Drake discovers the process to construct artifacts of casting. She builds ‘Levan’, her first artifact of levitation.
May 2 2016
Episode 012, ‘Levan’
By Rusty Knight
Previously in episode 011, ‘Past’,
A person from Drake’s past came seeking apprentice Lanis. After finding Mage Drake, a mage’s dual ensued. The result was blinding and ended with an outcast.
Uncle didn’t comment on the outcome, simply walking away silently.
Now in episode 012, ‘Levan’,
Spring 58 Bear
Drake enters the manor after Rhysis leaves the courtyard. Drake is looking for Uncle, while Melinda, keeping quiet, follows a few feet behind Drake.
On a hunch, Drake walks into Uncle’s study of the ground floor, finding her Master waiting.
Lenden is smiling as he looks up at Drake when she enters the office.
Drake says. “Well? What is your problem? Not a single congratulation, or well done, or, that was stupid.”
Lenden motions the two females into his office and to take seats.
Once both women are seated, he clears his throat. Lenden says. “You tried to burn him initially, but he stopped you. A good counter on his part. But then you changed tactics. Instead of direct harm, you disabled him and beat the lights out of him, until he surrendered. Thus, not killing him. I commend that approach. So many take the approach of fire and ice to kill. I so detest that way. It is the approach he was taking and you put a stop to it. You, by the way, are still wounded from his ‘Mage’s Missile’ that he got you with. I can help with that if you want.”
Drake sits forward. “Why kill when I can humiliate.”
Lenden laughs. He leans forward and says. “That’s not why you went that way. I know your spells.”
Drake purses her lips tight as she gazes at Lenden. Then, she says, “I don’t kill un-necessarily.”
Lenden settles back in his seat eyeing Drake with a serious expression, and then he utters. “Liar.”
Melinda gasps and shifts uncontrollably in her seat.
Lenden says, “Just remember, while employed by me, to keep your records clean. If you kill, keep it legal.”
Drake peers menacing at Lenden and then she laughs as she sits back. “Legal it is for you.” She asks. “When did you look at my spells?”
Lenden answers, “While you were shopping for me. You really should guard your tome.”
Drake nods and then says, “I’ll keep that in mind. Are there any you want in it?”
Lenden shakes his head, but then says, “May I look in Rhysis’ tome?”
Drake thinks a moment, and then she replies. “As a matter-of-fact, lets all look in it. I’ll go get it.”
Rushing out of the room and upstairs to the guest room, Drake gathers all of the possessions and carries them to her room to deposit them. Then, she takes the spell tome to the office.
Opening the tome up on the desk, Drake reads out the titles of the various spells, listing five in total.
Lenden says, “I’ll purchase study rights of the ‘Expeditious Retreat’, if you don’t mind. I’ll pay a thousand for it.”
Drake looks up from the tome. She closes it and pushes it towards Lenden and says, “Take it off of what I owe you.”
Lenden chuckles as he pushes the tome back to Drake. “Done. When I’m ready, I’ll come get the tome.”
Melinda’s eyes are wide in wonder, and she asks, “One thousand what? Just like that? One thousand?”
Drake responds, “One-thousand Flairs. I owe several already to Uncle. So do you.”
Melinda gasps, and after recovering asks, “He’s your uncle? I didn’t know.”
The other two burst out laughing. Lenden calms down first and responds. “No, I’m not her uncle. It’s a joke we had and she stuck to calling me Uncle. You can too, if you like. Might make things easier.”
Melinda shakes her head, and then she says, “No. I couldn’t.”
Calm now, Drake says, “Yes. Yes, you can. You say it this way … Uncle. See how easy it is … Uncle.” She bursts into laughter again.
Melinda blushes again, turning a bright red-tone in her face and neck.
She whispers, “Okay, Uncle.”
Drake clears her throat and then says, “Okay, let’s return to our routines and carry on.”
Lenden smiles and shrugs, then looking at Drake, he says, “Congratulations on winning your first dual, Drake. It won’t be your last, and likely it will be your easiest. Do you want me to tend to the wound?”
Drake smirks as she touches the scorch mark. She looks up to Lenden and says. “No, not this time.”
They all return to their routines for the day: teaching, studying and working.
Drake and Melinda continue making Mage’s vellum for Melinda’s first real spell tome.
