"Hello my old enemy." A figure cloaked in blue said grimly as he raised his scarred hand to point at another man. The subject of this greeting was an elderly man who stood menacingly in the middle of a clear field with St. Augustan thriving in tufts around the massive ant beds. "You always have been a dull one when it came to conversing." The earlier man said after a moment. "So I suppose it's about time we get to the real reason we're both here!" The man reached down his long silvery beard and reached into the confines of his cape to pull out a long wooden stick which had quite clearly not been there a moment earlier. He reached into his mind to find the familiar warmth of his magic. Merlin the Great, as he was known in days to come, did it with great ease his power being so great and his many decades, some thought it more likely to be centuries, of experience. "Invorgoralty!" He bellowed to the Earth where his wand aimed. A deep sunset orange poured like molasses onto the ground eating away the grass and enriching the soil. "May the order of the Great War have it's rules enforced on this arena." He placed his wand in a tiny leather sheath at his side and spoke once more. "I will give you a fair warning, I am in a very bad mood today, and my powers have been spiking to miraculous highs in my age so woe is it to he who fights me with fits of strength!" His voice grew louder as he spoke and he stared directly into the shadowed hood where two slits could be seen.
"Merlin, my friend, you forget we are the same age. I too can reach strange bursts and plan on killing you so I can begin training my heir." Merlin chuckled slightly, ignoring the silvery shade the ground was taking.
"Turismo, Turismo, I have already began young Tekin's training so if I don't kill you, he, in the vigor of his youth most certainly will."
"You forget my heir will be born as I was, from the shadows of death, formed by the loss of blood, and given life by the taking away of the same."
"In killing you I will delay the return of the war! You cannot stop me from saving my people!"
"I have before…" Turismo said. He lowered his hood revealing a red face with thick black ropes of hair slid in their rough collapsing braids to the proper parts of his chin, and down the back of his head. He raised his hand and suddenly projected images on the air. Merlin started to turn away but knew he would become living target so looked forward, tears gathering in his eyes.
The first image was a still photo of Merlin sleeping in a small room, apparently a very old one, with a peaceful look on his face. Then the image slowly began to rotate and show the door. It passed through this door and then the one to the outside. The planet was barren and Turismo stood by the door holding a sound barrier at its crevices. Three other wizards stood in front of the village.
"Are you all at your sections?". The man The much younger Turismo called. They all yelled some sort of affirmative then together called out
"Furious flames, fed on hate, burn all life from here to Hell's gate!" The flames shot out on the houses and screams could be heard for miles, just not within Merlin's little room sealed from sound. Someone escaped from the house nearest Turismo and struck the dark leader on his neck with a jagged rock. Blood spurt from his mouth and the sound barrier fell. Merlin awoke with a jolt and snapped his fingers to summon his wand. The messiah paid dearly for his actions as no writing can truly describe. Turismo grabbed him and teleported far away leaving his minions behindwas dipped in a thin layer of nitrogen everywhere but his head and then oil. The oil was lit on fire and the nitrogen kept him on the edge of death. He was then healed to full power. Next Turismo poisoned him with injections in every major nerve and vein then curing him, at death's door. Finally he was sealed in a room were spikes covered the walls and ceiling closing the walls to the point of torture just beyond total annihilation then the ceiling fell just scraping his head until the floor gave him the long awaited relief.
While Turismo vented his anger on this weak mortal Merlin walked out the door to find the town in flames. "Healing rain from the sky destroy this evil with your place upon high! "He yelled this so angrily the rain fell and destroyed the pure hatred of his words. This kept the wizards from knowing the rain was special, until they saw a yellow stream flowing down from wherever it hit, melting the power of these monsters like acid breaking their will and stopping the flames. "Who ordered this?" without will to lie and knowing the rain would kill anything they told in evil they responded.
"It was Tuna Risameno Telkeno."
"Demon spawn! How dare you speak a language so foul in my presence! You call him the king of darkness? Turismo is nothing more than his name is in the language of elves 'Master of Lies!' He was a mistake of a wizard who wanted more power! The place of rainbows is gone forever. So I will allow the shadows to come once again." He clapped his hands and a large leather volume shot to him. "Sealed be magic and bound by fate let them remain here where the day is always late!" Suddenly the sun dipped in the sky like an ice cube in water, lowering until its place is taken. The dusk that never ended seemed adequate punishment for destroying the physical manifestation of joy on the living plain so Merlin teleported back to the Earth with rough tears cutting the dust on his face.
"Aww." Turismo mocked "Are you a little sad? They were weak anyway. But I didn't expect no magic at all! You made yourself the only defense! How uncharacteristically cocky."
Merlin was crying now too as if the events had not occurred ten years before. His voice stopped the sobs and he said boldly, "You are instigating me today aren't you? You hoary man! You cannot bludgeon me away unless you kill yourself as well! "Now the ground was rising up clean well divided stones and clear pillars at each corner. "May the battle begin, and may the stone of time keep away from you." He said as if it was a toast to a bright future.
"I must hurry!" The thirteen-year-old Tekin Kashami uttered to himself as if he were leading a horse and saying the right command would speed him up. The woods were thick and the journey would have been arduous at a walk, but running his face was slit all over by thin branches and his bottom lip was swollen. He could probably heal himself instantly but he didn't even fell the bruises and scrapes in his haste. He dodged some gossamer the might have been spider web but for the fact spiders had not lived in that forest since Merlin had sealed away the darkness thirty-two years before Tekin was born. Tekin refused to stop, his body was sore from hard training with his 'grandpa Merlin', and he hadn't eaten all day and it was now approaching three o'clock. No, his will fed him and tended his wounds. He had to see this fight. Tekin was certain this opportunity would never come again. Things would have been very different if he had been wrong. Tekin suddenly sensed a shot of power." Two that far apart? They've got to be toying with each other." Tekin told himself and anyone, who was listening, be it deer, rabbits, or the divine who Merlin rarely spoke of to Tekin except when training. (Merlin certainly believed in God but hated the mutated versions the world had to get more worshipers.) Tekin saw an arena through the dense trees and began to crawl on his stomach to watch but remain hidden. Turismo dropped his cloak revealing a frail body that, but for his magic, would be on life support eating slop for food.
