A Wizard’s Tale
I waited patiently atop the Place of Redemption. This place, in fact, was not a Place of Redemption. It was a place of choosing. It had nothing to do with my choosing, but rather the Order’s choosing of whether I was worthy of the Regeneration.
I had been waiting for about five weeks now. It was part of my test. First, you spent a week climbing the mountain, once you were on top; you would hunt and search for water until the Order arrived. I could have used my wings to fly, but it was forbidden.
It was partly a test of endurance, partly worthiness, but mostly, it was because the Order didn’t offer the Regeneration to just anyone, but when they did, it was incredibly taxing. They would lie in bed for weeks afterwards. The test was to make sure you weren’t wasting their time.
The mountaintop was green. Very green, and it smelled like spring. There was a faint mist hanging in the air, and the sun shone brightly through the mist.
Alone, in a grove atop the mountain, I sat next to a spring, and I stirred the water with my stick. In the water, I could see my reflection staring back at me. I always wore a hood that shaded my face, so that all anyone could see who looked were my eyes. I was an old man, an old pixie, to be exact. There weren’t very many pixies left, we were a dying race. We did not age well. We were a short bunch who became extremely wrinkly when old. My wings had lost their colorful luster and my eyes had lost their emerald flare.
I leaned back against a tree and closed my eyes. When I opened them, there was a young man staring at me from across the spring. He was part of the Order, I knew, because he was wearing a white robe. He was an overly serious youth with large eyebrows and a crooked nose- and very, very harsh eyes.