Amulets and Firespells

AMULETS AND FIRESPELLS

It was a cool Firstday when Jared and Lorne walked together through the old ruins at Speedwell, sporting matching amulets of gold and silver.  Winter would be coming soon.  Their amulets depicted two dragons intertwined, the mouths separated by a single fire opal glowing in the reddening mid-afternoon light.

“We’ve done it,” Lorne said excitedly, giving a war whoop and a jump across the grass.  “Prize Mages at last!”

“This forger of yours does a good job,” Jared said, turning the amulet over in his hands and studying it.  “I must say…”

Lorne clapped him hard on the back and scurried away before Jared could parry.  “Told you that you’d like his work.  Anyway, they meet Guild regulations for the symbol and that’s all I care about.”

“Well,” a cool voice said.  “Look at you two, looking all spiffy with your shiny new necklaces…”

They turned.  It was Demitrius, dressed in a high collared shirt and black robes.  He was leaning against one of the tilted columns, arms crossed over his chest.  He leveled with them.  He did not wear any amulet.

“Hello, Demitrius,” Jared said, eyeballing him.  Demitrius was digging around in an inner pocket of his robes as he approached them.  He withdrew a pipe.

“You didn’t pass the test?” Lorne said a hint of surprise in his voice.

Jared shook his head, silencing Lorne with a look.  “Better luck next time, Demi.”

“I’m not going to retake it,” Demitrius said, switching to a different pocket with the same earnestness, shuffling his pipe from hand to hand as he searched.

“You’d be an idiot not to,” Lorne said boldly, and Jared elbowed him.  Lorne ignored the gesture.  Politeness was not always something Lorne cared about where Demitrius was concerned.  “We’ll need all the extra strength we can get, if we’re going after the Legend together.  It would be nice to have the Guild’s approval behind us.”

Demitrius’ smile was unruffled as he took stuffed the pipe with fireweed.  “I don’t need their approval, anyway.  I’ve got a set position in the court, whenever I want it.”  A second later he was digging through his pockets again.

Jared rolled his eyes.  “Always bragging, Demi…”

Demitrius frowned suddenly.

“What’s the matter?” Lorne said, and then raised his voice. “Eirel’s breasts! Will you stop digging through your pockets?”

“Damn. It. All,” Demitrius muttered.  “I can’t find any matches,” he said, biting his pipe between his teeth as he patted his pockets again, as if hoping they would just spring out and find his palm.

“Wait a moment…I can help with that,” Lorne said, reaching into a pocket.  When he drew back out his hand, it was suddenly wreathed in a fiery pillar of flame that shot upwards towards the sky.  It was gone a second later, but Demitrius cried out, his pipe falling to the ground, its contents spilt across the grass.

Lorne and Jared were both laughing when Demitrius finally collected his pipe.  He straightened, adjusting his robes.  “What the Fae do you think you were doing?  That fire spell is not a toy.  You two are insufferable!”

“Oh, stop your whinging,” Jared said.  “It’s a stupid joke.  Lorne’s sorry.  Right, Lorne?”

“No! I never apologize,” Lorne said with false bravado.  “It’s a stupid joke, like you said.  I was just trying to cheer up stoneface over here, but it seems he doesn’t care what I do.”

“It wasn’t funny,” Demitrius said.  “You could’ve killed someone.”

“It was harmless,” Lorne insisted.  “You’re overreacting.

But Demitrius was fuming.  “It’s not even worth trying to talk to the likes of you, Reckless,” he said, glaring at Lorne.  “Your family name suits you, and you’re just as worthless as the rest of them.”

Demi,” Jared cautioned.

Lorne’s smile vanished in a flash, replaced by an ugly look.  He started to lunge forward, but Jared grabbed the back of his robes.

“Lorne, calm down,” Jared said slowly.  “You know you’ve both got sharp tongues…”He knew when Lorne was itching for a fight.

“Then I’ll have to just cut it out of him,” Lorne said, struggling.

Demitrius took a step back, and he looked calmer now.  He managed a smile, and Lorne stopped moving, dangerously still.

“Get out of here, D,” Lorne said in a low, dangerous voice.  “Go back to Northwilde where you belong.”

“Careful, Jared,” Demitrius said dryly, biting his pipe between his teeth again.  “That fox might turn on you, one day.”  He walked away from them without another word.

“That’s right, Arrowroot!  Walk away!” Lorne shouted after him, his voice echoing off the stone walls around them.

Jared pulled on Lorne’s robes until his friend faced him.  “Lorne! In Wune’s name, what were you thinking?!”