Suddenly Merlin reached for the magic once again and pulled forth a spell that took hours of studying to perfect. "Emanate Entex Kara Sham Interval!" A huge red ball appeared from his wand and a black arm was dispelled from it. The arm's very existence strained on Merlin greatly, but it's massive strength made it worth it.
"Spear from the Shadows!" Turismo sent out the counter-spell a long black streak that hit the hands palm directly. Merlin's face looked relieved as he told Turismo,
"Put all you've got into that spell and relieve me of the pain from stealing your soul." A horrible realization came to Turismo's face like winter to an already dying land. It was too late for proper resistance and even if there had been time Turismo did not have the ability to compete with the raw energy of The Seal of Time. The hand hit his chest and slowly sunk through his flash like it was foam that slowly collapsed. Turismo had a dull look on his face, due to the immense slowing of his heart rate for the extraction process. Suddenly the hand squeezed and he looked like he was choking. Then he seemed to sleep standing up a small white piece of ectoplasm was removed. It was shriveled and looked like a squeezed chunk of Play-Dough. A yellow liquid was dripping off it and a few drops returned to him like a magnet. "Esta!" A transparent ball with a pink tint appeared around the soul as the arm vanished. Merlin pointed at the ball with his wand and then let his arm swing downward. As if it was on a hinge, the Esta fell as well. "The Earth's inner flames should teach him. Shouldn't they Tekin?" Tekin stood up in his hiding place in surprise. "Well if you thought you were hiding I'm seriously offended." Merlin lifted his wand up again bringing the soul with it. "That yellow goop is his life force," He explained to his grandson and heir, "I want to evaporate as much as possible. Of course, some already returned but I can easily shatter his will. The ball dove down again then came up immediately. "Very good. Now Tekin hide further in if you must stay." Tekin followed orders and quickly dug a bunker to hide inside. He ducked behind the glorified mound of dirt and watched them return to the vivid battle. Turismo's soul flew back into him and a look of sheer hate flashed onto his face. Turismo became suddenly absorbed in the heat his soul had felt. He grasped his face, then his shoulders, completing by falling over and grasping his chest to try to heal his soul.
"Light from the… Cough!" He gagged. "Light from the … sky make … my soul strong again!" He yelled out gasping for every breath. He suddenly stood calmly straighter and began to breathe deeply.
"I'd like to see you pull that spell off again," Merlin chuckled, this was magic conserved for the souls of the righteous and every bit of deceit in your life made it more difficult to draw upon.
"I won't have to." Turismo responded.
"Brsingra Eltama Enaballet burn in your homemade chamber of hate!" A burst of flame shot from Turismo's chest and formed a cage around him."
"Spell that was deployed on me, reverse your energy and set me free!"
"Eat dirt!" Merlin waved his hand and sprayed sand into the air.
"Taking cheap shots now are we?"
"Light of the World shine brightly this day unleash your true power and seal him where I say!" Spells cast so quickly they were beyond recognition flew in a fury, and from his place in the forest, Tekin saw himself knock out Turismo with ease. The Tekin that appeared had white hair, rather than glossy black and his face seemed torn at by knowledge none should ever hear. He spoke something in a whisper to Merlin and it seemed his words had painted Merlin's face white. Merlin spoke in response and waved his hands for the strange Tekin to leave. Sorrow filled their eyes and they parted, little did Tekin know he saw himself just more than a year older. The Future Tekin disappeared without teleporting, simply becoming the wind.
Turismo groaned on the cold stone arena. "It's over." Merlin said.
"Not until I say it is!" Turismo spun on his hip to kick at Merlin's feet. Merlin jumped avoided the kick, and landed on his attacker's shin. That, of course, warranted a scream.
"I'll kill you!"
"I've seen this movie, you don't." Merlin said wryly. In a flash of energy Turismo was standing up and billowing with a thick black cloud. "Desperation! Calling upon the Elves? Even if they were still here, they wouldn’t dare touch the air you breathe."
"That is what I'm counting on." A look of anger came across Merlin's face.
"You would summon the Void?" In response, a black aura surrounded him. The Void is caused when one, in true need, calls for help but is denied. The Void is the final check for assistance, but to use it is a death sentence. The black flame that engulfed Turismo fed on his soul until it could burn no longer.
"I have, and I shall take you with me." Turismo said, like a man ready for a hearty meal. The battle occurred far too quickly for human comprehension, but ended with Turismo transferring the Void to Merlin and killing himself. The transfer occurred like one match setting off another and then the former fades to ash. Merlin, his fate sealed made a final bid for hope.
"Tekin, blood of my blood, come forth." Tekin darted forward and kneeled. "My life dwindles, soon I will die. But take my energy and seal it within yourself, never to leave."
"That would destroy you!" Tekin said.
