The figures around the table were mysteriously cloaked. The only light in the room came from one majestic candle on the center of the table, set upon a brilliant golden urn. It’s eery light danced slowly, for there was no draft in the room, save that which was caused my the subtle movement of the players. As they positioned there items on the table, the movement of their arms would cause a slight breeze; and the dim flicker of the candle would alight upon one of the other players — the signal that it was their turn to move.
The table was dominated by a three-dimensional map of some land, with mountains, valleys, rivers, villages, and towns. It’s model seemed life-like, and it’s landscape real.
As the council moved there items, each in turn, events were unfolding upon the table; and all in attendance paid close attention, studying every aspect of the scene before them. They breathed in unison as their focus followed the next move.
If one listened closely, one could hear the faint but familiar sound of war upon the table. The next move brought the sound of troops at battle. Then there were cries of innocent people, pleading for salvation.
The sounds of death.
At the other end of the table, entire cities were engulfed in flames, and the sound of dragons could be heard roaring in victory.
One of the men quickly moved his stone, and then came the sound of a portal being opened, a spirit tearing through the walls of time, a mighty battle, then an explosion. Finally, the agonizing cries of a dragon turned into the sound of silence…
A faint ticking sound could be heard coming from the far end of the great hall, where a very old man sat apart from the group, peering blissfully at the scene before him. He wore a hooded robe of many colors, and a large silver chain decorated his neck, drawing attention to the medallion which hung centered on his chest, the source of the ticking. His right hand held a staff made of a glossy burroughed wood, which was capped with a glassy opal sphere.
The old man suddenly rose, leaning upon his staff, and the ticking stopped.
“It was just as I have foretold,” his voice shattered the silence. “It is time for me to go.”
One of the cloaked men stood as he beckoned, “Please don’t go alone, Master.” There was sincere pleading in his voice, revealing the deepest devotion to his Patron. “Some of us should go with you.”
The old man slowly shook his head. “I need you all right where you are.”
The council around the table nodded in agreement, and the one who had spoken hesitantly returned to his seat as he stipulated in obedience.
“I will be taking the urn.” The wizard announced, and the devoted spokesman rose once again.
“Master, I must protest. If it falls into the wrong hands! The old wizard rose his arm to steady his pupil, and the protestor paused as the other men around the table urged him to sit back down.
“It is my burden,” the wizard said, as he lowered his hand and brought it above is other one, gripping his staff. “Mine alone.” He paused as he allowed his words to penetrate the ears of the council, then resumed, “I am the one who created it; and it was made for a time such as this.”
Another man rose from the table, and addressed his comrades. “Dimension earth has far greater technology than before,” he said. “I sense great wisdom in his plan.”
“Could the power of the round table be translated into digital form?” The voice came from a figure standing in the entryway to the great hall, a figure who’s appearance seemed to startle the council. As he moved further into the room, the light from the candle barely revealed the kingly splendor if his garments. He was graceful in stature, and had a proud countenance. As he stepped around the table, his left hand rested upon the shoulder of the first man. Then, with confidence and grace, he went to the next man, touched his shoulder, then continued to do so with each man as he addressed them. “If I understand correctly, there is more to the Power of Wik than the ashes of a distant memory. If this endeavor is going to succeed, my descendant must be found. It is by and through him the others will be called. Am I correct, Merlin?”
The old wizard seemed to smile as he nodded in agreement. “It will be just like the old days, won’t it?”
Arthur Pendragon smiled warmly. “Do you think they will remember?”
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