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Songs of the Silver Wizard

Part Two

By Matthew FrommPublished 4 months ago Updated 2 months ago 8 min read
8

You can catch up on the rest of the tale HERE

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“It is unwise to travel in strange forests at night at the best of times, but especially when the full moon is at his height.”

He felt their eyes on him the moment he entered into the craggy gully deep in the Black Forest. Thaddeus waved merrily, and the bats returned the greeting with stern silence from their perches on the cliffs. There was no sign of Othoritirx’s fractured host–not had he expected to find them here.

True to their word, the councilors provided the finest horse from their stables. Black-haired and strong with a flowing gray mane, the horse responded instantly to his touch and stepped true for their journey. He was a mount worthy of a knight and deserved a name full of glory.

Thus, Thaddeus named him Bob.

There was a small but flat outcropping where the gully opened back into the black heart of the forest. Above, the steep peaks of the Adrusian Divide pierced the night’s full moon as the wizard made his humble camp.

“It’s alright, boy, I won’t let nothing happen to ya,” Thaddeus said as he hitched Bob on a cool stone large enough for the horse to lie down. He whispered an incantation, and blue flames sparked to life. Finding their arrangements subtable, Bob tucked his head into his hooves and was snoring before Thaddeus had his bed roll undone.

Chewing on a biscuit not yet hardened by their journey, he undid the straps of the scabbard and drew the council’s other gift. After their armorer informed him there were none in the citadel, the silversmiths climbed over one another to forge the long sword. A young man named Angier won the day–Thaddeus guessed he was only a year or two past apprenticeship. The blade was razor sharp and flowed toward a hilt inlaid with ruby at the crossguard. But it was the handle where he focused his attention. His orders had been explicit: the wrapping had to be of thick leather and cover the entirety of the handle, fastened with bone glue and rope. The looks he got from Angier at the instruction were thankfully curious and not inquisitive, but based on this inspection, the man had followed them to the letter.

Summer winds ripped through the pass and rattled the branches and leaves of the forest beyond. He shivered despite the fire and his traveling cloak as an owl hooted somewhere in the darkness. The air stilled, yet the leaves rattled on. Thaddeus listened for the owl and instead heard nothing but silence. He smiled.

“Ahh Antonia, to what do I owe this, what I presume will be wonderful, visit?”

She appeared from the darkness, tall and slender with skin so pale that it shimmered blue in the light of the full moon. Three others circled his humble camp while other huddled masses hunched in the shadows, all donning boiled leather and black hair pulled in tight buns. Moonlight glittered off long dagger hilts specifically crafted to cut throats. The bushes behind Thaddeus rustled.

“Reginald, touch his horse, and you’ll spend the night hogtied with Garlic up your bum,” she hissed, her voice as buttery as snake venom. Her thrall scampered back from the horse into the darkness under a bored stare from Thaddeus’s trusty mount. The other three vampires laughed. “Some horse you have there.”

“Paid dearly for him. Good hunting out there today? I do hope I bled them well for you,” Thaddeus said, not moving from his bed roll. His staff lay on the ground nearby, and he made no motion towards it.

“Good enough, but I’m glad I saved space for dessert. Brigand is so…stringy, and I fear I have a taste for something so much sweeter,” Antonia rolled her neck as she spoke. Never one for casual conversation, this Vampire.

“Ohh Antonia, you’re such a wonderful little devil. Eight hundred never looked so good on you.”

“Seven hundred and fifty-three. I grow tired, wizard, and the moon is high. I’ve learned well enough when a man wants something, get to it.”

“Well then, right to it. I’m going to kill Othoritirx.”

A howl erupted from Antonina, followed by the rest of her brood. It echoed off the trees so loudly that Thaddeus expected their foes would hear it clear over the mountains. Even the hunched thrall Reginald chuckled sheepishly from where he sat on all fours.

“Shut up, Reginald,” she said sharply. “All the killing today must have made me deaf, Thaddy. I swore you said you were going to kill Othoritirx, but even wandering for a decade through a chaos realm wouldn’t make you so daft.”

“No, you heard me right, Antty. His bell has tolled.”

“Well then, I wish you a good death and good day,” she waved dismissively and turned back toward the depths of the forest.

