Linda McNabb

Fantasy Books for All Ages

Realm of Shadows - The Guardian - Chapter One

The Guardian

Chapter One - Merra

Eagan sank down onto a flat-topped rock in utter disbelief. Even from the top of the hill he could see houses, tracks, and home-made fences of woven branches. Were these people mad? Did they think a few twigs would stop a night-shadow?
It had been a long walk from the deserts of the south several months ago to the edge of the marshlands and his feet were sore. Scowling at the bustling mini-town ahead of him, he bent to examine the soles of his shoes. They would need replacing before he returned to his cottage.
‘This would never have happened in my day,’ a voice muttered in a sour tone.
Eagan ignored the comment and banged his staff on the ground several times, then shook it for good measure. The old wooden staff was as tall as him and topped with a pale red gem.
‘Don’t do that!’ the voice complained. ‘You know it gives me a headache.’
‘Do you have anything good to say, Darius?’ Eagan asked as he stood, alone, and surveyed the town ahead. A few seconds of silence followed and Eagan snorted with laughter. ‘I didn’t think so.’
As much as Eagan complained, he knew he would be lonely without Darius’ constant company. It was a solitary life travelling the lands to check nothing had invaded from the east. Besides, the grumpy wizard had been confined to the staff for nearly two hundred years. It was enough to make anyone difficult!
Eagan looked again at the view below. Merra. Once known as the guardian town of the west, their skilled archers and warriors had always driven back the enemy. Known for their courage and loyalty to the late King of the West, all of Merra rose to the call to fight.
That was how it once had been.

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