As Poxig fled the premises, he darted near the wood. The king’s guard followed close behind, raising their halberds towards the sky. They began to close in on him, and Poxig clung to the orb tighter. Then, he heard a voice come from the wood, “Enter here, young fellow!” There was a trapdoor in the roots of a tree.
Poxig hurried down the hatch, which closed behind him. There was an old man in a scarlet coat and a conical red hat. He sat in an enormous chair that was gnarled and ornate like an old tree. Poxig stopped to catch his breath. The old man spoke with a booming voice full of resonance.
“You need not worry about them. They can’t find us here.”
Poxig could hardly believe that he had escaped with the orb. Perhaps Releven had acknowledged his plight and provided an out to this dilemma. He knew that if he was found, the king would throw him in the castle dungeon again.
“Welcome, young elf, I have expected your coming.”
“What? How can that be?”
“The sages can use clairvoyance to perceive the future.”
“Why should I believe you?”
“Trust me. The destiny you seek can only be found with the aid of the circle.”
“The circle? What is that?”
“They are the guild of Naughright. They determine the fate of soldiers and wizards of yore.”
Poxig could not retain his skepticism. But he was glad to be away from the king’s guard. There was no reason to doubt the old sage, but he was still unfamiliar in this underground passage. It was warm and inviting, but everywhere along the walls were byzantine bookshelves, with thousands of colorful volumes. Field mice wandered in the dark recesses of the cavern.
“Why did you rescue me?”
“You can’t understand the omen of Naughright. The guild can see calamities before they are borne.”
“So in some strange way, we were destined to meet?”
“Precisely. You are the bearer of the sacred orb. That sphere contains incredible power that can be used for good or for ill. Master Control knew that you would need guidance in its use. I have come to help you become the elf that you are destined to be. But in order to be a true guardian of the orb, you must confront your true self. Most men, when confronted with their actual self, run away screaming!”
Poxig had always thought that he had known himself. But he reasoned that Releven probably knew him better than his own self-conception.
“What must I do?”
“Look into this magic mirror, and behold the self that will become the light warrior!”
Poxig was filled with trepidation. But he managed to heed the old man’s call, though he had to fight with his own cowardice. In truth, he didn’t really believe that he could become a light warrior. But he had to face his fear.