At last, I have managed to get the first chapter up for the promised sequal to Never Ending Road. Again, sorry for the delay, but school and writer's block created havoc for me in starting this story. I also have to admit that even though I have a general idea for where this story is going, I am still a little fuzzy on the details, so up dates may not always be regular. But, despite that, I hope that it will be njoyed by all who read it.
Anyway, I really don't have much to say on this story, except that if you haven't read my first Sorcerer's Apprentice story, The Never Ending Road, I would sugguest you do so, because there are things in that story which are built on in this one. There will also be a few other things that I will be exploring which I am really looking forward to. One of those things is that this story will be built around the Balthy 100 challenge, first written by ASiriuslyGleekyTimeLord. I can't say that there will be one hundred words, but every chapter will be built around one of the prompts. I thought it would give the story some structure and challenge me as writer.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. Sorcerer's Apprentice belongs to Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer, Fantasia which inspired the movie, the composer of the tone poem, and the poet who inspired the composer. I am only making use of this for artistic purposes, and am making no profit on this whatsoever.
This story is rated T for scenes of fantasy action/violence, some language and some sensuality.
That's all I have, so let's let this thing started. Please enjoy, The Road Goes Ever On.
1. The disposition of things following one after another in succession or sequence. 2. A condition in which each thing is properly disposed with in reference to other things and to its purpose.
Russia, a place of soaring and majestic towers, with breathtaking colors and stunning landscapes. But, there were things which lurked beneath the surface of this vast country, which no mere humans could have guessed.
Russia was a hotbed of Morganian sorcerers. There were possibly more in that country then in any other place. Russia had such an amount of humanity and open spaces that the Morganians proved hard to find. Thusly, they could use the country as a base from which to plan and execute.
From the city of St. Petersburg, in particular, a vast network of magic and Morganians had their origin. It was from this organization, known in magical circles as the Sect of the Phoenix that a great deal of the Morganian plots were launched the world over. It had been in existence for centuries, with its strength peaking or receding as the events of history played out. The past fifty years had seen an especially strong upswing in its operations. The leader of this Society was never known to many of those who worked within it. This current leader was no exception, but they all knew better than ever try and cross him.
His name was Gregory Dashkov. He was a powerful Morganian, ruthless and ambitious in all that he did. He was also extremely cunning and intelligent. He could turn any situation to his advantage and had an uncanny ability to read everybody that he encountered.
Some whispered that he could be second only to Maxim Horvath in his powers. There were even rumors that he might be more powerful than that great Morganian, for some said he had managed to come back from the dead: burned to death by a Merlinean sorcerer twenty years before, he had been said to rise from his own ashes, like the proverbial Phoenix which the society was named after.
Gregory was aware of such rumors, and he let them grow around him, because they enhanced his own reputation. But, of course, the reality was far different than the stories. The complete truth was known only to himself, and not even those in his inner circle knew what had happened that terrible night. In truth, he was something of a Phoenix, as the fire would have killed any other man. But the adventure had cost him his sight and he had been reduced to blindness. But any who assumed that he was weak simply because he could not see quickly learned their mistake. Gregory was a dangerous enemy, and the loss of his sight had only driven him to make up for the weakness, until now he no longer counted it a disability.
Around him many worked and served. His agents afforded him unquestioning loyalty and obedience. Though he might have been on the side that was counted by many to be evil, the Morganians were actually well organized within themselves. True, there was some backstabbing that went on and loose ends, to put it mildly, were always taken care of. But to be constantly destroying and killing each other would have meant that very soon, there would have been no Morganians left.
No, there was organization in the Morganian Sects, sorcerers knew their places and unless overly ambitious or overly stupid, they never aimed higher than what they could achieve.
There was such who Gregory had relied on to carry out a very dangerous mission which had lasted the greater part of a year. Her name was Anya Belaia. His former apprentice, she had achieved her status as sorcerer in the Morganian Order five years before. She was quickly growing to become his best spy, and he had recently sent Anya on a job that could very well be the most important, not only for him, but every Morganian in the organization that he ran.
The occasion which had prompted him dispatching her was nothing less than the event which had sent shock waves throughout the magical community, causing celebration in Merlinean Circles, and panic in Morganian Sects. Morgana le Fey, the greatest sorceress and hope for the ultimate victory of those who followed her teachings, was dead. This could only mean that the Prime Merlinean had revealed himself.
Naturally, the goal of many Morganians was to find this Prime Merlinean and kill him. The main problem with that was the Incantus had remained frustratingly silent on the affair. There was nothing about the Prime Merlinean to be found, no name, no city. Oh, the pictures and story of the battle were easy enough to see, and the images even of Balthazar and Veronica Blake could be seen. But the face of the Prime Merlinean himself had been obscured.
The Morganians had been in chaos about this, and there had been dozens of scrambling to find the Prime Merlinean, except for Gregory. He was wise enough to know that spending effort to find the Prime Merlinean was a useless task. When the Incantus wanted something to be kept secret, it was almost to discover it until the time was right. No, he had not sought to find the Prime Merlinean. He had dispatched Anya to find Balthazar and Veronica Blake. It was a foregone conclusion that one of them would be training the Prime Merlinean. If he could discover their whereabouts, finding him would be a simple step.
He had known them to be somewhere in the United States, and here Anya had been sent, to find, no matter how long it took, the two Merlinean sorcerers. She had then been instructed to find the Prime Merlinean, not to kill him, yet. Rather, she was to stir up some trouble in whatever city he was in, enough trouble that would be a test. Gregory wanted to know just how strong the Prime Merlinean was and who his allies were. From there, Gregory, would plan. He had learned long ago, never to underestimate the odds of opposition. He had not achieved his position out of rushing blindly into conflict, but rather through patience and cunning.
It was approaching sunset when Anya arrived. Gregory was sitting in his library, which faced towards the setting sun. The room was bathed in blood red, and Gregory himself was sitting on his gilded chair, for all the world looking like a king upon his throne.
"Ah, Anya," He said, greeting the blond-haired, blue-eyed spy. "I'm pleased to see you once more. It had been for to long since your aura graced my presence."
Anya bowed respectfully. "Master Dashkov, it's good to be home."
"I have been keeping a close eye on your progress; you seem to have been quite successful."
"More than successful, Master. I have accomplished everything that you told me to do."
"You found the Prime Merlinean, then?"
"Yes, along with Veronica and Balthazar Blake, all of them in New York."
"I gathered that from the reports that I've been hearing. Very inventive of you to set the vampires and the sorcerers in New York against each other. It was must have been amusing watching the Merlineans getting caught in the cross fire."
"It certainly was, Master. But, in the end, the Merlineans were able to restore order to the city."
"Of course they were, the Merlineans have always been strong in that city. But this mission was not about conquering, not yet. However, you did not leave any incriminating evidence behind you? Did they ever once suspect you?"
"Never, the Merlineans welcomed me with open arms, the fools. They only ever knew as me as an exchange student from France, and as far as I know, that is all that they remember me as. So, if I should ever need to go back there, I have already an alias that I can rely on
"Excellent. You seem to have had a most intriguing story. Start at the beginning."
"It would be my pleasure, Master."
Well, what did you think?This is kind of a slow introduction, but that's the purpose of a prolgue. Next chapter, the sorcerers we all know and love will make their appearences. I look forward to hearing your thought. Again, reviews and constructive critiques are welcome. But, no flames please.
Next chapter: Nine months previously, all seems quiet in New York. Dave and Becky are enjoying the first sweetness of love. But of course Balthazar has to go and ruin it. Of course, considering what he's going through, perhaps he has the right to be a little grumpy.