Archive for June, 2016

Lanis, episode sixteen, ‘No?’

 

Lanis, episode sixteen, 'No?'

Lanis,
episode sixteen, ‘No?

Lanis

Episode 16, ‘No?

By Rusty Knight

(c) 2016

Published by InUPress.ca

 

Previously in episode fifteen, ‘Confrontation’:

Lanis finished her commando date with Timmins, and she then set up a proper date for Summer 4 Bear at Lenden Manor.

At Lenden Manor, Drake is attacked, under the name of Apprentice Lanis, by a gambler who lost a bet. He had the wrong information, partly by Lanis’ design.

Lanis settled the confrontation harshly.

And now in episode sixteen, ‘No?’:

Spring 90 Bear 

Lenden sits back in the seat of the carriage as Drake drives them back to Lenden Manor.  He asks, “You’ve been thinking, have you come to any decisions?”

Drake, the mage, looks ahead at the road. There are so many answers she could give Lenden, but she answers him simply with. “No.”

They ride back to the manor in silence as each ponders recent events.

Drake is learning so much about Lenden and so much from him. He is far more complicated then he appears and lets on. She didn’t expect this. Life with Lenden hasn’t been simple or boring; she didn’t expect this either. ‘Do I want to continue and stay with this? Do I want to keep with this complicated life with the risks?’

Drake pulls the carriage up to the front door letting Lenden out, and then she continues on, putting away the horses and carriage.

Summer 1 Bear 

In the carriage, Drake takes Melinda with her, leaving Lenden Manor before gods-rise to go to Berry Way Market to do shopping. The gods breathe dangerously strong, so much so that Drake is almost considering canceling today’s trip. But she keeps going, though they travel cautiously slow. The freezing breaths blow east under a clear sphere which might be a bad omen, says Melinda, as they travel. It’s the first day of summer and unusually cold with storm winds; what could be a stronger ill-omen?

The carriage arrives at Berry Way Market with its occupants much later than it should have – an-hour-and-a-half before noon.

The two keep an eye out for a clothier’s shop. Finding a stall, number 10, they park and dismount from the carriage. Entering the shop, they find a young jalmal.

Lanis approaches the man, and she says, “Gods-grace and good fate Master. I am looking for a dress and shoes. Can you help me?”

The man looks Lanis over, and then he utters, “I have nothing ready in your build. But if you can give me five days, I can have something ready for you.”

Lanis shakes her head, and then she says, “No, I need it today. Do you have perfume or make-up available?”

The man scoffs and gestures around. He then says, “Does it look like I deal in such items? No.”

Melinda asks him. “Do you know anyone who might have what we need?”

The man shrugs, and then he says, “You might try Hangela’s Mercantile for something on short notice.”

Lanis shudders and replies, “No thank you.”

The two women leave the shop. Lanis looks at the sign that reads in jal script – ‘Clothier Tanis’.

The two board the carriage and continue their journey. Several minutes later they find a mercantilist. Entering the shop, they find a grumpy old toyfem brooding behind her counter.

Drake and Melinda spend nearly half-an-hour fruitlessly in the shop, before leaving merchant Ansella. The shopkeeper recommends they try Hangela’s Mercantile.

Stepping into the carriage, Drake says, “Let’s look for another mercantile.”

An hour later they pull to a stop in front of Merchant Talbot’s shop. Entering the well-kept old shop, the pair find a 78-year-old jalmal busy cleaning his goods and shelves.

Drake approaches him and greets the man. “Gods-grace and good fate, Master. May I interrupt you?”

The jalmal smiles happily. He cheerfully says, “Oh course, how may I aid you?”

Encouraged, Drake continues, saying, “I seek a dress and shoes for myself.”

The jalmal nods and gesturing for Drake to follow him, he walks to shelves of clothing. He looks Drake over, and then selects a floor length Stonewire-yellow dress. He tells Drake. “Go ahead and try it on dear. In those rooms right there.” He says as he points to two doors in the back wall of the shop.

Drake tries on the dress; she finds it a good fit. She puts her old clothing back on and returning to the merchant she asks, “What is your name? I’m Mage Drake and this is my apprentice Melinda.”

Cheerfully, the merchant responds, “I’m called Talbot, nice to meet the two of you. I’ve seen you around before Drake, you finally stopped in my shop. You should stop in more often. You said shoes?”

Drake likes Talbot, and she nods and replies, “Yes, shoes for my slightly large feet.”

Talbot chuckles, “I had a customer who wanted a pair of cloth shoes made; she had slightly large feet. It was three seasons ago that she ordered them. She never came back and she hasn’t paid for them. If they fit and you pay for them, they’re yours.”

He hands her a pair of ankle high Imvor-red velvet shoes.

Drake buttons them on and smiles; leaving them on she nods. Walking around the mercantile, she spots a crushed velvet Imvor-red vest. She puts it on, feeling special with it on, Drake walks over to Talbot. Drake asks, “Is this for sale?”

Talbot laughs, and he says, “I have been trying to get rid of that. You can buy it.”

They sit at a table with Drake wearing the shoes and vest, the dress lays folded on the table.

Talbot starts by saying. “I want four Flairs for the three items.”

By the end of haggling, Drake gets the three for 3.87 cn.

Drake asks him. “What about perfume, or make-up? Do you have any?”

Talbot frowns and shakes his head sadly. He then replies, “No dear, I don’t. But you could try Hangela. She has a bit of everything. When do you need these by? I can try and get some for you, if you’re not in a hurry?”

Drake sighs, frustrated, as this is the third person suggesting Hangela.

Drake says, “Thank you, but I’ll try around here.”

Melinda and Drake ride the carriage around, looking for another possible shop.