Spring 66 Bear
Drake watches as Melinda studies the spell she is crafting. Drake sees the flaws, but lets Melinda memorizes the spell.
Drake asks, “Okay, you have it?”
Melinda looks at Drake confidently, smiling. She says, “Yes. Yes, I do.”
Drake places Rhysis’ spell tome in front of her and opens the tome to the page of ‘Detect Magic’. She says, “Okay, cast.”
Melinda casts her spell and then her lips curl down and her brow scrunches into furrows and her eyes bunch tighter. Trying to focus, she becomes more frustrated and confused. She looks up at Drake. Melinda says, “It didn’t work. I don’t detect any magic on the tome.”
Drake proceeds to point out the errors in Melinda’s spell.
After showing Melinda some of her errors, Drake says, “Try to learn it again.”
Lenden walks over to the two women. “I’ll take that tome now and start studying, if you don’t mind?”
Drake hands Lenden the tome and asks, “Do you have a magical item we can practice our ‘Detect Magic’ on?”
Lenden pulls a chain from a shelf and hands it to Drake and says, “Yes, use this. It is a chain of non-detection. The magic only applies to the person wearing it. As long as no one is wearing it, a detect magic will detect it. Wear it, and the chain is not detectable and the person can not be located by magic.”
Drake accepts the gold neck-chain with its three rubies, placing it carefully on her desk.
That evening, in the library, Drake closes the Artificer’s text and looks at her pages of notes. She thinks, ‘I’m ready. I can build an artifact now. I just need the right crystal. Tomorrow I’ll go to Morgus’ Gems, after teaching Melinda.’
Looking out the library window, Drake can see it is long after gods-set, time to get some sleep.
Spring 67 Bear
Spring is as fickle as any other time of year when it comes to the gods. Drake mounts Crystal, her stallion, and starts out on the street to Berry Market in the strong gusting north breath of the gods.
She ponders Melinda’s progress, ‘She has a basic grasp, but made some elementary errors, even after we went over them. We have to solve those before Melinda can progress to other spells.’
Crystal is a smooth riding horse, but on this short four kilometre ride, the northward gusts of strong breaths from the gods nearly bounce Drake off Crystal’s back several times.
Arriving at stall 12, which is Morgus’ Gems, Drake dismounts and enters the smaller shop nestled among the twenty buildings, in the group of stalls on the east end of the market.
Morgus is busy with a customer, so Drake looks his displayed items over. Seeing a particularly splendid silver armband, with a cut and polished green crystalline gem, Drake wants it for the artifact.
The seventy-one-years old jalmal, Morgus, walks over to Drake. Drake observes Morgus. Morgus is average height for a jalmal, but slight of build. He moves fine, so not likely ill of health, and his mind still seemed sharp when he was dealing with Uncle.
Drake is reassured that the two five-hundred Flair usury notes are in her pack and the three-hundred Flairs are on account for her. So, she is certain she can get the armband. Drake smiles demurely for Morgus.
The old man frowns and shakes his head. He looks Drake over. She’s only three-inches shorter than him and maybe twenty-pounds lighter. Drake is beautiful by any jal standard.
Morgus sighs. He looks away and asks, “What can I do for you, apprentice?”
Drake points to the armband she wants. She asks, “How much for the armband?”
Morgus picks it up and he looks it over. Then he hands it to Drake and tells her. “Try it on.”
Drake slips on the armband. It slides on smoothly and sits firm, but not too tight. She smiles; she looks up at Morgus and she waits.
Morgus sucks in a breath of air through close lips, and he breaths out deeply. Then breathing in deep, he ponders the fit and the item. Then looking up into Drake’s eyes he says, “I’ll sell it to you for two-hundred-twenty Flairs, no less then that.”
Grinning, Drake’s eyes go wide and she extends her arm to clasp.
Morgus smiles and clasps arms. He states, “I believe that leaves you with a credit of eighty Flairs here. What is your name, apprentice?”
After releasing the arm clasp, Drake smiles as she admires the armband a moment. Satisfied, she looks up to Morgus, “I’m not an apprentice anymore. I’m Lenden’s assistant, Mage Drake. But, if you want, call me Lanis.”
