The Wizard King

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A tale of personalities and life.

Eons ago, there lived a Wizard King who's castle was surrounded by a tremendous and mystical forest.

This was a forest of stately trees and other awesome green stuff, and the ponds and streams within were considered to be the purest in the world.

But something terrible happened, by the deeds of an invading hoard the forest was pretty well done away with.

This invading hoard and its Blood Council; {They were really freaky looking dudes with white face make-up and red and black striped lines darting all around their eyes. --- Sick, Right?}

As much of the forest was cut down, a gigantic fort was built from the trees they cut. That fort was the home and headquarters of the Legions of Squall; a band of tribes governed by a counsel that was chosen by a blood-letting ritual too terrible to describe.

 

It is said that the Legions of Squall were tent dwellers and nomads. They would move from place to place, almost like a swarm of locusts, stopping only long enough to regroup and assess their next direction.

The Squall seldom found themselves in the same region of a continent, within a generation, so by the time that they came around to any place that they had already pillaged, there was new stuff to take and plenty of young women to ravage.

And if the pickings looked more favorable across a sea, according to their scouts, they would commandeer ships and off they would go to plunder.

It has been said that when nomads find that they cannot travel easily, due to acquiring too many herds, too many women, now with children, and so much goods that they can hardly carry it all. They occupy an existing fortified city to protect themselves while they make counsel decisions as to what should be done next.

However, this was the first time that these particular fast moving warriors had built a fort, or stayed in any one place for more than a season.

It seems they had arrived in the area at the beginning of winter, and with a mountain range to cross they were forced to settle in until the snow and ice melted the following spring; actually, it would be the beginning of summer before they would be able to get provisions gathered and everyone moving.

 

The Wizard King had heard of the fort and that the Legions had cut down his most prized forest. He was angered by that and the fact that they were setting up a possible permanent place to live within his lands; a home-base, so to speak.

Normally this King would have done nothing as the Legions of Squall moved through the countryside; after all, they were like locusts and could not be stopped while moving. But now that they were stopped and looking as if they were going to stay, that was not permissible.

One morning the Wizard was overheard making a remarked to his General about the Legion, "They are like an infestation of bedbugs, to get rid of them you have only one choice and that is to burn the mattress."

So, on the twentieth day of the Gray-Moon Season, the Wizard acted. He gathered his Army, all eighty of them, and they surrounded the fortified compound.

Each of the Wizard Kings soldiers carried a staff with varying colored crystals attached to the top, and one weapon each, a large amber dagger.

 

As the gray-moon moved past the center of the sun, lighting the valley in the process, the Wizard King took a position in front of the main gate of the new fortress. Once in place he called out for the Legions of Squall to surrender.

The Council responded with a volley of arrows, three aimed at the Wizard and one aimed at each of his soldiers.

However, as the arrows were in mid flight the Wizard clicked his fingers and each of the arrows quickly returned to the archer that fired it. Eighty-three archers fell in an instant!

After some time the Wizard called out again. This time the gates of the fort opened and eight of the Council's most battle hardened Horsemen charged the Wizard. But when the horses saw the eyes of the Wizard, they stopped dead in their tracks, throwing the horsemen to the ground.

Again the Wizard clicked his fingers and his archers killed the sight men.

After their deaths the horses did not return to the fort, but stood as if waiting for something.

Then the Wizard gave a command and the horses quickly formed sets of two and moved together to form four rows. After that they faced the fort, at some distance behind the Wizard.

Again the Wizard called, but this time with instructions regarding the surrender of the Squall.

He stated, "All the inhabitants of the fort are to go, take your families and your positions, and file out in four rows. The four sets of horses before you will lead you on a set path, away and out of the Wizard's kingdom. Do as I say and no further deaths will occur."

 

After much time had passed, and the sounds within the fort intensified, the gates of the fort opened once again.

All the Legions of Squall, all in their battle gear with trumpets blaring and drums rolling, filed out, row after row, surrounding the fort.

A lone rider advanced and delivered a message to the Wizard, but before the messenger had time to return to his ranks the Wizard lifted his staff high into the air and pointed it in the direction of the fort. And as the Wizard's soldiers saw what he had done, they did the same in a regimented fashion, one after the other.

From the red crystal a-top the Wizards staff emerged a black fog and it traveled quickly from his staff to all the other staffs that his soldiers held in front of them. And as the last staff was touched by the smoke every piece of wood in the fort burst into flames.

