by Ganpheril Kimeth
“I've heard of you,” said the old vagabond, very impressed. “Aren't you the adventurer who slew all those ash vampires in Ghostgate a couple of months back?”
“That I am,” said Oristian Silverthorn with a weary smile for his admirer. He knew that his name was not yet legendary, and it was best to be polite. “And you are?”
“My name would have no meaning to you, but I'm Erer Darothil,” he said, raising a glass of greef. “I hail from the region of Ghostgate which is how I heard your name. Are you on an adventure as we speak?”
“Yes,” said Silverthorn, with a grim expression. “I'm challenged to rid The Grazelands of a rogue battlemage by the name of Egroamaro.”
“I've heard of him as well,” said Darothil. “He is said to be very powerful, an implacable foe.”
“That is why I'm drinking now,” sighed Silverthorn. “So tell me, what is your profession?”
“I do nothing,” said Darothil with some measure of pride. “But in my youth, I used to teach the skills of Illusion at the University of Gwylim.”
“Perhaps you can help me then,” said Silverthorn, suddenly excited. “Can you teach the spell Silence? I can certainly pay you.”
“I know that spell,” said Darothil. “You might find Invisibility very helpful as well, or perhaps Darkness which would allow you to sneak up on old Egroamaro.”
“No,” said Silverthorn firmly. “I only have time to learn one spell. I have to kill Egroamaro, collect the award, and be back in Gnisis as quickly as possible. My wife worries when I'm away.”
Darothil agreed and, as the two settled back in their seats at the cornerclub and tossed back glasses of greef, the old man shared his knowledge of the spell. He explained what it truly meant to bend sound, creating a cone of silence as glass can bend light. He had Silverthorn close his eyes while he tapped the side of his glass, making him picture the sound as the physical entity it was, before it was extinguished.
The adventurer, after a few hours of instruction, paid the old teacher and set off on his way. Indoranyon, Egroamaro's stronghold, was not far from Sadrith Mora, and he soon saw the blight and ruin that was the battlemage's calling card. Delving into the depths of the ruins, Silverthorn was set upon by the servitors of Egroamaro, living and undead. With his enchanted ebony blade, he cut through legions before facing the master himself in the desolate main hall.
Egroamaro bowed to his adversary sardonically, and then prepared to unleash a fireball to incinerate him. Before he had uttered the first word of the spell, he suddenly found that all the creaking and sighing of the ruins around him had been stilled. He opened his voice to speak, but there was no sound. Silverthorn took his time, strolling across the length of the hall, before dispatching the battlemage with one stroke of his blade.
The adventurer rushed back to the Tribunal Temple where he had received his quest, accepted the gold and the thanks, and was back in his house in Gnisis but a few days later. His wife Liah was beside herself with worry.
“All I could do night after night is toss and turn. I kept imagining you burned to ashes by that battlemage, and where would that leave me? Do we have enough gold that I could support myself if you, Saint Seryn let it not be so, were killed during one of these jaunts? I don't think so. Why couldn't you get a nice position at the Fighters Guild right here in town? I hear they're looking for a trainer for the Imperial Guard. I know, I know, you want a life of adventure and danger and freedom, but if you'd only take one moment to think of me, stuck here all by myself, worrying about you. I suppose you'd like it if I took more of an interest in your work, but it's like I was telling Ser Calissiah Vignum the other day, I said Calissah, what good is a husband--”
Liah continued to talk, deaf to the fact that her words were dead before they left her mouth. Silverthorn smiled and nodded his head, enjoying the silence. He could have killed Egroamaro without the spell, he considered, but he could not have survived his wife.