Dragonmark, Book One of The Chronicles of Varlian

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"You're rather gifted." The red-haired lady glanced at him slightly. "Tell me, Ellude, what do you use your magic for?" The silver haired boy glared at her stubbornly. "To change my destiny." Born a street rat, always a street rat. These were the words that accompanied Ellude since the day of his birth in spite of his rare magic powers due to his blood. Varlian was a city cold to its poorest, and fate was neither merciful to those without the power to make opportunities happen, and Ellude, despite his seemingly close to none gift of unreliable magic was determined to change that fate of his with the power he wielded with his hands. One way or another.

Fantasy / Romance
Age Rating:

The Lady and The Thief

For the first time in his ever-miserable life, Ellude was fucked.

Well and thoroughly fucked. Not literally, of course, Emel forbid, because he was only at thirteen years of age, and by all rules and regulations and any decent minded standards, that would actually mean that he was underage, and hence societally inappropriate to ever be fucked literally. Unless they were of a different mind, of course. Ha. But anyway, back to reality, he was still fucked, because for the first time in his life, ever, he might add, Ellude was caught. And by a mage, no doubt, from the unnatural strength in the male’s fingers and the rasp of the hostile magic against the nape of his neck. It was embarrassing, and rightly so, because it was his initiations into the gang for the very first day, and he was about to earn their respect and trust through the typical way-- pickpocketing a noble. And being the courageous person he was, Ellude decided to pickpocket the heavily guarded little lady in the city square.

It was a simple yet inexpensive task, he reasoned, since the probability of him getting caught with his small lithe physique was close to none and the lace hanky the little lady held precariously in her hand didn’t look so expensive to his eyes. So he had confidently strode across towards them, swiftly grabbing a basket of fruits from a corner store that were half rotting, half fine, and pretended to be on his way to the dump, stumbling right into the middle of the group with sly quickness, blithely apologising and immaculately, as he had practiced multiple times at home with his siblings, gently tugging the lace hanky into his grimy hands as he crouched closer to the ground. A grin had made his way onto his face as he saw the slight surprise in the older gang members’ eyes, the handkerchief tight in his triumphant grasp and his other arm tightly grasping the basket of fruits to maintain his guise. He grinned brightly, quickly leaping out of the frenzied circle of guards smoothly--he had nearly landed outside, mind you, before a sharp sturdy hand jerked him back harshly and all traces of respect were replaced with mirth in the older gang members’ eyes.

“Oho, look what we have here? A young scrounge, no doubt. Ye one of those lil’ things in the gangs?” The slightly potbellied male guard sneered at him, hoisting him with ease a few metres above the ground. “ What did ye steal now? Gold? Jewel? Pricey things?” Ellude scowled at the fat-boned male that apprehended him and kicked his thin bare legs futilely.

“’Tis only a hanky! And an inexpensive one at that!” He protested meekly, as the guard that had caught him snorted derisively, tightening his grip on Ellude’s dirty collar.

“Tell that to the lil’ lady ye offended ’ere.” He spun Ellude mid-air in a clockwise direction, and Ellude’s sense of orientation muddled itself briefly, before coming back to focus on one of the most delicate but little lady he had ever met.

“Erm, Sorry.” He mumbled, flushing unflatteringly as she stared at him quietly, dropping her silk handkerchief into her expectant palms, surprised at the pink flush of embarrassment on the little lady’s face and her hurried gestures for the guard to put him down to the ground.

“I’m sure he meant no harm, Bear, please, its just a hanky.” The girl’s fingers wrenched tightly into the silk material of the cloth, her blonde bangs covering slightly her dark eyes. “I’m sure he’s pretty harmless.” Ellude’s eyes narrowed at her words and he scowled deeply. That was an insult, he was quite sure of that. Most nobles looked down upon the street rats and children thinking them weak and harmless, who was she to differ?

“Aye, I’m sure he is, milady. If Lady Decima hadn’t pointed his actions out to me though, I wouldn’t have noticed it either, despite having a mild amount of magic meself.” In all his righteous anger, Ellude whipped around, eyes narrowed to glare at the lady that had apparently ruined his chances of entering the group.

