As the girl awoke, she found that she was in a bright room with both the large and the small man.
"Ah, good. You're awake now.� I beg your pardon for making the magic last quite so long, but what's done is done."� The small person shrieked, "You are dirty, dirty, dirty!" for which he received a hard glare.
"I do suppose you're wondering where you are, aren't you?" inquired the old man.� She nodded her head.� "Well the, I shall tell you, my dear.� You are currently in the Tower of Spells!� I am its keeper, the Wizard Gantrodr."� The little man began to jump up and down and to pull at the old wizard's clothes.� "Ah, yes.� And this is my faithful friend and companion, Antriak."� Then, in a low whisper that only the girl could hear he said, "He can become dreadfully annoying at times, but, ah! there is never a dull moment!"� He smiled and raised his voice again.� "And you are...?"
The poor girl simply could not answer.� Her curious mind was slightly pushing her over the edge of hysteria.� She was really in the Tower of Spells! A place of legend!� Oh, how many legends and fairy tales circulated around this magical place?� But, of course, it was only a peddler's story.� At least, that's what she had thought previously.� "Me?� No, no! I want to hear about the Tower!� Is magic actually real?"
"All in good time.� First though, tell me.� What is your name?"� He seemed so eager to know who she was that she suddenly became very suspicious.� "How do I know you won't hurt me?"
"Like this." Gantrodr replied.� He said some more strange words and, oddly enough at the same time,�the wall next to the girl began to pulse.� Waves of energy streamed in ripplets, and the result was a portal.� "If you feel unnerved in any way, feel free to leave.� Now, please tell me your name."
He did not receive an answer.
"Very well, then.� I shall tell you who you are.� You are Sarana, daughter of Arterena the Pure and Setenzr.� You are the Keeper of Stones, appointed by Queen Jaror herself, and you live in Satyrburn.
"It is just as I thought.� Sarana. Dear, honest Sarana.� You look so much like your mother.� Now, tell me, do you remember anything of Satyrburn?"
It took Sarana a while to regain her composure and then answer.� "Y-yes, I remember.� I grew up there, how could I not?� It's fairly small, with all the basic essentials a village needs.� My father is a carpenter, and my mother is now a flourist.� Both of them are retired warriors, having laid their weapons aside."� Gantrodr's eyes twinkled with understanding and knowledge.� "But, you already knew that, didn't you?" she asked on impulse.� "How?"� He ignored the question.
"Good.� Now, might I ask, why are your eyes filled with fear, when you seem otherwise at ease?"
"Yes!� What fear, fear, terrible fear!" pitched in the ever-energetic Antriak.
Sarana began to slump down in her chair.� I don't want to talk about it.� I don't want to think about it! As her�thoughts continued�their depressive ranting, Gantrodr's voice broke her mind's panic.
"Sarana, whether you want to or not, it is excruciatingly important that I know what happened."
It's as if he read my mind!
'Yes, it is, isn't it?'� the wizard's voice in the form of a thought entered Sarana's own mind.�
"Oh! Gantrodr!� What just happened?� I don't think I would've been thinking of you... I've only just met you!"
"I simply entered your mind.� Did you hear me?" the wizard inquired.
"Yes, but... what is it?"
"To be able to mindspeak is a telent only for wizards, witches, and a few lucky magicians.� You have passed the test.� You have the talent.� I sensed magic deep within you when I first saw you.� But this discussion is for another time.� For now, I would like to hear your side on what went on at Satyrburn, please."
"Wait!� So you say that I'm a wizard or a witch or something like you?"
Gantrodr replied, "Yes but, as I said earlier, that is for another time.� Right now, tell me of Satyrburn's plight."
"Right, umm.� Let's see..."
The day seemed to be normal, if a bit dreary and dank.� Father had just closed up the shop, an dmom was finishing up an order of flowers.� We all heard someone coming up behind us.
"Setenzr!� Arterena!� Come! Please!"� It was the village blacksmith-- not only skilled at making swords, but also at using them.� "There's something headed toward Satyrburn!� Look to the sky!� It looks like a dark dragon!"� Obviously, this was preposterous, since a dark dragon had not been seen since my mother had killed Gavantryx during his time of dictatorship.� Nevertheless, both of my parents grabbed their swords, dusty from time, and ran to the village square.
I have a brother, Anaras.� We are gemini twins, so we think alike.� We both knew what we needed to do.� We gathered food, water, bandages-- anything that would be needed for the battle that was sure to come.� Only... the dragon never came... what we did find, was much, much worse...