“The classical image of a wizard is that of a doddery old fool with a wispy beard, sequestered away in a tall tower and spending his days reading dusty tomes and consulting the stars. A harmless eccentric. Reality could not be further from the truth.
“While yes, there is a grain of truth to that image and the majority of arcanists would be content to live out their days among their scrolls and tomes without seeing another soul, the more, shall we say, ambitious practitioners of our craft more than make up for them. Economics, politics, war – there’s a lot of scope for a wizard seeking to make their mark on the world.
“For good or for ill.”— “Magic and Morality”, Magus Leria
Vesaad watched, hands clasped behind his back, as the 8th raised a flag in reply.
The distant legion began to turn slowly, twisting eastwards. Vesaad turned his gaze towards the mountain where the rebel force could be seen making their way up the hillside. He watched them a few moments.
Behind him, someone cleared their throat. “Orders, Captain?”
Vesaad narrowed his eyes, keeping his focus on the distant enemy force and trying to shield them from the glaring afternoon sun. “Have the vak clear the rubble. And send for Corassis.”
There was a shuffling sound of mail as the soldier saluted and departed swiftly. Vesaad kept his eyes trained on the rebels, doing his best to mark their passage and estimate their speed. It was difficult.
A few minutes passed, the captain scratching idly at his coppery chin, before the wizard made her appearance. “You wished to see me, Captain?”
Vesaad turned to face the mage. There was a breathlessness in her voice and something in the way she carried herself that spoke of fatigue. He nodded. “Aye. Now that the danger has passed, I wanted your measure. Are you alright?”
Corassis nodded, then rolled her neck slowly. “A little…drained, Captain, but I’ll be fine.” Her blue scales showed a deep, rich hue in the sunlight. “They are…more capable than I expected. I knew the rebels counted a wizard amongst their ranks, but I did not think her trained in warcraft to that extent.”
Vesaad rolled his lower lip back over his teeth, chewing on it as he listened. “Will training to that extent be a problem for you?”
Corassis shook her head. “Not on its own, no. In tandem with displays like from that bird?” She sighed, and glanced towards her feet. “I am only one.”
Vesaad nodded. “I see.”
Corassis looked back towards her captain. “Sir, the exertions of the day have taxed me greatly already… I… I require time to rest if we are to face that again.”
Vesaad crossed his arms. “I understand.”
Corassis looked over Vesaad’s shoulder as he thought. A few yards behind the captain, a blue-scaled figure shimmered into existence, clad in long, ornate robes, staff in one hand, a pair of curling ram horns atop their head each festooned with golden jewellery. They smiled, and Corassis turned her attention back to the captain as he began to speak again.
“I am unsure how much time we will be able to give you but we shall do our best. You have methods of contacting the Rock, correct?”
Corassis looked from Vesaad to the robed figure and back to Vesaad. She nodded.
“Excellent,” said Vesaad, his face hard. “Explain to them the events of the day, our location, the 8th’s movements, and request permission to engage as well as any extra drakes that are available if granted. I want to finish this here.”
Corassis bowed her head. “Of course, Captain. I shall…” She looked over Vesaad’s shoulder towards the robed figure.
The Cerulean nodded back to her.
“I shall send those messages immediately.”