Disclaimer: The Hollow Kingdom is, unfortunately not in my possession. Clare Dunkle has that privilege.

EDIT:Hey folks! The sequel, Will O' Wisp and Goblin's Fire is out! Remember to look for it in the M-rated section, or just access it from my profile. Enjoy! :)

Chapter One
Power Corrupts (or does it?)

Silverhand was bored. He had played every game he could think of. Well, except one, of course. The only one that truly interested him nowadays. The hunt for a wife. He was too young, or so he was reminded whenever he brought it up, but right now, at the tender age of 15, it was all he could think about. Constantly, he would fantasize about what kind of wife he would have.

Certainly, his wife would not be like the worthless woman he had called mother, but who had refused to call him son. He simply couldn't understand how his father, the greatly honored Marak Foxtail had become so enamored of that technophobic, agoraphobic, not to mention heliophobic, little idiot. Hell, she was practically phobophobic. And she was so self-conscious that every time someone looked at her she blushed. As a result, she constantly looked sunburned, her face was so red all the time. Until she saw him, of course. The moment she caught sight of him, she would turn pale as death, and quickly turn and walk the other way. On her bad days, she would sometimes run screaming for Marak to save her.

The phobias he could forgive, it was her fear and hatred of himself that was truly contemptible. To the day she died, she never forgave him for intruding upon the happiness of her and his father, the most loving couple Silverhand had ever seen. Silverhand couldn't even comprehend how his father could put up with that woman, much less love her. But love her he did, to the point where, in light of her recent demise, Marak had nearly grieved himself to death.

Silverhand, however, did not have this problem. Being what he considered a "goblin, through and through," he was not bothered by such petty emotions. Silverhand was of the opinion that his father did not have this advantage, and so was not quite the goblin he should be. Perhaps he was too tainted with elf blood, and had inherited too much of the stupid elves' sensitivity. If that was so, he had at least done his son one favor by marrying a human.

And as for his mother, even if she was an idiot who was afraid of her own shadow, at least she had loved Marak, thus doing her part in the creation of a truly magnificent king. And he was. Magnificent, that is. All his tutors, including his father's chief adviser, had assured Silverhand that his was the most powerful magic of any king in the last 500 years, perhaps longer. Admittedly, most of them were amatuer scholars with not half the magic he, himself possessed in one claw alone. Nevertheless, he still held that their opinions were worth something, even if most of them were merely currying favor with the future king in hopes of maintaining their high position when he ascended the throne.

And the simple fact of the matter was, he needed no one to tell him how powerful his magic was. He could feel it inside him, swirling around, waiting impatiently, just beneath the surface until the moment when he would put it to use. And he knew exactly what spell would first delve deep into the bubbling reservoir of power inside him. The King's Wife spell.

But in the meantime, he must bide his time. He was not yet king, after all, and his father, while not in the best of health, was still alive and could be for many more years, though that was unlikely. So, Silverhand overcame his boredom with more fantasies of his perfect wife, while using his magic to make the elvish math figures he had recently learned come out of his mind and into reality, taking all their useless beauty and spinning them around in front of his eyes.

His perfect wife, he decided, would be demure and respectful, while at the same time unreservedly loving towards him and their son. Her looks were unimportant, and apart from the basic requirements of health, his only preference was that she be somewhat thin, and that her hair be a pleasure to touch. But the most important, indeed, the only important requirement he had, was that, no matter how long the game lasted, she would come to him in the end, of her own free will, not only because of his breathtaking power, but because she would love him, and he would love her.

Over the next 10 years, while he persevered in his studies and when at last his father died, and he became one of the youngest, most powerful kings in history, Silverhand would dismiss most of those fantasies as just that, childish fantasies. But he did remember the last, and only important requirement, and vowed to himself that he would uphold it. His wife would surrender her love to him. And he was right. His wife did surrender herself to him, body and soul. Eventually.

Author's Note: This is my entry into the Hallow Hill Lodge August Writing Challenge. Visit us now at www... Just kidding, I don't actually mean to sound like a walking, writing advertisement.

Anyway, this story is complete in order to qualify for the challenge, but that doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Hint, hint. I'm still full of ideas for this story, and if you're willing to review my writing, I'm willing to write more. This my first fanfic, though, so... be nice.