When a writer starts a fantasy novel, one of the first questions that comes to mind is “How did this all start?” By that I mean that we want to know how our characters got to where they are in our story. For example, one of the parts in my upcoming book is a battle between two sorcerers to see who’s world view would win. The wizards are named Stefanopa and Adamory. At one point in the book, Adamory calls Stefanopa his little brother. That got me thinking about how these two came into being back on the original earth. In other words, I wanted some of their back story. As I’ve said in earlier posts, I write by the seat of my pants, when one of my characters offers to tell a story. So I asked all my characters to tell me how they discovered magic. The story Stefanopa told me was the best. Here it is.
Stefanopa was only 15 when he first realized that he was developing magic. His older brother, Adamory, had left home when his came in at the age of 21. Their mother was worried when Stefanopa began to have the chills at night that Adamory had suffered for she feared for his life. Adamory had nearly died and Stefanopa was more frail and younger than Adamory had been. His mother begged his father to run to the healer to see if anything could be done for their boy, but her husband just laughed at her.
“You have two unnatural sons. It’s your fault, woman, I should never have married someone from over the mountains.” He slapped her face so hard she fell against the crooked wood table that served as kitchen counter and dinner table for the small family. She lay on the floor, blood coming from her mouth where her lip was broken, her tongue and cheek swollen.
“Don’t hit me again, please don’t hit me again.”
Stefanopa staggered out of the back room. His father was still almost a foot taller than the frail boy. His father looked toward him and laughed
“You want to take me on, you bastard? Come after me. You don’t dare. You’re no son of mine!”
Stefanopa just pointed his finger at this father. A bolt flew through the air and struck the larger man down. His hair smoked and a black hole appeared in his forehead. Stefanopa fell to the ground.
A rolling of thunder was heard immediately through the town. No one had seen lightning although there was a smell of something burning. The neighbors ran toward Stefanopa’s home, smelling, and found the dead man. Stefanopa’s mother told them that her husband had been standing at the door, looking at the clouds coming in when he was struck by lightning. It threw him into the house so that he landed right where he was now. He seemed to die immediately.
The neighbors believed her story. They said the evidence was clear. They had all heard the thunder and they knew that thunder meant lightning. This house was a little off the main road, and no one ever saw the first lightning bolt of a storm. It was the most dangerous one, after all. They all knew that.
Stefanopa’s mother, Ariane was her name, came to him in the back room, where he lay near to death. She placed a warm cloth on his forehead and a blanket over him. She lay beside him to give him her warmth. She called on the gods of magic to save her good son. He had to live to combat her evil son who had already gone out into the world.
Three years later, Ariane, now looking near death herself, stood in that same doorway and waved as her younger son took the same road his older brother had taken four years earlier. He carried a walking stick his mother had made for him. She had placed a large milky crystal at the top of the staff, and whispered to him to use it. She told him that he too could learn to call the thunder. He looked back once and was gone.
I hope you enjoyed it! Stafanopa and Adamory appear in the new novel, now called “Fantastical Trips.” It should be published this fall.