Jarik paused when the bounding light came into view. A being of fire approached through the trees. The half-elf hid in the underbrush, grasped his sword, and waited. The mindless monster passed by and didn’t notice the hidden danger.
Beyond the monster’s sentry trail were three travelers huddled around a campfire. An insignia brooch upon their chests marked them as Zmatek Elementalists. Their voices were soft but echoed just enough for Jarik to listen.
A blonde elementalist waved his hand and the fire grew a shade brighter. “I can’t believe Brandeisberg was destroyed. We’ll have to find a new venue for the auction next year. Although, I’ve heard rumors the auction will soon be an unnecessary source of income.”
An elementalist with a thin black mustache spoke. “If only there was a way to keep spellcasters under control. We need something that would prevent powerful wizards from wrecking a town but yet allow our elemental creatures to remain.”
“If I had a magic nullifying rod I’d use it to stop your idiocy, Brandon.” The redhead laughed.
Brandon ignored the comment. “You know who I blame for burning down the village?”
“Who? Your mom? I heard she likes a good nullifying rod.” The pair laughed.
“Har har,” Brandon shook his head. “I think all of the destruction would’ve been averted if that half-elf had not provoked that old wizard at the auction. Once his tempers flared it was only a matter of time before the village was razed.”
“An interesting theory, but I doubt it. That group shouldn’t have been allowed into the auction at all. There was no way they had enough coin to win those relics.”
“I think Brandon is on to something,” the first one said. “I heard they were the ones who broke into the mansion and killed Lorenz and the guys. Their leader looked familiar, but I can’t place him.”
Brandon cracked his knuckles. “I bet the boss would give us a reward if we tracked them down and killed them. We would be heroes. I want that half-elf though. His head needs to be on a pike for the destruction he caused.”
“Think you could take me?” Jarik stepped from the shadows and into the campfire light. “I will savor killing you, Brandon.”