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Chapter 24

"First things first," said Derrl before Kevesk could add anything more. "I need you to do something for me. You know how I have this pattern over my temple? I need a matching one on the other side. I need to have my weakest points protected without thinking about it. Will you do it? Or do I have to try it myself?" His face was set. He was serious about doing this. He had no clue how hard it was for Kevesk not to laugh just then. The old mage held out both hands palm down in a gesture of acquiescence.

"Calm down, I'll do it. And it won't hurt nearly as much this time, I promise." He fetched his staff and a small hammer. Staff in one hand and the hammer in the other he walked over to his chair and pulled a crate closer to it. "Come over here and put your head down on the box sideways, so I can put the rune on for you." He motioned for him to come closer. Derrl walked over to him, and dropped to a knee beside the box and put his head down sideways on the rough wood surface. Oddly enough, the only thing that he could think about right then was getting another splinter. He saw Kevesk place the staff on the side of his head, and he felt the comforting coolness of the capped end. He almost didn't even feel it as the older mage brought down the hammer sharply on the staff to imprint the rune. Although there was probably a reason for why it hurt so little, it was probably because almost as soon as the hammer struck the staff he was unconscious again.

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