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“An epic fantasy series.”—Library Journal
"Entertaining...The series potential is limitless."—Booklist
"A fantastic journey... The story reminded me of Eragon, yet the reading is easier and quicker. Highly enjoyable, fast-paced, and full of adventure."—SciFiChick.com
"A nod and a wink to classics like the Lord of the Rings and the game of Dungeons & Dragons."—Bookspotcentral.com
Two thousand years ago, the dwarf Albrek went looking for new mines in the land of Thraxon in the hopes of becoming rich—and vanished. Now the dwarves must find Albrek's magical Ring of Searching before their mines run dry, a possibility which threatens the livelihood of the entire dwarf realm.
Alexander Taylor joins a familiar company of adventurers on a quest to discover what happened to Albrek, find his mythical tomb, and locate the lost talisman.
But finding the ring may be the least of the adventurers' problems once they cross paths with an ancient, wandering paladin, Bane, who warns of a great evil working in all of the known lands. Following in Albrek's footsteps, Alex and his friends travel to the haunted Isle of Bones, where a mysterious creature lurks in a deserted village, to the cursed city of Neplee, where the dwarfs are hunted by the undead hellerash, and through the shadow of an empty oracle's tower, where a whispered legend is about to come true.
- Size: 5½" x 8
- Pages: 448
- Book on CD: Unabridged
- Number of Discs: 11
- Run Time: Approx. 13 hrs.
About the Author
M. L. Forman was born and raised in Utah and now resides in the foothills of the western Rockies. He tries to write as much as possible while still attending to his many other hobbies, such as fishing, camping, hiking, and almost anything that will allow him to enjoy the magic of nature. He is also the author of Slathbog’s Gold and The Horn of Moran, the first two books int he Adventurers Wanted series.
A New Quest
The heat from the furnace was intense. Alex stood close, sweat dripping off his nose as he watched the small porcelain bowl filled with several lumps of true-silver ore. He was working in the smithy that his father had installed inside his magic bag, but no matter how hot the furnace got, the ore in the bowl simply would not melt. Alex moved back to the workbench, checking the book he’d been reading.
Alex had taken up working in the smithy as a hobby on the advice of his teacher, Whalen Vankin.
“Focusing on something nonmagical will give you a chance to work with your hands as well as relax your mind,” Whalen had said. “If you think about magic all the time, you might not notice the normal things that are going on around you.”
As Alex reread the page that explained how to work with true silver, he heard an odd tutting sound. He straightened up and looked around the room. The furnace hissed, the bellows pumped, and the true silver remained unchanged. He returned to the book, but he’d already read the information three times. He snapped it shut in frustration.
Another sound met his ears: a soft humph. He looked at the furnace again, but nothing had changed and the sound wasn’t repeated. He moved closer, checked the status of the true silver again, and finally shut off the waterwheel that worked the bellows. The smithy was quiet, except for the furnace that continued to hiss and moan as it cooled.
Alex carefully removed the bowl from the furnace and poured the lumps of true silver onto the sand-covered table. He tried to bend the lumps or twist them—he even took one piece to the anvil and hit it with a hammer—but nothing he did made a dent.
The tutting sound came again, much louder now that the waterwheel and the bellows had stopped. Alex felt someone—or perhaps something—was watching him. Turning slowly, he scanned the smithy. He was alone, but the feeling of being watched remained.
“Who’s there?” Alex asked out loud.
“I know there’s someone there,” said Alex. “You might as well speak up because I will find you, one way or another.”
He heard a soft humph from the far side of the room, a humph that said, “I doubt it.”
“Come now, show yourself,” said Alex. “I won’t hurt you.”
Again there was no reply.
Alex sent out a bit of magic to search the room as he tried once more to coax the hidden watcher out. “I’m being as nice as I can about this. Please, show yourself before I have to force you into the open.”
The silence remained, but Alex’s magic had found something. There was a small creature standing behind the books on the far side of the room. Alex had no idea what the creature was, but he didn’t think it was dangerous.
“Very well, if you will not show yourself, I will have to use magic to force you into the open,” said Alex.
Another loud humph, which Alex took to mean, “I don’t believe you will succeed, but feel free to try.”
“You asked for it,” Alex muttered.
