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A Legend

Long ago, when kingdoms existed, and were ruled by the power thirsty, a lone figure slowly walked up the castle steps. Hunched over and leaning heavily on a walking stick, black robes billowing behind him, he knocked on the wooden door with a ring of finality.

As the clouds covered the moon, drenching the wizard in a vapour of darkness, the door creaked open. There stood a well-dressed butler, holding a dripping candle. Looking over the old man with obvious distaste, he demanded what was wanted from this lowly character.

"I am Gordon, here to see the king on very important matters." For such a frail man, his voice was strong and demanded the attention of anyone who heard. Nodding, the butler turned around unsteadily and swiftly began his way donw the corridor. Gordon followed at a slower pace, his cane creating a resounding thud every other step.

Following the butler down this dimly lit corridor, it was obvious how richly and vastly decorated the hallway was. Gordon noticed this with a grim disappointment, remembering the vivid poverty of the kingdom outside the castle walls.

The butler stopped at two doors, pausing before he opened them. Stepping inside a large library, they found the King reading a decorated book by the fireplace. It took only one glance to understand that King Herold adored anything intricate and fine. Dressed in a fur robe, each finger adorned with a jewelled ring, the King lifted his bearded head in annoyance. Taking in the grubby old man, he heaved himself up with a heavy sigh and waved away the butler. Standing with his back to the warmth of the fireplace, he demanded what was so important that his nightly reading must be interrupted.

"King, it is time for the test I warned you would come," was all that Gordon stated. Never taking his eyes from the disgruntled expression of the King, he pulled out a gnarly, wooden wand. With a flick of his wrist, two chests appeared between them. One was old and shabby, seeming to have been made from extra scraps of wood. The other was obviously of the finest maple, decorated with heavy jewels. It was this one that immediately caught the eye of the king, who forgot the other, simpler box.

"Now," Gordon said, his voice rising in power. "You must choose. One hold the continuing power you hold over this kingdom. The other, if you so choose it, will take your rights away and give it to a more deserving person. You must only choose."

Rashly, without a thought, the king pointed to the box full of riches. As he pointed, the box shot open, releasing a black cloud. This gloom surrounded the king in an opaque mist, and as it faded, the king was no more. Now in his place stood a simple man, dressed in the clothing of a farmer, who's expression was of complete shock.

"I'm sorry brother," Gordon said with a heavy, grim sadness. "I warned you long ago of the dangers of judging by appearance. Now, because of this folly, you have lost it all." Turning, robes flowing, the wizard slowly walked away.



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