Sean also learns that he should be very strong in magic and his lessons in that would begin immediately. With both of the people he had known as his parents now dead, he needed to be able to protect himself and since those two deaths came so close together, Sean’s hiding place on Earth must have been found out. Three other people were part of the party that had fled the coup that had set another uncle on the throne, and they started his education in magic. They also taught him about the stone his uncle had given him. There were six of them; each one amplified one of the magics.
During his first clumsy efforts to use his magic, Sean succeeded in taking himself, those three adults and his two best friends, who had come by to see him, to a burned out farmstead considerably closer to the throne and his evil uncle; he also hid the stones within himself so that they couldn’t be used against his friends again. During their stay at this new hideout, Sean learned to control his magic. He offered to take his two friends back home but they declined.
As soon as Sean had recovered from his first efforts at magic, they started to move. They needed to know what Sean’s uncle Ludwyn had been up to over the last seventeen years and Sean needed to become considerably stronger in his magic before he confronted him.
During the first leg of this journey, Sean brought first a man then a horse, away from his uncle’s torturous clutches and he earned the loyalty of both for his efforts though he had barely begun to understand what exactly he had rescued them from.
At the first small town, they replenished much of their supplies. They also purchased two more horses and a mule to carry their supplies and equipment; it was all the villagers could spare. They also picked up another follower - another pair of hands to help with cooking and other domestic chores along the trail, among other things.
On the road again, Sean got the chance to put his sword lessons to the test but fighting from the back of a warhorse added a new dimension to the task, and then he had to remember that he had magic that he could use now too. Leading the charge was a crazed man on an equally crazed mountain of horseflesh. The man was the only survivor of the enemy forces, aside from three other horses, and Sean decided to take advantage of what he might know. With liberal use of his magic, Sean forced the man to teach him how to fight from a warhorse.
At the next town, Sean and the man he had named Byron, snuck around to the other side while the others went into town for more supplies. They ran into trouble when they couldn’t answer the questions about the missing patrol and they were hustled away to be tortured.
Sean, still unused to all the uses of his magic, went after them. With the help of the no-longer-crazed Byron and a liberal use of his magic, Sean was able to bring his friends out of the garrison dungeon. His inexperience showed in that he took two arrows in the back as they hurried out of the compound.
One of the people he had brought away from New York City with him was a healer but she professed to be too weak to heal the damage Sean had taken. She wanted access to one of the stones Sean had hidden. Instead, Sean healed himself, though it was a clumsy job.
Before they reached the only place where they could claim sanctuary, they all learned that their healer was an avid follower of their deadly enemy, Sean’s evil uncle Ludwyn, and after wiping away her most recent memories, those involved with the circumstances of their arrival here, Sean sent her to his uncle Ludwyn.
Their sanctuary was the home of his uncle Clayton, the uncle who had died in that alley so long ago. His wife, Marinda, welcomed Sean with open arms and a heaping plate. During his stay, Sean was afforded some time to adjust to the new circumstances of his life. He also discovered that the man he had know all of his life as his father, wasn’t dead after all, and as he had done with another man and a horse, he brought him to join them. Also during his stay, Sean learned some history. A legend told to children told of a hero who rescued the people from some ancient evil; it was said that the magic came into existence during that battle. All of the people around Sean were saying that he was the next hero - the only man able to rescue the people from the evil that had been sitting on the throne for the last seventeen years. In keeping with that legend, an old woman had made a beautifully embroidered picture - a truer representation of the six different magics, and Sean adopted it as his herald. His grandfather, and all the kings before him, had used a six petaled flower as the royal herald but people were calling Sean the White Star and the new herald depicted that much better.
After watching his aunt break down in tears when she first saw the embroidered cloth, Sean decided to see what the reaction would be if he displayed it in a town. Choosing the closest garrison town, he hung a copy of the cloth inside the arches of all the gates. He was astonished, and to a certain extent pleased, to see the town come apart. Most common people simply packed their few belongings and left the town for destinations known only to them. Those loyal to the king were left behind to try and hold the town together and answer to the king for their failure.
This reaction decided Sean’s next move. Choosing a path that would take him to as many towns and cities around the capital as he could reach the quickest, Sean headed out at the head of a small force to disrupt the countryside around his uncle. At the end of his chosen route would be the capital city of Ruhin and his uncle.
