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Kale Vanderhoof: The Arch-Magi

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  • Kale Vanderhoof: The Arch-Magi

    Fanfic Hero presents
    a Ratseye/Pouchlaw production

    in association with
    The Legacy

    (image here)

    Kale Vanderhoof: The Arch-Magi

    by Darrel James Vanwinkle

    This novel was started on March 16 2003

    ----------

    Act Index

    Prologue
    Act I: Where it All Began
    Act II: On The Run
    Act III:
    Act IV:
    Act V:
    Act VI:
    Act VII:
    Act VIII:
    Act IX:
    Act X:
    Act XI:
    Act XII:
    Act XIII:
    Act XIV:
    Act XV:
    Act XVI:
    Act XVII:
    Act XVIII:
    Act XIX:
    Act XX:
    Act XXI:
    Act XXII:
    Act XXIII:
    Act XXIV:
    Act XXV:
    Act XXVI:
    Act XXVII:
    Act XXVIII:
    Act XXIX:
    Act XXX:
    Act XXXI:
    Act XXXII:
    Act XXXIII:
    Act XXXIV:
    Act XXXV:
    Act XXXVI:
    Act XXXVII:
    Act XXXVIII:
    Act XXXIX:
    Act XL:
    Act XLI:
    Act XLII:
    Act XLIII:
    Act XLIV:
    Act XLV:
    Act XLVI:
    Epilogue

    ----------

    PROLOGUE

    An old frosty white griffin growled at his newest apprentice.

    "DIDN'T I WARN YOU TO BE CAREFUL?"

    His apprentice, a young Caucasian human boy with blue eyes and brown hair, stood there with his eyes lowered toward the broken orb on the stone floor.

    "I'm sorry, Master Ontormiir. I'll clean it up right away."

    The young boy fetched a broom and a dust pan, and he began cleaning up his mess. As he cleaned, he sighed, muttering quietly.

    "I'll never become a magician at this rate."

    Ontormiir's hearing was keen. He released a sigh himself when he heard those words, as he turned around and gazed upon his open spell tome.

    "I don't mean to be so hard on you, Anton. I wasn't always so gruff, as you see me now. But magic use and the practicing thereof is highly unwelcome in the world as it is now. Many magicians were hunted down and destroyed by those who were not in the know. Great spell tomes were burned, making some of the greatest of magics... obsolete. But there is one arch-magi who should be an inspiration to even you, Anton. He is the Arch-magi of the Flying Fortress."

    Anton lifted his head, as he was emptying the broken orb into the refuse pile.

    "The Flying Fortress... Are you about to tell me a story, Master Ontormiir?"

    Ontormiir cocked his head toward Anton with a grin.

    "I swear... you seem to like my stories better than my lessons. But, perhaps a story is the perfect way to teach you something about magic. I was very surprised that night when I found you freezing to death on my doorstep. I had half a mind to leave you for dead. But I saw the spark within you, Anton. And that is why you are here now."

    Anton went over to Ontormiir with a smile.

    "I am glad you took me in, though at the time, I didn't know what you meant by having the spark. In fact, I merely thought you were a monster, when I first lay my eyes upon you. Then, you started talking about magic and the arcanum... and I just knew I had to learn more."

    Ontormiir slowly wrapped a great furred and feathered wing around Anton, pulling the boy close to himself.

    "Before you came... it was very quiet and lonely here. I thought I had chosen a place where no human would come, yet you came to my door. I am not sorry I took you in, Anton."

    Anton smiled, rather enjoying being embraced by the old griffin.

    "The first time you hugged me, I was so frightened. I thought you were going to eat me."

    Ontormiir chuckled.

    "I almost did. And what a loss that would have been. Right? At any rate, let me tell you a true story about the greatest arch-magi of our age. And this is how it goes..."

    ----------

  • #2
    Act I: Where It All Began

    "Mr. Vanderhoof! Ahem!"

    I slowly turned my attention back to the front of the classroom. The other students were laughing and snickering at me. This wasn't the first time that I had been daydreaming in class.

    "Mr. Vanderhoof! While the scenery outside is by far an interesting sight, it cannot educate you through which I am being paid to do so! Turn your attention to the board, please, and tell me what the quotient solution is!"

    I blushed darkly. Why was school so boring? It wasn't always like this. I used to make good grades. But after I turned 12, my attention seemed to be drawn elsewhere. Like a magnet.

