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 Magus Potentae

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:38 pm

"Well, I'm not sure what else we have. We're rogues. Hiding is what we do. We need to keep moving one way or another, and if we keep moving into areas where there aren't people who will kill us, it makes things a lot easier." Kalen sighed deeply and turned back in his saddle. He made a slight face at the grass before summoning his Magus to fix it. "Fleeing the country would be more than slightly difficult. I still say we go to Rizen."

Taiju looked over his shoulder, then immediately regretted it when the movement agitated his healing wounds. Rizen was several weeks of travel in the direction opposite the one they were going now. Doubling back and going to the tiny village might serve to confuse their pursuers, but . . .

"Did you forget Rizen was my home town? I don't want to go if it can be helped."

Kalen made a sympathetic face. "Well, it's all I have," he said. "If you come up with something else, we'll try it."

-----

Jerin fought briefly with her horse, trying to get the mare to go the right direction, before quickly catching up to Xee. "I know enough," she said, though she only knew so much. "I don't do a lot of scouting, but I at least know if anything's really suspicious." Jerin hoped they wouldn't find anything. She didn't know a thing about the rogues they were hunting right now, other than the prince was somewhere out there. The prince had never been that bad--his sudden turn was surprising, but she didn't know what to think of it.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:02 pm

"Hiding is what we've done," Narrel corrected, "and it's gotten us nowhere." She didn't sat any more then that though; there would be better times to argue her point. She raised her eyebrows slightly as Taiju revealed why he wanted to avoid Rizen. She couldn't help but wonder what kind of reception he would get for his homecoming. She definitely preferred it to Winterfell. She had never liked cold weather. Frozen earth was notoriously stubborn and hard to work with. Rizen was tucked quietly away in a corner of the kingdom that was hardly ever monitored. As much as she wanted to be able to appease Taiju, Rizen was looking like the best option.

Cal could see his party just up ahead and already his negative feelings were starting to creep back up on him. He shook them off, determined not to let himself get upset again.
"We'll need to change direction a bit," he informed them, reclaiming his reigns and climbing back onto his horse. "If we turn north here we'll hit a small pond. It might be a good spot to rest for lunch."

"Just keep an eye out for the obvious stuff, crushed grass or broken twigs. They'll probably be covering their tracks, but we can always hope to get lucky. I'll see if I can't focus my Magus a bit - see if I can sense their heat." He made a face. He had never been very good at the subtle Magus work, always preferring the bright and flashy stuff. He almost didn't want to find the rouges though. He did want the bonus he would surly get for bringing them in, but it made him sad to imagine dragging Narrel back in chains. He sighed. How had everything gotten so far out of hand?

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:14 pm

Taiju glanced up at Cal, then silently tugged on his horse's reigns to go north. He mulled over the idea of going to Rizen. He had no idea if anyone would recognize his face at this point, and it wouldn't be impossible to avoid his father while they were there. He sighed--he dearly wanted to convince the others to go somewhere else, but to endanger everyone else because he wanted to avoid a few bad memories was selfish.

"We should go to Rizen," he conceded. "I might as well be the only Magi to have come out of the place. If we lose track of the guards, we should be pretty safe there. Not like anybody in Rizen besides Damek particularly loved the kingdom, anyway."

Kalen smiled tiredly. "Then I guess that's the plan, unless anyone objects."

-----

Jerin nodded and turned her gaze downward, scanning the ground for any signs of passers-by. She hoped she didn't miss anything--she didn't want to appear foolish in front of her partner. She was useless enough as it was without any sort of Magus to work with.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:58 am

After a few minutes of travel, the small group reached the pond that Cal had mentioned. Exhausted from riding for so long, Narrel eased out of her saddle with a low groan. She stretched her legs, glad to be taking a rest. She silently tied her horse to a low branch on a nearby tree to graze before digging into her saddle bags.

"Rizen sounds good," she said in response to Kalen. "We should be able to keep a pretty low profile there. It wouldn't be a bad idea to change our appearances a bit, though, once we get there."

She began rationing out their supplies, taking out small portions of bread, cheese, and a bit of dried fruit. She chose a cool spot under the shade of a large tree and began handing out their shares.

Cal nodded his approval as well. He wasn't too familiar with the town, but he considered that a good thing. If he hadn't heard much about it in his studies, then it was not likely to be on his father's mind either. He dismounted slowly, cursing as his leg tried to fold up under him. He caught himself, using his horse to balance until the throbbing eased. Borrowing strength from his pack had helped, but they only had so much energy to offer him before it started to take a tole on them. He limped over to the water and sat down, filling his flask with the clear, cool pond water before accepting his portion of food from Narrel.

