The Sorcerer's Widow (Legends of Ethshar)
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- The great wizard Nabal's death offers many opportunities, both for those who knew him and those who did not. For young conmen Ezak and Kel, it means a chance to loot the wizard's estate... if they can win the confidence of Nabal's widow, Dorna. But Dorna has plans of her own. She means to leave the tiny village for a better life in the city. And all of Nabal's wizardly artifacts and talismans will pay for that new life — if she can only get them there intact!
called, “He’s awake!” Kel turned and almost sat up before he remembered where he was, and what might happen if he stuck his head above the grass. Instead he began crawling back over the rise to where the others were. Dorna was sitting cross-legged on the grass, her head bent down, while Ezak lay flat on his back beside her, blinking up at the clouds drifting lazily overhead. She had wiped off the worst of the blood, and her healing sorcery had done its job—while his ear was still missing a
two are hopelessly stupid…” Dorna sighed. “All right. But you turned back before you got right up to it, and I thought I heard something—what happened?” “It pointed at me and said something,” Kel explained. “It sounded like a warning, but I don’t know the language it spoke, so I’m not sure. I thought it didn’t want to let me get too close—probably because I’m not in a Northern uniform.” “I suppose civilians generally wouldn’t be allowed near it,” Dorna agreed. “So you think if we were wearing
was magic. Maybe it wasn’t aiming for her head at all. Maybe, Kel thought, it hadn’t been aiming at Ezak at all. Ezak had been behind Dorna. And it obviously hadn’t been aiming at him—he was standing right here in plain sight, and it wasn’t throwing anything at him. It hadn’t been aiming for the green dress, either, but Kel thought back to what he had seen a moment before. Dorna had been standing there in her shift, with her sorcerous weapon in her right hand, and the canvas bag slung on her
could have sent one of them out to blast that thing. She knew Kel could get close to it. But she hadn’t; she was going out there herself. If that talisman belatedly noticed the weapon in her hand when she got close, she wouldn’t have time to dodge the next magical blade. “If it kills her,” he said, “then we can take it.” “What? Why can’t we take it now?” “It isn’t fair.” “Life isn’t fair, Kel! You know that better than anyone!” “Well, we should try to be better than that.” “Fine!” Ezak
“Yes.” Kel considered that carefully, then asked, “Do you know why?” Irien shifted in her seat, then said, “Because, she says, more hands make less work for each of us, and the sight of two men may make us a less tempting target for bandits than if we were two women alone. Not that there are a lot of bandits around here, but we’ve heard that a few have been seen in recent years.” She grimaced. “Besides, she felt we owed it to you. I’m told that it was your idea for me to come, and Dorna