He was still at least five miles inside the Shadowlands. Once he went the rest of the way he could open a portal. But he still had to get there, and he had to get Morcandon to that room in the Fortress. He had gone another three miles and stopped to rest, he was almost out of this place, when he heard the one sound that he hadn’t wanted to hear, somewhere near was a sphinx. They had wings, and looked like a lion. Their facial features resembled a person, it was one of those creatures that were made by the release of Magic, and really would be an issue if they were attacked.
He stopped in his tracks, and lowered himself down to the ground. Morcandon had no power over the sphinx unless he was able to speak, and no Wizard in the north had ever been able to do more than kill one. That was when he heard an odd sound, the singing of Elves. Not the kind that would normally be in the shadowland, Dark Elves, these were Benelvin Elves and they were singing for him. Somehow Delvina had sensed his approach and sent elves to escort him out of the Shadowlands. They were only a few hundred yards from where he was at and he knew that the sphinx heard them as well. He whistled the call of the warbler, a bird that would come into the Shadowlands, and the elves replied, they came to where he was, and then saw what he had in tow, they smiled, the way that only an elf could look. He wasn’t sure who had come, then he saw that the party was led by Trandor, and he was glad to see him. Trandor helped him get Morcandon the rest of the way to Benelvin, and once they were safely inside Benelvin, he opened a portal to take them to Fair Haven, and they actually came out right in front of Oak House, and were met there by Delvina and the rest of the Council.
He was concerned that they might demand that Morcandon be kept in Benelvin, and if they did, he would agree to it. But he would also remind them that Morcandon had left by a portal from here and however he generated that portal, he could still use it to escape. But he would honor whatever decision they made and would do his best to help them build a cell he couldn’t escape from without help.
They all went to the Council Chambers, Morcandon in tow. It wouldn’t wait until tomorrow or tonight, it would be dealt with now. When he entered the council chambers they were all present. To his surprise, Sarzon was there as well as all the others, they had no say unless asked an opinion, but they were there all the same. Once the council assembled, and they brought in Morcandon, you could see on his face that he was truly afraid. The Wizards Council had never delivered a death sentence on a prisoner before, but he could be the first, and he knew it.
When they spoke, it was never to Morcandon, it was to each other. He was still held by the enchantment that Bartok had placed on him. He hadn’t been able to figure out how this enchantment worked, or how he could escape the enchantment. He was trapped and facing the conclave of Wizards who could pronounce judgement upon him. He was at their mercy. If they allowed him to speak, he could escape. He had gotten to the south from here before, all he needed was the power of his voice to escape. He was still wondering how Bartok had seized him and made himself his master, when the Council turned their question directly to him.
Morcandon was hoping that they would be fool enough to allow him to speak, but that wasn’t to be the case. They didn’t ask him any questions. They just told him what choices they were willing to give him. “Morcandon, you have spent five centuries attempting to destroy every living thing in the North. We have come to a decision, that separates us from you. You will not be put to death; however, you will be imprisoned.” He had hoped that they would choose to execute him, imprisoned he would be tormented within his cell, by the isolation, and he knew there would be no escape.
They looked at him, and then they turned to Bartok, “You captured him, and brought him back here as a prisoner, where do you believe is the safest place to keep him?” Bartok looked at them, and then he answered, “In the Fortress, in the deepest part of it, is a cell, it is made in iron ore, overlaid with pure silver. The door is iron and overlaid with pure silver. There are four people who made this cell, Myself, Sarzon, Lorelai, and Lazolon. We prepared the cell to hold him. It has been imbued with the same type of enchantments that I used to capture and bring him here. If he attempts to use magic inside that cell, he will be held in the same manner as he is now. As long as he is a conduit for Dark Magic, he cannot escape that cell, and will be held until this world is no more.”
The council considered his words and what it meant. Morcandon would be placed in a cell he couldn’t escape from, he would be rendered without Magic, and if he attempted to use Magic inside that cell, he would be held in the same enchantment he was being held in now. This was good. Then Trandor asked the burning question, the one that Morcandon had in his own mind. “If he cannot use Magic, and he is locked in that cell, what would prevent someone from releasing him and allowing him to walk out the door?”
This time it was Lazolon who spoke, “The enchantments are laid in a way as to prevent Morcandon from leaving that cell. Even if an ally were to open the door and try and bring him out, the enchantments will contain him. They cannot break him out of the cell. He will be fed, and receive water, but his life is forfeit in a way that will not put his blood on our hands. It will however destroy anyone who attempts to free him. There is no way to open a portal inside the room, and unless the whole planet is destroyed, the cell will hold him.” Morcandon listened, and he knew his fate was sealed. He would be placed into an inescapable cell in the heart of the Fortress, to remain there for all time.
