The Melter

The Apprentice was in his rooms, throwing things into a bag. “Why cant I go on quests. All my friends have gone and become wizards. Its not fair.” He grumbled to no one. “I’m leaving with or without the GrandWizard’s permission.

“Oh, tha’s a bad idea ‘prentice.” A man seemed to come out of the walls. This man was dressed in civilian clothes, and his accent was common, but he obviously knew some magic, to do a Meld like that. The boy stood, shouldering the bag.

“Who are you?” He asked.

“Ah ah ah” The man tutted. “Ya know ‘t’s agains’ t’ rules t' be askin’ fer a name.”

“How are you known?” The Apprentice tried again.

“I’m known as t’ Melter,” The strange man said, circling like a vulture now. “Mel t’ my friends.” It was easy to know how he’d come by his name. The Apprentice shifted nervously under the Melter’s gaze.

“What do you want?”

“Simple. I wan’ t’ show ya somthin’,”

“Show me what?”

“Come wi’ me.” The Melter didn’t really give the Apprentice a choice, he grabbed the boy’s arm and dove into the walls. The Apprentice was only aware of a rushing sensation and severe claustrophobia as they descended.

“Ya ever been t’ a Festival?” The Melter asked when they surfaced again in a dark, narrow alleyway at the base of the wizard tower. The boy had never been this low before, he shook his head.

“Yer gonna love ‘t then.” The Melter said, and began pulling the boy along again. The Apprentice stumbled and tripped over the rough cobbles of the street, but the Melter did not slow down. They came out of the alleyway abruptly to be caught up in the crowd. The boy stared in wonder, breathing in the heavy atmosphere, charged with magic. With every exhale his own magic left its place inside him to join the rest.

Nearby, a magic catcher spotted the color of his magic and began whispering. A small cloud of magic floated up above his head. It was Trick Magic, it only mimicked Magic, the exact match to the victims, so that it can be caught in a special net. Once caught the Trick Magic would vanish, leaving only the real piece behind. This boy had released all of his Magic, his inexperience with these festivities was obvious. The magic catcher lured the boy’s Magic into the glass butterfly and gave it to Witherwick, who tossed the catcher a small bag of coins.

“The deed is done.” The magic catcher said. Repeating once more that age old verbal agreement contract, so binding was it that it was nearly a spell. It simply meant there would be no take backs nor refunds.

“An' the debt is paid.” Whitherwick finished, walking away quickly, holding his prize. The clear glass of the butterfly was slowly becoming tinted the color of the boy’s magic, a deep purple that was nearly blue one moment, then nearly red the next. The butterfly flexed its wings as the magic became accustomed to its new vessel.  Whitherwick blinked, unused to seeing inanimate objects move of their own accord. No other magic vessels ever moved. Thinking no more of it, he tucked the butterfly in a pocket and slunk to the shadowy streets of the Dark Distrect.

The End

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