Story three of The Dark Wizard trilogy
If you haven’t read the first two stories in this trilogy, you should follow the links below and read them first. I promise you, it will be worth it!
Ojamar had understood what it meant when Cadmus had disappeared the day their sister had died—the day they had, together, killed her. There had been no choice in the matter. Not really. They could not allow Nimia to continue slaughtering the innocents of world upon world.
It had been Cadmus who had forced Ojamar’s hand, not the other way around. Cadmus had declared that although the Wizard Council had pronounced death, the brothers would carry out the sentence. They would end the life of their triplet, leaving them twins, bereft and alone, unable to bear each other’s company.
Ojamar had prepared for his brother’s inevitable return. Over the near century of his absence, Ojamar heard rumors of increasingly dark deeds. At first the deaths were few, but the numbers began to mount as Cadmus’s guilt grew. By the time he appeared in the Crystal Continuum where Ojamar waited, having seen his coming, Cadmus bore little resemblance to the brother Ojamar had loved. His twin was truly lost to him.
Still, Ojamar had planned what he considered a kinder fate for his brother than that his sister had borne. He had bespelled the Crystal Continuum to hold them both, removing them from the time stream. They would have each other, and the worlds outside would be safe from Cadmus.
But Cadmus was suspicious, knowing his brother’s heart as well as Ojamar knew his. He grasped Ojamar’s staff immediately on arrival, even as his presence triggered the spell to seal both within the continuum.
Ojamar had planned for even this. Cadmus had sought to wrest the staff from Ojamar’s hand. Instead, both wizards froze, able neither to let go, nor to move against one another.
And so they stood, frozen together within the Crystal Continuum, only their minds active, for a century. Ojamar had believed that time long enough to determine if his brother’s mind and heart could be healed of the darkness that had taken hold.
Throughout that century, the brothers shared thoughts, though Ojamar kept one well hidden, deep within the recesses of his mind where Cadmus could not reach.
Cadmus raged for a hundred years, blaming the peoples of Therebis for Nimia’s death. At first, he blamed only those villagers who had been present when she had died, though by then they were all long dead. His hatred bubbled and boiled over onto the entirety of this world, and then onto all worlds, for hadn’t Nimia before him seen their evil?
Never in a century did Cadmus acknowledge the guilt that ate him up from inside. Ojamar knew his heart and the pain it bore, for was it not his own? Did they not bear the same guilt? He pleaded with Cadmus, leaned on their brotherly bond to coerce him, and in the end begged him to relent. But Cadmus would not be turned from his vengeance against a universe that had spurned and doomed their sister.
As the final moments of the century faded, Ojamar made one last attempt to reach Cadmus. “Please, brother, you are all I have left in this world. Do not let the darkness that consumed Nimia take you from me as well.”
Cadmus assaulted Ojamar’s mind with a vision of the universe burning eternally, with Ojamar tormented at its heart. “I wish nothing but suffering upon you and these beings you hold so dear, brother. You will not turn me from my vengeance, no matter how many centuries we stand here together, frozen in time.”
Cadmus lost his balance and collapsed to his knees as their century of confinement together ended, and Ojamar disappeared, taking his staff with him. Cadmus, left alone within the now sealed Crystal Continuum, glared at his twin through the impenetrable barrier between them, only now understanding the truth.
“I am truly sorry, Cadmus,” Ojamar said, a heavier weight than any he had yet borne settling onto his shoulders. As he turned to leave the place from which he and his brother had for so long protected this world, he vowed that he would never fail to do so, in memory of the man Cadmus had once been, and, he hoped, would be again.
And so the tale of the brothers Admoses ends. A tragedy from beginning to end, with no happy ending for anyone, only Ojamar’s grim resolve to honor what had been good in his twin and to protect the universe for eternity.
I love stories with happy endings, but life does not always grant this, and neither should fiction. Of course, we all knew how this ended from the outset. The only question was how we had arrived at that point.
I’d love to hear what you think of this trilogy. What worked for you? What didn’t? What might you have done differently if you were writing it?