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The Pillar of Dominance

Chapter 4
The Tournament
Wendell clung to the side of the cliff. A cold wind howled and tore at
his clothes. Glancing down, he saw the ground far below. Trees were the
size of ants, and rivers like worms. Suddenly, he lost his footing, slipping on
the dirt. His fingers slid from the cliff side, unable to hold his body’s weight.
He felt an unbearable whooshing sensation in the pit of his stomach as he
fell backwards through space.
Wendell awoke as his bed sunk several feet sharply into the floor. He
rubbed the sleep from his eyes with one hand. The window panels had
already moved apart on the ceiling. He hopped out of bed just in time for the
launch bed to jab sharply toward the open skylights on its thick coiling
springs. Wendell had the butterflies.
“I didn’t hear a splash,” called the muffled voice of master Loriander
from the kitchen below.
“There isn’t going to be one,” shouted Wendell back, throwing on
some clothes and charging down the stairs.
“I’m impressed—” yelled the old wizard. “Now come have
breakfast,” he finished quietly upon seeing Wendell appear in the doorway.
“I don’t think I can stomach anything.”
“How about a nutritious green salad?”
“I don’t want to puke green muck in front of the guys,” muttered
Wendell, plopping down on a stool and sticking out his bare feet. His leather
lace-up shoes thumped down the stairs after him and began stuffing
themselves aggressively onto his exposed feet. Wendell folded his arms,
jerking erratically as he endured the attack. He winced as the laces tied
themselves snugly around his ankles.
The old wizard observed his student for a moment.
“I have something for you,” he said, handing Wendell a black velvet
bag tied about with a silver ribbon.
Unaccustomed to gifts, Wendell briefly held the bag in both hands as
if the package itself was precious enough. Wendell carefully loosened the
ribbon and peered inside.
“No way!” he exclaimed, pulling out a set of new purple robes.
“Today, you are a wizard,” said Master Loriander. “Put on these
garments and wear them proudly. As the last of our kind, you are burdened
with more worldly problems than any one man should have to carry. Yet this
is your destiny. Let the colors of these robes signify that you are a friend to