Interlude 1

Interlude 1

In order to call yourself a Wizard, and more importantly hang up a Wizard’s shingle to attract customers, you have to visit Wizards’ Bain. You would not have heard that name before because it is a closely guarded secret of the Wizards’ Guild, or it was until just now. The important point here is that only Wizards know about the Bain. Apprentices learn by being told about it and directed to it by their Masters.

My Master told me about it when I became his registered apprentice, but he didn’t give me the directions. You don’t get the direction to Wizards’ Bain until the end of your apprenticeship. Unfortunately, my Master was killed before I reached that point. Without a Master there is no way to learn the directions. I — as the apprentice in the contract — was responsible for finding another Master when mine was murdered. It was like that for all apprentices who lose Masters and therein lay the problem.

Being a Master Wizard does not necessarily ensure a long life. In fact, it is an occupation fraught with danger and high mortality rates, so there are a lot of apprentice wizards who are out of jobs. I realized this about half a year into my search for a new master. I was finding about one interview a month, and on the sixth interview I recognized a few of the other applicants. I had been to interviews with most of them before. By the end of the first year we were all friendly. After another year we were friends everywhere except during interviews.

One of the Hopefuls, as we called ourselves, was rather high strung. Sparrow was his name, and he became dispirited, so dispirited that he tried something foolish. It killed him, and it turned me off the search for a new Master. Stealing was safer.

I returned to my old stomping grounds, the city of my youth where I had fought the Wizard, Corban Dow. If it was necessary to be a thief to survive, I would ply my trade in a place where the pickings were more abundant.