Castle Roland

Zarin Testa and the Andrake Academy

by Jandar Tyr

In Progress

Chapter 1

Posted: 5 Sep 16

Zarin Testa and the Andrake Academy

Copyright © 2016 by Jandar Tyr
All Rights Reserved

Prophesies of Light and Darkness

In the magical city of Winterhaven a young boy named Zarin Testa woke up and rolled over. He stretched and glanced over at the time candle on his bedside table and jumped up. By the lines on the candle, it was almost nine in the morning. He was going to be late for his magic class if he didn't hurry. Zarin leaped out of bed and grabbed the clothes his mother had set out for him and dressed quickly. With a wave of his hand, he summoned his bag with all his school stuff and ran into the kitchen for something quick to eat. His mother had left his breakfast on the table for him with a note.


If I know you, you're standing here late for class. There's a roll with egg and sausage wrapped and ready for you to go. Hurry, remember you're going to the Dwarven mines today, so don't be late.

Love you. Mother.

Zarin smiled and grabbed his breakfast. With a wave of his hand, the door opened and he was gone running down the lane.

Andrake Academy was the elite school for wizards, warlocks and witches and other magical beings in all the lands. All types of kids were sent here from elves to dwarves, vampires and humans that had the talent for magic use. Zarin happened to be one of the best students of his class since Prince Shayn. And since Shayn had accepted the dragon egg and left a few years ago, he was now the top boy in the school.

It took Zarin less than ten minutes to get to school. There he found his class waiting out by the docks for the ship to take them off to Lands' End the home of the dwarven people and their mines. As Zarin walked up, he saw his best friend Dack Rainer waving him over.

"I knew you'd be late." He laughed. "I can't believe the best mage in class over sleeps almost every day."

"I was studying." Zarin smiled. "Something you seem to know nothing about."

"Oh I study." Dack said pointing to Emrel Eventide standing talking to her brother Adanar. Both boys laughed at that. Emrel looked over at them and frowned.

"That will be enough." They heard from behind them as Professor Insa walked out into the crowd smoke trailing behind him. Professor Insa was their favorite teacher. He was a merged smoke dragon and one of the most powerful Mages in Winterhaven.

"Is everyone here?" He asked. "Zarin?"

Everyone snickered as Professor Insa looked over and saw Zarin waving at him.

"Glad you made it." He said. "As you all know we're visiting the gold mines of Lands' End, the dwarven city today. Now you will all remember. I expect to have no problem today. We will be receiving samples so there will be no stealing from the mines. Do I make myself clear?"

"We'll see about that." Zarin heard Tabor Larin say with a smirk. Zarin looked over at him and frowned.

"What are you looking at?" Tabor said looking menacing at the two boys.

Zarin just ignored him and pulled Dack away to go watch for their ship. He wasn't afraid of him anymore. He knew he was just a blowhard. Tabor Larin was the school bully. For as long as he could remember he had picked on Zarin and Dack. But once Zarin had passed him in defense class, and Reno, Trip and Thalia arrived, Tabor had been less of an ass to him. But Dack was still a target for him and his friends if they could catch him alone. Zarin planned to do something about that soon. Tabor was the son of a very powerful mage of the dark persuasion. Tayor Larin, his father was a member of the council. He and Insa were in a long and constant battle for control of the council. Being a dark mage, Tayor would do anything to win. Insa had to be on constant watch for his treachery. And it looked like Tabor would definitely follow in his father's ways.

As they waited a tall ship came floating out of the mist, it was a great galleon with four masts riding in on the waves. The ship was called the Golden Goblin. Zarin looked up to see the sails bellowing out. This had to be a magical ship. He knew that because there was no wind blowing. It pulled up to the dock and dropped its anchor. The whole class stood and watched in amazement as the gang plank came over all by itself for them to board.

"OK." Professor Insa called out. "I want you all to board in a single file and take a place on the deck. It won't be long before we up anchor and depart."

