Here is the first chapter of Bargo Lynden: Wizards and Warlocks, the second book of this fascinating fantasy series, and a sneak peak at the cover. Enjoy all!
WIZARDS AND WARLOCKS
NICHOLAS T. DAVIS
All Rights Reserved
No part of this publication shall be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher
This continuation of the tale of magic and faith is dedicated to Ronald Short, my seventh grade English teacher, who with his help and insight inspired me to become a writer.
CHAPTER 1: THE WIZARD’S APPRENTICE
In the dark confinement of the royal palace, a short, cloaked figure climbed the spiral stairway, and into a large, empty chamber, where his mentor stood over an altar of burning candles. The smell of incense permeated throughout the chamber, reminding one of a spiritual ceremony of a sort, as the teacher placed his staff over the altar, producing a cloud of white smoke.
He turned to his visitor, and greeted him, removing his hood. The shorter one followed suit, and smiled at his instructor. “Good morning, Galong,” he said.
“Good morning,” the Elf answered. “Is my apprentice ready for his training today?”
“Yes, but I was hoping to do a little conjuring today?”
“Patience, Bargo Lynden, patience. You can’t expect to become a wizard over night. You have to be thoroughly prepared for the day of your destiny.”
“And just what is my destiny? It’s been five years, and I still hardly think I’m any match for the evil wizard Garlock, even if he is confined to his castle.”
“Do not underestimate the power of good,” the wise Elf said. “Even the most unimportant of us have big dreams to fulfill.”
“Even though I was able to save the Shudolin against Ang, I have my doubts about being powerful enough to defeat evil’s master,” Bargo said. “I’m just a Woblo.”
“We are never just a Woblo, or just an Elf. We are much greater than that. One day you will see.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“I am a master of prophecy, and I see great things in your future,” he said. “This land will come to know you with great respect and honor, as they already have shown five years ago.”
“I know all about that. Glam has told me on many occasions, but it seems like the time I spend training to become a wizard, I also spend time with uncertainty, and doubts on whether I can fulfill the prophecies at all.”
“You have much to learn about philosophy, magic, and life,” the middle aged Elf said. “You must learn to gain the confidence needed to complete your task, for it is not an easy one, and there is no shortcut worthwhile in doing it.”
“You certainly are wise, Galong,” he said. “How long have you been a wizard?”
“Too long to remember. I started as a lad, even younger than you perhaps. I have yet to know all there is to know about the white and black arts.”
“I hope it doesn’t take me that long.”
“Do not wish for a ready cure for evil. Just when you think it has vanished, it returns with a vengeance so great, it trumps the power of Rhaitu. A mere Orac Valatu is useless without our master’s powers. A wizard is just a magnification of the powers he has given us to defeat our enemies, be they physical or mental.”
“But doesn’t Ang’s death count for something?” Bargo asked, as he placed his staff against the wall.
“He may be dead now, but I have seen things neither man or Elf can explain,” he said, his tone definite and more refined. “Things beyond life or death.”
“Nothing can be beyond death. Everything dies, doesn’t it?”
“Evil never dies, and neither does its power.”
“So the fables about Ang being immortal are true? They can’t be; I killed him myself.”
“I didn’t say they were,” his mentor replied. “All I said was evil runs immortal. It is said, however, that Garlock cannot be killed without the power of Rhiatu to stop him.”
“So I’m supposed to kill an immortal sorcerer?”
“I told you it wouldn’t be an easy task,” the wizard stated, as he walked away from the altar, towards some shelves. “But don’t concern yourself about that today. Today, we learn some simple incantations and create potions.”
“Aren’t spells supposed to be the work of the evil side?”
Galong placed his hand on his face in disapproval, and shook his head.
“You have much to learn, lad,” he said, placing his hand on the Woblo’s shoulder. “First, we start with some simple elixirs.”
“Elixirs?” the curious creature asked.
“Yes. Potions to cure and heal various wounds, infections, plagues, and diseases.”
“Too bad one of those couldn’t have helped William, Pocor, Thomas, or Christopher.”
“They were noble servants of the cause,” his mentor replied. “There is no power in the land that could have perceived their deaths, or the deaths in Bashworth.”
“I still feel somewhat responsible. It’s because of me they’re dead.”
“Ang and Christopher were old adversaries. He would have ended up dead by his hands anyway, even without your involvement. Enough talk, Woblo, it’s time for your lesson.”
Galong reached among a large collection of bottles, jars, and flasks which sat upon some shelving against the wall. He grabbed a green flask, as well as a red bottle, and placed them on the nearby table.
“First, you are going to learn how to make a healing potion from the ingredients in these two vessels.”
“What’s so magical about that?” his skeptical apprentice asked.
“Only the order of wizardry knows the potions and ingredients in them. They have been passed down secretly for centuries.”
Bargo was a little nervous and bewildered about these rules of magic.
“Something troubles me, Galong,” he said. “You say the power of Rhiatu is behind white magic, but I found the gem in an evil place, and the staff was in the possession of Prince Phillip, who also used it for evil purposes. How can something good come out of something so evil?”
“As Glam has explained to you, and you have seen with your own eyes, the staff and gem can used towards good or evil, depending on who has it. You are well aware of what happens when it falls in the wrong hands. Why do you doubt that which you’ve seen with your own eyes?”
“But wouldn’t Rhiatu want it to be used for only good?”
“Yes, that seems to be true,” explained the wizard. “But unfortunately, Garlock has gained as much power as Rhiatu himself, and if he weren’t locked inside of his castle on Bereuka Island, his evil would’ve consumed the Shudolin already. Now, back to our lesson.”
“Who was Shala, and what do you know about him?” the inquisitive apprentice asked.
