Aure the Topaz: Book 1 of the Aglaril Cycle

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Brashani Gets a Job

“You want to work there?” asked Molin.

“It looks like I have to.”

“Why?”

“Because, as it turns out, you’re wrong.” Molin grimaced. The fire mage ignored the other man’s expression and continued. “The gem these necromancers want is in town, or will be soon, and it will be on display at the Grey Horse. I saw the serving girl from the Inn standing guard over it.”

Molin narrowed his eyes. “But why would a magic gem be on display at the Inn? It makes no sense.”

“I don’t know, but that’s what I saw and that’s where it will be stolen from.”

“Even if you’re right, what business is it of yours?”

“It’s none of my business,” Brashani conceded. “But I was an investigator for the town guard in a former life. If they are coming here to steal a magic gem, it must be important. I may be able to stop them; but I’ll have to work there, or perhaps even guard it, to even have a chance to do so.”

“Sounds dangerous. Why bother?” asked Molin, apathetically.

“It will be dangerous, but I’ve tangled with death mages before. I can handle myself.” Brashani did not feel as confident as he sounded. Combating necromancers was never easy and never went the way you expected. He had to remember that and not get ahead of himself or be presumptuous.

“If you say so, but this is all a little too far-fetched for me to believe.”

“Then you won’t help me?”

The elder wizard shrugged. “Personally, I think you are wasting your time, but if you want a job at the Grey Horse, let’s go back.” He gestured in the direction of the Inn. “I’ll introduce you to Frank Jones, the owner.”

“Thanks,” Brashani replied with a smile.


Frank sat down at the table with Molin and Brashani. Concern showed in the eyes of the innkeeper and his forehead furrowed with lines of doubt.

“Molin tells me you want a job here,” Frank began.

“That’s right,” Brashani said, a slight smile on his lips.

“I don’t really have an opening, but I can make one if you can impress me. What can you do?”

“Sleight of hand, like Molin.”

Frank shrugged. “So what? Molin does that. I don’t need two people doing card tricks.”

Brashani thought for a moment and suppressed a smile. “What about breathing fire? Does Molin do that?”

Frank slid his jaw to one side and raised his eyebrows. “Say, that would be good. Let me see you do it.”

“One moment.” Brashani was silent briefly and then opened his mouth. A jet of flame roared out across the table. The wizard closed his mouth and the fire was snuffed out.

“Excellent,” Frank said with a broad grin. “But that’s not an act.”

“No,” Brashani agreed. “But I can do all kinds of tricks with fire. I’ll work out a routine and show it to you.”

“Okay. If you can do that, you’re hired.”

Brashani smiled. His luck was turning — maybe.

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