Chapter 2 The beginning
I was 5 years old. The cold was intense that day. It was too chilly even for the residents. Everybody in Gertsede was ordered to stay inside because of a massive blizzard. At that point Gertsede was a large town with a market, castle and a military stronghold.
I was running around the house with my toy sword whacking random objects like pillows and doors. My mother was by the fire smiling as I played. My father was desperately trying to get a large fire going, but all he could muster was a small flame.
“I’m going outside to get some more firewood,” said my father frustrated.
That was the last time I saw my father. After awhile of waiting, my dad didn’t come back with the fire wood. My mother was getting worried. I could see it on her face, but at my young age I couldn’t understand why. My mom bundled herself up and went outside to look for him. I calmed down and sat on the couch waiting for my parents to come back.
When my mom came back she found me crying my eyes out. She sat down holding me assuring me we’d find him and it would be all right.
We never found him. There was little evidence to where he went considering the blizzard the night before. There was many guesses on where he went. The next morning the people who knew my father well got together and gave their predictions on what had happened to him.
One prediction was that he ran off with another woman. The idea was given because my father was apparently caught talking sweet with the waitress at the pub who disappeared the same night. The only problem with this theory is that after that encounter the waitress got married to another man.
The next theory was that he lost his way in the blizzard and wandered into the forest. Even if that was the case he’d probably be dead by that point.
The last idea was that he died of cold and was buried in snow. The obvious problem with that is we hadn’t found his body.
But one piece of evidence that didn’t fit any of the stories was that a large tower was spotted out in the fields that night. First it was spotted by an old man who drank a lot, so everybody thought he was hallucinating. Then another man spotted it but the townsfolk announced he was seeing chimney smoke. But when more and more people claimed to have seen a tower, people started to think it was more than a coincidence. Now here’s the real twist. After that night the tower disappeared.
Months passed and my jobless mother realized that without my working father she couldn’t pay for herself and me. At the time I had no idea what was going on besides that my father was gone. My mom was sinking into a life of doing anything she could to do to pay for us.
Soon she gave up and went into a stage of depression. She didn’t care about me anymore she just wanted to live which was plenty hard when there is nothing to live for.
One day my mother sent a letter. I didn’t know who it was to, but by the mood she was in that day she didn’t seem to like writing it. Soon a man wearing a big cloak and a long grey beard came riding on a horse. He walked in and started talking with my mother. My mother finally just came over and looked at me sadly for a second, then left the room.
The man sat me down and told me he was my uncle Lane and he was going to take care of me from now on. I asked if I’d see my mum every once in a while.
“Absolutely” he said reassuringly.
But I never saw my mother again. Apparently she died of depression soon after. When my uncle discovered this he planned a huge ceremony and buried her next to the richest men in town.
Meanwhile living with my uncle was great. He was very rich with a large house. He let me go to a school but took me out when I was 10 for “special” training. My uncle was a wizard. He was a very intelligent man and he thought that I would do well as a wizard. The problem was that wizards took a lot of training to become so I became his apprentice.
There were several types of magic user. There were mediums: people who studied the art of summoning. Seers: people who told the future. Conjurors: people who fought on the battlefield with magic. Sorcerers: trainers in magic. And mages: Scholars in magic. There were many more, but those are the main types. He taught me all sorts of magic, from potions to hexes, to making magic items and weapons. But the magic I found most interesting was summoning. The art of summoning involved being able to transfer magic from the magical world to the natural world. I wanted to become an expert in summoning magic so my uncle taught me a lot on the subject.
After several years of training and studying I was ready to go out into the world. My uncle let me live by myself when I was 16. For that age I was apparently mature. Though I was living by myself I was still close to my uncle in the city of Forgesmite which was only a mile away. As I mentioned before, I had gone to my uncle’s house to get his opinion on the Geavas story. When I got there it turned out he was not breathing. As soon as that happened I ran outside to get a healer, but part of me told myself it was too late. As I ran yelling for help, all the times my uncle said things like “I’m on deaths doorstep, give me some slack.” Or “Someday you’re gonna stress me to death.” I always thought he was funny saying things like that, but now when he was really almost dead, it wasn’t amusing at all.
When finally the local healer ran from his house and asked me what was wrong, I knew he was already dead. I told the healer what was wrong and we swiftly reached my uncle’s house. The healer looked at my uncle, checked his vital signs and put him on the table. After a short inspection the healer declared that his patient had had heart failure caused from stress and old age.
“Is there anything you can do?” I said hopefully, though I knew the answer.
“Well if you’re asking if he’s dead or not, I’ll tell you he’s not dead yet, but he is in a sleep he probably won’t wake up from.” Said the old man like his patients life didn’t matter.
“When do you think he’ll……..”
“At best, tomorrow,” He said to my unfinished sentence “It seems his heart dropped last night.”
“Bosaka,” I swore. He frowned at my displeasure
I didn’t know what to do after that so I wandered around the house remembering old times I spent with my uncle. How he used to tell me stories of his adventures when he traveled around the world. How he used to teach me how to use a magic object and how to make one. How he’d move around the house showing me everything and the boring story behind every clock, vase and painting. At the time I hated it, but now I miss it.