Xee closed his eyes, trusting his horse to keep itself on the right path and Jerin to be watching for any visible disturbance in the forest. He drew on his Magus, spreading it out as far as it would reach over the forest floor. A cold sweat broke out on his brow as he concentrated, a low throbbing beginning to beat in his head. Everything seemed relatively normal. He could feel a few sources of warmth that indicated larger animals, but he couldn't tell what they were. With a curse he let go of his Magus and opened his eyes.

"It's no good," he said, shrugging carelessly. "I can feel quite a few things, but I can't tell if they're horses, or wolves, or bears, or people."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:47 pm

Taiju carefully slid down from his horse, gritting his teeth against his agitated injuries. On a normal day, half-healed ribs wouldn't be nearly so agonizing. They simply had to start running again the day after the fight.

"Cut our hair and whatnot," Kalen agreed with Narrel, taking his share of the meal and plopping down the grass. "I don't really want to, but I guess it would be for the best. We can buy new clothes on the way if we need to, too. Anything to throw them all off a little bit more."

Taiju thought about the idea of cutting his hair, then made a slight face to himself. It hadn't been shorter than its current length in years. He wondered how much changing their appearances would really help. If the king was determined enough, Taiju was sure he would find out who they were.

-----

Jerin sighed. "Well, there's no guarantee they're even out here," she pointed out. "I know that's the lead we're on, but . . ." She shrugged a little bit, helpless to offer any other ideas. She was less useful than the average guard at the moment. "I guess we just keep looking."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:16 pm

Narrel stroked her own long hair fondly. It would be a shame to see it go, but it was also one of her most identifiable features. She didn't have a particularly memorable face, which she had never been happy about until now.
"We must do what we must," she sighed. "Hair can always grow back. Clothes are easy to change. It may not be necessary, but it'll make me feel a lot better."

She turned to Taiju.
"So, could you tell us a bit about Rizen? I'm not all that familiar with it."

Cal frowned, taking a bite of his food. His hair was already pretty short, so there wasn't much he could do there. He supposed he could get some charcoal to rub in it and darken the color. He kept out of the conversation, preferring to listen rather than contribute. He didn't really care that much about where they were going; one town was the same as another as far as he was concerned.

"They were here," Xee said. "They battled with s-" he stopped himself. The King's pets were known only to a select few, and he wasn't even supposed to be one of them. "they were seen not far from here just last night. They can't have left the forest yet, regardless of what direction they're going."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:17 pm

Taiju chewed absently on a piece of dried fruit, resisting making a face at the taste of it. He thought for a minute before answering Narrel's question.

"It's a pretty unexciting place," he said. "The village only takes up a couple square miles at the most, and a river runs through the western part of it. People tend to know each other pretty well--hopefully nobody recognizes me. Rizen never got a lot of travelers because it's so far out of the way of any larger cities and there's not much around it that's interesting. There are a couple of families that live higher than the others; mine was in the middle. My parents wanted to marry me up to a daughter in a higher family, other families wanted their daughters to marry me or my brother, since being a blacksmith's son carried some perks . . . Thank the gods I got out of there before that could ever happen."

Kalen couldn't help a little snort of laughter.

"Anyway," Taiju finished, "as a whole it's a small and uninteresting place. We shouldn't have too hard of a time hiding there."

-----

Jerin gave Xee an odd look; what had he been about to say? She wanted to know, but sensed that she wouldn't get a satisfying answer if she pressed the issue, and decided to let it be.

"That just doesn't tell us what direction," she sighed, hanging her head. "We could search this forest for days and never find them, and then they'd be off somewhere else."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:03 pm

"I hate to poke holes in this plan," Cal pipped up, "but what happens if someone does recognize you? Will we be able to trust them to keep their mouths shut?" He took a bite of his bread, looking to Taiju for answers. He didn't know anything about this man's history, and he wasn't about to loose his new found freedom because of some stupid grudge.

Narrel looked over at Cal and frowned. It was a fair question, but something about his tone seemed almost hostile. She nudged him with her foot, making him break his eye contact with Taiju.
"Ease up," she whispered.

"Yeah, you're probably right," Xee said with a shrug. "But hey, it's better then getting dragging into another boarder skirmish or something. I wouldn't mind wasting a few more days on this search, if it means being away from the castle." Xee scratched his nose and continued to survey the forest with a bored eye. "Let's see if we can find a river or something. My sac's running a little dry. The mud around it would keep tracks better, too, so we might get lucky."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:05 pm

Taiju frowned at Cal. He was growing tired of the boy's repeated hostility. The first day they had met, he had seemed to be perfectly friendly, even offering to spar--what had forced him to change his attitude?

