"A cove's always getting accidents. Step into the Rulis, you've got brickwork falling on top of you and bird droppings on your shirt."

Lira stopped to listen to the tradesman talk around her. She'd heard of Rulis. It was a small border town, only holding the smallest of portals to the otherkind, but she hadn't heard of this.

"Jarn, that pup, got tricked by this cove and went there on errand. Din't know nothin' 'bout the place."

"Found out soon enough then." One man, interjected, humor in his dull brown eyes.

"Raji's balls," the tradesman storyteller laughed, "He found out all right, from experience. First step into town, he tripped on air lyk, right into a dung pile." The man mimed falling, the expression on his face comical.

Lira nearly laughed as well, only controlling it through years of practice at masking her emotions. Her eyes, downcast for now, observed the cluster of men unobtrusively. She looked as if she was choosing over a pile of mangoes instead, standing there next to a fruit seller's cart in the market.

The men were a group of tradesmen and craftsmen. Some were sitting while others stood, but all were laughing uproariously, which was fitting behavior for such a day as this, the Goddess, Ashiva's day.

"What happened next?" A young boy piped up, sitting on his father's head, his eyes earnestly gazing at the tradesman telling the story.

"Well, lad, next few days, Jarn was in a right mess. See, he was supposed to care for a cove's horses there, him being right talented with the fine animals. Seems he's got a teeny trickle of Raji, The Horseman's, blood after all.

"The Horseman's blood?" the boy asked. "Really?"

"That he did, but not a drop of it spared him trouble there." The tradesman chuckled. "It took him almost the whole day finding the cove's house. He kept getting the road sign's wrong, n' asking them Rulis people weren't no help, seeing as them being as strange as the town. Kept sending him every which way, he 'lmost landed hi'self down a mijasiku.

Lira's eyes widened just the tiniest bit. A mijasiku, why, those were right awful to get yourself out of, but only a fool would get himself even near one in the first place seeing as they made an awful stink kind of like rotten eggs, piss, and week-old garbage. They looked like quicksand, only the sand was green and vile. Rulis must've been truly a strange place to get a young man so turned around he almost fell into one.

Lira I'm tired of waiting. Haven't I been patient long enough? I'm coming now.

Lira sighed. She knew her luck wouldn't hold. For the last couple of days, a weird little masiv had been following her around. She only knew it was a masiv because it had told her so. Truth was, she still had no idea what the thing was. It had scales, but was warm-blooded, like a dragon, and slithered about her neck like a snake. She knew it should freak her out, but Lira had never been an easily frightened girl, and the masiv was friendly enough for all that it was a nuisance. Besides, she would never tell it so, but it was nice to finally have someone to talk to. She only wished it didn't look so strange, it kept bringing attention to her, attention she seeked to avoid.

Lira moved away from the fruit seller's cart. The woman had been eyeing her, and as much as Lira's hands itched to take the fruit, there had been two constables just three paces away. She wasn't about to go to jail for the rotten mangoes that woman had, no doubt fallen from some other fruit seller's cart and enterprisingly reused.

Don't come here yet. There are too many people out and about, and you don't exactly help me blend in.

But Lira, I'm supposed to be with you, I'm your familiar.

I told you. I don't know anything about this familiar nonsense and I don't care. You've already almost got me caught, two villages past, and those weren't even my accidents.

Behind Lira, the fruit seller's cart's wheel rolled off and it tipped, making mounds of mangoes roll of it in tides. A couple ended at Lira's feet, and she grimaced. She just knew this day wouldn't be as good as it had started for all that it finally got her something to eat. Glancing at the people around her, she quietly knelt down and slipped the mangoes into her carrysack. No matter that they were a bruised and rotten, they were hers now.

Lira!!! Talk to me!

Ignoring that stupid masiv's clamor in her head, she quickly slipped away from the turmoil. People were surging all around her, beggars and thieves pocketing the mangoes as she did, the fruit seller woman screaming all the while and beating all the people near her with her broom. The constables were making their way to her and Lira passed them, careful not to seem out of place.

What do you want you stupid masiv?

I'm coming your way.

Oh no, you don't. I'm leaving now! Just stay where you are!

Too late, she saw it was coming. Luckily, people around her were too distracted to notice. It was going through the air like a fish, it's long, sleek body curving sinuously, the sun glinting off its red-black coils. It's head was zoomed at her like an arrow, and Lira felt like she had a big red dot on her head saying, I'm here.

