Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 3 – Temptation

Happy Saturn’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 5th, 2019

So after last night’s encounter with Lunette and the three stooges, I went home and set up my wards.  Basically there are two types of wards I can do which, while not sophisticated, are effective.  First, there are my protective wards which basically can set magical using beings on fire. I set these up on all four walls of my apartment and in front of the door.  The other type I can do is detection wards which tell me a magical being is getting close to them.  I put this up on the outside of my apartment walls and a couple on the sidewalk leading up to my door.

My day today started at roughly two in the afternoon when one of my detection wards went off.  There is no klaxon or bell or anything like that, you just know something is coming close to them.  I reluctantly gave up the book I was reading in my lab and readied my shield spell in one hand and my fireball in the other. It might be Lunette as she promised or it could be someone else. There was a knock at the door.

I relaxed a little and put on my jeans as I was wandering my apartment in my  underwear, t-shirt and socks thing.  I went to the door.  No peep-hole to look through, so I readied my shield and opened the door.

Standing there was the goth elf chick from the night before.  Her features definitely had that angled elf thing going with a very slight but sensual build.  I noticed that her hair was dyed black, as I could see the roots which were golden.  Her eyes were green, which told me contacts or illusion, as most of the time elves have silver eyes or golden.  If she could do illusion, changing her eye and hair color would be child’s play, so I was guessing not an illusionist. She didn’t throw a fireball at me last night and she didn’t stop my lightning bolts with a shield, so probably not evocation or adjuration either.  That left necromancy, conjuration, transmutation, enchantment and divination.

Well the council snaps up every necromancer they find and necromancy is outlawed.  Note, like all governments, they still keep said power to themselves.  Bastards. Despite the goth look and the skull choker probably not necromancy. Not transmutation either.  Mages who can transmute things get rich or comfortable doing it.  Diviners who are any good don’t do a lot of field work even if they are freelance. While I do divination myself, I don’t use it often, even though I am good at it.  No, this elf woman was probably not a diviner.  That left two possibilities – conjuration or enchantment.   If she was a conjurer, she would have thrown something at me last night.  A poison cloud or a demon from hell – something.  Yeah, my best guess was she was an enchantress. Good thing I am hard to beguile thanks to long hours of meditation under Mrs. W’s teaching years ago.  She was an enchantress too, and taught me defenses against their charms.

The problem was magic aside, this girl had some charms of her own that had nothing to do with magic. She was cute despite, or maybe because of, the black hair, green eyes and black lipstick. She wore her black outfit which consisted of black knee length boots, black stocking which disappeared into her short black skirt. The skirt was short enough that if she bent even slightly over, I would be able to tell the color of her underwear assuming she was wearing any.  A black button up shirt which was unbuttoned about four buttons showing ample cleavage, which was demonstrating a strong C almost D cup.  Over her shoulders was a black jacket that covered her arms. Skull choker with matching skull earrings completed the ensemble.  She was sensual, cute and darkly sexy on top of being an elf. She was temptation with black boots.

“Well, I don’t see your two friends.  Is this a business or social call?”

“The file said you were a smart ass. Grumn is nursing some burns you gave him last night and Alex is probably brooding somewhere. I am Raven.”

“Suits you.  At least the file doesn’t say dumb ass.  You don’t strike me as Council stooges, so why the attack last night?”

“Pixie was the target. We are bounty hunters and she has a high price on her head – alive or dead.”

“Yeah, probably me too.”

“Yes, actually. But we don’t go after mages as a general rule. Pixies and monsters are our specialty.  Do you mind if I come in?  I promise I will be a good girl and not cast spells at you. I just want to talk.”

It was pretty cold out.  I was pretty confident in my abilities to handle her alone.  I mean she would be in my home giving me an advantage and I was pretty sure she was an enchantress.  I would be an embarrassment to Mrs. W’s memory, if I couldn’t handle her on a magical level.  It was the sensual, cute and darkly sexy part that was bothering me.  I am a man and my wife had been dead for a couple of months now.  There is an old saw about ‘there is really only one way to comfort a widow, you just have to remember the risks’.  I could probably testify that is probably true for widowers as well.

I let her in.

My apartment is affectionately known as “Bag End” or the “Hobbit Hole” by some of the family.  That is because you have to step down six steps to get to it once you are inside the door. Half the apartment is ground level and below, the other half ground level and above. I stepped aside in the door way and let her go ahead of me, telling her to turn to the right and the living room would be in front of her. As she walked down the steps I couldn’t help but watch her move and then, after shutting and locking the door, and then resetting my ward, I followed her to the living room.

