When the Great War was won, not by men of might with their swords and armies, or the wizards in their high towers, but by the determination and will of woman with pale hair and eyes of fire, and her animal companion, a wolf so black the night appeared as a grey dawn when he came, everyone in the three landdoms clamored for her to take up the crown and mantle of Queen.
She refused, and went back to her beloved wilderness, slipping out of sight of history and time, though whispers of her lingered, entwined with the hushed rumors of the Darkness and its minions and disciples.
The wizards, though they played only a small part in the ending of the Great War, were wise yet, and realized that another shadow like Dagramoth could come to dim the light. And they too knew that they could not count on fortune and the arrival of another savior such as Antha Reignshine to save them from a dark end. And so they scoured the books in their libraries, and they experimented in their towers, and after many years of toil and failure, they created a spell, a spell such that none had heard of before, singular in nature and purpose.
It was a Spell of Threes, the most powerful spell that had ever been cast, so potent that it ignited the paper on which they tried to write it, and it burned out the eyes of the lesser who tried to read it.
And so the preparations for the spell were made ready within the fair city of Nessadril, sitting proud on the neutral reservation where the borders of Elbem, Dorun, and Meldul met, and the home of the Tower, the wizard’s lair and heart of their order.
From the Tower, three wizards were sent to find the weavers to create three cloaks, to imbue the power and will to protect the good, and the people, and the peace within the woof and warp of fabric, to shield from baleful eyes, and deflect ill will.
Three more wizards were sent to retrieve three animal familiars, to offer support, counsel and strength to their human companions.
And three wizards were dispatched to each Landdom, to find a willing woman there capable of holding the power of the spell without breaking. In Elbem in the North, a land of hill and forest, and Dorun in the West, built of mountain and ice, and Meldul in the South, a dessert of red and gold and twisting rivers through the dryness, all waited to see who would hold their future and fate.
When the nine wizards finally returned to Nessadril, they brought with them not three but four women, and tidings of both good and evil. For not even the wisest can predict all, and the Darkness has many faces.
© 2019 Nicole DragonBeck
Amazing Photo credit to Anastasiya Dobrovolskaya https://www.dobrovolskaia.com/portfolio
P.S. I don’t usually write photo-inspired stories, but this was too stunning, and the imagery quite potent, and I wanted to share ❤