Melinda says, “We really should try Hangela’s, as everyone seems to think they have what we want.”

Drake snaps back quickly. “No.”

Drake pulls the carriage to a stop in front of a shop with a sign that reads in jal script – ‘Perfumer Jest Petendal’

Drake says to Melinda. “Let’s try here. This is a perfumer; they should have perfume for sale, right?”

Melinda enters the shop with Drake. They find a dark interior full of scents mingling in the air. At the counter, working with vials of liquids, is a young jalfem of twenty-four-years-age.

Drake approaches her, asking the woman. “Excuse me, I’m looking for perfume and make up, you’re a perfumer, right?”

The woman frowns, and then answers Drake. “Yes, I mix scents to wear.”

Drake sighs and says. “May I smell some, to find something I like?”

The woman gestures to an array of stoppered vials. She says, “By all means.”

Drake and Melinda begin sampling scents, but find they can’t find anything appealing.

Finally, Drake tells the woman. “Do you have anything flowery, or appealing? I can’t find anything I like.”

The woman says, “No. Try Hangela’s.”

Melinda follows Drake out of the shop, standing beside Drake as they regain fresh air.

Drake says, “We’ll drive around and look a little longer. If we don’t find another possible shop in an hour, then we’ll drive to Hangela’s

They drive for an hour, then Drake travels to Hangela’s on Tickton Street.

Reluctantly entering the Mercantile, Drake is shaking inside, dreading every second in the shop.

Addressing her nemesis, Drake says, “Good-day Hangela. I’m here to see perfume and make-up for myself. I like flowery perfumes.”

Hangela smiles as she sees the two women. She says to them. “Welcome Drake, and friend. Perfume it is, and make-up? I have some. Do you like roses? I have rose scented perfume that is inexpensive, and reasonable make-up that isn’t obtrusive. I think this would be ideal for you, my friend.”

She shows the women her six flasks of perfume. The second one she offers Drake strikes Drake as mid-summer rose blooms, and she likes it. “I’ll take some of this.”

Hangela shows Drake her vial choices: one ounce, two ounces, and four ounces, stating she typically sells the chosen perfume at a Flair an ounce.

Drake requests two ounces.

Once the perfume is settled, Hangela displays her vast make-up collection, selling Drake four Flairs worth of make-up.

Then the two sit down at a table to workout actual payment.

Drake works the six Flairs worth down to 4.15 cn, wondering why she dreads coming to Hangela so much, when she actually frequently works such decent prices with Hangela.

Clasping arms with Hangela, Drake gathers her new possessions and Melinda, and then they drive home.

They arrive back at Lenden Manor just after Imvor has fallen below the western horizon.

Summer 2 Bear 

Drake helps Melinda with the studying of her ‘Detect Magic’ spell and again today Melinda is memorizing the spell as Drake sets the Chain of Non-detection on her table.

Lenden is busy binding Melinda’s spell tome, quietly observing Melinda’s new attempt at casting her spell.

Melinda finishes memorizing her new version of the spell and she steps up to the lab table, taking cleansing breaths she relaxes, and then casts her spell. Melinda screams excitedly. “It works, the chain glows like its supposed to if magical. The spell works! I got it!”

Drake and Lenden both walk to Melinda and congratulate her with hugs and well wishes.

Drake cautions Melinda, saying, “That’s only half the battle. Now you have to scribe a working copy into a spell tome, or onto pages you can use to memorise it from. It should only take you ten hours of work.”

Melinda asks Drake. “I’m short pages for my spell tome that Lenden is binding. Can I buy some of yours?”

Drake frowns, and then she smiles. She answers, “Yes, of course. How many do you need?

Melinda excitedly answers, “Fifteen pages.”

Drake counts fifteen pages from the twenty-six in her pile and she hands them to Melinda, who takes these to Lenden.

An hour before gods-set some of Lenden’s farmhands from his South State District 13, Harrental Fief, arrive with two wagons, transporting feed and livestock for Lenden’s Manor.

Lenden keeps the staff overnight, to send them homeward in the morning.

Drake buys three of the new hens from Lenden.

An-hour after gods-set, a hill-dwarf arrives with his labourer and four mercenaries, with their wagonload of 800 pounds of coal delivery, for two seasons of Lenden Manor. Drake helps unload and store the coal before going to sleep.

Lenden settles his farmhands for the night in the stables and the coal delivery crew in the carriage house.

Summer 3 Bear 

The day is going well, as Melinda scribes her spell.

Drake peruses Lenden’s spell tomes and discovers a spell she likes.

Approaching Lenden, Drake asks, “I’d like to study and copy one of your spells, Uncle. With your permission and a negotiated price, I’d like to start today.”

Lenden smiles and then he asks, “Which spell?”

Drake’s quick answer is. “Summon Swarm.”

Lenden says, “Done, at two-thousand,”

Drake extends her arm and they clasp.

Two hours before gods-set, a band of eleven ruffians enter the estate courtyard banging around, gaining the attention of the three residents. They run around the estate rummaging through the yards.

Drake, Lenden and Melinda confront the group in the courtyard by the stable.

Drake stands beside Lenden as he addresses the jalfem leader of the group. “What are you doing here?”

She answers, “We want a thousand Flairs, or we take what we want from your estate.”

Lenden looks at the group of eleven ruffians gathered in front of him, with their clubs and daggers, threatening him and his women. He considers the ramifications. Lenden looks to Drake and she shakes her head negatively.

Lenden turns to the woman, and he says, “No. Get off my property.”

The ruffians threateningly advance upon the three estate residents.

Drake and Lenden stand ten feet apart, side-by-side, with Melinda behind them.

Drake says, “Fire?”

