THE WIZARD OF THE WHITE TOWER
by CAPHER


In a land of dreams and lore called Aér'aí'chán. In a time lost in myths and fairytales the gods scheme to destroy the races of Avá, the Dreamer. In this world a young girl dreams... In her dreams the owl spoke. "You carry within yourself the seed of destiny! He will bring about great destruction, but he also carries your love and will find it someday. Let his name be Ethan." Then visions of a great war and powers unleashed like she never saw before flashed before her eyes... Thus the prophecy was given and the epic story of the Wizard of the White Tower begins.
 

CHAPTER I
A
BDUCTION

 other! Mother! My chores are all done and Father has gone off into the fields. Can I go take a walk in the woods?” Lorilie said at the top of her voice as the wooden door slammed open as she rushed into the family’s home. “Lorilie how many times have I told you its not lady like to shout. Running in here like an orcish buffoon. You are growing up into a very pretty young lady. How are you going to get a husband if you act like that?”

Lorilie rolled her dark brown eyes. A husband is the last thing she had on her mind. “ I know Mother. But it’s just such a beautiful day and the woods are so pretty with the leaves changing color. Father says its going to be an early fall and a hard winter this year. I could go and gather some Medlarapple berries for you. You said that we needed more so you could make more jam. Please?” She pleaded.

Ruth Hawke thought a moment peering down at her daughter. “Oh alright you may go but be back early.”

“Thank you Mother.” Lorilie said as she rushed out the door, her dress swirling about her like leaves in a whirlwind.

“Wait! You forgot the basket for the berries.” Ruth exclaimed holding out the handmade wicker basket.

Lorilie stopped suddenly, turned, slipped and fell on the ground. Quickly brushing herself off she ran back to her mother, grabbed the basket and began running up the hill toward the woods behind their home that bordered their land.

The Hawke farm was nestled on a patch of fertile ground near the Zeiphyrian Forest. It had been there for generations. Matthew, the current patriarch of the Hawke family, was a serious man. He worked the family farm as his brothers went off adventuring. Matthew cared for none of that. When it came time to have a wife, Matthew, practical as ever, looked over his prospects of the available females in the area and chose Ruth.

Ruth was the oldest of the Oman family living several leagues North of the Hawke farm. She was plain looking except for her waist length Auburn hair and large round dark brown eyes they were her best features. At the age of 21 she thought herself to be an old maid and never considered that anyone would want to marry her, considering that most girls were married by the age of fifteen and had families already. Ruth had resigned herself to helping and working on her families’ farm. When Matthew came around and asked her Father to court her she was shocked to say the least.

At first the idea repulsed her. She had seen Matthew a few times at some of the barn dances and in town picking up some seed and supplies, but he was old. Much older than her 21 years, though he was handsome in a weathered, rugged sort of way, she thought. And since there were not that many prospects asking to court her and with her Mother’s insistence and Fathers approval she consented.

Matthew was a man of few words. And when he did speak it was usually about the farm. As Ruth listened to him speak she grew to understand the love that Matthew had for the land. One day after just a few months of courting her he took her to his farm. There, in the middle of the most beautiful valley, stood an old run down hut. She was horrified to think that she would have to live in there. Matthew showed her the land and talked about his plans and dreams. As he talked, he led her to a patch of land that had stakes pounded in the ground and twine connecting these stakes making forms of rooms. He told her that that room was going to be the living room. Then he proceeded to tell her of the other rooms describing each in minute detail.

She listened quietly. Obviously he had thought about this a great deal, she thought. And as Matthew talked she could begin to see what he saw. Then he stopped talking. It was probably the most talking he ever did in his entire life. What is he expecting now, she thought. She didn’t know what to say, so for a few awkward moments they just stood there looking at one and another. Then Matthew fished in the pocket of his pants and pulled out a ring made of Eu’r-oak but crafted with precision and beauty. He slipped it on her finger and asked her to marry him.

A year later after he built the house and all of the furniture in it crafted with Eu’roak along with a large hearth and chimney they were married. A year later Ruth gave birth to their first child; a girl Matthew named Lorilie, named after a flower in the field. At first Ruth thought Matthew would be disappointed because all along during her pregnancy he talked about a son and how he would carry on the Hawke name and run the farm. Then came the news that Ruth could have no more children. Matthew, practical as he was, took the news without saying a word and raised Lorilie like a son, much to the dismay of her mother.

Lorilie adored her father and as soon as she could walk was following him around. Matthew would patiently wait for his daughters’ little legs to catch up to him, and then he would take her into the barn, put her on the old plow horse, and hook up the plow and head out to the fields. She would ride the horse all day long just jabbering and looking around. Once when she almost fell off the horses back he made a crafted wooden saddle, ornately designed and lined with sheepskin that she could sit in. There were many nights Lorilie would sit at Matthew’s feet while he sat in his favorite chair and whittled on a piece of wood. Lorilie would do most of the talking with him, saying a few words in between but it was obvious that he loved her as much as she loved him.

She grew up tall and straight like the trees. She had her mothers’ eyes and hair but the rest was her father’s. She had a love for the land and the forest bordering the farm fascinated her. Though she could work a horse and plow better than most boys her age, Matthew realized she also needed to know things that girls should know.

