1 Prologue

Wind rushed by him as he stumbled along the forest floor. Bulky trees towering above, threatening to descend. He glanced around, frantically looking for refuge. He spotted a deep ditch to the north between leaning trees. As he neared the ditch, he heard pounding feet nearing his location. He threw himself into the hole quickly and quietly , if his father taught him anything it was to be silent. When he could no longer hear footsteps, which felt like hours, he shot up and began to run. Although he could not comprehend why he was being chased, he was certain it had something to do with his father. His father was a liar, a thief, and in mountains of debt. Somehow, he got roped into it. A ten year old boy was forced to be on the run.

He wound through the trees effortlessly. Avoiding anything in his path that could tip off any stragglers to his presence. As soon as he reached the cliff, he doubled back towards the cabin. On the way, he ran into some men. Going unnoticed, of course. They were traveling in packs of twos and threes. Even though he couldn't make out their faces, they were most likely warlocks. They seem to hold grudges for a long time. Maybe he stole something of theirs. Since his father was a wanted criminal, there was no way off of the massive island. They were always on the run. They have seen every city, every town and forest of Kaiden. All except for the capitol.

As he drew near the cabin, something felt off. He just could not put his finger on it. He slid his hand into the right pocket of his bottoms and fished his key. As soon as he opened the door, he figured out what put him on edge. Three men were standing in the makeshift dining room. His father was tied to a chair in the middle of them. In panic, he slid behind the chest to his left. He poked his head out just enough to confirm his suspicions. They were indeed warlocks. The round ears and large noses gave them away. As he was studying the men, he locked eyes with his father.

You have to run. He glanced at the men. They didn't seem to hear the voice. He looked back at his father.

Run. The voice paused. Now! It was his father. But how in Hell did he do that?

As much as he hated the thought of leaving his father behind, he knew that this was no joking matter. Growing up, he knew it was his father's way or no way. He also knew that his father had complete control of the situation. He could take care of himself.

As quick as lightning, he spun around and bolted out the door. The men didn't notice that either. Not the most perceptive species. He rounded the south end of the building and climbed through the window connecting to his temporary bedroom. With nimble fingers, he would collect the few belongings he held dear, along with some coin and clothing. Soundless feet found themselves at the end of the bed. He knelt down, wincing in advance for the scraping on the floor. Once he slowly guided the chest from under the bed, he unlocked it and started scrambling through it. He clutched the knife his father had given him when he was eight, a diamond he stole off of a drunken fisherman in Penreth, and his mother's locket. His father never talked about her, but told him she wanted him to have it. He strode over to a floor panel near the tall shelf and retrieved every last coin from the compartment below. With one last look around the room, he made his way out the window, and into the dark forest ahead.

Next chapter