I hurried to the pot of stew hanging over the fire and gave it a good stir as Tarik was due to arrive any minute. I’d tried the venison again using Zerina’s recipe, though this time I’d added more salt and a cup of red Highland wine.
Well, it turns out that wizards can hold a grudge. He didn’t visit me the next week, or the week after that or the week after that. A full month passed before I saw his familiar form trudging down the streets of Arvon. After all those no-shows, I hadn’t prepared one of my so-called feasts and could only offer a loaf of crusty bread and a hunk of cheese.
“Magik!” exclaimed Tarik. “My favorite subject!”
I knew he’d have that reaction. For all his vaunted wisdom, Tarik was deceptively easy to manipulate. I’d spent the last several hours regaling him with tales of the Greater Realm and my throat was parched from so much talking, despite consuming large quantities of brandy. It was his turn to talk. A simple suggestion was all it took. “Tell me, Tarik. Do you really believe the Towers the most significant difference between the magik of Hali’s’ time and the Elder Days?” Continue reading
Tarik took a long drag on his pipe and then blew a set of three perfectly concentric smoke rings. I’d seen him do it often, but had never mastered the trick and Deridean knows, I’d tried more times than I could count. Tarik says that it has to do with the shape of my tongue, but I don’t believe him. I think he cheats and uses magik.
The evening bells tolled and I looked out my apartment window, hoping to catch sight of Tarik. The setting sun reflected off the roof of Castle Glass, the Duke of Arvon’s familial palace, and though beautiful, I missed the Three Suns of my youth.
I was walking home from the market, down one of Dathyl’s busy streets, when someone tapped me on the shoulder from behind.
“Jerilyn, is that you?” asked an unfamiliar voice. Continue reading