Sorcerer’s Bane

[This is another book in the “Fall of the Sorcerers” set — in fact, I think it comes before Mareet Saruis’ story, a.k.a. The Golden Wyvern. I’d originally thought Sorcerer’s Bane was the second book in the series, but now I think it’s first.]

The coachman called to his team, and the vehicle rolled to a stop on the wet cobbles, almost directly in front of a young man in a green frock coat. “Alzur!” the driver called as he set the brake. “This is Alzur!”

The door banged open, and a head thrust out. “Indeed it is,” the new arrival said, looking around the square. “It hasn’t changed a bit, has it?”

The man in the green coat hurried toward him. “Anrel!” he called. “You’ve made it!”

“Hello, Fal,” the passenger said, clambering down. “You haven’t changed, either, I see.”

“Ah, so it might appear to the casual glance,” Fal said, clapping his friend on the back, “but I think that when we have a chance to talk a little you’ll see just how different I have become. When you left I was a child, Anrel, and I like to think I am rather more than that now.” He glanced around. “This way, I think – I believe the rain could start again any second, and I would rather not be halfway up the hill when that happens.”

“I am entirely at your disposal,” Anrel said, “once you let me retrieve my baggage.” He turned to the driver, who had untied the canvas and was heaving a leather-bound traveling case to the cobbles.

“Of course!” Fal said, hurrying to snatch up the first bag.

The coachman handed the next directly to Anrel, who nodded, and passed the man a coin in exchange.

“Is this everything?” Fal asked, hefting the traveling case.

“Indeed it is,” Anrel said. “I am, after all, only a poor student, not a mighty sorcerer like yourself.”

Fal punched him lightly on the shoulder. “Sorcerer, pfah! I am a man like yourself, Anrel. Are we not all the children of the Father and the Mother, and heirs of the Old Empire?” He began marching across the square, toward a pair of small tables set beneath a broad sky-blue awning.

“Some of us are the more favored heirs, Fal, while others are but despised cousins,” Anrel said, following his companion. “Your magic gives you a status most of us can never aspire to.”

Fal glanced back over his shoulder. “I think you may misjudge the situation, my friend. What our fathers dared not dream of, our sons may take for granted.”

“You have certainly achieved what your father did not,” Anrel said.

“Pfah!” Fal waved his free hand in dismissal.

A moment later the two of them had taken seats beneath the blue awning, setting Anrel’s luggage to one side. A woman in a white apron hurried from the door to their table side and said breathlessly, “Lord Fal! How can I serve you?”

Fal looked questioningly at his companion.

“I dined at the Kuriel way-station,” Anrel said. “Just a little wine to wash the road-dust from my throat would be fine.”

“A bottle of Lithrayn red, then,” Fal said. “And a plate of sausages, and some of those lovely seed-cakes from…” He stopped, frowning. He had turned to point to a nearby shop, but now he broke off in mid-sentence and asked, “Is the bakery closed?”

The woman followed his gaze and said, “Hadn’t you heard? Lord Balutar caught the baker’s son stealing from his herb garden, and has sentenced him to death. The whole family is up there now, pleading for his life.”

3 thoughts on “Sorcerer’s Bane

  1. And of course, Fal is now Valin, I believe? But nonetheless, I liked it. I am suitable intrigued and eager to learn more about “Fal” and Anrel.

  2. Yes, Fal is now Valin, and the scene here has been rewritten twice and will be reworked again later today.

    Glad you like it.

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