The living room had been the most sparsely furnished room when we had moved in and only recently I had received a three-piece sectional from a friend and found a high-backed reading chair.  A couple of end tables made of crates and three lamps were the rest of it. I had purchased a television hung on one wall mostly for guests who visited me after my wife’s death and I had also bought an internet connection at that time.  The TV was mostly off now, as I hardly ever watched it.

Raven looked around the room which was clean and functional and she looked at the reading chair and the sectional but then smiled and took a seat, crossing her legs in one part of the sectional right across from the reading chair.  I smiled and sat down in the reading chair.  In the pale light, I can pull off the old wise wizard in his throne look when I sit in it.  In my black t-shirt, jeans and socks probably not so much. Raven spoke first.

“Spartan.”

“Yeah, I am a minimalist, so if I don’t use it or it doesn’t give me joy, I don’t usually keep it.”

“I see.  Edward…”

“OK.  Let’s get one thing clear.  There are only certain people who can call me Edward.”

“Oh, sorry. I am not trying to offend you.”

“I know but I want that established.  Only my grandmas, who are both dead, my mother and my former love interests can call me Edward. With my wife dead, that leaves three people – all women and you are not one of them.  Call me Ed.”

“Is one of them Lunette?”

“Yes.”

“Then the other would be..”

“Don’t say her name.”

“OK, like I said I am here to negotiate, not offend you.”

“Negotiate? If you are walking around and the Council is not after you, then you are connected to a House or a mystical being like a pixie or elf or other magical creature.  You’re an elf, your grey troll friend is well a troll and then Alex must be…”

“House Saturn.”

“Well Shit.  So why isn’t he coming after my ass?”

“Because we also represent a group of revolutionaries.”

“Revolutionaries?”

“Yes, we want to abolish the house system and the Council.  Free up the practice of magic to everyone who wants to do so.”

“Singing my song.  That said, let’s say I am a suspicious person and I don’t believe you for a second.  Because I am a suspicious person and I don’t believe you for a second.”

“That would be wise and you don’t have to yet, Ed.  We expect people to be skeptical.  Hopefully you will give us a chance to prove ourselves. The fact is once we recognized you, we realized you could make a powerful addition to our organization. Even Grumn saw the need to forgive you for the burns.  You’re very powerful, that’s why the Council fears you so much.”

What followed this was a ten minute conversation.  What I gleaned was that dissatisfaction with the Houses and the Council had been growing for a few decades. I of course am still skeptical of overthrow because I know they have survived for a couple of millennia.  I also gleaned that I was indeed behind the pixie lines which made me a little safer from the Council but not completely.  The Pixies were having trouble holding the line because the local grove was not supportive.  They might have to retreat.

“In any case Ed, the Council would think quite a bit before they came after you.  You scare the hell out of them. It’s bad enough you can do two schools of magic with expertise but throw in a third one at good level and they wet their pants.  Top it all off with the fact those first two are abjuration and evocation.  Shit, that makes you a Battle Mage.  There hasn’t been a genuine Battle Mage in any of the houses for well over two hundred years.  Add in Divination and they think you have eyes on the back of your head. In short, they don’t want to lose a bunch of mages to take you out. They know what you did to House Mars and House Venus and you did that as a teenager; so they bide their time and wait.”

“Well, fuck ’em. Listen, I get all that. Which is why me openly backing your revolution might be just the motivation to spend those mages’ lives to kill me.  The Death Angels failed and now my wards include protection against necromancy, so they are not going to be have an easy target.  If I join a group and give up my solitary introverted life, they might think it is time to take me out.”

“You have a point, but with the group you would have resources and allies. Something you don’t have right now.”

“I have Lunette.”

Raven sighed.

“Do you?  She is an outcast with the pixies and the mages don’t trust her either. Hell they want her dead. I have the wanted poster hanging on my board back at the office and it’s fairly clear the money is the same dead or alive. It’s also a lot of money. You might ask what she is up to and consider she might need you more than you need her.”

I frowned, but remained silent. She stood up and told me she had to get back to the office.  She wanted me to think about what she said.

“You know Raven, I want to violate a rule I have about asking women their weight and age but…”

“115 pounds and 54 years old. Elves live on average five times as long as humans.  I am half-elven so probably three times as long.  Physically I am roughly eighteen human years old.”

“Oh, well that explains it.  So it’s easier to pass yourself off as a teenager with the goth thing?”

“No, I just like black and being goth allows me to wear a lot of black.”

I laughed, she smiled at me and I showed her to the door. I locked it behind her.  She had been true to her word and not cast a spell.  Well except the one her hips made as she walked up the stairs anyway.  She had given me a lot to think about and a few questions to ask Lunette the next time I saw her.  Hopefully, I will see her soon. Definitely an interesting day.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

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