He was so filled with rage that he was attempting to break the enchantment that held him physically, but he couldn’t move. He was held in place by some force that he couldn’t break. He couldn’t even speak. He wanted to kill all of them. They were condemning him to a fate worse than death. To spend the remainder of his life locked inside a cell with no contact. This was a cruel punishment when all he wanted was to be free. It would drive him to the brink of madness and beyond. How could Bartok condemn him for following his nature. He wasn’t a monster, he was a Wizard, one who had found an easier way to accomplish the goal, having a world united under one leader, him!!
When they had decreed his fate, they also had to decide how to get him to the Fortress. Taking him through a portal would work, but Sarzon didn’t want to chance using the Magic that would open the portal in front of Morcandon. He felt in the depths of his soul that Morcandon had seen too much already, and he would turn whatever they did to his advantage. He might be filled with darkness, but it didn’t take away from his intelligence, and the enchantment only prevented him from moving or speaking, it didn’t prevent him from hearing or seeing.
Bartok came up with a solution. They would take him by boat to the coast just beyond the Fortress, from there they would journey on foot to the gate, and with Morcandon placed in a position where he couldn’t see, they would enclose him in a bubble that would prevent him from hearing what was said until they got him into the cell. Once he was inside that cell, the nature of the cell would dissolve the bubble and release from the binding spell that held him, all they needed to do was to get him there.
The ship they took was an Elvin ship, it was made from Greywood, and it needed no sails. It was magically charge before anyone was allowed on board, and the ship would go to the Fortress, there it would anchor itself, and once they were off the ship it would return to Benelvin. Delvina and Trandor hadn’t left Benelvin since the Magic that protected it had been raised. They decided that they were going to accompany them to the Fortress and see Morcandon placed within that cell. They also wanted to see Lorelai, she hadn’t joined Sarzon on the journey, she was expecting their first child, and wouldn’t be travelling for some time to come.
They placed Morcandon on the ship, and once everyone was aboard, the ship left the dock and headed down river to the sea. They were on the river Pison and it emptied into the sea between Benelvin and Nephilim. The journey was a fast one, the Elvin ship moved through the water like a dolphin, and it was almost as fast. They were down the river and in the sea in one day. The journey to the Fortress would take two more days, and then this would be done.
Bartok had been surprised when the Council decided to place him in the Fortress. He had been sure they would want to keep Morcandon under their direct watch. But they hadn’t. they agreed that the best place to hold him was in the cell that had been prepared for him. It was Lazolon who had convinced them that the Fortress was the place. The only way to keep him in Benelvin was to place him in an exactly duplicated cell. And that would take time to accomplish. Time they dare not take.
Once the ship had entered onto the sea, the trip could get very nasty, on the river between Benelvin and Nephilim, they were protected but on the open sea, only wards around the ship would protect them, and they would have to keep a constant watch for attacks, but it was better than taking him through a portal. The trip to the coast was uneventful. They saw plenty of wildlife on both sides of the river, there were birds in great numbers, but no bats or ravens. So far, they were ahead of the Dark Mages that would most assuredly come.
When they reached the coast, they were surprised standing on the point of the inlet was Elric the Bold and Tandriel, it would seem they had been waiting for them to arrive. Tandriel came and told them that he would take Morcandon, and that the Nephilim would keep him within their borders. Tandriel told them that taking him to the Fortress would make that a target of every attack of Dark Magic that could be thrown at them, and this time, the Nephilim had been commanded to take Morcandon and put him in the pit prepared for the Fallen. It was the only place on Earth that would hold him. The enchantments in the Fortress cell were good, but they couldn’t stop the Fallen, and be assured, the Fallen would come for their agent.
Sarzon and Bartok weren’t sure of what to do, the whole council was present and heard what Tandriel had said. It was Delvina who asked Tandriel the question. “What guarantee’s that the Fallen won’t invade Nephilim and try and take him from you?” Tandriel smiled, and said, “The Pit where we are going to put Morcandon is guarded by Angels, not Nephilim, they will make sure that the Fallen cannot take him. They won’t go there, it is where they have been appointed to spend eternity, and if they enter the Pit, they will stay there.”
