12/28/21 Snippet, TINSEL RAIN.

So damned close to first draft. So close…


How do you make a bunch of mages clear out of a room? And not just any mages, either: the six at the sitdown were the froth on the top of the cream of Cin City’s magical hierarchy. Every single one of them could take a Dominion Archmage in a fight, or at least hold ‘em off. They were powerful, they knew it, and they weren’t scared of nobody.

And that was only half of it. Howie Rowan had to have somebody on the inside, somehow. The Discerning Raven couldn’t do much to the meeting if it didn’t get delivered, and that meant getting close up and personal with it. There wouldn’t be a bunch of Rowan’s guys there — security was too good; I didn’t know how he even managed to get one — which was nice. I still had two problems, though: figuring out who had the Raven, and how to get everybody else away from it.

But damned if I didn’t know the magic word that would solve both of them: “ICEMOLD!” I yelled as I smashed through the doors. And I mean yelled. The kind of yell that causes everybody to stop.

Any other word, they might have argued about it a little. But icemold? That’s a real scary word, to a mage. When one of them gets hooked on the stuff, they go out in a blaze of fury real quick. And the more powerful the mage, the faster they burn up. And when they were this strong, ‘burning up’ ain’t a metaphor.