Archive for May, 2016

Lanis, episode thirteen, ‘Distances’

Lanis Episode thirteen, 'Distances'

Episode thirteen, ‘Distances’


Episode thirteen, ‘Distances’

By Rusty Knight


In the previous episode twelve, ‘Levan’:

Drake discovers the process to construct artifacts of casting. She builds ‘Levan’, her first artifact of levitation.

Now in episode thirteen, ‘Distances’,


Spring 76 Bear

As she watches Melinda at her task studying, Drake casts ‘Levitate’ from Levan. Uttering the single necessary phrase, “Usten”, to initiate the levitate spell stored in the artifact, the mage focuses enough to move Melinda two inches above her seat. She watches the reaction of her apprentice.

Melinda screeches and instinctively grabs for the table, uttering a few choice explicative words. She rapidly looks around the room. Seeing Drake smirking and watching her, Melinda curses again while glaring at her tormentor.

Drake lowers Melinda back onto her seat. Once Melinda is seated again, Drake releases the levitate spell. Drake smiles, proud of her accomplishment.

Drake says to Melinda. “Sorry, I was testing the new artifact to make sure I succeeded in making it work. I needed something about your weight to test with.”

Glaring at Drake, Melinda answers, “You could have told me first.” She says sharply.

Drake bows slightly while answering. “I could have.”

Drake memorizes another ‘Levitate’ spell, placing it carefully into her memory, while Melinda continues to study, keeping a cautious eye on Drake.

Once Drake has a fresh ‘Levitate’ spell memorized, she recharges her artifact by casting the spell into the artifact.

Smiling, Drake walks over to Lenden who is studying a new spell that he is researching.

She clears her throat, then says. “Uncle, I succeeded with creating my first artifact. It worked in a split second. I was able to cast the spell from it and levitate Melinda.”

Lenden turns to look at Drake, he has a frown on his face. He says sarcastically, “So you want pastries in celebration? You interrupt my research concentration with news of your success at tormenting your apprentice; which I observed you do, by the way. Yes, you did something very few can do. But you need to learn better manners, Drake. Warn Melinda next time you lift her. You scared years off her life span, I’m sure.”

Drake, dejected, looks down at the floor, having come to Lenden expecting praise, instead being chastised. She sighs and looks back up at Lenden, her back straightening. Drake says, “Okay. I’ll go and start preparing evening meal for us.”

Drake cooks one of her exceptional meals for the three of them. When all are seated, she turns to Melinda and calmly says, “Melinda, I apologise for using my ‘Levitate’ on you. As a way of apologizing, I ask you to name the artifact.”

A glint of approval gleams in Lenden’s eyes as he quietly observes the two women.

Melinda looks at Drake, wide eyed in shock, and she says, “You’ll let me name your artifact?”

Drake nods once and then simply replies, “Yes.”

Melinda looks at the armband and then at Lenden.

Lenden shrugs while smirking.

Melinda looks at Drake and bold-as-day, she says, “I name it, ‘Levan’.”

Lenden nods approving.

Drake looks at her raised arm, peering at the armband. She says, “Levan.”

Smiling, Drake nods and starts to eat, but then stops. Swallowing the food, she says. “Thank you, Melinda, for naming Levan.”

Lenden pats Drake’s shoulder and tells her. “You pass now. I congratulate you on your successes, Mage Drake. Your papers are yours, and I’ll write the Guild of Mages with my final approval.”

At that moment there is a knock on the front door of the manor. Drake stands and walks around to the door to answer the query.

At the door is a messenger, dusty and grimy from long travel. She asks, “Is this the residence of Master Mage Lenden?”

Drake nods, then she says, “Yes, come in. He’s in the dining room. Come see him.”

In the dining room, Drake introduces Lenden, and the woman hands him a package. Lenden asks, “Where did you ride from?”

The woman is quick to reply, “Littleton Town, Master Lenden.”

Lenden takes a Flair from his coin pouch, and he hands it to her. Lenden says, “Have a safe trip back.”

Drake escorts the courier back to the front door, and out of the manor, as Lenden opens his package.

Returning to the dining room, Drake finds Lenden has a sheet of parchment open on the table in front of him. It has hastily scribe jalnoric text filling half the sheet.

Lenden looks up at Drake. Lenden has a grim expression and his eyes are dark. He says to Drake. “In the morning, hitch the two good draft horses to the carriage. Stock the carriage for six days’ journey for the two of us. Melinda, you’re staying here and looking after the animals and manor.” Lenden stands, leaving the room in a rush, taking the parchment with him.

