Gerard is a sorcerer living in a world where people fear and hate magic...
As you know, the King has strictly forbidden magic so I strongly urge you not to misplace this letter. It has been so long since we last met, yet I know I can trust you will look after him.
I feel guilty to push this responsibility so soon on you but he needs somewhere to stay. My sweet little Gerard needs a home where he is in the capable arms of someone safe.
Please take him in, he is polite, willing and a bright young man. He will do anything he is asked of without the slightest hesitation.
I suppose now you are wondering why I am giving him to you? Well the fact is...Gerard is different. This is why it is of most importance that you teach him and guide him safely.
My son is a sorcerer.
Please keep him protected for I fear I no longer can dear Anton.
Donna Way xx
Gerard strolled through the woods that outlined the city, taking care not to trip and stumble over the many roots that littered the ground. The sunlight dappled through the green leaves of the surrounding trees, creating yellow splodges of light on the worn track on which he trod. His backpack bouncing against his body with each step he took.
He looked up as he came to the end of the wooded area to see the massive iron gates of Syria looming over him, a guard on either side. As Gerard approched the guards opened the gates to let him and some fashionably dressed boy on horseback pass.
The boy on the horse glanced down at Gerard as he trotted off with a distasteful look in his dark eyes. Gerard ignored him and carried on.
The streets of Syria were packed full of people, hustling and bustling, jostling into eachother to break through to the front of crowds. Gerard watched in awe at all the activity around him, this was so different compared to Jouster's Hoop- a quaint little village up on the mountains where Gerard had previously lived, it had a small population and was almost a completely silent town.
Gerard shuffled and shimmied his way to the castle's courtyard; that was where he should find Anton.
Expecting to see only a small crowd of servents there, Gerard was shocked to find a collosal crowd rammed in tight into the small space. They all apeared to be grouped around some form of a stage in the centre.
"People of Syria, the man before you today has been found guilty of witchcraft. He today faces his execution to be beheaded!"
The booming voice came from a man standing proudly on a balcony, guards around him and a glittering crown upon his head. Undoubtedly, he was King Mercia; the King whose hatred for magic knew no bounds. Gerard bit his lip as a man was dragged up onto the platform, his hands and feet bound by thick rope. The guards released him and he stood staring up at King Mercia. Gerard just watched; eager not to get into trouble so soon or else his head would come rolling off also.
King Mercia glared down at the accused sorcerer with cold eyes,
"Any last words?"
The man spoke, anger lacing every word,
"You killed all my family Mercia and left me a broken man! I will kill your son,, then you shall suffer as I have suffered!" The guards went to grab him but the man dodged them before screaming,
A strong wind whipped up and terror spread through the crowd like a wld fire. People shrieked and fled, pushing and shoving as the sorcerer began to break down into a fine, black dust that swirled up in a channel of air before vanishing completely. Gerard was one of the few that stared in horror at the place where the man had once been.
"Search the city for him!" King Mercia barked and the guards sprinted off, their armour clinking loudly as they ran. There was the clopping of hooves on the stone cobbles and Gerard turned to see the boy on the horse once more, finally getting a good look at him.
Chainmail hung off his torso in shimmering links and the armour that protected his chest, swordarm, knees and feet glimmered wickedly in the afternoon sun. A long peice of scarlet covered his chainmail and was emblazoned with three golden serpents coiled around each other in a Celtic pattern. He dismounted his jet black stallion and stalked inside the castle, his chocolate brown locks, blowing back in the slight breeze that there was.
Gerard was debating on whether or not to ask the man (which he assumed to be a Knight of some sorts) where he could find Anton when there was a tap on his shoulder.
"Anton!" Gerard cried, pulling the old man and friend into a hug. Anton laughed and patted the young boy's back,
"Now let's get a good look at you." He said, holding Gerard out at arms length. "I suppose you'll do, you could use a bit more weight on you though." Anton noted Gerard's hazel eyes with the subtle flecks of amber and chocolate brown; the definate signs of a sorcerer; a magical human always had eyes that were not just one colour, they were a variety of different shades and tones and each pattern was unique to each sorcerer.
Gerard looked back over his shoulder,
"Did you see what happened there?"
Anton nodded gravely,
"Yes...Most executions end that way but all the death threats are empty; no sorcerer has succeeded in killing Mercia's son."
Gerard frowned at Anton's relaxed attitude toward the previous event.
"Are you sure? I mean, that guy sounded pretty serious about it."
"Nothing will come of it Gerard, trust me."
Gerard looked at the old man, his silvery hair long and dishevelled, and the tierd circles around his sparkling blue and green eyes. Gerard nodded reluctantly and Anton clapped him on the back, leading him away with a smile on his face.
Gerard forced a grin but something was gnawing at the back of his mind.
He just couldn't shake the feeling that something awful was going to happen.