"Considering the scar I now have," he said, pointing to the jagged, half-healed claw mark that ran across his face, "and the other things we'll be doing, I doubt it'll be as easy to recognize me. Not to mentioned I'm a few years older than I was before. My family's the most likely to recognize me, and I intend to stay away from them. I doubt anyone would say anything, anyway, except my father, and again, I don't want to see him."

"I'm sure we'll be fine," Kalen interrupted. "If he keeps his hood up and whatnot I doubt it'll be a huge problem. I doubt we'll be running around in the middle of town the whole time, anyway."

-----

"Maybe," Jerin agreed, though she wasn't too hopeful. She secretly hoped they wouldn't find anything at all. She fidgeted a little with her standard-issue bracelet, trying to imagine what it must be like to be on the other end of the chase.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:56 pm

Cal shrugged and returned to his meal.
"As long as it doesn't cause any issues," he said. "I just don't want any surprises, that's all. And leave off me, Narrel. Taiju's a big boy, he can take care of himself, okay?"

He stood up and walked over closer to the pond, staring out over the water. He shook his head at himself. What was going on in his mind? There was no reason for him to be so upset. He growled low in his throat, irritated at himself as much as he was everyone else. He never used to be this way, be this moody. He didn't like it.

He saw a ripple in the water that reminded him that they would need some food. He snapped a branch off of a nearby tree and made a make-shift pole. If he caught anything, they could lay it to salt in the packs while they traveled.

"I felt a cooler spot over there," Xee said, pointing north. "Cool usually means water. Shall we?" He gave a small bow from his horse, letting Jerin take the lead on a thin path through the trees. He noticed her playing with her bracelet and couldn't help but touch his as well. He had gotten used to its weight on his wrist, so he hardly ever noticed it any more. Except when they were checking its log of course, which hurt like hell. He could hardly imagine what life had been like before the bracelet.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:41 am

Taiju shot Cal a dirty look when the boy's back was turned. He then shook his head and polished off what remained of his meager meal before getting to his feet.

"We don't have a lot of time to stand around," he said bitterly. "If the search party's that close behind us, and if we really plan on traveling all the way to Rizen, we'd better get going."

Kalen sighed. He had hoped to stay where they were a little bit longer, but he understood why they couldn't.

-----

Jerin nodded and took the lead, going to where she hoped was a source of water. It would be nice to take a break with Ryrill hovering over them--hell, they probably wouldn't be getting a break if Ryrill were anywhere near them. She seemed so bent on catching the runaways that even a five-minute rest would be too much. Jerin imagined Ryrill shouting at a Magi for passing out on the road and wondered just how far from the truth that vision was.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:38 am

Cal nodded slightly, acknowledging Taiju's comment. It was a good idea to keep moving; they didn't want to risk getting caught by staying in any one place too long. He did want to catch them some more food before they left, though.

"Let's wait just a little bit," he said, not taking his eye off the water. "We could all use the rest, and we need to stock up a bit on meat. If I don't catch anything in a few minutes, we'll keep moving."

As he spoke, his line dipped under the water and he immediately gave it a quick tug. He drew in the line, throwing the small fish onto the bank.

"Someone skin and salt that, would you?" He didn't expect Narrel to know how to do that, but he hoped that Taiju or Kalen would know what to do. A smart pain suddenly hit him in the stomach, and he grunted a bit. As soon as it came, it passed. He shook his head, not sure what had caused that. It was fine now though, so he threw his line back into the water.

As they approached what he assumed to be a small pond, some strange noises caught his attention. He motioned for Jerin to stop her horse, and dismounted, tying his mount to the nearest tree. He might be imagining things, but that almost sounded like voices.

"Let's take it by foot from here," he whispered.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:25 am

Taiju glanced at the fish and made a slight face; while he knew enough about preserving meat, he preferred not to. Kalen saw the expression, rolled his eyes lightly, and produced a knife from his pack to do the job himself.

Taiju, hoping to make himself useful if they weren't going to go anywhere, moved to the bank of the river, kneeling several feet away from Cal. His eyes scanned the water's surface as he sat, one hand slightly extended. When a fish came into his line of vision, he drew upon his Magus and made a motion like cupping a liquid in his hand, and the water around the fish came together in a shaky orb. With a tiny self-satisfied smile, Taiju made another jerking motion and the orb moved swiftly to the side to burst at Kalen's feet and deposit the fish in the grass. Kalen protested angrily to being splashed.