That settled things for the Council, Bartok and Sarzon, the look of pure terror on the Morcandon’s face was the evidence they needed to understand that he also knew that Tandriel was speaking the truth. They gave him over to Tandriel and Elric, Tandriel opened a portal and the three went through, Bartok knew that the days of fighting Morcandon was over. It was time for him to bestow the guardianship of the North to the others who had come out with him, and Sarzon was more than ready to take over as their leader.
With Morcandon defeated, there was no need to take the Elvin ship, they would simply use a portal. The said their goodbyes to the ship’s crew, all friends of theirs, and once the ship headed back up the river Sarzon opened a portal to the Fortress, and they stepped through. All of their comrades in the fight were there and Lorelai was heavy with child. Delvina and Trandor decided to stay with them until the child was born and once Lorelai was ready, they would take their leave and return to Benelvin.
While they were with them in the Fortress, they took the opportunity to learn the new things that Sarzon had discovered. It was exciting for them, it had been centuries since anyone had discovered new things, Sarzon hadn’t discovered something new, he had learned the new Magic from Tandriel. It was Tandriel who had showed him the path to enlightenment. All the information was in the books that Bartok had shared with him. But it was Tandriel who had given him the key to unlocking the knowledge in the book.
He had learned the power of the Sigils, and he had learned how to levitate, and to fly through the air if needed. He could open a portal to any place he had ever been and he had discovered how to give Magic to the Dwarves. They were cunning warriors, as well as excellent Wizards and he had given to Delvina and Trandor what he had learned so that when they returned to Benelvin, they and Bartok would instruct the Dwarves their on how to use Magic. Life in the Free Lands would be different now that Morcandon was in a safe place.
Bartok told Sarzon and the others that before he departed to Benelvin to stay in his home and live the rest of his life out, he needed to go to Menandor and tell him of his brother’s fate and that he wouldn’t be troubled by him any longer, but they hadn’t defeated all of the Dark Mages or the evil creatures, and the twisted races down in the South. Just Morcandon. That meant that the need for the Wizards to be in the Free Lands was still necessary.
The battle wasn’t over; it had just begun. They were going to be fighting Dark Mages instead of the Black Necromancer, and they wouldn’t be doing it out of fear, they were wholly evil, and they would now be free to attack as they would. They hadn’t ended the war, they had gotten a break for a short time, and when they returned it would be with a vengeance. The border was as secure as they could make it. But the Dark Mages had already figured out how to cross it and not get caught by the Angelic Seals that kept the Fallen from crossing.
They saw Tandriel and Elric take Morcandon off to the east, and once they were gone, and the ship was gone, Sarzon opened the portal and they went through. They walked into the Great Hall and standing there were their comrades and they were all glad to see them, especially Lorelai. She was always happy when Sarzon returned and he wasn’t hurt. She saw her parents were with him as well as Bartok the Blue. He seemed changed to her, not in a bad way, just different. When they were finally all seated and the food was served they ate and the conversation was light, and happy with the expectation of a child to be born soon. Delvina and Trandor were as excited as Sarzon, Lorelai, and Bartok. He was as close to a father as Sarzon had.
They talked long into the evening, and when everyone was relaxed, and reveling in not having to face Morcandon again, then one of the Dwarves, the Anvil, asked him how he had overcome Morcandon, whom he had fought to a standstill five times; and neither of them could win. But this time, Bartok had defeated him this time, and when he had, he had trapped him and brought him back with him. Bartok answered their questions, he told them that he hadn’t defeated Morcandon, he had defeated himself. When he told them the whole story, they were shocked. He had figured out how they could defeat the Dark Mages without destroying the Free Lands in the process.
It had been a long time since they had been able to rest in peace for any length of time they had settled in to defend the Free Lands, raise their children and continue to learn of Magic. For ten years, they hadn’t seen a Dark Mage, or any of the beasts from the Southland. Then without warning, a band of Dark Elves, Men, and the Black Dwarves entered into the Free Lands. They hadn’t used Magic, they had walked across the Shadowlands, and came to do battle. They were accompanied by several Dark Mages who had learned how Bartok had taken Morcandon across the Shadow Lands from a certain Cyclops that had ran into him, but left him be when one of the Giant Boars had attacked.
They were out for revenge, and they were headed to the Fortress. They didn’t know that Bartok the Blue was in Benelvin, and had been for the last eight years. He had left the Fortress to Sarzon, with all its secrets; went to Benelvin and lived in the Oak House and served as head of the Council once again. He felt the presence of Dark Magic in the land and he sent a messenger to Sarzon to prepare for a battle, he knew that the Dark Mages had crossed the Shadowlands.
