Shadow Mage (Blacklight Chronicles)

Free Shadow Mage (Blacklight Chronicles) by John Forrester

Book: Shadow Mage (Blacklight Chronicles) by John Forrester Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Forrester
in his training dreams.
    The sorcerer frowned at Talis, as if he was watching a patient slowly die. “You’ll go mad… Why do you think the Goddess Nacrea gave you the black crystal? Think about it. She wanted you to learn dark magic to balance out the burning force of Light Magic. Just as the ancients have done for thousands of years.”
    Palarian stood, and brushed off his robe. “And not only the ancients knew this…but here within your very city, deep in the locked and barred subterranean passages of the Order of the Dawn, lies the knowledge of Shadow Magic.”
    “Within the Order, you say?” Nikulo’s face held an incredulous expression.  
    “Yes, indeed, hidden away for centuries, available only to a select few wizards.”
    “And how do you know all this?” Talis said.
    “While I may lack the actual knowledge of these dark arts, I do possess knowledge of worldly going ons through my vast experience here on this world. I’ve watched the rise and fall of kingdoms, the movement of scrolls, sages, wizards, sorcerers, and mystics over the years. Starting from the source, on that ancient island, Lorello: the twin cities of Urgar and Darkov. The fall of that great city of light, and the diaspora of knowledge throughout the world.”
    Palarian sighed, and ran his spindly fingers through his hair. “Yes, I’ve been one of the Watchers. Watching and waiting over thousands of years.” Was this man one of the ancients?
    “Waiting for what?” Mara ran a finger along the rim of her wine goblet.
    The sorcerer’s eyebrows flicked up and down in amusement, and he wagged a finger at her. “What’s important is how do we get inside the Order’s archives? If you’re to learn Shadow Magic, that’s the only place for you to start…unless you plan on sneaking into the Jiserian Empire. The Order of Shadows in the magnificent City of Corvina contains a wonderful collection of scrolls on the dark arts. But I’m guessing you’d have an impossible time getting inside, let alone figuring out how to translate the secret code the scrolls are written in.”
    Talis pictured the Order’s archives, filled with dust and scrolls and clay tablets. Since the destruction of the Temple of the Order of the Dawn, the Order had forbidden entry to the library. But now, in the confusion since the incident with the gods, perhaps the archives would be unguarded?
    “And will Talis truly go mad if he fails to study Shadow Magic?” Mara said.
    A grave expression came over Palarian’s face. “Sadly, yes. I’ve seen firsthand the insanity strike a fellow magician. A boy, a few years older than Talis, his name was Fineas, if I remember correctly. He’d mastered Light Magic and was forced to use it to defend his Order against a rival group of sorcerers. The exertion drove his mind too far in one direction, and caused him to go mad, each day worse than the one before. There was a plan to teach him the dark arts to balance the force of light, but the only sorcerer in the Order with the knowledge of Shadow Magic had been slain.”
    “That’s terrible!” Mara’s eyes were tensed and worried listening to the story. “What happened to him?”
    “He ended up going over to the side of his enemies, to learn Shadow Magic, and turned traitor. Most likely the dark arts compelled him unconsciously in that direction. He remained quite mad throughout his life, and was eventually slain by his former Master.”
    Talis shuddered, thinking of the fate that had befallen Master Viridian. “I’ll do it. Let’s sneak inside the archives.”
    “Are you sure?” Mara said, placing a hand on his arm.
    “We have no choice. Besides, I’ve been meaning to visit the Temple archives.” After all this time studying runes with Mistress Cavares, he needed to fill in a few gaps in her teaching. Talis glanced at Palarian. The question was, did he trust the sorcerer to come with them?
    The old man seemed to read Talis’s expression, because a grin spread over his

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