-----

Jerin paused as Xee did, listening. Very faintly, she though she could hear someone speaking, but the sound stopped before she could be certain. She carefully dismounted her horse, trying not to make too much sound on the path, and tied her horse to a tree near Xee's. Her stomach sank as she moved; she had hoped to find nobody and it turned out they may have found who they were looking for after all.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:18 am

Narrel couldn't help but giggle as Taiju's Magus splashed water all over Kalen. She sat down on the grass next to them, still smiling. It almost felt normal for a second, like they were just out spending time with friends, not running for their freedom. She sighed and turned her attention to what Kalen was doing. She grabbed a knife from her side and began to copy his actions with one of the fish that Taiju had caught. It wasn't perfect, but at least she was able to do something to help.

Cal almost smiled as well, watching Narrel burst into a laughing fit. It was nice to see her smile again. The cloud of malevolence that had seemed to engulf him today almost lifted for a moment. He turned his attention back to the water and felt it crash back down, stronger than ever. Was Taiju just using his Magus to try and upstage him? With a low growl he summoned up his own Magus. He usually had a rule against using it to hunt; it seemed unfair to him somehow. Today though, he would make an exception. He called up a few of the larger fish in the pond and lured them towards his hook.

As soon as he called on his Magus, a wave of nausea hit him, causing him to double over in pain. He cried out, dropping his rod as he wrapped his arms around his stomach as if that could somehow ease the pain.

Xee snuck as quietly as he knew how towards the sounds he had heard. He glanced behind him, satisfied to see Jerin following suite. His heart skipped a beat in his chest as he heard a familiar chortle, and had to stop himself from cursing aloud. So, it was her. He shook his head, hating that things had come to this. He paused, motioning Jerin closer and whispering to her.
"Let's set up a good spot to observe. I'd like to know what they are planning before we report back to Ryrill."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:03 pm

Taiju couldn't help a tiny smile pull up the corners of his lips. It vanished quickly, but it was the closest thing to a good mood that he had been in during the last few days. Everyone else laughing, even for a moment, improved his mood just a little bit.

It disappeared when he sensed Cal's Magus and saw the fish swarming in. He looked over to make a snide remark, but it died on his tongue when the boy suddenly doubled over, seeming in pain. He got to his feet, dropping the second fish that he had caught back into the river. Kalen likewise dropped what he's doing and moved quickly to Cal's side to see what was wrong.

-----

Jerin nodded her agreement as she carefully picked her way through the forested area. The voices were close now, but she couldn't quite see the sources. Staring at the ground to avoid things that would make noise, she carefully situated herself behind some brush, getting an imperfect but serviceable view of the group. She had to bite back a groan; she recognized Narrel, a senior Magi for whom she had some respect. The prince she recognized, of course, but the last boy she couldn't say for certain. In any case, none of them looked threatening--and the prince seemed hurt.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:06 pm

Narrel dropped the knife she was using on the fish in surprise as Cal suddenly cried out. She rushed over to him, crouching with Kalen and Taiju around their fallen friend. She quickly reached into her side bag and pulled out a lump of calcite. Channeling her Magus through the stone, she did a quick scan of Cal's body. Other than the obvious healing trauma's from the previous fight she could find nothing wrong with him.

"What's going on, Cal?" she insisted, worried.

Cal simply groaned, unable to work up a better response. The pain was easing now, but the receding of the pain left him with a dull ache over his whole body. He lay on the ground for a moment, trying to catch his breath.

Xee chewed on his lip, debating what to do. It would be difficult now to leave without drawing attention to themselves, and he was sure that they could not win a direct fight, even with only the three healthy ones. He would either have to wait until the group moved out and contact Ryrill, or follow them and report back later. He rubbed the bracelet on his wrist, irritated. He hated that he had to report back at all. If Jerin wasn't with him, he could have just pretended that he didn't see anything. It would almost be worth treason to see one person, especially his old friend, get away from this tyrannical control.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:05 pm

"Great," Taiju sighed. "It isn't enough we're on the run and injured, but we don't know why this one's dying."

Kalen shot Taiju a look for his insensitivity and looked over Cal, trying to think of a reason for the young man's distress. "We might have to get him to someone else. A healer, maybe," he said. "I don't know how we'll manage that, but . . ."

"Well, if he's not visibly hurt, it's something else. Sickness, poison . . ." Taiju rattled off the ways he could think of that wouldn't kill someone obviously. "Maybe another Magae messing with him, but I doubt that.

