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The Wizards of Pangea – The Sorcerer Chronicles – 8

Each of the Wizards faced off with one of the Dark Mages, they gave the Mages the first attack. There were lightning bolts cast, the Wizards had learned the power of their sigils, forming their sigil with their empty hand, they absorbed the lightning bolts, then using their staff, they sent a blast back, this wasn’t lightning, this was a blast of energy, it cut through the Mage’s defenses and they took the blast at full strength, it hadn’t knocked them down, but their cloaks were smoking and some of them were trying not to burst into flames.
The Wizards let them attack again, this time they had sent fireballs, and the sigils absorbed the fire balls, the Mages continued casting different things at them, fire and lightning hadn’t harmed them. One of the Mages shrieked and a thick darkness was coming from his mouth, and it was spreading around them all, Bartok mumbled a spell and a strong wind from the east began to blow, and it swept the darkness out of the way and ate it.
They tried fog, wind, hail, driving rain, snow, nothing was working, the Wizards removed it all. Then they did something they expected but didn’t think they would do in the middle of a duel, they opened a portal, and a cyclops came through. None of them had ever seen a cyclops, much less knew how to kill one. They had read about cyclops, seen pictures of them, but they were evil creatures that would destroy anything, and their hides were impenetrable even to enchanted weapons. The stories they had read was about Angels driving them south, how were they able to bring a cyclops north? This was a monster bent on destruction. The only creature they had seen that was this size was Elric, and he wasn’t here, then Elric appeared with Tandriel, and Tandriel was carrying a flaming sword, the leader of the Nephilim had come to war. He took the cyclops head off with one stroke, and then he cut his heart out and burned it to a crisp, nothing but ash was left, and the body burst into flames and when the flame died off, there was new flowers growing where it died. Tandriel then turned on the ten Dark Mages and in a blast of the brightest light any of them had ever seen, when the light faded, the Mages were gone, along with any trace of their ever having been there.
Tandriel turned to them, with his head on his chest, he was so saddened by this event. He looked at Sarzon, and asked him “You found the secret?” Sarzon smiled at him “yes I found the secret, after you left”, “Good, the Nephilim will help you keep them from bringing such malevolent creatures through to the north. Cyclops cannot come here from the south, when they were driven south, we placed the seals, and going back and reinforcing the seals, the only way one can show up here, is if it comes through a portal. They can’t come to Nephilim, nor Benelvin, the Kingdom, or the Free Lands, but, the Dark Mages are gaining instruction from more than Morcandon, this took the knowledge of the Fallen. I have spoken to Uriel, Raphael, and Michael, they have set Warrior Angels along the border. To get any other of the malevolent beasts in the south here, they will need to use portals. Do not use a portal near the border of the south, and be careful when you transport, it is fast, and it is accurate, but you could wind up in a crossfire from the Dark Mages.” With that, he left on Elric and they went back to the Fortress, they were all sure what the conversation this evening would be.
Bartok led the discussion, they had fought the Dark Mages to a standstill, their magic was ineffective against the Wizards, and the Wizards Magic had been more than they could handle alone, and they brought in a cyclops, a cyclops, and Tandriel destroyed it as if it was smoke alone.
They needed to be on guard, their new abilities could cause them to become over confident, the Wizards Duel wasn’t the problem, they had been well prepared and their Magic was strong, they were taken by surprise because they had brought a cyclops, a creature that they thought was just a story. Now, the Nephilim were going to help, but if and only they brought a creature like the cyclops through a portal. They had been warned not to open a portal near the border and not to engage the Mages or Morcandon anywhere close to that border, stay at least one hundred miles away, and never chase them through a portal.
With all the ground rules in place, they prepared for the next encounter. They didn’t have long to wait, one of the lines that Sarzon had placed went off, and they made a portal and went to the location, it was an ugly scene. They had brought a minotaur, chimera, Manticore, troll, and ogre, as well as five Dark Mages, and several Fire Wraiths. They were burning the country side, and the Wizards had their work cut out for them. They dispatched the minotaur, chimera and Manticore easily. The Troll and the Ogre was a more difficult task, they were un-phased by Magic, they would have to be taken down with swords. Part of them took on the Troll and Ogre, and the rest took on the Mages.
The Mages had brought their best magic, they were hurling fireballs, spells, lightning, blasts, it was lighting up the countryside with the release of magic. When the others had finished off the Troll and Ogre, they took off after the Fire Wraiths. They were going to have their hands full with them, they would need to trap them with a spell, and then destroy them with a spell designed to take away their fire.
