Sickly purple flames licked at the buildings with eldritch fury, twisted elementals made of the same fire lashing out with their arms at the bidding of their master. The dark wizard stood in the centre of the village cloaked in rich silk robes of black, arms folded across his chest as he surveyed both the destruction wrought and the expression on the rounded up villagers faces.

“Cease.” He called, raising a hand. The gesture was more than one of simple command, his power halting both the elements and the inferno. “I believe I have demonstrated enough for you what continued denial brings. Produce the relic and I shall extinguish the fires and leave. Refuse, and they continue. It is as simple as that.”

“No!” A young voice called out, clearly angry despite the boyish tone. From out of one of the burning houses a child leapt, barely older than ten years, a sword clutched in one hand. As it slid through one of the blazing elementals, he released a burst of arcane energy from his other hand, water conjured from the aether sizzling as it extinguished the creature.

The wizard looked on in mild amusement as the young boy fell on several of the other elementals, dispatching them with a combination of furious swordplay and spellwork before facing up to the older, taller wizard wreathed in silk and unearthly fire.

“How precocious.” The dark wizard chuckled, gesturing to the boy. “You, a mere child, would challenge me when older men huddle amongst the fellows, cowered into inaction? Tell me your name, child.”

“I am Ank, son of the Warder of this village, Med.” The boy declared defiantly, moving to position himself between the wizard and the crowd.

“Well then, Ank.” The wizard smiles. “You woke this morning as a child. By tonight? You shall have died as a man.” Shrugging his cloak back, the wizard’s hands burned with infernal flame, hair whipping around violently as arcane power flooded through him.

“Come at me, boy.” He smirked, his eyes dangerously narrowed. “Let us see how exuberance and precociousness fares against potent talent and honed skill.”


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