Excerpt from The Fountains of Aescalon

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"You'd better be nice to me because I'm going to be the Queen!" And she was quite the piece of eye candy - petite, upturned nose, dimples, green eyes, golden blonde hair, pert and ample breasts, well turned backside. Too bad for her she said it with King Edvard only a few feet away.

I'd spent a couple hours after my return building a simple trap. It wouldn't do any harm to those who triggered it; all it would do was light up the location of any active magic on tower visitors. A simple trigger of matra as a detective together with kored to light up the specific location. I even extruded a nice silver frame for the visitors to walk thorough into the tower. It wouldn't last forever, but it was almost foolproof in its simplicity. Particularly at the level of the local talent.

King Edvard, for his part, wanted to get a good look at how his prospective brides treated his veterans, so he was dressed simply as one of his officers. He watched calmly as the door guard - Magni - explained to the young woman in question and her father the wizard that his instructions were that all visitors were to pass through this portal upon entering the tower. Her father - a wizard who styled himself Heffinglass - demurred, and so did his daughter, heaping abuse upon poor Magni.

Finally, King Edvard, still posing as the lieutenant in charge of the watch, took charge, "My instructions from the king are explicit. No visitors are to enter the tower without passing through the silver portal. If you do not wish to attend the king's invitation under such conditions, my lord Heffinglass, then you and your daughter may depart without fear."

"But the portal is enchanted! What is its' function?"

"I cannot say. We were told only to take careful note of the location on your persons of any illumination such passage provokes. The king's wizard is here; perhaps you would take it up with him?"

"Sir, I demand to know the nature of the enchantment!"

"The nature of the enchantment is quite simple; all it does is alert the observer to the presence of active magic. But since you seem to have difficulty and I happen to be standing right here, I will report what I see directly."

"Well, that would be welcome, since I am not doing any magic currently."

"Lord Heffinglass, that may be the truth in that you're not casting any spells at the moment," I replied, "However, it's intentionally misleading. In fact, this woman is not your daughter, she is your concubine, and she's already pregnant. You've bespelled her with a simple glamour any apprentice should be able to spot. Do I need to demonstrate, or would you rather retain what shreds of dignity you have remaining and retire from this spot, never to return?"

"Preposter..." he began huffily, as if I was impugning him, then finished weakly "...ous" as the glamour vanished, the young woman being replaced with a significantly older but still attractive woman, dark hair beginning to gray, everything else significantly aged.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on November 10, 2017 5:49 AM.

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