Lanis, E006, Friends
Episode 006, ‘Friends?’
By Rusty Knight
In episode 005, ‘Well?’:
Lanis acquired her mage name and a talisman along with new found skills. She bonded surprisingly with Lenden who she now calls Uncle and who gave her the mage name, Drake.
We continue now in episode 006, ‘Friends?’
Spring 9 Bear
Waking early, excited with the discovery of her new talisman, Drake wants to explore her new power. It is dark as usual and Drake ponders the possibilities with her new talisman. ‘If Uncle is right, I should be able to just conjure up ‘Orange Light’, here and now, even though I haven’t studied, and it should work.’
Drake holds her hand out with her index finger extended. She utters her verbal component, “Illiad”, and a glowing orange globe forms at the tip of her finger, illuminating an area of five-feet radius.
Drake grins eagerly. ‘Well now, that was a cantrip. But what about full blown spells? I have a tear in my old leggings that needs mending. I know the mending spell, so theory has it I can now free-cast, as long as I don’t exhaust my power.’
Getting out of bed, Drake saunters over to her clothing and sets her leggings on the bed so she can easily see the tear in them. Concentrating on the tear, she free-casts ‘Mending’. Drake feels a heavy drain on her body and notes she feels less energetic, but the tear is repaired. She also notes the orange light still glows as bright on her finger tip.
Chuckling, Drake lights her lantern and then dismisses the ‘Orange Light’. She dresses in her mended leggings and old tunic. Going out back, she collects eggs and returns inside to prepare morning meal.
“I tried free-casting this morning, using the talisman, Uncle. It worked, even the ‘Mending’ spell, which usually requires a material component of two burrs. Thank you for teaching me. But what is the cost to this? These is always a cost.” Asks Drake, during their conversation over morning meal.
Uncle sighs. “Actually, the cost is high. You can not cast spells without the talisman. If you lose it, you are powerless. So don’t lose your armband. It takes great effort to create a second one. It is usually easier to find the original, if at all possible, than it is to make a second Talisman or gain the spell casting ability as a normal mage.”
Drake drops her fork and stares at Uncle. “You should have warned me. I might not have gone this route.”
Lenden sighs sadly, as he is about to eat another bite of duck. He says, “It is in your better interest to learn this way. You will be faster, stronger, almost undefeatable. Your Arturan Ankle is your talisman. You just have to keep that in mind.”
Drake snorts, upset now, but resigned to her new fate. “What are we doing today?”
Lenden answers her with, “I need you to go to Hangela’s today. Take the carriage if you can. I want two-hundred feet of her silk rope, half-inch. I’m studying a new variation on my Rope-Trick spell this season, and Hangela’s rope has the qualities I’m looking for.”
Trying not to tell Lenden where to go in the Seven Hells, Drake sits firm and straight. “As you desire, Master Lenden.”
Lenden, seeing Drake is upset and going to be difficult, simply ignores her attitude, and he finishes his meal, after telling her. “I’ll teach you how to properly hitch up the carriage and horses, and give you quick lessons on driving the team. Then you can set out. I’ll give you a coin pouch with three-hundred Flairs. That should be enough for the rope. If she wants more, she is stealing from you.”
Drake doesn’t answer, simply sitting and playing with her food, picking at it with her fork, until Lenden is finished. Then, Drake cleans away the morning meal and afterwards they get the team ready and Drake is on her way to Hangela’s.
Arriving at Hangela’s, Drake hesitates before entering. She is drained from guiding the carriage for the first time, and nervous because she has to face Hangela again. Drake has that feeling in her gut that one gets when you know you have to do something you really really don’t want to do. Pulling up her boots, she locks the carriage brakes and slowly climbs down from the safety of the cabin.
Walking into Hangela’s Mercantile, Drake gags just at the smell of the place. ‘To the Seven Hells with this. I’m going to have to deal with this cow a lot, if I’m staying with Uncle. And with what he has spent and I owe him now, I have no choice. I can’t pay out the debt. I have to learn to deal with Hang-root. So we might as well be friends, at least I’ll try to be.’
Seeing the overbearing merchant dealing with customers, Drake walks around the inside of the store, looking to see what is in stock. Finding a few items of interest to her and also finding the rope Uncle wants, Drake waits for Hangela to finish with her current customers.
As the customers walk out with their goods, Drake approaches Hangela and extends her arm in a friendly gesture. “Gods-grace and good fate, Master Trader Hangela. How do you fare?” asks Drake in a friendly voice.
Hangela, likewise, clasps arms with Drake, and answers, “Gods-grace and good fate Apprentice Lanis, I’m good. How do you fare?”
Lanis smiles for Hangela, forcing a cheerful, “I’m good, but I don’t go by Lanis any more. Master Lenden registered me as Mage Drake. So I go by Drake.”
Hangela laughs, releasing the arm clasp. “I thought he would see humour in the sale.”
Drake fumes inside. ‘So it wasn’t an accident, she sold me drakes on purpose. I’ll … Drake settle down …’ “Yes, he found it rather humours.”
