Just a short story about the perils of owning a fiery sword. -D


Gandar stepped out of the armourers and breathed deeply of the balmy morning air. A quick glance at the shadows reassured him that he wasn't late, and, carefully avoiding the occasional piles of horse-dung, he made his way towards the stables attached to the inn where he and his companions had spent the night.

The others had arrived before him, and had busied themselves with saddling the horses and loading up their donkey with the supplies they'd need to make the journey to Clymigil, several weeks travel to the south.
"Where have you-?" Macey started to chastise the warrior, but the fox-kin bard choked on his words, his narrow eyes widening in surprise.
Calith was not so impressed.
"What is that?" the mage sneered, revealing a mouth full of yellow, jumbled teeth.
"This," Gandar said proudly, "is a fiery great sword. I bought it with my share of the reward money." He held the weapon out, watching the flames lick along its rune-encrusted blade.
Calith shrugged her narrow shoulders, "I hope you know how to use it."
"Of course I do, I've been using swords for years. I'll just get the rest of the baggage."
"Wait, no!" Macey ducked under the belly of his horse and skidded to a halt in front of the warrior, arms outstretched. "You can't go in there!"
"Why not?"
"Because," Calith interrupted, "stables are full of straw and hay and dust and you were planning on taking in a six-foot naked flame. We can't afford to pay for an entire inn, and for once I'd like to leave town without an angry mob at our heels."
"I was just trying to be helpful," the warrior muttered sullenly. He was really proud of his sword, and he felt a little resentful that the others didn't appreciate it. Wait until they see me in battle, he thought.

Macey carried out the rest of the luggage.

Calith and Macey mounted their horses and waited for Gandar to do the same. Gandar's horse, however, wasn't cooperating; the animal kept flinching and shying away from the increasingly irritated warrior.
"Hold still, you wretched animal."
"He's scared, isn't he," the mage said condescendingly, "He knows fire is hot."
"What am I supposed to do!?" Gandar bellowed, spooking his horse even more.
"Do you have a scabbard?" Macey asked patiently, even though his ears twitched in irritation.
"Of course not! Fiery swords are too great to be contained by scabbards; they burn right through them. Just like they burn through your foes like-"
"Yes, yes, you've obviously read all the advertising. Calith, can you do something?"
"Magic, this early in the morning?" she sniffed.
"Please? I would like to make some progress today."
"Hrumph. Hand me a blanket - not one of mine, either."

With an air of great condescension the mage cast her spell, and the blanket, now gleaming frostily, was carefully wrapped around the sword and the party finally departed.


"Wyrewolves!" Macey warned as gleaming lupine shapes began to circle the party, weaving amongst the dark pines. Gandar slid off his horse and gripped the hilt of his sword, the blade still wrapped in the enchanted blanket.
"Wait for it," Calith muttered as magical potential gathered around her, making her short hair stand on end. Macey began to play his flute, the shrill piping making the wyrewolves snarl and shake their heads. Gandar pulled the blanket off his blade with a flourish and charged at the wyrewolves as Calith cast her spell; a rippling detonation that made the trees shake.

Gandar darted towards one of the creatures, his sword held high - only to yelp and duck out of the way as the branch above him caught fire. Luckily for him the wyrewolf darted in the opposite direction. He noticed a wyrewolf trying to run away, and with a mighty swing he split its hindquarters. A quick mercy stab to the head and he glanced around for the next one. Only the wyrewolves were gone.

"High Summer," Macy muttered as smoke poured from the struck pine.
"Pine forest," Calith bit her lip. "Move!" she yelled, and kicked her heels into her horse's flanks.
"Wait, wait for me," Gandar yelled as he fumbled for the blanket.


"...a disaster. The smoke is thick even in Mugin, at least the ford should stop it going further north."
As smoke billowed in the northern sky three travellers, reeking of smoke, sat very quietly in one of the Drudic glades. They listened to the reports as druids hurried hither and yon, trying to organise a rainstorm, or at very least hire a river dragon.
"We have no idea," Macey said convincingly as he could for the fifth time. Luckily the druids were more concerned with putting the fire out than working out how it started.
"You're lucky to be alive," the druid said.
"We know," Calith said sourly.

Gandar sat by himself, looking down at the blanket-wrapped bundle. He didn't mean to cause all this trouble, it wasn't really his fault - was that ice creeping up the hilt? In a flurry of worry he tore off the blanket, and before his horrified gaze was his sword, encrusted with frost and definitely not in any way fiery.
"It's...oh no!"

His companions looked over at his startled cry. He hurried over to them to show them the disenchanted blade.
"It's stopped flaming. It was a fake!" His eyes were wide and he looked like he might cry.
"There, there," Macey said, "You have to be careful, buying things in small towns like that."

Calith looked up at the smoke-streaked sky, "Hmm...fancy that," she said to herself. She smiled secretively as the frost on the blanket began to melt.

End