Observing it, she marveled at its grace, and the strangeness of it. It had a tiny head like a dragon's and little front and hind legs like theirs, only difference was, it was as long from her hand to her elbow, and a lot thinner. Dragon's had big bulging stomachs that made them look clumsy on land, Lira had never really seen one in person, but she had seen a lot on tapestries and the like.

Lira, stop calling me 'it'. My name is Keali now, I finally decided so this morning, that's why I needed to see you and tell.

Keali, nice name. It fits you. Don't you think it's kinda girly though?

Red colors flickered in her mind, and Lira smiled. Drawing her hood up, she had been walking towards an alley, away from everyone. Nearing it, she held her hand up to the sky, and quick as a flash, the masiv, Keali now, wound around her arm and inside her hood. If you looked closely, you'd see two tiny pairs of eyes peering right at you among the dark of her hood.

Lira could feel it butting her neck gently, nipping a bit. Lira didn't mind, it wasn't that painful.

It is NOT a female's name. It is a noble masiv's name. I chose it very well, I am not changing. The tone had turned very lofty and snobbish, as if Lira was some common girl who didn't know better.

Lira smiled. Of course it's a good name. You have good taste, my friend. She quietly strode through the alley, going for the exit she saw at the other end. She was looking to cut through the market, the exit from the city was nearest that way. She didn't entirely trust these alleys since she knew nothing about them. It had been just luck that there wasn't some thief loitering around looking for trouble. They were all probably at the markets filching pockets.

Truly, Lira? You like it?

I wouldn't have said so if I didn't.

Lira felt her mind swim with nice green colors. She liked green, and she realized Keali was happy. Apparently, a name was very important among his kind, but so was her opinion. Shelving this information, Lira made her way out of the alley.

She realized the festival was well on its way. All the stalls had opened, and the market was filled with people. Nobles and commoners mingled alike. You could always spot the Nobs. Even the nicest one still had that arrogant tilt in his head whenever he talked to a commoner. Lira figured it was built in their bones. Maybe their necks hurt if they held it at normal angles like common people. Lira grinned.

Making her way through the market, she silently filled her pockets as she went, a pocket here, a breadstick there. She didn't stand out too much since other people had used there hoods to guard against the heat of the day. She was just about to filch hot pastries from a baker's stall when glinting caught her eye.

It called to her. It was a wristband, a simple enough design of cloth. It had tiny dull black stones at the rims and a big black one in the middle. The glinting had come from a metal clasp. Strange that it was cloth, yet it had metal to hold it together. Others just used binding.

It's nice. Take it. I bet it'll sparkle if you rub it clean.

Lira grinned. She bet so too. Loitering at the next stall, she eyed the flashy leather belts hanging in neat little rows. The owner kept a sharp eye on her, but she didn't mind him. She saw no belt she wanted to steal. Looking through the corner of her eye, she observed the mage ware stall. She could see the glow now that she was looking for it. All his items were majicked with charms. She didn't know what they were for and she wasn't touching them. She had enough majick in her life as it was.

Are you regretting me, Lira?

Lira sighed, sometimes Keali was just too sensitive. No, friend, I don't regret you. Besides, you're not majick, you're a creature. Bits of red started flickering in her mind along the green, but she shelved this away with other needless things…for now.

She looked at the wrist band again. It drew her and she didn't understand why. It wasn't even that pretty, and the glow of majick from it was minimal at best. She could barely see it in fact. If there was one thing Lira could trust, it was her Sight. It was the only thing that didn't go haywire on her every chance it could get.

It will clean up well, I promise.

Hush, people are coming, I can't concentrate when you talk.

Two strangers had come near the stalls now, students probably. They looked young, though not as young as her. They both had serious expressions, though one was less grim than the other, and they eyed the man's wares carefully. The stall owner's eyes had already begun to gleam quite greedily. Lira could see the reason why. The only mage's university in Leavead City was the University of Andrevan, and it was the best, and most expensive university in the whole realm of Eireel. Only nobles and some merchants could afford to put their mage children in that school, and they were well repaid for their troubles. The more mages a family had, the higher its standing with the king.

She could see these two student mages were very well-off. Though rings did not adorn them, she had seen the stones at their left ears, jivali black stones. Only the most well-off of families could afford to have those stones has its house symbol. They weren't from the same house though, the color of the stones were different. Jivali stones were never entirely black, they always had flecks of different colors inside them. For these two, one had blue-flecks inside, while the other had green.