Drake looks at Melinda, puzzled. She asks, “Mel, you’ll be fine alone for several days?”

Melinda shrugs. She answers, “I think so? Do I keep studying, or wait until you return?”

Drake thinks a moment, then she replies emphatically, “Wait until we return. I want to go over different aspects you’re missing in your studies. It’ll help I think.”

Melinda nods while thinking, then she answers, “I’ll work longer each day on the vellum, then.”

Spring 81 Bear 

Two hours before evening meal, Lenden pulls the carriage to a stop in front of a smaller manor house on a fief several kilometers south-east of Littleton Town. He plies the brake and then creakily dismounts. Both occupants are stiff from riding in the carriage for at least ten hours a day for four days on their journey here.

Drake asks, “So, just to be clear, you have ten fiefs spread out among the districts of Mount Oryn. Including a small one on Palace Hill’s inner district?”

Lenden, gloomy now from four days of driving, answers, “Yes and this one is the largest of the four larger ones.”

Drake looks around, and she says, “So, this is Drendel Fief, also your most distant one. Why are we here?”

Lenden says in a rapid manner, “Well, from the message, two of the heads of two households got in a fight, and one was killed. The other died from bloodfire acquired from wounds he received during the fight. I now have to appoint new heads to the households.”

Drake looks at Lenden and squints her eyes. She asks, “Why am I here?”

Lenden briefly chuckles and then he says. “I wanted your company and also as support while I’m here.”

Drake nods as she picks their packs from the storage compartment of the carriage. She says, “Okay, I’m a tag-along.”

Lenden says easily, “Yes, my valet.” He laughs for the two of them as he takes his pack from Drake. He says cautiously. “Don’t cast spells while here; they consider it witch-craft and bad omens.”

Drake nods as she is following Lenden into the manor. She replies, “Got it, Uncle.”

The two find the bailiff in the dining room; he is relaxing and after introductions they get down to business. Lenden demands the respective households be brought to the manor before evening meal tonight.

That evening as the bailiff’s life-companion is cooking evening meal, Lenden and Drake host the two households and all their families in the dining room. Over fifty people gather tightly in the large room.

First, dealing with the toydon families, Lenden consults the various families then comes to s decision. “For the Doduo household, I appoint Renina as head. I think she can lead and guide the household well enough. Any objections from the families or clan-head?”

No objections are made.

Lenden turns to the bailiff. He says to the man. “So, record it, and deal with Renina, as needed, for the household.”

Turning to the crowd, Lenden says, “So, you toy lot can clear out. I’ll deal with the Unhilln clan now and the Tepst Household.”

Lenden watches the toydon folk leave, and all that remain are the jalnoric Unhilln clan of household families.

Lenden listens to the various people bicker back and forth. Getting tired of the harsh rhetoric between the different members, Lenden calls a halt to it after an hour. He says. “I’m appointing Fedderec and his life-companion to be head of the household. Any objections?”

Almost every member gathered in the room objects.

Lenden holds up his hand for silence and says, “Okay, seeing as you’re not wanting to accept that choice, I call a moot hall tomorrow, after evening meal, in the meeting hall. Get out of here.”

It takes fifteen minutes for eighteen people to clear out of Lenden’s dining room. Then the bailiff, his family, Lenden and Drake have evening meal.

During evening meal, Lenden turns to Drake. He asks, “Any thoughts on this?”

Drake nods once, then looking at Lenden, she says, “Yes, but I’ll hold them until the moot hall tomorrow, when I hear more. Can I weigh in tomorrow at the moot hall?”

Lenden frowns, then he answers, “By all means, yes.”

Spring 82 Bear 

The moot hall is being held in Drendel Fief meeting hall, at the centre of the hamlet. There are sixty-some spectators and participants crowded into a hall meant for one-hundred folks.

Drake sits at the head of the hall with Lenden, and they preside over the moot hall with the fief bailiff.

Lenden stands, gaining everyone’s attention and he call the moot hall to order. “As the landholder, I hold right to appoint head of households on my land. Being a fair and just man, I seek to appoint someone who can be honest and just, as well, to oversee households. I appointed a head of your household for Tepst and when I asked if there were objections everyone objected. So I called a moot hall.”

He looks around the room. Fedderec sits near the front with his life-companion and their five children. He looks grim and determined. He is well dressed for a middle-classed farmer.

