Monthly Archives: April 2018

Adventures in Friendship and Lightning, Part 5

Zibnizik wasn’t at the room.

Bin checked around, confused. He knew the gnome was not at class, and he usually preferred to do his experiments in his personal lab. Zib must have been out doing…something.

Bin didn’t know what to think about that. He would have liked to have talked with Zibnizik, ask the gnome’s opinion. Sit down in a chair and talk about his day, while the gnome grunted and continued on with his own life. Then again, if Zib were actually in the room, he might hear what Bin was considering, and even try to stop him.

This seemed like a bad idea. Missing his classes struck a fundamental chord for Bin. He was there to go to the classes, to study and become a better mage. He couldn’t go to class and be a week away at the same time. He hadn’t learned that spell yet.

But there were struggles. He didn’t know how to get through the massive vocabulary that the Masters just assumed he knew. And the theories were so far beyond what he was used to. It was not another language so much as another body that Bin was being asked to inhabit. Some help from those two girls would be really great.

But classes…

Bin welcomed the distraction of packing. Even if he decided not to go, the very act of packing might help him for studying later. However, he barely had a chance to weigh the pros and cons before, he found himself finished.

He took stock of the small bag filled with clothes, foodstuffs, and a single notepad. It wasn’t just a bag filled for the week. Even after months of classes, Bin could fit his entire life into that bag.

Not again. That wasn’t him anymore. Not the little boy who was always ready to move, ready to get out of the way for someone else who might have a problem. He had gotten into the Circle not by being questioning, by being unsure. He had looked at the problems he had, and bowled over them.

The young ogre was without friends. There were more waiting for him. He was lacking in respect. A lost relic would help a long way in getting it. He was going to be the greatest mage the world had ever seen, and the greatest mage knew what he was doing.

The future greatest mage in the world had one last bit of preparation to do. It involved the kitchen’s stupid and spoilt foie gras, some eggs, milk, and a bucket. Raemillin would find it in the morning, wedged above his door. Hopefully he knew how to dodge.

Goldmight and the rest of the Leaves found Bin asleep in their carriage, with a blanket settled over his face and a disgruntled driver demanding an explanation. When the fairy could stop laughing, the driver was paid, and they were gone.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

Adventures in Friendship and Lightning, Part 4

“Did you happen to just come from Mister Path’s class?”

Bin nodded, and ate his lunch. And continued to eat. The Season Leaves were paying, and he was making sure it was worth it.

“What did you think?”

His mother always told him to keep his mouth shut and count to thirty before badmouthing anyone of power. If he still wanted to retort, he had to count until he couldn’t count anymore. Bin was terrible at following this advice, but when he remembered, he tried to make up for it.

So Bin was eating, trying to keep his mind going after six hundred and thirty-two while enjoying some really good food.

The Season Leaves group sat around him, fascinated. Bin had such a reputation for anger, a hot head quick to shoot with both his mouth and his flames. To see him, face set, yet eating, displayed a level of control that some apprentices did not have, and many did not expect of him.

Bin cleared his plate, and sat down again. “I did. Mister Path was talking about artifacts.”

Goldmight smiled. “Exactly, artifacts. What do you think of them?”

Bin shrugged. “They’re good, I guess.”

“Would you use one?”

“Yes!” Bin said. “In a heartbeat!”

He thought about it, and his face fell. “I mean, after I studied it to make sure it was safe.”

The Leaves laughed, Goldmight loudest of all. “Relax, Bin. We’ve all been there. Wanted to be able to take advantage of the tools of the past. In fact, we just found out about one such artifact.”

“From Mister Path?”

The fairy scoffed. “Mister Path doesn’t want to believe that anything exists that the Masters don’t already know. Even any rumors in other libraries that are in Bel Haven are suspect.”

“Bel Haven?”

Pidella smiled. “Did you think that the Circle was the only place with information on magic in Bel Haven?”

Bin kept quiet. The answer was yes, but he didn’t want to say.

“Ever heard of Suffrn, the Caged?” Kleb asked. When Bin shook his head, Kleb continued. “Dwarf mage, specializing in lightning magic. Spent his entire life around his ancestral home, studying in quiet the storms that would plague the seaside mountains.”

Seaside mountains? If they were talking about mountains, then that could only mean… “You’re talking about the Glass Cliffs?”

Goldmight hugged him close. “Knew he was smart! Nutrose, didn’t I say that he was smart?”

“Can’t put anything past you, Bin.” Nutrose beamed.

“Less than a week’s journey away is a hidden cache of artifacts from one of the best mages in the country,” Goldmight said. “And we just might have been the first to hear about it in…centuries!”

“A week’s journey…” Bin shook his head, and bowed his head. “But, there are classes. And I’m already behind.”

“Bin, Bin…” Nutrose shook his head. “The Masters don’t care about attendance. The only thing they ever care about is aptitude. Just prove that you can do the work come exams, and you’re set.”

“We’ll tutor you.” The gnome sisters chorused.

Bin’s eyes bugged out. Two smart gnomes, willing to help him study? And a chance for a relic?

Goldmight smiled. “All right, all right. Let’s not crowd the boy into a decision he might regret later. Come on, shoo!”

Goldmight handed Bin a piece of paper. “We’re leaving by coach at this time tomorrow. Be at the trading post then, and we’ll be off. If not, no hard feelings.”

Goldmight tussled the ogre’s hair. “But it could be fun!”

copyright 2018 Jack Holder