Merlin coughed dryly. "Khu Khu!" Gasping he responded "And this monster won't?" Tekin sat speechless at this and decided not to argue. "I can here the tintinnabulation of death's seductive call." He closed his eyes for a moment peacefully "You are the business that has made me delay this for so long. You and your father before you kept me here preparing. But your father's hard headedness delayed both my and Turismo's plans. Arrogance caused him and Turismo's protegee to die. No he didn't die in any war; we had to tell you that to keep you from getting upset, and maybe hurting someone. You will learn, in time, many safeguards have been set to protect you. Time runs out quickly, hurry and fetch me a round stone." Tekin heeded and grabbed one from the Earth using a bit of magic. Merlin placed the stone in his left hand and pressed his right hand down on it. "Tekin, guard this stone with your life. In time, it will become a part of you, as I become part of it. Such has been my fate from the start, yet your destiny has far greater honor and weight on the Grand Scheme." Merlin spoke with a smooth air; strangely tactful as if he were selling a used car that hardly deserved the name. "I have only one more thing to say: When all you know heads to the new light in the east, 'Go west young man.' Never forget." Merlin removed his hand from the stone and an inscription of gold was there.
Two wands crossed at their middle with a ball of thunder at the top. The color of the wands was a blue that seemed to embody ecstasy and power. The stone itself was a bloody red and shimmered in the light like a ruby. Glistening as well was the ball of thunder that was clearly made of gold. Tekin stared in awe for a moment than looked up to Merlin. But Merlin lay on the ground his limbs askew and a silent spell having broke his neck. Tall above him stood a man cloaked in black with a hood that buried the eyes that scanned Tekin's face.
"I am Nox, trainee of Turismo and your murderer." His teeth flashed as his jaw moved in a gnawing manner, as if his words were peanut butter or the like.
"Prepare to suffer." Tekin coolly drew his wand and flicked it into his left palm threateningly. Nox merely chuckled.
"Threats from a little boy are worth less than the air they hang on." Nox spoke as a man dangling a treat above a cat or like a politician trying to incite a vicious reaction. Nox pulled back his hood and revealed two sparkling green eyes, and long golden hair. His skin was smooth and fair, and his lips seemed the top and bottom of a tightly locked chest made from time worn oak. Nox was unnaturally pale and his face seemed drawn yet well rested. His form was muscular in comparison to Turismo's and he couldn't have weighed more than one hundred twenty pounds. Broad square shoulders framed this icy face. I could spend hours on those green eyes yet the word cold does it in a moment.
"I do not fear you." Tekin announced.
"A foolish sentiment."
A Rivalry Reincarnated
Tekin stared into those eyes, hot coals in a white-as-flour face. "I have no reason to care what you say." Tekin said.
"Do you have no love for mortal breath?" Nox said, almost with curiosity at how such a thing could be.
"Not yours." Tekin said. "Spawn of demon, lord of lies, evil incarnate. Did I miss one of your less desirable titles?"
"Flames of hate and dead hope," Tekin began.
"Axupillamous!" Nox cast the spell and Tekin grasped his throat unable to speak the enchantment.
"Argh!" Tekin yelled, snapping the curse. "You're better than I expected."
"As are you." He said bending his forward knee into an attack stance.
I cannot begin to account for the faces they wore, like horrifying masks. The battle was so quick it is hardly worth mentioning, a series of spells in rapid succession, though far weaker than Merlin and Turismo.
"Are we done?" Tekin said, his boot kicking up dust like an ice skater.
"I suppose." Turismo flattened his robes coolly.
"You realize I will destroy you."
"How arrogant of you to believe me mortal."
"How foolish of you to think I am unable to tear at the seams of time and mortality." Tekin said.
"You don't comprehend the powers at your disposal."
"And you don't understand the power of the hate I feel for you." Tekin said though his tone remained the same.
"Irascible aren't we?"
"Shut your pie hole or else I'll jinx you straight to the Twilight realm." Ironically, Tekin spoke of the world Merlin had created to punish Turismo's slaves.
"As if you could." Nox said cockily.
Tekin heard Merlin's voice, clear as if in life travel through his mind. "Tekin, listen to me. Nox is mighty you must use the stone."
"How what?" Nox asked ignorantly.
"Touch it and seal him in an Esta." Tekin nodded.
"Archimedes!" Tekin propelled a small yellow projectile that Nox easily dodged.
"Oh, really?" Tekin said as it boomeranged back into his neck, stunning him. Tekin dove to the stone, "Esta!" The pinkish ball surrounded him, for now. Tekin ran. He didn't know where he was running to but he ran, on and on, he ran. He ran from Nox, he ran from Merlin's death, he ran from everything, but the stone was still latched in his fist.
Tekin knew he would have to face his problems eventually but for right now, running was sufficient. He's not dead Tekin lied to himself, he's been through a lot worse than a random jinx, and he'll finish that Nox guy off for me! Tekin breathed in the cool mountain air, hoping the breeze would blow his troubles to the sea. Tekin slowly approached the hillside above his home. He could smell the pigs and cows and the freshly turned hay. Memories flooded him painfully, as he fell to his knees, crying. The stone fell to the grass and glimmered in the pale sunlight. Tekin picked it up and recalled Merlin's words 'Go west young man.' Irony or not he hadn't wanted Tekin to slip into the newest plans or alliances as he had. It had began with an alliance that started a war, Merlin had died in the process of keeping it down.
Long ago, warriors and Wizards formed an alliance to defend one another. The Earth had been their meeting place. A treasonous Wizard stranded his fellows on Earth and convinced them the warriors had done it. War ensued for 37 years until Merlin made a deal with the warrior leader that him and his descendents would be bound to the planet and the others would leave. Turismo was the treasonous Wizard, and now Nox was destined to return the war.