Lenden answers, “Yes.”

The two raise their hands and let lose their ‘Fan Flame’ spells.

Lenden catches two of the ruffians.

Drake catches four, igniting their clothing and burning two so severely that they drop to the ground.

The shock of the flames from the mages is so sudden that five of the eleven turn and run off of the estate.

Four of the ruffians continue to focus with their attack on Drake.

Drake begins to cast another ‘Fan Flame’ as Lenden begins casting ‘Stone Fist’.

In the midst of casting her ‘Fan Flame’, a jalmal boy stabs Drake in the abdomen with his dagger, disrupting her spell casting.

As Drake recovers from the attack, a toyfem hits her in the head with a club, followed by a jalmal striking her in the head again with his club.

Lenden finishes casting his spell of ‘Stone Fist’.

Shaking the stars out of her head, and moving away from the attackers, Drake raises her right arm with Levan on it. She focuses on Levan and calls out, “Dus.” Then focusing on the boy with the dagger, she lifts him a few feet off the ground.

Lenden strikes the older jalmal with his stone fist, getting the satisfaction of a squishing sound.

Recovering quickly, the man strikes out at Drake, who uses her left arm to defend, taking the blow from his club.

The toyfem who’s clothing has still been burning, drops unconscious from her burns.

Two of the remaining ruffians surrender to Lenden, and the last remaining attacking ruffian flees.

Drake addresses the boy. “What is your name boy?”

Squeaking in his breaking voice, as his clothing finishes burning, he says, “Dariun.”

Drake sighs as she walks around Dariun and asks, “How old are you?”

Dariun answers abruptly. “Fourteen.”

Drake says, “If I let you go, you’ll leave?”

Dariun shouts, “Seven Hells, I’m going to kill you. You killed my mom.”

Drake says, “You’ll leave right!”

Dariun struggles, saying, “Hells, let me go. I’m going to beat you.”

Drake ponders this, ‘He’s a boy and impulsive, who will try to disrupt my life or get revenge.’

Raising her arms, touching thumbs together, spreading fingers in a fan, Drake casts, ‘Fan Flame’ on the boy, scorching him severely. He receives severe first degree burns dropping him unconscious. Drake drops him to the ground by releasing her levitate spell.

Dariun dies as he hits the ground from a combination of impact and burns.

Lenden and Drake assess the aftermath of the assault by the ruffians. They have three unconscious, one dead and two conscious surrendered ruffians. There is some minor property damage.

Lenden tells Melinda. “Saddle the older riding horse, and ride to the Beddington Street, City Watch Post, and have City Watch officers come here. Then ride to the Awareness Temple to Stonewire on Beddington Street and bring a cleric with a retrieval wagon, and come back with them. Can you do that Mel?”

Melinda is scared, but more scared of what Lenden might do if she refuses, she nods and then she says, “Yes, I can do it.”

Lenden hands her five gold coins and says, “Here are five Flairs for your expenses for the trip. You’ll be gone overnight, at least one night.”

Melinda takes the coins and hurries into the stables to mount up and leave.

Lenden and Drake turn to the two conscious ruffians. Lenden simply says, “Empty all your pouches of all contents. Leave all your possessions except the clothes you are wearing, and then get the Seven Hells off my property. If I find you even within a block of any of my properties, I will toast you.”

The two scramble to comply, leaving in under five minutes, without speaking.

Drake and Lenden move the four remaining bodies into Lenden’s study, making the three living as comfortable as possible. Without treatment of their severe first degree burns, they won’t be waking anytime soon.

Drake and Lenden gather the possessions from the bodies and place the salvage in their rooms.

They gain six weapons and respectable coin.

Summer 4 Bear 

An-hour-and-a-half after gods-rise, the City Watch Sergeant and two privates arrive.

Lenden greets them, and talking with the three, he then calls Drake down from her room.

Entering the dining room, Drake is accosted by the sergeant, who says, “So you’re the one who scorched the four victims?”

Drake stands tall. “Yes, I defended Lenden Manor, by using my spells, from a group of eleven ruffians who threatened our lives and property.”

The sergeant continues her line with, “But you killed people and harmed others. You need to come down to the Watch Post.”

Lenden says, “Why don’t we make a donation to the City Watch of two Flairs to clear Drake’s name?”

The sergeant addresses Drake, “You didn’t answer me.”

Drake answers, “I can come to the Watch Post, but it would be fruitless, as I was defending our property against eleven threatening ruffians.”

Lenden adds, “I will add another five Flairs if you clear her name.”

The sergeant turns to Lenden. “So, you are donating seven Flairs to finish the report?”

Lenden counts seven Flairs from his pouch and offers them to the sergeant and he says, “Yes.”

The sergeant says, as she accepts the coin, “Okay, the report says you defended yourself from an attack from ruffians and the result was one death and three incapacitated that you are taking care of. Done and fair.”

The three City Watch leave Lenden Manor.

Half-an-hour later Timmins arrives and greets Drake, “I thought you were beautiful before, now I doubt I can be your date. You are too much for me.”

Drake takes Timmins hand and leads him inside, and she says, “These bruises on my head are from the fight I had with the last person who disagreed with me. So you better get used to agreeing with me. Now come in and spend the day here. I have a chicken roasting with tubers for our mid-day meal. Come meet Uncle.”

They walk to the third floor and meet Lenden in the lab.

Drake addresses Lenden, “Uncle this is my date, Timmins. Timmins this is Mage Lenden. I call him Uncle.”

Lenden says, “Nice to meet you Timmins; treat my chamberlain and apprentice well. Mage Drake has saved me three times now, so I don’t want to lose her.”

