The Philosopher drops his wine glass and it shatters on the stone floor. Eno reacts by springing straight up into the air at least two meters before running and jumping out the open window. The wizard Baldwin takes another sip of his wine and moves to the sink counter to fetch another glass for The Philosopher.
The Philosopher regains his composure and accepts the new glass of wine Baldwin pours for him. “Are you sure Baldwin? How do you know this? This staff could have been left on anyone’s doorstep. How can I be the son of Ged Sparrowhawk?”
“Yes,” replies Baldwin. “Before Ged had the adventures you heard about and became a very powerful wizard, he was just a young talented wizard and a member of the Council of Wizards. During his travels he met a beautiful woman and fell in love. He had not yet taken the wizard’s vow of celibacy. He was strong willed and believed he could not take a vow to not do something he had never done. Her name was Anna. Your mother’s name was Anna. She was a non-wizard. Ged came to the Council of Wizards and asked their permission to marry her but his request was denied. The members of the council believed it was necessary for a wizard to remain celibate in order to channel his true powers. Because Ged had already shared intimacy with Anna, he was removed from the council. In his frustration Ged vowed to the council that one day they would need him and he would not honor their request. But some years later they did need him and called upon him to help reignite the sun and he answered.”
“I understand Baldwin, but how do you know he is my father?”
“Because I was there at your birth,” Baldwin responds. “The council labeled Ged an outcast meaning he could not have contact with any council member. Ged was my best friend so when he asked me to be a witness at your birth I went to his home in South Port. The home you grew up in.”
Ged continues, “Yours was a difficult birth. You seemed to not want to be born, somehow bound to your mother. You continued to hold on even after the midwife administered an herbal potion to induce you to come into the light. The strain was too much for your mother to bear. Your father, the most powerful wizard of his time, was helpless to stop the life from leaving your mother’s body.”
“Afterwards, the young midwife heard your heart still beating in your mother’s womb and your father cut open the woman he loved most in the world in order to give you the life taken from her.”
“I was responsible for my mother’s death. That is why my father left me. He could not bear to see my mother in me?” The Philosopher asks
“No. You were not responsible. After your father cut open your mother and you were removed, a dark growth was found inside your mother which had blocked your entrance into the world and was responsible for your mother’s death according to the midwife.”
“Your father was very distraught. With all his powers he could not save the woman he loved. Your grandmother agreed to raise you but only if your father and the teachings of wizardry were not to be a part of your life. Your father experienced a crises of faith and agreed to your grandmother’s request. This is why you did not have his name and all records of him and your mother were removed from the town’s history. A memory spell was placed over the village of South Port so that none would remember your parents. The young midwife who attended your mother became your wet nurse. Her own child was stillborn a few weeks earlier and her breast were full of milk. She lived in the home with you and your grandmother until you no longer required nursing. Everyone in the village assumed she was your mother. Once you no longer needed to be nursed, she left you and your grandmother to marry a man on the isle of Pendor and raised a family of her own. Only your father, the midwife, I and your grandmother know the truth of your birth. Your grandmother made a promised to your father not to reveal his identity to you in exchange for allowing her to raise you as a non-wizard human.”
“So I am the bastard son of the Ged, the Archmage of Swansea, but I am not a wizard. I am seventy two years old. I have no powers. I struggle to get out of my bed each morning.” The Philosopher exclaims. “I am only a…. “
“You do not know who or what you are. At this point no one does. I was acting upon intuition when I sent you the tome. You have proven yourself a bright and capable being. Whether or not you are a wizard can only be determined by the Sorcereress…”
“Sophia,” says The Philosopher. “Eno told me of her. Where is Eno?”
“Eno was spooked when your glass shattered and jumped out the open window. Do not worry she is in no harm. Most likely she will find Upashna who will comfort her.”
“It is a bit confusing for you and Upashna to refer to Eno as a female but when she transformed, she was a male.”
Baldwin answers. “All of Miranda’s familiars are female cats but they transform into the sex of their wizard. So for Upashna Eno would transform into a handmaiden and for you a manservant.”
“I have so much to learn.”
“Our home is an astroid,” says Baldwin, “limited by physical dimensions, size, mass, length, width, etc. but the universe my friend is limitless in dimension and full of new and wondrous experiences and yet, it is no more vast nor wondrous than the human mind. If we limit one, we limit the other. Now is not the time to limit your possibilities Philosopher, now is the time to expand upon them.”
Baldwin was now more certain than ever the man sitting across the table sharing wine with him was the son of Ged and a wizard of high caliber. “It is time for the council to meet. I must go. Please come to the chamber in an hour where the test for wizard blood will be performed and we will know. After seeing your resemblance to your father Mars sent a carrier pigeon to request the presence of the Sorcereress Sophia. She will determine your bloodline. We will talk again in the chamber. One hour.” Baldwin leaves and The Philosopher looks for a broom to sweep up the broken wine glass.
“Where is Eno?” The Philosopher wondered to himself.
On the other side of the complex, Eno hurries through his cat door into Upashna’s chambers. “Hello there my sweet Eno. Is The Philosopher with you? I do not like to admit but I miss him already.”
“No mistress. He is not with me. He and your father are in his chambers having a glass of wine and…”
“I am glad you are here Eno. I am having trouble tying the knot to hold my hair. Would you mind lending my a hand?”
“Why of course mistress.” Eno then transforms into a lovely handmaiden and moves toward Upashna who is sitting at her dressing table. “I am so happy to be able to wear robes again, clothes are to restrictive. So tell me Eno what are your impressions of The Philosopher?”
Eno responds. “He has many questions mostly about you. He is intelligent, kind and a very gentle man. I enjoy his friendship.”
“Thank you Eno but I already know those things. Tell me something you learned about him I do not know.”
“Upashna, your father believes him to be the bastard son of Ged Sparrowhawk, the former Archmage of EarthSea.