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The Tarlinian by Diron Bates
SUMMARY: A mysterious encounter between a wizard and a Tarlinian.
The old man sat hunched in the middle of the room, his long pipe hanging lazily from his lips. His face was plagued with crevices and deep pits that naturally came from both old age and years of travel. It was a face that held stores of ancient knowledge and the secrets of old. Though he hunched, his posture was strong and defiant. His eyes were golden orbs that sparkled as brilliantly as the rising sun and pierced as deeply as a Tarlinians blade. His perfectly groomed white hair poured from his head, down his shoulders and pooled around the spot in which he sat.
He stared into the Tarlinians eyes with no sign of fear. He stared at the Tarlinian as no man had before.
"Wizard, I seek your wisdom. I order for your council." The Tarlinian said ceremoniously. His voice was as rough as grinding rocks, it was the voice of an icy hearted assassin.
"I know what you seek Tarlinian. But, do you know what you seek?"
"I seek ‘The Path'." The Tarlinian said. The wizard laughed, his laugh was as strong as his misguiding posture. The Tarlinian had heard of the wizard's power, and now he felt it in the wizards laugh. He was powerful, so powerful that the Tarlinian struggled against the urge to place his hand upon the hilt of his sword. But, that would show fear, and fear knew the name of no Tarlinian. He stared deeply into the wizards eyes as he laughed, his face devoid of emotion. After several moments the wizard settled down and glared at the Tarlinian.
"And you are a true Tarlinian?" The wizard asked. This was the first test.
"By my honor." The Tarlinian answered instantly.
"A pure Tarlinian?" he asked. This was the second test.
"By my blade!" The Tarlinian bellowed and threw back his cloak enough to display the sword that was sheathed upon his hip. The wizard unintentionally gasped and his golden eyes lost some of their brilliant sparkle.
"I knew you would come last child of Tarlin," the wizard said as he slowly began to rise. He inhaled the sweet smoke from the pipe before exhaling; the blue smoke did lazy laps around his head before fading away.
"I knew you would come," he continued, "bearing steel so pure that it can pierce the heavens." The old wizard continued to rise until the nearly seven foot tall Tarlinian was tilting his head back to look into the golden eyes of the towering legend.
The Tarlinian stood his ground, his glare unwavering. His nearly seven-foot frame was packed with dense muscle that coursed with bulging veins. His eyes were electric blue orbs without pupils that shined eerily whether in light or in darkness. The wise knew that to see such a color in the mid of night meant instant death. His skin was as black as night, as was his hair which spilled over his shoulders before ending halfway down his back. With his unblinking eyes he stared up at the wizard determined not to give an inch of ground.
"I knew that you would come with your questions, and I know by the stories that Death itself travels with you." The great wizard folded his arms before him and scowled down at the Tarlinian, his golden orbs pulsating brightly.