Copyright © 2002 Chris Gonnerman. All Rights Reserved.
After supper I went down to the basement, to the smaller room under the stairs,
to study the sword I took from "Joe." The Spirit Servant had laid it on the
floor, there being no furnishings in that room; so I sat down tailor-style on
the floor with the sword in front of me, careful not to touch it.
I cast the long form of Mystic Vision, with the optional parts granting
analytical powers included. As I completed the spell, the mystic field
suffusing the sword became visible.
Spells of all sorts exist in at least four dimensions of space, so it isn't
possible for normal humans to visualize the actual spells "shape" or
"structure." The analytical Mystic Vision spell permits the subject to "page"
through the spellform, viewing it one section at a time.
I wish I could explain it better, but there seems no way to do so.
I took my time studying the sword, and discovered three distinct enchantments.
The first two I had seen before: Sharpness and Durability. The third was
unfamiliar, bearing a vague resemblance to my Tap spell. After a while I
figured it out... the strange spell was some sort of mystical power storehouse,
a "battery" of mystical nature. It seemed obvious after I figured it out, of
course. After all, without a means to store a reserve of magical energy, the
sword would quickly become useless away from a Ley line.
Magic items of "permanent" nature must recharge themselves between uses. Back when I
was an apprentice (about thirteen thousand years ago) magic was so pervasive
that charging posed no problem. Now, however, a device such as the magic sword
I was studying would quickly discharge its power in the first few strikes and
then become no better than if it weren't enchanted.
I was trying to figure out how long the sword could be used in the absence of a
Tap or Ley line when Mara called down to me. "Solomoriah, please come here.
There's a very strange bird on the back porch carrying a piece of paper."
She sounded unnerved.
I took enough time to release a spell of Closing on the door beneath the stairs
before I ascended. When I reached the back door, I looked out carefully before
opening it. Just as Mara said, a strange white bird with milky, pupil-less eyes
was standing on the railing, with a rolled-up piece of paper pinned beneath its
Carefully I approached, and reached out my right hand to take the paper.
Suddenly the bird dissolved into a puff of white smoke!
Perhaps I should have been afraid of a trap, but I reached out and grabbed the
paper before it could blow away. It was a letter, and it read as follows:
My deepest apologies for the attack on you by my apprentice. I assure you, it
was done without my approval, for though I have many times expressed my hatred
of the Dreamwalker to my students I never authorized any of them to attack him.
For your information, he took my nephew as his apprentice a few years ago. If
you killed him, then you must know what he did with his apprentices. Naturally
I have intended to take revenge for some time, but that is now unnecessary. I
would have liked to do it myself, of course, yet I realize I had no prior claim
as he had been killing his apprentices for many years.
As a token of my good will toward you, you may keep the sword. You have earned
it much more than the apprentice who carried it.
"Huh," said Mara, who was reading over my shoulder, "so Joseph Green was his
"So it seems. Letting me keep that enchanted sword is strange, isn't it?"
"Maybe these people are big believers in honor. Experts in the martial arts
often are, aren't they?"
"I wouldn't know," I said, "having been out of action for so long. I have a lot
of catching up to do yet."
"What will you do with the sword?" she asked.
"It stays in the basement. I have no particular skill at using it, and it is
mainly a killing weapon, unlike staves which are as much about defense and
nonlethal attacks as lethal ones." I thought a moment. "Perhaps I need to
look into getting a new staff. If I had one hardened by magic I could have used
it to defend against sword attacks."
"Would you wander around town carrying it then? How would you have it when you
She always has a way of finding the obvious problems before I do. I snorted,
and said, "Not such a good idea, then." Mara made a sort of strange face at me,
then smiled. I kissed her.
"I have a good idea," she said, and led me upstairs.
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