Another of the shorter stories, this one is pretty much just a conversation which introduced some new mage characters and gave a little bit about their different personalities.
Something to Believe
Nathaniel sighed as he took a drink from the tankard, feeling the cool liquid touch his tongue and slide down his throat. He looked around the room, which was rather full of those mages training with him. They would often sit around and have intellectual discussions, although some discussions were less intellectual than others.
Hafasik said “So what do you believe in?”
Marcus, one of Nathaniel’s best friends, scratched the side of his head and asked “What in Weissland do you mean Haf?”
Hafasik shrugged his shoulders and replied “Well, what do each of you believe in? People, ideas, religions, share it with us.”
Tarmas, who was well known for being rather cynical, said “Oh and who’s going to start us off?”
Jessa Aeris flashed a stunning smile and chimed in “Was that sarcasm Tarmas? I thought you were just supposed to be the cynical one and Nathaniel was the sarcastic one?” She looked sidelong at Nathaniel who gave an expression of a fake smile which only seemed to delight Jessa even more.
Tarmas replied “I have my moments, although I’d rather be cynical than be all emotional like you and Nathaniel.”
Jessa’s mouth dropped open and she began “Hey, now that’s --”
Nathaniel cut in “I’m not emotional. In fact I’ve only got three emotional states, sarcastic, angry, and beer.” He raised his tankard as he spoke. This made several of the others chuckle and defused the potentially volatile direction the conversation had been heading in. For all Jessa’s talents the ability to back down was not one of them and Tarmas could argue the undead into an early grave. Plus Jessa had been drinking, which meant too many insults and she would lash out. It could only end badly.
Marcus caught on to this and proclaimed “I believe in myself.”
“Someone has to” was the best response to Marcus’ statement. There was another ripple of laughter through the room.
Hafasik spoke again “What about you Nerris?”
Nerris looked up from the book he was reading to say “History. It shows us where we have been, informs us in the here and now, and guides us as to what the future holds.”
“Fair enough Nerris. Jessa?” Hafasik kept the discussion rolling.
The noble young woman from Valoruin replied “I believe in justice, loyalty, hmmm... love I suppose.”
Hafasik prodded “And you Tarmas?”
Tarmas rolled his eyes and said “I don’t believe in anything.”
Hafasik responded with a groan “Oh come now, everybody has to have something to believe. What about you Nathaniel?”
Nathaniel Drakkon said “I believe in a lot of things, although sometimes it’s not easy. The world is a cold and unfriendly place at times, if you can’t believe in something bigger or better than yourself then it’s all the colder. I believe in loyalty, justice, honour, the truth, but the one thing I believe in the most, is Weissland.”