They were asking questions, and the belt stall owner no longer kept most of his attention on her, seeing as people had finally come to his stall. She knew he hadn't seen her face clearly, and she had maneuvered herself to be in between the two stalls, as near to the black wristband as she could, but to also be half-facing it, as if she only stood there to escape the heat of the day. She kept wiping her face, and glancing at the street, all the while keeping her eye on the mage stall beside her.

Lira could see what the men were doing. They held the man's wares and tested them, for what, she did not know. But she saw the glow flash every time they held it, asking questions all the while. The owner answered in mumbles, saying his Lord's son had made them and that he was only to sell them. He named the Lord, but Lira didn't know him, a minor noble probably, if all his son could do was make simple charms and sell them for a living. There was good money in that, she admitted, but truly powerful mages wouldn't go around selling their magic as charms, they had more important work to do.

Lira's eyes sharpened when she saw one of them pick up the wristband. She realized now they had no interest in the other charms to begin with. They were only leading up to this one. But why? She didn't see that much magic in it. It hardly glowed at all. She could feel Keali moving more, where he hid among her hair.

Keali, are you jittery?

The mavin did not reply. Instead, she only felt the faint blue of its regret…before it bit her.

"Raji's balls! Keali you misbegotten son of a dragon and a livas bat." Lir jumped, and banged her head on a stall roof. She fumed! He bit her! Her hand went immediately to the back of her neck, but the turd of a dragon had slithered, fast as lightning down her clothes and under the stalls.

"Miss…are you alright?"

Lira's eyes narrowed dangerously on the belt stall owner. Her temper had broken and her hood had fallen. She knew what he saw now, most obviously by the distrust in his eyes. He hadn't trusted her before, but now, he clearly reviled her.

Lira cursed. Her glamour had been holding up so well. She had been keeping calm this whole morning, and it was a simple thing to hold a glamour. Raji's balls, this was all that dragon turd's fault. She knew she never should've trusted him.

Lira! I'm sorry!

I see. So the bedamned turd is wailing now, is he?

I had to do it!

Had to! Had to!I feel blood on my neck, dragon turd. I'm not calling you by your name anymore.


The two men had stepped nearer towards her, and she stiffened instinctively. She had put too much attention on herself. People were already staring, at her green-blue hair, the pointy tips of her ears, her strange eyes, and the unnatural paleness of her face. She narrowed her eyes at the two nearest her vicinity, and as her temper began to rise, stalls began to crack and fall. The ground shook, and she could feel all the animals in the city running to her.

Raji's balls! This is why she hated majick. Any bigger than a glamour, and it always went wrong. Things always got destroyed, and people would point and name her demon. Sometimes, it didn't take much, and they'd handout picks and torches. She'd been mobbed, more than once out of a village.

People began yelling, and so did the two student mages. Birds had begun to attack the crowd, goods were falling into the street, but Lira wasn't so far gone that she couldn't see thieves already fast at work. Dogs were hitting everyone and a couple of horses had already bucked their masters.

The stall in front of her had collapsed, and so did the one next to it. The two students were too busy fending off the birds two mind her now. Small explosions of light were occurring everywhere, and the tile of the city square was starting to crack. Lira smiled, seeing as whole flocks of sparrows, and pigeons had covered them now. And Keali, that little dragon turd, had slipped under the collapsed mage stall and was holding the wrist band in his mouth right in front of her.

Dargon turd, what are you doing?

The hurt in the mavin's eyes almost made her sorry, but she could feel the wind picking up, and she knew what came next.

Take it, Lira. I know you like it. Forgive me.

Lira eyed him and the band, considering.

Oh, what the heck, but you're not getting anything from me anytime soon.

Holding her arm straight to the ground, Keali quickly wound around it, up her arm, and around her neck. Looking up, she could see one of the students was no longer being bothered by the birds. Instead, he was looking at her. She almost flinched from the pale grey of his eyes, but feigning nonchalance, she slowly slid her hood over her head and the hissing Keali.

"Give back, the sharuken." His voice was deep, and grim. It surprised Lira, but she needed to get away now. The wind was getting stronger, and she knew a storm would come next.

"It's mine now." And turning quickly, she slipped through the chaotic crowd. She walked as fast as she could from the city, biting her lip in guilt. She just knew her luck wouldn't hold. Few minutes here, and the festival was a shambles. She felt sorry for all the people that had looked forward to it and had come from everywhere just to sell their goods.