Lenden looks to Fedderec’s right, two seats away. Pointing to the jalmal, Lenden asks, “Why shouldn’t Fedderec be head of Household Tepst?”

The man stands, and glaring first at Fedderec, he then turns to Lenden and with much less venom, he states, “Fedd is a cruel man, frequently found beating his life-companion or children, usually over the finances of his family. He is horrible with coins. He is unfit as a head of a household.” The man sits again.

Lenden asks, “Do you have anyone else in mind?”

The Clan-head rises and gives cases for four others to be head of household, then he sits again.

Lenden rises to his feet. Looking out at the crowd, he says. “Each of you speak for yourself, in turn as your clan-head listed you.”

An hour later the third finishes, and the fourth is not found in the hall.

Lenden stands again. He then takes comments from the audience regarding the three candidates.

Finally, Lenden calls a halt to the proceedings, and he turns to Drake. He asks her. “Have you heard enough?”

Drake nods, yes.

Lenden sits and motions for her to respond to him.

Drake peers out at the crowd and then she turns to Lenden and says, “I suggest the older man Garen, and his life companion. Because, he has his three children, yet he has increased his holding three-fold since taking over, and his herd of cattle has been increased from four to elven in eight years, and he has added swine. Thus, he shows an understanding of economics and discipline. Also, no one spoke ill of him, other than to says he tends to go for long walks at mid-day. I see no harm in his being head of the Tepst Household and overseeing the seven families in it.”

Lenden thinks for several moments. Then, looking out at Garen, Lenden points and says, “Garen, please stand.”

Garen stands.

Lenden calls out for all to hear. “I now appoint Master Garen as Head of Tepst Household on my fief of Drendel. I don’t want to hear anymore about this. Let it be recorded. I leave in the morning. You all get used to this. Get out of here.”

Lenden leads Drake back to the manor, along with the bailiff. On the way over, Lenden is smiling. In the manor, he says to Drake, “You made a good sound choice, on good principles. I like that. I might keep you after you graduate the University, as my chamberlain. Think about it.”

Spring 87 Bear 

The carriage pulls into Lenden’s Manor courtyard that is their home.

The whole way back, Drake did think about what Lenden said. With a last thought on the matter today, she thinks, ‘Consider being his chamberlain? It is a steady job, and Uncle probably pays well. I would have a lab, home and library. I could work off my debt and I would have apprentices. It is something to consider. I must sleep more on this over the seasons.’

Lenden dismounts at the manor’s front door. Drake takes the carriage to the carriage house and stables, to unhitch the horses, stow the carriage after unloading and cleaning it, and grooming and feeding the horses. This is all done before going to bed without eating.

Spring 88 Bear 

Eager to eat, Drake wakes extra early and cooks morning meal. She is eating before anyone else enters the room.

Melinda enters first. Drake who was smiling between bites, cheerfully says to Melinda, “Mel, today, you and I will go over your studies of the ‘Detect Magic’ spell, until I’m satisfied you understand it.”

To be continued …


Awesome! You’ve completed an episode of Lanis’, but you want to read more from Rusty Knight! We have an easy link here to click so you can get more, click You can get issues of ‘Markus’, and ‘Bloodgrue’ along with much more from Inevitable Unicorn Press. While there, you can click the subscribe button and join our free e-mail subscription list, where you will also receive one free gift when you signup. Once you sign up, you will continue to receive more news and updates from Rusty Knight and InUPress. The free bonus changes with time, in February the bonus was a pdf with the biographies of the protagonist group the, Black Swans, from Rusty Knight’s upcoming fantasy novel Laret. Later in 2016 it was an episode from the series Markus.

From me to you, thank you, for reading ‘Lanis’.

You can wander over and tell us how you enjoy reading Lanis’, by going over to and commenting. We’d love to hear from you.

Have an wonderful day.


Rusty Knight.




Lanis episode twelve, ‘Levan’

Lanis Episode twelve, 'Levan'

Episode twelve, ‘Levan’


Episode 12

By Rusty Knight


Previously in episode 11, ‘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 an outcast.

Uncle didn’t comment on the outcome, simply walking away silently.


Now in episode 12, ‘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.”

Melinda pales.

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 episode thirteen, ‘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.


