Sunday, November 4, 2018

Book 2 - Chapter 32 – A Patient Man

Wizard Belrot of Rashvin, High Councilor of Criland, was a patient man. For years he had awaited a pretext for war. For years he had filled King Theodore's heart with praises of old battles, of the glories and riches that awaited those who dared raise their swords against their neighbors. For years he had poured such words of praise into the king's ears, like a liquid fuel that would rest inside his mind, ready to be set alight with just one word. For years he had waited for a chance. And now that his war was finally here, he felt that he could wait another day for the little insolent witch to lose her strength and be buried alive by his snow. His mountain of snow, as he liked to call it, whenever he had the chance to speak of it, accompanying his words with a roar of manic laughter which deterred all those within earshot from pointing out that his mountain was barely a hill, and that the snow, without his magic, would melt away within minutes.
Rashvin was a patient man. His magic would hold the snow in place, pressing every minute even harder on the defenses that the witch had set up – what nature of defenses, he did not know. His snow would win in the end, and bury that little group of knights and their prince, bury them alive. In the meantime, while he waited for his inevitable victory, Rashvin had other tasks. He had sent a letter to King Theodore, detailing the victory he anticipated. He now began, by candlelight, to write a much more precious letter, to his cousin Ulgrave, detailing the number of deaths he had caused among the peasants, and the location of the corpses, as Ulgrave had requested upon their last meeting. He was busy at this task for the greater portion of the night. When he was finished, he entrusted the letter to his familiar – a black falcon – and watched the bird fly westward until it disappeared into the snow storm outside.
At last, Rashvin felt that he had waited enough. The sun had not risen yet. Around him, drowsy guards yawned at the dying campfires, while more soldiers slept in white tents. Around the camp, a magical snow storm raged, hiding the tents and the fires from view, held in place by a single large sapphire on a ring on Rashvin's finger, to which he had tied the spell. A ruby on another ring held the spell for the snow mountain in the north. Rashvin entered his tent and took off the ruby ring. It was time to shake up that mountain, and see what harvest of corpses it would bring him.