Many Nights. Many Worlds. The Myriadu.

Camber of Power Serial

Episode 5: Chamber of Power

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series Chamber of Power

The room at the Kenuport Inn smelled of fish. Everything in the town smelled like fish. I think I smelled like fish after my bath. Even more reasons to get far, far away from the town. And the chamber. What I’d seen in the fleeting seconds I read its mind was burning a spot into my brain. I wanted to analyze it, write it down, sketch it so it wouldn’t fade in time. But I didn’t dare focus on it. Still, if I didn’t keep busy, I found my thoughts lingering there.

Needing a distraction, I made my way downstairs towards the inn’s minuscule lending library in hopes of finding something I hadn’t ever read. Raised voices drifted from the dining room, and something prickled my skin. Though I’d had my evening meal, I followed the sounds. Any entertainment would do as a distraction. Someone using magic to cheat, and failing, certainly promised to be entertaining.

At least that’s what my senses were telling me—prickles always meant the magic being used was off somehow. And the voices seemed to confirm it. I made why way down the short hallway over a creaky wooden floor and strolled through the door.

The tension was palpable. The barman on my left stood motionless, but his dark eyes darted back and forth between two people standing at a table near the middle of the room. I tossed a coin onto the wooden countertop in front of him and he managed to give me a weak smile. Pointing toward an empty seat in the corner just past the bar, I made sure he would bring my ale over.

Sauntering to the corner, I pretended not to even notice the scene the two yelling fiends had been making. The chair was typical wood designed to discourage sitting too long, but I leaned back against the wall behind me and took the scene in.

Everyone was staring at me. Even the two doofuses that had been arguing. Good. I didn’t want it over too soon.

I tried not to smile, instead raising my eyebrows as if to say “What?”

Eyes drifted away from me back towards the pair causing a stir. The one on the left was a big burly man with shaggy black hair. His clothes, thick brown trousers and a vest, gave him away as a fisherman. Glancing around, most of the diners were fishermen. He was the one being cheated, and though my entrance distracted him for a moment, his voice was back at full volume.

“You’re a right swine! Give me my money!”

His opponent, much smaller in stature, had shoulder length blond hair covered in part by a fine hat with what appeared to a be pattern in gold stitching. His outfit, perhaps intentionally designed to make him look bigger, was maroon with square shoulders and large gold buttons that matched the pattern on the hat. The jacket and pants seemed to be puffed, like he was surrounded deliberately in some sort of insulation.

I had to smile. It was insulation. The magic in it radiated in a subtle way, probably enchanted to protect them from a hit if their cheating scheme failed. It also did an excellent job of disguising their identity. He, was a she.

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