I traveled into his study where his desk faced a huge window looking over the woods. All around the room Weapons and trophies of battle hung. His desk was covered in papers and books like always. I was suddenly interested in what he was studying before he died. Besides, the doctor said he died of stress and old age. What would he be stressed about. I walked over to his desk where his golden candle magically still burned. A lot of the books he was reading were about old Harpish folk tales, history and magic. Why was he suddenly interested in Harpland?
He had several notes. He seemed to be writing about a man named Aescious. By what I could figure out from his notes was that Aescious was a Harpish king who fought and won the freedom of Harpland from Lioland but used undead and demonic creatures at his disposal. After many years he was killed by the exish king named Seamus the thrilling, but some say his spirit still resides in a tower.
I stop after reading that note. A tower. Could this be the tower that appeared the night my father disappeared? Could it be the tower that haunted my dreams along with a ghostly voice calling my name?
No. It must’ve been a coincidence I thought. There are a lot of creepy towers in legend. Besides the story of Aescious is a fairytale. Then why was my uncle so interested?
I kept looking through his notes and found a page that got my attention. It was written on a yellowed old paper but the ink letters were relatively new.
For the one that reads this I have a warning. He knows that I am figuring it out. He’ll find me soon. Warn Frostbite to avoid the hooded . I don’t have much time. Tell him the answer is in the city of one street. Make sure he meets with Setsua and Maximilian.
I had so many questions I wanted to ask, I wanted to explode. I looked everywhere on his desk for more clues though I only found one letter that was never sent. I was about to read the letter when I noticed something. I had put the note face down and I noticed something on the back. Four large words were printed.
The Tower of Aescious
I almost jumped back in surprise. So the tower was important. But why? I was almost sure it was the same tower as the one from 13 years ago and the one in my dreams. But what was it? I sat there scared by the mysterious situation in front of me. I never was good with mysteries and now it seems that I might be in danger. I started to read the letter that was in front of me.
Dear Peter Maximillian,
It has been a long time since we have crossed paths. Much has changed. I am probably going to die within a couple of days. I plan to give you two of the most important things I have: My nephew Frostbite and my daughter Setsua. Train them in magic and protect them. If he gets to them he will rise again. I have the best of hopes for you. Sincerely, Lane Geredur
I almost screamed. Uncle Lane had a daughter! I was stunned. He never told me. I was angry, scared and confused. Somebody is trying to get to us. I couldn’t think straight, I was terrified. I was about to throw myself out the window [Not literally] when the healer ran in and gasped “He said something.”
I ran downstairs to my uncle. He was still lying down but was half awake. I ran to him. I wanted to ask a million questions. But all I managed to ask was “You have daughter?”
He smiled a bit and managed to say one sentence. “Find out what happened to him.” He didn’t say who but I knew he was talking about my father.
I nodded and said I’d promise. I realized I was crying. He was closing his eyes again. I started shaking him and yelling at him to wake up. I soon realized it was too late. He was dead, the healer said so after words. I suddenly thought of something.
“What did he say when he woke up”
The healer looked at me confused.
We gathered around the hole we magically dug the day before. Maximilian stood over the coffin whispering spells and enchantments. His White beard flowed in the wind. Setsua stood there with more of an angry look then a sad expression. Two days earlier I had sent the letter to Maximilian through magic. Maximilian was a colleague of Uncle Lane and a powerful Sorcerer. He came into the town riding on a horse with Setsua. Setsua was a young woman around 19 who wore a black cloak and a permanent angry expression. She had jagged layers of dark red hair and bright green eyes. She seemed to not like me. I was fine with that, I didn’t like her either.
Technically she was my cousin but if somebody asked us if we were related I would deny it. Besides nobody would ask that any way. We looked nothing alike. She was tall, muscular and had red hair while I was short, scrawny and had black hair. We didn’t get along because she thought I was immature and prideful. I thought the same but about her.
The coffin started to float in mid air then it started floating down into the hole. When it landed, Maximilian filled the hole with dirt. On a tombstone Maximilian wrote on the words Lane Geredur 1234-1294 Loving husband brave adventurer and genius in life and in the face of death
The snow collected on our shoulders while Maximilian finished up his work with a trap so if anyone tried to dig up his body they would have serious amnesia for the next month.
I told them to come inside. We left the grave yard and walked to my house. Now that Lane was dead I got all of his possessions including the house. We sat down in the dining room and discussed what we should do. Maximilian looked at Lane’s notes and was greatly confused when he read about The Tower of Aescious, but was nervous when he found out about The Hooded.
“You two are in great danger,” he said gravely “Especially with The Hooded involved”
“Who are The Hooded?” I asked.
“You don’t know who The Hooded are?” She scoffed.
“The Hooded is a cult who hunts for dark magic” Said Maximilian quietly “I don’t know why they want to get to you but when The Hooded have a target they usually get it.”
We sat there in silence for a moment not knowing what to do. I finally broke the silence.
“Uncle Lane said to find out what happened to my father.”
Setsua of course spoke first “Why should we believe you?” I was about to argue back when Maximilian broke in.
“It seems if we answer that riddle it will be easier to figure the rest out.”
Setsua hated the thought of following my plan, but reluctantly gave in. She gave me an evil look and looked back at Maximilian.
“So where do we start?” she said angrily while rolling her eyes at my smug face.
“Well according to these papers we must go to the city with one street,” He responded.
“There are several cities with one street. Which one was he talking about.” “Amhain Straide,” said the small figure in the corner “It means one street.”