Chapter 2Mature

           I sat at a table in the corner of a tavern in a small village. I smoked a pipe while contemplating my situation. As a mage, I had spent all of my life in the Circle Tower. Yet I knew nothing of where I might have come from. Apparently, a woman dropped me off at the tower one night when I was an infant, claiming that I could use magic. The only information she gave beyond that was my name: Vralen.

            I grew up in the tower, and quickly learned that it was more of a prison than a home. Templar guards, watching us day and night. The Chantry, decorating the halls with their statues and murals. Many members of the Chantry were adamant in trying to convince us that our magical abilities were a curse. Sadly, many mages had been convinced it was so.

            I, thankfully, was able to see through their lies. I see my abilities as a blessing that can be used for good, even if the Chantry does not think so from time to time. They say to us over and over : “Magic exists to serve man and never to rule over him.” Sadly, this had been misinterpreted into the belief that the mages exist to serve man.

            My thoughts were abruptly interrupted when a group of armed men and women stood up in the centre of the room. They brandished their weapons.

            “Everyone stay where they are!” one of them shouted. A dead silence filled the room. One of the bandits brandished a burlap sack.

            “Put all your valuables in here and no one gets hurt,” another said. He proceeded to walk around the room and everyone who he came near dropped in whatever valuables they had; coins, jewellery, and the like. They came to me last. I didn’t look at them, just continued smoking my pipe.

            “Come on, you know what to do,” he said. “Hand over your valuables.” Not looking at him, I said; “I have nothing of value that you may take.”

            “Yeah, right,” he said. “How ‘bout that sword, huh?” He gestured towards Spellweaver. He brandished his own sword. “Hand it over.”

            “First off, I don’t enjoy being threatened,” I said. With a wave of my hand, his sword melted into liquid iron and dripped to the floor.

            “How did you do that!?” he said. One of the other bandits motioned towards my staff.

            “He’s a mage,” she said.

            “Still,” another one said. “It’s six against one.” I finally looked up at them.

            “And you still think the odds are in your favour?” I said. The bandit who said it had a nervous look. I concentrated hard, and was able to enter their minds. Their faces went blank.

            “Why don’t you just give these people back what you stole and be on your way?”

            Nodding in compliance, the bandits did just that. They went around the tavern and gave back everything they had stolen from the patrons. After that, they went out the door. All eyes were on me.

            “That was quite the show, lad!” the bartender said.

            “No kidding,” said one of the men. “They would have made off with our goods if you hadn’t stepped in!”

            “No trouble at all,” I said to them.

            “Fools!” a woman said. “Don’t you know how he controlled their minds like that!? He’s a blood mage.” Several people in the room gasped.

            “Hm,” I said. “That’s a rather prudent accusation ma’am, don’t you think?”

            “Silence, maleficar!” she shouted, throwing a bottle at me. I raised my hand, stopping the bottle in mid-air. I gently placed it on the table, opened it up, and took a drink. Everyone was still looking at me.

            “What?” I asked. “No need to waste perfectly good ale, is there?” Everyone in the room laughed.

            “Enjoy your drink, friend,” the bartender said, and everyone went back to their conversations. The woman scowled at me and walked off somewhere.

            After finishing the ale, I retired to a room that I had rented for the night. I would rest here, then leave early the next morning.

The End

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