Post number 8 – 647 words give or take.
I have a bit of a twist tonight. I had committed to blog for a friend of mine and to tell about a book of her’s that has just been released. It is the second in a series and I love the story. I asked her permission and instead of breaking away from my challenge, I chose to write a bit of fan fiction. I hope you enjoy.
Long ago on the edge of remembered history, when men were learning to depend more upon their knowledge than their faith, the forces that gave birth to this strange creature saw that reason would one day reign. Unlike many tales that made this growth somehow evil, it was looked on as a coming of age for the species, a time to step out of superstition and fear and into a waiting universe of wondrous things to discover. A time when the avalanche of knowledge was but a trickle on the slopes of the human mind.
Yes, it was a very good thing if, and only if, the race could survive the transition. The ancients looked ahead to see the centuries of war, starvation, disease, and waste. They saw the evil in misapplied technology and misunderstood universal truths. They saw, and understood, that the process of growing could be the end of the race. So they pondered on ways to preserve the old knowledge while the new knowledge grew. Ways to catch the ear of those that would listen and guide them to preserve a path, to temper the knowledge with wisdom, to lead humanity to its potential. And so it was that the North Wind was born.
Meinolf was walking the moonlit shore hand in hand with the woman he had taken as his own. She was with child and for this one night only the two of them knew it. Meinolf was the village sage, his wife a healer. They had spent the day learning what they could about the sex of the child and something of his future. Through means now falling from favor, they had cast the lots to see something of the burdens and the joys they would face in raising him to manhood. They saw pain and great loss. But they also saw true wisdom and a heart well-tuned to the North Wind. This child, like his father before him, would be a leader. Meinolf and Sunngifu returned to the village and prepared for a day of feasting.
At his appointed time, Vilfred entered the world. He was a serious child, playing quietly in his own world and watching the creatures of the forest. Learning their ways and what their actions might tell him. He would often climb the cliffs near the village and listen for hours to hear songs of the North Wind. He knew there were changes coming about in his world. He had learned these things from one of the last wizards of Taikus, Kaempie. And he had listened, and watched.
One chill morning he sat on his perch and watched the pirate ships sail into the harbor of Menek. As always, he dreamed of one day setting these cousins of his free from both their dragon master and the pirates that plagued them. But the North Winds counselled patience. Whispering in his ear the constant refrain that “man cannot another man set free.” As he watched the ships being unloaded, he felt the change as the dragon far above him began to stir. Something was quite different this time. There was a new force in the North Lands. Vilfred stood and stretched. His time had come.
Little Shield so bold and bright
Bring the soldiers brave to fight
And their maidens singing songs
To cheer them, cheer them, cheer them on… (Dragon Shield)
NOTE: There you have it – the prelude to Ian’s Realm, a series of fantasy novels by Dianne Lynn Gardner. Written for young adults they are captivating at any age. As her main character, Ian, comes of age, a whole world learns the lessons of balancing faith with wisdom, the costs of freedom, and the greater cost of keeping it.
Dragon Shield and the tale of the wizard Meneka. Re-edited, re-mastered and re-released by Rara Avis, an imprint of PDMI Publsihing, LLC