The Maelstrom Preview Two

He swung the staff as hard as he could, and struck nothing but air.  Even in that fierce wind, he produced a noticeable sound cutting through it.  He steadied his body and swung forth again, hitting whatever invisible foes he saw.

His father ascended the nearby hill, witnessing as his son fought those shadows.  A tremendous clap of thunder rose out over the wind, and Eddarvas found himself looking skyward for what was sure to be a violent flash of lightning.  It never came, and Yvensar continued his training without fail.

Eddarvas could feel the rage behind every swing of his son’s staff.  Everything was taken away from him: his wings; his magic; his love.  If the druid—now only in name, it seemed—ever found Rezarius, there would be no saving the high arcanist, of that he was sure.

Yvensar let out an immense battle cry as he spun about at the end of another swing.  His shoulders rose and fell with every ragged breath, and he cared not that his father saw him in such a moment of vulnerability.

“You’d have me believing you could actually hurt the wind,” the older elf said.  “Did I just hear it cry out?”

His son furrowed his brown and slammed his staff into the ground.  “That may have been me you heard.”

Eddarvas waved away that notion.  “What are you doing out here, my son?”

Yvensar forced out an angry breath and bowed his head.  “Without my magic, I am nothing, Father.  When we find Rezarius, I need to be able to make him pay.  It’s the only way to make things right.”

“Justice will come to him,” the elder elf agreed.  “But you’ve been disappearing in the early hours of the morning for days now.  How will you claim your victory if you’re too tired to fight?”

The former druid lifted his staff and spun it around his wrist before slamming it into his opened palm.  “You worry about finding him.  I’ll worry about fighting him.”

A nod was all Eddarvas could muster.  He could sense the rage within his son, brewing darker and fiercer than the storm.

“Are you having any luck putting together a raft to get us off this dingy little speck of land?”

With an exasperated sigh, Eddarvas threw up his hands.  “I’m an armorer, not a shipwright.  I’m doing the best I can.  Things would go quicker if I was offered some help.”

Yvensar grumbled and spun about.  He looked up, observing the perilous cliff that the island was abutted against.  “There is no time, Father.  Every day that passes, Rezarius could be drawing farther and farther away.  No… I’m going to climb to Shandranar again.”  He felt Eddarvas’ hand on his shoulder then, and he could see the pain in his father’s eyes.

“You need someone to tell you this.  You’re being a fool right now.”  The older elf met that fierce gaze with as much sympathy as he could muster.  “I know you’re in pain.  I know you are.  All that you’ve lost, I’ve lost as well.”

“You can never understand what I endure now, Father.”

“I can,” he assured, moisture appearing on the rims of his eyes.  “We both lost Icarus.  But you lost Iolanthe as well.”  He swallowed away the pain of thousands of days without his own beloved.  “Every day without your mother is like what just happened to Shandranar in my own heart.  I know what it feels like to search for reason.  But don’t be blind to everything else that is around you.”

All at once, it was as if the weight of Yvensar’s body was too much to bear.  He teetered forward, leaning upon the staff.  “It was my fault,” he gasped.  “If I had just gone with Icarus, I could have—”

“We don’t know that,” Eddarvas interrupted.  “He may never have reached the high arcanist.”

“Maybe with my help, he could have.”

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Michael DeAngelo

Michael is the creator of the Tellest brand of fantasy novels and stories. He is actively seeking to expand the world of Tellest to be accessible to everyone.