©2016 Rusty Knight with Inevitable Unicorn Press


Awesome! You’ve completed an episode of ‘Lanis’, but you want to read more from Rusty Knight! We have an easy link here to click so you can get more, click You can get issues of ‘Markus’, and ‘Bloodgrue’ along with much more from Inevitable Unicorn Press. While there, you can click the subscribe button and join our free e-mail subscription list where you will also receive one free gift when you signup. Once you sign up, you will receive more news and updates from Rusty Knight and InUPress. The free bonus changes with time, in February the bonus was a pdf with the biographies of the protagonist group the, Black Swans, from Rusty Knight’s upcoming fantasy novel Laret. Later in 2016 it was an episode from the series Markus.

From me to you, thank you, for reading ‘Lanis’.

You can wander over and tell us how you enjoy reading ‘Lanis’, by going over to and commenting. We’d love to hear from you.

Have an wonderful day.


Rusty Knight & InUPress.


Lanis, episode eleven, ‘Past’

Lanis Episode ten, 'Spell That!'

Episode eleven, ‘Past’


Episode eleven, ‘Past’

By Rusty Knight

In episode ten, ‘Spell That!’

Drake teaches Melinda to discover magic’s power and spells. Drake and Lenden discover more power.

Now in episode eleven, ‘Past’,

Spring 57 Bear

There is a sharp knock on the front door of Lenden’s manor. Drake hesitantly answers the door, not wanting the person on the other side to be Hangela.

It is more then an hour past gods-set, and Drake is ready for bed. Lenden went to bed an hour ago.

Drake is alone as she opens the front door of Lenden’s manor.

Standing in the darkness of night is a cloaked figure, bringing back flashes of memories of when Drake was Lanis the apprentice mage. The cloaked man is someone she worked with through the years. Just over half a season ago, on Spring 1 Bear, Lanis left the Mage University and this person behind.

The cloaked figure croaks through dry lips. “Gods-grace and good fate, Lanis. May I speak with you?”

Drake, not sure of the figures status, answers curtly. “Apprentice Rhysis, come in out of the darkness. You sound like you could use something to drink and eat. Come in. Follow me.”

The man sighs and enters the manor.

Drake closes the door behind him.

In the light of Drake’s lantern there is a handsome jalmal who is in his seventies. He stands over six-feet tall and looks to weigh over two-hundred-and-forty pounds. He is so handsome, he could be called beautiful, by many. Even at his advanced age he holds onto his beauty. Removing his cloak, he exposes his arms, showing the chiseled muscles defining his body strength, which matches his beauty.

Rhysis hands Drake his cloak as he says, “I am no longer a simple apprentice either, Lanis. I am on my walkabout, too. I left the university on Spring 30.”

Drake hangs the cloak on a peg, and spots Rhysis’ backpack. “Shall I place your pack here as well, Rhysis?”

The mage shakes his head and replies. “No, I’ll carry it. It has my tomes.”

Understanding his trepidation on parting with his life’s studies, Drake doesn’t press him further.

“Follow me.” She says, and she leads Rhysis to the dining room. She points to the seats and says, “Wait here, I’ll get something to drink and eat for us while we talk. When did you eat or drink last?”

Rhysis courteously sits at a seat on the side of the table. He answers Drake. “I haven’t eaten in three days. The last water I had was about seven hours ago.”

Drake tisks, and she rushes into the kitchen, filling two mugs of milk and two of apple juice, and also getting a pot of tea ready. She then makes a plate of cold meats, cheese, bread, and pickles. Putting all of this on a tray, she joins Rhysis in the dining room, finding him still seated, but with his pack now on the table.

Drake watches as Rhysis’ mouth waters, seeing the food. She places the tray in front of him and serves the in-between walkabout mage.

Rhysis eagerly drinks and eats for twenty minutes before he willingly talks.

Settling back on a chair, Drake waits.

Rhysis finally settles back and looks at Drake. He says, “Thank you Lanis. I didn’t know how hungry I had become. I owe you a lot. Thank you.”

Drake nods. She waits, watching Rhysis, knowing he came here seeking her for a reason.

Finishing the two mugs of milk and two mugs of apple juice, Rhysis is now sipping the mug of tea, while Drake is still sipping her first mug of tea. The plate of food is empty.

Rhysis belches and excuses himself, and then smiles.

The newcomer sighs. “You were always a quiet one. I think you were always watching people; you were in thought. Planning always. You wonder why I’m here. I came to see how you’re doing, Lanis. I heard you came here. So, I am wondering how you’re getting along?”

Drake observes something in Rhysis’ eyes and facial expressions as he talks. She wants to see how he behaves after sleeping and a morning meal, before she tells him her news.

