The sorcerer’s apprentice stepped through the doorway, and into the sorcerer’s library. Tigranes was his name, and he had been apprenticed to this sorcerer for seven years, since he had been sixteen. For the first four years, he had merely done chores for the sorcerer, and for the other three, studying minor cantrips while still doing the chores.
Tigranes snorted to himself, “Menial tasks, for a pompous ******* like him. Well, not after tonight, anyway.” He walked up to a large bookshelf, and stopped. Beyond that bookcase lay a secret door that led to the sorcerer’s private library, which he wasn’t supposed to even know of. Of course, Tigranes had been there before, after discovering the entrance.
Laughing, Tigranes pulled on a yellow book, and stepped back, preparing some ingredients he had stored in one of his many pockets. Using the properties inherent to the various herbs and minerals he had prepared, he cast a relatively simple entry spell. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, the door started shifting slowly to the right, revealing a large, apparently stone, door.
Tigranes chuckled, “Foolish sorcerer, preparing such a minor entry trap. A small child could have gotten in.” Obviously he was exaggerating, but he was right. The sorcerer had used a very weak warding spell, though it had taxed Tigranes of much of his strength.
The blue-skinned Ephyros apprentice pushed on the stone slightly, and it moved easily open. It wasn’t stone, in actuality, but only the appearance of it. Being an Ephyros, or one of the “Readers of the Field” Tigranes could spot such illusions easily. If he hadn’t spotted the illusion, it still would have acted upon him, causing the light wooden door to actually seem stone, even in weight.
Tigranes walked into the dark room, and threw a small handful of light brown seeds into the air. There was a pop, then a burst of light, and suddenly, the room was illuminated. The apprentice looked around, savoring what was to become his own. Dragon’s teeth, mounted on the wall, longer than a greatsword! Dragon egg shells, gryphon feathers, rare books of enormous value, a harp, which Tigranes could see was magical, and many other items.
To an Ephyros, just standing in the room with your eyes closed was exhilarating, due to the sheer amount of magic flowing within it. Tigranes savored it, and then stepped forward to the greatest of the treasures. The grand grimoire. Not only did it contain most of the spells they taught at the academy, where he had been headed before the apprenticeship offer, it also contained some spells only newly discovered by the sorcerer. One, in particular, had been of great value to Tigranes.
The apprentice opened the book, to a page he had marked with a spell that caused the page to shine, to Ephyros eyes. He read the page again, making sure he had memorized the spell completely. He had to memorize the spell completely; casting from memory was easier than from a book. Finally, when he was sure he knew it, he closed the book, and left the room, resetting the warding spell.
The Ephyros walked out of the library, down a flight of stairs, and into the anteroom, where he could tell that the sorcerer was awakening now by the sounds coming from upstairs. He walked up the stairs, and knocked on the door to the sorcerer’s room. After a few moments, a portly, old, jovial looking fellow opened the door, still rubbing one eye.
‘Are ye’ here for more duties, Tigranes?” asked the sorcerer, “Or perhaps ye’d be interested in me’ latest…”
The old man suddenly staggered as Tigranes plowed the dagger into his chest. The sorcerer staggered backwards a moment, but then fell to the ground as the dagger began to work it’s magic.
Tigranes chuckled, “A phygos dagger, master, a phygos dagger.”
The sorcerer looked up weakly, as the dagger sapped his strength almost to the point of killing him, but not quite. “What have you done!?” he moaned.
“I have betrayed you, you sorry old fool!”, sneered the Ephyros, a glint of hatred in his eyes.
Tigranes dragged the man roughly down the stairs, and through another door, which led into a room covered with inscriptions. Everywhere along the walls, floor, furniture, and ceremonial altar lay writings in some obscure language, designed to amplify the effects of any magic cast in the room. This would be very beneficial to the young Ephyros.
The apprentice hefted the old sorcerer onto the altar, not bothering to restrain him; his muscles were weakened far too much for him to move at all. He couldn’t even cast a spell, if he had been able to move, as his makas had been slowly sapped along with his strength.
Taking a moment to recall the spell, Tigranes savoured the moment. All those wasted months, cleaning and working for that fool sorcerer. Nothing, really, to an Ephyros, but still, wasted time.
He moved forward, and took the dagger out from the sorcerer’s chest. Pulling out a small sac from one of his pockets, he rubbed some diamond dust into the wound while mumbling an incantation, and the wound closed up.
Tigranes carefully cut a small incision in the sorcerer’s skin, a spiral. For the next two hours, he made more incisions, in a precise manner, watching the sorcerer’s eyes flicker with awareness, as he realized the nature of the spell.
Finally, Tigranes stood back, and looked at the old man. Blood was flowing from the myriad of cuts, covering his entire body, flowing into the inscriptions on the altar and splattering onto the floor. Knowing he was so close to victory, Tigranes reveled in the moment, by collecting some of the blood into a goblet, mixing it with some wine, and drinking it. In truth, he did not like the taste of the blood, but it was a necessity for the spell.
Finishing the liquid, he pulled out various sacs and vials from his pockets, and mixed them in a small mortar, producing a sticky paste. He coated the sorcerer’s eyes and nostrils with the mixture, forcing the man to breathe through his mouth, before he began the actual intonation of the spell. Sharp guttural sounds rolled from the Ephyros’ tongue, sounds that seemed as if from a demon. The room got continually darker and more shadowy, before it finally plunged into darkness, as the spell ended with a shout. When the light reappeared, the paste had dissolved into the sorcerer’s skin.
Shortly after, a purple mist rose out of the man’s eyes and nostrils, flowing towards Tigranes, who breathed it in deeply. A sharp cold suddenly filled his brain, and he shivered. But he knew the spell was working. He felt the new knowledge in the depths of his being. He had stolen the sorcerer’s magical essence.
I can make fire! I can make water! I control the clouds, the winds, the very weather! I am the sorcerer!
The old man’s eyes rolled back into his head as he began to die. He managed to give one last statement, weakly, “Tigranes, I knew… I knew that it would happen. It was… It was prophesized. I just didn’t think it would be you…”. The sorcerer died, then, as the fields told the young Ephyros.
Tigranes tested his newfound powers, tossed some ruby dust into the air, and cast a spell of fire to cremate the body of the former master and sorcerer. The body burst into flames, brilliantly magical, to his eyes. The new sorcerer left the room, the body of his former master still smoldering. One thought did tickle his mind, though he decided to ignore it after a time. What prophesy did the old man speak of? Probably just the ramblings of a dying man.
Tigranes retreated to his room, and made plans for his next move. Little did he know that anticipating this event, the master had woven a companion spell into the spell that the Ephyros had cast. Even now, wisps of magic were traveling towards the limits of this universe, rupturing walls of reality, which repaired themselves almost instantly, but not soon enough to stop the magic from getting through and interacting with something very new to that universe. Something that would change Tigranes’ world forever. The prophecies of Earthseed had begun.