Lira wondered why the mage hadn't come after her. After the band…sharuken…or whatever.

I'm sorry Lira, but the sharuken is yours. It fits you, I saw that.

What? Chaotic, accidental, and a pain-in-the-butt like me?

Well, Lira could almost picture him biting his lip, if he were human…Yes.

Oh, nice, dragon turd. Very nice

Lira shivered under the darker red that flooded her mind.

I forbid you to call me that. This was for you Lira. It will keep you in better control. Did you think I liked biting you? You are my mira'avin, my hearthalf, I thought hard before biting you. It pains me as it pains you now, but I know that losing control pains you more inside. This will help.

Lira bit her lip and shivered against the cold wind that flooded the city. The sky had darkened and turned ominous.

But did you have to bite me? Look what happened because of that.

You heard those humans. They were near to taking it. I had at act fast.

Lira nodded, resigned. If Keali thought this…sharuken…could help her, then she would believe him.

Let's go then.

Lira walked through the city gates. Only a lone guard stood at the tower. The others had probably been told to help at the square. As soon as she passed it, she began to breathe easier. There was no storm here. The sky was still blue, and the breeze was gentle and pleasant. Woods dotted the area, so she made her way for them. She would have to go some other way now, maybe to Rulis. If Keali was right and her majick could be controlled, then a border town with a small portal was just right for it. And if it had a portal, it wouldn't be so empty of the otherkind that the humans would think her too strange.

The only reason she hadn't gone to a border town before, was that an angry otherkind was even worse than an angry city. Cities only had mages, and an otherkind or two, but border towns, they were fairly filled with them. And a mob of them, Lira shivered, she could just feel their majick ripping her apart.


Kar surveyed the mess around him. He and his best friend, Rem, had been hard-pressed to control the chaos, what with that much magic flying around, but control it they had. Stalls had fallen, and a couple of people had been bitten, but the animals had finally been calmed. The storm coming after had made them cold as Tira's Cell, but it had encouraged the people to fleeing. The majick in the storm had set their spines to tingling, but they had finally stopped it.

Kar was able to shield himself before the rain hit, but Rem had not been so lucky.

"Couldn't do a simple shield spell could you?" Kar asked dryly, surveying his friend. His tailor-cut clothes, of just this morning were now drenched. Rem was in the act of executing a dry spell, but he threw his friend an angry look in return.

"God's Bl-Blood! You know the storm wasn't natural."

"Yes, but I had fair warning. Why didn't you?"

"I-It's a bit hard to do when b-b-birds are biting you, and d-d-dumping bird d-droppings on your head." Rem chattered, as he brushed stray bits of feathers of his tunic and majicked t dung off is hair. Finally clean, the blue tinge of his lips began to return to normal and he stopped shivering as much.

"You know," Rem looked reproachfully at Kar, "You could've helped."

"Yes, well, that was hard to do since the source of all this mess was trying to steal the sharuken…and succeeding." Kar's voice turned grim as he said this.

Rem started.

"And you let the little imp get away?"

"I had to. I knew keeping her here any longer would make the mess even worse. You see how much magic she let out? My spine fairly tingled." Now a small smile graced Kar's face. "Tiny little thing, to be so powerful isn't she?"

"Not human too," Rem said, thoughtfully, "I wonder what she was. I've never seen an otherkind like her."

"Me too." She had been a strange otherkind, yet curiously vulnerable. Kar wondered why she had been there. Most otherkind shunned human villages, seeing them as inferior to their own. And she had worn clothes he had seen, no otherkind would even deign to wear. They had been ragged and dirty, like the street children of the city. And that animal? What was it? He had never seen one like it. A glimpse was all he had gotten of it before it hid in her clothes and his glance had been captured by strange eyes with shifting colors. Her eyes shifted between a turbulent black and green, so fast, as if she was hesitant of what she was doing. No otherkind ever had eyes like that.

Thinking of her in his mind, Kar watched the market. Now that he and Rem had stopped the storm, minor city mages had finally started coming in. They were fixing stalls, repairing cracks, and herding flocks of animals away. The festival had been ruined by that girl, but it would be put to rights pretty soon enough. It generated a fair amount of money for Leavead, after all.

"Lord Kar Rajmi'nAlak. Lord Rem Minar'kAlim," A mage had come towards them. Kar could here Rem sigh beside him.

"Could you please tell us what you were doing here in the markets before the storm hit?" It was a Law Mage, and right on his tail, an Order Mage followed.