So when she came of age he convinced her to stay at home and be taught the things a woman should know, much to Ruth’s delight. For years she had been trying to teach her young, impulsive daughter how to cook, sew, take care of the home, all the things she needed to know to attract a husband someday. However that seemed to be an almost impossible task.

Lorilie liked her independence and had no interest in boys except maybe as hunting or wrestling partners. There were many times she would come home with a torn dress, dirty face and a triumphant smile testifying to the fact that she whipped another boy. After a few times of this she had to learn to sew because her mother refused to sew any more torn dresses. Matthew would just chuckle, ask the name of the boy, mark his name in his memory and continue on whittling.

The sun was high in the air by the time Lorilie stepped into the forest. The colorful canopy of leaves shaded the trail she walked on. It was cool in the forest and she welcomed it from the heat of the midday sun. She knew exactly where she was headed. The path, though not well worn, was familiar to her as she worked her way up and down small mounds of leaf-covered ground, around thickets until she reached a clearing in the forest. This was her favorite place. As soon as she stepped in the clearing the sun shone bright and warm upon the many flowers and grasses in the meadow.

A small brook ran through the meadow and she stopped, knelt down, cupped her hands and took a long drink of the pure, clean water. She stared at the reflection looking back at her. Dark brown eyes, deer eyes her father would say, were large and wide, an aquiline nose, full lips surrounding a mouth full of straight white teeth. She brushed back her almost waist length Auburn hair, pulling twigs and small pieces of leaves from it.

Then suddenly there was an image of a hooded man standing next to her. She let out a small squeal and rose quickly. He grabbed for her. With a quick twist of her body she took him by surprise and eluded his grasp. He came after her again reaching for her, but she took one hand and spinning throwing her hip into his side flipped him over her head. He landed with a thump and a curse upon his lips. She heard laughter behind her. She turned and saw a group of hooded men standing watching her. One of them chuckled. “My lord Saban it seems you have a wildcat on your hands. For a female she fights like a man.”

“So it would seem. She will make a good bedmate for the night. I like a woman with fire.”
Lorilie turned and looked at the man who slowly rose from the ground. His hood had slipped off his head. A sharp gasp escaped her lips as she recognized the form in front of her. He’s an elf, she thought. Though she had never seen an elf before she had listened to her father’s stories and descriptions of the many varied races of the world and the slight features and pointed ears were enough to confirm this man’s race. She then realized what he had said and the meaning behind the words. She turned to run but a blow on the back of her head knocked her unconscious. Her last thoughts were of her father.

“Matthew - I don’t know what do with that girl! I told her to come home early and it is almost nightfall and she still isn’t home.” Matthew had just returned from the fields for the day. He had already watered, fed, brushed the plow horse and was currently cleaning off the plow when his wife stormed into the barn. He stood up, walked out of the barn, looked into the evening sky and returned into the barn. “This is not like her Ruth. Lorilie always knows when I come home. When she didn’t come to meet me and help with the horses I figured you had her too busy to come, though that never stopped her before. Where did you say she went?”
“I didn’t,” Ruth replied. “She asked to go take a walk in the woods and pick some Medlarapple berries for some jam. I told her it was all right but to be home early. I’m worried, Matthew! She has never been this late before.” She began to cry.

Matthew put her arms around her, held her close and said. “Don’t worry. She’s a big girl and can take care of herself and knows the woods well. But she is late. Maybe she just lost track of time. No doubt she’s stepping out of the woods right now and heading down the hill towards home. I think I’ll just go and meet her. Why don’t you go back into the house and finish cooking supper? - I’m sure she will be famished. I know I am.” He gave her a big smile and gently nudged her toward the house and began to walk up the hill toward the woods.

With long quick strides it didn’t take Matthew long before he crested the hill and found the path into the woods. The sun was almost down now and it was dark inside the woods. ‘I know exactly where she went’, Matthew thought as he began to walk into the woods. ‘It has to be the meadow’, He mumbled to himself as he traversed the path through the woods. His familiarity with the path and woods helped as we walked along towards his destination looking for any sign of his daughter. ‘Foolish girl, she knows better than this. The woods are not a place to be at night even if you know them as well as she does!’ he mused. However, the thought that she was hurt never even entered into his mind because of the confidence he had in her.

Finally at what seemed like an eternity he broke out of the dark woods into the bright moonlit meadow. The moon was so full and bright that it was almost like daylight. Immediately Matthew began to look for signs on the ground and soon found what he was looking for: the soft prints of shoes in the ground. He began to follow them and realized they were headed for the brook. As he continued to scan the ground he called out the name of his daughter. “Lorilie, Lorilie are you out here?”

Suddenly he stopped his keen eyes spotted more prints, not much larger than Lorilie’s, but shod with a soft leather shoe.

Fear gripped his heart. He looked around and saw no one. Then, as he came closer to the bank of the brook, his eyes told him all. He could see that there was a struggle between two people and one was his daughter. He cupped his hands in front of his mouth and yelled as loud as he could. “Lorilie!” Only the echo of his voice greeted him. He then noticed the wicker basket. With trembling hands he reached down and picked it up. Throwing his head back, tears streaming down his eyes he yelled once more, more like a howl it was. “Lorilie!!”

Story written by Capher View Profile