Screams of fear flooded out from the fort, but in less than the time it takes to swallow, the fort was consumed. Nothing but scattered piles and mounds of wood-ash were left on the ground.

All that remained within the once great fort were the women, children, animals and possessions, unscathed. And not so much as an ash smug was on any of them.

However that was not the fate for the Legions of Squall.

Before the legions could react to what they had just seen, each and every one of them was confronted and then knocked to the ground by thousands of whirlwinds, known to some as "dust-devils." 

And no sooner had each fallen to the ground, their bodies became trees; thus was born the circle of trees and the beginning of a new great forest.

The horses and wagons, and the personnel property, which the legion had with them, were given to the women of Squall. They were allotted farm animals and grain supplies in accordance with their need and number per family. The rest of the belongings of the squall, mostly those possessions that the Squall had pilfered from others, were added to the Wizard Kings farms and store houses. 

The women of Squall were instructed that they had a choice, they could go on their way, or stay and start new homes within the lands ruled by the Wizard King.

Not many wished to leave, most were abducted women and children, some captive women had offspring by the Squall men. Those women chose to stay and were taken in by the towns and villages under the rule of the Wizard King.

Those that chose to leave were mostly young men, not yet battle age, but hardened by the traditions of the Squall.

They swore that they would amass an army and return to kill the Wizard who had killed their fathers!

Their mothers begged them to stay, to start a new life without war, but they would not hear of it. Instead, they abandoned their mothers and siblings, and left them to fend for themselves.

Some of these women that they abandoned were their grandmothers and mothers. Some were old and unable to farm, or work to make a living.

The lucky ones had daughters old enough to work and younger boy children willing to stay with their families.

The Wizard King ordered that the abandoned women be taken in by "The Tantra", a community of spiritual people that had no roots in the land of the Wizard King, but had found refuge and a home there during past wars. 

The young men that abandoned their mothers were given a mark on their hand, (a tattoo), and sent on their way with instructions never to return.

Those young men ventured south, but I'm told that they didn't finish their quest. It seems that they tried to rob and ravage a young woman who lives in some caves in that region. The woman, apparently, has some associates who did not take kindly to the woman being molested.

They young men were eaten for their misdeeds!

Well, wouldn't you just know it, it just so happened that the Wizard King was in needed of a home in the region of the former fort, so he had a castle of stone constructed right on the sight of the former fort of the Squall.

 

Looking to the South, from the new castle and forest, was the great Anhydrous Expanse. It is here that the Queen of Dragons lives, underground and within the caverns of  the Hidden Rivers.

It is considerably cooler down there, especially in the heat of this areas blazing, Moonless, Sun.

The Queen of the Dragons is somewhat of a recluse and does not rule over any Dragons, as her title seems to imply. She is a dragon whisperer, of sorts, and known to have healing abilities that help the Dragons with their ailments; ailments that are few but fatal when not treated in a timely and knowledgeable manner.

The Dragons have much respect for her and her abilities, but they protect her for their own sakes and well being.

After all, Dragons are Dragons, and they do eat animals of all types; young Squall Men included.

 

To the East of that great forest is a mountain range and the sacred Mountain of Sacristan, and on this mountain is found a monastery known as "The Cloud." For at no time is the foundation of the Monastery seen touching the earth; it always looks as if it floats upon the clouds.

It is said that from this mountain comes all the spiritual thinkers and mystical beings that ever uttered words of acclaim, or deeds of mystical remembrance. And it is also said that only one, "GREAT ONE," comes about every ten generations; the last is said to have been the Wizard King.

Traveling west from the Wizard's forest are hills, valleys filled with farms, grasslands ripe for cattle grazing, and finally the Sea of Two Rivers; where the Sisters of Twila governed and all the fishing is done.

The Wizard King calls the West, "The Heart of My Land," for it is from those areas that 70% of the life-blood, food, flows to his kingdom. That, unfortunately, was not always the case.

Before the Wizard, there were constant wars and other conflicts. If the growers were not after the Grazers, then they had a problem with the people of the sea. Or the people of the sea didn't like the prices they were paying for their grains. It was a constant battle after battle, causing disruptions, crops being destroyed, and animals being killed.

 

It was to this region that the Wizard came to first, before he was crowned.

