Ashleelin stared at Rawcliph in a look of pure vindication.
“The prophecy has been fulfilled.”
“So be it,” Rawcliph said. “Now go, and may the graces of the Wizards and all other races be with you.” He made a pushing motion with his hand.
The four of us were suddenly outside, at the foot of a large hill. An ancient tower stood over us.
“Are we now outside of the Sorcerer’s Tower?” I asked.
“Shhh…,” Whindel hissed. In a low voice he added, “This is Glumeric’s Tower, in Malure in the Land of Blavour.”
— — —
Are the wizards good or bad? Or does that question have meaning? Wasn’t Void more dark matter than nothing? Now were are we? Most importantly, are there any more boring history lessons coming? All of these questions and more, will soon be answered! Stay tuned for our next exciting episode – same blog channel, same blog time!!