For beginners, the use of magic didn’t always come without problems, something none of those around him remembered since none of them had experienced any problems, but sometimes the young mage came down with a fever and they were delirious for a few days. This generally happened anytime within the first few months of the first appearance of their ability; in Sean’s case, it happened now. Much to his friends’ dismay, Sean left them far behind as he covered the distances between the towns he picked using magic. Despite his delirium, Sean stuck to his plan and displayed his herald in every town he stopped at and he did indeed end up at the capital where his men found him once again, but when he woke from his sleep, he had no memory of the journey, nothing other than the sure knowledge that he had indeed done what he had intended to do, but if he had done anything else along the way, he couldn’t say.
Stepping outside the tent, Sean discovered that the citizens he had dislodged hadn’t been so aimless in their wandering, they had come here, or at least a great deal of them had. Now what? He was here, but how was he supposed to get into the city? How could he confront his uncle? The greatest majority of these people were simple citizens; taken as a whole, there was only a handful of soldiers among them and the city had to contain an entire army.
King Ludwyn took the matter of their meeting into his own hands, however. As soon as Sean was relatively alone and unwatched, he saw to it that he was suitably drugged and then he brought him directly to the throne room. The meeting went more or less as planned at the beginning. Sean’s insolence was rewarded with broken bones and more drugs but Sean’s magic prowess was enough by now that drugs were merely an inconvenience. Ludwyn had always been able to force others to do what he wanted them to do so he didn’t devote much time to developing his own strengths in magic, but his nephew wasn’t going to be forced to do anything easily and Sean had been trying to develop his magic. As a result, he was able to shield his uncle away from any further use of magic.
Sean’s next order of business was to declare to all those waiting outside the city that he had been successful - the evil king no longer sat on his throne. To show this, Sean replaced all of his uncle’s flags with his own herald and then he threw down all the gates; the people should not be denied access to their capital city. Next, Sean wanted to make himself available to prove that this wasn’t just another twisted trick of Ludwyn’s. Sean had reached the limit of his endurance, however, and he collapsed before his plan could be carried out.
Sean woke several days later to find that his small force had achieved a shaky hold in the palace; they might have had much more trouble if Ludwyn had been a popular king. To work the kinks out of his body, Sean elected to put himself through some of the exercises he used to do during his sword lessons. During the routine, he found himself immersed in a waking dream. It was a dream of the crucial battle that would create a country, one he could hand down to his sons. In a flash, he knew what had gone before and what he had to do next. With a ringing battle cry and the sounding of his battle horn, he carried the fight to a successful conclusion. Turning to survey the battlefield, Sean, instead, saw the throne room now peopled with the ghosts of the kings that had gone before him. They all greeted him before fading away again. Greatest among them was his first ancestor, the man who had originally fought that battle and not least among them was his father. No man wears the crown without having been accepted by the kings who had come before him.
Sean soon discovered that his uncle had turned the palace into a laboratory of sorts devoted to torture both physical and magical, so Sean decided to devote the next chunk of his time to ‘cleaning house’, but before he could get started, he had another dream. In his dream, he was walking down the stairs. At the bottom of those stairs waited that first king and he wanted to show Sean something. He led Sean to the family crypt where the memories of all those ancestors were fed into him, giving him a source of knowledge besides those of people around him. Now he would know what to do and who he needed to find. Now he had a goal and a deadline. A deadline that was all too close.
After announcing his intentions to go to each of the districts as soon as the victims in the palace had been dealt with, the healer who had appointed herself his personal healer informed him that there were important ceremonies, and he had to marry and produce an heir before he left. At seventeen, Sean wasn’t ready to be married and he didn’t have time to wait for the birth of a suitable heir. He didn’t know why he was suddenly so pressed for time, but he had to declare himself and reinstate the nobility all around the country and he had to do it all very soon.
Sean finally capitulated to the marriage, though he wasn’t too happy at having to marry the very first blind date he ever had - the rest would simply have to wait until he returned. Fortunately, his golden Aaunika was every bit the treasure he could hope for in a wife, though their joining was far deeper than just an exchange of rings and vows.
After his wedding, Sean resumed his efforts to ‘clean house’ interrupted with delightful play with his young wife; she was there to help him through the horrors of what he discovered too. Between her and others of his friends he intended to leave behind, he felt he was leaving the palace in as good a pair of hands as was possible.