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Like a Bat out of Hell (part 1)

December 15, 2013

Shadefire had never intended to be a warlock. As a young apprentice in Silverymoon, She had heard of them of course, dangerous mages who sold their souls in exchange for deadly power. But she had wanted to be a wizard. Like all Gnomes, she had something of a knack for illusion and had apprenticed herself to one of the most revered gnomes in the city, High Priest of Selune and Master Illusionist, the Worshipful and Revered Brightsong. She had even chosen the mage name she would take when she finished her apprenticeship; in honour of her master, and to celebrate the mastery she fully intended to possess of illusions of flame, she would be Brightfire.

But it had all gone so horribly wrong since those bright, happy days she thought broodingly.

That day still had the feeling of a nightmare, possibly because it followed her in dreams so often.

***

The young apprentice skipped along the street, swinging the basket of spell components merrily. It was a sunny day and she was feeling happy. For the first time in her apprenticeship, she thought she was near to mastering her first spell. There had been definite light flickering around the edges of her fingers that morning.

She wondered what her master was planning on casting. He had looked tired and grim, for the last two days, unlike his normal cheerful self entirely. Even his congratulations, though heartfelt, that morning had seemed undercut by some worry. Still, she thought, there was no point in her getting bothered by it. Anything that was capable of causing even mild nuisance to her awesomely capable teacher was not something for a gnome unable to cast a cantrip to concern herself about.

But she had nearly cast one, she reminded herself, and once she had managed to master one then others should be much easier. She have a happy skip at the thought and it was then that disaster struck.

“Watch out, miss!”

As she came down, her foot landed on a small ball, that had come cannoning from the small group of human children playing at the side of the street, and the gnome went tumbling, her basket shooting up into the air, tossing expensive and rare spell components and potions around with gay abandon. She only had time for one cough.

The young boy who had shouted the warning stared in astonishment at the sudden cloud of purple smoke and green lightning that had enveloped the apprentice wizard. He heard something that might have been a scream or a cough and then the smoke cleared again with magical speed. A basket and small litter of glass was lying on the floor, but there was no sign of any gnome.

Jimmy Yolland looked at his friends wide-eyed. “Oops.”

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