Alex remained still and silent, letting the magic he had used to find the creature form into a magical rope around the creature’s legs. As the rope took shape, Alex added a little more magic to the spell, but the creature must have noticed what was happening because there was a gasp, followed by the sound of running feet. Alex was ready. The magic rope pulled tight, lifting the creature into the air and whisking it toward a large empty table in the middle of the room. Alex watched as his captive floated upside down above the tabletop; it looked like a nine-inch-tall dwarf.
“Gear offva me! Let go!” the creature shouted. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I claim the right of sanctuary in this bag!”
“The right of sanctuary? Who are you, and what are you doing here?” Alex questioned.
“I might ask you the same thing,” answered the creature. “I’ll answer to Master Joshua and none other.”
“The master of the bag, Joshua Taylor,” said the creature, looking at Alex suspiciously. “I demand to see the master of the bag.”
“I’m the master of the bag,” said Alex. “I’m Alexander Taylor, Joshua Taylor’s heir.”
“If you’re the heir, then you should know who and what I am,” said the creature hotly. “Master Joshua wouldn’t have given his bag to an heir and not told him about us.”
“My father didn’t tell me anything about his bag,” said Alex. “He died when I was just a baby.”
“Died? What do you mean died? I don’t believe it, not one word of it,” shouted the creature.
“It’s true—” said Alex.
“Prove it,” the creature interrupted.
“I want proof that Master Joshua is dead and that you are, in fact, his heir.”
“I can give you my word.”
“Ha! A likely story. Just what a bag thief would say. ‘Give you my word,’ indeed. What’s the word of a bag thief worth?”
“I’m no thief,” said Alex angrily. “I give you my word that what I’ve said is true, and if you are foolish enough to doubt the word of a wizard then I’ll have to expel you from my bag.”
“A wizard you say? Ha! Oh, you’ve got some magic in you that’s plain enough to see, but you’re no wizard. You’re far too young; you’ve no staff and no familiar. You’re not even wearing one of those funny robes that so many wizards like to wear.”
“Silence,” Alex demanded. “I am Alexander Taylor, wizard and adventurer. I am the son and heir of Joshua Taylor, and I do have a staff.”
“Oh, do you now? Well then, Mr. Wizard, be so good as to show me your staff.”
“All right, I’ll go and get it.”
“Go and get it, he says,” the creature sneered. “As if a wizard needs to go and get his staff. Ha!”
Alex frowned at the insult. He’d only been a wizard for a couple of months, and he didn’t need his staff very often. Especially when he was home and not on an adventure.
He closed his eyes for a moment, remembering the spell that would summon his staff to his hand. Opening his eyes, he held out his right hand, releasing the magic at the same moment. There was a sound like a rushing wind, and Alex’s staff appeared in his open hand.
The creature gasped, and Alex almost burst out laughing as its eyes grew large and its mouth tried to fall open but failed because he was still upside down.
“Oh, sir, a thousand apologies,” the creature stammered as Alex finally turned him right side up and released him. “I had no idea, I mean, Master Joshua never said—”
“Yes, I’m sure my father didn’t get a chance to say a lot of things,” said Alex. “Now, will you tell me who and what you are?”
“I’m Bobkin,” said the creature, snapping to attention. “Master smitty and keeper of the sanctuary.”
“Master smitty?” Alex questioned.
“Yes, sir.” Bobkin smiled with pride. “We’re magical folk that work in smithies. I’m not surprised you’ve never heard of us—not many people have. You may have heard of our cousins, though, the cobblers.”
“Cobblers? Oh, the little people who help make shoes,” said Alex.
“Shoes are what they are most known for, but they do all kinds of leather work. None better in the known lands,” said Bobkin.
“So you do the same kind of thing, only with smithing work,” said Alex.
“And you live here in this bag?”
“As keeper of the sanctuary, I have to stay,” answered Bobkin. “Of course, that could change now, what with Master Joshua gone.”
“Why would that change?”
“Your father was a kind man, sir, and he allowed us to set up a sanctuary here in his magic bag,” said Bobkin. “Smittys won’t work just anywhere; we have to be invited. And the smith doin’ the inviting has to have some talent for the work. He has to see the work as something more than just a job. It takes the right attitude to be a great smith, and if a smith doesn’t have it, we won’t stay. There are times when we have no place at all to live.”
“They have to see smith work as an art,” said Alex in a thoughtful tone.
