The Octology of the Seven Hats
Part One: An Odd Beginning
Chapter Two: The Meeting
The next day, the rest of the party arrived. Shortly Dwiedle, Malbo, and Vilhaun had finished breakfast, a sharp rap was heard on the door. Then, the door was unlocked and swung open. In stepped four men, each as different as the one before him. The last one, who was extremely tall, knocked his head on the doorframe.
“Ow!” he yelped, rubbing his head with his hand. “Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so tall.”
Vilhaun spoke up. “Alright, everyone!” he said. “Now that you are all here, I would like you all to meet Malbo Kanaty. He will be leading this quest, whether he wants to or not.”
All four of the men who had just entered, turned to face Malbo. Malbo, quite intimidated by this turn of events, dove under a chair out of sheer fright.
The tallest man, the one who had hit his head, picked up the chair, tossed it aside, and pulled Malbo to his feet. He was about 7 and a half feet tall, with dark skin, a bald head, and a long dark beard stretching past his shoulders. He pumped Malbo’s hand energetically, saying, “Greetings, Malbo. My name is Tagac Wislon. I am from Onn. Pleased to meet you.”
The next in line was a man with a monocle over his left eye, a small mustache, and brown hair cut quite short. He had a medium build, but had large hands and feet. He stuttered, “I-I’m Oomarark Tastor fr-from Abb. G-Good to m-meet you s-sir.” Oomarark also shook Malbo’s hand.
Next in line was a man with a lime-green bowler hat, a bright yellow suit, and bushy eyebrows. He was about as tall as Malbo. In a deep voice, he said, “I am Inilor Bawasi from Zan. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
The last man to introduce himself was a peaceful looking man. He had no facial hair, but wore horn-rimmed glasses, a cowboy hat, and had a large, crooked nose. He also had white hair that contrasted his tanned skin. He shook Malbo’s hand saying, “Pleased to meet you, Malbo. I am Masnic Cinsam¹, sometimes known as ‘The Peacemaker’. I settle arguments, and that is why I was banished from Logick, a small kingdom near Lugh.” As Masnic shook Malbo’s hand, Malbo noticed that Masnic had different-colored eyes; one was sky blue and the other was a dark shade of orange, similar to the color of a setting sun.
After everyone had introduced themselves, Vilhaun stood at the front of the room and addressed all seven men. “As you should know, I am Vilhaun, a wizard. I will not be leading this quest; instead Malbo will. However, I will be accompanying you in case there is any trouble. Also, I am pleased to inform you that my long search for the Destined One is finally over. Malbo Kanaty here is the Destined One.”
Everyone in the room except Malbo cheered. Malbo was still slightly shaken at being the center of attention.
After everyone stopped clapping and cheering, Malbo interrupted, “How do you know that I am the Destined One? I never even knew about the Seven Hats until you told me yesterday morning.”
“I guess I might as well tell you now,” Vilhaun replied. “You are the 100-great-grandson of the wizard Ekinhulf.”
“I-I’m descended from that evil wizard you told me about yesterday?” Malbo exclaimed, shocked.
“Yes,” Vilhaun said. “And right now, you are the only descendant of Ekinhulf still alive. Your father, though he had two brothers, was the final descendant in that line before you. Therefore, as the last descendant of Ekinhulf alive, you are the one destined to find the Hats.”
“Wow,” said Malbo. “I never would have guessed.”
“I assume you never found out about what happened to your father, Malbo?” Vilhaun asked. “He was one of the highest ranking officials in your country while he was alive. He was quite old, wasn’t he?”
“He wasn’t that old,” Malbo said. “And no, I don’t know what happened to him. He went to a country far away when I was ten. I believe it was the city Silimon in the country of Sili. He went there one day and never came back. I never knew my mother, and he was all I had. I went to live with my uncle until he too disappeared. It seems like both of my uncles disappeared, as well as my father.”
“I see you do not know the whole story, Malbo,” Vilhaun said.
“Perhaps not,” Malbo responded. “Do you know? If so, I would like to know.”
“Alright,” Vilhaun said. “Well, Malbo, you see, your father was a wizard like me.”
“He was?” Malbo exclaimed incredulously. “I never knew that. Were my uncles wizards too?”
“No, they were not. I can understand why your father would not have told you. You would have boasted of it all day.”
“True,” Malbo replied. “Still, I would have liked to have known.”
“A lot of people would have, Malbo, including myself and the Arectori. What matters most, however, is the present. Do you wish to know the story of your father, or do you wish me to save it for a later time?”
“I’d like you to tell it now,” Malbo replied. “There’s no time like the present. Also, then I can know a bit about my past.”
“Alright,” Vilhaun said.
¹ Pronounced ‘Kin-sam’.
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.