Chapter 1: A Quest for the Best

“Bring me my wizard!” I can hear Quinn shout from the main hall. I sigh with annoyance, my research isn’t finished yet and I know that within seconds he’s going to send one of his knights in here to fetch me and Azorach knows they won’t take no for an answer.

As predicted my door burst open moments later, in steps a knight clad entirely in his armor. Slowly he reaches up and removes his helmet.

“Ah sir Michael,” I greet seeing the familiar face of one of lord Quinn’s most trusted soldiers. “I’m guessing you’re here to fetch me.”

“Yes I uh…” Michael stops in surprise. “You truly do have magic powers.” He states in amazement. I can tell what he’s thinking; he thinks I can predict things before they happen. Sadly, though, that ability does not fall under my range of magical powers.

“Yes well let’s get this over with quickly,” I say grabbing my cloak on the way to the door. Apparently the “master,” as he has so dubbed himself, gets frustrated when I do not wear the cloak that he claims makes me look more “wizard-ish.” I choose only to wear it so as not to be forced to listen to half-an-hour worth of complaining from him about looking more professional in his presence.

“Right this way,” sings the unusually tall knight as if it was part of a script. The man claimed he had giants blood inside of him and thus giving him his excessive increase of height. As he walks his metal armor clanks annoyingly, you might have been able to pick up on it but I really don’t like it here. Too big a place for one man and an army to simply live and rule over people whose needs are not being met. I don’t like being grouped in with this crowd when all I do is work for the man just like everyone else in this kingdom, only difference is that I’m in the same building as he as opposed to the fields or the mines. If it weren’t for the fact that I needed money to buy supplies to continue my research I’d quit.

It’s only moments before we reach the main hall where Quinn paced around looking furious. Behind him sits his gold throne covered in red velvet padding which he hated sitting in. Say what you want about the guy but I can totally relate with not wanting to sit around in a chair all day no matter how comfortable it looked.

“Oh thank Azorach,” Quinn exclaimed as I stand in front of him unenthusiastically awaiting whatever chore he is going to ask me to do.

“What can I do for you sir?” I ask trying to sound as interested as possibly. He takes a deep breath and I prepare for some long explanation, I might as well have put everything away in my study because I can tell this is going to take a while.

“Alright so here’s the thing,” Quinn begins his hands raised to his chest in preparation to gesture about to help emphasize his upcoming story. “You know the kingdom next door?”

“You mean the kingdom of Jordom? The King’s personal favorite and capital of the entire Jaaron region, as well as the primary weapons manufacturer and supplier of our military?” My tone of sarcasm is almost palpable.

“Yes, yes don’t make it sound so pleasant!” Quinn practically shrieks at me. “Anyways, by King Jaaron’s request a prisoner was moved from the kingdom of Jordom and placed under my care, a warlock going by the name Jonathon. Well in an effort to prank us the lord Jordom slipped the evildoer the key to his shackles and thus the warlock escaped our custody the moment he was brought in. Not only that, but he also managed to kill three of my guards and apparently put a curse on the woman who runs the royal clothing shop here in town causing all the clothes she makes to turn to the most awful shade of dull light blue you’ve ever seen.” He paused and noticed the robes I was wearing, the same ones he forces me to wear in his presence, and the color they exhibited: a dull light blue.

He looks back up and stares at me awaiting my reply.

“Well what would my lord wish for me to do?” I ask.

“I want you and a party of people of my choosing to go find him and bring him to me. ALIVE!” He practically jabs me in the eye with his finger as he shouts the last word, enunciating it to make sure it sinks deep within my brain. I roll my eyes, just what I needed a quest.

“Of course my lord,” I try not to sound too unenthusiastic. “When would you like me to get started?”
“Immediately,” he laughs as if it were obvious, he walks away and sits on his throne. “I’m guessing you’re wondering who I will be sending with you.”

“On pins and needles,” I mumble to myself.

“What was that wizard!?” Quinn shouts not quite hearing my complaint.

“Yes I would very much like to know sir,” I reply.

“Good, guards bring in the weapons maker!” The noble shouts to the back of the room where two of his armored soldiers stand on either side of his throne-room’s heavy wooden doors. They each reach towards each other and grab the handles in the center and swing the doors open revealing a dark figure from behind. In walks a short man but with a beard long enough to make up for his lack in stature. He walks confidently in each step a heavy one.

“It’s about damn time,” the man’s voice drips heavily with a gruff Scottish accent, yet quick and cool enough to make one think he must be a salesman.

“Ah Skyler this here is Ben a half-dwarf,” Quinn introduces. The short man bows to me his beard folding over itself as it hit the ground not far below him. “He is a weapons expert,” he continues.