“Yes, an art,” Bobkin agreed. “Smith work can be one of the greatest arts, but so few smiths see it that way.”
“I think I understand,” said Alex. “So you had nowhere else to go and my father let you stay in his bag.”
“Yes, sir, he did,” said Bobkin. “Only now he’s not here, and since the bag is yours, it’s up to you if we stay or go.”
“We?” Alex questioned. “How many of you are there?”
“There are only three of us here now, but there have been as many as twenty in the past. We live in the room behind the secret door,” said Bobkin, pointing to the far side of the room.
“What secret door?”
“The bookshelf in the far corner,” said Bobkin. “I can show you if you wish.”
“Maybe later,” said Alex, not wanting to be distracted from the conversation.
“And the sanctuary?” Bobkin questioned.
“I suppose you’d better keep it,” said Alex. “I’m sure my father had good reasons for letting you stay, and I won’t go against his wishes.”
“Oh, thank you, sir, thank you,” said Bobkin. “We are forever in your debt, and . . .”
“Well, beggin’ your pardon, sir, but if you’d like some instruction or help with your smithing work, we’d be only too happy to assist you,” Bobkin said in a slightly nervous tone.
“I could use some help,” Alex said, glancing toward the true silver on the table.
“Not many know how to work the true silver,” said Bobkin. “The trick is to heat it slowly. If you put too much heat on it too fast, it hardens even more than it was to start with.”
“Really? That’s not what the book said.”
“I suspect that whoever wrote that book knew more about writing then they did about smithing,” said Bobkin with a snort. “Let me introduce you to my cousins and then we can discuss the art of working true silver.”
Alex nodded, and Bobkin puffed up and let out a long, loud whistle. A moment later, the bookshelf at the back of the smithy moved slightly, and two small figures came hurrying out of the hidden room, one leading the other. They both stopped abruptly at the sight of Alex.
“It’s all right,” Bobkin said, gesturing them forward. “This is Master Joshua’s son and heir. He said we can keep the sanctuary.”
“Thank goodness for that,” said the smitty in the lead.
“Master Alexander Taylor,” said Bobkin. “Let me introduce you to my cousins, Belkin and Dobkin.”
“A great honor,” said Belkin with a bow.
“Dobkin!” Dobkin shouted at the wall.
“Um, well, don’t mind Dobkin,” Bobkin said quickly. “He had a bit of an accident and hasn’t been himself for some time. ’Course, he’s getting better. He remembers his name now.”
“It’s about the only thing he remembers, actually,” Belkin said.
“What happened to him?” Alex questioned.
“We’re not sure,” said Bobkin. “Near as we can tell, he got hit on the head with an anvil.”
“Or maybe a large hammer,” Belkin added.
“Is he all right? I mean, is there anything I can do?” Alex asked.
“Ah, most kind, but Dobkin’s fine, or he will be,” said Bobkin.
“Dobkin!” Dobkin shouted at the table.
“Bobkin’s right. If you set Dobkin to work on something simple, he’ll make a proper job of it,” said Belkin. “I just wish he’d stop shouting his name at everything.”
“Maybe you’d better take Dobkin back to the sanctuary,” Bobkin suggested.
“Do accidents like Dobkin’s happen very often?” Alex questioned as Belkin guided the confused smitty toward the bookshelf.
“No, not often,” Bobkin answered. “And I’m sure Dobkin will come out of it sooner or later.”
“I hope so,” said Alex. “He doesn’t look like he can take care of himself.”
“He’ll be fine—especially under the protection of the sanctuary,” said Bobkin. “Now, about working with true silver.”
Alex was soon deep in discussion with Bobkin about working not only with true silver but also with all kinds of other metals. The smitty was a fountain of information, and Alex had to ask him to slow down once or twice while he got things straight in his mind. Their discussion went on for a long time, and only ended when Alex’s stomach grumbled and he realized how hungry he was.
“I’ll come back and practice as soon as I can,” Alex promised as he prepared to leave.
“Whenever you have time, Master Alex,” said Bobkin with a wave. “We’ll be here, ready and willing to help.”
As soon as Alex left the magic bag and returned to his room, he heard a loud dinging noise and saw a bottle-necked geeb waiting on his desk. The strange bowling-pin-shaped creature balanced on the edge of the table, tilting slightly to one side on its single birdlike leg.
“Oh, sorry, have you been waiting long?” Alex questioned.