Drake says after a yawn. “I’m actually quite tired. I’ve been working all day. Let me show you a room, so I can clean this up and go to bed. We can talk tomorrow, after I serve morning meal. Morning meal is at an-hour before gods-rise. You can eat with Master Lenden, if you like.”

Rhysis reacts the way Drake was expecting. His expression is one of hurt and suspicion. He says. “Sure, show me a room so I can sleep. I’ll dine with Mage Lenden in the morning. Can you wake me two-hours before gods-rise, so I can cleanup before the meal and prepare myself?”

Hearing the expected statement, Drake plays it calm and replies. “Sure, we can do that. I’ll warm up water for you in the morning, to clean up with, and I’ll supply a fresh towel.”

Drake shows Rhysis to the last spare room on the second floor. She lights a candle for him. “The privy is an outhouse in the back of the side courtyard; I can show it to you. But I put a chamber-pot in here for the use of company, to save a trip. I’ll wake you in the morning. Have a restful sleep, Rhysis.”

Drake returns to the dining-room and kitchen, cleaning and preparing the rooms for morning. Then she turns in for the night.

Spring 58 Bear

Waking to the sounds of a harrow hawk catching a hare outside somewhere, Drake looks out her window. She shivers from the cold air, as she watches the easterly god’s breath blow the scattered broken cover across the sphere.

It is to hard to tell the time by looking out her window, as she looks up into the sphere. But she estimates she slept at least six hours. ‘Not enough rest to properly memorize spells. For today, I’ll have to make due with what I have memorized already.’ She thinks sadly.

Manually lighting her hooded-lantern, to conserve cantrips, Drake dresses, and then walks down to the kitchen. As she passes the spare guest room, she notes the light from the candle seeping out from under the door.

Not using any magic to perform her daily chores, Drake gets the morning meal ready and an extra basin of hot water. Taking the basin of hot water up to the second floor, she notes there is no light coming from under the door of the guest room as she knocks. She calls, “Rhysis, morning roll call.” And she waits a moment.

Rhysis answers, “Come in.”

Drake enters the room and places the basin, and a fresh towel, on the small table. She tells their guest. “Come down and eat in an hour.”

Rhysis stays under his blanket, but says. “Thank you, Lanis.”

Drake exits, closing the door behind her. She hears Rhysis get out of bed and sees light from a candle peek out from under the door.

An hour later everyone is at the morning meal table, eating. Drake introduces Rhysis. “Master Lenden, this is apprentice Rhysis, from the Mage University. He is out on his Journeyman walkabout. Rhysis, this is Mage Lenden, and the other one is my apprentice Melinda.”

Rhysis halts with his fork of scrambled duck eggs part way to his mouth. He looks at Melinda, then Drake. With a puzzled expression, furrowing his brow and squinting his left eye, he hesitates, and then asks. “Apprentice? But, you’re not a journeyman or master.”

Lenden looks at Rhysis. He growls. “Who says? She doesn’t have her Mage University journeyman certificate, but I vouched for her, and she has journeyman mage papers. She still has to do the rest of her year for the university certificate. But she qualifies for training apprentices.”

Drake’s mouth drops open and she loses her fork with its bacon. She stares at Lenden a moment, as does Rhysis and Melinda.

Drake recovers first, saying. “You vouched for me? Getting me my journeyman mage papers?”

Lenden looks serious and with grim determination answers. “Yes, of course, you proved yourself to me three time. I wrote the Mage University, and they agreed. I have the certificate in my office. You still have to finish the year, for your University Certificate. Why are you so shocked? You’re competent, are you not?”

Melinda hops up and gives Drake a hug, shouting. “Congrats, Mage Drake.”

Again, Rhysis is confused and shocked. He sits back in his seat staring angrily at Drake. After Melinda sits down again, Rhysis asks, “Who is Mage Drake?”

Lenden answer him. “I named Lanis, Mage Drake, when she started with me because she bought me two drakes instead of two hens, when I sent her shopping for me.”

Fuming now, red of face and breathing shallow with rapid breaths, Rhysis growls, “You named HER, a mage name, when SHE was a simple apprentice? She worked for you, when SHE was supposed to be out on a walkabout, learning to be a true mage … Not scavenging off a mage. She cheated the walkabout, not following the intent. I call her to a Mage’s Dual. Here and now. In the courtyard.”

Lenden smiles, as he saw this coming, as did Drake. He turns to Drake, asking her. “Do you accept, Mage Drake?”

Melinda has tears and is pale as she watches Drake. She has heard of the firestorms from the Seven Hells that Mage Duals can be, and that death follows in these matches between mages. “You can’t. I need you Drake.”

