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The Wizard's Tower

A Curse of Seltemver Story

Written by Salen

The Cove

The Ravencrest sailed into the dark cove, dropping anchor and waiting for any sign of a welcoming party. This coast was not high on the list of vacation spots for the captain, but it was pretty high on the list of places to be pillaged. A powerful wizard was known to reside here, his tower filled with gold, and their informant had told them that he was going to be in Tanaril for awhile. They couldn’t pass this one up. The Ravencrest was an elven pirate vessel — one of the best — and its captain was both known for the trouble he would get in, and his swordsmanship in getting out of said trouble. Seltemver Ashblade blew the short white hair out of his eyes and motioned for the ship's wizard to come up to the wheel house.   “Yes Seltemver?” the elf asked, a rather short man with a long scar down his cheek.   “Branil, do you sense any magic nearby?” Seltemver asked, hoping that the answer was a simple one. Knowing this elf, it wouldn’t be.   Branil closed his eyes and whispered to the ether, asking the element to show him trails of magic. “Nothing close, captain, but that doesn’t mean that creatures summoned by magic won’t be on guard or even that...”   “I got it Branil, thank you,” Seltemver said as he looked to the shore crew. He nodded and they lowered the first boat. The scout group would secure the landing then the captain would go over and lead the expedition. ‘Maybe we will have some good luck this time,” Seltemver said, his hopes dashed when the elven wizard started laughing at him.   “With your luck?” Branil asked, still chortling. “You’ll be lucky to make it back to the boat without bloodshed. This is an archmage Seltemver.”   The captain closed his eyes and counted to three; he hated magic. To be fair, he only hated it because he couldn’t cast it. All elves had the innate ability to ask the elements to do the things they wanted. From causing fire, to moving the ground itself, the elements encompassed everything around them. Except for Seltemver. He tried when he was young, going through the classes, but they just didn’t — or wouldn’t — hear him. “All right, let’s get going and hope that we can get into the tower without surprises.   Branil stomped off towards the second boat, already getting ready to be lowered. “That will be a first.”  

Surprise Guests

“Gri, Amonar,” the archmage ordered, using the word for bring and pointing at the shelf lined with black jars. He hated using this infernal language, but the creature understood nothing else. Next time I’m summoning a faerie, they’re less trouble, he thought as he tied his long white hair back with a small leather tie. Nor’alrin was an elven archmage, and the current master of this troublesome imp called Amonar and boy did he regret it.   The imp flew over, grabbed one of the black jars, and then flapped over to the desk with it. The two-foot creature placed it carefully out of his clawed hands. “Ut meh zar,” he said as he flew off to his pedestal.   “Thank you Amonar,” the archmage said, sliding the ink towards him. When he didn’t hear anything he sighed and turned in his chair, eyeing the little creature. “Gorn Wok,” he said carefully, trying to remember the words for good work. He had been studying this language of the imps for the last two years, and wasn’t any closer to learning it without looking at his notes. Elven and infernal were so close that he had a hard time memorizing the different meanings of the same word, and he was one of the smartest wizards in all of Falin’dril. His notes were extensive, but now he was trying to do it without looking. It’s like I’m back in mage school, he thought.   A loud screeching permeated the tower, forcing the archmage to scratch his work, ruining it. “Ah!” he exclaimed as he turned and whispered to the ether, stopping the magic alarm. Someone had opened his front door, even though it was magically locked. He strode off, waving for Amonar to follow, which the sad little creature did obediently.  
* * *
The Wizards Tower.jpg
by Aiofa
Seltemver looked at the four bodies on the ground, burned despite their magical wards, and thought twice about going through that doorway. “I thought you said you got rid of the magic?” he asked his wizard, who was staring at the door in horror. Seltemver walked to the side of the doorway and peered in, not wanting to be in front of this death trap.   “I did...It shouldn’t have done that captain.” Then his head shot up, his eyes going wide. “Oh gods above Seltemver...he’s home!” Branil turned and started running, barely getting three feet before a bolt of white lightning slammed him from behind. He was dead before he hit the tree, shattering what was left of his face.   Haerlin, the only other crew member still up, hissed words of magic at the doorway as fast as he could. “Ash’anti fir, yanel dost halven ent ce wal,” he asked, trying to increase the heat around the frame into a wall of fire. It worked, building slowly into a sheet of flame, but went out immediately as another elf came striding through.  

