Feasting with bears13 Apr 2017 | Danny Rocket
After the introductions, Beorn invited Danny and Jimmy to eat with him while they discussed important matters. They all sat at a large table with at least ten other bears and filled their plates with all kinds of berries and nuts.
Beorn listened to the tale of how Danny received the sword and the journey he had all the way to the table where they sat.
Then Beorn spoke, “I heard through the trees that the High Wizard died just a days ago. Which of course means that he died between a few days and a few months ago. Trees have a very skewed view of time. To them, a day to be an actual day or a year–probably because they only sleep once a year through winter. Except the evergreens. Never get into a conversation with an evergreen if you can avoid it. Unfortunately, they’re all over the mountains, and they’re the only ones awake enough in winter to get any news.”
He looked over at the brothers, who both sat rather dumb founded. He continued, “You seem to have a lot to learn, if you didn’t know about the trees, then you’re at least one step behind the other candidates. How do you plan on catching up?”
Danny finished chewing and swallowing a cashew before speaking, “Catching up?”
“Well yes, if you’re the high wizard of what I assume to be the Northern Kingdom, you’ll need to find the other wizards and locate the first challenge. The other teams are probably assembled by now. Didn’t the one who delivered the sword explain the rules?”
Jimmy looked at Danny, “Wait, you didn’t tell me you’re in a competition with other wizards! That’s way better than being a sidekick to a court wizard. Probably.”
Danny thought back, “No, Candy didn’t say anything about a competition.”
“Ah, nymphs. She’s a particularly forgetful one at that.” Beorn scratched his chin, deep in thought for a few moments, “If you got your information from her, you probably didn’t get the rules, timelines, or background on the High Wizard election.”
“No. This is the first time anyone has called it an election though.” Then under his breath, “Or someone got distracted and left a bunch of plot holes.”
Beorn raised an eyebrow.
“Sorry,” Danny recovered, “please go on.”
The great bear sat up straighter and looked into the distance as if quoting something from memory, “The High Wizard election happens whenever the current High Wizard retires–forcibly, terminally, accidentally, or voluntarily.”
“Terminally?” Jimmy said, leaning around Danny to get a better look at Beorn’s reaction.
Beorn’s concentration broke for a moment as he locked eyes with Jimmy, “Dead.”
Jimmy mouthed “oh,” before continuing his personal quest of trying every varietal on the table.
Beorn recaptured his composure and continued, “Because the High Wizard represents the best of the world, the candidates must prove their worth over the others in a competition. Each geographical region is randomly assigned a candidate, several aids, and a magical item,” Beorn nodded to the sword, “to aid in the challenges. In the end, one clear victor will emerge and take the title of High Wizard.”
“It is generally understood that kingdoms, species, governing bodies, and individuals who help the High Wizard will be repaid with favors, land, power, etcetera. The artifact’s delivery is proof that you are one of the candidates. So I take it that he,” Beorn pointed at Jimmy (who had built a tower of various nuts), “is one of your understudy aids.”
Jimmy started a coughing fit through a full mouth of cranberries.