"We didn't start the storm, if that's what you're asking." Kar said dryly. His pale grey eyes gazed humorously at them. He could feel the Law Mage almost flinch from it, must've been a newbie if he couldn't mask it that well.

The Order Mage finally caught up. "Forgive my partner. He's new on the job. Of course we weren't saying that you Lords started it. We were just asking what you were doing here before the storm hit?"

"What? We Lords can't go out for a stroll if we want to?" Rem drawled, putting his elbow on Kar's shoulder and leaning, his hawk-like face and pale-green eyes forming a picture of the regular, uncaring, dandified lord.

They could tell the two mages were becoming annoyed. Kar with his pale grey eyes that cut through them like ice, and Rem, whose attitude showed utter disrespect. His eyes didn't help as well, standing out from his dark skin, and looking just like a High Lord Noble, which he was.

Kar sighed. They were commoners, these mages, but it wasn't right for him and Rem to act like such snobs as well. Kar relented.

"It was a girl."

Both their heads whipped up. Law and Order both stared at him, their eyes intent, their bodies still.

"A girl, you say? What did she look like? What happened here exactly?"

Surprised at this strange behavior, Kar's eyes narrowed, and he could feel Rem shifting his arm, losing his pose of the decadent noble. "She had hair streaked in blue and green and her face was pale."

"How pale exactly? Like vampire pale?" The mages asked, Order's nostrils flared like a hound on the scent.

So she's someone important, at least to them. Kar mused.

"Yes," This time, it was Rem that answered. "Vampire pale, but we didn't see her eyes.

I did.

Well don't tell them. Just tell them what everyone already knows. This time, Rem smiled at the mages, and proceeded to tell them all that had occurred. Law wrote down everything, while Order listened.

Kar thought. He was good at thinking. And he was thinking, maybe it would be a good idea to go hacking in the mages' Net.

We'll do it tonight.

Are you sure? Last time you hacked, your father almost caught you.

For all that father made the Net, he isn't here tonight. He's in Karveal, chaperoning my sister. Besides, only father has the talent to catch me. No other mage can.

Rem smiled good-naturedly at the mages and motioned to Kar for them to leave. Kar smiled. His friend had so many faces, he doubted even Rem knew what they were. Shapeshifting could truly pump up ones' acting skills.


The Net had been created by Lord Var Rajmi'nAlak. On the day of his final performance at the University of Andrevan, before the Great King Lunari himself, Lord Var released the Net and it stretched into the ceiling of the university. It was a wondrous work never before seen. It hung, twisted vines of majick, glowing so that even the naked eye could see it.

It encompassed all that Lord Var had worked for, and the Great King Lunari wept, for this was truly a great day. You see, before this day, mages had been solitary creatures jealous for their majicks. They kept secrets within themselves and shared not their spells. But the Great King Lunari had always known, that only knowledge known by all, could truly make his kingdom stronger, and with the Proclamation, and the majicks of the Net, all majickal information was put inside the net as a new pearl for it to be seen by all in their minds, wherever they may be.

No longer were dusty tomes needed to hold page-long spells. The Net held it all, and as the University of Andrevan's library grew more and more unused, the Net grew larger and larger, each strand lengthening with each new spell put in.

-from a dusty, unused book in the library of Andrevan


Kar stood in the center of the room, and placed a thin circlet made of copper with bits of gold on his head. Copper was good for a speedy connection to the Net, while the gold made it easier for him to jump from strand to strand. Gold was nice material, not only because it was expensive, but because its malleability made it easily changeable, a characteristic that did well in hacking the Net.

Rem was lounging on the pillows in his room. Tonight, they wouldn't have to go to university. It was the Goddess's Night, when majick was fiercest, and hacking the Net would be child's play. It was also the only night where students were forced to go home. Majick sometimes went wrong on nights like this, and the university deemed it better if these accidents happened in the students' houses rather than at the university.

The circlet had begun to glow, and Kar felt the joy he always felt when he saw the beauty of the Net in his mind. His father was a genius! The colors were breathtaking. Some were dark and ominous, after all, not all majick was fairness and light, while others were pale and ethereal.

"I'm in. Where do you think we should start?" Level 10 Law and Order records?" Kar had been in the Law and Order strands before and had taken Rem in for a ride. Rem didn't have Kar's talent for the Net and mostly just rode with him when Kar went into the information that had double/triple counter-spells built in them. Government information mostly had these.