Tekin moved the stone around and saw the light dance in its bowels. The blood red it turned his hands reminded him of Nox's cold dead eyes. Tekin made his hands into fists and turned around. He closed his eyes and when he opened them, again he was back in the treacherous clearing, above the imprisoned Nox. He said one thing as he dispelled the Esta "Ante up."
Tekin's eyes flashed, and suddenly there was no stone. Tekin pulled up his hand and saw the seal beneath his white knuckles. "What's with the white hair?" Nox asked as he calmly stood up. Tekin was one with Merlin, and he knew it.
"Prepare to die."
"I'll wait 'till it's a little nearer to closing time before I pack up."
"Emante Entex Kara Sham Interval!" Tekin's wand released a white ball to remove Nox's soul, though Tekin doubted he had one. Nox's time as Tekin's enemy would be short lived, in the most literal way possible, so Tekin, wrongly, thought. If only he had been correct, millions would have lived.
The demonic hand reached out and grabbed the even eviler soul. With a draconian sweep of his hand, Tekin sentenced Nox to unfathomable pain. The scene was picture perfect, good triumphing over evil after a slight challenge but without ever breaking a sweat. But, all good things must come to an end. Tekin returned the soul and Nox dove forward before Tekin could react. His eyes went bloodshot as Nox's simple, wordless, fireball hit his gut. Tekin didn't cry out, not from strength but from a lack of breath with which to scream.
"It's over." Nox uttered. "Seal of Time be bound to this fight, whether eternal or over in a night!"
"Orders given by ones without power seal the magic within a flower." Tekin almost blushed at the pathetic incantation, but he hadn't had time to think it through.
"Our rivalry is an ancient one, older than the sacred triangle, perhaps even its cause."
"What an arrogant idea, everyone responsible for that dies today." Tekin said, his voice faltering slightly at the end.
"Don't you see?" He asked almost in disbelief. "We exist to continue that legacy!"
Tekin stared at Nox's smooth features and elegant bone structure; his skin was loose and spoke of no lie. Let's play with him. "Nox, Nox, do you not see why you really exist?" Tekin rolled his eyes for effect. "You were nothing more than an effect Turismo kept around for games. Your training meant nothing more than a subtle distraction for a dying tyrant." Nox's skin was tight now, like a murderer cleaning is knife and preparing to kill again. "You didn't know did you?"
"I'm going to throw your ashes to the wind."
"Who's cocky now?"
"Arrogance is in the eyes of the beholder. For example, I find your attempt at angering me arrogant and you deem my threats such."
"Not at all. I just find them apathetic and a rough blather stalling the inevitable."
"Your demise." Nox stared at Tekin menacingly. Tekin laughed, though it was dry and mirthless. "Alchimare'!" Tekin propelled a black beam at Nox, which crushed his ribs with a sound like a bag of potato chips being stepped on.
"Taking the kid gloves off, eh?" Nox gasped. His hand turned the white of milk, and glowed yellow. He dove forward and grabbed Tekin's neck. The color in Tekin's face drained like a tub of water. Nox's entire body began to glow viciously, as a flame killing many. But his complexion began to morph. Like clay Nox's face lost all of his features to that of a wooden doll, just a smooth sheet. Tekin gagged from the pressure on his throat and felt his energy drain.
Nox's face seemed to die and make way for the inauguration of Tekin's face. The two warriors seemed identical, the curse of Nox's spell. Nox's ribs where recovered now and he pulled back to form a curse. Tekin had hoped for this and punched his in the gut as he began to cast another spell. "Archimedes!" Then boomerang jinx went through his left shoulder, which exploded n blood, then, spun around and hit the other. Tekin pressed his wand to Nox's neck. "Run and I'll spare you." He stepped on Nox's wand. "Go." Nox paused for a moment as if fearing a blast in the back, and then scurried like a rat to his hole.
Tekin felt an icy hand on his shoulder. "Well done." Merlin's voice said with glory like the tintinnabulation of a thousand silver bells. Tekin spun around to see the pale image of Merlin. "I've been permitted to spend seven minutes here, explaining things to you." Tekin embraced his grandfather as he began to speak.
Merlin's message, and it's meaning
"Listen to my words and burn them in you heart. Your life will be a series of quests until you can unlock your true power. You must lie upon a pentacle when you sleep tonight. You will encounter The Master of Dreams. She may or may not tell you her name in good time, but I will not take that sacred liberty." The mention of sleep made Tekin feel suddenly weak. "Next you must doubt all you see when you leave her realm. Lies and deceit will bathe the Earth, merely to send you down the wrong path. You have already completed the first quest by unlocking the stone's true strength. In due time you will harness that power. Finally you must trust the one that hold the book, he will not betray you until your darkest hour, which is when you see hate and mistake it for joy."
Why is he speaking in riddles? Tekin wondered. "Lies are your greatest enemy and Nox is the least, if the wisest, of its forms, for now. Soon Nox will threaten life, order, and all you stand for, or ever will. Beware what you control, as it will betray you as well. A stitch in time is mighty." Merlin glared at his wrist where a tiny hourglass hung. "My time grows short. Tekin, I wish I could show you when and how all of these things will happen, but I am bound to great powers that do not wish you to obtain this knowledge."
"There's so much I want to know! Please,"
"I can't." Merlin said, a silvery tear running down his cheek. Tekin sensed the finality in this and remained silent. "Trust me Tekin. The weight of the world will fall upon your shoulders many times, and you cannot cast it away. You will break the bond my blood has to this planet with powers none can match." Merlin opened his arms and they embraced for what seemed hours to a sobbing Tekin. Then a mechanical click occurred and Tekin instinctively jumped back. The hourglass fell to the ground and shattered. When Tekin looked away Merlin was gone.
