By Lawrence Watt-Evans

A unmarried SPELL

Tobas were fortunate to discover a wizard to take him on as apprentice. yet then the wizard died by surprise and all at once after instructing Tobas just a solitary spell, and the early life used to be too outdated to discover a brand new grasp. How may perhaps he make cash whilst all of the magic he might do was once mild fires?

A future UNFOLDING

In the Small Kingdoms there have been dragons to be slain, princesses and gold to be gained, magic castles, witches who knew the key of immortality, and different treasures. yet how may perhaps a wizard with a unmarried, basic spell desire to discover them and win them?

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Shan at the Sea, the only city he knew in any respect, was once lower than a day’s stroll to the southwest, but when he went there what could he do? A dozen humans in Shan knew him as his father’s son, and could surely unfold the note approximately his undesirable good fortune — or, worse, try to acquire on his father’s outdated money owed, either actual and imaginary. they'd recognize his background, understand that he had not anything to provide. He used to be now some distance too outdated to idiot an individual into providing him an apprenticeship; even terrible, half-blind, sometimes-senile previous Roggit have been suspicious approximately his age. He couldn’t visit sea, from now on than he may perhaps take an apprenticeship; he had heard that between Ethsharites a sailor may well commence as overdue as age 16, and he may have handed for that, yet within the loose Lands the captains most well liked to begin their humans younger, at twelve or 13. He had to cross someplace not anyone may recognize him, that was once visible. anyplace within the unfastened Lands an individual may perhaps ultimately realize him. That intended he must visit Ethshar. The Hegemony of Ethshar was once the one country sharing borders with the loose Lands. yet how might he do this? The border used to be dozens of leagues up the coast, he was once convinced, and the sort of trip might suggest days of strolling, days within which he must beg for his meals or starve. And as soon as around the border, the place might he be? In an enemy land! within the wasteland! He knew little of Ethshar, yet was once particularly yes that not anything of significance lay wherever close to the unfastened Lands. A league to the south lay the sea, and each send crusing the coast of Ethshar glided by the following — the survival of Shan and the remainder of the unfastened Lands relied on that truth, given that with no the plunder introduced domestic by way of the privateers the city may starve. No Ethsharitic send ever installed at Shan willingly, and no send sailed from Shan sure for Ethshar, so he couldn't board a boat on the town, yet what if he have been to intercept one whereas at sea? He would want a ship of a few variety — swimming out to a boat used to be now not functional. may perhaps he construct a ship? He requested himself that question, and instantly knew the reply. No, he couldn't. He had continuously meant to reside a fats and lazy lifestyles on his inheritance, even if his father’s gold or his master’s spells; he used to be compelled to confess to himself that he slightly knew the way to carry a hammer. if that's the case, he informed himself, he may evidently need to discover a boat that had already been outfitted, and procure using it one way or the other. good, he idea, that sounded easy sufficient, and shouldn’t be too tough. He acquired to his toes and became southward, pondering he may perhaps already scent the salt of the ocean at the light breeze that ruffled the grass. The solar was once virtually immediately overhead while he ultimately crowned the final little upward push, a row of dunes, and staggered down onto the seashore. A league had by no means gave the impression of greatly while he were sitting at domestic speaking or dream­ing — 3 miles, a trifling six thousand yards, not anything a lot — yet jogging it within the scorching solar, with out breakfast, donning shoddy condominium sandals instead of boots, had proved to be an laborious firm for one so off form as himself.

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