AN: This story takes place on Mairya, the same world in the story "Star of Sorcery" by my twin Alaena Flame Dragonstar. It's going to be based on one of the main characters of said story, before he went to the Academy. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Chapter 1

"Daren, you monster! Get back here! What have you done with my necklace?"

Daren dashed through the bright corridors of Sealand Hold, darting between servants, statues, pots of greenery, and whatever else happened to be in the way. He was a slender youth of average height with raven-black hair and emerald green eyes, currently sparkling with mischief. Daren cast a quick glance over his shoulder at his pursuer.

Lana's normally elegant appearance had been spoiled by the wild chase. Her sleek, auburn hair was disheveled, several long, curling strands having escaped their elaborate, golden bindings. The pink silk dress which fell all the way down to her formal, white shoes was in a state of complete disarray. And the fury on her haughty, arrogant face meant murder if she ever caught up to him, which was not going to happen if he had anything to say about it.

Daren turned his attention back to the path before him with a wicked grin. In one smooth motion he leapt from the ground to the sill of an open window and began running along the narrow ledge with perfect balance. He halted beside one of the stone gargoyles that stood right above the main doors and hung the delicate, gold, pearl-encrusted chain around its neck in plain view of anyone coming or going. Satisfied, Daren scaled the rough stone wall, jumping the last few feet to the courtyard.


Daren spun to face the speaker whom he recognized by voice to be one of his numerous cousins. "Yeah?"

"Your father wishes to see you in his office right away." He eyed him disapprovingly. "You'd better hurry."

Daren swallowed and nodded. He waited for the other boy to disappear around the corner before turning his footsteps toward the spiral staircase leading up to his father's study.


Daren knocked hesitantly on the office door.

"Come in."

He pushed the door open and stepped inside. The room was not large, but comfortably furnished. Against the wall to his left were several bookshelves lined with thick, leather-bound volumes. On his right stood a collection of paintings and sketchbooks filled with the images of magical creatures, like those in the Sorcery games.

Someone cleared his throat and Daren brought his attention back to the center of the room where Lord Breyan sat behind the polished, oaken desk.

Breyan regarded his son for a long moment before speaking. "Just a moment ago, Lana came to me with the complaint that you'd stolen a piece of jewlery." He cast a somewhat bemused glance out the window. "Would that have anything to do with the new addition to the gargoyle?"

"She deserved it," Daren replied instantly.

Breyan sighed wearily. "Daren, I've had more complaints in this past year than I've heard in my entire lifetime. Every single one has had something to do with you. And I am beginning to see that this place does not suit your needs."

The stern expression he had been wearing twisted into a grin as he reached under the table and brought forth a black, rectangular box. "That is why I am sending you to a place where your energy and enthusiasm will be well spent."

He opened the box and pulled something out of it, handing the item to Daren with a smile. The boy stared down in astonishment at the card.

"This card has been in the family for centuries, passed down through the ages, waiting for the person who was destined to have it. It is called the Labyrinth Guardian."

Daren looked up at his father with eyes shining with excitement. "Thank you."

Breyan's eyes sparkled. "You will leave tomorrow for the Brightstar Academy."


AN: So . . . how was it? Please review.