I took a few steps back toward the table. “Johanesi, you can’t attempt any retribution, directly or indirectly, against Steffan. Those are the terms you agreed to. If you violate them, your actions will come back to you in equal measure.” I raised my voice for the next part, just in case any of his mates were getting ideas. “So if you don’t hurt Steffan, and no one hurts Steffan on your behalf, you’ll be perfectly fine.”
His shoulders dropped a little, and some color returned to his face. He gulped down half a pint in one go, then wiped his mouth. “And him?”
“Steffan, your binntin is easy too. You never return to Kenuport, and never play Bragker with anyone in this room again. If you do, you’ll fall ill, so ill you’ll be unable to function. And if you don’t leave in time, you’ll die.”
A woosh, kind of like a strong wind coming down over the mountain, blew through the room. It wasn’t real, of course, but the locals reacted that way.
“I’ll add, that you’d need to be here of your own volition. If you are brought here against your will, then you will remain well. However, I suggest you still don’t play Bragker.”
Steffan stood. “That’s ridiculous. No bintinn is ever that complicated. You didn’t even do any magic after the agreement.”
The woman really didn’t know when to cut her losses. Of course, she wasn’t entirely wrong, either. Most of the power of the bintinn was in the person believing it to be true. I worried I might have to make an example, something I hadn’t had to do in years thanks to my stellar reputation. Of course, no one here knew who I was. “Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. If you don’t think I’m telling the truth, just stay here after eight tomorrow morning and see how you feel.” I flipped the gulls toward the barman and headed back to my room.
I sat in the sturdy wooden desk chair I’d moved next to the window and watched the port settle in for the night. It was late enough, though, that only a few stragglers wandered the streets following their own sense of time. They flittered and mixed with shadow as the firelight torches dotting the road danced in the ocean breeze. That was one way to know Kenuport was nowhere near the central kingdom. Most areas had mandated the switch from fire-based light to kyboillo, small cubes enchanted with light emitting properties, after the Fire of Perlion. I had one resting on the small desk across the room, just bright enough I could see every corner of the wood-paneled room, but not bright enough I could be seen in the window.
Time dragged on long enough I started thinking I might have misread Steffan. And my mind kept flashing back to the chamber, which really wasn’t good. I still had the sense it was watching, waiting to see what I might think about it. That was probably crazy, but you could never be too sure with legendary ancient magic. I had just decided to go back down and look for a book again when the rap came at my door.
“Finally.” I swung the door open. “Come in.”
She had changed out of the comical city garb. Her linen tunic had a tinge of green peeking out from under a tan worsted wool sweater. Though her curves revealed her gender, her straw-colored hair was cropped short and brushed to the side. And she wore woolen pants. I wondered if her change of clothes is what took her so long to come find me. Interesting. Is she practical like me, or is she from Hareavale or Cindirim? I didn’t keep up with all the cultural customs of the kingdom, but those two I knew well.
“Come in,” I said again with a wave of my hand.
She took a few hesitant steps in. “Do you know who I am?”
“No, Steffan I do not. But we’re about to fix that, aren’t we?”
- Episode 1: Chamber of Power
- Episode 2: Chamber of Power
- Episode 3: Chamber of Power
- Episode 4: Chamber of Power
- Episode 5: Chamber of Power
- Episode 6: Chamber of Power
- Episode 7: Chamber of Power
- Episode 8: Chamber of Power
- Episode 9: Chamber of Power
- Episode 10: Chamber of Power
- Episode 11: Chamber of Power
- Episode 12: Chamber of Power