The Imp

“Ash’anti fra, tur dosit ston haryen!” the archmage yelled. The wind tuned into a funnel, picking up the rocks on the ground and flaying the elf in front of him. The whirlwind was spinning the tiny stone shards so fast that they were taking his skin off faster than he could try and counter the magic. “That will teach these fo...” his sentence ended as a sword came out of his chest, spraying blood everywhere.   “Never leave an elf behind you wizard,” Seltemver said, pulling his blade out slowly, kicking the wizard to the ground. He had been to the side of the doorway, backing up into the shadows when the elf came striding out. Seltemver heard a strange noise then, turning to see a two foot tall creature, skin the color of blood, staring at him.   “Zat dos col?” the imp asked in a strange tongue.   Seltemver thought it might be a dialect of elven, as some of the words were close. Here the cold? he thought. “Dost col?”   “Esh?” the imp asked, pointing at himself.   Seltemver was going to try again, but the murmuring of the not dead wizard drew his attention.   “I should have... had the imp protect me...never thought I would need it,” The archmage said, coughing up blood. “He’ll have to kill for you, I’ll make sure of it... because he hates it.” The mage clapped his bloody hands together and a spell of concussive force exploded out from him in a wave. The archmage was dead.   Seltemver felt the wave throw him against the tower. His sword in pieces among the bloody leaves. He looked over at the imp, and tried to smile. The wizard cursed me with this thing? he thought as he stood on shaky legs. Well I suppose I should see what’s worth taking from inside.
* * *
Amonar looked at the wizard who had tormented him for years and tried to feel bad, but he couldn’t; he had been made to do such things to people. Torturing, killing, and even siphoning their life essence — something the wizard needed — were the daily rituals for Amonar. After all of the killing he had done, he could barely even stand to see blood, never mind cause it. He had tortured souls in the hells before, but they were already dead. Here, they were alive and vibrant, full of life that he could almost smell if he was close enough. It broke him to do the things he had been commanded to do.   His attention was pulled to the new elf that had slain his master, then he too took the hit from the invisible wave. His little wings flapped to keep him from flying off, but he still spun in a lazy circle for a good hot minute. That was weird. Amonar saw the elf stand straight and walk into the tower, eyeing the imp with a curious glance. “Zat?” Amonar asked him in infernal. He really wished he knew how to speak elven.   “Zat?” the elf asked, confusion written on his face as he started walking over towards the imp.  

Communication

“Zat dos giv?” Amonar asked the elf, backing up with his wings. He wasn’t sure if the elf was going to try and kill him — thankfully he was immortal — but he didn’t want to find out; he hated violence. “Gol fer!” he said, pointing to the tower doorway. He hoped letting him know there was treasure inside would calm him down and make him go away; not that it would do any good. He had heard the archmage’s binding curse and knew he was stuck with this new elf forever now.   It worked, the elf walking in shaking his head, and Amonar breathed a sigh of relief. He flew over to the archmage and searched his pockets, hoping that he could find something to help with this new curse. When the man had summoned him it was for personal gain — he wanted something to kill people for him — but this curse...this was just cruel! To watch over an elf forever, knowing that if he let him die he also would be dragged down to the deep hells for eternity. It was horrible! He didn’t really care about the elf’s soul...he would be dragged down regardless now that he had been cursed, but to get pulled along with him! He found nothing in the pockets of the archmage’s robe, so he decided to go in and see if the elf had notes...and to see what his new master was doing.  
* * *
Seltemver walked carefully into the wizard’s tower, hoping the imp was right this time. It was plain that their communication was a bit off, but money inside was pretty plain to understand. He passed by the rooms that looked like normal living quarters, even by passed the library; any important notes and books would be in private holdings anyway. He did stop at the ornate, iron-bound door however. The thing that stopped him was glowing blue and etched into the very wood, almost moving on its own accord. It seemed like a rune of power, though admittedly he had skipped that class in school.   “Ma in por,” the imp said, pointing to the door.   Seltemver frowned, not knowing what to do. The imp had said to open the door, yet it was clearly guarded with magic. “Ma in por?” he asked to make sure.   The imp shook his head in agreement, seeming relived that he understood.   Seltemver shrugged and grabbed the handle. After all, he thought, he has to keep me alive right? At least that’s what he heard the wizard say, when he cursed the both of them. He instantly regretted touching the door; hells, he regretted leaving the ship at this point. A frigid cold arced up his arm like lightning, burning away his shirt and throwing him back against the wall. He fought hard to remain conscious as his heart was busy filing a complaint to his brain for letting him do that...his arms weren’t even bothering, outright refusing to work on general principles. His head just decided to sit there and spin for the moment.   Tiny hands were on him then, shaking him back and forth. “Dos liv?” the imp asked, clearly worried.   “Barely!” Seltemver yelled, trying to stand against the better judgment of his entire body. His coat was ruined, his sword broken and he had almost died. Not his best day. He stomped off and started rummaging through the things in the room.  

Really?

Seltemver found a bag and started putting things into it. It was indeed the archmage’s workshop and there were various items that seemed expensive. He planned on taking them all.   He first grabbed a very nice looking longcoat off a peg and spun it around him. He slipped into it and it fit perfectly. “All right, now a weapon,” he said, looking around. “Try that sword,” the imp said, speaking plain common as he pointed to a gleaming slim sword.   “You can speak!?” Seltemver yelled.   “Well...yes. I just didn’t know you spoke common until just now. By the way, my name is Amonar,” he said, smiling innocently and holding out a clawed hand.   Seltemver stared at the imp and couldn’t believe it. Then he broke into a fit of laughing. “And I’m stuck with you. Forever.” He took a minute to breathe then straightened up, smiling. “Hello Amonar, my name is Seltemver.”   “That’s a funny name,” Amonar said, then corrected himself. “I mean...a lovely name. Couldn’t be more regal.”   Seltemver drew the sword out of its scabbard as it lay on the desk and knew that it was special. It was light, well balanced, and deceptively sharp. “Well Amonar, you are now part of my crew, and as a new member, you get to carry the bag.” He handed the bag to the imp, who took it and fell to the floor at the weight of it. “On second thought, just hold the torch,” he said, handing him a torch from a wall sconce. “Now, let’s grab everything not nailed down,” Seltemver said, turning to the stacks of books that he knew he could sell.   “And pry up everything that is?” Amonar asked, his old smile returning for the first time in decades.   “That, my new friend, is the best thing you’ve said all day.”   “That you understood."    


Cover image: by Mbanshee

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