This is the first chapter of my new story, The White Mage, Nicess the Wanderer. I hope you enjoy it.
The White Mage
I am the god-damn phoenix down mother fucker that goes ba-bump in the nightmares of all those who Wilhelm their last.
I am the white mage.
At least that's what I think I am in this world. Where ever the hell this is, I seem to know it a little too well.
At the edge of town, there is an inn with a bar on the first floor. It’s the place where everyone knows my name. And why shouldn’t they know my name? I’m the one that saves their lives on a weekly basis. All manner of adventurers come through, but they all ask for one thing if they’re smart. And where can I find a healer? And the barkeep points to a table in the back where I usually sit. Most of the time, it’s a large burly He-Man that wants someone to keep him healthy for an upcoming raid on whatever threat of the week. Other times it’s a lone ranger looking to stop a bent wizard trying to raise an army of mutant orcs. And yet still I’ll get the occasional twit that asks me to bring back their dead loved one that passed more than ten days ago. But the answer to all but a few of them is the same. Fuck off; I’m busy. And that’s when most swords, bows, or fists are drawn and readied to strike. It’s my mouth that gets me into these kinds of trouble. A year of it and you’d think I’d have my fair share of cuts, scars, and bruises. But, you’d be wrong. For if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s preventing damage before it ever happens. A simple Sanctuary spell with a side of Shield on the ready is all I ever really need. And less than an hour later, another one walks right back up to the bar, and it starts over again. It’s a fresh cup of mead, but the same story. And until then I wait patiently.
For what? If not something new, then something old. New spells. At least to me. Each time I accept work, cure a disease or raise the recently dead, it’s in my never-ending search for knowledge. I can make food and water, even shelter through spells. Unlike all other clerics of my station that were called to their position by a higher power. I sought out the meaning of existence and for a deity in this world that suited my needs. At least to listen to my bitching for a while when I first got here and didn’t understand where I was. I still don’t know what this is exactly, or where I am supposed to be, Hell, Limbo, or even another dimension, but it’s real enough for me. So I proceeded to worship a point in my mind with the singular goal of obtaining more understanding of the fabric of this life. Most often than not I’ve found it’s while I’m nursing a cup of mead and remembering my old life. And it’s with that power that I operate as a healer. I don’t say prayers; I don’t meditate for spells, I don’t even have to think to prepare them. I know them. And I know that I’ll always have access to the ones I need when I need them. Call it what you will. I call it convenient.
So that’s how my evenings would go. I’d shoot down nearly every request that wasn’t related to a spell in the most callous way possible. Then I’d smile at the end of the day. On occasion, I’d end up in a cave or a tent for a week with smelly adventurers that didn’t know what soap was. Or sometimes I’d end up getting lucky and sleeping in a comfortable bed in town. That was my norm. Until the night it wasn’t.
There were eight people in the bar that night, not including the owner, when a thin tower of everything I’m not, wrapped up in tight leather, walked in.
Legs slid up to me without asking around for a healer. She said something, and I didn’t listen to anything except the tone of her voice. It was calm, smooth. I don’t even remember saying, okay, but I knew I had accepted something after the entire room stopped and looked in my direction.
“Good, so you’ll help me get back the broach?” Her voice was almost too quick. But since my comprehension had come back to me, my face sunk when I realized what had happened. “Are you okay?”
She had noticed, and I took a moment to regain my composure. “Of course I am. I’m-” I thought about my regular line of bravado and snark. It didn’t seem right. “-The-“
Her bright eyes stared at me in the silence. “Are you sure you can help me? You don't look that strong for a caster.”
My lips didn’t move, my hair just furled and eye twitched. I glared at her. I must have seemed partially ominous. Besides the dirty white robe, I’m not much. I’m not very threatening. On a wet day, I'm a hundred and fifteen pounds. And that includes my everyday carry.
“Are you sure you’re the white mage?”