Welcome back! Today we continue with the student versions of Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud Chapter Three.
I’ve altered the line spacing to make them easier to read on WordPress, otherwise they are exactly as the students wrote them. I’ve copied the files from Adobe to Word to WordPress, so I hope I got the formatting as the authors intended. I take full responsibility for any errors in that regard, and I hope you’ll choose your favorite(s) based on content, not formatting. Please keep track of the ones you like the best. Voting begins September 18!
If you’ve stumbled upon this and have no idea what’s going on, get the details here:
Student Versions of Chapter Three
Group 9 Chapter Three
The legends of Death Desert
Owen walked in silence a bit behind Cedric. He didn’t understand clearly what was going on, and being with a wizard was making him uncomfortable. He was trying to clear his mind: his dad had fallen because of a magic spell, the wizard used his magic to protect his dad, and now they were walking towards Death Desert. What was going on? They had rushed so quickly to leave the kingdom that he had not had time to say goodbye to Yara. Furthermore he did not know if he would ever come back.
There were some legends about Death Desert. All was in the name. No one had ever come back from it and there were rumors, but how to discern the truth from the lies? Some people said that a dragon made of sand was sleeping in the middle of this wide and huge stretch of sand. Others were saying that there was a huge castle which attracted people and then they were lost, imprisoned forever. Those thoughts were scary but living in a world without his father was even scarier!
He turned around to look at Owen. He saw the light in his eyes and felt bad for the poor kid.
“But what about the dragon of sand? Or the immense castle? What about them? Aren’t you scared of never coming back? I may be a knight but I have fears and you do too” he paused and searched for his words but nothing came.
The wizard continued to walk and Owen thought he could go back, but the second he turned around, Cedric was in front of him.
“They don’t exist. That’s it. They are just stupid rumors that parents tell their children so that they will not run away, so now stop being a child and come with me! We have a long way to go and if we stop every five minutes, I can assure you that we will never get there!”
Then he went back on his path and walked. The landscapes were regular ones for the time being; it was a typical forest you could have found in fairy tales. It wasn’t a dark forest or a tropical forest or anything; it was just some trees and a path in the middle of it. Cedric was looking at the plants, had even stopped to take a sample of a big green and yellow leaf which was growing up on the trunk of a dead oak tree. He told him.
“This leaf is rare nowadays, when you see one you have to take it carefully, if you break the cells it won’t work. This plant has the power of transportation if you use it well. Oaka nalamor: try to remember that young man!”
Owen was going to ask him if it was the name of the leaf, the name of the tree, the name of something at least. But instead he just followed. He did not know why the wizard was telling him all of that when he hated magic.
He had never liked this wizard, but the longer he was with him, the more he realized that he wasn’t so bad. He didn’t know if trusting him was a good thing or not, and he didn’t know if he should continue his quest, but for now, he was learning a lot of new things about wizards. Every morning Cedric would wake up, stand up, and repeat the same words again and again ‘Aloara Asemana Tretana’. Then he would count how many leaves he had in his bag. How many potions he had. How many rocks he had. Owen was watching him every day, analysing what he was doing while sharpening his sword. And every day Owen was wondering what Yara was doing, what Queen Andrea was doing and what her son Weylin was doing, what was his father thinking or dreaming about in his coma.
Time flew by faster than he thought and after a few weeks they finally arrived on the edge of Death Desert. At first, Owen didn’t recognize the place his father had described so many times, while telling him the stories of famous knights crossing the desert. He had imagined it differently. Less scary. It was so big that he couldn’t tell where it ended. The earth was dry and red. That was the only thing they could see, miles and miles of dry earth. They arrived in the middle of the day, when the sun was at its highest and the scorching heat made it hard to walk. They decided to wait for nightfall before starting to cross the infinite desert.
As the temperature started to get colder and the sky darker, they started crossing. The cold was soon unbearable but Owen would rather face this cold than the day’s heat. As they walked, neither of them talked, to save their energy and make it through the rough night. The silence was oppressive and the darkness forced Owen to concentrate to see. He was thinking about how much he missed his father and Yara. He would have done anything to hear her laugh one last time, he would maybe never see her again, and he would probably not survive the long road with Cedric. This thought frightened him and he tried to get it out of his head. They had been walking for hours now, and he still couldn’t see the end of Death Desert. In fact, he could only see the wizard, in the dark of the night. The empty lands stretched out far in front of him, endlessly. Owen thought he might even freeze to death before he could reach his goal. At last, Cedric suggested they should rest a bit.
They set up their camp around a small fire and he tried to sleep as the wizard was taking the night’s first watch. Cedric stood near the fire his face still and hard, looking deep into the flames. When he was a small boy, Owen used to start fires in the bowels of Wittatun and stare at the flames pretending they were dragon fire. He was fascinated by dragons. Even though they had been extinct for over a century, he had always believed they would come back somehow. He had always dreamt of having a dragon of his own. He remembered the stories his nurse used to tell him about dragons:
In the darkness of Death Desert, the first dragons were born. People say that a part of the sun fell in the desert and at night, these creatures came to life, which is why they breathe fire. They swept over cities and kingdoms. No army could stop them, they were wild and merciless. Women would run away to protect their babies while men would try to kill the dragons. Eventually, after every land was destroyed by their devastating fire and only a few men remained, one day came and the last dragon was killed.
Come back for the rest of the adventure! (All links go live at midnight Central Standard Time on the date in parentheses.)
Let the voting begin! (September 18)
Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud: Chapter Three (September 20)
Voting Closes and Winners Announced! (September 25)