The three of them left the following morning. They bid Gwyn farewell. The worried woman gave Magath an amulet that she had inherited from her mother. Gwyn told Magath the amulet would protect him from any evil and only in case of emergency should he open it. The amulet was fixed to a cord and Magath put it around his neck in order to please the old woman.
Gwyn had had another vivid dream. She had dreamed of the amulet and a voice had told her to hand it to Magath. The old woman believed in legends and tales. And she also believed in vivid dreams. So she had done what the voice had told her. It had said that the amulet contained a remedy that helped to see more clearly. Gwyn had opened the amulet, yet had not found anything inside. However, she trusted her vivid dream. The old woman looked after the three men. All worried, she watched them leave.
Neldor, Qildor, and Magath had ridden for about an hour when suddenly a cold wind got up and heavy clouds darkened the sky. Neldor looked at the sky thoughtfully and then pulled out the crystal from the pocket of his robe. No beams of light, however, emanated from it. Neldor put the crystal back into his pocket. He looked at the sky again. The heavy clouds were threatening and the air was chilly. The wind freshened and the first rain drops fell.
Magath wrapped his cape tighter around his shoulders. Was the bad weather a warning? An early sign that their journey was ill-fated and they were doomed to fail? Magath exchanged a worried look with Qildor.
"We must not overrate things," Qildor said calmly to Magath. He looked at the wizard.
"No," Neldor agreed. "I do not think the man changed the weather. Nor did anybody change it to give us a warning. But, nonetheless, we must watch out. Our journey is long and it won’t be easy."
They rode on in silence. The wind was cold and the rain fell in a drizzle. The weather did not raise their spirits.
Ogol and his men rested on a clearing in the wood. They were one day ahead of their followers and many miles lay between them. But they also observed the sudden weather change. Ogol looked up and watched the dark clouds. The heavy clouds looked threatening. A cold wind blew and rain fell in a drizzle. Was the bad weather a sign or a first warning?
Ogol took out his orb and activated it. Light emanated from the orb. The orb showed the familiar energy pattern. The violet spot inside of the orb moved slowly.
"I must calm down," Ogol said to himself. "A weather change is not necessarily a warning."
He mounted his horse and made a gesture with his hand. The dark riders moved on.
The Castle of Saelethiel was high up in the Western Mountains. It was guarded by a mighty ward. The castle was hidden from the sight of an average man and only the wise men knew where to find it.
Leandor stood by the window and watched the dark sky. The heavy clouds were threatening. His hand seized a silver amulet. The metal was cool in his hand. Leandor had opened the amulet a few minutes ago. It contained a message that was ancient and had not been read by anyone for many years. The amulet was passed on from one master of the library to the next and with it was passed on the order to open it when a sign was given to the brethren that the time had come to enforce the law. Leandor looked out of the window. The time had come.
Leandor had stepped into the main hall just when a black crow and a white dove had flown inside through the window that was guarded by a ward and that rejected entrance to all mortal beings. The birds had sat down on the ground. Leandor realized in an instant that he witnessed the sign that called the brethren to act. Leandor had gazed at the birds and the birds had gazed back at him. Then they had flown up and had left the hall again. The black crow had first flown out of the window and the white dove had followed it quickly.
Leandor had stood motionless for a couple of minutes. He stood almost petrified and he felt cold. Then a shiver ran up his spine and he seized the amulet that was fixed to a cord and was placed around his neck. Leandor walked to the window and opened the amulet. He found a folded piece of parchment inside. Leandor unfolded it with trembling hands. He held it up right in front of his eyes. Letters were written on it. Leandor recognized the ancient language of Aglanthol. The letters were clear and good to read, although the parchment was very old. The hand-writing was elaborate and the letters were neat and very small. It looked like the hand-writing in the ancient books that the castle hid from the outside world. The paper contained a message from the early times. It was a message from the first and most powerful wizards.
Time had come to enforce the law that was written in the book of time. Two birds had flown through the hidden window. Time had come for two men to face the truth. Fate had summoned them to look into the abyss of their soul. The two men were on their way to the castle. They were ready to undergo the trial and the brethren, the guardians of the Castle of Saelethiel, were called to enforce the law.
Leandor read the message from the early times. He read the words aloud solemnly.
"No man can avoid his destiny, however hard he tries. This law is valid for all times. This law cannot be shaken," he read in a low and grave voice.
Leandor placed the parchment back into the amulet. He closed the amulet and seized it tightly. Then he rang a bell and summoned a meeting. The guardians of the castle gathered in the main hall and Leandor announced that the time had come. He recounted the incident with the two birds and then read the ancient words to the brethren. None of them commented on them, but each of them instantly went and, following the ancient rules, the guardians of the ancient secrets locked away the holy books and magical tools. They built up powerful wards to guard the castle and its treasures and then the brethren gathered again in the main hall.
The hall was illuminated by candles. The brethren formed a circle. They stood silently. Then Leandor raised his voice.
"No man can avoid his destiny. This law is written in the book of time," he said gravely.
"This law is valid for all times. This law cannot be shaken," the brethren replied solemnly and in one voice.
The brethren sat down in a circle and focused their minds on the imminent event. The first magicians from the early times had spoken to them. The brethren focused their minds until they were in deep meditation. Non-natural silence fell upon the castle. The Castle of Saelethiel was waiting for the summoned men in order to put them on trial.
Thank You for Reading!
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