“Please spare me your destiny talk again, Anvar. I do not believe in anything that predisposes your actions away from freewill. It was my choice to go on this quest, it was not predestined.”
“You think so, do you?” asked Anvar. “Think of the steps to get where we are now. Your father acquired the staff. He sent you to the perfect place to train as a general and leader of men; the very qualities needed to make best use of the Red Sapphire. Your father died, prompting your return at the perfect time to solidify your fortune so that you need not worry about finances in your absence. You would never have taken up the quest if your mother had not been killed, making your departure necessary. The assassin did not gain hold of the staff and key or kill me. That enabled you to take up the quest.”
“Do you still see no sense of purpose in all of that? All of those events happened for a reason. You were meant to take up the quest and find the Red Sapphire. The fact that so many events happened so close together, leads me to believe that someone else is close to finding it. That someone is not meant to have it, you are!”
“And what would happen,” Linvin asked, “if the wrong person found the gem first?”
Anvar shook his head. “It is hard to say, but the end could not be good. Do you remember your father’s bedtime stories?”
“I remember him telling them to me, but I do not recall the specifics.”
“Let me tell you the details,” Anvar told him. “The Red Sapphire has been around since before time began. Whenever evil gained supremacy in the world, the stone would find a new champion to wield its power. He would use its power to take up the fight for those who could not defend themselves.”
“Such magic, could that person dispense, that he could ravage lands, lay waste to armies and strike down those who would oppress. It was just as the staff told you, ‘One can save many; one can make all the difference.’”
“The last time the gem was seen, was at the end of the last dark age. As you know, there were no written records at the time, but the last story I heard told, was that the bearer was so powerful that he could even fly! In the final climactic battle, he used the magic at his command to drop a mountain on an opposing army, utterly destroying it.”
“A mountain?” Linvin said in disbelief. “That sounds quite ridiculous.”
“Well,” Anvar said, “if you consider that the stories were told for hundreds of years, from one fireside to another, there was undoubtedly some exaggeration. Consider, if only the smallest measure of the stories were true, the power you seek could affect the course of world events. However, it may be that the power you seek could be used to serve a darker purpose, with a different master. Should a person of a diabolical nature gain such power, it could prove to be the end of our world as we know it.”
“The staff and stone know who they want to use them. They know that to effectively use that power, the bearer would have to be brave, powerful, intelligent, pure of heart, and well-schooled in military and world affairs. Such a man would even need to be wise in the ways of commerce. Through such a man, the power of the Red Sapphire would be most utilized for the greater good. How many men can you think of that match all of those criteria? I can only think of you, my boy.”
“So I ask you, after all that I have said, do you still doubt that this destiny has been laid before you?”
Linvin rubbed his chin and paused, “But it was ultimately my choice to go on this quest.”
“Indeed it was,” agreed Anvar. “There will always be a choice. The doorway may be placed before you, but only you can step inside. It is what you do with this opportunity that falls into the realm of choice. You could have chosen to hide from your would be assailants, but you chose to embrace your destiny.”
“So you are saying that everything happens for a reason, but I am the one who must figure that reason out and choose to act on it?” Linvin asked.
Anvar sifted the summation through his mind and said, “That is correct. Destiny and choice mean nothing without one another. If an opportunity is there, but you choose not to take advantage, then where are you? Likewise, if you are prepared and willing to do something, but the opportunity never appears, then once again you are nowhere. Aren’t preparation and opportunity coming together the real meaning of luck?
So as a comment about your first statement, it was indeed luck that we have the staff.”
Linvin seemed satisfied with the answer and asked, “Tell me what stories you know of the Red Sapphire. Truth or fiction, I do love a good tale.” Anvar smiled and began to regale him with tales of magic and intrigue.