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The Ring of Spirits
Gandof angrily shuffled through his papers. So far this morning he hadn’t found anything about his given assignment, the Ring of Sprits. People knew it had some special power but no one knew what it was or how to access it. Nobody had paid it that much attention, until Lord Harry had stolen it, and everyone knew Harry wouldn’t take something without a reason.
So the assignment had been given to Gandof, the youngest member of the wizard corps. None of the others took him seriously and it angered him. He was better than half of them but they all they were better because they were older and had more experience.
An urgent knock at the door interrupted him from his thoughts. He went to open it and found a kings messenger outside.
“Sir Gandof the king wishes to see you,” said the messenger,
“What for?” asked Gandof skeptically. He wasn’t used to being summoned by the king.
“He would not disclose that information to me, I am but a simple messenger,” said the man
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” he said.
“Yes sir,” said the messenger and ran off to report to the king.
Twenty minutes later Gandof was beckoned into King Simon’s office by his secretary.
“You wished to see me, my lord,” said Gandof bowing before him. Simon nodded at him to stand and he did. Simon was a just ruler in his mid-thirties and was tall and lean.
“Yes Gandof have a seat I have much to explain,” said the king and Gandof grabbed a chair to sit in.
“You already know that Harry has stolen the Ring of Sprits,” the king began.” And while we don’t know what it does we know that since Harry stole it, it must have some significance. What we don’t know is why he wanted it and what he plans to do with it. Which is why I need you, Gandof, to travel to his lair and get it back before he can do any harm.”
Gandof was t socked to speak at first but quickly regained his composure.” But sir why wouldn’t you send a senior wizard like Malcolm, he’s the best,” Gandof managed.
“Because unlike the rest of those pigheaded wizards I see your potential, you may not realize it yet but you are already one of the best wizards in the corps, and Harry won’t recognize you like he would recognize you like he would one of the seniors,” Simon replied.
“Okay but what if I fail?” Gandof asked.
“Then you’ll be dead and I’ll have to send an army to get it back,” the king chuckled.” I would send the army first but I don’t want to risk the men.”
Gandof was silent for a moment pondering whether to go or not.” Alright I accept this quest,” he said.
“Good you will depart this evening taking only a horse and a few belongings,” the king said. Gandof’s response was to stand up, bow again and leave the chamber.
It didn’t take long for Gandof to pack. He took only a few provisions, a spell book, a water canteen a blanket, a bow and full quiver of arrows, and a sword. What most people didn’t know about wizards is that they were trained in the art of swordplay and marksmanship. Even the best of wizards couldn’t cast more than a dozen spells without collapsing with exhaustion and preferred to save their energy for only important times. That’s why they use the sword and bow.
He packed the provisions, book, blanket, and canteen in a knapsack and strapped it to his horse. He sheathed his sword and put the bow and quiver over his shoulder and departed.
To get to Harry’s lair you had to leave his home country of Rohan, go through Moldore, then to Helmsdeep’s southwest corner. The trip usually took about a week, but could be made in as short a time as five days.
He left at about dinner time and had an easy time through Rohan and then crossed into Moldore.
He traveled for another hour and reached the top of a large hill and saw the town of Fodnag in the distance. But something wasn’t right. At this time of night there would be fires lit in the kitchens and there would be lights on and noise coming from the tavern. But there was nothing. No sound or light. He decided that this strange mystery could wait tell tomorrow and found a place to camp.
He found a campsite and made a fire that was cooking the rabbit he had killed on it. He was about to remove the rabbit from the fire when he heard a noise from the bushes. He picked up his bow and loaded an arrow. He looked around the campsite for the thing that had caused the noise when a voice said,” Don’t shoot.”
He looked behind him and saw a girl about his age of seventeen coming from the bushes.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“My name is Kelsie, I was a slave but my master was killed by Harry’s army,” she said and closed her eyes, as if reliving the moment.
“Harry has an army?” asked Gandof baffled.
“Yes he swept through Moldore two days ago and killed everyone in his path,” she said.” I was lucky to escape on my horse.”
“But how did Harry get an army?” asked Gandof sill totally puzzled.
“I don’t know, but the warriors, they aren’t normal, I saw Sir Norman champion of Rohan, but he died two years ago,” she said.
“The ring,” said Gandof.” The ring must give him the power to summon ancient warriors.”
“Ring? What ring?” said Kelsie now the one confused.
“Harry stole the Ring of Spirits from the castle three days ago,” Gandof explained.” I was sent by King Simon to get it back.”
“That’s suicide,” she said.” You’ll never get to him.”
“I have to try,” he replied.
“Well then I’m coming with you,” she said.
“But-,” Gandof began but the icy look in her eyes told him that it was pointless to argue.
“Well if your coming then you should probably have something to eat,” he said motioning for her to sit down by the fire,
“Thank you,” she said sitting down.
They ate in silence and then agreed they should set up a watch system to indicate any incoming danger. Kelsie volunteered to take first watch and Gandof didn’t argue. He lay down and was asleep in five minutes.
The next day they set off. They traveled easily through the day only stopping to have a short lunch. In mid-afternoon they were ambushed by a trio of bandits looking for villages to loot. Gandof could’ve taken the all with his sword, but that would’ve left Kelsie open t attack. So he decided to use a spell.
“Es mey volken!” he yelled in the direction of the bandits ad three lighting bolts arched down through the sky and struck the men, disintegrating them. Gandof wasn’t normally a killer, but he figured that the world couldn’t be that much worse off without three bandits.
Next to him Kelsie barely reacted which was strange, most people would be shocked when someone did something like that.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were a wizard,” she asked.
“Why weren’t you surprised when I just did that?” Gandof countered and she just shrugged.
After that incident they traveled peacefully until they reached the border of Moldore and Helmsdeep. They were stopped by a border guard.
“What is your business in Helmsdeep?” he asked them.
“On a diplomatic mission from King Simon,” he told the guard handing him the papers the king had given him to get him past the border. The guard studied them and handed them back
“Okay all clear,” he said waving them on.
They traveled to a village and stayed in an inn. They were about half a days journey from Harry’s lair and were both nervous about what tomorrow could bring. They slept nicely in the inn and ser off early in the morning. They made I to the lair by noon and had to hide in the forest to avoid being seen by the sentries.
“What should we do?” Kelsie asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said counting the guards. There were five of them. HE could handle them but they would sound the alarm.
“Well you better think of something,” said Kelsie.
Gandof thought for a moment before coming up wit a solution.” I have to go alone I’ll pretend to be a mercenary looking for work. Harry will take me he takes all mercenaries. Then when the time is right I’ll take the ring.”
“Then what will I do?” asked Kelsie.
“You’ll go back to Rohan and tell the king of my plan. Tell him that if I’m not back in a month and a half to send an army,” he replied.
“But-,” Kelsie began but Gandof cut her off.
“No more,” he said.” Now help me get dirty to look more like a mercenary.”
In about an hour he was pleased with how he looked and decided to go.” Remember a month and a half.”
And with that he rode off towards a new world.
At dark after Gandof had left Kelsie was making a camp about a mile from Harry’s lair. She wasn’t happy with Gandof for leaving her but it didn’t matter. She wasn’t going back to Rohan. When the moment was right she would enter the lair and retrieve the Ring of Spirits. Then she would escape. With, or without Gandof.