The Pillar of Dominance
Warren opened his eyes. He was lying in a bed in a quaint, cozy room.
A painting on the wall beside his bed depicted a young lady warrior looking
across the desert. A silver cuff capped her right elbow where she was
missing an arm. Warren looked around, studying his new surroundings. The
air was warm and held the faint smell of wood smoke. Comfortable wooden
furniture was placed thoughtfully within the room. There were millions of
things to look at; strands of herbs dangling from hooks, old dusty books and
scrolls piled high on the work desk, stones, crystals, bird feathers, and
terrariums containing twisted bonsai trees inside lined the windowpanes. A
large animal hide very closely resembling that of the very toothy monster
Warren faced outside the dome was draped over an armchair. Glancing
down at his own torso, Warren discovered cotton bandages engulfing his
chest. His stomach squeezed an impatient request for food. He tried to sit up.
Wrenching pain stabbed through his chest. Wincing, he slid back down on
the bed. He felt a fresh wave of despair sluice over him, and wondered how
he had gotten himself into so much trouble so quickly.
The peculiar animal that had accompanied his rescuer the day before
was resting by the crackling stove with its white tipped tail tucked into the
side of its long body. Its extra skin pooled against the floor in a fat wrinkle.
Warren could guess by its relaxed posture that sleeping by the fire was a
frequent pastime for the odd creature. Sensing Warren’s attention, the
animal lifted its head and looked at him with droopy, conscious eyes.
"Meet Wooffen," said the old man, entering the room. "He's a Basset
"A what?" asked Warren.
"A bas..." hesitated the man, "Oh, I'll explain later."
"Thank you for saving me," said Warren, overcome with questions.
"Why did you help me?" he asked.
"Because I could," answered the stranger simply.
"What did you do to those creatures?" asked Warren.
"I put them under a binding spell," explained the old man, taking a
seat next to the bed. “They will have fully turned to stone by now.”
"A spell? What does that mean? Can you do magic? I thought the last
of the ancient magic was lost at the end of the Sapphire Era?" Warren asked.
"I am the descendent of a long line of wizards,” replied the stranger,
“and I have inherited and sought out many magical texts."