The mage began to wander through the surrounding forest. He wondered what its name was, and why it was called that. Where could he go? Pain stabbed through him. Everyone he trusted was gone, and he was left with nothing but Merlin's words. "Grandpa, what am I supposed to do?"
"Ha! Crying for the help of the dead?" The wind itself howled.
"Show yourself!" Tekin yelled.
"Why would I go and do a thing like that?" The voice asked. Tekin sifted through his mind looking for a familiarity in this voice. He found none. "Tekin, keeper of the seal, why have you entered my realm?"
"I am merely a drifter, I know no boundaries of country and law."
"Do you deny my claim to this land?"
"I know not where I am, and I do not know who you are."
"I know you. So weighed down in your grief you do not see the road ahead or the burden on your back that is destined to go along that road with you."
"So I'm dealing with a linguist, and a blathering one at that."
"The powers that be might beg to differ."
"Please, don't lie to me."
"I am not lying."
"The powers that be cannot deny a direct request to show themselves, like all immortals."
"I am a mortal."
"Do you breathe?"
"Than I can kill you."
"Not all deities are free of death." The voice announced.
So, I'm dealing with a sort of god, or a wannabe of such. "Shall I summon you properly or will you come forth?"
"In due time, in due time."
"Why do you pester me?"
"I can't kill you, due to Merlin's nepotism."
"Then I shall leave."
"Time will tell if you possess the will to do so."
"I'm not putting up with your riddles. Show yourself or I will leave this wretched place." Tekin said forcefully.
"Do I do such at your will?" This statement worried Tekin greatly, as if being told by someone with oddly pointed teeth they must be invited in.
"Such is the will of the Guardian of Time." Tekin said as officially as the circumstances allowed. A mist shot through the damp plain and a strong odor of must and decay filled the room.
"Swirling mist and lightning strikes make me mortal through this light!" The voice bellowed. A beam of light cut through the fog and the mists seemed to dance majestically around it. A bright flash of light showed the outline of a human body, but it vanished in an instant. Tekin shivered in fear and held his wand like a fighter in the Old West.
"It is, however, against my wishes for you to summon any weapons." Tekin called out hopefully.
"Wise, Merlin would be proud of this defensive action." The voice called, softer now. "Not that it will work." He seemed to begetting farther away.
A sound like a rushing river broke out and the voice bellowed, loud once again, "Greetings Tekin." Tekin looked before him and saw someone who would prove very important, to him and the world.
Meetings with the fey
A man, small, fat, and bald-headed, stood before Tekin. His skin was the color of moist soil, something very rare in this part of the world. His voice was very accented and distinguished. It was more pronounced now, the difference of speaking over the telephone and being in person. "I been sent to git ya, battle's comin' and you're the winning side."
"A battle?" Tekin asked eyes wide from exhaustion. "I've been through too much of late."
"Here, catch." He tossed Tekin a glass bottle, corked, full of a glowing blue liquid. "Drink it, it'll help yer strength." Merlin's words flashed through Tekin's mind. But if he wanted to kill me, I would be dead. Tekin thought. He popped the cork out of the bottle and swallowed the entire potion. It felt like fire rushing through his body, and then he felt icy-cold. His strength recovered when the feeling had subsided and he felt brimming with power, a pot ready to boil over.
"What was that?" Tekin asked.
"I dunno. Elvin stuff, gave it to me when I left."
"How far did you come from?"
"Just twelve miles or so."
"The Elves have long abandoned this part of the world."
"These Elves are hunters. They go where the freakin' zombies take 'em."
"Elves that hunt UnDead?" Tekin asked with idle curiosity.
"That's the whole reason I travel with 'em!"
"You hunt them as well?"
"I love the thrill of slashing their heads in two." He said, acting it out.
"What were you saying about Merlin's nepotism?"
"Didn't you know? He has god blood in him! It's more prominent in him than any mortal before him."
"I have the blood of a deity? Who?"
"That is argued. Mortals will be in no condition to tell when they find out but I think it to be THE god."
"Y'know, the original that created the others to do his bidding."
"Merlin spoke of him but, never as an ancestor!"
"Yes, your grandfather always played it safe. Wise for someone in his position. Yours as well." Tekin thought at this with reverence. "In fact, I'm here to test your blood, to see how much blood is in you." He pulled out a disk and pushed a button that ejected a tiny needle. Tekin flinched but drew back his sleeve. He poked it and Tekin felt no pain. "What expectin' a pinch? Elves are beyond that." He looked at the device. "Merlin had a forty-eight percent level. We'll make his DNA the base and…"He hit the side. "According to this you have a two hundred percent reading over Merlin!" He stared into Tekin's shimmering blue eyes. "That's ninety-six percent of your blood! Most of the deities the Elves have encountered have between seventy and eighty and I mean the gods that can kill a man with the bat of an eyelash!"
"Grandpa is way stronger than me, maybe you need to fix your machine." Tekin said, in wonder.
"Of course he was. However, you are… how old?"
"He was pushing one million, I would hope he's mastered all he has at his disposal."
"What was in Turismo's blood?" Tekin asked suddenly.
"Turismo was half demon, the very reason he couldn't kill Merlin despite his constant bids for power."
"But if someone cast a spell to drain your DNA for energy…"
"You mean a gamation spell?" He asked suspiciously. "Few now what that is." Tekin noticed his grammar was better now that they were down to business. "But yes it would give someone all the genetic effects of that person, hair, features, etc. Of course this demolishes their ability to be revived by anything."
"Turismo's slave, Nox did that to me. He looked just like me and seemed stronger, luckily I was too fast."
