The Octology of the Seven Hats
Part One: An Odd Beginning
Chapter Two: The Meeting
Vilhaun began telling the story of Malbo’s past: “So you know that your father went to Sili, but you don’t know how he disappeared. I will start the story there. Your father was travelling to Sili by magic, the same way I brought you here. The Arectori sensed him coming towards them. They had a post in the mountains from which they could raid cities. So they sensed him coming, and also could smell the smell of Ekinhulf. They grew afraid of what would happen to them if they killed him, so they decided to try and capture him and take him to the Darklands. They did not succeed. Your father fought to protect himself, and in the fight he was killed.
“However, he had asked his younger brothers to take care of you, so they did. The older brother died in an accident a year later, and your other uncle disappeared mysteriously several years later. I found his body in a mountain range to the east of here.
“I knew your father had had a son, so I set out to search for him. He had let slip to me once that he was a descendant of Ekinhulf. Also, by looking at the family tree, I saw that he was the last of his generation. I knew I had to find you to find the Hats.
“By this time, I was twenty-two. I was a very smart wizard, and I knew a lot of important people. The story of the Hats had fascinated me for years and I saw that this could be my opportunity to become extremely famous and to make a name for my family. So, I set out to look for you.
“Now, I never knew where your father lived, but I did know that he lived somewhere in North Umbria. It didn’t take me long to find you. I found you working in a bakery. You were only eighteen, but you looked happy. I decided to leave you alone until I had found others of the same requirements.
“Nobody was hard to find except for a man named Souiloen¹ Akishar, but he can tell his own story. However, it took me ages to find a way to get to each individual star system, and it took me years to find Souiloen. You see, he is a man from Tanzi; however, since Tanzi was destroyed hundreds of years ago, I did not know if I could find him. At last, I did. He was in a star system far away on a planet called Bogilak. However, I will let him tell the rest.
“Finally, I had everybody. I arranged for everyone to meet in Shar, the capital of Tolben, on the tenth of Alechok. As you can see, we are already behind. I know I went off-subject, but is there anything else you wish to know?”
“So am I a wizard too?” asked Malbo.
“That’s right, I forgot to tell you about that,” Vilhaun said. “Yes, Malbo, you are a wizard. And since you are a wizard, I am proud to present you with this powerstick. I found it by your father after his death. I believe he would have liked you to have it.” Vilhaun handed Malbo an orange powerstick. The outside of the powerstick was orange, and the rest was a woody color except for the core that was colored bright orange. The powerstick was about the thickness of a pencil, and about 10 inches long. Malbo twirled it in his fingers to get a feel for it.
“How do you use it?” Malbo asked.
“Ah,” Vilhaun said. “I forgot, you never learned how to use the power of the powerstick. The inner core is what makes magic. It is a very rare compound that is found only in certain remote places. Each place produces a different color. This one, which is orange, is only found in the Sili Desert. It is believed that your father’s business was to make a powerstick for you. How to use it you ask? You just say a phrase in Elogfluntifont that you want a certain object to do. However, beware! Do not try too powerful of a spell. The compound in the core will drain you of energy, and it will not stop. Go ahead and try a simple spell.”
Malbo pointed the powerstick at his chair and said, “Afutlo toron gardon ma’i’atsi lotov- eroklo!²”
Instantly, Malbo’s chair disappeared. However, Malbo, who had just eaten, began to feel tired and hungry. “I don’t feel very well,” he said, just before he blacked out.
Malbo awoke a while later with Vilhaun standing above him, splashing water on his face. Malbo sat up and looked around. Vilhaun smiled, and said, “How do you feel, Malbo?”
“Fine,” Malbo replied. “Tired. What happened?”
“You blacked out,” Vilhaun said. “Don’t worry, that’s normal. Sometimes if you lack experience or confidence, too much energy will drain itself and you will black out. In extreme cases, you could even die. However, I would guess that with it being your first time doing magic, too much energy drained itself. It should not happen all the time though.”
“Alright,” Malbo said. “Is there anything else to eat?” Vilhaun brought him a hunk of ham left over from last night’s dinner . Malbo began eating it gratefully.
“Well, now that Malbo has returned to the present, I shall now continue. As I said, Malbo, as the Destined One, will lead this quest. I will come as a guide and counselor. However, first I will tell you the ancient prophecy about what must be done. Here it is in its entirety:
“At the time when one survivor does remain,
The quest for the Seven Hats shall begin.
Destined to find them,
The final survivor must seek his friends.
Many will come to assist him,
But they must exist like this:
Via land, sky, and see they shall come,
The Destined One and the wizard who found him,
One man from each of these,
The seven original star systems:
Zan, Tanzi, Abb, Ba’Od,
Onn, Ul, and Eapo itself,
Bringing, as well, a king and a queen,
A phoenix and eleven fine steeds,
Seeking the Hats is their goal,
And they will find them
In the places on each planet,
Most feared by men.
To my home on Eeb they then must go,
If they succeed to gather all seven.
Maybe then I will be free
After the destruction of the seven
Let go from my misery
By their demise
On to the next world.
“And that, Malbo, is the prophecy of the Seven hats. Yes, it’s not very poetic, but Ekinhulf was a wizard, not a poet. Are there any questions?” Nobody said anything. “Good,” Vilhaun continued, “then let us begin.
¹ Pronounced ‘Sō-lin’
² Make my chair disappear.
The Octology of the Seven Hats copyright 2018 by Stewart Forthofer. All rights reserved. All likeness of any characters in this book to any person, past or present, is purely coincidental.