A young mage finds herself with an unpleasant task, an unwilling teacher and an unlikely friend when she must, over a week, uncover a mystery that could shake the very foundation of magical society.
In Tressen, the city of magic, the lives of all the inhabitants revolved around the Replenishment services that marked the end of each week. The Replenishment was simultaneously a religious service, a social outing and a formal means of distributing the following week’s sitting assignments for the wall. Several times each year, the Replenishment service also doubled as an award ceremony where, for commoners, commendations were awarded for exceptional service to the community and, for mages, advancement within the magical community was announced and recognized.
At a particularly eventful Replenishment ceremony one spring afternoon, a young Adept named Rianne received her apprenticeship. She was delighted and rather surprised to learn that her apprenticeship would be to the leader of the magical community in Tressen and perhaps the most powerful man in the Three Kingdoms, known the Greybeard. Rianne had no doubt that she was the most skilled of the Adepts at the academy and, therefore deserved the apprenticeship. What was surprising was that the Greybeard was taking an apprentice at all. Such things didn’t happen very often and Rianne found herself the subject of great honor and more than a little resentment as she was recognized at the Replenishment.
That same day, amidst the (often forced) congratulations of her peers, Rianne learned that the following week would also be her first wall assignment. She was to sit a western checkpoint with a young man named Py Printer on the night shift, which was the most dangerous, since the zombies trapped in between the wall and the river bordering the north of the city were most active at night.
She cursed the bad luck of it, though she knew it was bound to happen eventually, since everyone in Tressen had to sit the wall. She just wished she wouldn’t have to deal with the distraction of the wall during the first week of her apprenticeship. It would, she guessed, likely be the most important week of her life.