Prologue

Midnight. A time so still and mysterious that even the moon didn't dare show his face. A defiant cricket could be heard, playing a haunting melody. It had long ago lulled the occupants of a small town into a deep sleep; no one save a stoic owl witnessed two figures racing across an abandoned field.

Fire! Death! The young woman shook her head, removing those thoughts from her head. I cannot go back. I must protect him. She looked down at her young son, whose short legs could barely keep up with their desperate pace. At all cost I have to protect him. She headed toward a dark house on the other side of the field.

"My son, I must leave you here for a while," She placed a necklace around her son's neck, murmuring soothing words under her breath. "It is important that you do not lose this. Promise me." Her voice was urgent, demanding; she could sense their pursuers closing the distance between them.

"I won't lose it Mother." The child was clinging to her legs; she gently removed his small arms.

"Good." She smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek and started to back away. Still smiling reassuringly at her son, she turned and disappeared into the night. I will come back.

--

A man stood over a fallen woman, laughing. "She was a clever one, too bad she didn't put up much of a fight." She started to cough up blood, a drop landing on his shoe. Annoyed, he gave her a vicious kick.

His companion scowled, "Never mind that, where is the child? Our orders were to get the child."

"I don't sense him; maybe she did our job for us," the first man, a giant of an oaf, said.

"You idiot, she probably put a cloaking spell on him. It will be impossible to find him now," the other answered. He too gave the injured woman another kick.

"He will be angry at us you think?"

"Of course! Come on, she is useless to us now, let the birds pick at her flesh."

"What a waste, she was pretty." The men turned and walked away. Struggling to draw a breath the woman smiled into the distance. "Makegolie." Save him.

--

"You let him get away!?" a deep voice barked.

Two men inched towards the door, cowering. Their master had remained silent during their report, only making a sound when he clicked his silverware against a plate or asked for more wine. "Uh, well you see sir, when we caught up with the mother t-the child wasn't with her, and uh no matter how much we tortured her she wouldn't tell us where he was. We… um… believe that she put a s-spell on him." The smaller man stumbled. He felt hard eyes glaring at him and moved closer to his comrade.

"Tell me again why I hired wizards if you can't even break a simple little spell."

"This wasn't a little spell, no matter what type of enchantment we performed we still couldn't find him. And she …er …managed to break Farrell's wand somehow." They both flinched when he slammed his cup on the table.

"You will go back to the human world, find him, and kill him. If you don't it will be your heads." There was a low growl in his voice; they decided not to mention anything else.

The two men bowed to the figure by the window, "Yes, of course, whatever you say." Still bowing they hurried out of the room, tripping over each other's feet.

"That went well don't you think?" Farrell said, delighted that he wasn't missing an arm.

"No, we are wizards; at the top of our class may I remind you. We shouldn't have to put up with that shit from him."

"But Kiden, you know that we can't overpower him. Even if we had the support of the most powerful wizard in history we wouldn't be able to stop him."

Kiden clenched his fist, "Yeah, I know." But then again, he thought. I know something he doesn't know. Kiden gripped his wand and smiled, "Makegolie."

--

A small gathering of people stood outside a side entrance to an immense castle, heavy in discussion. They didn't notice a servant run towards them. "Elmer!" An elderly man turned to the breathless messenger.

"What news?"

"The north side of the palace is under attack. We have already removed the royal family but your daughter refuses to budge."

"Damnit! Did you not tell her of the dangers to herself and child?"

"Yes, but she is convinced that the king will come."

"Foolish woman! I will knock some sense into her so help me!" He turned and headed back inside the castle. He ascended a winding staircase and maneuvered through hidden passageways, heading towards his daughter's favorite sitting room. Finally reaching his destination, he burst into the room, soon finding her sitting by the window.

"Now look here Rhiannon, we are under attack. They plan to kill you and the child so we had best leave now, even if I have to drag you."

She didn't say anything, continuing to stare out the window. Elmer frowned and moved closer.

"Rhiannon?" He heard something move across the room and the world went black.

--

Inside the room the man watched the wizards leave. He laughed evilly, insanely. "Makegolie." You will be mine.

"Sir?"

"What did you discover?"

"The city is in complete chaos. The guards are having trouble defending the gates; they will fall soon."

"And the king?"

"He is still watching in the human world. It seems that he received a report that a wizard was attacking important human cities."

He nodded his head, fingering his wine glass. "Has he heard word of his wife?"

"It seems that in all the panic, nobody has reached him, or maybe they don't know."

"Make sure that this doesn't reach his ears." He got up and stretched, waving off the servant who had been refilling his plate. "Better yet, send Aiornis and Argentavis. They will know what to do."

"Sir?"

"You may leave." The other man bowed and left the room. Alone now, Shaad crossed the room and sat on the bed, anticipating much needed sleep. However, when a familiar voice interrupted his morpheus thoughts, he sneered.

You should do the job yourself. The voice said, full of contempt.

I know what I'm doing; I don't need advice from you. He tried to push the voice away, it laughed at his weak attempts.

If you had listened to me you wouldn't be in this position, having to command wizards. And you would have better furnishings than this.

Shaad looked around the apartment he was currently staying in. He had managed to refurbish the interior, though the only light available came from the streetlamp outside his window. He didn't dare change the outside of the building; his human neighbors might become suspicious.

This is fine for now, I won't be found easily.

The voice scoffed, But found eventually. The king will prevent your schemes.

Shaad smirked, Not if he is dead, I've sent the teratorns, though it doesn't matter if they fail. When he learns that his beloved wife has betrayed him his downfall will come sooner.

You are a fool, he will see through your lies. If you wish to succeed in this manner you'd better make sure they kill him. My offer still stands if you live past tomorrow. The voice said before leaving.

Shadd got up and started to pace, the conversation had eliminated all thoughts of sleep. I don't care what he thinks, my plan will succeed. The kingdom will fall and I will be there to pick up the pieces. I'll kill anyone who stands in my way.

--

An anxious man paced up and down a vacant hallway of a small hospital. He saw a nurse approaching him and rushed to her side, worry etched across his face. She smiled at him, "You may go in now, your wife and child are waiting for you."

Beaming, he wrapped her in a tight hug before running into the delivery room. His wife smiled tiredly at him, moving so he could sit next to her. Reaching hesitantly toward the bundle in her arms he asked, "Is… he, is she-?"

"It's a girl." The mother said proudly. The baby reached up and grabbed her father's finger. His heart melted, "Welcome to the world, my beautiful daughter."