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The Young Mage

After his parents died, Nicholai farmed his father’s allotment at the young age of 13. He hated the landowner, a local Baron who squeezed all the tenants and expected the same tithes from Nicholai as the other tenants. He tilled and planted until his hands were swollen. Nicholai had thought of running away but town near him had no apprentice opportunities. He felt trapped and distrustful. One day he was so hungry he took his bow into the woods to poach game. Nicholai was good with the bow and snuck there often. He saw a partridge and let loose his bow. The arrow flew true and he snaked through the grass to retrieve it. When he found the bird he also noticed a crevice in the rock. Nicholai saw that it was large enough to enter. Cool air came from the hole so he peered into the space. He was startled to see a hewn corridor. He was curious. He left a subtle marker for himself and came back at dusk armed with his bow and a candle.

He squeezed into the hole and walked through the corridor.…

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