One after the other the class made their way up the gang plan laughing and joking. Tabor kept grabbing kids and pushing them towards the edge scaring them. Insa had to scold him to get him to stop. Once aboard they all made their way over to the rail to watch as they made ready to begin their trip. Magically the sails dropped in place and the gang plank pulled itself up. They heard the anchor chain rattling as it pulled itself up and they begin to sail out of the harbor.

"Hey," Dack said. "This is great. I've never been on a ship before."

"Well just don't get seasick." Zarin joked with him. "If you blow chunks over the side, it's gonna come right back in your face."

"I'll be fine." Dack said nervously. "I hope. Have you ever sailed before?"

"Once." Zarin told him. "It was horrible."

Dack looked at his friend a little afraid. His stomach was feeling a bit queasy.

"I'm joking Dack." He punched him in the arm. "You'll be fine. I'll just keep your mind off the waves."

Dack smiled a weak smile as he listened to him. Out of the corner of his eye, something caught Zarin's attention. It was Tabor and his friends pushing their way through students. Tabor whispered something to his friends then waved them towards the cabin area.

"I think somethings up with them." Zarin pointed to Tabor. Dack turned and looked as they entered the cabin. Before closing the door, Tabor looked around to be sure no one noticed them.

"Come on." Zarin pulled Dack away from the rail.

"I wonder what it is this time." Dack asked. "Think its trouble for us?"

"You mean the the guy that once changed the ingredients in my healing potion to make it a poison?" Zarin frowned. "Yes I do."

Keeping out of sight. Zarin and Dack slipped over to the door to listen. But the cabin was soundproof and they couldn't hear a thing.

"I don't hear anything." Dack said. "I wish we could be a fly on the wall in there."

"Now that's an idea." Zarin smiles.


"Hold still." Zarin spoke a spell in words Dack couldn't hear and there was a sudden flash. Disoriented, Dack blinked and realized he was seeing in multiple frames.

[ What did you do? ]

[ We're flies. ] Zarin sent to his mind. [ Try your wings. ]

Dack spread his wings and jumped into the air.

[ Whoa!!! ] He said. [ This is great! ]

[ Come on. ] Zarin took to the air. [ There's a crack here. We can get in through there. ]

Buzzing up to the wall they found a crack and made the way in. Inside they saw Tabor and his crew talking quietly. Flying closer they came down on a lamp and listened.

"I know." Tabor said. "My father thinks Winterhaven could do better under his control and he's found a way to gain control of the city."

"It won't be an easy task defeating the Professor." Aron Neveral said. Tabor looked to the other two boys for their opinion. Elan, Aron and Craven. Elan, a dark elf from the southern regions and Aron his lighter best friend. Craven, newest to their group was surprised to hear what he had to say.

"You know we're with you." Elan Darkshade gave him a crooked grin. "What's the plan?"

"Somewhere in the Gold caves." Tabor told them. "There's a gold ring called the Gold Ring of Endrin. It has the ability to steal power and knowledge from your enemies. My father wants to rip Insa from his place as the head of the council and take Winterhaven to a dark future. If we help, he promises to put some of the council's knowledge in our heads. Think about it. We could run the Academy ourselves."

"No more studying from those stupid scrolls!" Craven Tasco smiled.

"My mother would ally herself with your father if this works." Elan told him. Aron knew what he said was true. "Many dark elves will."

"There's only one problem." Tabor held up his hand. "Zarin. He's always getting in the way. Somehow he finds out what we're doing and stops us. Father wants him taken care of."

"You mean dead?" Craven asked. He didn't feel right about that. Deep down, he felt something wasn't right.

"Only as a last resort." Tabor said. "We have plans for him. I want his knowledge myself. I want you on him and making sure he doesn't interfere."

"Once we get in the gold cave." Craven said. "I'll trap him somehow. Then we'll be free to search."

"What about the professor?" Elan asked.

"Father's going to find a reason to call him back to Winterhaven." Tabor said. "Some kind of emergency. We can do this. My father is counting on us."

"I'm not sure this is a good idea." Aron said looking at them with doubt.

"Either you're with me." Tabor said. "Or you're not and I'll have to deal with you myself."

"Don't worry Tabor." Elan said as he stepped between them and pulled Aron behind him. "Aron is with us."

