Chapter 1

Jen lay on her belly, feet moving dreamingly as she drew in the sand by the dock.

Balence looked at her fishing rod blankly.

"B?" Jen asked, not looking up.

"Yeah, sis?" Balence looked down at her.

"When will Hanna be back?" Jen asked, tilting her head at her drawing as if thinking about something.

Balence blinked. "I… she'll be back when she's ready." She said at last.

Jen stopped. "And Warlic?"

At this, Balence had no reply. What would she say? He had survived his and Hanna's encounter with Xan, but… his apprentice was not as dumbly tricked as Xan. Not in the slightest.

"B? When will Warlic be coming back?" Jen asked, more sternly.

"I… don't know, Jen. I really don't." Balence sighed. Jen was so young! She would never understand.

Jen looked back at her drawing. A staff topped with a gem. Warlic's staff.

She sighed, sadly, a tear falling from her eyes. She missed him.

Some time later, the two went home. Balence got a sinking feeling as she looked over at Jen's bed. The little blond half-vampire lay with her back to Balence, but she knew Jen could see her every move.

If only she could tell her what really happened to Warlic. Tell her about the explosion; the battle. About how Nythera had used the potion that Jen had 'helped' her make. Her mind drifted back to that day…

She was just talking to Cysero. Jen was playing with one of his orbs, talking to it and watching it cast spells. A bright light and large boom rose from the direction of Warlic and Cysero's tower.

Jen's brown eyes looked towards the explosion. "W-what was that, sis?" She asked, holding the orb for comfort.

"I… don't know, Jen." Balence said, looking at Cysero. "Looks like it came from your place. Imma go check it out! Jen, stay right there!"

Tilting her head, Jen went to stand by Cysero. "What do you think it was?"

"I Don't know." He replied. "I just know it wasn't one of MY explosions."

"Your explosions?" Jen looked up at him with confusion.

"When I moved in, Warlic asked me if I wanted to be in charge of bills, laundry, or something else." He stated matter-of-factly. "I picked explosions."

"Oh…" Jen's eyes widened with interest, the orb in her hand glowing brightly.

Running down the road to Warlic's tower, images filled Balence's mind. What could have been behind the explosion? Could it have been a training accident with Nythera? Did he mix the wrong potion reagents? Was he OK?

Her feet hurt. Why did she never learn teleportation? Would she make it in time to see what was going on?

At last, she made it. At first site, nothing seemed wrong. For a mage tower at least. Potions skittered about, check. Strange, glowing book-case, check. Nythera yelling, check.

Wait a moment… WHAT was she yelling?

"Give me back my Dragon Magic NOW, old man!" Nythera yelled, hands raised at her sides as if summoning some kind of spell.

Warlic just looked at her from where he was standing, looking a little shaken. "Remind me to teach you the value of patience next!" He said.

Nythera was unpleased with that reply. She pulled her hands up near her face. "Give me back my Dragon Magic, or I will take YOURS!" She yelled.

"You could not handle the amount of magic I own, apprentice!" Warlic said.

"Lier! You don't know WHAT I can do!" She complained, moving her hands towards Warlic, a purple beam of light streaking towards him at full speed and power.

At the last second, Warlic teleported out of the way. Nythera looked around, a green potion in her hand. Suddenly, she was sent flying across the room with a blue energy beam.

Warlic looked down at her, looking much less shaken now that the first shock seemed to have passed. She screamed with rage, pulling out the potion again.

She tossed it at him. It crashed right into his chest. Balence looked on in shock and horror as Warlic fell to the ground. His dead body turned to a black-gray mist that seemed to gravitate towards his orb and staff, now in the hands of Nythera. She raised the orb to her face, a blueish light fled from the orb into her eyes.

"The Blue Mage is dead, Balence." She muttered, looking over at where Balence was standing, her body glowing. "Witness the rise of the purple mage."

"B-but you... you KILLED him!" Balence stuttered. "How... how could you?"

"Oh, it was simple, Balence." Nythera grinned. "And your sister helped a lot with that potion she made me."

"Jen…" Balence muttered under her breath, sadly. She looked back at Nythera, voice stronger now. "I… won't let you get away with this!" She yelled.

"There is nothing more for you to do, B." Nythera grinned wider. "Save protecting Falconreach from the elementals I have summoned." Her eyes burned. "They will PAY for making fun of me! Be gone, Balence, and make sure I have something to rule over after the destruction!"