Dust exploded out into the small space as he slammed the book closed. Tossing it to the side he reached for the next one in the pile. Ancient papers crackled their protestation and the spine popped and snapped as he opened it. Flipping through the pages quickly he scanned and searched.
Something has gone wrong, he thought to himself. Questions without answers, and problems without solutions were multiplying as the Realm changed. Disharmony had staked a claim in the lands and there seemed to be no recourse but to yield.
The wars east of Faranhold had caused great suffering but had not yet spilled over into the borderlands of Ranees or Naargas. The bickering in the great lands of Capsillia were keeping them from choosing sides but that might soon change if trade routes did not open again soon.
Another cloud of dust billowed upward, and another book was tossed aside. Perhaps he had brought along the wrong volumes, he thought then quickly dismissed the idea. It should be there and yet he could not find it. Looking round at the stacks of books he had packed, none seemed to call to him. He had read them all and as such, the book with whatever answers he sought would often jump out at him from among the piles.
The sound of his horse drew him out of his own dark thoughts. Ordinarily quiet, the mare that pulled his wagon barely seemed alive at times. So, a neigh, a whinny, a snort, any such disturbance usually meant that something was amiss. Taking care not to hit his head, Busca Zador stood up in the small wagon that had served as his home since he set out to find them. He arranged his robes, which were little more than a coarse blanket with a hole in the middle for his head and stepped out into the fresh spring air.
“Why are you here Seeker?”
The harsh voice that greeted Busca Zador, belonged to one of the town elders. The man was dower and determined looking, but Busca Zador saw that there was also fear in the man’s eyes. He also noted that the man was not alone. “Why do you come with an armed escort?”, he said eying the two men at arms standing on either side of the old man. Whether it was intent or merely a reflex, both men at arms brought up a hand to rest uneasily on their sword hilts.
“Answer the question, Seeker.”
Careful to avoid sudden movements Busca Zador stepped down from the wagon and slowly closed the door behind him. The moment the latch clicked he knew the protective enchantments were in place. Stepping away from the wagon to give himself room he planted his feet shoulder width apart. “I sent you word of my pending arrival, as well as to its purpose.”
The elder held up a piece of parchment, the very letter that was sent.
“You can’t have her.”
Busca Zador sighed heavily. He had hoped to avoid this. “Please understand,” he said, “your sacrifice and hers, is for the protection and betterment of---”
“You can’t have her!”
Busca Zador let his hands drift to his sides giving him access to his belt. “You cannot stop me,” he said without malice but a warning none the less.
The low thump of a bow string came from a tree on his right. His hand was already in the bag that hung from his belt, and he swung his arm in a wide arc, yellow powder scattering from his fingertips. The incoming arrow bounced off the glittering dust as if it were a wall of stone. Swords were now drawn and the two men at arms charged. Crouching low, Busca Zador grabbed a handful of the earth at his feet murmuring his incantation. As the dirt in his hand began to glow, he drew back preparing to heave the now smoking ball at the coming swordsmen.
“Stop! Please,” came a pleading voice from behind the town elder. A woman stepped out of the bushes just in front of the town elder.
Busca Zador was still holding the smoking earth. His hand now trembling from the built-up energy, and the dust shield was dissipating. He knew that the unseen bowman would have another arrow nocked by now and he could not hold his counterattack much longer.
“She is gone,” said the woman stepping forward with her hands held high. “Do not punish these men my lord. It was I who begged them to delay you.”
“Why in the name of---”
“She is my daughter.”
About the Creator
The voices speak, all we need do is listen.
The written word became very important to me at an early age. I have been trying to place them in the right order ever since. Dark and Urban Fantasy is where I currently play. Want to join me?