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Scrolls of the Geomancer

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Chapter 20

Using his power, Svert cut the travel time from the Academy to Finás from a week to just over two days. Finás was a port city on the edge of the Saw-tooth Ridge Mountains. The Ridge held back the Wastes, but not their dry and arid climate. The people of Finás were dark skinned and used to the heat.

He had entered the city by the main gate, he passed through the checkpoint with no incident, as there were no weapons to confiscate, and walked down the main street in the the center of the city. It seemed that the Council’s fears were justified, signs of brewing rebellion were evident. Posters announcing rallies and meetings were on every inch of the notice board that stood in the square. There was nothing official or bearing the Royal’s seal.

‘It seems they know that whatever comes from the Royals is really from the Council.’ he thought. He looked at a fresh poster, a rally was scheduled for that evening.

“Perfect,” he said “I always do my best work in the evenings.”

It was still several hours before the time, so he decided to walk around looking for potential targets. The docks were obviously first, that would prevent anyone from fleeing or calling for help by sea. Next the storage on the docks, the warehouses there held thousands of tons of dry goods. They would burn nicely. The Council hadn’t exactly ordered him to do that, but he was going to do it anyway.

He walked up and down and across the city for hours, making a mental map of targets, rearranging them again and again. Eventually he came on a pattern that would give him an uninterrupted flow through the city.

He sat on the ground back in the square and went over it again.

‘Docks, warehouses, guardhouse, market, houses, anyone who stands in my way or stands against me.’

He found it amusing, just as he had said the Council would never allow him to do something like this, they had ordered him to do so. He would have done the task, regardless of the fact that they had Dra captive. They fact they did, only increased his eagerness.

‘I need Dra, I need to know what they plan.’ He sat with his thoughts for a while longer.

Eventually a group of people walked by, a man stepped out from the throng and said in a booming voice

“Friend! Are you coming to the rally?”

“Indeed I am, friend.” Svert said with a smile. The man’s smile faltered for a moment. Svert’s smile always made people worried.

“Well…..” he began again with a nervous chuckle “You’re welcome to join us if you wish.”

“Lead the way.”

They walked down to a warehouse on the docks, the rumble of voices was clearly audible even from outside. Inside, crates of goods had been moved to the walls, so a large open area in the middle was cleared. Torches set up provided very little light to the large building, but enough to see where one was going. As they entered, a muscular blonde man jumped up on a crate. He spoke with a thunderous bass voice that carried over the crowd.

“Friends! The time has nearly come! The time for us to take back what is ours, to overthrow the Council!”

The building shook with the sound of cheers and clapping.

“Soon, we will have enough support from the other cities and we will march on Dynas and take it straight into their teeth!”

More cheers and applause met that statement

‘Fools, the Council isn’t in Dynas. If they don’t realize that, this is hopeless.’ Svert thought

“Yes!” the man continued “Soon they will be removed from their false power, and we will create our own way!”

The cheers and applause nearly shook the windows from their frames at this.

Svert had heard enough, the Council was right, this entire city was ripe for rebellion. It must be destroyed. He began to walk toward the front of the room, eyes began to lock on him as he made his way through the crowd, the cheers died. He addressed the man.

“Well, I’m afraid I can’t allow that.”

“And just who are you?” he asked defiantly.

“I suppose you could say that I am the Council’s attack dog.”

Gasps and whispers came from the crowd.

“The Council?” the man said with genuine fear “How long have they known?”

“I honestly don’t know, but they’ve known long enough to figure out that something was going to happen soon, and it seems that they were right.”

“We’ll just move to somewhere else! After we kill you of course.” He said. “After all, there is only one of you, and hundreds of us.”

Svert began to laugh. It was a dark laugh, a laugh full of malice and evil. He laughed until tears came, he laughed until he couldn’t any more.

“You? Kill me? How rich. It doesn’t matter if there are hundreds, or thousands or tens of thousands of you. Nothing can kill me! And if by some miracle you did manage it, you would die as well.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m a Pyromancer.”

The crowd screamed as if it were a single great beast and stampeded to the doors.

‘Fear, what a powerful thing.’ Svert thought. He threw a fireball, lighting the doors and the entire wall of crates, causing the people to stop. Most had drawn weapons, prepared to fight.

The man had a sword in his hand, and bellowed as he attacked. Svert easily side-stepped the blow.

“So, you’ll be first then.” Svert said. He had his flame sword through the man’s chest before he could react. A woman sitting among the crates above them screamed and began knocking crates off the stack, trying to hit Svert. He swung his sword lazily at the crate, it burst into flames and fell into two pieces on either side of him. He flicked a small fireball at the woman, she died with blood-curdling scream and fell to the ground. He then set about doing the will of the Council.

They fought, they were beaten. They all died. The city burned.

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