Legends of Elmar: A Worthy Foe by Shane Kitt

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SUMMARY: A young apprentice Elf Mage faces his final challenge. This is an older story of mine.

A tall figure stalked through the trees of Farwood, his flowing blue cloak shimmering slightly in the strong sunlight. He walked on until he came to a gap in the trees, here he stepped out on to a round, stone plateau with a large, blue gem set into its center. The stranger clasped his hands behind his back and began pacing impatiently about the stone circle. His gaze traveled from tree to tree and he started to hum slowly to himself. A rustle of branches and twigs stopped his melody short. A voice called to him: "Master, are you there, Master?". The speaker came through the gap of trees and halted before the rather stern looking figure in front of him. "I regret that I am late, Master Arfon.", he said sorrowfully. There was a tense silence, "You have been my apprentice and student for thirty-five years, Dernin, and now, at your Final Reckoning, you keep me waiting?", exclaimed Arfon, "Great Elven-Mages do not tarry when their fate hangs in the balance!". Dernin bowed respectfully to his master, "What is my punishment?", he asked.

"Nay, there will be no punishment, let us get along with your testing", replied Arfon and with that he reached down to a pouch on his waist. From it he took a small, black stone and placed it on the gem in the center of the stone circle. He chanted a short verse under his breath and closed his eyes. Dernin felt a slight tremble in the ground which steadily rose until he found it hard to keep his balance. Arfon, an Elven-Mage for three and half centuries, found it even harder to stand without swaying. "I have summoned a fearsome being which will test your skills and prove your magical prowess.", called Arfon as the wind began to howl mercilessly. The small stone in the center of the plateau had disappeared and the blue gem was beginning to glow, it became brighter and brighter until its luminance rivaled that of the Sun itself. Suddenly a creature which seemed to be formed from light appeared before Dernin. It had no shape or form but simply a pair of narrow eyes which pierced the young mages soul and filled him with utter confusion. He resisted the icy gaze of this mysterious being and with a bright flash the being ascended.

Dernin called upon his inner power and unleashed a barrage of destructive energy upon the sinister beast. The creature did not seem affected by such a powerful blast and so released its own magical carnage. The creature was indeed powerful, it swept Dernin clear off his feet and into a tree. Dernin became fraught with fear at the might of this awesome thing and how it had simply ignored his attempt to destroy it.

A sudden wave of enlightenment came over him, this was a Syvathor, the physical incarnation of a demons power. He remembered his masters teachings many years ago that this was a type of Demonwraith or the 'soul' of a demon if such a thing existed. Dernin got to his feet and uttered a curse at the Syvathor for he knew there was no way to destroy it in this form. He would have to bind it to a physical form somehow.

The Syvathor looked menacingly into the eyes of Dernin.

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