When he had alerted Sarzon the Silver, he and the Wizards of the Free Lands prepared for battle. They went to the nearest place to where the Dark Mages had crossed and prepared to catch them in an ambush. They had prepared for this battle, and one of the things that Bartok had done was to send a company of Dwarves and a company of Elves to the same area. They were prepared to do Battle. This was the first War of Sorcerers. Before the capture of Morcandon the Black, it was occasional incursions to test the defenses of Bartok the Blue, but they weren’t facing him, they were facing Sarzon the Silver, a Wizard and Sorcerer who had no equal among the users of Magic.
They found the Dark Mages near the glen they had set enchantments around years before and that is where the Sorcerers and the Elves and Dwarves prepared to meet the Dark Mages, the Men, Dark Elves and Black Dwarves. They assembled and set out on foot after the Dark force. It didn’t take them long to find them. They had made a camp about ten miles from the glen and Sarzon’s forces met them in the field. It was a bloody battle, the Dwarves faced their own kind, this battle took on a life of its own. They were fighting with hammers and axes, and blood was flying from both sides. Their armor was strong, and it was taking the hits from their foes, and they were evenly matched. The Dwarf Sorcerers were going to step in when Sarzon stopped them and told them to let the Dwarves fight, they needed to concentrate on the Dark Mages, there were twenty of them. They started hurling Magic bolts and balls of fire at Sarzon and his group, before they departed the glen, Sarzon had divided the Wizards in to two separate groups, his group along with the Elves and Dwarves went straight to the location of their camp and engaged their forces. The other group was coming in behind them and the plan was to catch them in a crossfire and put up the same type of spell that Bartok had used against the Black Fortress.
When the group led by Lazolon was in place they brought up the dome, it was designed to reflect the Magic of anyone back upon them and it would turn the Magic in reverse of what was sent, the more they attacked the enchantment the stronger it got, if they sat down and used no magic, the dome would drop in a few minutes. They had learned their lesson when Bartok had used it against them in the South. They stopped after an initial release of Magic, sat down, and began to meditate, they remained silent and waited for the enchantment to run itself out. They had energized the dome it was going to take longer for the enchantment to drop. The wizards left a group of twenty prepared to face the Dark Mages the moment that enchantment dropped.
The rest had turned their attentions to the battle between the forces, and knowing what would happen if they unleashed a torrent of Magic, they took off flying into the battle and with swords and staffs, they decimated the forces of the Dark Mages. The Mages were affected by what they witnessed. They couldn’t fly like the Wizards could, they in fact had no magic close in strength to what the Wizards were displaying, they were afraid to face them, but they couldn’t leave until the enchantment dropped.
They watched in awe and fear as the Wizards were flying through the battle, wiping out their forces. By the time the main part of the battle was over and the Elves and Dwarves were cleaning up what was left of the Dark Mages forces, the Wizards surrounded the them, and with wards in place and firmly standing prepared, the dome dropped. The Dark Mages slowly stood, they knew that the only chance they had to survive was to surrender, but surrendering was going to put them into some enchanted cell somewhere and they would be held until they died, rather than be taken prisoner, and knowing they could escape through a portal without being followed, they took out their own swords and killed each other. The Wizards were appalled that they would rather die than to be banished.
They had never seen anything like this before. That was when Sarzon realized that all battles with the Dark Mages from this point forward would be battles to the death. They had seen the Wizards flying through the air, killing their foes, Dark Elves, Black Dwarves, and Southern Men. They were defeated easily. The Dwarves in the Free Lands could manipulate Magic and the Black Dwarves couldn’t, the Dark Elves weren’t without Magic, but because they preferred to fight. They could easily be the finest warriors on Pangea, but they had chosen the Dark Path, and didn’t pursue the things the Elves of Benelvin did. Life, harmony, peace, and pursued Magic. they were extraordinary fighters, highly skilled archers, and craftsmen. They had faced the Dark Elves and in the end, the Dark Elves had lost, but there were losses on Sarzon’s side as well. He had lost friends and allies. Two of the Dwarf Wizards had died due to hammer blows from the Black Dwarves, and fifteen of the Elves had died in their battle with the Dark Elves. The men were fought and defeated without Magic by Sarzon and the first group who had entered the battle. The men had died with courage, even though to Sarzon, they had no honor. They had tried to use trickery and to capture the Wizards in a crossfire and hadn’t been able to overcome them with the attack, the Wizards cut them down. It was a day not to rejoice or brag about. They had done what they had to do, they didn’t enjoy it, it had cost lives and friends were gone. The Wizards were saddened by the loss and once the battle was over, a portal opened for the Elves and Dwarves to return to Benelvin, the Wizards would go their later, there would be a memorial for the fallen in Benelvin in seven days, until then they would return to the Fortress and share their loss with those that were still there and they would all miss the comrades and friends that had been lost in this first battle of what would become known as the Sorcerer’s War.
