There is darkness. It is always dark here. I couldn’t remember the last time father requested me to come before him. I entered his lavish throne room alone and kneeled before him.
“You summoned, father.” I kept my eyes to the floor, as was customary.
“Yes, my son, you may rise.” his voice emanated deeply around the room.
I stood at attention. I was a soldier ready to receive orders. My eyes still on the floor. I waited in silence.
“I trust you have sensed the great shift in power?”
“Yes, father,” I replied. Who among us had not?
“I need you to locate the source.”
Of course he did. Father never asked for small favors.
“I believe this task to be of particular interest to you boy,” he persisted.
“Why would that be?” I dared to ask, still not looking at him.
“I believe the great shift to be caused by a source in the mountains of Windsle.”
Now, there was a name I had not heard in a long time. I was so taken aback by it I almost looked directly at him. He sensed my surprise. I could almost hear him sneer.
“Yes, my son. I figured you’d enjoy the trip.”
I sighed, then smiled. Father thinks the trip will be too challenging for me. Why else would I be chosen? Lucky for both of us, I have no qualms about visiting the hidden village. It’s not as though they were dangerous. They didn’t even use magic up there.
“Of course, father,” was all I said in reply and continued, “What must I do once I locate the source?”
“Protect it. You know as well as I that damned village is no place for magic of any sort to thrive.”
I nodded, “So, you do not intend to take the source then?”
“I will take the source for my own when the time is right. You know I am no slave master. My children come to me willingly.”
“So- so the source is a human? A mortal?” I needed to stop asking questions. It would only serve to anger him.
“You understand my urgency then,” he stated plainly.
So, a mortal had been at the root of the great power shift. Father was right. This mortal would be in danger in the mountains.
“Kneel, child” he commanded. I obeyed.
“I lend you my power. Go to the mountains of Windsle, find the source of power, and protect it at all costs until I give further instructions.”
“On my honor,” I responded, placing my fist over my heart.
I arose from my father’s feet, turned, and left his throne room not daring to look back.
Time to go home, I thought to myself, and off to the mountains I went.