Timmins says, “Well met, Mage Lenden, thank you for your hospitality. I will treat Mage Drake with honor, though I’m not sure why she seeks my company.”

Lenden says, “I trust her judgement, so should you. If she likes you, there will be a reason. Trust that.”

Drake pulls Timmins away and out to the courtyard, to show Timmins around Lenden estate before showing him the dining room and seating him at the table where she serves Timmins a perfectly roasted chicken and spiced tubers at mid-day meal.

Drake asks after the meal, as they clean up together. “Do you want to help me catch a drake and butcher it to roast, for tonight’s meal?”

Timmins looks at Drake, and he says, “You think we can work together?”

Together it takes five minutes for them to catch one of Lanis’ two drakes. They then butcher it and set it roasting.

For evening meal, they also cook spiced rice.

Serving the duck, it is a little over cooked, slightly dry.

Timmins laughs, “I’m sorry to have distracted you from cooking; maybe next time we’ll do better. Its still good, only slightly dry.”

Finishing her bite and washing it down with sweet pear juice, Drake asks, “Can we do this again on Summer 16?”

Timmins looks at Drake and then he sighs while looking at the food, He washes his mouth with his pear juice, and swallowing it he then answers, “I think so. I liked today, I’ll stay a couple more hours to help clean up and say good-bye to Lenden. Then I’ll be going.”

Drake reaches for Timmins hand and asks, “Stay the night? We have a spare room.”

Blushing a light Imvor-red, Timmins answers, “No, I have to be at the warehouse in the morning before gods-rise.”

Drake turns her own shade of red and slowly removes her hand.

They eat the drake and spiced rice while holding a conversation. When finished, the two cleanup and then visit a while longer before Timmins bids good-bye to Lenden and Drake, leaving an-hour-and-a-half before gods-set.

Two hours later, Melinda returns with Cleric Treelot and two acolytes from the Awareness Temple to Stonewire.

The Cleric greets Lenden and deals with the four incapacitated/dead ruffians.

Drake goes to bed changing out of her Stonewire-yellow floor length dress. Settling into bed, she thinks, ‘Uncle called me his chamberlain and apprentice. He didn’t say apprentice mage, he said chamberlain and apprentice. What did he mean? We definitely have to talk. No?’

Summer 5 Bear

 

To be continued …

Awesome! You’ve completed an episode of Lanis’, you want to read more from Rusty Knight! We have an easy link here to click so you can get more, click www.InUPress.ca. 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 tell us how you enjoy reading Lanis’, by going over to www.inupress.ca and commenting. We’d love to hear from you.

Have an wonderful day.

Yours,

Rusty Knight.

 

 

 

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Lanis, Episode fifteen, ‘Confrontation’

Lanis Episode fifteen, 'Confrontation

Lanis
Episode fifteen, ‘Confrontation

Lanis

By Rusty Knight

Episode fifteen, ‘Confrontation’:

 

 

Previously in episode fourteen, ‘Life!’:

Returning to normal life at Lenden’s manor, Drake helps unload the feed wagon, falling for the labourer. Tracking down the man to his place of work, she invites him for drinks and a meal.

Now in episode fifteen, ‘Confrontation

Spring 89 Bear,

Lanis sits back in her chair as Timmins stares at her in wonder. His eyes flash in a moment of lust.

Timmins reaches for Lanis hand and asks, “You are serious? You want to partner with me?”

Lanis leans forward and whispers to him, “I want a date to find out if I want another date with you, and see if we can spend time together.”

Timmins leans forward, and clearing his throat he looks into Lanis’ eyes. He then says, “Do you tease men in general? Or just me?”

Lanis frowns and squeezes Timmins’ hand which she is holding. She replies, “My friend, I’m not teasing. We can have a date, if your willing?”

Timmins squeezes Lanis’ hand gently then leans back in his chair, letting go of Lanis’ hand. He looks deep in thought as his eyes narrow and he stares at Lanis. He picks at his plate of food idly for awhile before he answers Lanis.

Lanis sits leaning forward, patiently waiting, not pressuring Timmins. She has placed the conversation in his arena and he has the decision to make.

Suddenly, Timmins leans towards Lanis, and he softly says. “We meet at your place?”

Lanis refrains from leaping in ecstasy. She calmly replies, “We can, if you’re more comfortable doing so.”

Timmins watches Lanis a moment longer, then he asks, “I have to arrange it around my work. I need a few days notice or it’ll have to be an evening. What day do you think works?”

Lanis considers this, ‘My next free six day I have the whole day free is Summer 4. That would be ideal and it gives the boy time to arrange time off.’ She says matter-of-fact. “I think the best day would be Summer 4.”

Timmins ponders this a moment and then he replies, “I think I can get Summer 4 free, and I can spend most of the day with you at your place.”

Lanis smiles disarmingly as she touches Timmins hand. Leaving her hand on his, she says, “I’m even a decent cook, so bring your hunger with you. Do you want me to bring the carriage to pick you up at your place in the morning?”

Timmins’ brow furrows and his eyes grow wide and he incredulously asks, “You’d pick me up in a carriage?”

Lanis strokes Timmins hand, and she softly says, “Of course I will.”

Timmins sits up straight. He says excited, but firm. “No, please don’t.”

Lanis settles back in her chair, sadly saying, “Okay, if you desire.”

Timmins nods.

Together, the two hold small-talk and finish their meal along with another round of drinks.

Two hours after arriving in the tavern, Lanis sighs and she looks at Timmins again with adoration. She then says, “I think I’ll take you to your home and I’ll go home. Your wages are paid for the day, so you don’t have to return to the office. But be sure to turn up to work in the morning.”