Thaddeus fought the urge to babble all of his plans out right then and there. He marshaled himself and spoke slowly, “Fine then, I’ll remember this once his corpse is smoldering, or frozen, or dragged to the depths of a chaos realm. Some of those details are still being worked out, I admit.”

“He’s got seven tribes assembled beyond the mountains: Gothinians, Skars, and Vanyians, among others. The werewolves have pledged to him. Of course, that coward Gavool would,” she spat on the ground. “I hear he’s got a pair of fire Djinns from beyond the shadowlands and a Bone Caster in his retinue as well. That little show at Rannia was charming, but you’re outmatched.”

“All I hear is I’m going to be busy. I do enjoy a good challenge. Things have grown so incredibly dull lately.”

“You’re going to be dead. And now you ask if I’m coming with you, correct? I most disrespectfully decline,” she said, and yet she turned back toward his humble camp. Around them, hands gripped knives, and fangs flashed.

“I would never presume you would do something honorable with your life, but alas, I came prepared,” Thaddeus said as he drew the longsword. Reginald scampered back into the forest's depths as moonlight reflected off the blade. The other vampires recoiled back, hissing at the infernal weapon. Only Antonia stood her ground, but even her eyes grew wide at the sight.

“You presume much, wizard.”

“All I ask is a little cooperation, my old, old friend,” with a mummer’s flourish, he spun the blade around and presented her with the hilt. “A sword of silver, immune to wards of both blood and spell, capped with a protected hilt for the wielder.”

“A dangerous weapon,” she said, but while her cohort shunned the blade, Antonia eyed it hungrily. Yes, stare on. How long have you bided your time?

“And here I thought I was talking to a dangerous woman. All that’s left is to temper the blade…in the old fashion. I can imagine there are a fair few scores you’ve wished to settle in the last, what was it, seven hundred and fifty-four years?”

“Fifty-three,” She smiled and took it, examining the hilt. The ruby at the hilt reflected in her red eyes, “Gavool’s blood would do nicely for it, I think. In an academic sense, of course. I suppose this fool's path you're on will cross with that of the blood traitor. I will walk beside you until then.”

Thaddeus smiled, knowing he had her, “Grand! Now let me and Bob sleep, for the coming days will be long.”

“We’ll need more than a wizard and a few cutthroats. You’ll need a right and true army.”

“Tomorrow, I’ll go to Shaggurt.”

“Folly,” she said, still examining the sword's intricate details. Bob whinnied and rested his head back between his hooves, bored again by the proceedings. “First, we'll need Bowlorn.”

“Bowlorn, that old bear is still crawling around the Black Forest?”

“Strong and able as ever. And Shaggurt adores him.”

“And Bowlorn will welcome us?”

“He better. He’s my cousin, after all. Most likely has a few wretches lying around looking for a good way to die, I reckon.”

Thaddeus whistled, “Oh, Antty, always still have something up your sleeve. Tomorrow, we’ll ride for Bowlorn’s keep, then.”

She bowed and, without another word, disappeared into the night. The depths of darkness descended, and Thaddeus set wards around their humble camp. Tomorrow would indeed be a long day. Ahh, Sefodarus, you were always a boring old man. Strange forests at night under a full moon should only be avoided when you never want to amount to anything more than a headmaster.

Deep in the distance, wolves howled.

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A/N

If you've enjoyed this, please leave a like and an insight below. If you really enjoyed this, tips to fuel my coffee addiction are always appreciated. All formatting is designed for desktops. All my works can be found below:

FictionFantasyAdventure
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About the Creator

Matthew Fromm

Full-time nerd, history enthusiast, and proprietor of random knowledge. The best way to find your perfect story is to make it yourself.

Here there be dragons, and knights, and castles, and quests for entities not wished to be found.

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Comments (4)

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  • Angie the Archivist 📚🪶3 months ago

    Loved Part Two.. as expected... I was without internet for a week & it's taken me this long to catch up on this and other stories. Excellent read... thanks! "Thaddeus whistled, “Oh, Antty, always still have something up your sleeve." Fun nickname... I had to go back & check on her full name because I was gobbling up the story too fast!

  • Hannah Moore4 months ago

    This is getting epic vibes, I can imagine it filling whole books.

  • Dana Crandell4 months ago

    "Thus, Thaddeus named him Bob." I do enjoy getting an unexpected chuckle in a good adventure story. Looking forward to the next installment.

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Loved your adventure story!!!💕❤️❤️

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