The Unspeller and the Book of Days
Magic and Blood
Aesa turned the page of the last book Bephistoles had given him. He'd finished it once, but wanted
to read it again. Someone had quaintly illustrated the borders, which made the reading more entertaining.
Laeron snored nearby, his warm breath heating the room. Thanks to the dragon his room was the
warmest place in the palace.
He nearly ripped the next page when his chamber door burst violently open.
Jasper's hair was wind-blown and his eyes were lit with magic and emotion. “The oracle is coming for
you. Right now. He's brought an army of gritich.”
Laeron's eyes snapped open. “There are many?” he asked, uncoiling.
A rattling growl came from Laeron's throat. I’ve scented them for days…and wondered why. Open the windows,
Shouldn’t I come with you?
No. I want to make a dent in the numberless numbers myself.
Aesa shoved the windows open and Laeron jumped out into the sky.
“They are already here. I don't know if we can protect you,” Jasper added.
Ignoring his rising fear, he asked, “Does the king know?”
“Dalynara is already sounding the alarm. We'll meet Killian and Loken at the Mage's Hall.”
As they ran through the corridors, he thought about the last line of Na Serin's defense—the Council.
They were very old.
Bephistoles was teetering between his final destiny and an afternoon nap. Lord Bannion was too
gentle of a soul to fight. Memnara was spry, but was not the warrior of her youth. Kikritan...well, even
though he was old he was tough and string y...and stubborn. He'd probably survive even the fiercest battle out
of sheer obstinacy. Lanigan wasn't old, but he'd never seen battle.
As for the king, could he be relied on to show up at all? Did he care?
They met Killian and Loken at the courtyard. Killian's eyes were already bright, a faint wave of heat
radiating from his body. Loken was more calm, though he cast a protection spell on Aesa even before they
greeted each other.
“Thanks,” Aesa muttered.
When they reached the Mage's Hall a young man met them at the impenetrable oak doors
emblazoned with ominous looking runes.
"Loken...Killian and Jasper..." his gaze swept over Aesa. "....and a Jereward I haven't met, it looks
like. Are you having a family meeting in the Hall of Mages?"
"No Terryn, we're going to the wall,” Loken said. “Gritich are coming."
At that moment the wall surrounding the city exploded into white flames. The flames lit the pale
morning sky, an apparition and an alarm.
Terryn's eyes widened as he turned to Loken. "How did you know that?”
Jasper stepped toward the doors impatiently. “It doesn't matter. We need to see Captain Roland.”
Terryn's eyes went to the burning wall and then he pushed open the doors with a spell. “Come this
The doors opened up to the center hall, a wide round room made of crude stone blocks, the floor as
rough as the walls, which were scarred, burnt and broken. It was bare and large and ugly, and perfect for
sparring. They went up the stairs to the next floor, down a hall filled with wood doors ornamented only with
black iron rings for door handles. Terryn beat on the last door, the sound reverberating through the hall.
"Captain Roland, sir!"
The man who opened the door had stark features and pale, ice cold eyes, his blond hair cropped
close to his nearly skeletal face. Aesa could not explain it, but he was immediately afraid of him.
The captain examined the Jereward brothers and asked Terryn, "Why are they here?"