Timmins shakes his head, and then answers, “No, I want to walk home. I like to think and walk. I have a lot to think about, so a lot of walking to do. Thank you Lanis. It’s been great meeting you.” He stands as Lanis stands.

Lanis leans over and kisses Timmins cheek. Walking out, she excitedly mounts Crystal and she rides home to Lenden’s manor.

Stabling Crystal, Lanis then enters the manor at two hours before evening meal.

Cooking evening meal and then serving it, Lanis is overexcited as she sits down at the table with Lenden and Melinda.

Lanis addresses her friends. “I was over on Berry Way and had mid-day meal with a most wonderful man.”

Lenden smirks as he sees the red colour of Lanis cheeks and lips and the dilation of her eyes as she mentions the man. Lenden continues to eat as he waits for Lanis to continue.

Melinda sits up straight and silently watches Drake, waiting for her to continue.

Lanis continues, “His name is Timmins. I invited him over for the day on Summer 4. Is that an issue with anyone?” Lanis holds her breath as she waits for their responses.

Lenden postures as if in deep thought, stroking his chin and mumbling, while looking up at the ceiling. He does this for a full minute, and then with a grim expression he looks at Drake and calmly says, “I think … there might be no issues. But clean up after yourself and no loud partying.”

Melinda can be seen wanting to either scream at Lenden, or slap him, but she refrains from both. Exasperated, she turns to Drake, “I have no issues. Do you need help with anything? Do you have some nice clothing? How about make-up?”

Lanis sits dumb-founded. She has never considering clothing or enhancing her appearance. She says, “No, I have no other clothing or make-up. We will have to go shopping the next free six-day, after the date to Berry Way Market, and purchase some.”

Lenden coughs rough once. Then he says, “If you want to trade a free day later, to go sooner, I’ll allow a trade.”

Lanis looks at Melinda and she says, “How about we go Summer 1?”

Melinda perks up. With excitement in her eyes, she says, “I would enjoy that.”

The rest of that day and evening, the three work together, and then rest, finally going to sleep.

Spring 90 Bear

The day starts and work is as normal.

Drake begins giving Melinda lessons on her spell study of the spell ‘Detect Magic’. They work on reading Melinda’s power flow and pushing the flow out.

A couple of hours after mid-day meal, while Drake is working in the stable with the horses, Melinda calls her to the front of the manor.

Melinda says, “Two people are at the front door looking for you.”

Walking out of the stable into the drenching rains of the day, Drake walks around to the manor front door. She greets the sixty-eight-year-old jalmal who stands next to the twenty-seven-year-old jalfem, “Greeting masters, I’m Mage Drake. How may I be of service?”

The jalmal grumbles a bit, and then he greets Lanis, “Greetings, are you Lanis, from the Mage’s University?”

Lanis nods, and then she replies. “I am, who are you?”

The man says, “Apprentice Lanis, you owe one-thousand Flairs and must leave this residence.”

Drake stands firm as she says, “You still haven’t said who you are. I owe no one anything. Nor do I owe one-thousand Flairs, until you tell me who you are. Nor am I leaving Lenden Manor.”

The man steps towards Lanis, raising his fists, “I am Handid. You are leaving and paying the Flairs.”

The woman with him also starts approaching Lanis, raising her fists in an aggressive manner.

Drake quickly raises her arm with the artifact, focusing on Levan and uttering “Dus.” Then, focusing on the man, she feels the power fizzle away from the ‘Levitate’ as if dispelled.

As she feels the spell dissipate, the man strikes her hard, followed by the woman hitting Drake.

Handid hits Drake again before Drake can finish casting a memorized ‘Levitate’ spell, causing her to lose the spell.

Following, the woman hits Drake immediately, knocking Drake to the side.

Handid follows with another blow, knocking Drake to the ground.

Melinda, seeing Drake is in trouble, but having no melee skills of her own, runs off to find Lenden.

While down on the ground, Drake casts a yellow ‘Chromatic orb’ and throws it at the woman who is close to her, striking her in the chest. The flash burns the woman, but there is no apparent other effect.

As the two attackers recover from the flash of light, Drake casts her ‘Fan of Flame’, scorching the two attackers and catching their clothing on fire.

As Drake is rising to her feet, Handid hits her, and then rapidly strikes her again.

Followed by the woman hitting Drake.

Handid, seeing Drake trying to cast again, strike her hand so hard it stuns Drake and she loses her spell.

The burning pain from the inflamed clothing causes the woman to fall down unconscious, while Handid continues to battle Drake.

Melinda returns, followed by Lenden.

Seeing that only Handid is attacking Drake, and that Drake is stunned holding her hand, Melinda hits Handid hard.

Handid, seeing Lenden and knowing Lenden is a master Mage, attacks Lenden, hitting him.

Lenden hits Handid hard enough to stun the man.

This allows Drake to regain enough composure to cast her last memorized ‘Levitate’ spell, lifting Handid two feet off the ground.

The battle stops as Handid regains his senses and he struggles while Drake controls Handid’s position.

Everyone is soaking wet in the rain, which has put out the clothing fires.

Melinda kneels down to check the woman. Then, Melinda stands, telling everyone. “The woman is dead.”

Drake, her eyes burning with anger, her face red and her breathing in ragged controlled deep breaths, looks at Handid. She resists slamming the man up and down into the paving stones of the courtyard, or using another ‘Fan Flame’ on him.

Drake shouts, “What the Seven Hells do you want? Why did you attack me and why do you want one-thousand Flairs and me out of here so bad? Did Rhysis send you?”

The man is silent as the rain drips off of him and he hangs in the air.

Drake calms as she watches the man suspended by her ‘Levitate’ spell. She says, “I’ll pay you double whatever you’re being paid, if you tell me who sent you, and why?”

