Previously: The novihomidrak, Cirvel, heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner. She bargains with him: help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she needs a powerful trap. Treshauna then takes him to the meeting house for the ninjas to meet their leader, Drelin. Cirvel pulls Imor out of the lamp to prove that Imor is not genie — just a human. But Drelin learns that Cirvel is the genie. Cirvel “convinces” Imor to reveal to him the location of a place known as Alexander’s Den. Now that Cirvel has what he wants, the ninjas are ready to go on their mission. Before traveling the Wells of the Onesong, Cirvel needs to make one stop at the shrine first. Cirvel gets the coordinates for where they are traveling and he heads out. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within his shadow. They go through the Wells, but as soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured. He withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once back, the saperes realize how wounded he is. His world blurs as he’s taken back to be healed. Waking up, Cirvel realizes three things: Treshauna has stayed with him, he’s lost the book about Alexander on a doomed world, and he is still not fully healed. He returns to his lamp where he knows he can take care of himself. After taking to the sands to heal, Cirvel returns with the strange feeling that he has fallen in love with Treshauna and she with him. He knows they must put their feelings aside, hard as it may be, to deal with the Shniktaur. Treshauna begins to ask him questions and he reveals how he had been an experiment which turned him into a unique novihomidrak. They then begin to make plans to find which dimension Drelin is in and to rescue him. For that, Cirvel needs supplies.
by Dawn Blair
He reached out and opened the door for her. After she made her way across the invisible barrier, he made an attempt. No invisible force barred his way.
“Good, right?” she whispered as the door settled closed behind him.
There wasn’t much to the room they were in. A counter against the far wall, a couple chairs, tables, and books nearby as if set up to be an area where people could wait. Cirvel drifted around the room as Treshauna went to the counter and ringed the bell. He flipped open the cover of one of the books. The title page read, Sands of South West Winds: A Travel Guide. Another was Beginning Magical Spells. One of the pages was marked and he flipped to the page for beginning love spells. A passage was highlighted: Warning: love spell should never be performed by the unskilled. This magic should only be performed by an adept, disinterested third-party. But truly, the best answer is to let fate take its natural course.
Cirvel thought he now understood why most people came in here; they had either picked up a items of negative consequences in while traveling, or they needed a bungled love spell undone.
Approaching footsteps made Cirvel turn. A stodgy, balding gnome with large pointed ears came waddling out of the back. “Treshauna,” he called out in a deep voice.
She reached over the counter to shake his hand. “I’m surprised you remember me, T’Kiel.”
“Don’t get many pretty blonds in here.” He glanced toward Cirvel, his brown eyes narrowing warily. “Who’s your friend?”
“His name is Cirvel. He’s got an item he needs to check out, but needs a clean spot to do it in.”
“I don’t often let people use my workspace.” Again, he spent a harsh glower at Cirvel. “I don’t know what they might taint it with.”
“It’s for Drelin. He might be in a lot of trouble.”
“What kind of trouble? I don’t want it brought into here.”
Cirvel stepped up the counter and regarded the gnome sternly. “I’ll be unlocking dimensions. Yes, there are things that might try to get out.” He sank down to stare T’kiel in the eyes as Cirvel’s mouth morphed to show the dragon teeth. “And there is no one better than me to have here if that were to happen.”
T’kiel took a step back, now fixing his gaze on Treshauna. “Pretty lady, you align yourself with dangerous creatures. I hope you know what you’re playing with.”
“She knows,” Cirvel said as he stood.
“Please, T’kiel?” she begged.
The gnome rolled his eyes. “Oh, come on. Let’s go.” He waved his arm as if he were pulling a heavy blanket over his head. He waddled his way toward a doorway with a beaded curtain over it and crashed through it.
“What are you going to charge us?” Treshauna asked as she transcended the clattering veil.
“I don’t normally do this, but because it’s for Drelin I feel as if I should give you a discount. But, if I might be allowed to watch a novihomidrak dissecting dimensional magic, I might be tempted to let you do it for the low cost of ten huooulis.” His pause for a response wasn’t long enough. “That’s only the costs of the supplies I’ll need to clean the room afterward.”
“Is that all right with you?” she asked Cirvel.
He wasn’t certain he wanted anyone watching him perform his magic. Considering the genie wards which had been scraped from the door, would T’kiel realize the truth about Cirvel once the gnome saw his magic? He nodded anyway. “But I will need quiet so I don’t lose my concentration.”
T’kiel folded his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall. “No one understands the need for attentiveness during complicated spellwork than myself. I can be silent.”
“Very well. I will need some chalk as well.”
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Palladium – copyright © 2019 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios
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Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
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