    I arose from my seat and approached the blackboard, examining the problem written out upon it. As I looked at the words, something seemed out of place. It was as if I could see through the board to the classroom beyond. The only problem was... there was no classroom beyond that wall. Yet I could clearly see one there. And there was a class in session. And there was a boar boy standing at the blackboard examining the problem written there. I thought this was strange.

    "Kale Noble Vanderhoof! The solution please!"

    That startled me so much that what I was seeing seemed to fade away, allowing the blackboard to become solid again. I began writing out what I thought was the obvious solution.

    The next thing I knew, I was sitting in the principals office. And the principal was on the phone to my parents. Evidently whatever I wrote upset the teacher greatly. I couldn't remember what I had written, but the classroom had gone silent when I had finished writing. And now, I sat in the principals office.

    "42."

    The principal looked to me and arched an eye.

    "What did you say, Kale?"

    I looked to the principal.

    "The solution to the blackboard problem. It's 42. But... when I went to write the answer..."

    I closed my eyes and sobbed.

    "...what's wrong with me, Mr. MacJerik?"

    Principal MacJerik wasn't really used to things like this. School life used to be so quiet and orderly, until I had turned 12. I was currently 14. Principal MacJerik really felt sorry for me, but what could he do? This was way over his head.

    "Kale... your parents have agreed to allow me to call in an expert. I'm sorry. I know you're not crazy, but something like this keeps occurring and you can't explain it. We need outside help. Now sit quietly while I make a phone call..."

    But before he could pick up the phone, the door burst open, as a female TV reporter and a cameraman entered the principals office!

    Principal MacJerik immediately growled.

    "What the Hell are you doing in my office?!"

    The woman just grinned as she lifted her microphone up.

    "Ivy Jarrot of TV-17 News! We were led to understand that you had another language incident today, Principal MacJerik! What can you tell us about it?"

    The choice words he used could not be repeated on TV, for he wove in the seven you could never say on TV. And, afterward, he personally picked up Ivy Jarrot by both the collar and the back part of her pants, and carried her out of the school building, and threw her toward her news van. No doubt about it. Ivy had chosen the wrong day to try to get a scoop at the school.

    I sat quietly in the office not even looking at the cameraman who was no longer recording with his camera, but did seem to be studying me. But what he said next startled me.

    "You have the spark. Listen to me closely for there isn't much time. You are a kind of a wizard that is known as a Mage. You have an internal power that allows you to see into the mystical. That is why you're often getting into trouble here in school. It will be in your best interest to seek out the German wizard known as Gerus Bronzo. And after him, go to Romania and learn from the Von Hammers. But above all else... do NOT let any secret service agents of any government offer to help you. Or your life will be completely over with."

    I was a little surprised that this man said all of this. But then suddenly, he shook his head and looked around as if he had just awoken from a dream. That is when Principal MacJerik returned and escorted the cameraman out of the office and the building. Had I imagined the cameraman's mysterious message? Or was I about to embark on a fantastic quest that would send the entire world after me in hot pursuit. I needed more information. The cameraman said that I was something called a Mage. Perhaps that was the first thing that I needed to learn about. What a Mage was.

    Soon, Principal MacJerik was again seated at his desk looking a little flustered, but he was looking directly at the telephone. He about reached for it. But I stopped him.

    "Mr. MacJerik, sir... don't make that call yet. A few moments ago... I had another one of those instances. Like in class. But this time I was just sitting here. A voice told me that I had the spark."

    Principal MacJerik looked across the desktop at me.

    "The spark?"

    I nodded my head.

    "Yeah, and it told me why I was having these problems and what I should do about it."

    Principal MacJerik arched his eye with curiosity.

    "I'm listening, Kale. If we can solve your problem right here, it will save a lot of trouble later."

    I sighed. I steeled myself up for what was probably going to send stars around his head.

    "Do you know what a Mage is?"

    Principal MacJerik slowly sat up with the mention of that one word.

    "Where did you hear that word at, Kale? Tell me right now."

    I shirked back from him when he took immediate interest in me.

    "The voice told me, like I said. It told me to go to Germany to seek out another Mage called Gerus Bronzo and to go to Romania to learn from the Von Hammers. And to not trust the governments, because they would try to kill me."

    Principal MacJerik sat back in his chair and simply stared. When he did speak, he spoke in a hushed voice.