“Really, Master Bargo? Is this fascination with Elven history really necessary? I thought you came here to become a wizard?”
“Yea, and so far all I’ve learned is incantations, a few levitation tricks, and potions. I believe my ancestry is just as important as magic, seeming it was magic that made the Woblos. Didn’t you ever wonder about your roots?”
The wizard bowed his head, taking a more solemn tone in his voice.
“I came from a time long ago, when the Elves ruled the Shudolin, and there were no Grassmen or Licarions. I am the roots and foundation of all wizardry and white magic, and a master of my craft.”
“So you’re immortal too?”
“No, just very old,” he answered. “I will one day die, and you will take my place as the master.”
“Me, a master of wizardry?” the Woblo jested.
“You doubt your abilities again. You must get past this stage to be strong enough to defeat Garlock.”
“You still haven’t explained how I’m going to kill an immortal sorcerer.”
“You will know, Master Bargo, in due time. You need to learn to crawl before you can walk. Which brings me to today’s lesson. In the green flask is a mixture of various herbs and oils, and red bottle contains dragon’s blood.”
“Dragon’s blood?” Bargo asked. “I was told there was no such thing.”
“There haven’t been any dragons for years in these parts. This is the last blood from the last dragon, which my predecessor killed.”
“He killed a dragon?” Bargo asked in disbelief.
“Yes, of course I did.”
Bargo picked up his staff, and turned towards the door.
“I’m beginning to think I made a mistake,” he said. “If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I wouldn’t have believed in levitation or spells. But now, you expect me to believe in dragons?”
“Dragons are not the mythical beasts you’ve heard about; they were once real.”
“Assuming you’re right, what medicinal purposes could its blood have?”
“Healing properties. Do you realize the Licarions are the descendants of dragons? That is one of the reasons they are harder to kill than an Elf or Woblo. They have the ability to grow their limbs back if they’re amputated. Let me show you.” He took a small bowl, poured a couple of drops of the blood in it, then the contents from the green flask. “Viatra Calia Fior*,” he recited. A puff of white smoke appeared, and the liquid turned black.
Viatra Calia Fior*-Heal thyself
“Give me your stiletto,” he said to his apprentice. The Woblo handed him the knife from its sheath. Galong placed the blade on his left hand, and ran it along his palm to draw blood.
“What are you doing?” Bargo asked, as he tried in haste to stop him.
“Trust me,” he said, as he cut into his own flesh, creating an inch gash. He had no awareness of the pain at all.
“Didn’t that hurt?” the traumatized creature asked.
“One must learn to block the pain to achieve the power of the chosen one,” he said, as he poured the black liquid onto his wounded hand. The laceration immediately healed, and in minutes it was completely gone. Bargo stared in awe, despite the fact he’d seen other events just as amazing before. “I have left a list on the table of several potions and elixirs I want you to learn how to make. All the containers in this room are labeled and within your reach. Do not use the potions, just create them. At the end of the day, I will be back to inspect your work. I’m going to the royal chambers to discuss a matter with King Glam.”
“Yes, Master Galong,” the Woblo answered.
The Elf left the room, and while he was in solitude, he found it hard to concentrate on his work. His mind was on the past; Woblo Town, the friends he met along the way, his relatives, heritage, and Lilly. He still missed her, and the fact he went against her wishes still bothered him. The Blacksmith shop crossed his mind as well, and he wondered what happened to it, and how Aunt Catherine was. He missed his old life, and the wizardry turned out to be less glamorous then he predicted. He longed for the adventure on the road, not to be cooped up in some castle for five years.
The confinement was part of the ancient old training, stressing no contact with the outside world. This was necessary for the wizard to concentrate on his magical abilities. True magic was inherited, but it was up to the apprentice to use it to hone his craft. Between Galong teaching him magic, and Glam’s fencing lessons teaching him how to become an expert warrior, he felt he had no personal time of his own, and there was nothing to do there even when there was. At least he was able to keep his stone and gem collection, which he accumulated from Barton and his cousins when they sometimes passed through. He was allowed visitors, but only those involved in the previous quest, or of the highest clearance.
Lilly never came to see him; maybe she was still mad at his decision, or maybe because she blamed him partially for her husband’s death. Whatever the reason, it tore Bargo up inside, and he only wished he could make things right with her. He knew she would never love him as a Woblo, and if he became a man, his magic would be gone forever.
Barton kept close by, still working in the stables by the docks, and doubling evenings as a bouncer in a local pub. He longed to see a good fight once in a while, and being a bouncer gave him the opportunity. He missed the days of fighting Licarions and Grassmen, and living off the land.
Bargo’s cousins Joe and Barlow were promoted to Captain and Quartermaster, and the Royal Navy now had control over the whole eastern coast. There were rumors the Licarions rebuilt their chaotic society, and a new leader was emerging, named Glazar. He gained control of North Licarion City, but was at odds with South Licarion City, who was run by a king named Atriad. The battle between the two cities diverted any attacks on Shudolin territory, and invasion was held at a minimum.
While daydreaming, Bargo accidentally poured too much of a gray powder into a bowl. The bowl exploded on the table, knocking the Woblo off his feet. Galong rushed back into the room to see what the commotion was about, and found him lying on the floor, covered with black soot.
“What in the Shudolin are you doing?” he asked.
“I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the directions,” he said, as the Elf helped him to his feet.
“Please be careful, this is not a game. Some of the items in this room can be very dangerous. Can I trust you’ll not get in any more trouble while I’m gone?”
“Yes, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
“It better not, or I’ll have to ship you back to Woblo Town.” As he said those words, and thought about his past, he realized at that moment, Woblo Town was exactly where he wanted to be.