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The Shield Book

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Chapter Six

With no small amount of struggle Ambrose found his footing and clambered up the small hill to the high road. Looking up the slope toward Stormwind he quickly dismissed the idea. “Shadowmore is certain to have the guards on alert,” thought the mage. “I need to get someplace safe and consider my next move. Someplace far away, like Shattrath.” By force of habit he reached for the small pouch at his belt where he normally kept a supply of teleportation runes, chuckling bitterly when his hand found nothing. Colquitt patted down the pockets of his robe, searching for his hearthstone and coming up empty. “Now that's just fighting dirty,” he muttered under his breath.

“Only one thing for it, then,” thought the young man, and he started down the hill toward Goldshire. He was grateful for the wooden staff that had been laid next to him in the graveyard, using it as an ordinary walking stick to steady himself on the cobblestone road. A pleasant exchange with Edison Farley in the Lion's Pride Inn netted Ambrose a new hearthstone, which he instinctively cupped between his hands and spoke into. “May? Are you there?” he asked before remembering that the new talisman had not yet been paired with that of his beloved. With a wry smile he tucked the enchanted rock into a pocket and returned to the streets of Goldshire.

What next, though? Stormwind was still out of the question. The guild hall was inviting, but he dismissed the thought; if he was in trouble, he'd not bring that upon his closest fiends, at least not yet. Running out of ideas Colquitt's eyes fell upon the road to Northshire Valley. He'd been meaning to go by and thank Khelden for sending him that tome on psychic enchantment. Now was a better time than most to do so.

The walk to Northshire went quickly enough as the young man's legs regained their strength. Hurrying toward the abbey, Ambrose was stopped at the entrance by the Marshal. “Hail, mage, and welcome. We're really struggling to keep the worgs at bay this afternoon, and are asking all able-bodied individuals to dispatch their limit of six at once.”

The request caught Colquitt off guard. “Worgs? Hmm, well, yes, I suppose even the war against the Lich King doesn't stop the forces of mother nature.” McBride opened his mouth to interrupt, but Ambrose raised his hand to cut him off. “No worries, my good man. I'll have these worgs dealt with before you can say, er, 'Can you help us with these worgs?'”

Clapping the marshal on the back the mage strode proudly to the edge of the forest and sized up a pack of the wild dogs. “One well-placed flamestrike ought to do the trick,” he mumbled, extending his arms into the correct positions. With a sweeping gesture fire rained from a point a few meters above the ground; at least, it should have, but the worgs snuffled about unharmed baring their razored fangs. “Huh, must not have had the correct angle there,” Ambrose thought and again positioned his arms, being much more deliberate this time. Sweeping with more force than was advisable the mage again attempted to cast the spell, but again was greeted with a calm silence. Three, four, five, a dozen times more he tried, arms flailing like ribbons in the wind, all to no avail. Teeth clenched Colquitt stomped his way into the abbey, accidentally elbowing the Marshal aside on his way up to see the mage trainer.

Bremen was discussing the basics of mana theory with a slender kal'dorei as Ambrose burst into the room. “Khelden, is there some sort of damping field in place today? I'm not able to–”

“I beg your pardon, adept. You will wait in the anteroom while I talk with our sister here.”

Colquitt pinched the bridge of his nose. “Yes, forgive me Khelden, but you would not believe the kind of day I'm–”

The trainer extended a palm and a gout of fire burst forth, sailing past the wide-silver-eyed elf and stopping just shy of the young man, sending him staggering backward. “You will respect your brethren and masters, adept!”

“Khelden, it's me: Ambrose!”

“I don't care if you're Archmage Haylon Vargoth in the flesh - you. will. wait.” Bremen returned his attention to the increasingly timid looking night elf.

Breaths quickening in panic Colquitt bolted out into the anteroom and leaned heavily on the stone railing, squeezing it as tightly as if he were trying to crush it into gravel. Something was very badly wrong.

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writing/the shield book ch 6.txt · Last modified: September 8, 2011 by Dave Leach

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