Miera squealed outright, as Gepilios had known she would, for an unfinished tale always left her grumpy. He sighed. For a child of nine years, she would have to get over that unruly temper of hers. One day she would learn that the world did not turn upon the axis of her person. Sadly, she was a princess, and thus the lesson, once learned, would be quiet hard on her. From Gepilios point of view, the girl was spoiled quiet regularly by all those around her.
“Why didn't the gnome—Rynio-whats-his-name—release the water, Magus Gepilios?” Asked Riol.
“I don't know.” Said the senior magican, “The tale doesn’t say. Maybe whatever his brother was doing finally caught him. Maybe some part of his spell went further awry, and the ring was lost—or maybe...”
“Maybe he wanted a world without water.” Miera said, her voice sharp and high, neatly interrupting Gepilio's dry tone.
“Don't interrupt.” Riol jostled his sisters arm, causing her to turn and glare at him, her bright green eyes narrowed beneath her ruby brows.
“I'll do what I like.” She retorted, but then was silent.
“I'll tell you the end.” He decided suddenly, and was glad to see Miera settle back into Riol's bed, her body relaxing. Lord help her mother and father when she came of age, he thought.
“You are right to question the Gnome's intent, Miera, for it is well known that the bodies of water west of the Isles are all bone-dry. And have been, for as long as the memory of man can remember, even before my father's father recorded this history.
"The Selkies are gone from those lands.The mermaids that resided in those waters have all disappeared. It wasn't long before the trees died, and the desert that we now know of as Nexton's Ring was born—a desert that no man can cross without a magician, now, for to cross means death. A dry sea, peppered with even dryer islands—hundreds of miles of empty desert.
And it is further true that no one knows where the two old gnomes have gone, or where they have taken the ring. I'm sure both of you know about the quest."
Riol nodded, but Miera had opened her mouth to speak.
"Just hold on Miera, I'll explain. Said Gepilios quickly.
"So, since the dawn of time—well, at least time as men mark it—there has been a quest. A quest to restore the water to the land,--a quest began by elf and fae and nymph alike, even before men. The quest for the ring, to save lake creatures that Rynimlsu unknowingly trapped inside his bauble. Yes, many believe they are trapped in there, frozen inside Rynimolu's spell, their water and their lives held forfeit. For instead of allowing him to control the water, the ring was a cage, a trap—locking up the source of all the lakes and seas and rivers beyond the Isles, and destroying the land.
"But I don't think it was deliberate, Miera. No, I don't think it was deliberate at all.
"Because I think Rynimlsu himself is trapped there, to this very day, frozen inside his spell. Forever."
The girl's eyes were dropping now, so Gepilous called for a maid to help her to bed, before tucking the boy in and heading back up the long, winding staircase to his studies.
So many studies.
Click here for part three.