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Authors: D.W. Jackson

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Master Mage

BOOK: Master Mage
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Master Mage

By D.W. Jackson

Smashwords Edition

Copyright © D.W. Jackson

 

This book is dedicated to my sister
Rachelle who has always been one of my best friends.

 

Names, characters, and incidents are
products of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously. Any
resemblance to actual event, organizations, or persons, is entirely
coincidental and beyond the intent of the author.

All rights reserved. No part of this
book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means
whatsoever, including photocopying, recording or by any information
storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the
author.

 

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Note From The Author

This book was edited and proofread by
proofreadingservies.com on 4/5/14, with the exception on the
copyright page and this one.

 

As you might be aware internet pricey
is a very widespread. If you have no paid for this book and enjoyed
it think about paying for an official copy. I am not a big
publisher and editing, cover costs, as well as other expenses come
directly out of my pocket. I love to write and I can continue to do
so by my readers who I am grateful for. Instead of buying the book
if you wish you can make a direct contribution to my paypal account
at [email protected] I understand that times are hard for a
great deal of people but even one cent added up over time can help
a great deal in keeping me writing. Thank you for reading and I
hope you have a great year.

CHAPTER I

Thad gazed out the window of his room,
looking out across the capital of Farlan. It had been less than a
season since he had returned, and news was grim. The Brotherhood
had started amassing troops for what everyone believed was another
attack on Farlan. To make matters worse, they had droves of people
flooding into the country, driving up prices of everything from
wheat to wool. The queendom itself was making a hefty profit, but
it was the simple people who were beginning to suffer. They did not
suffer from a lack of gold, for there was plenty of that to go
around, but from a lack of food and other daily supplies, which
were being bought up faster than the ships could bring them in.
With the largest merchant country as your enemy, it made it a lot
harder to procure what a country needed to survive.

The mages that had come with Thad from
Sanctuary as well as the elves had proven to be a godsend. Having
spent years in isolation, both groups had their own method of
coaxing crops to produce a larger quantity and better quality of
food. While it did not completely solve the problem Farlan now
faced overnight, given time, Thad was sure it would at least hold
it at bay until the economy could stabilize.

The problem with the Brotherhood looked
like it would hold until the first snows melted after the winter
season. After meeting with different advisors, they all agreed that
if Rane was to commit their troops only a few months before heavy
snowfalls, they would suffer heavy casualties before they could set
in and create proper defensive positions for their troops. While
the knowledge that the impending invasion was delayed—at least for
a few short months—gave the queen and people hope, it did little to
get them more troops. It did, however, give Reeve and Crusher more
time to persuade their respective people that Farlan was worth
fighting for, and that was something.

It will also give you time
to get them mages to start training in magic that could actually be
of use in a fight.

“I wish all of them would see its
need,” Thad replied to his staff. Not only did they have the mages
from Sanctuary, but more than fifty other mages had wandered in
over the past months, seeking asylum. The problem Thad was facing
was that the elders from Sanctuary were heavily preaching against
using magic for violence of any kind. Their principal argument was
that if it was used as a tool for war, more people like the
Brotherhood would see them as a threat and start to take measures
against them.

At first, Thad was sure the impending
attack by a group bent on the death of every mage would help
restrain the talk of pacifism, but the movement had continued to
gather strength. Thad understood their views, but there was a time
to hold back your power and a time to use it. Being faced with
death was a time to use all you had to protect yourself and those
you held dear. The elders preached a different message, though.
They held on to their belief that any force used to harm others
would forever malign people against them.

It wouldn’t be so damaging
if it didn’t ring so true. I believe you have been warned before
that anyone with power would seek to control you or kill you for
having something they didn’t.

“There will always be people in the
world who shun those who are different. That does not mean we
should not use our power to protect ourselves,” Thad replied
vehemently.

Thad walked over and sat down at his
desk and started leafing through the assorted parchments that
covered it. Queen Maria had given Thad a lot of power and just as
much responsibility in preparing the country for the coming war. It
wasn’t simply that she trusted him, but she wanted the country to
trust him. She had plans that stretched far beyond the war, and
they included Thad, whether he was willing or not.

Thad had no clue what he was going to
do to solve the mounting problems. Tuck was headed to Southpass,
carrying a message that needed a fast reply. Thanks to the magical
rings he had received back at the elfin isle, as soon as anything
worth reporting was learned, Tuck could instantly let Thad
know.

Thad had wanted Tuck to go southeast to
speak with Duchess Laurmont, but there had been many conflicting
reports coming out of Abla. He had learned that Eloen had gone to
Abla in search of him after his capture, but little had been heard
from inside the country in the past three years.