The Law and Order records were no different. They spelled their information on differences of Levels. Level 10 was for the most common information, and it was open to public scrutiny. These strands showed the faces of hardened convicts, illegal mages, and the other information that Law and Order deemed to be pertinent to the populace.

"I don't think she's public knowledge yet. If she was, people would've known about her. The LO mages are keeping her on the quiet."

Kar nodded. "Level 9 it is then." He cracked his knuckles and stretched his neck, readying himself for the shield spells LO always out in their Level 9 and up strands. He enjoyed the challenge, and always got a bout of satisfaction when he knew something he shouldn't.

Searching for a Law and Order strand, there it was in its requisite blue-white colors. It showed clearly against the whole, because of all the rest, LO strands were perhaps, the most strait-laced, and clean-cut he had ever seen. Readying the hacking spell, he plunged in.

Kar spent over three hours at it, combing all the strands, clearing each level. He was sweating profusely by the time he reached Level 5. He'd never been through more than Level 5 before, and the shield spells became more and more intricate. As soon as he slipped through one, he came across another.

They were like the trip wires his Uncle Lewis loved to use to show intruders. They were easy to break, but the break would be so thin you wouldn't feel it. The trip wires here on Level 5, were hair thin shield spells, the trick was to slide across each one, maybe touch them, but not break them. Breaking one would result in the attack spells being activated and his mind burned for days.

Raji's balls, I almost missed that one.

Carefully, Kar slipped over it. He could feel Rem on the outskirts of his mind, worried, but he ignored him. If he couldn't find her on this Level, then he would stop the hacking. He almost missed it. It had been a strand hiding behind a bigger one. While he floated cautiously through the blue-white strands showing all Law and Order minor spies, he located the girl. He absorbed a copy of the strand, not yet reading it. He would see it when he was out. Making sure his copying didn't trip any spells, he detached a twin of the strand and held it in his mind.

Slowly, he backed out, going through all the most dangerous spells, until, around Level 7, there was a clear enough space for him to hack out without damaging his mind. Finally finished, he took the circlet off.

"Raji's Balls! What took you so long? I was beginning to get worried." Rem was no longer lounging on the pillows. Instead, he had been pacing up and down the room.

"She was harder to find than I expected. And she really didn't bring up that much information. Her strand is tiny." Kar place his hand on his forehead, and made a pulling motion. What came out was a small blue-white strand of majick that pooled along his hand like the finest skein.

"Revieati." Kar said, and the strand dissolved to show the information to both Rem and him. It formed words in the air, reports of accidents happening in small towns or villages. There were chickens disappearing, animals attacking, horses turning wild. Storms majickaly formed in clear, blue skies, and explosions of light destroyed buildings. There were earthquakes, lightning, even a fountain only spewing grape juice.

"Grape juice?"Rem cocked his brow. "Why would anyone complain about that?"

Kar laughed. "One man says here, his best cow turned into a bull over night."

"An essence change?" Rem whistled. "That's hard to do."

All reports, both funny and catastrophic, pointed to a tiny slender girl with blue-green hair, a vampire pale face, and strange shifting eyes.

"This is weird. The eyes I saw where black and green, but it says here they saw red, sometimes orange." Kar said, puzzled.

"Does it matter? Nothing about her fits. Only the ramajins, those mountain people, have blue-green hair like hers, but they have green skin as well, and she was white. Possibly, one could have mated with a vampire, but it doesn't explain her eyes. Ramajins all have brown eyes, and vampires were first human. All their eyes stay the same color, for all that they do turn glow when they're angry."

"Hers glowed…I think." Kar considered.

"But it wouldn't be possible. The otherkind meet, yes, but they don't mate with someone not of their own kind. They stick to purifying their bloodlines." Rem wiggled his eyebrows. "About only species I know of that has lesser compunctions about that, is us humans." He said, making dirty gestures with his hand.

Kar laughed. "Well now, I guess we know why the Law and Order mages were so excited. She's important enough to account for Level 5, but not important enough to account following. Wanna bet she'll be taken at the next village?"

Rem laughed. "You have your bet."

Touching their hands to their jivali black stones, they rubbed on them, taking a pinch of majick for an oath sworn. Clasping their hands together, they stood.

"What are the stakes?" Rem asked.

"You do my homework for Master Lafehold's class for ten meetings." Kar hated his etiquette classes.

Rem grinned. "You've got a deal." And multicolored sparks flew from their hands to fly in the air.