Diary of a Conjurer Chapter 1
Transcribed by Whomticker, Silvio wondered if he was making a mistake giving the old wizard so much information as to pen his diary. The Magic Thief was hardly a trustworthy soul. Still, since Whomticker was a known crook, maybe his skills would come in handy.
“Imprisoned within a tree, I was. With only my wandering mind to keep me alive, that and the magic brewing inside of me. Though I could not move to conjure it, I felt the energy keeping me and that old cedar alive.” The wizard grunted and turned to fix his eyes on the old stump.
“It would have died had I not been there, burned into flame like the rest of Alcove Forest. In the same manner, it kept me safe.”
“Did you want me to record the years before you were… let’s say… pinned to the tree?” Whomticker asked, scribbling Silvio’s words on rabbit parchment. He looked up at the old man and gave a pout. “How did you escape the island?”
Silvio shook his long silver hair and glared at Whomticker. “How did you escape?” he countered.
“Someday I’ll tell you. For now, we must dive into your past, find out how that devil took your magic, see if there’s something you can do to retrieve it. Surely there are spells still flowing in your veins you can call on.”
“If there were, I would have already!” Silvio sat on a log and rubbed his knees. They were hurting again, just like his fingers. Old age was creeping up on him, though wizards weren’t supposed to show senescence until they were at least three hundred spins around the sun.
“Why do you look so chipper?” Silvio asked. “Is it because you have everyone else’s spells tucked neatly in your vials?”
“I doubt it. I don’t use stolen magic for myself. I save it.”
“Ha! For what?”
“Mm,” Whomticker scratched his beardless chin, raised a brow, and grinned. “To save the world perhaps, if it should need saving again.”
Silvio turned away. “You’re a magic thief. You should know more about how I can get mine back.”
“I should know more. That’s why I’m here recording your dialog about it, Silvio. You must tell me everything that happened.”
Silvio took a deep breath. It’s true, Whomticker knows nothing of the circumstances that caused the young Kaempern to rob him.
“If you hadn’t trained him to handle magic when he was small,” Silvio accused Whomticker under his breath.
“I did not train him. He asked, and I refused. The child was full of curiosity, but his dealings with it went nowhere. That Rolando boy is a different story. What ever happened to him?
“No idea,” Silvio said.
“Well, it doesn’t matter now. Go on. Tell me your story.”
Silvio leaned against a tree and closed his eyes. His voice floated on the wind as he recalled every detail. He could see the past as if it were yesterday.
“It all began on a stormy night. So wild had the sea been that I couldn’t sleep. Flashes of lightning lit up the horizon and when it did, I saw a ship out there, far from shore. I recognized the sails. A Taikan ship sailing too close to Bandene. It worried me, Whomticker. The old witch queen still looks for us, you know.”
“I’m aware.” Whomticker said, scratching ink into the hide with a steady hand.
“Rain poured down, and I figured I had better get to shelter. Wood still burned in my campfire, but it would be drenched soon enough, so I made a lean-to deeper into the woods. When I returned for driftwood, I stopped myself before venturing to the beach. Coming ashore was a small boat. I wanted no confrontation.
“So, I remained hidden in the shadows, observing the small gig that vaulted on the surf. A woman wrestled with her oars as the tide sucked her craft into the oncoming wave. The ocean refused to let her reach shore, it seemed. After several futile attempts, she jumped out of the boat and dove into the water, pulling the vessel with her.
“Wicked trespasser,” I said to myself. No one comes to Bandene Forest from the north, not rowing boats in a stormy sea, they don’t! It reeked of Taikan sorcery!”
Silvio, wrapped up in the memory, wiped the saliva from his beard as he hissed.
“That leather armor, those silky slacks soaked from swimming, everything about the woman stunk of her sect. I stayed camouflaged until I learned more. What was she doing?”
“I would have as well,” Whomticker said, gawking at Silvio.
“Are you writing this down?” the wizard asked.
“Once beached, the woman bent over the skiff and lifted a body out of the boat. She slung it over her back and trudged up the shore to dry sand. She must have smelled the embers, for she walked toward them quickly. She laid the body down, took off one of her fur wraps, held it to the flames to gather warmth, and then placed it over whomever lay motionless at her feet.”
“I’m presuming this was Ivar?”
“The woman threw several pieces of driftwood on the coals. She blew on the embers until flames shot into the night sky and when she did, I could see her better. There was no doubt she was one of Hacatine’s sorceresses. There’s no mistaking that yellow aura. Cursed wickedness! Not on my beach! She won’t haunt me again, Whomticker. Not here. Not her cronies either.”
“What did you do?”
“Why I conjured magic, stretched out these crooked fingers as far as they would extend, and said the words. Baldervinquish Smote!”
“A temporary freezing spell?”
“Best way to stop someone in their tracks. She spun around, but it was too late for her to react. The magic stunned the woman, and she froze solid as stone. I waited. When I was sure no movement came from either of the trespassers, I approached her and saw that body lying helplessly under the fur. Ebon hair hung in wet tendrils over the young human’s forehead; his thick, black lashes sealed his eyes shut. Though the moon cast a blue glow over the entire beach, I could tell the boy’s complexion was dark, not pale like mine. He wasn’t a man, not yet, but he wasn’t a boy either. I knew right away who he was.”
“Ivar. You felt sorry for him.”
“Fool youth,” Silvio grunted. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I would not have been so unkind to the woman had I known what would come.
“What did you do after that?”
“I turned my attention to the statue, removed the sword from her sheath, and tossed it into the woods. The cursed weapon turned into a stream of sizzling green smoke, disappearing into a puff of flakes that settled quietly on the forest floor. I didn’t bother with the boy. I had questions for him when he woke.”
“Why was he on a Taikan ship? Why did a sorceress save him? Smelled fishy to me. I sat by the fire and waited, sipped my tea, and eventually fell asleep.”
See more on Kickstarter