"Oh my…" He began to stumble. "We must see the Elves. He pressed his hands together and a light expanded from him that made both of them vanish.
They were in a forest, green as an emerald, that was seemingly abandoned but clearly brimming with life. Elvin marks could be seen on the wet earth and the leaves. Tiny marks left by their collapsible shelters. Tekin stared at the trees hoping to catch a glimpse of these fey creatures.
"Summon them." The man said.
"Fey creatures of light, in a great plight, allow these men into you den!" Tekin called out, pausing frequently as he invented the spell. Brilliant, evolved laughter broke out from the Elves as they wandered into his line of sight (of their own free will).
"Greetings, Tekin keeper of the seal." A tall elf with golden hair flowing like water off his shoulders said. If the legends are true every good deed an elf does increases his power and the pronounced point in his ears, this one was mighty and valiant indeed.
"Word spreads fast with you guys doesn't it?" Tekin said, trying to loosen himself up. The Elf laughed; it was a warm chuckle like a hearth lit with a merry fire on the eve of Christmas.
"We have our ways of learning things long before anyone else does." The Elf said, an air of mystery on his voice. He became solemn. "How much has Magus told you?"
"Not much, just the UnDead are coming and the results of his blood test." The man spoke as if he was debriefing a most distinguished general. The Elvin eyes widened at this and anticipation flooded through him. Unbeknownst to Tekin getting these blood samples had cost many lives, keeping him from the forces of darkness. If these came back how the Elf wanted them to, well, they might just stand a chance.
"What did the device say?"
"I was comin' to that Alek', I think your machine's busted." Alek' had anticipated this, hopefully more than expectantly. "Must be, his test came back at ninety-six far better than percent and he's but a boy! His true power is yet sealed." This was Alek' had dared to hope. So Merlin had not lied to them that his heir was worth the risk.
"The machine isn't broken, you stand before the descendant of God."
"Which one?" A young Elf said.
Alek' responded in an Elvin word that English script does not due justice but it translates to "Maker." A gasp ran through the crowd and Magus' eyes grew wide. "This is the hope of the world!" Alek' yelled to the crowd. They dropped to their knees dramatically and Tekin blushed.
"So these UnDead are on the march, and his is where they will make their last stand?" Tekin asked, ducking beneath a branch in the dimly lit forest. He was alone with Alek' whom something in him trusted.
"Yes, this tribe's final stand at least. This is the largest remaining tribe, so their defeat will raise the moral of my warriors." Alek' said, walking through the forest by the guiding hand of memory.
"How can I help?"
"My scouts say at their current pace they will be here just outside of one week. I will train you in a few effective mass spells and your divine blood will do the rest."
"Is divine blood really all that powerful?"
"A reasonable question. Normal blood knocks a person unconscious if they try to use large amounts of energy. Divine blood is far more adaptive, it adjusts to your remaining power and even your fighting spirit, giving it the maximum possible power. Basically, someone could train and train but your divine blood would give you the upper hand."
"How much of an upper hand?"
"Enough to slay someone twice your strength with mortal blood, if you're willing to take away some of your spirit."
"Make you as good as dead for a time, in a sleeping agony."
"Can mortal blood be adapted?"
"No. But we learned long ago everyone has a bit of divinity in them, it is possible to increase this slightly by intense training or assistance."
"What percentage would slightly be?"
"Three to five. Enough questions, we're here." Alek' pushed a slender branch aside and looked into a city of Elves.
The city was beautiful, the color an emerald with fire-light dancing through it’s ridges. It felt alive, magic was so intertwined with the very soil it might very well have been so. The air was thick and smelled strongly of lavender but with a hint of garlic for defense purposes. It seemed to Tekin as though he had just drifted into death, because he was so amazed. He couldn't feel his legs at all, and when the wind blew, he stumbled.
Alek' smiled at him knowingly and said, "This is but the beginning of our city, it is young. We will leave behind the weakest to populate he wood when we are gone." When he finished the sound struck Tekin. Every animal he had ever heard, and many he hadn't, chirped, or sang in that charming glade. The entire place seemed super natural that Tekin felt immortal, like the Elves he stayed with.
His mind returned to Magus and he wondered what Magus was. He was apparently divine but was he a human who had ascended or was he a deity from birth?
Suddenly a torch lit on the other side of the city, now one over on the side Tekin and Alek' were on. "Night approaches. Come and lodge with us, and tomorrow we will train.
Secret of the seal
Tekin awoke in the dead of night to the sound of marching. A crunching sound accompanied it, like the armor was rusted. Tekin sat up rigidly and waved his hand across the air. An image appeared of hideous creatures of rotten flesh on the march. Their faces were like a partially peeled onion and their eyes tiny red slits. The zombies trekked through the paths Tekin had been through just hours before. It was a small group, twenty at most, probably a scouting party. They were very close, within ten minutes of surrounding the city. A cold sweat overcame Tekin. He opened the elegantly carved wooden chest at the foot of his bed and pulled out his blood red robes. Under that he lifted the false bottom to find his wand and the sword Alek' had given him when he had gone to sleep. Tekin threw on an Elvin frock and returned his robe to the chest. Tekin sent out a telepathic blast to wake everyone up while sheathing his sword. Tekin pointed his wand out the window and sent stunning blasts to all of the UnDead while he rushed down the staircase. He drew his sword and beheaded one, just as it began moving again. He sent out an Emante' Entex Kara Sham Interval an watched it pull the soul out of an UnDead which immediately turned to dust. Alek' was suddenly at his side where he unleashed a series of red tailed arrows. By the time anyone else arrived the UnDead where defeated.
