Evil sorcerers? Check. Monsters? Check. Talent contests? Check. All this and more can be found in the short story collection, Chronicles of Riss.
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Jeanne Owens, author
Jeanne Owens, author
Confronting evil sorcerers. Fighting monsters. Dueling metal golems. Searching for a sea monster. Hunting lost treasure. Finding a missing show dog. Competing in talent contests. Helping lost children. These are just some of the widely varied exploits that the young mercenary sorceress Marissa "Riss" Cobalt shares in this second Adventures in Sorcery book. Riss reveals how she ended up as a mercenary and chronicles some of the many adventures, ranging from fun to serious, that she's had prior to the events of Kismet and Tell.
After pawning a few magical items from the magic pocket inside my cloak so I’d have some money (I’d spent all I had to book passage on The Ysalass and come here), I found a little tavern to have dinner in. I was just about to enjoy my first spoonful of the beef stew special when someone sat down at my table without a word. I set the spoon down and frowned across the table at the rude person.
He was middle-aged and ruggedly handsome with dark blond hair and a beard. His pale blue eyes held a troubled look that the frown on his face emphasized.
“Yes?” I asked tersely, my blue eyes narrowing threateningly. I didn’t like having my meal interrupted.
“You’re Miss Marissa Cobalt, right?” he said. “The sorceress?”
“Yes. That’s me. How did you know?”
“Well, I overheard the crew of The Ysalass talking about you, and thought you might be able to help me with a problem I’m having. I’ll even pay you for your trouble. Whatever price you name.”
“Really?!” I said, my eyes now widening with the prospect of earning some money. It seemed I'd found a way to make a living that hadn’t occurred to me before. I could be a problem-solver for hire!
He nodded. “Yes.”
“All right, then! So, what’s this problem you mentioned?”
“I'll explain. My name is Wulf Kaiyer. I work for Lord Tillager as an adviser.”
“Is that so?” I said, my attention wavering as the aroma of my stew wafted up towards me.
“Yes. Well, you see, he’s throwing a ball tonight, and a certain someone wasn’t invited, which is sure to make said person upset. I’m afraid he’ll crash the ball and do something rather…disastrous.”
“Mm-hm?” I said around a spoonful of stew. My food was getting cold, and I wanted to enjoy it while I could, so I ate while he explained. Wulf didn’t even seem to notice.
“So, Miss Marissa,” he continued, “this is where you come in. I’d like you to go to the ball and make sure that this person doesn’t cause any mayhem.”
I swallowed another spoonful of stew and looked him in the eyes. “Sounds interesting. Who is this ‘certain someone’ you’re so worried about, anyway?”
“He goes by the name of Diablerio. He claims to be a sorcerer of great power.”
“Diablerio? Never heard of him. I take it from his name that he uses his ‘great power’ not for good. And he probably dresses the part, too.”
“That is correct.”
“So I shouldn’t have any trouble identifying him if he shows up. All right, then. You've got a deal.”
“Great! Uh, how much will you charge for this, Miss Marissa?”
“Oh! Uh….” I thought for a minute. I had no idea what to charge. I’d never been hired like this before, after all. “Um, how about thirty gold pieces?”
Wulf’s eyes widened, but whether it was because he found the price too high or too low, I had no idea. “Sounds fair, Miss Marissa,” he said. “You’ll be paid at the end.”
“I’ll arrange for a gown to be provided for you, so you’ll have something appropriate to wear. Come to the castle about half past six, so you can get ready. The ball is to start at seven o’clock.”
“Thank you. I’ll be there.”