Fire Wraiths were hard to overcome, they had to be pushed into a place where they could find nothing to sustain their flame with. They would never go over water, the water would suck them dry, not far behind them was a lake, if they could force them back far enough and push them into a trap, they could suspend the trap in the air above the water, the problem they faced is the Fire Wraiths knew where the water was and they were trying to position themselves so that they couldn’t be pushed over the water.
Every time they turned, one of the Wizards would put up a spell that prevented them from passing. They kept it up until they pushed them back to the edge of the water. Then when the demons were going to shriek and try a desperate maneuver, Lazolon captured them in a demon trap, and they levitated it out over the water, the demons fire began to fade, they were losing their power, the water was bubbling under the trap, and the fish had fled to the other end of the lake. They held the cage and then from out of nowhere, a blast hit them, and the trap was sprung, the Fire Wraiths were too weak to float over the water, they fell into the lake and all the fish died within a day, the water became so fouled that it couldn’t be used for anything.
The wizards had been knocked flat by the blast, it had come from behind them over near where the five Mages were battling the Wizards. When they came to, they were shocked by the devastation that they saw, the whole area inside the safeguards was scorched. There wasn’t a tree, bush, or blade of grass that hadn’t been burned. The whole area was smoldering, and there was nothing left but ash, smoke, and broken rocks. The lake was so fouled by the Fire Wraiths, that everything in it was dead. They had to attempt to heal this, if they couldn’t, the Dark Magic could gain a foothold in the North and all they had done to protect the North could come undone.
Healing the land and removing the burn was easy, encouraging the plants to regrow, and the grass to come back, took more time, and they had to reach deep into the earth to find healthy tree roots to bring the trees back. The lake, that was something else entirely, the fish would come back on their own if they could cleanse the water from the foul residue left behind by the destruction of the Fire Wraiths. They still didn’t know what had caused that blast. They removed the residue from the water, and restored it, they had to work hard and long to contain the residue and keep it from spreading down the river that flowed from the lake, once they had it contained they had to build a trap to contain it and then decide what to do with it. There was no place anywhere they knew of to hold the residue so it couldn’t be released, even by accident.
The dwarves came up with an answer. They made a container of the purest silver, enchanted it, placed seals on it, and put the residue inside it and then sealed it with Magic. Then they asked Bartok to transport it back to the Fortress for safe keeping. Bartok wasn’t sure about using the Fortress as a repository, but until they came up with some other way to safely handle the residue, it was the only safe place in the North to put it.
They went through a portal, and came back into the Fortress. Bartok told the dwarves to keep the container outside until he came back. He asked Sarzon, Lorelai, and Lazolon to come with him, and he asked everyone else to stay out in the courtyard until they returned. They went to the deepest part of the fortress, farther down than even Sarzon knew was there. He had never been to this part of the Fortress and he thought he knew all of it. Bartok could feel his thoughts and told them that this was the oldest part of the Fortress, they were going to the original vault and this part of the Fortress has a door that can only be opened magically, they had passed through that door when they came in to the stone corridor. They came up to an iron door. Iron was the only thing other than silver that could stop Dark Magic. It wouldn’t contain it, not like silver, but it could keep it from crossing the threshold. Once they entered the room, he closed the door and used magic to illuminate the room. There were shelves in this room with iron boxes.
He told them that the iron boxes held all of the dark magic residue he had overcame through the centuries, the room was fairly large and there was a lot of empty space on the shelves. He asked them to help him change this room, he felt that if it was going to be a repository for the Dark residue, it needed an upgrade. They looked at him and asked how. He told them that this room was built from silver ore. Not the kind they would find anywhere else. He wanted them to help him turn the room into solid silver and to inlay the proper symbols to keep it from leaving this room, and he wanted to coat the door on the inside as well as the frame with silver. Sarzon said they should coat the whole door inside and out.
Bartok disagreed and explained why. They needed the door to look like it had for centuries, if by some chance Morcandon ever got back inside the Fortress, he knew where this room was at, even though he didn’t know how to open the door. The door had a trap built into it that if, by any chance Morcandon came through that door, it would snap have closed behind him and he would be trapped and unable to escape without one of the Fallen releasing him, or an Archangel. Not even the Nephilim could open the door.
They agreed and proceeded to change the room. It took a bit to place the seals, but converting the ore into pure silver, that was the easy part. Once they finished with the silver, he asked all of them to wait outside, he would set the seals himself. An hour later, he opened the iron door and the room had a faint glow, the seals were glowing, that meant they were connected to a source of Magic that wasn’t coming from Bartok. When Sarzon started to question him about the room, he raised his hand for them to not ask a question, and told them the Fortress was built here for a reason, it sat upon a Well of Magic, like the Well of Souls, except this was pure Magic, not Dark Magic.
