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H'zan test of High Sorcery


December 1997


H’zan reigned in his horse as he entered the wondrous city of Palanthas. Wondrous it may be, yet no emotion stirred in the heart of the adept mage. He rode down the path through the merchant bazaar. There was many who looked at the wares of various booths, H’zan did not seem to notice and bought nothing. Gradually he rode toward the “Old City.”

The Old City was the heart of administration, warfare, and magic. Dominating the horizon of the Old City is the Tower of Palanthas. Centered was a large white tower surrounded by a beautiful green grove, or so it would appear to the distant. The dark robed adept arrived at the foot of the grove. Cold fear griped his heart. The grove was not as pacific as he hoped it would be. Howbeit, with renewed confidence he withdraws from a scroll case a rolled-up, withered piece of Parchment… He chanted the words, and disappeared.

* * * * * * *

The grove was filled with plants yet wreaked of death, decay, and quiet. The sounds of the market only a small distance away was silent in the grove. The vines entangled the trees and blocked all light from the long trek thought the grove. With each step the mage took the plant life made anxious and curious motions uncertain of the nature of the intruder. After several minutes H’zan arrived near the tower. The path had been covered leaving no clear indication of the entrance. With a slashing motion of his staff H’zan moved the dead branches away and revealed a pair of giant oaken doors with signs of power carved upon the portal.

He knocked three times, one for each of the moons of Krynn. Suddenly the door’s enchantment was broken. A pair of eyes was all which greeted the mage.

“Greetings,” the voice intoned in a sepulchral voice. “The Master awaits you.” H’zan not the least bit startled answered, “Good, lead on.”

They walked through a dark hallway. At the foot of a spiral staircase the guardian left imparting words, “Master Raistlin awaits you in the library.”

The room was filled with dozens of shelves. Upon each, many tomes of power, pouches, and orbs rested. In the middle of the room resided a huge oaken desk. The master sat at the desk clothed in black robes with golem trim. Raistlin’s hair was stark white and he was skinny; Then again, most mages were. The master looked up and asked plainly, “Tell me who you are and why you sought entrance to this tower.”


“I am the son of Zahn Strongsword, a noble mage of high sorcery.” H’zan said.

“Why?” was the only response the master gave.

“Magic is the only true power in this plane.” H’zan began, “I come to the Black Robe (mages) because you believe as I do. Magic must be allowed to be chaotic and unchained. I do not believe as the White Robed Mages do that rules and constraints are part of the truth in honoring magic. Each person must be allowed to find his own source of light. For me, that is the darkness.”

“Spoken like an adept!” Raistlin joyfully responded. A black mage that speaks the truth, as I would have you say it. I would not underestimate your charisma. I grant your quest complete. “Raistlin cleared his throat and continued, “Tomorrow at non you will take the first of three tests. Understand that passage will allow you to join the ranks of the Black Robes. Fail and you will join the ranks of the undead!” With these last comments the masters eyes shine curiously and he leaves. That night a mage discovers a pouch missing from Raistlin’s chambers but in fear says nothing.

* * * * * * *

The next morning H’zan spent in mediation and study of spells. He places a silver dagger into his cloak and grasps a wooden staff. He departs for the testing grounds arriving a few minutes early. A skeleton in charred black robes was being commanded jestfully by a group of black necromancer mages. H’zan watched in disgust then shouted, “Veto!” The skeleton collapsed and the mages fell silent and turned their attention elsewhere. H’zan was called to the training area by the tester. “

“The test begins now. No weapons are permitted on the testing grounds.” was the only instruction H’zan was given. His staff and dagger was taken and the crowd vanished into the surroundings. The test began without further warning…

“Bzzzz!” an arrow tore through the air like a knife. H’zan reacted with the dexterity of a Halfling. The arrow struck H’zan in the side. Had the mage been slower the wound might have been fatal. H’zan turned to face his assailant. An elf several paces in the distance were trying madly to replace an arrow into his longbow. H’zan raised his hands and in a few words the spell was cast. H’zan cunningly pulled the arrow from his side and sent it hurling back at his assailant. The elf was struck and fell dead.

Mages in Black robes appeared around H’zan congratulating him on his efforts. His quest was complete. The Strongsword family name was again with honor. The quest the mage had taken was completed.


Charles played Dungeons and Dragons Role-playing Games.




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