The Power of the Unicorn
It was a sunny day, but the heat did not reach my heart which was clutched with fear and worry.
My best friend, Katrina, disappeared. She should have contacted me by now, sending me a reassurance she is all right, but yet for the last two hours I was just sitting here, helpless, holding her last message tightly in my pocket.
“I am going to the Dark Tower now. I will not be able to use magic, but I promise to contact you in the next hour and update about my progress. Sorry I didn’t take you with me, but this is too dangerous. Don’t forget to feed Kaya, I put her food on the shelf in my room.”
And that was it. She sent me this note exactly two hours ago, when I was busy analyzing the meteor fragment that we both found only couple of days ago. Calm at first, I wrote my notes down, put the fragment back in the sealed box, and went to feed the baby unicorn, Kaya. Now that was a real wonder, the first unicorn to be ever born under surveillance. As the Chief Assistant I had some idea about the process, but only Katrina knew the exact details how this miracle really happened. I had a suspicion that the meteor fragment was somehow connected with, or related to, Kaya, but I still did not share anything with my beloved Kattie. After feeding Kaya with the special Rainbow Essence that Katrina made for her, I went outside and sat heavily on the stone bench, with the Dark Tower looming in the distance. It was always there. Tall, dark, and scary, but yet reassuring in its presence. And I am still sitting in the same spot, just much less calm by now.
While looking on Kaya before, she sent me a clear picture of something I never saw before:
I had the feeling this is a powerful artifact from the Age of Ancients, a rare relic of tremendous power, but since the baby unicorn couldn’t fully communicate yet, I didn’t know what it meant. Now as I was slowly getting up, ready to call the Conclave for help, a portal formed in front of me, one of those one-way portals that unicorns can create at will. I had no idea where it leads, but was hoping that Kaya got strong enough to create it, and that it might be related to that ancient relic she showed me before. Desperate and without any better plan, I stepped through the portal, after casting some protective spells.
It is hard to describe my shock, bewilderment, and amazement at what I saw on the other side:
Everything looked, smelled, felt, so different… I was aware of the other worlds that co-existed with my beloved homeworld, but never imagined I would reach such a world. Gathering my courage and focusing on my goal of finding the relic, I approached the weird unicorn entity, counting on my Babel Aura spell to translate everything I say to their native language, and vice versa. “Oh powerful lord unicorn, where do you keep your relics in this wondrous place? I fear I have lost my keys again.” I asked casually, giving the proper respect as my parents teached me, and trying my luck to get into that room.
After few seconds of silence, in which the entity froze in place, I started to fear my spells don’t work in this world, but then the strange creature started laughing. The most funny laugh I’ve ever heard, and it surely did not sound like any unicorn I knew. Helpless, I joined, and after few minutes of raw laugh, the entity finally calmed down and said “Oh Tim, you never stop surprising us with your costumes. And jokes. You probably left your keys in your drawer, as last time.” Confused but determined, I decided to explore this weird place, until I will find the relic Kaya wanted me to find, and probably bring back. I will spare you most of the gory details of my tour in those weird rooms, in the cold building with dead walls. So unlike the warm, living, walls of my home, and all the buildings I knew in my world. And the light. Not the inner glowing from the walls that I was used to, but something unnatural, rough, poor attempt at making a real light. I remembered learning about those things in the Other Worlds, called in strange names like “technology” and “electricity”, and used instead of magic and the power of nature.
Going slowly through the place, ready to defend myself with spells if needed (I was very proud with my Fireball, though I had no idea how it would work in this weird world, if at all), I noticed more creatures, and realized they were all the same kind, just with some of them having masks for some very odd reason. Digging deep in my memory from Foreign Worlds Culture lessons, the term finally popped into my mind: “humans”. Some looked at me while passing by, most just kept to their business, usually sitting in front of weird boxes, waving their hands towards it. Finally, after gathering every shred of patience I had in me, I saw it. The artifact. Just like in the mental image, it was on a desk, in a small room. Not the same room as in the image, but I assumed those humans moved it to a secure place at some point.