They left the room and went back to the courtyard, got the silver container, placed it in the room, and sealed the door. The outer seal on the door wasn’t as complicated or overly powerful, and then Sarzon saw the reason, he had placed the seal in a way that Morcandon could open it, and get trapped inside.
They went back up and called everyone into the main hall, then they had a meal. Everyone was extremely quiet. They hadn’t expected things to go the way they had. The dark creatures weren’t what bothered them, nor the cyclops or the balrog. What bothered them was no one knew where that blast came from. It had nearly destroyed that whole valley. Sarzon had went to his rooms and was looking for a particular book, Lorelai came in and she asked him what he was so obsessed about. He looked up at her and laid the book open, inside, was a drawing of what that valley had looked like, and it explained what happened. When they unleashed all the Magic at once, it caused a build-up, the Light and Dark Magic had taken on a battle of its own, and when they cancelled each other out, the blast is what had nocked all of them out, and dropped the trap with the Fire Wraiths in it. It wasn’t someone releasing the trap, it was the Magic destroying itself and removing the darkness.
She was as horrified as he was, they had almost caused an irreversible destruction that would have spread if left unchecked. Morcandon had done it on purpose, he wanted that Magic released and he had hoped it would take all of them with it. They were dueling him, all of them, and the Dark Mages were disposable to him. He could make more.
When they came down to the hall, and explained to everyone what had happened, Bartok fell silent, and laid his hands in his lap, he looked as if he had suddenly become ill. When they asked him what was wrong, he shook his head, and he rose from his seat and slowly, silently, went to his room. He looked as if he had been broken.
Sarzon took him some food, hot tea, and ambrosia. When he entered into Bartok’s rooms he noticed that Bartok was sitting in the dark away from the light. Sarzon set the tray down beside his favorite chair, where he usually read at night. He looked up at Sarzon, and then he spoke, “Sarzon, Morcandon is calling me out, for the final battle between he and I. should I lose, everything will fall upon you, to take this fight, make it your own, to keep the new Wizards coming and training. I will be leaving in the morning, do not follow me, no matter what you hear, or what the Dark Mages say, do not follow me. I am going to face Morcandon, and I must go alone.” Sarzon had known for a long time that his mentor and friend, his adopted father would one day have to face Morcandon, and somehow, he knew where Bartok the Blue was going. He looked at him, and said “I know you have to go and do this, in fact I have been trying to prepare myself for this day. I am not okay with your decision, but I give you my word, that neither I nor any other Wizard will follow where you’re going. I hope that it isn’t a mistake, and I hope you return.” With that, he rose placed his strong young hand on his shoulder, and when he looked up at Sarzon, he saw he was okay. He would take the lead in the fight now, and he would do well.
The morning came and each of the Wizards found a scroll on the foot of their beds. It was from Bartok. He told them that he would be gone when they woke. They ran down to the main hall and Sarzon was standing there in his robe, accompanied by Lorelai, Lazolon, and Tandriel, the Nephilim were here. Not just Tandriel, but all of them, in the hall and the courtyard. There were at least one hundred of them. All of the Wizards stopped in their tracks. Tandriel raised his hand to quiet the murmur, and then told them that they were under no circumstances to follow Bartok. This was his fight, and they had to stay out or the balance of power would tip in the favor of the Fallen.
They were all taken unawares, and the unexpected departure of Bartok the Blue left them feeling hollow. How were they going to keep the evil from encroaching in on the north without Bartok being here to help them. It was Tandriel who spoke at that point. “He didn’t forsake you. He went to defend you. He went so that none of you would have too. The Darkness can’t be overcome with Magic alone; it takes faith, and in all of this group how many of you have Faith? You have to have Faith in yourselves, that what you’re doing is the right thing, that what he’s doing is the right thing, and that if you believe in YHWH, and that he has appointed you to guard this realm, then act in Faith. It is stronger than any Magic I released. If you combine that Faith with your Magic, then you will have exactly what you need to win this battle and keep the North free from the Darkness that the Fallen would use to pervert the whole world in the way they have perverted the South. Are you the Guardians of this realm, or are you going to watch it fall because one of your number has chosen to follow the path that was set before him?”
With that, he opened a portal and departed. They had never seen him perform any act of Magic before and he was inside the Fortress, he shouldn’t have been able to open a portal here. Sarzon looked at the place where the portal had been, wondering just how powerful Tandriel was. He passed through the daunting enchantments as if they were smoke. It was then that he realized that the enchantments were only against Dark Magic, and Tandriel hadn’t released the Dark Magic, that it was one of the Fallen who had released it, and the angelic host could come and go as they pleased, they weren’t affected by Magic, they were Spirit beings, and they didn’t use Magic. They didn’t have too.

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