[ For now. ] Aron sent to Elan.

"Let's get back out on deck. We should keep our eyes on Zarin."

With that the boys got up and left the cabin. Zarin and Dack flew down and perched on the couch and changed back.

"What are we going to do?" Dack said worried.

"Stop them." Zarin said. "We can't allow Tabor and his father to take control of Winterhaven. We have to find that ring first."

"Craven's going to be on us the minute we walk back out on deck." Dack stood up and paced the cabin. "I have an idea how to deal with him. I know a spell that might work."

"You do?" Zarin looked at his friend shocked.

"Hey." He said. "I study you know and I'm passing in my classes. Checking out girls is not all I do. I'm not stupid."

"I know." Zarin told his friend. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say it like that."

"Let me take care of Craven." Dack smiled. "He won't know what's going on."

"We can get Reno, Thalia and Trip to help us with this." Zarin look over and saw Reno and Thalia talking to Trip. He waved them over to them. The three walked over laughing at something. Thalia looked up at Zarin and stopped laughing.

"I know that look." She said elbowing Reno. "You're about to get us all into something again."

"It's them isn't it?" Reno nodded towards Tabor and his friends. "They're up to something."

"Oh no!" Trip moaned. "How serious is it?"

"Shh!!!" Dack quieted them. "They're trying to overthrow the council."

"Those four?" Thalia smirked putting her hands on her hips.

"And Tabor's father." Zarin whispered.

"That I believe." Reno said. "He's an evil creep. What do you have?"

Zarin explained what they had heard in the cabin. He told them about Tayor Larin's plan to gain the Gold ring and use it to turn the council and steal their powers. Lastly Zarin told them how they planned to steal Professor Insa's magic and Zarin's.

"Can that even be done to a dragon?" Trip asked. "Their powers are more apart of them then learned magic."

"Do you want to find out?" Reno turned and looked toward Tabor who was whispering in Craven's ear.

"What do you what to do?" Thalia asked. "We're in."

"We have to find that ring before they do." Zarin said. "And we can't let them know we're on to them. Trip, I want you and Thalia following them once we're in the cave. You're the best at shifting into small things, Dack, Reno and I will search for the ring."

"What happens if they find it?"

"Take it if you get the chance." Dack said. "But let us know so we all can figure something out."

"What about Craven?" Reno asked.

"I can take care of him." Dack smiled. "I know just what to do."

Zarin looked over the side and saw the harbor of Lands' End in sight. The sails began to drop as the ship slowed down.

"We're here." Zarin told them. "You all know what to do once we get to the mine. But watch them just in case. You all ready?"

"Yeah." Dack held out his hand. The others looked at him and grinned. "Come on. We're a team."

One at a time they put their hand in.

"For Insa!"

"All right." Insa waved his students down the gangplank. "Let's be quick about this. We shouldn't keep our host waiting"

Zarin, Dack and the others made their way off the ship keeping a sharp eye on Tabor and his group. The trip through town was quiet with Tabor looking back at them then whispering to one of his friends. Dack noticed Craven wasn't with his friends anymore. He had moved back behind them to keep an eye on them.

The dwarven city Lands' End was quite a nice little place with almost anything you could find in Winterhaven except the magic. It was much more of an industrial city. Where Winterhaven used magic for certain things, the dwarfs found mechanical answers to problems like sewage or street cleaning and trash collection. There were tall buildings and shops and schools. People moved about their business just like anywhere else. They passed schools where the children were being trained in their letters numbers and mining. They also saw older kids learning how to mold gold and other precious metals and gems. This was quite a fantastic place the kids thought.

Soon they found themselves at a large fence surrounding one of their mines. At the gate there was a bell rope and a sign which read.

No trespassing. Anyone caught will be judged and disposed of by dwarven law which is swift and final. Theft will be dealt with by death. Welcome to Aesop's gold mine. We sell gold in any form you wish. Please report to the front office before entering or exiting.

"They're serious about their gold." Reno told his friends.