Handid simply continues to watch Drake.

Drake looks over Handid’s burn wounds. She prods a few of the wounds, and then offers him. “We’ll look after the healing of these, if you’ll speak up and tell us who.”

Handid asks cautiously, “So, what would that cost me?”

Having finally gotten the man to speak, Drake sweetens the pot, “Nothing, in fact I’ll help you get home, if you tell us who your employer is. That is all you have to do.”

Handid begins to weep as he hangs midair, feeling the pain from his first degree burns that cover a good portion of his arms and chest. He has lost plenty of his hair to the flames as well, and Handid was a pretty man before. Now, he has lost some of his looks to some blistering from the flames. The burns may or may not leave scar. But his arms are definitely scarred now, and areas of his chest are scarred as well. He breaks down emotionally and spiritually. Handid looks down at the dead woman, then up at Drake. He says. “I wasn’t told you are a full mage. I came on my own, for vengeance. You see, I’m a professional gambler and Rhysis assured me he could make you leave Lenden’s manor, and that you are a simple unreliable apprentice. His words were ‘unstable brat’.”

Drake laughs, and then she backs up looking at Lenden, knowing it was her cultivated reputation at the university, not her true personality. Drake is very intentional, calculating and usually very calm. Usually.

Handid continues, “On Rhysis’ assurance, I placed a one-thousand Flair wager with a baron, that a Mage could be convinced she should leave her home and I named you. I gave the date of Spring 90 Bear. When Rhysis failed to prove you left, the Baron demanded payment yesterday. I don’t have one-thousand Flairs. I’m eighty short.”

Drake stops Handid, and she says. “I’m not leaving, especially not today. So you’ve lost, and have to pay up on your wager. You’re eighty short? Tell you what. I’ll help you out on that. I’ll give you, out-right, one-hundred Flairs, in-exchange, to cover for healing fees. I’ll give you another hundred for the death of your partner, for a total of two-hundred. You can pay your thousand, so you won’t be broke, and you can cover your healers fees along with Right of Passage fees. You will have about fifty Flairs left over. Agreed?”

Handid stops sobbing. He stares blankly at Drake several moments, and then he gasps suddenly. With his breaths regular again, he says calm in an even warm voice. “Thank you, you’ll do that?”

Drake turns to Lenden and she asks, “You’ll loan me two-hundred and the carriage to take these two home?”

Lenden says, “I’ll loan you that, and I’ll go with you to deliver these two with the items.”

Drake turns back to Handid. “Done, if you agree?”

Handid extends his arm down to Lanis, and he says, “Done.”

Drake lowers Handid to the ground. After setting him on the ground, she clasps arms with him gingerly, while Lenden retrieves two-hundred Flairs.

Taking Handid, Drake harnesses the carriage, while Melinda arranges the dead woman for loading onto the carriage.

Drake and Lenden load the dead woman into the storage area of the carriage, then they help Handid into the cabin and Lenden drives the carriage with the three of them, to Handid’s, where they unload the body.

Leaving Handid with his coins and the body, Lenden drives Drake home.

To be continued … in episode sixteen, ‘No?

Awesome! You’ve completed episode fifteen 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 www.InUPress.ca. 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 tell us how you enjoy reading ‘Lanis’, by going over to www.inupress.ca and commenting. We’d love to hear from you.

Have an wonderful day.

Yours,

Rusty Knight.

 

 

Comments

Lanis, episode fourteen, ‘Life!’

Lanis episode fourteen, Life!

Lanis
Episode fourteen, Life!

 

Lanis

Episode fourteen, ‘Life!’

By Rusty Knight

 

In episode thirteen, ‘Distances’:

Drake and Lenden traveled south past Littleton Town to Drendel Fief. This fief is one of Lenden’s ten fiefs. They were there to resolve the issue of the dead heads-of-households.

Drake stepped in at the request of Lenden

 

Now in episode fourteen, ‘Life!’,

 

Spring 88 Bear

 

Drake stretches in her bed. It is early morning and the gods won’t rise for at least two hours. Drake gets out of bed and lights her lantern. Dressing, she contemplates her day. She is still baffled by Lenden even suggesting she could be his chamberlain, after he gave her an apprentice to work with. Is he tying her down? Or does he see this as her potential? Or is he grooming Drake for something more?

Drake walks to the library and takes the tome on artificing off the shelf. Sitting at the desk she begins studying, half-heartedly. After half-an-hour, Drake walks to the kitchen to begin her chores for today.

Setting the food on the table for morning meal, Drake informs Melinda. “We’ll go over the ‘Detect Magic’ again, before you finalize your study and you try casting it again.”

Lenden nods as he dishes his plate full of steaming food. “Don’t forget the freight drover is coming today with feed for the animals. It is your responsibility to get it stored away properly, Drake.”

Drake grumbles at the thought of hard manual labour, but then remembers it’s food for Crystal and her remaining drake, as well as Lenden’s animals.

After the two of them clean the kitchen and dining room, Drake and Melinda enter Drake’s laboratory area.

Drake looks at Melinda’s notes, and then she gives Melinda pointers and advice on improving her spell. Finally, she says, “Do you think you have the grasp of it now?”

Melinda nods and silently begins to memorize her newest version of ‘Detect Magic’, while Drake fetches the Chain of Non-detection and places it on the table.

Melinda sits back after ten minutes of memorization. She says to Drake. “I’m ready”

Drake points to the necklace.

Melinda casts her spell. Sitting, she focuses for several seconds, and then in frustration she throws her hands up and says. “I don’t get it. Either that isn’t magical or the spell doesn’t work. Or, I’ll never be a mage.”