----

Jerin shifted uncomfortably in her place. Like Xee, she would have turned around and pretended she hadn't seen anything if she were on her own. She couldn't simply suggest that they do so without being accused of treason or simple insanity. "I don't know if we could handle them ourselves," she whispered to her companion. "But the prince looks sick . . ."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:40 am

Cal tried to sit up, but ended up needing Narrel's help to do so. He still shook all over and his body felt strangely numb after the debilitating pain.
"I-I'm fine now," he said, taking a deep breath to steady himself. "I don't know what happened." His speech sounded slow to him, as if his mind was having trouble controlling his tongue. He prodded himself experimentally all over. Nothing seemed to be newly injured from the fall, which was a relief. He listened to Taiju talk with an increasing feeling of dread. He knew that they couldn't risk going to a healer. They couldn't be expected to risk their own freedom just to help him.

"Whatever it is," Narrel spoke up, keeping a hand on Cal's back in concern, "we have to do something. He's already week from the battle. I'm worried his body might not be able to handle another attack like that."

Cal made a face. He hated to think that he was that helpless, but she had a point. Something occurred to him as she talked, however. Testing his theory, he rolled up his pants leg, revealing where the creature's blow had broken the bone. A low hiss escaped his lips as he saw that his skin was beginning to turn a sickening black around the wound. He didn't know much of how it was supposed to look, but he was fairly certain that it was not healing as it should.

Xee nodded, both concerned and curious. Human medicine had always been a hobby of his, though he was by no means an expert. He itched to get a better look at that leg, but he didn't dare reveal himself.
"Perhaps we should continue monitoring for a while," he suggested, trying not to sound too happy about it. "We need to be able to accurately report their condition, after all. Ryrill would be upset if we brought back incomplete information on the targets."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:12 pm

((I AM GOING TO STOP FORGETTING THIS.))

Taiju did his best not to look too disgusted by the blackening wound, but he couldn't help a bit of a disturbed expression. "That's definitely not good," he said. "What the hell could do something like that? It hasn't even been a day, so I don't think it could be infected that badly yet."

Kalen leaned in a little to inspect the wound. "I don't know, either," he said. "Never seen anything like that before. I really think we need to find him a proper healer before this gets any worse."

"Where? We're in the middle of nowhere and on the run. There aren't a lot of healers around here, even fewer who would actually help us if they figured out who we are."

-----

Jerin looked at Xee with a bit of surprise. She had expected to either suggest they return to Ryrill or that they make their move on the rogues now while the prince was injured. Suggesting that they stay longer seemed almost unnecessary, and she had to wonder if he was up to something.

Not that she was going to complain.

She nodded her agreement and returned her gaze to the prince, growing concerned. There probably wasn't anything they could do for him, but she felt bad about either leaving him to die or attacking him when he was already in so much pain.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:51 am

Narrel bowed her head, her loose hair falling over her eyes. If only she had been allowed to practice her Magus as she had wanted, she might be able to help now. She had always loved the healing arts, but the king had been too interested in her raw earth-moving power. She hated him for forcing her to hurt instead of heal, but now it could cost her one of her dearest friends. She clenched her fists until her nails dug into her palm and looked up.

"Let me take a look at it," she said. She dug out a crystal from her bag and held it above the wound. She closed her eyes and focused her Magus through the clear gem. She drew a breath as her Magus hit the wound. It burned in her mind, a twisting, pulsing beast that dug at everything it touched. The small amount of healing she had learned on her own would be no match for this. Instead she focused on weaving a net around the poison, stretching to where it's searching tendrils ended. She opened her eyes.

"It definitely feels like some sort of poison," she informed her friends. "This is way out of my league. I think I can keep it from spreading for a bit, but we need help."

"Great," Cal mumbled. Taiju was right; there was little chance that they would be able to find a proper healer out in the middle of nowhere. Even if they did, the person would be just as likely to report them as help them. He wasn't liking his chances.

Xee remained silent. He wished that he was here alone. The opportunity to study one of the king's custom poisons was almost too good to pass up. He had no way of telling how Jerin would react, however. She seemed like a nice enough kid, but he wouldn't risk his life on so little.

"We don't have a choice," he finally said. "We have to either report back to Ryrill or try to capture them on our own. Injured or not, we can't let them slip between our fingers." He rubbed absently at his bracelet, realizing once again how heavy it truly was. He wished he knew how Narrel had gotten out of hers. It didn't really matter. He was too much of a coward to live on the run. It was much safer to stay on the winning side. "I know your Magus is strongest at night - will you be able to help in a fight?"

_________________
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
― Mark Twain

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Magus Potentae
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