The Wizard and the Council of Knights
Rohkie and the knights of Greanfas remaining loyal to the old King gather under a large tent. The area is lit by a stream of yellow light, which ebbs gently above their heads. There are no tables or chairs.
“Gentlemen,” the grey wizard calls to the group as it clamors. “Please, take a seat and I will address you.” They all listen and descend to the grass.
“I realize we’ve all been given a great deal of serious news.”
“We?” A knight torts. “You knew!” At this comment, the group bursts with thunderous remarks.
“How dare you accuse the wizard!” One answers.
“You betrayed us, you betrayed the King!” Another shouts.
“Silence!” Rohkie demands. The room darkens, the crowd obeys. “I will answer each of you, but one at a time. You are partly correct. I knew of the origins of magic, even in those days. I knew how Kalinbind orcs are made. However, usually the sacrificer is the one who chooses to become the new form. I did not know that Hesfall had turned King Loden into Grifkar. Of this, I was as in the dark as you were.”
“What will we do now?” A soldier queries. “How does this news change things?”
“That is a good question,” Rohkie acknowledges. “What Hesfall said about the creation of magic is true, though its secret is supposed to remain with the alpha mages. Magic can only be made by sacrifice on the plains of Laonore. We cannot sacrifice anyone. That would only create more dark magic. If one of us sacrificed ourselves, then a skilled magic wieldermay be able to forge an enchantment to reverse the Kalinbind effects, but one cannot know for sure.”
“No,” the grey mage mutters. “We must do what our plan has been. There is no telling that we can get our old King back. We already have an heir to the throne and there is no sense in spilling our own blood for such a gamble.”
“Then it is decided,” an elder knight scratches out of his throat. “Where is the prince? Let him formalize the decision.”
“Aye!” Some knights agree.
No sooner does their commotion rise up then Ophni appears at the tent entrance. She is drenched with sweat.
“Keatoph,” she huffs, “He’s headed to the plains of Laonore. He’s going to sacrifice himself for Grifkar.”
“He cannot be allowed to do that,” Rohkie blurts out. “Take some men, now, and go! I will secure men from Asgafal and we will meet you at Pernigath.”
“I will accompany her,” a knight in his mid 40’s states. He rises from the ground. His hair is black and grey. His eyes are both warm and serious.
“Thank you, captain Duvaan,” the enchanter responds. “Keatoph has much to grieve. If you do not catch him, he may make a costly mistake.”
With this remark, the meeting ends. Ophni leads Captain Duvaan and his troops south and East, striving to find Keatoph before he reaches the Skegmag mountains. Rohkie takes the remainder of the warriors north, seeking to gain aid from Asgafal.