Drake stands and wipes her mouth and hands clean with her napkin. “Actually, Rhysis, you always were the slow one. You were in the University as an apprentice twenty years before I entered, and you didn’t come out on your walkabout until after I left. As to the charge of cheating. I confirmed my plan with the masters of the University, before embarking on it. It is legal. So let’s do this you chicken shit, Shes.”

She leads the group out the front door into the dim light of the courtyard as the yellow light of Stonewire creeps over the horizon in the east.

Drake turns to Rhysis and says, “You have until the orange-red light of Imvor cracks the horizon to defeat me, Apprentice Rhysis. If you can not defeat me before then, you leave the property as you are. You can not go back to your room or gather your things. Those are my terms of your defeat.”

Rhysis balks, and then clears his throat, adding. “My terms of your defeat are that you leave this place without gathering your belongings. You leave as you are.”

They clasp arms as a full minute has passed, leaving seven minutes in the dual.

Almost instantly, Rhysis fires off a missile of energy, which strikes Drake, disrupting the spell she had begun to cast, injuring Drake slightly, and also causing her to lose her spell from memory.

Rhysis points to Drake while touching his own nose, and he chants, “Pepper’. Nothing obvious happens.

Drake, while observing Rhysis calls loudly, “Dus.” and then focuses quickly. She is looking disappointed as nothing happens.

Rhysis follows up with a verbal spouting of, “Run.”

While Drake tries again with, “Dus.”, but again fumes as nothing happens when she focuses.

Furious, Drake conjures a four-inch yellow glowing orb and hurls it at Rhysis, hitting the apprentice mage. The orb explodes, damaging the man and causing him to begin fumbling around, unable to see.

As Drake was throwing the yellow orb, Rhysis was watching Drake’s neck, uttering the word, “Neck.’. This caused Drake’s neck to contract which made her head twitch.

The yellow light from Drake’s orb dissipates, but Rhysis is still stumbling around, obviously unable to see.

Drake uses her martial skills, striking out with a kick, connecting with Rhysis’ right leg, knocking him down.

Drake kicks Rhysis in the abdomen as he struggles to regain his footing.

Rhysis regains his feet, standing again, but obviously still blind.

He is knocked down again by a sweeping kick from Drake to his left leg.

As Rhysis lays on the paving-stones of the courtyard, Imvor breaks over the horizon, and Rhysis shouts, “I’ve had enough. You win.”

Drake stops her next kick and backs up.

Rhysis shakes his head, and looks around. He can see again. He slowly stands up, first getting to his knees, and then rising to his feet. He looks at Drake and says. “You’re not the same apprentice from the university. I grant you that. I will leave as dictated by our agreement. May you live long and healthy, Mage Drake. I still think you cheated. But, I also like the idea, and I may follow it. If you have suggestions on how to proceed, I would appreciate it.”

Drake extends her arm to clasp. She says, “I accept your loss. And as a matter-of-course, I do have a suggestion: take a job and earn some coins, until you can find a mage to take you in for your year. The mages are hard to find, and I will look for one, for you, as well. I suggest you take a job with Merchant Hangela at 2789 Tickton Street, if you can sweet talk her into hiring you. To show good faith, I will return your cantrip book to you, and give you ten Dyns to travel with. But beware, do not cross me. I used my less damaging combat spells in the dual. I can do much worse.”

Rhysis stutters as he says, “Th … Thank … you. Drake.”

Drake turns to Melinda and she says, “Go to the spare guest room, where you will find Rhysis belongings. Bring his cantrip book and ten of his Dyns here.”

Melinda takes a few minutes.

Drake stands confidently watching Rhysis, while Lenden returns to whatever it is he had planned for the day. Lenden never congratulated Drake. He never even made any comments, and Drake makes a mental note of this.

To be continued ….

Awesome! You’ve completed an episode of ‘Lanis’, but you want to read more! We have an easy link here to click so you can get more, click You can get issues of ‘Markus’, and ‘Bloodgrue’ with much more from Inevitable Unicorn Press. While there, you can click the button and join our free e-mail subscription list, where you will also receive a free gift when you signup. Once you have signed up, you will receive more news and updates from Rusty Knight and InUPress. The free bonus changes with time, in February the bonus was a pdf with the biographies of the protagonist group the, Black Swans, from Rusty Knight’s upcoming fantasy novel Laret. Later in 2016 it will be an episode from the series Markus.