    "I have heard of the Von Hammers. They are a very powerful noble family in Romania. They even live in a castle. June Von Hammer is said to be an educational counselor. Perhaps she is the expert we should be contacting. If you truly have the spark, she will be able to see it in you once and for all. But if she says you're flat-line, then you will have to drop this act altogether. Understand me, Kale? Flat-line means that you have no power at all and you are doing this for attention. Do you accept my deal?"

    I sighed.

    "If I was doing this on purpose, Mr. MacJerik, then don't you think I would have chosen a better way to do it? I used to make good grades in school. Now... I see through walls. I see things that aren't there. And now, I hear voices. But this was the first time I have ever heard a voice. I am not crazy, Mr. MacJerik. I know what I heard."

    Principal MacJerik was firm, however.

    "Deal or no deal, Kale?"

    I hung my head a little. I couldn't believe that he thought I was making all of this up. I didn't have a choice.

    "It's a deal, sir. But I'm not making it up. I swear it."

    Little did I know just how bizarre this day was about to get. For the record, and I didn't know this at the time, when a Mage swears something, it's the law. And the law in this case was about to erupt all around us.

    Principal MacJerik was again reaching for the phone, when suddenly the phone literally exploded, sending shrapnel all over the office. And the eruption didn't stop with just that, either. The explosion was followed by every bell in the school suddenly activating and ringing in an eerie haunting manner. And then, every window in the building imploded, sending glass everywhere. Then the plumbing throughout the building buckled and exploded, sending water and sewage into the bathrooms and in the hallways. Teachers and students were scrambling in an attempt to escape from the building.

    I was then helping Principal MacJerik up and out of his office. I certainly didn't plan it this way, but we were literally the last two people out of the building. And as I was exiting the building, I heard a kind of voice that I was wishing that I hadn't heard. And it was a kind of voice that even priests would not want to hear.

    "You can run, Kale, but we will get you next time. Yes..."

    And then the fire department, paramedics, and the police were swarming the school grounds. And several news crews were arriving. It was literally a madhouse of every kind of authority you could imagine. And it wasn't a place I wanted to be in the spotlight of. But I couldn't leave Principal MacJerik to face the heat alone. Fortunately for me, two of my close friends, Barbra Winston, who was a Caucasian female, and Garek Sheldon, who was a Black male, darted forth and helped me get Principal MacJerik away from the school and into a secluded place within my family's guest house which was behind our own house. We then began treating Principal MacJerik's injuries ourselves. We had to have our stories straight about what happened in his office or we would all be in the deepest of troubles.

    Fortunately, my luck seemed to flip back on at that point.

    My parents discovered us in the guest house and explained that terrorists had attacked our school that day. I was actually glad for that story to be the one that was being used to explain what had happened. But I would soon find out why that story was being circulated. And I would soon end up owing my privacy to a woman who would be dogging my life from then on.

    It was the top story on television at six P.M. There was Ivy Jarrot of TV-17 News reporting live from the parking lot of the school where she was telling about the terrorist attack on the high school building. And further... and perhaps more disturbing... she was telling her viewers that I had pulled Principal Angelus MacJerik from the building and taken him to get private medical treatment. I had never known that Mr. MacJerik's first name was Angelus, but now I considered him to be a guardian angel. He cared about me and knew things other people didn't know.

    However, as soon as Ivy signed off from her live report, life in the household was about to get strange again. Ivy showed up at the front door of our house, by herself. She must have been very fearless to come all that way without some kind of protection, but never the less, she was soon inside and seated at our dinner table with the rest of us.

    "I covered your tracks on TV, Kale. I didn't have to do that. Now, off the record, I think you owe me an explanation. And don't give me the old foreign language on a blackboard spiel, either. I was standing out front of the school building when the explosions went off. I personally had nothing to do with it but even I could see that it wasn't a terrorist attack."

    I glanced at Angelus who slowly nodded his head at me.

    "She's earned it, Kale. You can tell her. And Heaven help her if she draws the wrong kind of attention afterward."

    Ivy definitely arched an eye when Angelus said that.

    "Are you trying to scare me?"

    Angelus simply and slowly shook his head.

    "You saw what it did to the school in its attempt to get at Kale."

    Ivy then turned to me once again.

    "Just what have I gotten myself into?"

    I sighed.