“Couldn’t you have delivered the message to me inside my bag?”
“You can’t enter magic bags?”
Alex thought for a moment, trying to understand the conflicting answers. “You can enter a magic bag, but only if I give you permission to do so?” he ventured.
“Then I give all geebs permission to enter either of my magic bags to deliver and take messages from me,” said Alex.
“Do you have a message for me today?”
“May I have it, please?”
“Ding.” The geeb produced a large envelope.
Alex recognized Whalen Vankin’s handwriting on the envelope, and he quickly tore it open to read the letter inside.
I’ve been invited to join a new adventure in Thraxon but find that I don’t have the time. I’ve suggested to the leader of this adventure that you might be willing to take my place. If so, please meet the leader tomorrow morning at ten o’clock at Mr. Clutter’s shop.
I don’t know all the details of this adventure, so if, after your meeting, you don’t like the sound of it, don’t go. After all, it’s an invitation and not a demand. I would, however, ask that you let me know what you decide regarding the adventure, and, that, if you go, you keep me updated as to your progress.
Yours in fellowship,
P.S. The council was very impressed when I told them about your staff. We are considering it as your fifth great wizarding task.
P.P.S. I know we talked about your coming to live in Alusia, and I’ve found a wonderful place for you, if you are still interested. Think about it, and let me know.
Excitement flooded through Alex. This was an opportunity to go back to the magical lands that had become an important part of his life—a chance to explore a new place, meet new friends, and hopefully reunite with some of his old friends. He felt honored that Whalen had suggested him as a replacement, and he hoped the adventure would be an interesting one.
He had a different feeling, though, when he read the second P.S. The idea of living in Alusia made him nervous and happy. Whalen had mentioned the possibility after Alex’s last adventure, but Alex had thought it would be some time before anything actually happened.
The geeb dinged loudly, interrupting his thoughts.
“Sorry,” said Alex, looking at the geeb. “Have you been paid?”
“Waiting for an answer, then, are you?”
“All right, hang on a minute.”
Grabbing some paper, Alex quickly wrote a note to Whalen. He said that he would be happy to meet the leader of this new adventure and at least listen to what he had to say. He also thanked Whalen for suggesting him and promised to send updates if he accepted the adventurer’s bargain. He hesitated for a moment and then added that he would need to think about the move to Alusia but that he’d let Whalen know as soon as he’d decided.
“Can you take this to Whalen Vankin?” Alex asked, holding the letter out for the waiting geeb to take.
“Ding,” the geeb answered and accepted the letter.
“And here is your payment for my reply,” added Alex, tossing a fair-sized diamond in the air.
“Ding.” The geeb caught the diamond in midair and then produced several gold and silver coins as change.
With a small popping sound, the geeb disappeared, leaving Alex alone to consider Whalen’s letter. Alex wanted to tell his stepfather what was happening and ask for his advice about moving to Alusia, but it was already late, and Mr. Roberts was probably in bed. The conversation would have to wait until morning.
“But you’ve only been back two months,” said Mr. Roberts the next morning when Alex told him about the adventure. “Most adventurers take at least three to six months off between adventures, sometimes even longer.”
“Yes, but I’m not just an adventurer anymore,” said Alex.
“True, true,” said Mr. Roberts. “I suppose wizards aren’t normal adventurers. I’m just worried you might be doing too much. Back-to-back adventures, and plans to move to Alusia? That’s a lot to deal with, even for a wizard.”
“I’m sure Whalen knows what he’s doing,” said Alex. “I feel ready for a new adventure, but if this adventure doesn’t sound good, I won’t go. I can wait awhile before deciding about Alusia.”
“I don’t want you thinking you have to move just because Vankin suggested it,” said Mr. Roberts. “You’ve got a lot going on, Alex. Whatever you do, make sure it is something you want to do, and then make sure that you are ready to do it.”
“I’ll be fine,” said Alex. “And I’ll try not to overdo anything.”
“All right, then,” said Mr. Roberts. “And if you do decide to move to Alusia, you’ll always be welcome here—even if you just need a place to rest for a time.”
“Thank you,” said Alex with more feeling than he’d ever said it before.
After breakfast, Alex left his stepfather’s tavern and headed to Mr. Clutter’s adventure shop. He knew he’d be early for his appointment, but he wanted some time to talk with Mr. Clutter before meeting the leader of this new adventure.