"Scouts." Tekin said solemnly. "How far ahead does this tribe send theirs?"
"A few hours, five at the most."
"Then who your own scouts saw must have been reinforcments to finish us off if the first wave lost." Alek' nodded and yelled a few Elvin words to his army. "You wear that sword without the skill to use it properly." Alek' told Tekin. "We must use the time we have to make you the best warrior you can be."
Tekin twisted around and deflected Alek's blow. With no pause he swung around for a counter-strike, which Alek' stabbed his sword down to stop. This threw his balance off and gave Tekin a chance to attack again. He spun but Alek' was far faster than he had been letting on. Tekin twisted his sword up and hit Alek's cheek with a creative sideswipe. Alek grabbed Tekin's sword by the hilt and held him still. "A warrior uses more than his weapon." Tekin said kicking Alek in his gut. Without seeming to move Alek had Tekin by the throat.
"Just because your opponent lets you hit them around a bit, don't let your guard down." Alek warned. He dropped Tekin to the ground. "Again." And they fought. This time Alek' fought to his full strength and batted Tekin down like a fly, in the dirt Tekin thought of something. He lifted up his sword and uttered under his breath.
"Archimedes." The sword glowed slightly and shot forward as Tekin drew his wand.
"Never throw your sword at an opponent!"
"Duck and look up." Tekin said as the sword returned to his grasp. "My killing move." Alek' chuckled and stood up.
"Combining magic into your swordplay, a very advanced move. Of course while you did that another one of the UnDead killed you."
"That's why I pulled out my wand." Tekin retorted.
"Well played." Alek' said, respectfully.
Magus walked through the beautiful wooden door. "It was brilliant, yet simple. A mere boomerang jinx, in fact."
"And I thank you as well." Tekin said.
"Why don't you try him, Magus?"
"I think I will." Magus extended his left arm and a sword rested in it.
Magus dove forward and Tekin raised his blade in vain. He was thrown back several feet before he saw Magus' sword glowed with magic. Tekin pushed raw energy in his sword and locked swords with Magus. Magus grinned and swung the sword, sending Tekin flying across the pain room. Tekin smelled the cedar the entire room was made from. Though expertly designed it was merely an empty room of unchanged oak, as the Elves prefer it. Tekin spun around and cast an Esta around the blade of Magus' sword. This made the sword useless and Tekin kicked him in the gut. Magus fell back and closed his eyes. The Esta vanished and his sword caught flame. Magus stabbed forward in a hard dive.
The next moment Tekin had dropped his sword extended his hands and Magus had frozen as if in an ice cube. Floating in midair until Tekin lowered his hands in surprise and Magus fell.
"Already, very good Magus." Alek' said.
"What did I do?!?"
"You froze time boy! Your legacy!"
"OK who are you?"
"I'm the god of fufillment, my duty was to teach you to unleash this power. Most immediatley to destroy these legions of UnDead, later for much bigger things." Tekin's head spun in confusion. "Of course later you'll adapt words to use the spell at will."
Magus was grinning broadly and Alek's eyes gleamed in delight. "I'm able to do such things at will?"
"Very soon." Magus promised.
"I'll teach you the words and you'll put the magic in them by forcing them to trust your deity blood."
"Tekin, don't be afraid. I wasn't born an Elf. In fact my blood merely held a large amount of Elvin DNA so I changed myself into one." Alek' said, little did he know he was the beginning of a race known as the Blood Elves.
"You honestly didn't believe there was no point to the name of the seal on your hand, did you?" Magus asked. Actually that had never even occurred to Tekin.
"Grandpa could do this?"
"Merlin? Of course, he lost more wars than he won but he had the reset button." Alek' said. "He fought beside us until our army could fend for itself." He looked at the roof as if in a dream.
"Aye, he was a great warrior just a few hundred years in the past." Magus commented. His long life had always been an accepted factor of having Merlin's blood in your veins Tekin had never wondered why.
"Do you remember being frozen in time?" Tekin asked Magus.
"Not a bit, it was as if for some reason I couldn't complete my strike. Of course I knew what had happened but only the mightiest can resist it, and then only if your utmost concentration is not on them."
Tekin thought about this with an odd aloofness. It seemed to him that this was not his life, rather someone else's he was living for a while. "How mass can this freeze be?"
"The most Merlin has ever done is three-hundred yards or so, at least to the best of my knowledge." Alek' said.
"Can I make someone able to move in a field of time freeze?"
"No," Magus answered. "But you can teach people to be immune though once you do that you can't ever use that technique on them. However you can't make someone immune to the reverse or acceleration of charge, as this can be transferred to others."
"I can teach someone to accelerate or decelerate time?"
"If they have the strength of a wolf and a spirit like divinity."
The lesson continued for over an hour on topics that are, as of yet, unimportant to Tekin's legacy. Understanding these basic rules will suffice and all other rules that come into play will be explained. If you will pardon my briefness it is necessary to keep the story going without rivaling Malory's length in "The Death of Author" here, as there, epics must be shortened.
A river's dam removed
After the important conversation the UnDead soon arrived. The battle is hardly worth mentioning as the Elves are master fighters and in their land they had the upper hand. Though bows were useless The Emerald Forest had many ways of lending itself to the Fair Folk. One even fought with daemon blades, a rare double bladed sword with a leather handle in the middle, though they were far more an expertise than a useful skill.
Tekin did not use any time magic, under Magus' warning he would need it more later and his strength should be conserved. As quickly as might be expected from such a mighty army being on either side, the battle turned to slaughter because of the infamous Elvin tactics. They staged defeat without truly scarring their honor and then ambushed the UnDead that celebrated victory. The only thing that matters is they fought, Tekin won, and he left the Elves and Magus without goodbye or their knowledge.
