Prologue

I rewrote the prologue for my novel The Mage. I think it does a better job of setting up the story.

Stawal knocked on the door. The house stood on the cart path through the village as did most of the buildings. It was nothing so large as the Northern cities he was used to, and he felt out of place. Still, his mission took him where it would. He hoped to conclude his business in the South quickly so that he might make it to Siridor on time. That was a proper city.

The door opened a crack and a rather old woman peered out. “What do you want, mage hunter?”

“Terrgat,” Stawal corrected automatically. He had had this conversation many times in recent weeks.

The woman waved it away. “Call yourself what you will. You have no authority here. Go back North where you belong.”

Stawal shrugged. “I am merely looking for someone. A family. I believe the father is a cobbler. By the name of Dobson?”

“Never heard of ’em.” The ice in her stare seemed out of place in this warm climate.

“Is that so? The innkeeper told me that they were your neighbors.”

“The innkeeper is a liar.”

This was going nowhere. No one had answered at the house he had been directed to. Either the innkeeper had lied, or the family had moved on. This woman wasn’t going to help him. This far South, people seemed to forget the dangers of magic and how the Terrgat had protected them all. The war, over for centuries, was too long ago and too far away. She was right; the Terrgat had no place here.

She hadn’t waited for another question; the door was already shut. Finding the girl seemed less important than his other mission anyway. Siridor was weeks away. He may as well head there.

Taking one last look at the nearby buildings, he found himself approving of the decision to stay out of the South. The Northern cities were more to his liking.

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