“This time, I know what I’m looking for. Come with me, it is right over here.” Drake leads Hangela to the coiled half-inch silk rope. “I need two-hundred feet of the better quality rope you have. I’ll inspect it before I buy it, to be sure it meets what I need.”
Hangela reaches for two coils at the back of the stack and places them on the counter for Drake. “I keep these at the back, just for Lenden.”
Drake carefully inspects each coil of one-hundred feet of silk rope. Satisfied, she asks. “How much for them?”
Hangela says, “I sell this for twenty Flairs a coil.”
‘I can do better than this, it is much better than what Lenden stated, but I think she’ll sell cheaper.’ “At that price I’ll only buy one coil. If you sell it to me for say, eighteen a coil, I might buy both coils.” Says Drake.
Hangela’s eyes light up. “I could sell them both for eighteen, each.”
Liking the deal, but wondering if she can do better, Drake continues, “Maybe I’ll buy some more if you sell for sixteen-fifty each; say three coils the same quality?”
Hangela reaches behind for another coil, setting it with the first two. “Done.”
Now more confident, and seeing if she can push even further, Drake says, “If you open up a fourth coil, I’ll pay fifteen a coil.”
Hangela growls, “Now your playing and fishing. Nineteen each just ’cause I hate being played.”
Drake steps back. She offers, “Okay, seventeen each and I’ll take three.”
Hangela starts putting the coils of silk rope back behind the stacks. “No, I am thinking twenty-three each, because you wasted my time.”
Feeling she definitely lost this, and needs to gain it back, Drake says, “I’ll give you eighteen a coil, for two coils and I will continue to shop?”
Hangela hesitates, then places two of the coils back on the counter. “You want these, I want twenty Flairs, seventy-five Dyns each, and stop wasting my time.”
Drake takes the pouch from her side and counts out thirty-seven Flairs, “I’ll pay you thirty-seven for the pair, and I’ll leave your store carrying them out myself.”
Hangela takes the coins, and counts them, then extends her arm to clasp. “Okay, I’ll work with that, if you buy the third coil for nineteen Flairs.”
Drake counts out eighteen, “I’ll buy it for eighteen, there are eighteen Flairs for you.”
Hangela clasps arms with Drake while scowling.
Drake puts the coin pouch back in her belt-pouch then carries the three one-hundred-foot coils of half-inch high quality silk rope to the carriage, placing them in the cabin. Done, she gets in, and releasing the brake, she heads home. ‘So much for being friends, but at least I won that one.’
Arriving home, Drake carries the three coils of rope to the laboratory for Lenden.
Lenden inspects the rope, proclaiming with glee, that he has eight useable pieces, for eight castings of his improved new ‘Rope Trick’.
“You did well, again. How much did you spend, Drake?” enquires Lenden.
Drake hands Lenden the remaining two-hundred-and-forty-five flairs while saying, “I spent fifty-five on the three-hundred feet.”
Lenden smiles and he makes a few calculations, marking down notes in a new ledger he has on his desk. He tells Drake. “You have now paid off five Flairs of your debt to me. Keep up the good work.”
Drake stops and frowning she asks, “I’m afraid to ask, but how much is my debt to you?”
Lenden points to the balance column of the ledger.
Drake sighs, ‘Its going to be awhile, I knew there was a catch to the nice yesterday.’
Drake asks, “How can I pay that off, if I don’t have a job? Or some income?”
Chuckling, Lenden says, “Starting yesterday, you are being paid one Flair every day you work for me, plus bonuses. Like today, you saved me five Flairs on the cost of that rope, so the savings went to you as a bonus. You see, I know Hangela’s price for the rope, you could have paid regular price, but you bargained well and got it for less. I reward that, by paying you back the savings. Also, I will pay you on the thirty day marks in the seasons. You can take it, or use it to pay off your debt, your choice.”
Drake sees the value in this, and possible futures. “Thank you, Uncle. I will work towards paying this off as quickly as possible.”
Lenden waves her off, “Five-hundred Flairs is a minor concern for me. Just be sure it is paid before you go for your testing at the University.”
Drake has a thought and engages Lenden. “Master, how does one get to be a friend of Hangela’s?”
Lenden sneers, “You don’t want to be that woman’s friend; she robs her own mother for profit. I only stay on her good side because she can get me things I need.”
Confirmed that there is no good side to Hangela, Drake resigns herself to the relationship they have.
To be continued …
In the next episode 007, ‘Contrary’
Drake is sent to Hangela’s again, Spring 9 Bear. Unfortunately, things go bad and Drake becomes contrary with Hangela.
© 2016 Rusty Knight with Inevitable Unicorn Press
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We would like to acknowledge the following for their work with ‘Lanis’:
The author: Rusty Knight.
Our episode editor: Donna Shumaker.
Our graphics designer: Rusty Knight.
The producer, publisher and distributer of the episode: Inevitable Unicorn Press known as InUPress.
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