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A Debt of Gratitude

Melchior Abanabas Grundwinkle or Barney to his friends, was not your average sorcerer’s apprentice. His master Greywand, against his better judgment, had accepted him when his father had pleaded with the old sorcerer to take his son as his apprentice in lieu of payment for the great debt of gratitude he owed Greywand for getting him released from Baron Shallemont’s dungeon.

Shallemont ruled his lands and the surrounding district with fear and great brutality. No one, not even his own family was safe. Indeed, Shallemont had his firstborn son Magnus summarily beheaded in the town square for daring to speak up for a man wrongly accused of theft.

Greywand was the only person within his sphere of influence that Shallemont truly feared. Twice in the last ten years Greywand had cast a spell over Shallemont to remind him of his fragile mortality, once by turning him…

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