This is partly one of the scenes I had written, after this chapter it will all be new because I think the rest of the story got lost in my last move

Chapter 3 An Unexpected Trip

Michael woke the next morning. For a time, he just lay there thinking about what he had seen yesterday. That curse bothered him. It meant that mages were working against each other and he knew for all his knowledge, he had few spells of protection against a deliberate attack.

He would have to be careful. He knew that the people here had been learning new magics for centuries, magics that wouldn't be in the books he had studied. And it would be extremely stupid to assume that all the mages here were working at the same crude level he had seen so far.

Finally he sat up and gathered his clothing, he would need to eat and go to the station to report. He laughed to himself, it wouldn't do to anger the local police. Especially because he was a stranger, one who had no clue about the lay of the land and what counties were here. He had no idea how things had changed since the sundering of the old Empire and the flight of his ancestors.

He sighed, well he would just have to be careful and watch his every word. And he would keep an eye out for other mages, he didn't want to draw attention to himself until he knew how things stood here.

In the common room he looked around, there in the corner he saw a small group wearing the same uniform that Rannela had been wearing. Taking a deep breath he walked over to the group. They stopped talking as he approached and eyed him warily. "What's your business?" the nearest guardsman asked.

"I've been told that I need to make a report as a witness and I need to know where to find your guard station to do it. I was hoping for a guide or directions" he said.

The Inn keeper walked up cautiously with a bowl of the grain cereal, that seemed to be breakfast fare here "Where does my lord wish to sit?".

When the guardsman heard the man addressed as a lord, his eyes narrowed, lords didn't generally stay at inns like this one, something didn't feel right here. He gave the man a closer look and saw the hint of money in his clothing. He also had some of the mannerisms of a lord, it wasn't obvious, but if one looked for it it was there. "I'll show you when we're done eating" he waved to a free spot at the table. His companions gave him a strange look, but he wanted to keep a close eye on this man.

Michael sighed, already he was attracting attention, he had seen the look the guardsman had given him and he could guess what it meant. After he finished eating, he sipped his cider and listened to the guardsmen talk, he made careful note of what they said, occasionally he would catch the man who had offered to guide him watching.

Eventually his guide nodded, Michael put his mug away and stood waiting for the other man. He followed careful and neither spoke as they walked, though the man did still give him a glance from time to time.

Soon they came to a large grey building a couple of streets over from the Green Dragon. Ugly, he thought to himself with amusement, it seemed to be something that didn't change no matter what land a person visited. Police stations were usually just plain utilitarian buildings. His guide turned to him "Just stick with me, I'll take you to the room you need to go to. What was the name of the guardsman who talked to you?".

"Rannela" he said.

The man nodded and turned into the building, Michael followed closely on his heels.

Michael glanced at the controlled chaos before him. It reminded him in many ways of a police station from his world. It had much the same feel, though there were differences. The uniforms of the guardsmen, the swords they seemed to use here and the flash of magic crudely used, where in his world there would be technology.

His guide had left him at the door to this room with one last look. He looked through the mass of people for the familiar face of Rannela. There was a shout and a large man threw off the guards who held him. He grabbed the sword from the belt of one of the guardsmen and used the flat of it to clear a space around him.

The screams gave way to silence as the guard circled him trying to find an opening. He was hugh, his red hair in braids and he knew how to move, even Michael who didn't know a thing about sword fighting could see that. It didn't look good for the guard.

The others backed away to steer clear of what was going to happen. Michael stood still, certain that movement would draw the attention of the man. He was close enough to be hurt if he wasn't careful. He felt the magics of the room, looking for enough power to restrain the man if he needed to. The man looked up and saw him standing there. It was the lack of movement and seeming absence of fear in his face that attracted his attention.

He lunged forward suddenly taking Michael and the others by surprise. Michael flinched as he was grabbed and he felt the emergency gate spell take hold. Even as he was being drawn back to the city he felt the extra weight of the man being drawn back with him.

He felt the arm around his throat loosen as the man stumbled in reaction to the gate and the shock of the sudden change. Michael reacted instantly, skipping forward ten feet, seeming to flicker in and out as he tweaked the gate to gain a measure of safety. He wasn't happy, he had just done something certain to attract attention and he had brought another man to the city.

Now he needed to figure out what to do with him. He couldn't just leave him here to starve and he didn't want to return him to the Wolden and expose his connection to this city, at least without some kind of a precaution. He would never be safe.

His hands glowed gently as he gathered the power around him, but he didn't have to worry about an attack. The man had backed away from him and tripped over a low wall and had fallen on his backside. It looked as if the wind had been knocked from him, though he still held onto his sword.

Michael didn't want to come close enough to be sure. "Trying to harm me now would be a bad idea" he warned the gasping man.

Finally the man was able to respond "Why you'd blast me with your magic? I would have to pick a mage" he said shaking his head.

"No" Michael answered. "I'm the only way out of this city and the supplies are limited. You wouldn't last more than three weeks" he said gravely. "Even most of the water supply is shielded and all of the food other than my supplies has long since rotted away."

"Where am I?" the man asked, looking around for the first time.

Michael stood there for a long time without saying a word then said "Greyorn."

"That's impossible" the other man gasped.

Michael smiled slightly "It's true, perhaps if you looked around you'll believe me."

His attacker levered himself up, keeping his grip on the sword. He looked over the city, his eyes narrowed. "Oh" he said. Countless treasure seekers had looked for this place in vain and here he was.

He glanced at the mage who had brought him here, why had the man even told him where they were? He would never have guessed. He caught the mage watching him with a slight smile. "Why?" he asked. "Why tell me where we are, aren't you afraid that I'll tell other's about it?"

Michael sighed "All I would have to do is leave you here. You would never see another person and all of the sensitive places are shielded. You wouldn't even be able to do any damage."

"Is that what you plan to do?" he asked with a calculating look, maybe he could catch the man by surprise and force him to free him. Then he saw the mage shake his head.

"No, I'll be taking you back to the station, after I make sure you can't compromise me."

"How?"

"I'll put a simple restraint spell on you, it'll only cover anything you learn about the city."

The man eyed him uneasily, he didn't like the idea of a mage messing with his head, but he didn't see any other choice. Finally he nodded "Alright, I'll allow it."

Michael eyed the man warily, if he was going to come within range of the man's grasp he wanted to know a little more about him "Why were you arrested?"

The man growled "I got caught in a bar fight, they had me and I had no way to post my bond" he ran his hand through his hair in frustration. "If I don't get back to my lodgings by this afternoon, the Inn keeper will take everything I own in payment."

"How much was your bond?" Michael asked.

"Six coppers, but it'll probably be more because of the escape."

Michael nodded "I'll pay your bond."

"Why would you do that?" he asked.

"I need a guide, I'd hire you as well." Michael said, watching for the other mans reaction.