“Any non-magic weapon you could ever want I’ve got it,” my new acquaintance explains with a smile across his face that one could barely make out if it weren’t for his happy tone. “Course you’re a magic user so I suppose that doesn’t do you much good,” the man jokes.

“Well I could always enchant one,” I suggest.

“Yeah? You can do that?” Ben states in surprise as if he’d never heard of such a thing.

“Sure that’s how all magical weapons are made all you need is a wizard or other magic..”

“Alright you two can we get back to the rest of the group before you end up discussing the creation of the galaxy and the meaning of life or whatnot,” Quinn interrupts hoping to bring the conversation back to himself.

“Your next fellow-quester is…well it’s a little awkward to explain.” Ben and I look at each other confused. Suddenly Michael and another knight enter the room holding a man bound by ropes wearing a hooded cape and mask. “This is Caleb a rogue who recently tried to steal from me and in the process managed to take out six of my guards.”

The man did not struggle but the two knights were very rough with him as they pushed him closer to the front of the room obviously unhappy with the fact they he killed six of their friends.

“Are you sure this is a good idea my-lord?” Ben asks and I nod in agreement. “Are you sure we can handle a convict?”

“Of course!” Quinn laughs as if it were a joke. “Let me tell you how our government system works boys. We lords have three things in this world: money, power, and people who want to take one of those two things from us. These people, once we manage to catch them, typically have a skill they are quite good at, otherwise they are dead by the time we catch them, these are useful skills that we want SO what we do is pay them to use that skill FOR us rather than AGAINST us.” The noble smiles as Ben and I look at each other slightly disturbed at what’s been going on in our politics inner-workings.

“Just watch,” Quinn turns towards his knights. “Michael would you please untie my new friend,” he smiles holding his hand out to the masked figure. Michael angrily pulls out his sword; the criminal does not flinch, and swings down slicing the rope from the man’s body. Suddenly the man, now freed, spins around and disarms Michael taking the knight’s sword for himself. The mystery man quickly kicks Michael to the ground before the knight can even look up leaving him unable to pick himself off the floor due to the heavy armor surrounding his body. The man turns to us and looks as if to jump towards Quinn, I prepare my staff and Ben pulls a mini-cannon from somewhere on his person aiming it at the assailant.

“Woah, Woah, Woah,” Quinn laughs nervously holding up his hands to assure us there was nothing wrong. “Caleb come here,” he motions to the man who walks silently to Quinn’s side. “This is Caleb he is a dark elf who has abandoned the rest of his race to become a mercenary assassin and a thief. I planned out this whole show as a way to impress you but I can assure you there is no need to worry he is completely loyal to me.” Suddenly the sword in the newcomer’s hand is at Quinn’s throat.

“I want you to get one things clear, I am not loyal to you or any other man but myself. I do this job for you simply for the money, got it!” The man’s voice flows smoothly from his mouth, his tongue giving the slightest hiss as he spoke.

“Well I’ll keep that in mind,” Quinn laughed nervously as he cautiously reached up and moved the sword from his neck. Michael was just able to pick himself up off the ground and glared angrily in Caleb’s direction.

“Will this be all m’lord?” Ben asks with a bow.

“Actually I have one more companion I’d like you to bring along,” the noble turns to his knights his hand outstretched towards them. “My captain of the guard Michael,” The knight immediately comes to attention and salutes.

“If I may ask m’lord, wouldn’t it be an unwise decision to let me go with them and leave your lordship unprotected.” Michael stammers as he tries to convince the man to let him stay.

“No, no, no,” Quinn assures. “I will be fine I can protect myself.” I stifle a laugh but a high-pitched cough manages to escape. Quinn shoots me a glare. He motions for Michael to step down and join us in front of him.

“Alright you four,” I realize Quinn is going to give us a sending-off speech and I roll my eyes. “It’s glad to know that even though there are men out there who want to see me dead and take my power from me, that I still have you four good friends to count on. Now go forth and complete this quest and I assure you that you will all return rich men!” Suddenly Quinn’s voice falls to a mumble, “if you make it back at all.”

“Wait what did you say?” But my voice was drowned out as Quinn’s guards hustled us out of the lord’s home.

“May Azorach go with you!” Quinn shouts after us as the big oak doors close behind us.

One thought on “Chapter 1: A Quest for the Best”

  1. I do love me a good fantasy story. I grew up with the concept of wizards and knights thanks to my nephew Jase. We would create paper RPGs kind of like table-top games where we would create elaborate lists of weapons, monsters, etc and create stories just like a GameMaster because that’s what we were. Later in life i was inspired hugely by my friend RJ, a wise man from my church who knew everything there was to know about all things geekdom. I will miss his since he since has passed away but I hope to honor his memory by never giving up my dreams and always creating fantastical things.

    “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” – W.B. Yeats

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