The King sent for us – the Fire Mages and the Water Mages of the Myrtana Kingdom. Of course, we went. We were given the order to erect a barrier around the Prison Colony of Khorinis. We were given specific orders to make the barrier be able to accept prisoners and goods, but to not let anyone out. If anyone tried, they would be dead. And so, me and my fellow Mages started researching topics about barriers, how to focus our magic to do it and with what to focus the magic. Finally, we found a book about Focus Stones and decided to do it with them. Yes, them, as in plural. We decided that a pentagram was the highest form of magic and as such, the most powerful barrier could be set. After some more months, the plans were set and the Mages were divided into groups. Each group had a focus stone that they were to put on a pre-decided spot in the colony. I was supposed to chant the spell and draw on the magic of the other Mages to erect the barrier.The first group of Mages put the focus stone on a cliff near a forest and waited for me to start the chanting. The second group went to some monastery ruins and put the focus stone in a chest in a cave. Then they put a Shadowbeast and some Snappers to guard the focus stone, just in case someone wanted to steal it. The third group went to a canyon near the entrance to the colony and put the focus stone on a platform, guarded by fierce creatures called harpies. Then they put a giant troll to guard the focus stone. The fourth group went to a group of rocks that we 'affectionately' called the Stonehenge and that was it. The last group went to an old mansion of a baron that died a few years ago and also put a focus stone on a platform. An unreachable platform. The mansion was to be guarded by harpies.
And then, finally, the day came. I was standing on the highest part of the colony, while the other Mages stood at their respective posts. I could feel them gathering their magic and concentrating it into the focus stones. I concentrated as well and started chanting the spell. The barrier started to erect, but then things went wrong. We must have miscalculated some things, because before we knew what was happening, the barrier engulfed us as well and we were trapped inside our own barrier.
The revolt was quick and bloody. The prisoners were free, having only Barrier to keep them from the Realm. We agreed to help them, and for some time we lived together in some sort of peace. I was studying what went wrong still, while my brothers argued. At the end water mages left to find a new place for themselves and we stayed here. Slowly Old camp became the biggest and the strongest of them all. Diggers dug, Gomez ruled, and I studied. Why did it went so big? What was wrong? Surely Innos will give me answers like he always did. But….why does he wait for so long…?
New prisoners came to Camp this morning. I choose one of them to be my apprentice. Young lad, who was willing to learn. One day he came with my supper like always.
Mos: Your supper Master.
Xardas: Put…put it on the table.
Mos: You are shaking! What troubles you Master?
Xardas: Time! It runs night and day, faster and faster and still I don't know what went wrong, why do I rot in this hole of a castle.
Mos: With the Barrier? Innos surely thought that was wise.
Xardas: Innos? No. This was not Innos's work. Fire magic within me is turning out, I'm like a melted candle with a flame that's about to go out any minute. No Mos, Innos left me, left me in this bloody castle.
Mos: But….but fire magic will let us free, as you teach….
Xardas: As my brothers teach. No magic that we know will free us here.
Mos: What….what about the….umm….the dark arts?
In that moment I thought that he was reading my mind. Dark arts were the only thing I haven't tried yet. But the risk…..no! I will destroy this barrier and if Innos cant help me, someone else will!
Xardas: Do not speak of that! It will poison your mind and turned you into a demon!
Then he ran. I quickly finished my supper, and bribed the guards on the S gate and left. Like wind in the day, and like shadow in the night.
