This novel is to take place in modern times. I've not yet decided on to the origin of the master of Shadowmound Keep(the name of the fortress depicted in this excerp), and would be thankful for any ideas.

The Sorcerers' Cabal

I was exhausted, walking slowly across the large room. Light was scarce and came in a reddish glow, seeping through small windows made of red glass. High colonnades stretched far up into the darkness near the left and right walls. The door I'd just left behind me was tall, more of a gate actually, with a gothic design, rich with detailed decorations and arcane ornaments. My steps echoed as I crossed the room. With every step I took, I found myself sinking deeper into my thoughts.

I reached the steps leading up to my throne, and glanced around. As for now, little decoration had been made to this room; I'd simply not had the time nor the energy for it. The room was almost empty except for the throne and the two pillars flanking it, both of which I'd made to grow out of the floor and magically connect to the entire fortress. Sighing, I seated with a sluggish and tired motion. The pillar on my left held a scrying device(in layman's terms a "crystal ball") clasped firmly in its stone fingers. The one on my right held a slender scepter. The crystal ball and the scepter was my eyes and hands in this fortress of my creation; Its creation which was the cause of my current fatigue.

I'd spent about approximately a week molding it to fit my design, although the very first moments were the most draining. I'd found an ideal place, a relatively small island in the middle of an inlet, and had reached deep into the soil with my black magic, tearing a large chunk of soil and rock from the flesh of Mother Earth. Of course, I'd given my ceremonial apologies to her before performing the ritual. All that was visible was the dark tower stretching high into the sky. The tower was large though, so large as to cover half of the islands total area in its black circle. However, in the depths hidden from the sun lay a vast fortress; an underground stronghold.

So far I'd only attended to decorating my private quarters and putting the smithing area to use after creating the many halls, stairs, rooms, spires and towers. Now I was exhausted and in need of a decent meal and some sleep. To find suitable prey was tiring as well, and I considered having my newly created minions deal with that matter. I couldn't trust them to be stealthy enough though, so I began raising myself to my feet.

A flapping of wings and the scratching sound of claws against stone gave a faint echoe in my throne room. A winged bat-like beast the size of a large dog made an awkward bow before me. It waited patiently for me to acknowledge its presence, but I could see that something had agitated the creature. Its ears flickered and it shot a nervous glance up towards me.

"Yes, my servant?" I finally gave it my unpronounced permission to speak.
The creature jerked up from the bow but gave another slight bow and crawled a bit closer.
"Master! I bring disturbing news! Our presence in this region has been detected..."
I furrowed my eyebrows slightly, "Why, of course it has! Even the dumb humans would notice a large tower growing out of the earth within a weeks passing. However, I doubt you would waste my time with such unnecessary news..." I stared at the creature harshly.
"No, Master! I, we, would not!", The creature almost stuttered with shame, "It would seem as though there is a group within the clergy of our enemy whom have made a move against us, we are being watched, sire!"
"Do you know from where they came? What organization they are affiliated with?" I enquired, with growing interest.
"We suspect the Vatican, Master, these men do not carry the scent of the land."

The creature waited patiently as I thought of what had to be done. I decided that these new aggressors were no immediate threat, yet had soon to be dealt with. Regaining my strength was top priority.
"Moundmaw, I expect you to maintain vigil, and keep me informed of their movements. As for now I am in need of a suitable meal. I'll be hunting in the city for the next few hours."
I arose from the throne and removed the scepter from the pillar as I made my way to the door, Moundmaw crawling and skipping beside me to keep up with my pace.

"And..." I stopped and turned sharply. Moundmaw halting clumsily, trying to bow as he skidded. I held back a chuckle at this sight. Smiling in the corner of my mouth, I praised myself for realizing the value of having servants early on. The almost fanatical devotion these creature demonstrated had after all not been created by me. I guessed their gratitude towards me for making them what they were now, were enough. I'd even caught some of them referring to the moment of their creation as "The Ascent" with almost zelous passion.

"... The circumstances must be ideal, Moundmaw. I do not want any casualties among my servants, but the capture of one of these men would be of great value. If you manage this, hold him prisoner on the island and do not let him get near the tower or the fortress!"
Moundmaw bowed again and then took off into the air with a grace that made his movements on land look like a joke in comparison. The creature made a sharp turn mid-air and swept around me, shouting with the kind of joy only an eager and devoted servant who has pleased his master can do, "Good hunting, Master! Your will shall be done!"

Short story by Rex Panthera
Read 848 times
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Written on 2010-05-20 at 15:36

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Doreen Cavazza
I like where this is going. It has a dark and sinister feel with a bit of light comedy which brings it to life. Your descriptions are very nice and your voice is very good. I love the characters so far. I hope you'll have more of this soon! You know how much I love a wizard's tale! And you tell it very well.