Sardin couldn’t wait to get started today. His master, Magi Kerntick, had told him that today would be a very special day and that he would begin to be able to do more than ever before. His anticipation rose to levels he hadn’t experienced in the 5 years he had been here, learning to be a wizard. He suddenly felt that all of the tedious work, all of the cleaning, stacking and organizing was finally going to be worth it.
He hurried out of bed and quickly made it up, so that he wouldn’t be punished for not doing what was necessary every morning. He took extra care with the blanket and removed every wrinkle. He wanted them to see perfection if they were to do an inspection, so he would take great care to make every detail perfect.
He pulled out his robe and cape, wiped down the staff he had been working on for the last three years and quickly went out the door. He spoke the lock spell over the door and hurried off towards the meal hall. His entire thought focused on how this was going to be a very special day.
As he entered the hall, he noticed that there were more people in it than normal. All eyes snapped towards him upon entry and he could feel that there were eyes he could not see staring at him as well. He carefully walked to his normal seat and sat down, not sure what to make of all of this.
“Is he ready, Kerntick?” The dark man asked. “Does he know what he is about to become?”
“Yes, Lord Dridzon, the boy is ready to become an apprentice, though, he does not even know what power lies within himself or what you are about to make him.” Mage Kerntick replied, head down as he spoke, “He only knows that today is a special day, nothing more.”
“Does he wield magic well?”
“Yes Lord, his keen sense of the magic and the ability to wield it with far less struggle than any I have ever known make even me jealous. He is far more powerful than I have ever let him know.”
“Who does he worship, Kerntick? Did you ever get that far with him?” Dridzon asked.
“I have offered him a choice of the many gods, teaching him of their ways, but, I spent a lot of time showing him the powers he could achieve by worshiping the Black Dragon. I have shown him what could be accomplished by following him, my Lord.” He looked up to face Lord Dridzon, “He is fully ready for you now.”
“Then I shall go and collect my new acolyte.” With that, Lord Dridzon opened the door into the dining hall and searched out his prey.
Sardin sat there, picking at his morning meal, looking at all the people who were there. It seemed odd that so many would be there at the same time, most were out doing their daily work already. His anticipation was creating issues with the food he was trying to stuff down, so, finally, he pushed it away and sat there.
As he sat back, the rear door to the hall opened and a dark skinned man wearing black robes and dark leather armor walked in. His staff was made of what looked like ebony and the crystal on top was the blackest he had ever seen.
Suddenly people stopped what they were doing and stood, so, Sardin did as well. Two blue robed acolytes jumped up to walk with the man and a green robed acolyte began to speak.
“Hail, Mighty Lord Dridzon the black,” He said loud enough for all to hear.
“Thank you, Eldron.” Lord Dridzon said as he looked at him, “You all may be seated. I come looking for my new acolyte.”
With that, everyone sat down, though it was much quieter as all eyes were on Lord Dridzon. No one of any import seemed to come to Castle Wavyrn, so, Sardin understood why everyone stared. Even as he thought that, he couldn’t tear his eyes from the man.
Without warning, the man was walking towards Sardin, his eyes staring intently at him, no, into him, it seemed. Sardin began to question what he was doing there and why this man was looking at him. He felt as if his very soul was being investigated.
As he started, the man drew closer. He was a couple of feet from the table when he felt that he should stand, so he did. He felt as if he were in another dimension, free of his body. The man’s presence was intoxicating and Sardin felt as if he couldn’t stay up any longer.
“Sit, Sardin, we have much to discuss.” Lord Dridzon said, with a half-smile that worked to put Sardin to ease. As he took his seat, Lord Dridzon sat and Sardin knew his life would never be the same.
Magi Kerntick stood at the doorway, an intense desire to lash out in anger began to fill his mind, but he knew what it was and fought it, pushing it down to that secret place in his mind where he put everything he didn’t wish to deal with. He knew from the beginning that young Sardin was destined for more than just being a Magi, he knew that his very life was intertwined in the education and training of the boy, but, he always thought that he would somehow benefit from it more than he had.
He didn’t know what Lord Dridzon had in store for him or the boy, but, he didn’t have a very good feeling about it. He didn’t care much about the boy, past how much he thought it would enhance his lot in life, so he had no desire to safeguard him, but, if the boy were taken, his place at the castle may be in jeopardy and he couldn’t risk that.
