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  • Writer's pictureTayler M. Lowe

A Storm is Coming

Updated: Apr 22

  Zaryx hissed as he was startled when an obnoxious banging on the door  broke his concentration. He was in the midst of creating one of his finest potions and had dropped his flask, contents shattering on the stone floor.





"What is it!?", he snapped. Snarling, the crusty old Reptilian alchemist made his way to the door, his tattered robes dragging that stirred up dust becoming visible in the sunbeams that peaked through the cracks of his home. He opened the door and squinted with his hand raised to block the bright sun. 


A younger Reptilian male stood at the door with a wide smile. He wore a burlap type garb with a hooded vest with various beads and a leather satchel carrying his belongings. "Master, you must come quickly! The guards have found something. S-someone!"


"Azaryk! Do you have any sense by coming to my home slamming on my door while I am in the middle of my magic? My alchemical jubilee? My peace? M- my flask! I dropped and shattered my flask because of your unruly impotence! I’m already in trouble with the Emperor as is. The High Witch requested those potions four weeks ago."


He clenched his fist at the young lizard and turned around shaking his head at the mess. The old wizard had spent two weeks gathering and preparing that concoction, with one of those weeks traveling to the ocean and back for one plant in which he didn't gather nearly enough of. He moaned and closed his eyes, then faced his apprentice again with an over exaggerated look of distraught. His anger was attempting to be extinguished with curiosity as his thoughts vectored to the possibilities of what his apprentice was so excited about.





"I, I'm sorry master, I'll replace it. I promise! Quick! Look what they have brought from the forest!" Azaryk looked over his shoulder and back at his teacher who had hastily swept the contents into a pile and threw the broom on the ground muttering to himself. 


"This better be worth it, oh, and you're coming with me to get the replacements!" Zaryx slammed his door,  tightened his sash and motioned Azaryk to lead the way. His intrigue had now surpassed his distemperment when a cool breeze from the north lathered him with the scent of crisp pines. 


"We can go to the market and stores after! I'll make us some fish soup after, I can help clean up the mess I made of course!" The young Rep smiled. Though his attention wasn’t at all thinking about the soup.

“Not just the market, you’re coming with me to the seas as well!” Zaryx barked at him, locking the door behind him.


“Master, I assure you after this, you may be tasked with a different order from His Excellency.” His apprentice’s tone was somewhat serious, pondering over what the soldiers’ find would mean to the kingdom. The very fate of the planet may shift in a new direction.



The two strode down a stone road and up over a small hill that overlooked a small settlement. Azaryk was the twin  brother of one of the royal guards of the Reptilian caliphate, but had been chosen to train as a mage instead of a soldier. Ever since the solar flares had rendered most of the planet's machines useless while scorching infrastructure on the surface, the call for ancient alchemical alternatives or magic more less had been beckoned under the pressure of circumstance. Azaryk, having been born after the polar flip that flooded most of the earth, was oblivious to the vast diversity of technology that ran the protocols of society of nearly everything over a thousand years ago.


An ancient electronic deity connected everyone with the speed of light was lost for centuries before Zaryx brought it back to life. He was hailed a hero by the masses only for his glory to fade again when the largest solar flare yet knocked their satellites out of orbit. For the past two hundred years he had attempted to redeem himself with no avail worthy of the pressing caliphate. Despite his washout and lashing of dignity. he was still deemed useful. His new apprentice had taken his mind off the past by directing his efforts back to the basics of chemistry and magic. He felt great joy in mentoring the boy who used to be shy, but over the years grew more confident and less introverted. With his brother rising through the army ranks, Azaryk was taken under the wings of the other soldiers, but still subject to occasional pestering.


The two stayed on the ridge making their way around the main entrance to the village behind some homes. Dunes with vast valleys with speckles of water holes and trees expanded for miles to the west as the midday sun began to descend behind a mass of rainclouds on the horizon. Cooler weather was always a welcomed event for the dry skinned race of Reptilians, for their episodes of flares have dominated the skies for decades. The old wizard smelled the air and closed his eyes for a moment as he slowed his stride. Up a few meters ahead, his apprentice bounded over a series of grass patched knolls with pockets of muddy water.

 

Azaryk's sharp eyes widened and he pointed at the group of soldiers riding on their beasts. "Here they come."


The panting old lizard came up behind him and raised a set of brass antique binoculars that were thousands of years old. "Alright boy, what am I looking for?"


Azaryk didn't say a word and ran toward the convoy across a meadow with grass blades dancing in the wind.. To the old lizard's surprise, after a playful scoff at Azaryk's eagerness, he was relieved to see him reunite with his older brother Veskyl, who was leading the convoy, soldiers chattering and celebrating. A wooden carriage made of black wood was being pulled by four massive reptilian birdhorses whose shiny obsidian feathers clumped with mud from their travels. Zaryx couldn't quite see what was inside, prompting him to scuttle closer to the cobblestone road to intercept the soldiers. He saw Azaryk talking and joking with the soldiers, turned and pointed in his direction. Azaryk made a downward splashing motion and Zaryx could tell he was explaining the flask being dropped. He rolled his eyes and shook his head turning to the carriage. 




  As the transport rolled closer, the wizard’s heart began to beat faster with his attention sharpened towards the barred window. A riveting feeling swept over him, something he had never felt before. It wasn’t fear, but something just as powerful, though he couldn't express any appropriate emotion to describe the energy that rippled through him. Time seemed to come to a halt as Zaryx made contact with a set of eyes that caused him to tremble. A quick glimpse of a dark haired man with black eyes and pointed ears peered through the wrought iron bars sending a shiver down his spine and tail. He wore an entirely different garb from the Elves he had seen and interacted with in the past, but this one…this was no typical villager or rebel. There was a fire in his gaze, not of malice or deceit, but a feeling the old wizard had never been akin to and could find no word for.





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