“It matters not. The thief has been apprehended. Send him to the courts for his punishment, I’d say. He is of no importance nor harm.” A condescending voice drifted past behind him, and Ellude turned to face the male dressed in blue and gold, the symbolistic colours of the mage society in all of Varlian, Omnis Magnum, the most prestigious mage society in the entire realm, and the only one openly recognised. It was the only magic society open for all mages, only recently having extended its invitations to other..kinds of magicians, no doubt due to the famed six young mages of other kinds of magic, who had forcefully managed to make them accept the existence of all different kinds of magic through their skill and level of potency in the magic they wielded. Still, it was a school and society only meant for the noble and the prestigious, and despite the little inklings of magic any commoners or street brats had, there was absolutely no chance that they would ever be accepted as part of such a royal society despite their prowess or their talent with magic. The male looked him once over and sniffed disdainfully. “Street brats.” Ellude’s face turned bright red with indignance.

“Why you nasty little--” He snarled angrily, blood rushing to his head as he lunged forward, ignoring the hands that immediately jerked him behind and the flash of pale blue light that lit up the palms of the male mage in defense. He fought tooth and nail to get at the male, barely wincing at the guards’ immediate but brutal beating on his small body in an attempt to stop him.

“Thats enough, all of you.” A clear mildly accented voice filtered through the air, clearly annoyed and half incensed. Ellude snarled in utmost anger and sank his teeth into the thick calf of the soldier holding him, satisfied as he heard a outraged yelp of pain from the pudgy man. “I said, enough! “ A sickening coil of pressure sunk into Ellude’s brain quickly and harshly, and there was a sharp flash of silver light, and inky darkness to his vision. Endless, thick thorny briars and snares encircled his small body and tightened around his heaving chest, dragging his body into the earth’s embrace. Earth begun to tumble into his nostrils, blocking his airways and Ellude choked, his hands pinned down but grabbing as he screamed in desperation. Oh god, I’m going to die, I’m going to die, I’mgonnadieI’mgonnadie--

“Don’t be stupid. You’re not.” A sharp voice pierced the back of his mind and Ellude found himself collapsed on the grounds of the cobbled streets, the incapacitated guards all gurgling and screaming valiantly, writhing in desperation on the ground. He coughed, choking and gulping in the air greedily into his lungs as he glared defiantly at the lady before him, whose hand was outstretched towards the guards, still choking on the ground.

“Be quiet.” She snapped at the screaming guards,and a flash of silver light arced through the air, darting into the men’s throats and vanishing, and their sharp screams were immediately cut off into garbled silence.. The lady ignored the pale faced attempts of the male mage from Omnis Magnum to stop her. “Try me and I’ll send you to the ground like how they are now.” The mage gulped slightly and retreated, and Ellude grinned despite his condition, gleeful at the man’s subservience.

“I was dying just now. I could see and feel it! The earth entering and burying me alive--” He paused as the corners of the lady’s mouth lifted slightly. His mouth gaped in surprise and rage. “It was you! You did that to me!” He scrambled to his feet, half in awe and suppressing the reflexive rage at the noble’s treatment of him. “How..did you do that?” He stared at her in admiration as the lady released her magic’s invisible grip on the guards, who now kneeled, choking and coughing pathetically before them.

“Magic.” She winked slightly at him, cheekily,and despite his disgruntledness at her apparently obvious answer,Ellude saw immediately that the lady that stood before all of them was indeed beautiful, and yet not so. Her face was richly freckled, with a shape that was soft but angular, but it was her eyes, a dull silver that drew away her beauty, but yet held a certain mysteriousness that told a strength all on its own, drawing men to the mysterious aura that surrounded her. She turned towards the guards and mage coldly.

“Release the boy to the streets and we’ll be on our way.” She breathed deeply and impatiently through her nose as she strode past the men, who shrank back automatically from her. “I’m warning you, if you hold me up one more time, I might just lose my patience and kill you.” She waved them off quickly, grasping hold of the hand of the frightened little lady and striding past them quickly. “This entourage is taking too much of my time.” The guards bowed in a frazzled and disorganised manner, scrambling for their metal helmets that lay on the ground.

“Now, off ye go lad, before we get the mage lady angry.” The pot-bellied male guard lumbered towards him and gave him a slight push, his face still pale from the ordeal. “And mind you, don’t steal again.” Ellude nodded absentmindedly, his neck craning out to look for a shadow of that mysterious mage lady of before, his feet moving forward to follow the group unconsciously.

“No, lad, ye go home.” The pot-bellied guard jerked him back and out of his reverie. Startled, he turned towards the man lumbering past him.

“Who’s that? That lady?” He clutched the man’s tunic fiercely in his tight grip and the guard looked at him surprised.

“What? Ye don’t know her name? She’s Lady Decima Eskard, the leader of the Famed Six and the youngest only surviving Glamourmage currently in existence.” Ellude watched the retreating backs of the guards and mages, and his hands curled into tight fists, a look of sullen determination painted on the contours of his face.

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