There was only dim light ahead. Sam moved cautiously forward. When he reached the end of the tunnel, there was a room. There, in a small chair, sat a bearded figure. "Ha! You be the Mage I been hearing about."
"Me, he says. How many Mages you think there be? Just one and you be it." The little man laughed and pulled on his beard. "We needs to bargain. You need protection, I need an ally."
"I need protection? From what?"
"Many bad things in this world. Some of them will be aimed at you. You are untrained in magic. You are very, very powerful. If the wrong ones get to you, much evil could be done. I do not want that. There is already too much evil afoot." The little man stood and walked around Sam.
"I don't want to do evil." Sam said honestly.
"Good, then we can make a bargain. My great great grandson will find you on the other side. He will tell you King Damjut sent him. Keep him close." He walked a few steps and seemed to fade away.
* * *
Sam opened his eyes and sat up in bed.
John asked, "Sam, you have a bad dream?"
"Not bad, I guess, just kind of weird. You ever hear of a King Damjut?" Sam asked.
"Damjut the mighty? Yeah, he was the meanest dwarf ever. He fought in the Magic Wars and was the leader of the dwarfs, or is it dwarves, and kicked some serious butt. They say he saved the world from the evil ogres and black elves."
"Wow, when was this?"
"Ancient times," John answered.
"So, King Damjut wouldn't be around anymore." Sam was relieved. It was just a dream.
"Who knows. I don't have any idea how long a dwarf lives. Elves live forever unless they get killed, maybe dwarfs do, too. We can ask Mrs. Wilson." John smiled, then said, "So what was the dream?"
"I was in this dark cave. There was a dim light in the distance, I made my way there, and this little man with white hair and really long beard was waiting for me. He had this really huge double bladed ax and told me I was the only Mage and to be careful because I was in danger. He told me he was sending someone, and I was to stay close to him." Sam felt somewhat relieved that he had shared his dream.
"You ever dream like that, before?" John asked.
"I don't think so. I hardly ever remember a dream. I remember this one as if it really happened when I was awake."
"Well, it's three in the morning. We better get to sleep."
* * *
Casting the next day was rough, as Sam didn't know what Mr. Draper was asking. He was talking about connecting to the inner strength of the wand and directing the force into the spell. He knew Sam didn't have or use a wand but expected him to do the exercises. Sam thought he really pissed off Mr. Draper by doing the exercises his way, without a wand. Sam did like the idea of building an image of what he wanted done before releasing it. Leaving class he wondered if Mr. Draper would like his new 'Sponge Bob' briefs.
Lunch passed without a confrontation, however, the three bullies kept a close eye on Sam. In Mrs. Wilson's class, Sam asked about King Damjut.
"I thought you were new to magic. How in the world do you know of him?" she asked.
"Well, I kind of dreamed about him last night." Sam answered.
"A vision? Are you an Oracle, too?" She asked surprised.
"No, it was just a weird dream, really. He told me something and said he wanted to be my ally." Sam explained.
"Oh, my. Well, King Damjut, The Mighty, was the ruler of the most powerful clan of dwarfs in the Magic Wars. When the Wizards, White Elves and Centaurs were in retreat, he attacked the Black Elves and Ogres from the rear and showed no mercy. His victory was complete and the war was ended. There has not been a sighting of a Black Elf or Ogre since that battle." Mrs. Wilson was uneasy that Sam somehow knew King Damjut.
Sam wondered aloud, "Why would he want an ally?"
Mrs. Wilson was surprised by that question. "I really don't know. After the war the dwarfs went back to their clan holdings and we have had very little contact with them since. One thing for sure, it is much better to be his ally than to be his enemy."
"Oh, yeah, okay. I guess I'll just ask his great great grandson when he gets here." Sam's comment really shook up Mrs. Wilson.
* * *
Later in a faculty meeting, Mrs. Wilson mentioned the questions Sam had asked. Most of the staff just brushed it off but Mr. Draper seemed quite shocked and very unhappy. This kid was not behaving as he should and was not controllable. The day of Mages was past. Wizards were in control now. Dwarfs were extinct and Damjut was just so much myth.
* * *
That night, Sam had another dream. King Damjut was waiting for him again. "So how be the Mage this night?"
"Ah, Your Majesty, I'm okay, I guess," Sam replied.
"What is it that bothers ya?" the king asked.
"Well John and I are kind of all alone. The bullies watch us all the time and Mr. Draper... Well he just plain doesn't like me." Sam almost felt like he was tattling.
"So it begins. Worry not, lad. Help is on the way. Best of luck to ya. Don't let no one push you around. Remember, you be The Mage." King Damjut faded away and Sam returned to sleep.