Drake quickly free-casts ‘Detect Magic’ and detects the red glow of mage magic from the chain. It is a strong aura, as that cast by an artifact of permanent power.

Looking up at Melinda, Drake says, “It is definitely magical. For whatever reason, the spell you’ve created doesn’t work for you. Figure out why. Try again, study your flow and transference. Study any blockages you may have. Practice with cantrips and the one spell you already have, and study how they work for you. Cast, cast and cast, learning from each casting, and then redesign your spell to fit your particular flow.”

Melinda stalls for a minute, staring at Drake as if Drake has three heads. Suddenly, she blurts out. “This could take seasons; you know that? Right? Can we afford that?”

Drake smiles and then she pats Melinda’s arm and replies. “You can afford two more attempts before you become Uncle’s indentured slave. So, sort of yes, you can afford it.”

Slumping forward in her seat, Melinda asks, “A slave? Really? Then what? Do I stop studying to be a mage?”

Drake says, “I don’t know. Uncle never told me that part. He just said if we spent ten-thousand Flairs of his coin, we would become his slaves.”

Melinda goes into shock. Her breathing becomes sharp and erratic, her skin paling, the pupils in her eyes narrowing. She whispers. “I owe eight-thousand Flairs?”

Drake shrugs and then answers, “Or close to it. Each time you studied the spell you spent about a thousand Flairs of Uncles supplies. The tome cost you close to eight-thousand, but Uncle cut that in half.”

Melinda begins to weep, with tears rolling down her face. Her hands go to her eyes as she tries to stop the tears. She gasps for breath.

Drake puts her arm around Melinda, pulling her close, as she says to her student. “It’s okay, we’re here to support you. You’ll pay it off. You just have to stop studying for a while, once you learn ‘Detect Magic’, at least until you pay off some of your debt.”

Shaking uncontrolled, Melinda utters, “How? How can anyone pay that off? I’ll always owe Uncle.”

A coarse male voice speaks softly from behind the two women. “Don’t worry too much about it right now. Mage’s deal in the thousands of Flairs all their career. You’ll pay it off. But, for now ladies, it is past mid-day meal. I have the meal ready downstairs, and the freight wagon is here, Drake. I’ll keep some food set aside for you, for after you’ve unloaded the wagon. Come along Melinda, come with me and eat a meal. You’ll feel better.”

Walking out to meet the freight wagon, Drake expects an old freight-master and a couple of kids.

As she approaches the wagon, her eyes are glued to the man sitting next to the drover. His features remind her of a god. To others he may not be, but Lanis finds the man irresistible; she can’t stop staring at him. She says, “Good-day Master, are you the freighter-master?”

The drover grins and leans over. He says, “No, Master. I am. Where do you want the wagon? So my labourer and I can help you unload this feed?”

Blushing a bright, almost Imvor-red, Lanis, forgetting that she is Mage Drake, says, “Follow me.” And she leads the drover and his team to the stables.

The drover is expert with his team and wagon; he actually backs the wagon to the stable using his team of horses. Applying the brakes, he nudges his companion and he says, “Come on Timmins, lets unload this so we can get going back to the warehouse as quickly as possible.”

Timmins jumps down from his seat on the wagon, and Lanis finds she towers over him at least five inches, but he likely out-weighs her by forty pounds, or more, and its muscle. ‘My, the muscles on the man. He may be shorter than many, but I bet he can outwork most. He’s so handsome, his mumma did raise no dog boy. I bet he’s smart too.’

Actually Timmins is a little more plain than lumber, but Lanis, for some reason, finds Timmons handsome. Not even Timmins’ mother called him handsome. He received the short end of the looks stick. We need to check Lanis’ eyesight, or her perception.

Lanis brushes against Timmins as she walks past him to lead the way to show the men where the feed is being stored.

Lanis diligently works along with the two men, carrying the sacks of feed. All three of them easily handling the fifty pound sacks of feed without straining. In three-quarters-of-an-hour, the three empty the wagon and properly store the sacks of feed.

Lanis brushes against Timmins frequently. She asks him many questions, which he seems to avoid answering, such as, Lanis asked, “Where do you live Timmins?” Timmins’ reply was, “Several blocks from here.” Lanis asked, “Do you have a life-companion? Do you have anyone special?” Timmins simply said, “No.”

Lanis doesn’t give up. The whole time the freight wagon is in the courtyard, Lanis is trying to hold a conversation with Timmins.

As the drover is releasing the wagon’s brakes Lanis asks him. “What freight transport do you work for?”

He laughs and winks at Lanis, as Lanis blushes near Imvor-red again, in her obviousness.

The drover answers. “Tryst Transport, from Berry Way.” He clicks his tongue and snaps the reins for his team, ushering his horses forward. He says, “I’ll see you around, Lanis.” He laughs and drives out the courtyard gate, still chuckling.

Not defeated yet, Lanis returns to the manor kitchen, finding her mid-day meal is still lukewarm. She sits at the table to eat.

During evening meal, Drake is still thinking like Lanis, and she says to Lenden. “I’m going to Berry Way tomorrow. Do you want anything from the market, Uncle?”

Lenden shrugs and ponders this for a moment, as he watches Drake. Then he says. “No, you have a good day off. What are you going for?”

Lanis doesn’t hesitate as she responds, “Spell component shopping.”

Lenden lets it lay at that, observing Lanis’ eyes twitch when she spoke and the corners of her mouth curl up. He knows she is up to something, but she isn’t going to talk about it, and he might not want to know.

 

Spring 89 Bear

 

Leaving Lenden’s manor, a few minutes after the orange-red streams of light from Imvor cracked in through the east windows, Lanis rides Crystal to Berry Way, looking for Tryst Transport.