From most reports, Abla had its own
problems and had recently undergone a civil war. It was not
surprising given their shaky relationship with Farlan that little
news had escaped west to them. What news had surfaced suggested
that the war was now over and that the country was in the middle of
rebuilding their central government structure. What had interested
Thad about the last report, though, had been that the new queen had
a very familiar name.

Thad knew there was no love lost
between Abla and Farlan, but if Eloen was now the queen, he might
just get some additional troops or, at the very least, some arms
and armor for his troops. It was a sensitive mission, one that
Maria was not too fond of. Thad never understood why Maria and
Eloen seemed to dislike each other, but he hoped it wouldn’t cause
problems later on. Fighting a war on two fronts would be
impossible, especially given that they planned to reduce the
Southpass down to a skeletal garrison.

Glancing outside his window again, Thad
took notice of the sun’s position. He had a lot planned for the
day, and time was passing faster than it seemed possible. What Thad
really needed was a spell that would allow him to split himself so
that he didn’t feel so rushed. The only real benefit to his hectic
schedule was that it gave him plenty of reasons to dodge unwanted
audiences with the nobles.

Standing up and stretching, Thad
laughed to himself. He had tried the tactic of telling Maria he was
too busy to heed a couple of her summons only to find himself
pulled into her dream while he slept. It was hard to escape a woman
who could simply yank you out of your sleep and force you to talk
with her.

You better get moving. The
elders are not fond of you to begin with, and making them wait will
not help your position.

“I was hoping that I might forget that
I had to meet with them today,” Thad said as he headed for the door
to his chambers.

The longer you put it off,
the harder it will become. Might as well get it over with and hope
some of them hear your words.

While some of the mages had opened
small businesses within the city proper, most of them had moved a
few miles outside of the capital and still lived together in their
own little community. The people of Farlan had come to call the
little township Mage’s Roost.

As he approached Mage’s Roost, Thad
could see numerous people gathering outside of small shops. As soon
as the mages had appeared, the people of Farlan had been quick to
take advantage of them. Thad was sure that was one of the reasons
why they had chosen to move away from the city. People seemed to
forget you might enjoy a sleep-filled night when they think they
might need something of importance that only you can give. A few
miles’ ride in the dark tends to curb all but the most serious
emergencies.

You better stop by Mary’s
house first. I don’t want to hear her chew on your ear for an hour
because you came to Mage’s Roost and didn’t pay her a
visit.

“I learned my lesson last time,” Thad
replied before turning and cutting through the spaces between
buildings to reach the road that Mary’s house was on.

Thad had no sooner knocked on the small
door than it was thrown open. Thad soon found himself being
squeezed so hard that he feared his ribs might crack. “Thaddeus, I
had feared I had lost you to the palace and all their finery. Too
much plush will make your mind and body go soft,” Mary said,
pulling Thad inside.

“I can’t stay long, Mother Mary. I have
to speak with the council of elders again,” Thad said
disappointedly. When he had been beaten and near death, Mary had
nursed him back to health and claimed him as her own son. Thad had
resisted at first, but as time passed, he had to agree Mary was the
kind of woman the term “mother” was meant for.

“Those cantankerous blowhards still
causing trouble? You would think after years of fighting and
hiding, they would be eager for a chance to get even,” Mary said
hotly. “Don’t you worry any. There are still plenty of us who will
march with you when the fighting starts.”

“Mother, I think it would be better if
you were to … ,” Thad started to say before Mary gave him a steely
look that froze the blood in his veins.

“If you tell me one more time that I
should simply sit at home while you march off to fight, then I am
going to bend you over my knee,” Mary said, wagging her finger so
close to his face he expected it to hit his nose. “I might not be
of much use with a sword or combat magic, but you’re going to need
more than just soldiers to win this war.”

Thad told Mary about everything that
had been happening. The woman had spent most of her time in a
secluded village and had little advice to solve his problems. The
true value in talking to Mary was she always listened patiently and
encouraged him, and that always seemed to lighten some of the
burden that weighed him down.

Once their talk was over, Thad gave
Mary one last hug and headed to the center of the township to meet
with the elders.

There were five elders, three of which
were the main source of his current troubles. Illias, Jonas, and
Thane had been trying to convince every mage in Mage’s Roost that
going to war would set every person in the known world against them
and spark a new Fae War. Horus was his only real ally, though his
extremely brutal views on what should be done to the Brotherhood
sometimes caused as much trouble for him. Lastly, there was Alten,
a man in his late fifties who changed so frequently Thad was
positive that the man’s skill with magic must lie with the air
element.

Thad found the elders in the newly
constructed town hall, sitting around a large oaken table in the
only open room. As always, the group of elders was arguing among
themselves when Thad entered.

“Thaddeus, nice to see you,” Horus said
happily. “Give it a moment to quiet down, and you can make another
one of your pleas, though knowing this bunch, you might as well try
and convince a chicken not to roost.”

BOOK: Master Mage
11.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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