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The Riddle of Keys

Marc E. Robling
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Three loners...
Three keys...
A wizard...A demon...
And a riddle:
Three parts of a single key,
Brought together by destiny;
Three challenges are your test,
Strength will come from needed rest;
One last place four doors await,
Where good and evil decide fate;
Only then can thy lights shine,
Trigon completed—all in TIME.

Can three fourteen-year-old loners overcome their fears and come together to solve the riddle of the Trigon? Or will a hungry, magical, and mysterious shadow demon swallow them, sending them to oblivion? The fate of the universe may depend on these three unlikely heroes. Only if they work together will they succeed; but the demon knows their deepest fears and desires, which he will not hesitate to use against them. Their fear, anger, uncertainty, and even their ignorance are only an appetizer for his eternal hunger. He will not deny his ravenous appetite. If the magic of the Trigon fails, the demon's appetite will eventually devour everything—even Time.

The Making of the Trigon

1,588 Years Ago

“It is time,” the wizard mumbled as he gazed at the star-filled sky with weary, blue eyes. “Since time’s beginning, my magic has protected our universe and this small, lovely planet from your insatiable hunger—foul creature. I have paid a steep price, indeed. I feel old. My health continues to fail me while you grow stronger with each new moon.”

The wizard could sense the demon even now while it slept, scheming, waiting patiently for a good time to strike. “I know you can hear me even though you sleep.” He projected his voice to make his point clear. “I certainly hear your slurring during my restless periods of sleep—few as they may be. Be better if I could destroy you. But sadly, I cannot. I must stop you before time runs out. I did not chase you half way across our universe only to watch you devour this world, like you have done to so many others. It ends here—on this planet called Earth.”

With deep regret, he did not possess enough magic to destroy the demon. The wizard decided to trap him instead, for the demon is the eater of all things. If not stopped, he will swallow everything into his dark emptiness.

“Yes, it is finally time.” The wizard raised a bushy, gray eyebrow. “I have chosen a tree, a waterfall, and an obelisk: three objects of significance to mark the boundary of my Trigon.” With a wiggle of his elongated nose, he cast a spell to project most of his remaining magic to these objects. Three flashes of bright blue light illuminated the night sky for several seconds. Each light, equal distance from each other and from the little island where he stood, formed an imaginary triangle, connecting the objects.

Satisfied all three objects had absorbed his magic, he said, “The Trigon, my triangular prison, in which you, foul creature, will remain trapped until I return. While my magic in these objects remains strong, you will not be able to leave or consume anything within this Trigon.”

The wizard hoped to confuse the demon by speaking loudly at times and other times whispering. He knew the demon could see his thoughts, just as he could see the demon’s thoughts—vivid images in his mind, as if seen from his own eyes. He tried not to think of his plan in too much detail; he wanted to give the demon a lot to think about. The demon was always trying to trick him. Now he would play a trick on the demon instead.

Quickly, the wizard sketched a key on a small piece of torn paper. Mumbling words from three different languages, he laced the torn paper with a magic coating, rendering his sketch invisible. He folded the paper carefully before placing it into a secret compartment in his dagger, as he recited a spell:

“Emit, Emit, Emit:
Once for three keys;
Once for three trials;
Once for three champions.”

The wizard’s name—Emit—magically appeared as a carved, golden script on the dagger’s handle.

“The creature must never see this message,” Emit whispered after blowing a puff of magic breath on the dagger to seal the secret compartment.

“That should do it. Now, for the chamber. I will create it here on my secret island of mist, at the Trigon’s center.” With a wave of his wrinkled hands, a chamber appeared around him. The round, marble chamber contained four secret doors. He bored keyholes in three doors by shooting miniature lighting bolts from his fingertips. With a sweeping wave of his hand, he created magnificent paintings of his three objects of significance on these same doors, one object on each door. The fourth door, however, contained no keyhole, only a simple drawing of three cascading hourglass symbols.

"Marc E. Robling’s first novel for children, Trigon: The Riddle of the Keys, most likely is a product of his experience as a game programmer. He is best known for his game, Jurassic Park III: Danger Zone, and a series of learning products from JumpStart, a division of Vivendi Universal. Robling also is the father of four children.
Trigon: The Riddle of the Keys centers around three youngsters in three different time periods who find themselves on the outskirts of their communities. Hakim was captured as a slave and forced to work in a mine. Boyd was a big, clumsy fellow who was thought to be a dimwit, but is really very fearful. Arin is an albino who has been so emotionally hurt by her village that she has created a hard shell around herself, making her headstrong, independent, and arrogant. These three children, however, have had one person in each of their lives who cared about them. Arin had Brianna, an herb woman; Hakim had a clever wizard named Emit; and Boyd had a loyal dog.
These three loners eventually face a great evil in their world. They are given three keys and a riddle to solve, which will defeat the great demon for good.
Yet, each of them thinks that the key and riddle will help them find the one person who cared for them. As the book unfolds, the children must undertake several difficult challenges. There are hazards, monsters, and personal fears and weaknesses.
Robling uses the traditional elements of folk tales: three tasks, three tools or objects (here keys), three lessons. Like those tales, character development takes a back seat to the challenges that need to be overcome. Robling excels in setting tasks for his characters. In the end, they learn about themselves, think of others, and use some clever thinking. It is a good beginning to a new series.
Robling is currently working on his second Trigon book, Trigon: The Riddle of the Book.” – Janie Franz, MyShelf Reviews

Fiction Books :: Coming of Age Books
Fiction Books :: Fantasy Books :: Epic Books

ISBN: 159374823X
ISBN(13-digit): 9781593748234
Copyright: 2009
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 214
Paper Weight (lb): 9.0

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