    "A world of sorcery and demons, Ivy. The school was attacked by demons who were trying to kill me."

    My father who was a police officer in the local town was on alert immediately.

    "Are you making this up, Kale?"

    Angelus intercepted for me, luckily.

    "He's not making it up, Paul. I was there, remember? I saw what happened. The telephone exploded in my face when I was about to place a call to June Von Hammer in Romania. This is deadly serious. And we can't tell the government what's going on here or they will take your son away from you and destroy him. You know me, Paul. Have I ever led you astray before?"

    My father's name was Paul. I knew that, but I never called him that myself. You can be sure that when things get weird, you begin learning people's first names.

    Paul then focused directly on me.

    "What exactly happened in school, Kale. Was it the chalkboard thing again? Or was it worse this time?"

    Ivy was interested now. Apparently she only knew about the chalkboard instances.

    "You mean there's more?"

    Paul looked at Ivy.

    "Oh yes. We've been working very hard to keep it under wraps. Ever since Kale turned 12, we have been dealing with the bizarre happenings that surround Kale at all times. One time it was a Egyptian sphinx guarding his bedroom. Another time it was the ghost of a horse following him around. And yet another time, a dryad had taken up temporary residence in his tree house in the woods. And the happenings have been getting more out of control. And now, the school gets destroyed. Had you not told people that it was terrorists, we would have had the whole town sealed off by the government. No one in or out. And believe me, they have been doing the same thing in other areas. And the first people the government would shut up is the press. And that means you, Ivy. That is why we are glad you didn't tell it like it was this time."

    Ivy seemed to go pale at that point. There was a lot at stake here. And my father seemed to know what would happen if the government got involved.

    I then proceeded to tell everyone what happened.

    "After the telephone exploded, which knocked Principal MacJerik and I to the floor, the bells started going off, playing an eerie though spooky tune. It wasn't standard ringing, dad. And then the windows throughout the building imploded which shattered all of the windows at once, and that was followed by all of the water lines and septic pipes in the building exploding all at the same time. The next thing I knew, everyone in the building was scrambling to get out, and I helped Principal MacJerik up and began to get him out of the building. And as I was going out the door... I heard the voice that I never want to hear again. It said that next time I wouldn't get away. After that, Barbra and Garek helped me get Principal MacJerik back here to the guest house where we attended to his injuries. Then you guys came home fast."

    Ivy nodded her head at that point.

    "He's right about the bells, window implosions, and the pipes. I didn't know about the phone though. So what is the plan for Kale now? There is sure to be a government investigation, magic or not, and someone is sure to mention the boy who can see through walls."

    My father was silent for a moment. That usually meant that he was thinking about something important.

    "Angelus will take Kale out of town tonight. Don't rely on phone lines. If the demons know about phones, then they are likely monitoring all telephone lines throughout the region. You are to take Kale to Europe. Make sure he gets to the other mages there. Ivy, you will return to your TV station and never mention another word about Kale. Give Angelus a week before you start talking about Kale in public. The rest of us will go about our lives as usual for a week. At that point, I'll file a report that Kale has run away from home, out of fear of what happened to the school. By the time a week passes, I should hope that Kale will be in Europe. And whatever anyone does... do NOT talk openly to any government people."

    Garek then spoke up.

    "I'm sorry, Mr. Noble. But I'm going with Kale. He might need someone his own age around to vouch for him."

    And then Barbra spoke up too.

    "Where Kale goes, I go. We're his friends. We know him and we know how to keep him under wraps when something weird happens. Mr. MacJerik only knows the stuff in school. Garek and I have personally witnessed some of the other stuff."

    Garek nodded his head.

    "That's right, Mr. Noble. We saw the dryad ourselves. She told us that someone was killing her trees in the south woods. And that's when you found out that there was an illegal Meth Lab set up down there. When you got them out, it began to heal the forest there."

    Angelus smiled at that point.

    "I think its a wise idea, Paul. Kale's friends should be there for him. I am not young and something might happen to me while I am escorting Kale. They can come along."

    Ivy stood up just then.

    "If you think I am just going to sit back while you guys run off to Europe, you have another think coming. I will follow you to the ends of the Earth."

    Just then, my mother whose name I knew was Eilene placed her hand on Ivy's shoulder.

