The Company: The Warrior (42)

September 22, 2014

The story so far.

The sun stood well overhead by the time the troop leader got everyone calmed down–including herself, as she was not best pleased to discover that not only had we been traveling with a sorcerer this whole time, but we’d been chasing one as well. Half the squad stood on the point of mutiny; the other half were willing to go on, but not with our numbers so much reduced.

At last the troop leader achieved a consensus to let Olemilekan try. Some of the Rojannin did not wish to even witness this, as though by doing so they might signify approval. There was no question of allowing Olemilekan access to their memories. He had to settle for verbal accounts of their recollections, which are not reliable.

But I suppose, even once the initial shock of revelation had subsided, we could not have expected anything else.

Help Wanted (75)

September 20, 2014

The story so far.

You’re quite sure that the goblins won’t want to do their dealing in the street. You walk away from the Library, seeking a more isolated place, though you’re pretty sure you won’t be able to find that entrance that you used before again. The city is large, something that you now know far, far better than you did a few days ago.

After awhile you find the skittering guiding you. It keeps sounding behind you as you walk. The more you walk away from it, the more isolated and quiet the city around you becomes.

When you find yourself at the dead end of an alley, it occurs to you to be afraid.

The Company: The Warrior (41)

September 19, 2014

The story so far.

The swordplayer glanced at me. I gave her the nod to go on: she understood what needed to happen better than I did, for all that I’d been Olemilekan’s companion for weeks. I was no sorcerer.

“Well,” she said, “he needs to know everything each of us has seen. Especially the scouts. Every track, every broken branch, every shed thread.”

“Why now?” the troop leader asked. “Why didn’t he need this before? How did he lose the trail?”

“That’s the tricky bit,” I said. “The other group has a sorcerer, too.”

And chances were, they were close enough to hear the uproar that resulted from my statement.

The Fey Child (118)

September 18, 2014

The story so far.

I took the next day off work. Magic takes it out of you, and that night I’d done more of it than I ever had before.

When I came back the day after that, returning the books I’d borrowed for my research, it startled me how much the same everything looked.

Maybe a little more drab than it had been.

It was some weeks after that before the other witch came into the library. I don’t know what she expected; she knew I worked there. But she took one look at me, sitting in my chair at the reference desk, and turned around and left.

I haven’t seen the prince since.

END

Help Wanted (74)

September 17, 2014

The story so far.

You step out of the Library with some trepidation. Goblins, footpads, Lord Wolson–and now the librarians probably aren’t too happy with you, either. Particularly since you refused the strenuous offer to take any of them along with you.

“The goblins have dealt with me,” you pointed out. Dealt fairly, even, relatively speaking. “I don’t think it would go well if I showed up looking like I expected a fight.” You’ve sort of gotten the idea that while the goblins aren’t crazy about humans, they really don’t care for mages. The only places you haven’t seen even a hint of them since starting this job are at the Library and the Temple.

As soon as you step off the Library grounds, of course, there’s a skittering like leaves in the gutter.

The Company: The Warrior (40)

September 16, 2014

The story so far.

The troop’s response was more or less as expected. The Ashadin looked unsurprised. Several of the Rojannin blanched and edged away. One of them put hand to sword and tried to rush Olemilekan.

My blade barred his, and I put him and his sword in the dirt. Though I held my own sword to his throat, his eyes rolled toward the sorcerer.

“Oh, stop that,” I said, putting up my weapon. “He won’t hurt you. Or anyone else,” I added to the gathering. “He’s here to help. He’s been helping already. He’s the reason we’ve gotten this close.”

“But now he’s lost the trail, is that it?” The troop leader surveyed us with her arms crossed over her chest. She didn’t look frightened; she looked furious.

The swordplayer who’d been helping Olemilekan with his spells–not entirely willingly–stepped forward. “That’s right.”

The Fey Child (117)

September 15, 2014

The story so far.

The blue vanished. Silence fell. I blinked my vision clear of afterimages.

The garden–now quite thoroughly wrecked–was still there. But the wards which had surrounded it were gone, as were the battling faeries.

So was the portal, closed forever.

I’d have jumped up and down in the glee of accomplishment–I had, after all, essentially just accomplished mass teleportation, and of faeries no less!–except that the other witch was still there, and looking despondent.

Maybe I should’ve capered anyway. She surely deserved a little schadenfreude sent her way.

But I didn’t. I am, after all, a professional.

Help Wanted (73)

September 14, 2014

The story so far.

“There is no way we’ll allow Lord Wolson to have the Orb of Tratruchekan,” the senior librarian says.

“So offer me more,” you say.

She looks down her nose at you. “All we need do is keep the Tatterman’s Bone from you.”

“If you don’t care that the goblins will eat my liver, then why did you deal with the Temple?”

“It gave us an excuse to get the book.”

“You’ll have the Orb,” you point out. “You said yourself that it’s dangerous. Surely you don’t want it in the goblins’ hands?”

“They can do nothing with it.” The librarian sighs. “But you are right. Lord Wolson might hire another adventurer, more enterprising and ruthless than you. Bring us the Orb, and we shall reward you with twice Lord Wolson’s fee.” She hands you the Bone.

The Company: The Warrior (39)

September 14, 2014

The story so far.

It was hard to follow the swordplayer’s explanation of what had happened. She seemed to be trying to lead up to her revelation, to couch it in nonthreatening terms. Instead, she made it sound like she had something of great and gloomy import to impart.

“What are you saying?” the troop leader asked, with tightly leashed impatience.

Olemilekan glanced at me and nodded. I gave him a questioning glance: How much do you wish to reveal? He sighed, and rolled his eyes from me to the troop assembled before us.

Right.

I stepped forward.

“She’s saying he’s a sorcerer. And he’s going to find who we’re after.”

The Fey Child (116)

September 12, 2014

The story so far.

No one paid me any attention. I’d wrapped a shadow-cloak around me, just in case, but I needn’t have bothered. The battle had reached a fever pitch and everyone involved was engaged in trying to magic their opponents out of existence.

At last I regained the portal. I took one last look around, wishing I could check my numbers one last time. Or that I trusted any of the previous checks I’d made.

Oh, well. If I got it wrong, I probably wouldn’t have very long to regret it.

I pulled out my wand, traced the portal’s outline, and triggered the spell.

The world went blue.


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