There was a thick glass door, blocking my entrance to the room. And it was locked. I was well aware of the risk of getting caught, so I waited silently until nobody was around, and tried my luck with a simple Pick Lock spell, one that we teach kids back in my homeworld. Holding my breath after uttering the soft words, I let it out with a surprised happiness when hearing a soft “click”. The door was open! Entering the room quickly, I closed the door behind me, not forgetting to lock it again with the reverse spell. Picking up the magical artifact, I could sense its immense power. Before I could start thinking of a plan how to get back to my world, a mental image appeared in my mind, strong and clear. It was Kaya again, and the baby unicorn seemed much more vital and happy than usual. “Use the relic to get back home” she transmitted, and I was amazed since unicorns usually can’t talk or communicate with speech until a very later age. Probably one of the powers of this relic, I thought.
Concentrating on my home, focusing my mind, I did as Kaya suggested, and channeled my energy through the Unicorn Artifact, hoping this will be enough to Teleport me back. It was. Holding the artifact tightly, I was back in the same place, near the stone bench overlooking the Dark Tower. This time, I finally knew what I have to do. Dangerous, maybe silly, but I could not see myself doing anything else.
Focusing on Katrina, I concentrated on her location, and channeled my energy through the artifact again. Feeling the familiar dizziness of quick teleportation, I found myself in a huge cavern, dark and scary. It must be in the Tower, or even beneath it, I thought. Nobody ever came back from the tower to tell how it looked like from the inside. Kattie was there, right besides me, alive but utterly exhausted. She was a very powerful wizardess, so whatever she was fighting must have been utterly strong. Her familiar Protective Bubble was around us, shimmering with energy, and even though it usually made me feel totally safe in the past, now in this place it felt as if it might not be enough. Taking a quick look around the place, I finally spotted what she was fighting. Keeping a safe distance from us, the Shadow Wizard loomed in the other side of the cavern, looking even more powerful than the legends described him. He started like us: ordinary Wizard of the White Order, and reached the top, becoming Master of the Order. After leading a legendary victory over the Black Order, something happened to him though. Nobody knew when or why exactly, but shortly after the Black Order surrendered and was banished, he started doing forbidden things. Unicorns disappeared, monsters long forgotten started to appear, and the Conclave soon found that the one responsible was no other than its Head. The other 11 wizards of the Conclave, each very powerful on its own, acted swiftly and harshly in the instant they found out. With joint forces, they banished the former Master of the White Order, Head of the Conclave, to the Dark Tower, naming him Shadow Wizard. Nobody knew what was inside, but everybody knew that whatever sent in there, never came back. And all of this took place well over 100 years ago. These days, only two wizards out of the 11 survived, Kattie one of them. Using lots of nature magic, she looked much younger than her 140 years, but the Shadow Wizard, his characters distorted but visible through the Shield he had around him, looked younger than 40. He must have been practicing powerful Black Magic, messing with his appearance like this.
Suddenly a huge bolt of energy was shot in our direction. Concentrated light, it was bright and very powerful, and before I could scream, it hit Kattie’s Protective Bubble, made it shine like a small sun, and was gone. The Bubble was still there, its shimmer bit darker and weaker. Now I understood why she was so exhausted, unable to even lift her face and look at me. I had no idea why she was here, what she was hoping to achieve, and how. Was she trying to spy after the Shadow Wizard and got caught? Was she trying to fight him directly, to get rid of a possible threat to our lovely home land? I could not tell. All that mattered was saving her, and I knew that Teleporting is not possible in this place, otherwise the Shadow Wizard would have been back long ago. I was pretty sure that even channeling the Teleport through the relic will be of no use, no matter how powerful the relic is. Direct battle with him was also a bad decision, it was his place, and he seemed to have infinite power here. Clueless, helpless, I grasped the Unicorn Artifact in both hands, and raised it in the air, in an instinct. What happened next is the most surprising, amazing, unexpected thing that I have ever seen, and surely that I’ll ever see.
The all mighty Shadow Wizard suddenly screamed, in a high pitched shriek “MY UNICORN PLUSH DOLL! MY UNICORN PLUSH DOLL!”, bolted at my direction in an insane and inhuman speed, snatched the Artifact from my hands before I could draw a breath, and vanished into thin air right in front of me.
That “plush doll” or whatever the cuckoo wizard was shouting, just saved my life. Our lives. I want it. I must have it. I will dedicate my life from now on to finding it again, and harness its power for good use. Promise.