Category Archives: Ogre Mage

Adventures in Friendship and Lightning, Part 26

Bin pocketed the stone, and looked up.

Goldmight burst into the room. His eyes were alight, and grin wide when he saw the ogre was unharmed.

“Bin!” Goldmight crashed into the boy. He tussled Bin’s hair, and laughed. “You did it! You cracked the seal!”

Bin nodded. “Is everyone ok?”

“Everyone’s fine.” Goldmight passed him by, and looked around. “Archiwrecks are dead, or about to be. That’s not too important. No, no…it’s this!”

“This?”

“Suffrn’s hoard.” Goldmight looked Bin over. “Did you meet it? The Living Lightning?”

“Living Lightning?” Bin asked. “Do you mean Suffrn?”

“Suffrn? Of course! He transferred his own consciousness, brilliant!” Goldmight floated down to the magic circle. He ran his hands over the runes, muttering the language out. “Maddening, and isolated to be sure. But Suffrn was always crazy.

“But where is it?”

“Suffrn?” Bin asked. “He went away.”

“Not Suffrn, you dimwit.” Goldmight looked around the room, and the rocks. His voice rose. His eyes were sharp, hungry. “That stupid little ghost is long past. His hoard, you fool. Where is his hoard!”

Bin took a step back. This wasn’t the Goldmight who had patted him on the head and wished him well. This one was…all too familiar. It reminded him of too many at the Circle, or back home. Someone wanted something from him, that was why they showed interest.

He did what he always had before. Kept quiet, and looked down.

“Where? Where!” Goldmight flew up to Bin’s face, the fairy’s face red with rage. “Suffrn’s secrets of a bygone age. This is the only place they could be, and their last secret is held by a dumb halfman!”

“You never liked me,” Bin said. He almost cried, and realized how much work he had missed.

“Liked you?” Goldmight slapped Bin’s face so hard, the boy fell to the ground. “You fool, this is about the power of a great mage. The finest light magic is here in this spot. What is like compared to that?

“Tell me where the hoard is!” Goldmight screamed.

Bin lashed out without thinking. Flames shot out of his hands, engulfing the fairy. But they were gone as quickly as he conjured them.

“You wretch,” Goldmight hissed. “I’ve been practicing with light for ten of your lifetimes. Your fire and lightning is nothing compared to my power.”

Swords of light appeared in each of Goldmight’s hands. Curved, and ready to strike. Bin stood and took up his stance, ready to fight. He might lose, but if the others were all right, maybe someone would help.

“Last chance to tell me, Bin,” Goldmight said. “Before I carve the secret out of your head.”

A blast of dark magic lanced through Goldmight. The fairy dropped, silent.

Bin rushed to the fairy. A wound through his chest started to bleed. Golden light spilled out. Goldmight stared up in rage and confusion, gasping, trying to understand what had happened.

“Nutrose? You… we could have done it,” he whispered. Then, so soft, Bin didn’t know if he just imagined it. “Together…”

Nutrose watched his cousin die, and laid a hand on Bin’s shoulder.

“I am so sorry,” he whispered. “Goldmight was about to hurt you. I just, I didn’t know what to do.”

“I’m sorry.” Bin said. “It’s my fault.”

“No!” Nutrose lifted Bin’s head up. “No, you were a good friend. And Goldmight was too, til the end. He just… this meant a lot to an old mentor of his. The closer he came… He was too involved.”

“More than Ona?” Bin asked.

Nutrose smiled. “Ona…did you find his kin?”

“Suffrn says hello. And thanks to his family.”

“Good,” Nutrose said. “Good.”

“Bin?” Hilt’s voice called out. “Are you okay?”

“I’m okay, Lady Hilt!” He called out.

“Then you are in big trouble!”

Bin winced. Nutrose laughed. “Go and tell them everything.”

Bin nodded, and ran off.

Nutrose watched Bin disappear down the corridor. He looked at his cousin, and tutted. He passed Goldmight by, into the small cavern of stone. There, in the center of the room, was a stalagmite. The fairy shuddered, and looked around.

Iron. There was a lot of iron for a lightning dwarf. Damn Ona and his promises.

He pulled at the top of the rock formation. The rock shuddered, and slid off. A single ring, smooth stone, filled Nutrose’s hand. He slipped it into his bag.

“You always were stupid,” Nutrose muttered. He gathered up Goldmight, put on his best sadness, and went to greet the rest of the Leaves.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

Adventures in Friendship and Lightning, Part 25

“What do you mean?”

Suffrn smiled. “The legends say that I never left the cliffs. That I spent my entire life in this hall, trying to master my magics. That much is true. For centuries I tried to discover the secrets of lightning and energy, to unlock them for the greatness they could bestow.

“But it was possible only because of my family. While I wasted away in this range, they would visit me with stories. Of the great balls under the mountains, the trade routes with humans and elves, or a curious tale told by a traveling minstrel. They kept me sustained as much as my own studies. I loved them like no other.”

Suffrn turned away. “Looking back on it, I may have made the wrong decision. When I discovered my last secret, I knew the cost. I would be confined here, trapped in my own spell. It did not seem like such a hard price. But I never again saw my family. Or perhaps they could not see me. But I promised, swore even, that at the first news of my kin, I would grant a boon to the messenger.”

The dwarf smiled. “And my family is alive. Centuries later, we are still strong. Thank you, Bin Tract. Now what is your desire?”

Bin smiled. “To be the greatest mage ever!”

Suffrn bowed his head. The air crackled and sparked. The lights flared and dimmed, and the ghost floated above the ground. “So be it. I shall confer all my power, the knowledge of lightning, upon you. You shall become the greatest lightning mage in an age. This I swear!”

“No thanks.”

Suffrn looked at Bin. “Excuse me?”

“No thank you. I’ll do it on my own.”

The ghost sank to the ground. “But, my vow. Your greatest wish is within my power, young one.”

“Your power,” Bin said. “Not mine. If I become the greatest just because of you, is it really me? Or is it because of you?”

“I understand your reasoning.” Suffrn gave him a pained look. “But I cannot be forsworn. You must allow me to grant you a boon.”

Bin nodded. He scrunched his eyes shut, and thought about it for a moment. How to be a good friend? How?

His eyes snapped open. “Make sure my friends outside are safe? And that I can tell Ona about you?”

Suffrn nodded. “It is done. Anything else?”

“Yup.” Bin reddened. This one was hard to say, it had to be worded carefully. “I know you are a great mage, and I don’t want you to just give me power…”

“Yes?”

“But maybe, you could…I don’t know. Help me become better?”

“My help?”

“Yes, please.”

Suffrn smiled. He waved his hand. A portion of the hallway wall fell apart, to reveal a cavern of rock. The ghost pointed at the rocks scattered on the ground. “Pick one.”

Bin did. A small, smooth blue-flecked rock, with a crack like a lightning bolt running through the center.

“My promise is fulfilled, and I may pass on.” Suffrn bowed his head. “Thank you, Bin Tract. May fortune follow you.”

The ghost faded away.

“Bin?”

copyright 2018 Jack Holder