All of them had been put in a place to protect the Free Lands, the northern half of Pangea. It had four areas, each different and unique. Nephilim was the easternmost portion of Pangea, it was east of the river Pison and the inhabitants were the Nephilim. The Sons of God who had taken daughters of men as wives, and had fathered the race of Giants, who also inhabited Nephilim. Between Nephilim and the Free Lands is Benelvin, the Home of the Elves and Dwarves, next to Benelvin was the Kingdom of Menandor, he was Morcandon the Black’s brother, and then there was the Free Lands, inhabited by all races except for the Nephilim and Giants. It had no King or ruler, but was protected by the Fortress, home originally of Bartok the Blue, and now the home of Sarzon the Silver, Lorelai the Fair, their children Sartok and Denerra, and up to one hundred Wizards and Sorcerers.
The South, they had no names for the areas, nor had they a real understanding of the politics or structure of the Southlands and all they knew was what they had faced from there so far, and none of it was good. This is the way things stood at the beginning of what would become known as the Sorcerer’s War.
It was more than five years since the first Battle of the Sorcerer’s War. Sarzon had children who were fifteen and thirteen respectively, his son Sartok was very much like his father, a born Wizard as was his father with the Elvin features of his mother. His sister, Denerra, was very much like their grandmother Delvina. She was small and petit, with perfectly chiseled Elvin features, long silver hair, and was a born Sorceress.
They had been training since childhood and soon Sartok would be going to Benelvin for the trials, and a short two years later, so would Denerra. They were probably the two most accomplished apprentices in known history. They also had never shown the slightest hint of Dark Magic in all the training they had done. It wasn’t a guarantee, but it was heartening to know that they were on the right path.
The battles in the Sorcerer’s War had been many. They had fought the Dark Mages repeatedly, they had lost some battles, won some, and some had ended in a draw. The Dark Mages were gaining in Magical Knowledge and the battles were no longer heavily one sided or the other. At the beginning when it was in Bartok the Blues hands, the battles had gone mostly to the Dark Mages, they hadn’t learned all the things from the books that Bartok had given to Sarzon. Sarzon and Bartok had been the only ones in the battle for some time, until Bartok and the newly confirmed Sarzon the Silver had left Benelvin with several Wizards, and one hundred more had come to join them. That changed the history of the battles and began what was to become the Sorcerer’s War. The leadership of the Sorcerer’s had come to Sarzon, he was leading the battle against the Dark Mages, they were taking out as many of the fell beasts and evil dark creatures as they came across. There were two creatures they still had no way of actually harming, not without some kind of large weapon, that was the Cyclops, and the Giant Boar. Neither of these creatures were affected by Magic, Light or Dark. The Cyclops were solitary creatures but would fight for the Dark Mages at times.
The Sorcerer’s didn’t go into the Shadowlands, and neither did the Dark Mages, it was a place where if either one used Magic, it would alert the users of Magic on the other side. It was a strange place, one hundred miles wide, and stretched across the whole of Pangea from east to west.
This is the way that things stood. The war continued on, the battles were many, some they lost and some they won. But all in all, they were fighting for the safety of the Free Lands, and all of the North; occasionally the Nephilim would intervene whenever the Dark Mages would bring some fell beast with them or a Cyclops or one of the Giant Boars.
The glen was still protected, and all the seals were still on the border. Rarely would either side win such a decisive victory over the other side that they would chance open all out warfare. It was continued battles, in different places, and the Wizards and Sorcerers in the north still didn’t make incursions into the Dark Lands. But at some point, this war would have to become decisive, either side was going to have to make an all-encompassing drive into the other’s territory and it would be a fight to the end of one side or the other.
As long as the Fallen were free in the Southlands, and the seals were on the border, the war would continue and there would be no end until the appointed day when there was only one left in the North to stand against the tide of evil, and then YHWH would intervene and destroy all he had created and start over. Until that day, the War of the Sorcerers would go on.