He motioned to a servant, one he knew was fiercely loyal to him.
“Add poison to Lord Dridzon’s mug. If he dies, we can continue on as if nothing ever happened.” He whispered. “We may lose everything if he takes the boy.”
“As you wish, it shall be done,” The servant looked at him, a wicked smile on his face, “Master.” With that, he bowed and took his leave.
Everything is now in place. With Dridzon gone, the boy still here, I can keep my control over this castle and soon, become its master. No one will be able to stop me then. He snickered as he thought this.
With that, he made his way, slowly, to Sardin’s table, to sit with the boy as he was told what would happen now.
“Ah, I am so glad you decided to sit, Magi Kerntick. It would have been disappointing for the boy to not have his master there for the unveiling of his future.” Lord Dridzon said with a sneer. “I am sure he would like you to hear it first hand.”
“Yes, Lord, I am interested in my pupils’ fate.” Kerntick shot back, quickly remembering his place and position, he shifted. “He is a very talented lad, we will hate to lose him.”
The servant came to the table with three mugs and a bowl of fruit and placed a mug in front of each one. As he did, Kerntick smiled inwardly at the idea that finally, Lord Dridzon would be out of his hair for good and he may even be able to take his place on the council. As he thought this, he couldn’t help but to feel a little bit of joy creep in.
“Sardin, you will be coming to my castle at the end of this meeting, to continue your training with me.” Lord Dridzon took a long swig from his mug, set it down and stared at Magi Kerntick as if something were wrong, but amusing. Finally, after what seemed a lifetime to Kerntick, who began feeling very flush, he sat back in his chair and smiled.
“Your training with the Red Dragon Order is complete, you shall become a Black Dragon Priest.” He smiled at Sardin, “This is what you want, right?”
“Yes Lord, but, is it even possible to leave one order and attain such a high position in another?” Sardin asked, still in shock at what he had just heard. He had never asked to leave this order, or asked to attain a high station in any order. He knew there had to be something wrong, he never had any good luck. His dreams had always been to get away from the Red Dragon Order, as he truly hated them, but he had never heard of an apprentice or acolyte moving from one order to another and gaining any position worth mentioning. He was truly puzzled at what was going on. “I have never heard of this being done, especially between the Red and the Black orders.”
“Sardin,” Lord Dridzon spoke softly, “I offer you what has never been offered. I offer you the power to control your own destiny, to have more power than any other has ever had.” Dridzon sat back and chuckled. “I offer you more than any in the Red Order will ever be able to achieve, all you have to do is say yes.”
At that, Magi Kerntick began to choke, slowly at first, with a coughing fit, then more pronounced. He grasped for breath and reached out and grabbed for Lord Dridzon, as if he wanted him to stop it.
“Why, Magi Kerntick, I do believe you have drunk poison. I do so hope it wasn’t meant for me. Oh, wait, it must have been,” Lord Dridzon laughed, “Because I remember switching our goblets when we first sat down. I wanted you to have the finest drink, as I was sure you were going to give me. You know, as a reward for your steadfast loyalty and for raising young Sardin.”
As Magi Kerntick fell to the ground, lips turning blue and his eyes bulging from his useless tries at gaining breath, Lord Dridzon bent over him and whispered, “I guess you got you just reward, after all. Please give my regards to your new master. I believe he will be waiting for you with open arms.” He sat back up, laughing.
He then turned to Sardin, “As you can see, I am a threat, even to my own servants. Magi Kerntick was the head of the Red Dragon, but also followed my orders.” He looked back at the lifeless body then to Sardin again, “He apparently wasn’t as loyal as I had thought.”
Sardin didn’t know what to do. He didn’t hate Magi Kerntick, but he had never liked him, either. To see him dead was quite the shock, but, no emotions rose up because of it. He realized how much he truly hated the Order of the Red Dragon and its assassin ways, it’s deceitful ideals. He knew what he wanted to do and he couldn’t wait to start.
“Yes, Lord Dridzon, I accept your offer. I will fetch my things quickly.” Sardin said with resolve. He knew he had made the right choice.
“Very good, meet me at the gate in one hour, we will get you a horse and be gone from here.” Dridzon turned to the servant, “Drag this carcass out to the edge of the forest and let the dire wolves feed upon his flesh. He doesn’t deserve to be buried within the orders protocol. He was a traitor.” With that, he walked out the door, not even looking back.