Monday, July 31, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 34

Londlar's story seemed unfamiliar at first, for he patiently and slowly described levels of the dungeons under Castle Greyhawk that Ehlissa had never seen during her brief adventuring career. As more details came to light, though, she recognized this for what it was, and what she had always feared. It was the story everyone left at home dreaded to hear about their loved ones when they went away to adventure...


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 33

Ehlissa still felt the compulsion from the spell to leave, but she fought it for as long as she could. She had no idea if the Mage of the Tower woke up in time to save himself, or if Erac's Cousin had slain him. She had no idea if Erac's Cousin was coming this way to flee, or if he would reunite with his familiar out back and flee over the garden wall. She was, at the moment, only mildly concerned with all of those possibilities. There was just one person she had really hoped to learn about through all this...


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 32

"Go now. I'm ordering you!"

The words of Erac's Cousin rang in Ehlissa's ears and, compelled by his spell, she could not help but carry them out.

As she started to go, she hoped for some loophole that would allow her to obey her compulsion, yet stay...


Friday, June 16, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 31

Ehlissa struggled against the hand on her wrist. She wanted to kill the mage despite what she had been told to do because she knew it was in the best interest of Erac's Cousin if the old man died. That was how much she was under his spell, and deep down she knew it. She had never felt so powerless, but then...


Friday, June 2, 2017

Ch.4, Page 30


In the tower's foyer, the Mage's monk servant stopped bleeding out.

In the tower's garden, the Cousin's familiar started chewing through the plants that held him.

In the Mage's den, the Mage had a dream. It was not about the confrontation going on around him...

"Oh, I know how you wanted to use me," Ehlissa said.  "You played on my affection for your cousin, if he really is your cousin."

"Oh, he is. Or was. I have no doubt that this man you want spared probably sent my cousin to his death on some fool's errand. But this isn't even about revenge. Not really. It's about the wealth of magic this old fool has hoarded in his tower..."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 29

It was a simple spell with a quick casting time, but in those moments Ehlissa remembered her trainer, Bastro Felgosh, and his words of admonishment upon learning this spell for charming persons.

"The temptation will always be there to take advantage of others with such a spell as this," Felgosh had said with a wag of his plump finger, "The ability to charm others is potent -- but fallible. You may never know if it has taken hold on another's mind, until it is too late to avoid the consequences..."




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 28

Whatever spell was on the back door unlocked the door. Ehlissa opened it, went through, and quickly shut it on the other side, for she knew the familiar was still back there in the garden, struggling to free itself from the entangling vine.

From this back room, she could hear no indication of where Erac's Cousin was in the tower. He could be looting rooms upstairs at this moment...but if the spell's voice had been right and the Mage was in danger, then there was only one room Erac's Cousin could be in.

But, did Ehlissa dare confront him alone? She had only one spell remotely combat-related prepared. It would have been useless against the familiar, but against Erac's Cousin...maybe she had a chance...






Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 27

The front door to the Tower of the Mage was still ajar when Erac's Cousin pushed it all the way open. The servant dressed like a monk was lying still on the foyer floor. Dispassionately, but still curious, Erac's Cousin crouched down and checked the body for signs of life.

Erac's Cousin turned his gaze away from his familiar's pursuit of Ehlissa. It was taking far too long to dispose of her, but at least it kept her out of his way. Provided the Mage did not recover, there should be no one left to stand in his way.

At the rear of the foyer began the curved corridor that circled the interior of the ground floor. Erac's Cousin took his time, checking doors as he went. He found two locked doors that Ehlissa had run past. Unlike her, he had a knocking spell prepared once in his own memory, and had it available twice more on scrolls. He was prepared for obstacles like that...but would delay using them as long as possible. Especially since there was an open doorway leading right into the Mage's ground floor study, with the Mage himself right there on the floor of it.

The Spanokian Root had done its job -- indeed, had done its job a little too well. Erac's Cousin had hoped that the Mage would at least stumble further away from the lit brazier after smelling the "potpourri," but the old fool had apparently just stood their inhaling until the drug put him right under. The fire in the brazier was still burning and the fumes from the burnt root were undoubtedly still in the air, making the Mage's body too dangerous to approach closely.

