Hemlock and the wizard t.., p.1
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       Hemlock and the Wizard Tower, p.1
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           B Throwsnaill
Hemlock and the Wizard Tower


  Hemlock and the Wizard Tower

  4th edition

  By B Throwsnaill

  Copyright 2011 by Bill Ainsworth writing as B Throwsnaill

  For more information about B Throwsnaill's writing please visit https://www.wiztower.com .

  This book is dedicated to my family.

  All characters and events portrayed in this work are fictitious.

  Table of Contents

  Map

  Prologue

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty One

  Chapter Twenty Two

  Chapter Twenty Three

  Chapter Twenty Four

  Chapter Twenty Five

  Chapter Twenty Six

  Chapter Twenty Seven

  Chapter Twenty Eight

  Chapter Twenty Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Epilogue

  Glossary

  Prologue

  Hemlock sat nervously in a darkened bedroom as she watched an elderly man, who was dressed in a long, green robe and adorned with several long necklaces of blue and green trinket gems, lean over the bed.

  Her sister, Mercuria, lay in the nearby bed on her side, clutching her stomach in obvious pain. Hemlock noted that her younger sister's blond hair, which was usually nicely brushed, was now sweaty and matted. Mercuria's fine facial features, which resembled Hemlock's but were cast in a darker complexion, were distorted with pain.

  The man began to murmur softly, and then he retrieved a small vial from his robes and took two swigs into his mouth, swallowing hard as if the taste was unpleasant.

  Mercuria moaned softly, turning her face into her pillow to muffle the sound. Despite her concern for Mercuria, Hemlock almost chuckled at the gesture, which personified her sister's unwavering consideration of others over herself, no matter what the situation.

  By this time the old man's murmuring had risen to a chant. He began to rhythmically move his arms over Mercuria's body, starting with her head, and moving across to her feet; he then repeated the back and forth motion several times.

  Mercuria's features softened just a bit, and Hemlock became hopeful the healing would be fully effective. She could sense the restorative magical energy projecting toward her sister from the hands of the healer. But based on her experience of prior castings, she perceived that the intensity of the magic seemed to be lacking.

  The man's chanting ended.

  Hemlock watched as Mercuria opened her eyes, and then their eyes met. Hemlock felt a twinge of despair as she saw that pain still registered in her sister's gaze. Mercuria did not get up, and remained in the same position. Although Mercuria had clearly experienced some relief, Hemlock knew the spell had failed to fully take effect.

  Hemlock looked angrily at the man, who had risen to his full posture and had rested his hand gently on Mercuria's prone form. The man gestured to Hemlock and then toward the door of the bedroom.

  "Mercuria, rest if you can. Frascont and I are going to speak for a few moments in the kitchen," Hemlock said softly.

  Mercuria nodded gently in response.

  Hemlock saw that the man had waited for her to exit first, and she paused to allow him to do so instead.

  She followed him out of the bedroom and into a worn hallway that was floored with creaking boards and finished in old, dusty paint. Hemlock and her sister lived in a small apartment, and the hallway led to the kitchen, which was also the main exit to the streets outside.

  "It didn't work again," Hemlock noted with a tone of frustration in her voice.

  The old man stiffened a bit as he responded: "I did everything right. I even consumed a little extra of the potion. It should have been fully effective."

  "Well, it wasn't. We shouldn't pay."

  "Look, I have the same expenses as before, and I am doing the same things. My skills are as good as ever. The Wizard Guild still charges me the same for the potion. If you don't pay me then I won't be able to come back. And you won't find anyone else who'll do better than me or for less coin. It's not my fault."

  Hemlock believed the old man. She knew something had changed about magic in her neighborhood in recent months. Spells simply weren't as effective any longer. She thought of her sister, lying in pain in the next room, and her jaw stiffened.

  "I'll give you all of the coin I have. Cast the spell again, and use twice the potion. I want her on her feet again."

  Hemlock knew that she would be spending the last of her savings, which was a dangerous step to take when faced with the uncertainty of when she would come into money again.

  The old healer had already started back toward the bedroom when Hemlock stopped him with a question.

  "Frascont, what is causing these spells to weaken?"

  "I...I don't know," he responded. He then glanced around the apartment furtively before continuing: "but I would venture to guess the Wizard Tower is behind it."

  BOOK ONE

 
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