The sun rose over the peaceful kingdom of Meleville. Leon, the head wizard, was in the highest tower in the castle of Meleville, looking across the sky, towards the southern valley kingdom. It was beyond several mountains, a lake, and a great expanse of thick forest. The rulers of the southern kingdom each had accomplished little to benefit their country as a whole. After the last ruler, a new ruler came to power; however, this one was not like the others. He commanded his forces with great intensity, but something was not quite right about him. He seemed like a dark and secluded individual at times, and he didn't always do what was best for the people. Like all the previous rulers, he had his own selfish ambitions as well. The southern kingdom began to fall away from its past greatness and slowly started to plunge into a darker era than its people had ever experienced. The new, mysterious ruler was to blame for this, but he controlled everything from the mountains to the southern shores and no one overruled him.
This began to worry Leon, and the rest of the Meleville magicians as well. It excited his master apprentice, Jalen, a young, adventurous boy that was learning from Leon. He always wanted to go exploring and journeying rather than studying to become a master magician. Leon knew this, and he also knew that someone would have to travel to the southern kingdom to try and stop the new imbalance of power. Jalen often wished he could be an adventurer and travel to distant lands, but he was only a master apprentice. He would never get to be a hero.
As Jalen was training in the high tower of the castle, Leon walked in and began talking to him.
"The southern kingdom is quickly gaining strength. Someone must go and keep them under control.".
Jalen sighed and sat down for a rest.
"You will have to go, Jalen. I will go with you, and I have a few of the town's best knights that will accompany us.