It was a few years later and I still haven't found the answer as to why the Barrier locked us all in. Corristo and Saturas have long parted ways and there were three camps in the Colony now. The Old Camp, which was where us, the Fire Mages, lived in. The Old Camp was run by Gomez and his right-hand man, Raven. The New Camp was founded by Lee and his Mercenaries. Saturas and the other Water Mages went with him because they wanted freedom as much as I wanted it, and yet I stayed – merely because I was the High Magician of Fire, the leader of the Fire Mages. Corristo and the others liked living a comfortable life here in the Old Camp and as such did nothing. The last camp was the Sect Camp founded by Y'Berion. Y'Berion argued that both Innos, Adanos and even Beliar could have saved us if they wanted to, and left the Old Camp to pray to a new deity – the Sleeper. I always thought that this was a bad idea, for I was sure that something sinister was happening even then. It wasn't until long then that what Mos said to me one day years ago about the Dark Arts. The thought wouldn't let me sleep. I was always asking myself: What if they can help? And finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I left the Fire Mages with an explanation that I had to venture further than the Light Arts to seek my answers. I stationed myself in an old tower somewhere deep in the Orcish lands and thus started my research.
I faded out again. If you want the dead to live you must give them life - yours or in this case my life. The stronger they are, the more energy they need and the larger part of me is dying. Still I feel that finally I'm getting closer to the solution. There is so much power seething in me, and so much more that yet needs to be discovered. I tried to send the undead to cross the Barrier and they just fell apart on the other side. But still I am getting closer to my answer. I am also learning the culture of orcs as they have their settlement near my tower. I asked for some scrolls to translate. I'm terrified to be honest.
Now…it finally….now it all matches. The scrolls that were given….how terribly wrong I was……but I need help. Those fools are still arguing between pleasure or freedom, but neither will succeed. I must wait for the Holy foe. He is the key. He is our freedom. He is my death.
A few more years pass and my ears have caught a rumour about a young man coming through the barrier, wearing a letter for the High Magician of Fire – me – from the outside world. He is well-liked in all three of the camps. Diego speaks highly of him, Lares and Lee from the New Camp like him, and I've heard he helped Y'Berion with the search for the focus stone. Of course I also heard of the summoning of the Sleeper and how the Sect Camp finally realized that they have been praying to an evil Orcish god. It was as I feared. The Sleeper was the evil Orcish god that even the orcs feared and sealed him away. It was also obvious that the monster took control of the Sect Camp's minds, except for a select few and had brought them to his temple. The young man that I have heard about was rumoured to find all four focus stones that were left. And he had come out of the battles alive and with even more allies. There's Lester of the Sect Camp – he had gone with the man to the old baron's mansion, Diego went to him to the Canyon, Gorn of the New Camp to the old monastery ruins and the young man had even gotten Milten, the young Fire Mage, on his side, as they went to look for the focus stone to the Stonehenge and fought many undead beings…
Perhaps he is the Holy Foe that the legend foretold that would come. Yes. It is definitively possible. And as he stands before me, telling me about everything that he had gone through, I listen to him and then order him to go to the Orcish temple and get a weapon that was supposed to defeat the Sleeper forever, and I've even given him permission to go to my old tower under the water. I trust him to survive the Zombies I have placed there for the protection, for there is the old magical ore armour of the man that had first defeated the Sleeper and vanquished him for an eternity – the eternity that seemed to be ending now.
I trust that the young man will succeed.
And he did. He had gotten the armour and brought back the legendary sword Uriziel. Of course, he will have to charge it with magic first, but I trust that he will manage it. I have given him a spell scroll from which one of the mages must read to start charging the magic from the ore into the Uriziel.
I used all my powers left, to teleport into the inner temple of the Sleeper. He recharged Uriziel, and in the time he came to talk to me there I was sure. 'Stab the five hearts with the five swords' and then I passed out. I lost the track of time, and when I wake up there was nothing but darkness. My whole body was a ruin, and with my last sense I teleported out, away, only this time it was much easier. My eyes were adjusting for some time, for the day was bright. Only then I realised that there is no more Barrier, no more colony and no more Hero. I had to save him. I owe him that much!
The tower very similar to the old one was build today. I can now start with the preparations, and I only hope that he is still alive. He's awake! He is still very weak, but alive. And even now he wants to help. To gain his powers back and because of that bastard Sleeper and his screams, he needs the Eye of Innos. That will help him face the dragons... and me in the end. But that can wait. At least for now.