Finding the building, only an-hour-and-a-half after leaving the manor, Lanis dismounts and tethers Crystal to the front rail that is offered for such purposes. She enters the building’s office and addresses the seventy-nine-years-old jalfem at the front counter. “Gods-grace and good fate Master. May I have a moment of your time?”

The woman smiles and nods. “Of course. What business do you have?”

Lanis leans on the counter and she says, “I’m actually seeking one of your employees, for some work for me. I’ll pay fair wages to you.”

The woman frowns and looks up at Lanis. She says, “I’m sorry, we don’t hire out our employees.”

Lanis sets her coin pouch on the counter. She says, “I’ll pay double his wages.”

Greed beams in the receptionist’s eyes. She replies, “I’ll have to get the manager to talk with you.”

Lanis leans forward and replies, “Yes, you do that please.”

The elderly woman walks into a back room and soon returns with a young mature toyfem. The woman, speaking in toy, asks. “I hear you want to hire an employee of ours and you’ll pay us double their wage? Is that right?”

Lanis places a Flair on the counter and says in fluent toy. “Yes. You are correct.”

The manager’s eyes gleam with greed also. She touches the gold coin. Moving the Flair around, she asks, “How long do you want him for?”

Lanis smiles demurely, pushing the gold coin firmly into the woman’s hand. Then Lanis says. “Just today, for now. Maybe more in the future, if his work is good.”

The woman nods, closing her hand on the Flair. She looks into Lanis’ eyes, asking, “Who is it?”

Lanis smiles, and then she says confidently. “His name is Timmins. He’s the labourer that delivered feed yesterday.”

The manager is taken aback; she looks at the receptionist. Pointing at the receptionist, the manager asks, “Her grand-son? Why?”

Lanis looks at the matron, and bows before answering. She says, “Because he can work, and he can keep up with me.”

Lanis asks, “What are your names?”

The manger replies, “I’m Lemen, and Timmins’ grand-mother is our receptionist; her name is Dora.”

Lanis bows to each woman. Then, turning to Lemen, Lanis asks, “What is Timmins wage?”

Lemen answers quickly. “Three dusters a day.”

Lanis places a Dyns on the counter and says. “Then this should cover today’s wage, with a little extra in it for the company?”

Lemen takes the silver coin and says, “Yes, fair enough. I’ll go fetch our boy for you. Bring him back whole. He is one of my better workers.”

Lanis smiles, and then she responds. “I’ll try.”

Several minutes later, Timmins and Lemen return to the office.

Seeing Lanis, Timmins groans and both his co-workers give him a quizzical look in wonder.

Timmins asks, “Where are we going?”

Lanis answers, “To get a load. Don’t worry, I won’t bite, and I promised to return you here.”

Timmins frowns as he looks to Lemen. “Really?”

Lemen answers him. “Yes, you’re going with her.”

Timmins, still frowning, shrugs and then following Lanis he mutters, “Okay.”

Outside, Lanis takes Crystal’s reins in hand, but doesn’t mount her horse. Leading Crystal, Lanis walks with Timmins, and she says, “If you answer my questions and talk with me, I won’t repeat this episode. If you don’t, I’ll be back again and again. We are going to a local tavern to eat mid-day meal, before we do anything else.”

Together, the two walk to the nearest tavern and Lanis tethers Crystal before they go in. Taking a seat at a table near the back, Lanis orders a hot meal with ales for each of them.

Lanis asks Timmins. “Tell me why you won’t talk with me?”

Timmins leans back, looking at Lanis. He frowns as he thinks about how to frame his answer. Then he says, “Look at you, and look at me. I’m an average plain jalmal, with no shakes to call my own. I’m a labourer for a transport business. I have no future; I’m not particularly well educated. You, you’re beautiful, well educated, and I bet you’re a full tradesman of some sort. And you can work just as hard as me, and you’re smart … you figured out how to find me. Do you think I stand a chance in your world? I would be constantly humiliated.”

Lanis hesitates, realising there is some truths to Timmins statements. She watches as the tavern-keeper sets the plates of hot food on the table and then she walks away.

Lanis looks into Timmins eyes. Lanis says, “I would say I don’t care about your social status or smarts. But that is a lie. I do. But the social class can be changed. Also, you’re smarter then you give yourself credit for, or at least wiser. You knew I outclass you and outsmart you and you feel you would be humiliated. That takes a fairly high degree of smarts and wisdom. So we can teach you, giving you education. Come share time with me, and we’ll see about your education, then we’ll see about your social class. Are you willing to give us that chance?”

Timmins stares at Lanis, and then asks, “Yeah, and what will it cost me?”

Lanis quickly replies, “Lots, your time and humility, but nothing financially. I’ll take care of that. Deal?”

Timmins peers deeper into Lanis’ eyes and he asks, “And what do you get out of this?”

Lanis grins before answering, and she perks up straight in the chair. “Easy, I get you.”

Timmins laughs. “I think you lose on that count. You sure you want me? No one else has yet. I’m twenty-six years old. How old are you grandma?”

Lanis laughs, patting Timmins hand. “In the University they have a term for what we would have. Cat and mouse. I’m thirty-three and no one has wanted me yet, either. I think I’m too domineering for most men.”

Timmins frowns as he considers this. “I live alone in an apartment on the fourth floor. You would have to visit me once in a while? I couldn’t always be visiting you?”

Lanis leans over the table and kisses Timmins on the lips. As she sits back down she says, “Deal.”

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 www.InUPress.ca. 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 tell us how you enjoy reading ‘Lanis’, by going over to www.inupress.ca and commenting. We’d love to hear from you.

Have an wonderful day.

Yours,

Rusty Knight.

 

 

 

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