Friday, February 28, 2014

Whom Shall I Send?

            Turras sat back in his chair at the palace.  He noticed that the other two were sitting differently and adjusted his position to match.  He didn’t know if there was a correct way to sit on palace grounds, and he didn’t want to risk sitting improperly.
            “I can only send one of you two,” the Wizard said, squinting his eyes and picking up a chalice from the table beside him.  “Though you both have the unique traits necessary to succeed, we’ve only enough of the right sort of weapons and armor for one person.”
            Turras smiled.  “That is quite fine by me,” he said, being careful to pick up his own chalice in the same way the Wizard did.  “Though I am honored to be considered for such a task, I doubt I am fit for it.  Besides, I’ve much else to do besides go on some quest to save the Kingdom.  Without my help, my parents might not be able to harvest enough crops to make it through the winter.”
            “Indeed,” Ellis said, holding her chalice the same way the Wizard did, “I concur that I ought to go.  My own house will do just fine without my help.”
            Turras tried to hide his sigh of relief.
            “I am afraid that that is not the basis on which we must decide,” the Wizard said, causing Turras’ eyes to snap to him and watch him carefully.  “If it were, I would not have gone to the trouble of bringing you both all the way out here.”  The Wizard took a sip from his chalice and put if down.  He gazed at them more intensely.  Turras took subtle deep breaths.  “We must discern which of you is more fit for the task.”
            “That is quite easily me,” Ellis said.  “I’ve not gotten as much education in combat as many of my brothers, but I am no doubt more skilled than a farm boy,” Ellis glanced at Turras, “No offense.”
            “Oh no, I agree,” Turras said as quickly as he could without interrupting, “I am by no means fit to slay such a fierce beast as this.  Even if I am a chosen, that does not guarantee my success.  Many with roots less humble than mine have failed.”

            “I do wish it were that simple,” the Wizard said, taking another sip and removing a stone from his pocket.  “Sadly, it is on the basis of to what degree you possess the Magic of the Chosen that I must decide.  This stone shall tell us.  Each of you must hold it, and in whoever’s hand it glows brighter is the only proper choice.”  The Wizard gave it to Ellis, and it glowed, but not very brightly.  Turras gulped as the Wizard held out the stone for him to grab.  He reached out his hand, and allowed the Wizard to drop it in.