Story one of The Dark Wizard trilogy
Ojamar loathed his yearly duty. He would, nonetheless, check on Cadmus, safely contained within his prison-globe. No one had placed this onerous burden upon him. He had willingly taken it upon himself, though with each passing year, he regretted his decision more.
He could have left Cadmus to rot for eternity, buried in the bottom of an overfull closet or better yet, at the bottom of the Wigean Sea. But somehow that seemed too cruel, even for his monstrous brother. Ojamar still held in his heart a spark of hope that one day Cadmus would see his error and return to the light. Three hundred years later, that spark had grown faint indeed.
As he had done each year since imprisoning his sibling in the globe, Ojamar entered the hidden room in the deepest recesses of his magical abode. The safety of the world and its inhabitants relied on his ability to contain Cadmus. Though destroying him would have been the surest pathway to that safety, Ojamar could not bear that burden on top of the others he already carried.
So he relied on spells and subterfuge to keep Cadmus hidden. Only he could access his well-concealed home, and, even if another broke his spells and managed to find it and somehow enter, the magical failsafes between any intruder and his brother’s prison would prove insurmountable.
Yet Ojamar passed through the hallways without incident, recognized by his own magic and immune to its effects. He could, of course, have traveled to the room instantly, but the walk allowed him time to mentally prepare himself for the inevitable confrontation.
Cadmus, as usual, did not disappoint. His prison was not onerous, at least as prisons went. He lived on a luxurious estate where all his needs were magically met, though his own magic was held inert. What he lacked was companionship and access to the outside world. He bore neither burden well.
Though Cadmus could have chosen to avoid the encounter entirely, he was, as every year, waiting for Ojamar, his scowling countenance unchanged, as though he wore the same expression year in and year out.
“You’re late.” Cadmus scowled.
“One might think you missed me,” Ojamar said softly, refusing to rise to the bait. He was, in fact, three minutes early.
“Bah.” Cadmus glared through the glass of the globe in which his entire existence was held. “Are you going to free me today, brother?”
“I think not,” Ojamar replied. “The ethers tell me you remain obstinate in your course.”
“And you remain as weak as ever.”
Ojamar held in the sigh he knew would only infuriate his twin. Instead, he said, “Will you not relent?”
“I will never forgive the world for what it did to Nimia. Our sister deserved better.”
“Nimia was a dark wizard, Cadmus. She corrupted people’s souls and enslaved their bodies. Her execution at the hands of the council was just.”
A dangerous fire smoldered in Cadmus’s eyes. “I will never forgive. Nor should you. Our vengeance…”
“Will never come to pass.” With a wave of his hand and a heavy heart, Ojamar darkened the room and transported to his study where a bottle of his favorite wine awaited him. Tonight, as each year, he would drink that bottle in memory of the brother he had once loved, and the terrible events that had forever torn them asunder.
I’ve written a trilogy before, but this one feels different because rather than taking a set idea and writing from that, I have three images I love of wizards and snow globes, and I’m using these to drive three stories I will link together.
As of this writing, I’m not at all certain what I’ll do in story two. I didn’t even know Nimia existed until I wrote her as the reason for Cadmus’s imprisonment. But she’s clearly the catalyst that has brought Ojamar and Cadmus to this pass. It will be interesting to see how.
Rather than publishing these over the course of a single week, I’m going to release them on three consecutive Sundays. Stay tuned for part two!
You can now read the second and third installments of this story by following the links below.