To amuse himself, Erac's Cousin looked around the room and checked the furnishings while he decided how next to proceed. As luck would have it, he found a small hand-washing basin with some water in it sitting on a shelf inside a cabinet. He took the basin out, walked as close as he dared to the brazier, and tossed the contents onto the fire. There was a loud ssssss  and more smoke billowed out from the brazier. He took a step back and watched while holding his breath.

It would be a minute or two still before he dared approach the Mage's sleeping body, so Erac's Cousin turned his gaze back through his familiar's eyes. He now saw that the hunt had moved outdoors since he last paid attention to it...


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 26

The giant spider tugged relentlessly on the garden door. Ehlissa pulled on the handle with all her might, but was losing ground and in danger of being pulled back into the tower. In moments, she would not be able to contain the monster.

In this, what she feared might be her final moments, she thought of the people she had gone to for help. Robilar. Rary. Yrag. All had failed to keep her from this moment in time. Tenser -- he might not even know she was ever in trouble.

But none of it was their fault. She had fallen for Erac all on her own, and had fallen into the schemes of Erac's Cousin only to find Erac. And now she was alone. She thought there was no one left to help her...




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 25

"Wait," Erac's Cousin said, and his familiar heard the voice in its mind. "Let me see those pages."

Erac's Cousin could see through his familiar's eyes and scanned the pages of the open book Ehlissa had thrown between her and his pet to buy her precious seconds to escape.

"Hmm...could this be The Chronicles of Keoland by Lord Kelvin Halmari?" Erac's Cousin mused to himself. "If it is the rare first edition, this alone could be worth the risks I've taken..."


Ehlissa had turned and followed the hallway north as it curved around the mage's office. There was a door on the left, but it seemed to be locked and she could not budge it. Up ahead, though, was a glass orb mounted to the wall with magic light inside it, and this light illuminated an open archway across from it in the north wall.

When she stepped into the room, the light winked out behind her. It had lasted long enough, at least, for her to see another door...

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 24

Ehlissa's first instinct was to run, but she knew the dog that followed Erac's Cousin looked dangerous -- too dangerous to turn her back on -- and it would quickly free itself from under the curtain.

She glanced at the desk and noticed the open book. There might be something useful in there, she hoped. She just needed to buy herself a little bit of time to look through it. She looked around for something else to throw on top of the curtain and pin it down.  Something heavy...


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 23

The familiar of Erac's Cousin finished changing back into the form of a dog, as it wanted its sense of smell heightened for tracking. Almost immediately, it smelled Ehlissa. Without Ehlissa to follow, it would not have known where in the tower the Mage was...but with Ehlissa here, it would be easy to follow her scent straight to the Mage.


Ehlissa stood there for a moment, paralyzed by surprise. She had suspected there was something no good in the jar Erac's Cousin had given her, but she never expected to see the Mage collapse from it. Her first concern was that he was dead. Then her second concern was that he was dead and she had helped kill him.  Her third concern was that he was dead -- and she would be found with his body!

Ehlissa gathered her wits quickly and realized that she didn't actually know he was dead. He was lying very still, but from this angle, she could not tell if he was still breathing.

Drawing closer to the burnt incense in the brazier that took out the Mage would be foolhardy without some precaution. Luckily she had a handkerchief upon her person. As she covered her nose and mouth, she crept closer, hearing her own heart pounding in her chest. In fact, that might have been why she did not notice right away the soft padding of pawed feet in the hallway...


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 22

To the casual observer, Erac's Cousin appeared to be just standing idly, perhaps admiring the nearby garden. The smile on his face was far from one of contentedness, but a malevolent smirk of wicked satisfaction. And his thoughts did not even need to stray back very far to recall why he was satisfied...




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 21

Ehlissa lifted the small vase out of her purse. She had not had the chance to examine it, but she noticed now how light it felt. It was made of blue ceramic with decorative etchings all around it.

The Mage of the Tower was less interested in the vase than an excuse to draw closer to this charming young maiden. He barely paid attention to the markings on the vase, as his lecherous brain was busy trying to come up with a plan for exploiting this girl's desperate need for information from him...


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 20

The Tower Mage grabbed his hat; he always felt more important wearing his hat. And, if he was going to make a good impression on this charming young lass, he needed to look very important indeed.