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A New Twist to an Old Adversary, Sequel

by Andrew Theisen

Ludwig von Hendriks shifted impatiently in his saddle. He was not a man to be kept waiting, especially not in the forsaken wilderness to the northwest of the Great Crater. He'd give the man another half hour and then...

He paused, scratching his beard and recalling the words of his masters. He'd get no second chances. All right then, another hour.

"Ze Old Ones must be getting desperate." The low, heavily accented voice came from behind the Black Eagle. The former baron twisted in his saddle, drawing forth his blade and wheeling his mount to bear.

He was greeted with the sight of a dark eyed man, hair and goatee grey with age (or fright possibly, von Hendriks thought, recalling the Outer Beings). He was dressed in blue and crimson silks, cut in the fashion popular years ago in New Averoigne.

The man held out his hands in a halting gesture, laughing mirthfully. "Impatient, impulsive- whatever shall I do wiz you?"

Still holding forth his blade, von Hendriks replied, "Are you going to introduce yourself, or continue to insult me? If so, I'll have to introduce you to my blade."

The man shook his head, all trace of humour gone. "I don't zink zat is likely, non." A quick gesture of his index finger and the Black Eagle's arm was suddenly shot through with pain. The blade fell from nerveless fingers.

Rubbing his arm, he glared at the roguish man before him.

"We shall begin again, non? I am d'Ambreville..." the sorcerer (for such he was) stated. "Henri d'Ambreville. I believe we 'ave certain, how shall we say- 'benefactors?'- in common."

(To be continued...)