Arcane Inkdustries

Magical writings in a Mundane World (Tuesdays and Fridays)

Category: Ogre Mage (Page 1 of 16)

Adventures in Friendship and Lightning, Part 28

“Bin!”

Bin awoke with a start. Master Path sneered openly at him.

“I may not be a secret treasure trove,” The centaur hissed. “But perhaps you could not fall asleep in my class?”

Bin grinned in response. The centaur took a step back, shocked. Usually the ogre looked guilty, trying to stammer out an answer.

“I was thinking about the Diamond Countess,” Bin said. “And maybe she did have relics. Maybe even forty-two.”

“Well,” Master Path muttered. “At least you are paying attention in class.”

“But does it matter?” Bin asked. “If there were relics?”

He looked at Path. “She gave peace to her valley for years. Who cares if it was her own power or a relic?”

“The historical relevance of the artifacts,” Master Path began.

“True,” Bin said. “But what about her friends? Did she hold the Valley by herself?”

Master Path stopped. That was not a path that had been explored.

“I’d think that even a great relic, or a great mage, needs a few friends to help.” Bin said. “Maybe instead of looking for her relics, we should be trying to see how she found friends that stuck together with her through the hardest parts of life.”

And having nothing else to add, he left the class again.

He almost ran into Raemillin. The elf had been lying in wait, trying to catch him in another sticky trap. Since Bin had left twenty minutes early, Raemillin had no time to prepare, and could only look dumbly at his foe.

Bin looked up at Raem, and smiled. “You’re mean.”

“You,” Raem muttered. “Are insignificant.”

Bin shrugged. “But I’ve got good friends. And you do too.” He smiled. “Aren’t we lucky?”

“Bin!” Ruby shouted. The ogre laughed, and ran past Raemillin to the Hoppi.

“You left class early? Again?!?”

“Wasn’t anything else to learn.”

Pidelle and Pidella looked up from their books. “Not true, there area still vast areas of the Diamond Countess’ life that are unaccounted for.”

“And I’ll learn them,” Bin agreed. “From you.”

Pidelle sniffed. “Let’s go to the Archives, then, you insufferable child.”

Raemillin could only stare in wonder as Bin disappeared with the Leaves. Nutrose looked back at the elf leader, and winked.

“What’s our next adventure?” Bin asked.

Kleb grunted, and winced. The wound was not healing as fast as he had hoped. Even with Ona tending to him nightly, it was taking its toll.

“There’s a tavern,” Ruby offered. “It’s reported to be haunted.”

“That’s great!” Bin said. “I’ll get Zib involved.”

“To scare him?”

Bin winked at Ona. “For drinks of course.”

Ona nodded. He looked at Nutrose, the dwarf rubbing a hand over his new ring. Nutrose glanced down, and up, and nodded.

He then dumped a glass of water on Bin. The two bolted through the Circle, laughing as they chased each other out into town and beyond.

Friends. They did so love to torment each other.

And now Bin knew that.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

Adventures in Friendship and Lightning, Part 27

“And Suffrn was just there, and he was blue!” Bin said. “And he said he was lightning, but not exactly. And he liked dancing, and the golems were his idea, and he was actually really nice!”

“Incredible.” Book said. “Suffrn lasted throughout all these years.”

“Right?” Bin squirmed. Ruby and Yuva and Zibnizik were taking turns hugging him. It was uncomfortable, but if he strayed too far Hilt was going to scold him again. So he suffered through the three picking at his hair, skin, and clothes.

The golems were now inert. Suffrn’s magic ended with his passing. The Sarrofop sisters had already pulled out books and were sketching the golems. One tome was already filled with notes and comments they’d compiled with Book while they waited for Bin to return. Pidelle and Pidella were just waiting for Book’s assent before they would go searching through the entire complex for new magic.

“And Goldmight?” Hilt finally pulled him aside. “Did he make an appearance?”

Bin stiffened, and looked away. Hilt’s brow furrowed, and her grip tightened. “What happened?”

“I killed Goldmight,” Nutrose said. He floated out of the hallway into the main room, a limp form in his arms. The Sarrofops gasped, and looked at the corpse in Nutrose’s hands. Ruby held tears in her eyes.

“He was ranting about Suffrn’s hoard, convinced that Bin knew where it was.” Nutrose’s tears fell on his cousin’s face. “When he was about to strike at Bin, I just, I just reacted. I’m so sorry.”

Hilt gripped her weapon, looking at Nutrose warily. “Murder with magic is forbidden by all the Circles…”

“But given the extenuating circumstances,” Book interrupted. “We might expect a lighter sentence, if any. Especially if what he says is accurate, Bin?”

Bin nodded, and turned away. He didn’t want to look at Goldmight ever again.

“Suffrn’s hoard?” Pidelle asked. “Did you find it?”

Nutrose shrugged. “There’s a magic circle, and a room that only has a large amount of iron. If there are any other secrets, who knows?”

“The Archiwrecks will,” Hilt muttered. “They’ll be back. And if Suffrn is gone as you say, Bin, then this place’s security may be done.”

“We seal the entrance,” Book offered. “Collapse the door, and the corridor behind it if need be. By the time the Archiwrecks have it excavated, we could have the might of three kingdoms on their doorstep.”

Hilt agreed. “This is going to take some work. Why don’t the apprentices start making their way back to the Circle, and we shall catch up?”

“But Ona…” Bin said. “This is his family’s home.”

“And it will be again.” Nutrose promised. “The Archiwrecks aren’t just getting to take it over. Not if our Masters have anything to say about it.”

“You’re making me cry,” Hilt said. “Now get out of here.”

The apprentices gathered up their tools, and left.

“Nutrose!” Hilt shouted.

The fairy turned back. Hilt nodded. “Good work.”

Nutrose bowed, and left.

Zibnizik led the way, an exasperated sigh already on his lips. “You are going to make me see the world, Bin,” he muttered. “Or put me in an early grave.”

“Thank you for coming.” Bin said. “You’re my friend, too.” And he hugged the gnome for good measure.

“Grah,” Zibnizik said. Though he did not sulk as much as he would say later.

“You all are,” Bin said. “Thank you for being good friends.”

Pidelle and Pidella looked uncomfortable, but nodded. Ruby and Yuva smiled, touched by his words. And Nutrose looked towards the south.

“You are my friend, too,” He promised. “I swear.”

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

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