Jonathan Fanvauve slouched over his paper work, scribbling furiously in hopes that he would finish before dinner. Papers lay scattered across his desk, some tossed aside while others lay neatly stacked. His wife Isabelle would be irate if he worked through dinner again. She always complained that he never spent enough time with her and the family. Jonathan wore the ornate clothing that you would expect a king to wear with the exception of any sort of diadem. The heavy metal of a crown always seemed irksome to him. His soft, trusting eyes were only set off by a strong chin. Hanging limply, his light wavy hair slid in front of his eyes. Two silver daggers hung at his side, each with the intricate design of a dragon. One dragon peered out with two ruby eyes while the other’s eyes remained shut in deep slumber. There came three soft knocks on the door and Vaun entered. Vaun was the king’s personal advisor. He stood slightly shorter than Jonathan and was known to joke around. Though it was expected of him to present himself with the usual respects to the king, his duty as a friend often let slip a few words of, what most considered, disrespect. Vaun cared very much for Jonathan and his family, and wouldn’t let anything happen to them if he could help it. But during war, everything changes.
“Sire? I have a report from the general,” accounted Vaun.
“We’ve lost the city of Gand. It’s only a matter of time until they find the Traverse Pass. We can’t depend on the mountains to protect us from invasion forever. I suggest that the stones be hidden.”
Jonathan sighed, running his fingers through his hair. He glanced down at his daggers. Delicately, he pulled them from their sheaths, making the smooth slicing sound of metal against metal. Turning them over from hand to hand, he ran his fingers over the elaborately crafted surfaces. He admired the finely shaped rubies and the way the metal reflected the light. One dagger embraced the stone while the other played as decoy. Anyone who wanted the stone out of greed would be forced to choose one of the daggers. A spell, cast long ago, prevented anyone from taking both daggers in hand for personal gain. This was one of many things protecting the stones from unrightfully being used. But which one of the daggers held the stone of sorrow? Which one held the Weeping Stone?
“Are you sure this can’t wait any longer?” he looked to Vaun, his brow wrinkled in worry.
“No, sire. I’m afraid not.” Jonathan looked over his daggers one more time. He felt their perfection. Then, with a sigh, finally relented and gave the knives to Vaun.
“Take these and give them to Tosumaar, he should know how to take care of them.”
“What about the other two stones? Even though the stones’ power is diminished when apart, it doesn’t mean that each solely don’t have...”
“I know, I know.” Jonathan interrupted, “That’s why I am sending the other with Roman.” Jonathan reached into his pocket and pulled forth a key. He bent down on his knees and began to feel around under his desk. He pushed his fingers across the smooth wood until he came across a key hole. Then, holding his hand in the place it found, he reached up with his other hand and inserted the key. The secret compartment opened with a resounding click. He reached into the now open drawer and removed the small leather, draw string pouch that held the Sun Stone. Just as he had the daggers, he inspected the stone. No craftsman could make a stone so smooth. Only years of resting upon a river bed could make the stone so round and slick. After a few moments Jonathan said, “The last one I will keep. It will be safe with me.”
“What if Akor infiltrates the castle? He will take the stone, Jonathan, and he won’t hesitate to kill you.” Jonathan shifted in his chair uncomfortably.
“I’ll leave before then, and I’ll have Roman report back when he reaches the island Tak. I can follow him there. Both me and the stone will be safe.” Jonathan handed the leather pouch and two daggers to Vaun. Vaun nodded and remarked quietly, “As the king wishes.” Then he left, carrying the daggers and pouch with him.
King Jonathan knew that keeping the stone himself was dangerous, but he had no one else he could trust. Not that he didn’t trust Vaun, but Vaun wasn’t known for his abilities as a fighter. If someone challenged him for the stones, he would almost surely loose the stone. Even if all went wrong, Akor would only obtain one of the stones. One of three, their power mush less than what they would be combined. Jonathan went back to his paperwork. Only ten minutes passed before he was interrupted again. This time there came a pound on the door, and without waiting, Vaun came rushing back in.
“Sire! I have urgent news. The report that Akor had reached Gand was a serious understatement. I have information from spies that Akor has already crossed the Traverse Pass and is just reaching Tamor. His army should be here in less than a day’s time.” Jonathan jumped to his feet, putting his hands on Vaun’s shoulders. “Warn Isabelle and tell Roman and Tosumaar to leave as soon as possible or send the stones somewhere safe. Make sure that the stones with Roman and Tosumaar are safely away from the castle within the next hour. Remember to tell them to meet me at Tak, that is our only hope to retake the empire.” Vaun headed for the door once more. “Wait!” exclaimed Jonathan. Vaun stopped and turned to face the king. “Take care of yourself too.” Jonathan warned, looking seriously into the eyes of his friend.
“You too,” replied Vaun. And then, he was gone.