Chapter IX: A Zombie Army?

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Djar was amazed at just how quickly things seemed to be coming together. Just over two months ago, he had been the captive Little Princling with no real hope, and now they had a viable plan to drive the goblins all the way back to Mal-tuk-al, known best to the other peoples as Tormentum. That was a lot considering he thought the plan completely crazy when first he heard it.

Zack Needham was an amazing kid. His world – what was it called, Arth? - was so different than The Land, yet he seemed to take to their plan. He certainly wasn’t the reluctant hero. And that was Djar’s main problem with the plan in the beginning: Plucking a kid from his life, even if he were upset with his situation. Djar’s eyes welled up with tears. Yes, Zack’s life was a lot like his own. Parents killed and plucked into another world. It just seemed that Zack was taking it a lot better than Djar.

Djar had to hand it to Dymorla. All the holes that Djar saw in the plan seemed to be filled in the month since the “conjuring” as she called it. Another of Djar’s concerns, communication, also proved to be no problem. Even though Dymorla was the only one with a rudimentary grasp of Zack’s language, one quick spell and they could all understand each other, and, according to Dymorla, it would be permanent and Zack would be able to communicate with anyone using The Common. Djar also was concerned about Dymorla being able to return the boy if he didn’t want to participate, or if he became homesick, but that wasn’t an issue. Actually, it wasn’t an issue so far, because he didn’t want to return. But it still could be. She didn’t think she could return him – she said she wasn’t even confident about being able to conjure anyone or anything else again. Apparently the entire process took a lot out of her and it took years’ worth of herbs and other strange ingredients from her sorceress storerooms to get the job done.

Another of his initial arguments regarding the plan had now fizzled. Djar had wondered why they couldn’t simply enlist the help of a boy in The Land, but after seeing Zack with his magic – at least it seemed like magic to Djar – GameStar something or other, Djar knew the Waypriests could be fooled. Well, actually, they wouldn’t be fooled – Zack was an offworlder like their prophecies stated, just one that was taken to fit their fairy tales! In any event, the thing was incredible. Nothing like it had ever been seen in The Land. Dymorla said they would not act like it was a game at all, but a Wizard’s conjuring tool. Also, she said if they simply used a boy from The Land, the Waypriests knew enough of the lore to cast a truth spell and discover their ruse. No, she said, if they were going to do this, they had to do it right. 

Of course, Trever had brought up a good point about this entire affair. The Waypriests had their endless prophecies, and many thought they were fairy tales, but Zack really was an offworlder, and if he was instrumental in driving the goblins back, than the prophecy was actually true, no? And the priests certainly had a vast amount of power so … No, Djar followed The Way, but didn’t believe in carrying it too far. He also didn’t believe in the prophecies – at least he didn’t think he believed.

Now, Djar was convinced that the plan could succeed, but, he also knew it wouldn’t be easy. He paged through the tattered, leather-bound tome that Dymorla had given him – and told him to study regularly – until he came to the section of the prophecy concerning the arrival of the “offworlder:”

The Book of Asmun

This book is written by the hand of Asmun, Keeper Prime of The Books Of The Way and Grand Cardinal of Illum in the year 1102. What is here written was revealed in dreams and visions and concerns itself with future events of great import. 

I beheld that in ages to be there will come a time of dire need. After much sorrow, there will come a sign of hope, and the time for a new king of men. I saw The One Who Would Be King, though still no more than a boy, come triumphantly into the great and ancient halls of Illum with many a noble escort, allies of The Land and The Way. This I did see with mine own eyes.

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