    "Ivy. Paul's plan is a good one. Give Angelus and Kale a week. Then convince your TV station to let you go to Europe on a hot story. Just don't mention that Kale IS the hot story. Then you can go over and catch up with them in Europe. Truthfully, though, you can't just up and disappear, Ivy. The Early Morning Show at six A.M. always has you on telling everyone good morning and how great the day is going to be. You need to take the time to make your plans. You can't just up and leave, like the others. Angelus can leave because the school is going to be closed down for quite some time."

    The voice of reason. That is what dad always called mom. And she was right this time, too. Ivy simply couldn't just get up and leave in the middle of the night. She had the TV Station to think about.

    "You're right, Eilene. Its just that... I want to see how this is going to turn out for Kale. I'm part of this now. But I'll bide my time at the TV Station. If I disappeared there would be trouble for sure. I'll make my plans and give the others a week's head start. Whereabouts in Europe should I try to meet back up with you, Angelus?"

    Angelus hummed quietly.

    "Good question. The game plan will be to hit Ireland, England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Romania, Jordan, Egypt, India, China, and Japan. In that order. I have heard that there are other mages living in those countries. If you are able to get away from the TV Station at the end of the week, you can try to catch us in either England, Germany, or France. If we're in England when you are, try to meet up with us at Brandy's Cafe. If we're in Germany, then we'll meet at the Prince Kennels. And in France, look for us at the Aerosmith Diner. Any questions?"

    Ivy shook her head briefly.

    "Sounds good to me. And please don't try to avoid me, either. The power of the press can get you out of certain situations, if you know what I mean. Now I need to get going. I'll give you one week. Then I'll come looking for you."

    And with that, Ivy left the residence. I didn't want to know how life could get any stranger than this. Knock on wood. After that, arrangements were made with Barbra's and Garek's parents to permit their children to go on a field trip with Angelus, and then, we were given police escort by my dad to county line. We were all in Angelus' four door Sedan and the journey had definitely began. At the county line, my father pretended to be checking out Angelus' license and registration, which was probably a wise plan to explain why he was even out there at night.

    And that's when the convoy of twelve military vehicles drove by us and into the county. And then an Army jeep pulled up along side my father and the General seated therein honked his horn at my father.

    My father handed the license back to Angelus and waved us on, before walking over to the General in the jeep.

    "Can I help you, soldier?"

    The Army General peered over the top of his glasses.

    "We're looking for the city of Forest River. Are you from there, by chance?"

    My father nodded his head and showed them his badge.

    "Officer Paul Noble Vanderhoof, Forest River Police. I am about to head back into town myself. We have quite a job to do in the morning. Someone blew up the high school, the rats..."

    The Army General nodded his head.

    "General Delven. U.S. Army Special Investigations. We were ordered to come in and assist with your investigation. We were told that it was terrorists. If that's the case, we might be able to track them down and apprehend them."

    My father smiled, shaking the General's hand.

    "Glad to have you aboard. Just follow my police car back into Forest River and I'll take you over to the school right now, if you would like."

    My father was then thinking.

    Good luck, Kale. We got you out just in time. We love you.

    ----------

    Anton hummed.

    "What world does this story take place in, Master Ontormiir? I don't know of any village or kingdom called Forest River."

    Ontormiir smiled at Anton, petting on his head with one of his wings.

    "It is in the next dimension, of course. It was a hard time on the mages there and for young Kale, his life was about to get even more difficult. Not only were demons, the military, and Ivy Jarrot chasing him down, but his powers were developing and he had his friends to worry about, too."

    Anton leaned against the frosty white griffin's body with a soft sigh.

    "So he had to leave home and his friends offered to make the trip with him. It must be nice to have loyal friends like his, Master Ontormiir. The few people I knew that claimed to be my friends turned out to be untrustworthy. I had even been stoned in one village for robbing a hen house to get some eggs. My so-called friends were supposed to be watching out for people while I did it. Instead, they told the sheriff that I was a thief."

    Ontormiir grinned at Anton.

    "Sometimes people can be trusted and other times... they cannot. Discerning a person's integrity is as hard as learning magic, Anton. If you didn't have the spark, you wouldn't be here now."

    Anton rubbed his chin for a moment.

    "How can you tell when someone has the spark, Master Ontormiir?"

    Ontormiir chuckled with a smile.

    "We will get to that. It's in the story. My, aren't you the eager one? There are some magics you are already good at. But for now, relax and let me get back into the story. It will be worth it in the end."

    ----------

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