Lawgiver’s Blade: Chapter Four Part Five

August 7th, 2019  |  Published in News

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It wasn’t until almost dusk that Vessin emerged from the Shrine and even then there was no sign of Natlin or her husband. Lilat had already asked Nala’s parents to care for Adin for the night and had intimated that she may be asking them to foster him for quite a while which suggested they would not be back soon but Alidra was certain she hadn’t seen them leave the shrine.

The mystery was solved over dinner that evening.

“We had to confine them,” Vessin said as picked at his stew. “Kadriya wanted to question them herself. She wants to know where this is coming from. Shael doesn’t have any holding cells so I had to use a spell to take them to Keralyn to be confined until Kadriya arrives tomorrow. We’ll summon them back then.”

“Did they accept your mediation?” Tamasa asked.

“Adin did but he’s a child and they usually do,” he said. “Children are more flexible. Marun did eventually but only once we separated him and Natlin. He was terrified of her. Natlin… well she basically said she didn’t believe I was really a mage and that I would use my magic to deceive her.” He snorted at that. “I’m not surprised she refused it given her attitude.”

“Fair,” Tamasa said. “But what will happen to her?”

“For a heresy that horrifies even the Council unless they are lying,” he sighed heavily. “I doubt she’ll recant but I don’t think that Kadriya will let them kill her so she’ll probably be banished from Benar and she may find it hard to find a home in any of the islands if she’s going to act like that.”

“You spoke to the Council?”

“When I took them to Keralyn,” Vessin said.

“You think they are lying?” Denri asked.

“I don’t know,” Vessin replied. “Not all of them, certainly. But no mage would admit if they believed such a thing and it came from somewhere. Kadriya has dubbed it Hard Dualism and she’s going to promulgate a formal condemnation. Everyone is cringing at that because last time a High Mage made such a condemnation it triggered the Mage War. No one thinks it will do that this time, at least not obviously, as this heresy has no overt support unlike Perfectionism, but if this coming from one of the Houses they may try something behind the scenes because they will lose at least some commoner support after this. So condemning them is still a risk.”

“Which is why she is doing it, isn’t it” Tamasa said. “She’s trying to get them to slip up and reveal their hand.”

“That would be my surmise,” Vessin agreed. “And tomorrow I need to talk to all Natlin’s friends before Kadriya arrives and see if anyone else believes this nonsense.”

“Do you and High Mage Kadriya still need my help?” Kilit asked.

“We do,” he said. Then at Tamasa’s curious look he grinned. “Kilit is going to help give your village a nice demonstration of the difference between true magery and channelling natural magic.”

“Well, that should be…. interesting,” Tamasa said blandly. “I’ll look forward to it. But have you warned Lilat that she’s going to have to order some new pells?”

Vessin actually laughed heartily at that. “Yes, of course. She thinks it is an excellent idea.”

“Why will she need new pells?” Mayin asked hesitantly.

“Because I’m going to destroy them,” Kilit replied cheerfully. “By tapping them with a stick… or maybe even a twig. The weaker the better.”

“Confident, isn’t she,” Denri said.

“She has reason to be,” Vessin said. “She’s been practising hard. Using a twig as a blade is well within her current capabilities.”

“I just hope it doesn’t scare my friends,” Kilit said. “I like playing with them but they get scared of me just because of an outfit.”

“I’m sure they’ll just be impressed,” Tamasa said. She looked at Vessin’s half eaten stew. “Are you going to finish that?”

Vessin looked sheepish. “Yes, though it may take a while. It is excellent as always, but I don’t have much appetite it seems.”

“Uncle Vessin hates it when he can’t reconcile people,” Kilit said.

“It’s hardly his fault that Natlin is so stubborn,” Tamasa said. “Would some music cheer you up.”

“Well it wouldn’t hurt,” he said.

“Oh yes, I brought my harp!” Kilit ran to the pack she had brought with her and produced a finely made lap harp, not large but big enough that it shouldn’t have fitted. “Mummy said I should. She said she had fun playing music with you before everything went wrong last year.”

“I’ll go and fetch my drum!” Alidra hurried to her chest and noticed the adults were doing the same and collecting their own instruments.

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