"Yes they are. This will tell you what happens if your caught stealing gold from them." Professor Insa said as he walked to the gate and pulled the bell. The gate opened and a bearded dwarf came out to welcome them. He was dressed in a leather tunic and kilt with a tool belt around his waist.

"Welcome my friends." He smiled. "My name is Gronk and I will be your guide today on your tour. Please come in."

Gronk and Professor Insa stood at the door as they all marched in one by one until the class was all standing in the hall.

"Professor. I have a message for you." He gave him a note. Professor Insa opened it and read it. Zarin turned to the others. "Tabors father set this up to get him away so Tabor could search."

"Tell him." Thalia said.

"Tell him what?" Zarin whispered. "That Tayor is trying to overthrow the council? He won't listen. We have to take care of this ourselves."

"I have an emergency back at home." Professor Insa told the class. "Gronk, can I trust you for a few hours with my kids?"

"I'd be delighted to care for them." Gronk bowed.

"I expect all of you to behave and don't give Gronk a hard time." He looked at Tabor. "That means you Mr. Larin."

Tabor stuck his nose in the air and turned away from the Professor and back to his friends.

"I will be back as soon as I can." Professor Insa excused himself as a trail of smoke followed him out the door. Zarin and Reno watched as he shifted to his dragon form and took off into the air for Winterhaven.

"He's gone at last!" They heard Tabor say. Dack angrily turned and started for him. Reno yanked him back from the mistake he was about to make.

"Are you crazy?" Reno said. "He'll kill you. Besides, we have to stop him, and we can't do it without your help."

"I'm sorry." Dack told his friends. "You're right. I wasn't thinking. I'll follow the plan."

"OK children." Gronk said as he turned toward the mine. "Everyone grab a helmet and follow me."

On a table beside a rack of picks, shovel, lanterns and other mining equipment was a stack of mining helmets. Gronk passed them out then led them in.

Their tour was interesting and boring at the same time. All Zarin and his friends could do was listen and keep an eye on Tabor so he couldn't slip away. Gronk told them everything he thought they would find interesting about gold and mining. Craven stayed close to Zarin being careful not to tip Reno off that he was stalking Zarin. Reno was the fighter of the group. He had stuck up for Zarin, Thalia, Dack and Trip since the day they had all become friends. He and Tabor had had plenty of fights over the years they were in school. And Reno usually won, unless some of Tabors cronies jumped in and he was terribly outnumbered. Then Zarin and an old friend Prince Shayn would help. But since Shayn had left, it was just Reno and Zarin fighting, Unless Thalia was there. She's part vampire, so Tabor knew better then to start anything.

An hour into the tour, Gronk announced it was time for lunch. He took them all back to a lunch room where a table had been set up with a banquet for the class. Most of the kids were starving and rushed over and grabbed plates and began filling them up and then moving to the lunch area to eat. Zarin looked around for Tabor and his crew. He didn't see them anywhere. He also couldn't find Thalia or Trip.

"Don't worry." Reno said. "Thalia and Trip are following them. They shifted into bats so they won't be noticed. He's the only one left." Reno indicated Craven over his shoulder.

"Dack." Zarin said. "You still think you can take care of him?"

"Yeah." He smiled. "Just get us out of here and give me a second. Distract him for a minute while I cast and you'll see."

"Alright. Let's go." Zarin started towards the Dining hall entrance. Gronk was standing there talking to another mine employee.

"We need to use the out room, Dack doesn't feel well."

"It's around the bend there. " Gronk told then. "He can lay down in there and rest too.

"Thank you." Zarin smiled at him and they hurried around the corner. As the left. They saw Craven dump his food to follow after them.

"He's coming!"


Just as Dack finished, Craven came running around the corner. He stopped when he saw them. Reno thought they were in trouble and started forward. Dack stopped him.

"What are you doing here?" Craven asked looking around. "And where's Zarin?"

"You lost him?" Dack gave him an annoyed look. "Find him before he messes things up for us! Go!"

"I'll find them!" Craven yelled back as he ran down the mineshaft looking for them.

"What just happened?" Reno asked Dack. "I thought we were gonna have to fight."

"He saw Tabor and the Elves instead of us." Dack laughed."

