“See here,” wise Beandor said to his young pupil, Therry, “This arch, though appearing so weak, is very strong. Although the walls may crumble, unless the keystone is disturbed, the arch will stand and bear weight.”
Beandor used his staff to tap the keystone of the arch.
“This arch has allowed people into this temple for over a thousand years, protecting our town of Kernsh from every attack. Look at this ancient place, overlooking the mighty ocean, it appears weak, and yet it is so strong, like our people. Our fair country, Aladia, seems fragile, and yet it is just these points that keep it whole.”
Therry studied the arch.
“That is a point of power,” Beandor said. “Knowing where the keystone lies. Often the seemingly weak is really the strong, and yet there may be one point, the keystone, that holds it all together. With the weight of the building pushing this stone down, making it stronger, do you know how to remove it? Once you do, power over this building is yours. When confronting an enemy, always try to figure out his keystone. It may not be the leader or the bravest warrior, just as the keystone of Kernsh is not the castle or mighty Verith, our protector.”
Beandor reached out his hand.
“Take this stone. It is said to be an actual flake broken off as they shaped this keystone. Hold it and know the strength of this place.”
No sooner had Therry taken the stone when screams were heard. Gronian raiders had been sighted. A shark-headed ship had pulled up onto the beach.
As the common people rushed into the temple for protection, Therry rushed to the beach, pulling his sword. He was the son of a noble, he was bred to protect.
The skirmish didn’t last long. A rope net made Therry’s sword impotent and he was soon captured. Along with four other Aladians, Therry was loaded onto the Gronian ship. He knew the slave markets were in his future.
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