Sage was careful not to stray too far from the ship. Elekiel told her she should take it easy today and stay off of her ankle. Of course Sage was unable to heed the man's advice when there was a whole new town to discover. She did, however, make sure to stay away from any pubs or dark sketchy looking buildings. Madenport had been a horrible experience and the people there were wretched.
Masair was a quaint little town. The shops and cottages were all painted in bright colors. People smiled politely at her as she hobbled her way over to an appealing little curiosity shop called Odds and Ends.
The shop was a poorly lit one room cottage, with a worn wooden floor. There were no windows, but shelves clung to every space of wall; housing various objects. The store's inventory ranged from shrunken heads, herbs and potions with different uses, to old books; torn at the binding and odd shaped stones and gems. What captured Sage's attention was an object sitting on the counter next to a sign that read 'Display Only'. It was a silver flute, etched with odd symbols. A piece of parchment read:
The Summoning Flute
An Artifact of the Gods
When played with the right intent this object is spellbound
Will recover what is lost and most desired to be found
Sage's palms began to itch. She thought of a hundred ways in which the flute could be a very useful asset. She glanced around the store. She was the only customer. She let her eyes drift to the storekeeper. Foolishly, his back was turned towards her as he stood behind the counter arranging jars on a shelf.
All she had to do was pick it up, put it in her satchel bag and walk away. She would put the object to good use and make sure to help people with it, which could justifystealing it in the first place, at least that's what she told herself.
Quietly Sage reached for the flute. When her hand made contact with the weightless brass instrument it seemed to glow in a way that felt natural.
“If you'd like to keep your hand, I'd like to keep my flute.” The shopkeeper offered alarmingly. His back was still turned to her.
Sage cursed under her breath. “I- I wasn't going to, I was only ad-dmiring it,” she stammered, setting the flute back on the counter.
Finally the storekeeper turned around. Sage's breath caught in her chest. His eyes were a brilliant shade of green that seemed to darken to a soft brown as they narrowed at her. His dark hair fell down his face in layers. One strand brushed a scar that ran the length of his jawline. He could have been a statue; that's how hard and flawless his features were. With the exception of the scar, he could have been etched in marble.
“You are a poor liar Sage Rosewood.” The tall dark man said stepping from behind the counter.
Cautiously, Sage backed towards the door. “How do you know my name?”
- “ I am a soothsayer. My intuition is impeccable.”
“You look too young and inexperienced to be a soothsayer,” she bitterly noted.
He smiled sardonically. “You are too kind, but I am old enough to be your grandfather, and I am plenty experienced.”
Sage began to feel lightheaded under the man's gaze, her ankle felt as if it were going to shatter into a million pieces as she took another step back.
The soothsayer noticed her grimacing in pain and made his way over to her. “May I?” He said stepping closer and motioning towards her ankle. Gently, he grabbed her arm to help steady her.
Sage pulled away. “Absolutely not, I don't even know who you are, let alone if there is any ounce of truth to what you say.”
The soothsayer studied her for a moment, “Well, are you in fact Sage Rosewood?”
“Yes.” She answered slowly.
“Then I say that is worth an ounce of truth. My name is Jaron Corbits, I come from a strong blood line of soothsayers. I do not age the same way as you mortals do.”
Sage rolled her eyes, “Another one of those are you?”
“ Well let me prove to you that I am who I say I am. In exactly ten seconds from now a big, obtuse, blonde man is going to barge through that door demanding-”
His words were cut off as Baron entered the store.
“I demand to know what exactly you are doing in here Sage?” Sage couldn't help but smile knowingly at Jaron.“You shouldn't go wandering strange towns by yourself!”
Jaron grinned back in return. Baron noticed the exchange. “Who the hell are you?”
Jaron shrugged. “Just a lowly shopkeeper, scorning this young lady for trying to pickpocket a valuable item.”
Sage's face fell, she was shocked that he had sold her out.
Baron muttered something before pulling a small satchel bag out of his pocket. He threw a couple coins down on the counter. “Is that enough?” He growled.
Jaron shook his head. “Not nearly. That item is priceless, an artifact of the Gods.” He said picking up the flute protectively.
Curiously, Baron moved closer to observe the object. His eyes widened in surprise. He studied the flute with a feint smile on his face, his eyes were distant. After a minute he announced; “This. Is mine.”
Jaron stepped closer to Baron. “The hell it is! Your as bad as Miss Rosewood!”
Baron glanced at Sage. “You know him?”
“He is a soothsayer Baron.”
“Aye, than he should be able to sooth say what I'm about to do next!” Baron yelled, charging at the man.