COMING JUNE 20, 2017
“Yes, there is something they want that we’ve consistently refused them. We have in our midst a magician who can make cull-fire. They want us to teach them.”
“What’s cull-fire?” I hadn’t heard of it, but by the look in Shay’s eyes, he was fuming that Tera even mentioned it.
“Cull-fire’s one of the dark arts,” Jason said, a dark look in his eyes. “A magician who can make cull-fire can make weapons. You “cull” lightning from the air by harvesting the energy into a sticky waxen oil. Then, it makes a perfect weapon to spread on arrows or a knife, or even to lob at an oncoming opponent. The cull-fire sticks to the victim, and keeps burning until they can get it off. Only magicians of questionable nature are willing to make cull-fire. This is not what I’d expect from one of the Woodland Fae.”
Tam looked uncomfortable. “Jason’s correct. This is not the magic our people work with. Why are you allowing this to even be produced?”
Shay shot up, almost stumbling over the bench as he stomped around the table to face them down. “Our people? You are one of the Bonny Fae, Lord of UnderBarrow. There is no our people We may be of the same ancestry, but along the way, the Woodland Fae took a different path. And who are you to say that cull-fire isn’t a viable magic to learn? We choose to guard its use carefully. We sell it wisely. As long as the Fir Mountain Wolf Pack knows that we have cull-fire available, they keep on our good side. They don’t trust our pacifism. But if we were to sell them cull-fire? Or teach their magicians to make it? Not only would we lose our advantage, but we’d be handing over a bomb to a race who can’t control themselves.”
I shot up. “Who are you to say that shifters can’t control themselves? And it seems to me that you’re walking perilously close to losing that sanctimonious attitude you dare to call a belief system.”
Shay whirled. “You harangue me as well? Would you have us hand over the secret to cull-fire?” His cheeks were growing red, and the veins in his neck beginning to bulge.
“No, but I’m not comfortable that you allow your own magicians to produce it. You sell weapons of destruction while prattling on about your peaceful ways?”
Jason cleared his throat. “Truth being, in most reputable guilds, cull-fire is on the ban list.”
“Then that proves it. Who is this mage? Why did you allow him into your village if he works with this type of magic? Or did he hold it over your head?” I was just warming up but Tera broke in, in tears.
“Please, stop arguing. Shay asked one of our magicians to learn it. We needed something to keep the werewolves from attacking us. He did what he thought was right, given our circumstances.”
“All right, I understand why you and Shay can’t defend yourselves. Elan told us last night. But what about the rest of the village? Why do they refuse?”
Tera hung her head. “Ask Shay.”
Laren let out a snort. “Because he promises them riches if they obey. Isn’t that right, Shay? You promise them that their lives will be blessed by the gods.”