Morgus grins. He picks up a small silver rose pin and hands it to Drake. “Okay, congratulations, Mage Drake … My friend, Lanis. Here … on me, as a graduation gift. As well as another fifty Flairs credit, if you do your shopping for jewelry and gems here.”
Drake gingerly accepts the Rose pin, and pins it onto her tunic’s left breast over her heart. She looks up at Morgus and extends her arm again. She says, “Deal.”
They clasp arms again and then Drake leaves, riding Crystal home.
Arriving home about two hours before evening meal, Drake has to show the other two her acquisitions.
Gathering in the laboratory, with the other two, Drake waves her left arm slowly in view of her audience. Then she presents the arm to Lenden, showing him the armband.
Lenden whistles slow and soft in admiration. He says, “That must be worth six or seven thousand Flairs, Drake. How much did you steal it from Morgus for?”
Drake pulls back her arm and looks at the armband again, reassessing it. Suddenly ashamed, she whispered. “He sold it to me for two-twenty. I didn’t realise it’s so valuable. What do I do Lenden? Do I take it back?”
Lenden chokes when Drake says two-twenty. He looks at her and grins. Lenden is recovering while Melinda is nearly wetting herself at the talk of such values.
Drake gently strokes the armband with admiration and respect. She says. “It is perfect for the artifact I want to make. But now I feel bad for stealing it from Morgus for such a low price.”
Lenden laughs as he sits back watching Drake. He then takes a drink of his wine before answering. Lenden says to Drake. “The raw materials in that armband are only worth around one-hundred and thirty Flairs. So, don’t feel bad. It’s the artistry and history of the piece that gives it the six or seven thousand Flair value, my student. So, don’t feel too bad. He may not be out too much coin. But, do a few favours for old Morgus to ease your conscience, if you must.”
Melinda finally swallows, and gets a decent breath. She asks, “May I look at the band?”
Drake presents her arm with the armband to Melinda, so the apprentice can view the item better.
Drake says to Lenden. “Then I’ll use it for the artifact and do Morgus some favours. I can do that. I’ll make him something, or cast spells for him … something.”
Lenden nods. He stands after setting his wine mug down on the table. “I’m going to the lab to work. You can come up if you want, or finish out your day off.”
Drake sighs as she gazes more, in awe, at her armband. Then, she looks up at Lenden, and says, “I’m going out to tend to the animals for this evening.”
Spring 72 Bear
Watching Melinda cast her newly memorized ‘Detect Magic’, Drake knows what the result will be, but remains silent.
Melinda groans as her brow furrows deep and her eyes squint. Then, she looks up at Drake and says, “Nothing. Again, nothing. What am I doing wrong?”
Drake proceeds to point out several of the errors, which were quite minor this time, compared to the first attempt at Melinda’s ‘Detect Magic’.
Drake finishes the lessens and then says, “Try it again. Many beginning apprentices try their first spells five or six times before learning them. You’re getting close.”
Spring 75 Bear
Since Spring 68 Bear, Drake has been preparing the armband according to the lessons she learned from the book. She finished by casting ‘Levitate’ into the device. So, all that remains is to test it and use the device.
Looking around, Drake puts the armband on. She smiles and looks at Melinda who is sitting at the study table, working on learning her ‘Detect Magic’.
Drake looks at Melinda and then at the armband.
To be continued …
In the next episode 013, ‘Distances’
Lenden receives a messenger on Spring 68 Bear. He shares the news with Drake and Melinda. It requires that they now travel, by carriage, a great distance.
Awesome! You’ve completed reading episode 012 of ‘Lanis’, you want to read more from Rusty Knight! We have an easy link here for you to follow so you can find more, follow www.inupress.ca to go where you can get issues of ‘Lanis’, and you will be able to purchase issues of ‘Markus’, and ‘Dragoman Bloodgrue’, along with much more from authors from Inevitable Unicorn Press. While there, you can follow the subscribe button and join our free e-mail subscription list, where you will receive one gift when you first signup. Once you have signed up, you will continue to receive more news and updates from Rusty Knightand the other authors from InUPress. The free bonus changes with time, the bonus was a pdf with the biographies of the protagonist group the, Black Swans, from Rusty Knight’supcoming epic fantasy novel ‘Laret’. Later the bonus was an episode from the fantasy serial series ‘Markus’.
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