"What happens if the runs into Tabor?" Zarin asked.

"He'll see us. That's the beauty of the spell. He'll attack Tabor instead of us."

Zarin and Reno patted him on the back. "You going to have to tell us later how you came on that spell. Let's get moving."

"So how do we find this ring?" Elan asked as the moved deeper into the mine. Tabor shrugged.

"We look for it."

"That's it?" Aron said. " You have no way other than to look for it? You know how big this mine is? It could take us years to find it."

Tabor turned and grabbed Aron by the front of his tunic. "You didn't come up with any swift ideas on the ship and you were all with it as I recall."

"That's cause I thought your father had given you the location of the ring." Aron pulled himself free from Tabor's grasp.

"He did." Tabor said. "He gave me his ring. He said it'll glow when we get near it. So we keep searching, got it!"

"Yeah, we got it." Elan said.

Up over there head two bats crawled across the barn ceiling. Tabor didn't know it but these weren't really bats, and they were following him and watching him. One called out in his mind to a friend in another part of the barn

[ _ Zarin. Tabor has a ring that will glow when it's near the ring. I hope you have an idea._ ]

"We have to get to that ring first." Reno said. "Or Winterhaven is in real trouble. There has to be some way we can find it. Some magic we can trace."

"That's it!" Zarin said.


"Magic! Don't you get it!" Zarin smiled. "We can trace the magic of the ring."

"Can you do that?" Dack asked.

"Watch me!"

Zarin sat down and put his hands to his temple. He felt for any magic in the mine. He felt the magic of the tunnel diggers and the instruments used to check the gold. He sent his probe out further into as many tunnels as he could. Suddenly a light flared up in his mind. That was it! He found it!

"Found it!" Zarin jumped to his feet and took off down the shaft. There was a turn and then the shaft split into three tunnels. Zarin dashed into the left tunnel with Dack and Reno right behind him. Up ahead they could hear voices. The boys slowed as they approached the end of the shaft.

"Listen." Zarin crept closer to the entrance. They could hear Tabor and the others in there.

"It's in here somewhere." He said "Keep looking!"

"Oh no!" Dack whispered. "They're going to find first."

"Maybe Trip or Thalia can get it from them." Reno stepped closer to Zarin. "Or I can shift to my wolf form and take it from them."

"Let's just see if they find it first." Zarin said hushing them. They listened as Tabor, Aron and Elan searched noisily. Suddenly they heard a noise coming from behind them. It was Craven.

"It's Craven!" Dack smiled. "I have an idea."

Moving quickly, Craven walked down the shaft. As he reached them, Dack reached out and grabbed him covering his mouth. Surprised Craven started to fight until he recognized them and stopped.

"Shhhh!" Dack uncovered his mouth. "They're in there. So's the ring."

"What do you want to do?" Craven asked as he peered in.

"You lost them." Dack said. "You get it from them."

"Found it!" They heard. "We got it!"

"Go!" Dack shoved him. "Get it and hurry back!"

Craven nodded and ran into the mine shaft. Zarin called Trip and Thalia and told them to to get back to the cave entrance. They dropped from the ceiling and flew out and back up the tunnel. Standing at the entrance, Zarin, Dack and Reno listened and waited to see what he would do.

Craven stormed into the shaft as Tabor and the Elves congratulated each other on their success.

"Now we get this back to Winterhaven and the fun begins." Tabor grinned. Then he turned and noticed Craven coming toward them looking angry.

"We found it!" He held the ring out in the palm of his hand. "We can get back to the others now."

"Not with that you can't!" Craven pulled back his fist and sent it into Tabor's jaw. The ring flew up into the air as Tabor fell to the mine floor. Craven reached out and snatched it out of the air and quickly ran out of the Mine shaft.

"What the hell are you doing?" He heard from behind him. Craven found Dack, Zarin and Reno waiting for him. He gave Dack the ring.

"You get back to the class." He told them. "I'll keep them here. I told you I could deal with them. Now go! hurry!"

"Thanks Craven!" Dack took off running with Zarin and Reno laughing,

More to Come

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