From me to you, thank you, for reading ‘Lanis’.

You can wander over and tell us how you enjoy reading ‘Lanis’, by going over to and commenting. We’d love to hear from you.

Have an wonderful day.


Rusty Knight.

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Lanis, episode ten, ‘Spell That!’

Lanis Episode ten, 'Spell That!'

Episode ten, ‘Spell That!’


Episode ten, ‘Spell That!’

By Rusty Knight


In the previous episode nine, ‘What is a Cantrip?’

The student and assistant now becomes the teacher.

Drake instructs Melinda on the art of spell-crafting and being a mage. While Lanis, who is now the teacher, Mage Drake, is learning the craft of being a Journeyman Mage.

And now in episode ten, ‘Spell That!’

Drake continues with her instruction of the student, Apprentice Melinda.

“Yes, you will do this one completely on your own. Begin.” Instructs Drake.

Melinda stares at the page for several moments with her hands trembling and fingers twitching. Her lips quiver as she contemplates the idea.

She looks at Drake. Meekly, she whispers, “Okay.”

Drake observes while Melinda takes the lessons she has been given and applies them to a new cantrip over the next hour.

Finally, Melinda informs Drake. “I think it is ready; I am going to try it.”

Drake watches as Melinda memorizes the cantrip, then stands and tries casting it. Nothing happens.

Drake, having observed the whole process, knows what the result was intended to be. She should have reached and scratched herself as if she had an itch. A simple cantrip she would call, ‘scratch’. But there is a flaw in Melinda’s design.

Drake walks over to Melinda’s notes and waves the student over, pointing at the notes. “You have flaws in your cantrip. Tomorrow, I’ll work on it with you and you’ll try it again. From this point forward, we’ll work on cantrips five days and you’ll spend time doing house work afterwards. Then, on the sixth day, you’ll have the day off to yourself.”

Lenden arrives and looks over the area. He asks, “How much mage’s vellum or parchment do you have? Do you have a tome for Melinda?”

Drake frowns, curling her lips down. She looks at her ten pages on the table. “I only have eight pages now. Melinda has two of these used for her first cantrip.”

Lenden grumpily scowls. He says, “Ok, you can’t contain her cantrips on ten pages. We start today, making mage’s pages for a tome. As Melinda studies and learns cantrips she will scribe them on the pages I already have. I have about fifty. When we have made a hundred pages, I’ll bind her first tome for her. You’ll owe me six-thousand Flairs as each page is worth fifty Flairs, and the cover with the binding, adds another thousand. Scribing each cantrip onto pages will cost about a hundred Flairs. Her tome will be worth in the neighborhood of ten-thousand Flairs when she is finished. You two will owe me six-thousand, because you’ll be doing some of the work and learning the process for making paper and vellum as well. You’ll scribe your own cantrips and spells. But, I will pay for the materials and resources to make the pages and I’ll bind the tome and pay for the resources for scribing the spells and cantrips. Any rebuttals?”

Melinda drops into a chair sobbing. “I’ll never be able to pay that back. I can’t”

Lenden laughs sarcastically and whispers, “You can and you will. Starting today, let’s get to work.”


Working five hours everyday, learning the processes and actually doing the work together, the three of the them manufacture fifteen, sixteen-inch by twelve-inch, vellum pages, every five days.

Drake researches with Lenden, helping him with his spells for one hour every day, except every sixth day. She teaches Melinda two or three hours every day, except on the sixth day.

Drake squeezes in an hour or two for her own spell research, working on the spell ‘levitate’, until on Spring 26 when she masters the spell and begins to scribe it into her spell tome. On Spring 40, she has filled two pages of her tome, using twenty-two-hundred Flairs of supplies to perfect the spell and scribe it.

Walking over to Lenden’s desk on Spring 40, after scribing the ‘levitate’ spell into her tome, Drake asks Lenden. “Master Lenden. Uncle, how much is my balance with you currently?”

Lenden motions for Drake to follow him and they walk down to his office. Lenden pulls forth his register and turns to the page for Drake and shows her the balance after today.

: 3,205.48 cn

He says, “Don’t worry yet. If it climbs to ten-thousand, you become an indentured slave to me for ten years.” He grins and winks, adding. “You’ll get close, if you keep studying spells and not paying in. Your student is at 3,100, as I decided I’ll cover half the cost of the tome myself. She will still need a second spell tome. But if you two do all the work making it, and cover the costs yourself, it will cost you less. Also, make it smaller, only fifty pages instead of a hundred, it’ll cut the costs.”

