The Wizard's favor

The distant mountains pierced the dawn clouds much like my knife pierced the undercooked meat of breakfast.

Corl meat tasted foul at the best of times, rare it was inedible. It couldn’t be helped, time was running out.

Not just my time, but that of the Limar-Vitage alliance. Without my testimony at the Grand Court tomorrow, Limar would declare war on their ancient allies. The result of decades of scheming by their mutual enemy, the Hakren.

I am the only one the Court would trust, that knew of the Hakren plans and I was still a day and a half away from them.

I tossed away the half-eaten meat, then spun knife ready, as a twig cracked behind me.

“Peace, Hunter Ragnor, I come to help you.”

A young man stepped out of the trees, dressed in no more than woodman’s clothing. Only the silver clasp of his cloak revealed his trade as a wizard.

“I can get you to the court by this noon, Hunter,” he said.

“Aye,” I answered, wary still. “And the cost?”

“Merely a favor,” he answered. “That’s all.”

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