Ok, I made it. on Monday December 8th, I took my last Final Exam of my college career. Yesterday, I submitted my last Final Paper of my college career (it was a fun paper to write - an analysis of leadership on the TV show "Lost" from a Burkean perspective). I am done with school! It's been a long time coming. To celebrate, I wrote the prologue to my next novel project. This is going to be a fantasy trilogy, and I've been playing with this idea for over a year now! I am so glad I can focus on it now that school is over! The trilogy title is "The Shadow Wielder." I haven't come up with a title for the first book, but probably won't until I'm deeper into it.
So, here is the prologue. Hope you like it!
Viimeinen could feel the draft before the door even opened. His long grey beard rustled to the side of his face, and his dark eyes squinted - not to see who was standing at the threshold of the door of his cottage, but because of the air rushing against him. He knew who had come.
“Varjo, old friend, you have returned.”
The silhouette didn’t respond, but began to approach slowly.
“So the rumors are true: you are the one who has murdered the Wizards of Light?”
Again, no response. The cool air coming from behind the robed figure began to feel as cold as ice. The room appeared to grow darker.
Viimeinen’s eyes saddened. “I see you have dabbled in black magic, my old apprentice.”
The figure stopped just a foot away. Viimeinen held his ground; not an ounce of fear fell from his brow.
At last a deep, echoing voice came from the hooded being.
“You speak as if black magic is lesser than your light magic.” The voice paused, but not out of hesitation. His words were cold, his tone like icicles. “But one is not greater than the other. To believe so would contradict universal balance. Is the sun greater than the storm clouds that hide it?”
“What happened to you, Varjo?” Viimeinen asked. No bitterness encompassed the question. Only concern and pity.
“You left me to die,” Varjo spat. “During the Two-Tone War. The entire group of Light Wizards left me to die.”
“You went missing. I personally searched for you for days.”
“Among the dead.”
Viimeinen slowly nodded. “So many wizards died that day.”
“Some were taken captive by the Dark Wizards. All of them died, eventually. After terrible things had been done to them.”
“But you survived and escaped,” Viimeinen said.
“I found balance and power between light and dark magic, and I grasped it.”
Another long, dark pause stilled the night air.
At last, Varjo answered. “I was ignorant of such things during my apprenticeship. Just like you are. Just like you always have been.”
“And so me, being a lesser being, will now die at your hands because I am ignorant to your balance and power?”
“You will not die at my hands, old man,” said Varjo, eyes sparkling in the moonlight. “You will die the same way every wizard has since my escape. By your own hands.”
Varjo’s sparkling eyes disappeared as his eyelids shut. A deep exhalation came from his mouth, and Viimeinen noticed an increase in darkness within his room, spilling from Varjo’s mouth. They were distinct shadows. Very many of them, as if dozens of people were in the room.
Chills crept up and down his body— not out of fear, but out of pure coldness. He could see wisps of his breath melting into the moonlight, and he continued to get colder and colder.
Varjo inhaled deeply, his eyes still closed. Viimeinen, shivering from the deepening chill in the room stepped back slowly. The candlelight illuminating the room shook by wind unseen, but did not fade away. He felt a tearing at his feet. Not a searing tear, but like ice cold knives were slicing the bottoms of his feet. He screamed and fell down, reaching for his right foot. There, hanging freely next to his foot was a shadow: his shadow. He reached his hand toward it, but was stopped short as his left foot underwent the same cold slicing.
“What is this madness?” Viimeinen sobbed loudly.
“There is no madness here, old man,” replied Varjo. “Just a taste of true power for you.”
Viimeinen looked from Varjo to his shadow standing freely in the air. The candlelight flickered once more and disappeared. The moonlight silhouetted his shadow still, it moved a hair’s breadth away.
“Goodbye, old friend,” whispered Varjo.
Viimeinen, still sitting on the ground opened his mouth to scream, but any sound he tried to make was cut short. His own shadow jumped into his gaping mouth, ransacking his insides like a tornado. His body slumped to the floor, his eyes still wide with horror and pain.
Varjo again breathed deeply, and the shadows who witnessed the murder dematerialized back through his open mouth. The shadow of Viimeinen exited the lifeless body and followed the other shadows. Varjo slowly turned away, his dark cape sweeping the floor as he walked out of the room.
Thus ended the days of the Wizards of Light and Dark, and only the Shadow Wielder remained.