Wandering through the forest for three hours he came upon a stream, blue and clean as the sky. The brook chattered and argued with the rocks that shared it's place in the world. The beauty was so overwhelming Tekin sat to enjoy it though he claims it was to rejuvenate himself. The reader might be interested to know this was the very place the first god created his order. The reader might care his name was Unas and he arrogantly chose it for himself. Tekin, however, neither knew or cared.
Tekin was the descendant of Unas and little mortal blood had seeped into his pedigree, yet a pure blooded goddess also chanced to be in the Emerald Forest at that time. Daughter of Unas' children, Eltaron, and Azgaurd her name was Celther and she was about to change the face of the world forever. Still, I'm getting ahead of myself. Tekin sat by the stream and drank the pure liquid, deemed holy by some though it was not, while humming a tune lost to history. It seemed the world was right again, just a boy drinking from a stream with music in his heart, but of course the weight of the worlds lay on Tekin's shoulders and it was short lived.
Celther stepped majestically beneath the limb of a mossy oak. Her blond hair framed her pale face and her beautiful green eyes. They glimmered like a fairy tale as she almost danced through the woods. Her name was unusual for the time, matching neither her father's or mother's but that was because Unas had not named his children after himself, as they were purely divine and she was as well.
Celther stepped out to the stream she loved so much and, without thought, dropped her robe and dove into the oddly deep channel. It was believed Tekin was mesmerized by her, but modern knowledge tells us she was far upstream and Tekin couldn't have seen. In fact, Tekin was farther down than she had ever swam before, another miracle that effected the fate of the world forever.
She swam better than most trout and so reached Tekin's part of the stream quickly. Tekin had removed his robe for the heat and was in his long-sleeved white shirt, with it's leather tie at the neck and stiff collar. His pants beneath the robe were deep blue, stained by Kelam, his mother, on her death bed. His her whipped in the wind as he stared across the mediocre river. His blue eyes twinkled in his deep thought, and his face seemed prematurely old. Celther rose her head above the water silently. Her face was red with effort and the darkened strands of hair hugged her face. She stared at Tekin, treading water, while deciding what to do. Had she been dressed she would have challenged this boy who seemed her age and was clearly an arrogant mage. Of course, all mages were arrogant in varying degrees. But she was not dressed and not armed. She could feign illness or being a lost child. She was short, though not by much. Still enough to pretend. If she covered herself well, she might buy enough time to get her weapons undetected. She smiled at the thought of fooling him on his own self righteousness and slowly paddled to shore.
Her plan would have worked, had Tekin not turned his head, seen her, and known her age from her appearance without doubt. For the first time in her life she cursed her beauty and swam back out giggling. Plan B. She thought.
Tekin saw the trap but suddenly his hand burnt, he looked down and saw the seal glowing furiously. He saw a vision of her holding a baby and that baby growing to be a great leader, he saw himself hovering above her, beaming.
So he surrendered to the trap. He picked up his robe and walked along the riverside, careful to keep his eyes on hers. Within five minutes he reached the place of her robes. She pointed and he shook his head no. She came closer and he sensed her reaching out to her power. He didn't know what to expect until the goddess of plants sent a tree trunk flying at him.
He drew his wand and caught the limb on fire. Odd, she thought, that didn’t seem to drain him. Grasses flowed her clothes and sword to her like a wave and she slipped them on. Her clothes were not wet, nor was her sword. The white metal glinted in the sun majestically as she jumped five yards to the shore. Landing with the grace a prowess of a tigress she spun her sword toward Tekin. Tekin summoned up a shield of ice her blade shattered. Her plan was to wear him out by an onslaught of attacks. Tekin was already far to adept to fall for it and her arrogance disguised the clarity of it. Her arrogance was caused be being so sure he was arrogant, and was not typically part of her personality.
Tekin unleashed a fire ball, a weak one designed for stunning, and she tried to block it with her sword, this melted the metal. Celther dropped the handle in skock and suddenly outstretched her hand. The metal began to reform the sword's blade. Tekin dove forward and pinned her to the ground before she could rearm herself with a red hot sword. Sitting on her waist, he calmly began to speak.
"Hello, that must be a neat trick, controlling inanimate objects like that." He waved his wand and shackles bound her hands and feet. "Tell me who you are or I'll have to remove the information…forcefully." As he said the last word the tip of his wand lit up. "I'll read your thoughts anyway to prevent any lies." He said as an afterthought.
"I am Celther, daughter of Azgaurd and Eltaron, the direct descendant of Unas."
"The first deity!"
"Name this creatures children." She hesitated.
"'Tis forbidden." Tekin raised his wand. "Azgaurd, Eltaron, Magus, Nightwing and Merlin. All created except the last who was born of a mortal."
"Interesting." He stood and removed the bonds causing her to stare in disbelief. "Hello… cousin." Tekin tried to push that relation from his mind as he thought of what ran through his mind earlier.
"I just tried to seduce my cousin?"
"Your parents were brother and sister."
"And I killed them for it." Tekin grew silent, unable to respond.
"Why did you spare me?" She touched Tekin's hand with her own, softly. Then the vision rushed to her. It occurred for Tekin too, more detailed this time.
"His name is Nox and your is Celther. Nox shall do both great good and evil, making him the evilest creature of all.” Ina bolt like lightning Tekin remembered he was supposed to sleep on a pentacle the night before. “Please meet me here at dawn tomorrow and I shall tell you much.” Tekin teleported a few yards away, deep in the brush so she couldn’t answer and began drawing the divine symbol in the dust.