With some gentle persuasion, such as something like the fort burning demonstration, he persuaded the various factions to let him decide disputes for a given time, instead of doing war. If they liked the outcome, he would continue, if not, he would leave them to kill one another.

Well, it wasn't two season and they were all doing so well and they were so prosperous that they made him king.

They wanted to hold a grand ceremony and to crown him, but the Wizard dislikes crowns and pompous ceremonies, so they gave a really big party instead; {I hear it was, "The Bomb!"}.

If one were to travel to the north, one could not go far. You see, there were no safe route going directly north because the terrain was so covered with gorges, cliffs, and ragging rivers.

And there were woodland areas, scattered here and there, that housed all manner of terrible beasts and wonderful creatures.

It is from this area that great warriors and fearless hunters came, some becoming soldiers in the service of the Wizard King.

In the midst of one of these wooded areas lived a very famous Warlock who was the seventh son of the seventh Magus of Saffron, born under a Red-Moon on the Ninth night of the Spirit-calling; a very mystical time of the year.

{Spirit-calling is when all the spirits, great and small, come out and roam all over the place, doing really strange and sometimes hilarious things, but I wouldn't call them on any of it because, well, they are spirits and there is no telling what in the hell they are capable of!}

 

The Warlock's name was "Spellbinder," but he was sometimes called by the name of, "Yam".

Spellbinder was a cousin of the Wizard King, on his Father's side of the family.

 

A story is told of the Wizard King and Spellbinder having a dispute over a river that had changed course and suddenly started flowing through the woodland area governed by Spellbinder. After a brief sit-down and a few flasks of Glogg, the two parties came to a clear understanding as to a solution.

The Wizard King and Spellbinder went to the edge of the woods where the river, then, lead into the woods. They made some mystical, magical, gestures, and said some words that only they understood; then both touched the river with their staff and wand.

Suddenly the river split and half went around the woods, along it's former riverbed, and the other half continued as it was, through the woods.

All went well and according to the agreement, so the two cousins shook hands, made a few comments about getting together for dinner, sometime, and went on their way.

The Wizard King and Spellbinder are reasonable men and would rather reach a smart decision than to make an enemy.

This is not true with Spellbinder's brother, Voracious. He is never happy with what he has. If given something, he questions the generosity of the gift, if he borrows, he never remembers that he owes, and he will befriend anyone that he believes to be a generous person; in hopes of a future gift, or loan.

He is stingy to a fault, but when he acquires riches they are spent, or bartered away, in no time. And, of course, he is left with little to show for it.

As this story goes, Voracious was an avid Tartan Player; Tartan is a game where you bet something in hopes of getting more in return. Well, one day, after much time and gold spent playing this game; Voracious hit it big and won 2,000 times what he had bet.

He was so excited and anxious to spend his good fortune that he neglected to remember a loan he had gotten from Spellbinder, not to mention other bills that he owed. 

Voracious bought the first thing that he thought was a good investment, a Carlin, which look and act something like a Mule. But the Carlin was slow and no one wanted to rent a Carlin to ride, so he traded it for a very fast Shush, much like a horse, but with two legs. That was fun for awhile, until the Shush fell and broke its leg. 

So, when the Shush was put down the investment Voracious had made was gone too. He was broke had not paid any of his bills, or the loan to his cousin.

That was the way of Voracious and when he died, he died with no family or friends at his side, just a Tartan Card in his hand, and empty pockets.

And so it was with the world of the Wizard King.

 

The Wizard King never married and died on his 120th birthday. And his death contributed to his kingdom falling back into disarray.

On his tomb the Wizard King had these words written, "Feast and famine, count the years, of equal portion are smiles and tears. All is greed, fueled by want, so devastation comes to haunt!"

 

The Dragon Queen had a child, a boy named Solon. No one knows who the father was, but some suspect it was from the time of her molestation by the young Squall men.

Solon grew strong in the ways of his mother's gifts and took her place among the Dragons and the caves. However, he disliked the Dragons and their demeaning attitude, so he became a Dragon Slayer and killed them all within his lifetime.

Spellbinder, "Yam", married the three Witches of Kerr and had 14 children; they, in turn, constantly fought over their father's possessions and lands; not one found any harmony in their world.

So I guess that the Wizard King last words might have been a foretelling, "All is greed, fueled by want, so devastation comes to haunt!"

D. Thurmond / JEF

Orig. 2015

2020


Submitted: August 10, 2015

© Copyright 2022 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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