Sorry for the mega long wait. It turned out that between full time school and full time work that writing was impossible. Now with better time management happening here, I have written the next part. This will probably be the last section of the actual story I put up, but I will put up deleted scenes and such occasionally. As always, I'd appreciate any and all constructive criticism.

Now

All of a sudden, the darkness passed, and Derlu could feel cold stone pressed against his back. His eyes snapped open, and he saw the roof of the building he was in. Despite his general confusion, he instantly recognized the symbols he saw there, inscribed on the roof in a circular pattern. He was caught in a magic dampening circle, a spell drawn and powered by a warlock to nullify the power of any magic user contained inside. He moved to stand up, and then realized his hands were bound. He looked to the shackles holding his arms together and saw the same pattern engraved into the cuffs. 'Two magical dampening fields,' he thought. 'They must fear the power they saw me wield.'

He took a moment to look at the shifting pattern of runic symbols on his arm. It was slower than it normally was, but still shifting. He was safe.

After a moment's struggle, he managed to stand upright without the use of his hands. Taking a moment to survey the area, he saw he was in a makeshift prison. Though he could not gauge the exact size of the building, he knew it was larger than necessary to contain just himself as a prisoner. He heard a commotion, loud, but out of his range of vision. There was no way to tell just how far away from him it was.

Taking all of this into account, he judged that his best option was to attract whomever had imprisoned him, as he did not know who had won the battle after he had passed out to magical exhaustion. He called out, "If I am to be held prisoner here, I wish to speak to my captors."

After a couple of minutes passed, Gyr walked into view.

"Gry!" Derlu exclaimed. "If you are not also a prisoner, then why would you have allowed me to be taken as one?"

Gry responded, "If I had my way you would not have been. But as you well know, a few of our town members had been drafted to serve under the last emperor. They fought in the armies under the command of the General. And he was the only man anyone has ever seen as powerful as you. They did not wish to risk that you could be him. I alone pleaded that they see reason, that if you were him, why would you settle here of all places? This is the reason that you find yourself bound, instead of waking up dead. That pyromancer is imprisoned too, but whatever it was you had, she seemed to have worse. She hasn't woken yet. That soldier who hurt my daughter survived as well."

"Good. I didn't intend to kill either of them. And don't be ridiculous. I wasn't the General. I helped kill him."

Gry was taken aback. "That revelation won't be likely to sway the town's opinion of you. If they feared his power, why would they accept your greater power?"

"I swore to the Goddess to never kill another soul again. I only strayed from that oath twice in my lifetime."

"I never took you as the religious sort, Derlu."

"She made me promise."

"What could that possibly mean? Your cryptic answers are hardly helping your case," Gry pleaded. "You have been my friend for years, Derlu, and you never mentioned you had power like this. I do not want to see you killed, or held any longer. I know you aren't the dangerous sort or we'd have long since been dead. Why does someone as powerful as you settle down here and farm?"

"No one in this village is capable of killing me, and if I wanted to escape, this prison could not hold me. I chose to live the life of mediocrity, to create life, rather than destroy it. All in the hopes of redeeming myself in the eyes of the Goddess."
"Derlu, you are inside three dampening fields, as well as wearing dampening cuffs. The use of magic is literally impossible for you. Regardless, I believe you. The harvests have been more bountiful since you arrived, the prey larger, and the village happier. I will speak to the village on your behalf, and if you are lucky, they may back off from demanding your head."

At this point, Gry turned away and walked off, leaving Derlu alone in his cell. He sighed and turned off to walk to the stone walls. Though they had no windows, the battle had cracked some of the stones. One of these cracks was just barely large enough for him to see through. He could see that the town had taken a major beating but the way it looked now, he knew that he must have been out for at least three days. The light coming through the crack he was looking through was cut off for a moment. As the light came back, he realized someone was sneaking past, likely with the intent to sneak into this prison holding him.

He backed away from the wall and tried to situate himself where this person could not see him from outside the bars he was contained in. A moment later he heard this person come up to the door. And then he got a surprise.

"Derlu?" Gyrria whispered.

"What are you doing here?" Derlu asked in a frantic whisper as he moved right up to the door.

998 years ago

The man once known as the Great Sage stood in the ruin of the castle that just yesterday stood as the heart of the Arcassan empire, looking at the body of his power-mad nephew, the last emperor of Arcas, pinned to his throne by a cursed sword. "I know you can hear me, Yoran. So hear me. So long as this sword remains here, your consciousness shall be unable to leave your body. You'll be trapped in this decaying body for all time. A fitting punishment. Valeria would have asked me to spare your life, so I did. But I will never forgive you for the evils committed by your hand and orders."

Written By:

Juliette Grace Hinegardner