“Mother,” says Upashna, “l do not care who or what he is. I want to share my life with him and I am concerned the Council of Wizards might attempt to prevent our being together as they tried with you and father. I need your help to prevent that possibility from happening.”
“Upashna. Your father and I are but two members of the Council of Wizards. There are ten others, all wizards of high esteem who have remained celibate their entire lives. They do not know love the way we do. It will be difficult to convince them to permit your union to a non-wizard but we will do our best,” says Elza.
“Thank you mother. I feel much better now. I am going to rest and change for dinner. I will join you and father then. I am so happy to be here.” Upashna hugs her mother and enters her chambers.
Elza is concerned. She knows the Council of Wizards only approved the marriage between her and Baldwin because they were afraid of loosing Baldwin. She also knows Upashna is strong of will and if denied the approval of the council will surrender her wizard status before her coronation on the next full moon. “First things first. We have a sun and planets in great need of our assistance,” she tells herself.
At The Philosopher’s chambers, Baldwin enters. “Please has a seat sir. I was just enjoying some food and wine. May I offer you a glass of wine? I am afraid I was famished and have already eaten most of the food,” says The Philosopher?
“I would appreciate a glass of wine,” says Baldwin as he moves toward the table and takes a seat. He reaches over to Eno and pets her gently on her head. Eno purrs.
The Philosopher is surprised. “That is the first time I heard her purr like a cat. I usually hear her in my head talking. She was just telling me how she became Upashna’s familiar and about the process involved.”
“As Upashna’s familiar she only communicates with Upashna and at Upashna’s request Eno also communicates with you but for everyone else she is just a cat. No offense meant Eno.” Eno purrs again. Baldwin takes a sip of his wine. “I realize Mingus took your name but before that event I also knew you as The Philosopher from our brief encounter at the library where you intervened on my behalf against some local thugs.”
“Yes, Wizard Baldwin. I thought we had met before however I do not remember much. I do remember our brief encounter but you left before we could talk. You looked much different then. You appear much younger today than years ago.”
“Yes. For safety reasons we wizards often travel incognito. But more to the matter at hand. When you came to my defense, I noticed some markings on your staff and wanted to do a little research. In my rush I failed to introduce myself and to thank you for your assistance. Is that your staff near the door? May I have a closer look?” The wizard asks.
“Yes. It is.” The Philosopher retrieves the staff and brings it to Baldwin. “It was left on my grandmother’s doorstep on the day of my twelfth birthday. I take it everywhere with me. I noticed Upashna’s staff had a similar but slightly different carving. Were they made by the same craftsman?”
The Wizard Baldwin examines the staff and replies to The Philosopher. “Well, not the same craftsman but a similar craftsman.”
“I do not understand Wizard Baldwin,” replies The Philosopher.
“This is a wizard’s staff. It can only be formed and carved by a wizard. You see these markings?” Baldwin shows the head of the staff to The Philosopher. “Those markings are the signature of the wizard who made this staff. This staff was made by the Wizard Ged Sparrowhawk, Archmage of Earthsea. He was the most powerful wizard of his time and he was my best friend. He restored the peace to EarthSea by reuniting the two halves of the ring of Erreth-Akbe. During this time he met Tenar a high priestess from the Tombs of Atuan. Tenar left the wizard life and her position as high priestess to live more simply. She had two children with a farmer on the isle of Gont and later after her husband’s death healed and adopted an abandoned, burned female child whom she named Tehanu. Ged was made the Archmage of EarthSea and was asked by Arren, the future King of EarthSea to assist him on a journey to stop the lost of magic from the realm. You have no doubt heard these tales?” Baldwin asks.
“Yes sir. I know of some of the tales you speak but please continue.” The Philosopher is completely enthralled by actually meeting a wizard who was the best friend of the legendary Wizard Ged Sparrowhawk.
“Well,” Baldwin continues. “Ged and Arren went on a journey to mend the wall between the living and the dead. In an epic battle between good and evil, Ged surrenders his wizard powers in order to defeat another equally powerful wizard named Cob who had opened the wall separating the living from the dead in his quest to gain immortality. This separation in the wall had caused a decline of magic in EarthSea. No one knows for sure what happened after that but the tale goes on. Ged was near death when the dragon Kalessin brought him to Tenar. She heals him and they live together in Ogion’s old house on the isle of Gont. Ogion was Ged’s teacher in the ways of wizardry and had left Tenar his house when he transitioned.”
“Transitioned. What does that mean?” The Philosopher asks.
“Well Philosopher. Wizards cannot really die. We merely transition into other forms of energy. We become a part of the force which is the common connection between all life. Ged would be close to a hundred years old by now if he is still in human form. He would have been about your age when I heard he and Tenar were living in Ogion’s old home and went to visit them. The house was empty but there were signs he had lived there. The town folk referred to the dwelling as the old mages’ home for two old mages had lived there. Ogion and Ged, but if a wizard does not wish to be found, no one will find him.”
“Thank you Baldwin for your insights into the life and tales of The Archmage of EarthSea? I heard tales of this powerful wizard before but not directly from someone who knew him. I still have just one question, why would he leave a wizard’s staff on my grandmother’s doorstep?”
“Because Philosopher, The Wizard Ged Sparrowhawk, Archmage of EarthSea is your father.”