“Calm down, I knew what I was doing,” Lorne said, shaking his anger off and cracking his neck.  He brushed his hands off, casting magic towards the ground that he might have thrown, if not for Jared being there.

Jared folded his arms, glaring at his best friend.  “You can’t just go around casting fire spells like that!!”

“It wasn’t,” Lorne said.  “That’s why it was so stupid for him to get mad like that.  It was just an illusion.”  He pointed at Jared’s hands where they rested on his arms.  “I can’t cast that kind of fire.  Not like you.  You’re a natural with the elements.”

Jared just stared at him, open-mouthed.  “Is it possible your illusions have gotten that much better in just a week?  The test was just last Firstday.  How did you manage that?”

“Studying,” Lorne said.  “I took a lesson from you, bookworm.  Besides, I’ve got people to impress.  Women, and…others…” he dropped off.

Jared narrowed his eyes.  “What aren’t you telling me, Lorne?”

Lorne shrugged and shuffled in the dirt, kicking stones aside with his boots, digging his hands into his pockets.  “Nothing too important…I, like Demi, might have gotten a similar offer from the court, is all.”

Jared was even more shocked at this than at the fire spell and shook his head.  “You’re not going to take it.”

Lorne shrugged again, harder this time, the motion sharp and final.

“Lorne…” Jared said warningly.  “You can’t be serious.  You don’t want that sort of a job.  You’ll be Angelus’ dog!  I thought you swore you wanted to help Mankind.”

“Mankind can take care of themselves,” Lorne said suddenly.  “I—I just want to know my sister is provided for.  I can’t take care of her if I don’t work.  I can’t make gold without a job.  I’ll take the highest bidder right now, situation be damned.  I can always walk away if I have to.”

“You can never walk away from the Crown,” Jared said, closing the distance between them, “you know that!  Angelus will have you murdered in your sleep if you decide to run away some day.  And he would find out.  He’s that powerful.”

Lorne spun away, his voice sarcastic and harsh.  “Well then, I don’t know, Jared.  I’ll join the Guild with the rest of the harried old men and try to solve the world’s problems by burying my head under books.”  He turned to glower at Jared, his voice thinner.  “This could be our way into the castle.  To learn what Angelus is up to.  He knows something about the Legend, Jared, I know it.  Why else would he prevent the Guild from studying it further?”

“He said himself—he doesn’t believe in it,” Jared said.  “He thinks it’s just another false prophecy, just like all the rest.  Just like most Fae believe.”

“Well, not me,” Lorne said fiercely.  “They’re lying.  And I’m going to find out why.”

“By abandoning your friends?” Jared said, raising his eyebrows.  “You risk pulling on your Dark side.  You risk falling into Dark magic, and you know that’s the only kind of magic they’ll do behind the palace walls.  That’s their way.”

“We can’t expect to be perfectly innocent little children who never do any Dark magic in our lives,” Lorne replied.  “Life isn’t that easy.”

“No, but taking their money would be like selling your soul,” Jared retorted.  They were closer again, practically leaning into the debate.  “You risk everything, for nothing!”

“I haven’t even said yes, Jared!” Lorne said, raising his hands up.  “Stop getting your loincloth in a twist.  I’m just telling you why I thought about it and you’re going on the offensive with me…Shah,” Lorne cursed, folding his arms.  “It’s not a done deal.”

“It sure sounded like it,” Jared said.

Lorne glared at him.  Jared glared back.  After a moment, they both settled back, and Jared gave a big sigh.

“All right, all right.  Maybe I overreacted too…Demitrius’ bad mood is catching,” Jared said at last, looking off at the sunset.  “Sorry, old friend.  We should get back to University before they miss us.”

“You’re probably right,” Lorne said.  “Two of their best mages missing…they’ll think the Reign chopped off our heads and left them for the ravens.”  He laughed darkly, and Jared shook his head.

“Lorne?”

Lorne stopped laughing, looking at his friend.  “Yes?”

“Shut up.”

~*~

This short was based on characters and backstory from my original fantasy series, “Ebony”, which is currently being submitted to agents.

 

How I used five things on this prompt (by my boyfriend’s insistence!!)

Fire Spell  (Boy, can you tell we’ve been playing Skyrim a lot or what?)

  1. Used against someone else as destructive spell
  2. Used against POV character as a destructive spell
  3. Used to save another character
  4. Used to light a fire
  5. Used to light something frivolous.  Ensuing Consequences.

He insists that I failed the prompt because as you can see, it is an illusion spell, not a fire spell but…hey! It was what came to me!

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