Drake curls her lips down, squinting her eyes, then she brightens. Looking at Lenden, she asks, “Uncle, we’ve been working on spell research for you. How goes your progress?”

Lenden growls but answers. “The damn ‘fly’ spell almost beat me. I tried three iterations before I mastered it. It took me from Spring 5 to Spring 31 and three tries at it to master the beast, but I am now scribing a successful version into my tome. I’m almost done. I should be finished scribing it, in about four more hours. I’m going to try to create a ‘phantom steed’ next.”

Spring 41 Bear

Lenden finishes scribing his ‘fly’ spell today.

Memorizing the spell from the six pages in his tome, Lenden then walks out into his courtyard and casts the spell. Walking forward, with Drake and Melinda as witnesses, he starts to fly upwards. For ten minutes he flies around, then lands back in front of his two guests. “I think that is a success. That is what we can accomplish if we try.”

Drake smiles and casts the ‘levitate’, uttering the verbal component, “Dus”, while focusing on Melinda. Confident that Melinda is well within Drake’s weight limit, Drake lifts the girl twenty-feet into the air and leaves her there while she talks with Lenden.

Drake says, “Master Lenden, I choose to use the library on my time instead of the laboratory. I found some tomes that enlighten me on some of the art of artifice, and I am studying to manufacture an artifact to allow me to do this without having to cast a spell.”

Lenden is observing Melinda’s exasperation as she is looking for a way down, struggling not to panic. Lenden tells Drake. “That is admirable, but expensive. Bring her down, you beast. You’re frightening the girl.”

Drake slowly lowers Melinda to the ground. “Okay, I’ll see how much the artifact costs and the process, but the learning is long and involved. I will have to make a suitable artifact when the time arrives. I think I’ll get one from Morgus Gem’s.” Melinda’s feet touch the ground and she sighs, clutching her chest. Her face is much paler than earlier.

Lenden nods, and he says, “I can give you two usury notes for five-hundred each when you go.”

Drake bows. “With your leave, thank you. I may take you up on that.”

Turning to Melinda, Drake smiles, and says, “Melinda, you’ll be fine. You were safe.”

They all go back to their business for the day.

Spring 49 Bear

Lenden begins the process of tome binding Melinda’s pages into her first cantrip tome. He is going to spend ten hours a day until he is finished with the project.

Spring 55 Bear

Lenden enters the laboratory with the completed tome. The tome is shiny and complete with its thick, specially cured, embossed oxen-hide cover and steel fixtures. The tome is sixteen-inches-by-twelve-inches-by-six-inches and weighs over fifteen pounds. It already has thirty-one cantrips scribed into seventy-three of its one-hundred pages.

Lenden stops in front of Melinda and presents the tome to her. He commands. “Take great care of this. It is worth ten-thousand Flairs … more coin then many nobles will see in ten years. If you lose or damage it, that is your loss, you still have to pay for it. Start preparing for a tome for your actual spells.”

Melinda smiles and presents a page of mage vellum. She says, “I finished scribing two pages with my first mage spell that I learnt. I now know the spell ‘Read Magic’. And Lanis and I continued making vellum after you started binding. We’ve made ten more pages already.”

Lenden bows, and smiling, he answers. “If you two continue making pages, I’ll buy them from you and so will other mages. I can teach you bookbinding and you can make tomes and sell them if you like. It’s lucrative, but time consuming.”

To be continued …

In the next episode eleven, ‘Past’,

Drake has an issue crop up from her past. An old acquaintance finds her and causes issues.

©2016 Rusty Knight with Inevitable Unicorn Press

Awesome! You’ve completed an episode of ‘Lanis’, but you want to read more! We have an easy link here to click so you can get more, click You can get issues of ‘Markus’, and ‘Bloodgrue’ with much more from Inevitable Unicorn Press. While there, you can click and join our free e-mail subscription list, where you will also receive a free gift when you signup. Once you have signed up, you will receive more news and updates from Rusty Knight and InUPress. The free bonus changes with time, in February the bonus was a pdf with the biographies of the protagonist group the, Black Swans, from Rusty Knight’s upcoming fantasy novel Laret. Later in 2016 it will be an issue from the series ‘Lanis’.

From me to you, thank you, for reading ‘Lanis’.

You can tell us how you enjoy reading ‘Lanis’, by going over to and commenting. We’d love to hear from you.

Thank you,

Have an wonderful day.


Rusty Knight & InUPress.

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