“Back so soon, Master Taylor?” questioned Mr. Clutter as Alex entered the shop.
“I was asked to come,” said Alex. “Master Vankin has asked me to stand in for him and at least listen to the leader of a new adventure.”
“Oh, yes, of course,” said Mr. Clutter. “But I’m sorry to say that the leader of that particular adventure has just gone in with someone else, so they might be awhile.”
“I’m a bit early,” said Alex, checking the clock on Mr. Clutter’s wall. “I was hoping you might have a few minutes to tell me what other adventures are getting started right now.”
“Other adventures?” Mr. Clutter questioned. “But if you’ve been asked to go on this one . . .”
“I’ve been asked, but I’m not sure I’ll be going,” said Alex. “I thought it would be a good idea to see what else is happening, just in case.”
“Ah, sound wisdom, that,” said Mr. Clutter. “I’ll fix some tea and we can have a chat. Unless, of course, you’d like something besides tea?”
“Whatever you have will be fine,” answered Alex.
Mr. Clutter hurried from the room, but was back almost immediately, carrying his large silver tea set. He started talking about adventures even before he’d seated himself behind the counter.
Alex was used to the way Mr. Clutter often carried on, and he sat back and listened to everything the adventure salesman had to say.
“Oh, now that’s odd,” Mr. Clutter said as he shuffled through some papers.
“What’s that?” Alex questioned.
“Ah, well, an adventure has been requested, but with a high level of secrecy attached to it,” said Mr. Clutter in a slightly nervous tone. “Not that being secretive is so strange.”
“No, I’m sure a lot of adventures are that way,” said Alex.
“Exactly. No, the odd thing is that the requester is asking that no one from Thraxon be told about this adventure. Now that seems very odd to me, as Thraxon is where the adventure is going to take place.”
“That is strange,” said Alex. “But as I’m not from Thraxon, could you tell me as much as you can?”
But before Mr. Clutter could say much about the adventure, a familiar voice interrupted them.
“I’m sure you’ll like the rest of our company,” the voice said from the back of the shop. “A good group so far, and I have great hopes that our seventh member will be a wizard.”
“I’m sure the group will be fine,” answered a second voice.
Alex recognized the first voice as his friend Thrang, and he wondered why Whalen hadn’t told him that the dwarf would be leading the adventure.
“All settled, then?” asked Mr. Clutter as Thrang emerged from behind the curtains. “Anything else you need?”
“We are all set, thank you,” said Thrang, turning to look at Mr. Clutter and spotting Alex instead. “Alex! I mean, Master Taylor. So good to see you again.”
“No need to be so formal,” Alex laughed, moving forward to shake Thrang’s hand but getting a bear hug instead.
“Well now, as you’re here, allow me to introduce Mistress Katrina Dayyed,” said Thrang, nodding to the young woman who’d followed him through the curtains. “She goes by Kat, and she comes from Barkia. Kat, allow me to present my friend, Master Alexander Taylor.”
“The wizard,” Kat said, bowing to Alex.
“A pleasure,” said Alex, returning the bow. He couldn’t help but notice the faint glow of magic around her.
“Well,” said Thrang, looking quickly from Kat to Alex and back. “I suppose I should explain this adventure to Master Taylor, then.”
“As you wish,” said Alex.
“I will see you in Telous,” Kat said to Thrang. “I have much to do before this adventure begins.”
“Yes, yes, of course,” said Thrang, bowing slightly as Kat left the shop. He turned to Alex. “Now then, Alex. Shall we?”
Thrang led Alex to the hidden rooms at the back of the shop. They both settled into the comfortable chairs.
“So, tell me about your staff and everything that’s happened since we parted company,” Thrang said.
“The adventure first,” said Alex. “We will have time to catch up after.”
“As you wish,” Thrang said, stroking his beard. He paused to gather his thoughts. “This adventure is a quest to recover the Ring of Searching, which has been lost for almost two thousand years.”
“Two thousand years?” Alex repeated in surprise.
“I really shouldn’t say lost,” said Thrang. “The owner of the ring didn’t lose it, after all. And two thousand years sounds like a long time, but to dwarfs it’s only, oh, ten generations—more like two hundred years to humans.”
“I never thought of it like that,” said Alex. “So, why do we need to look for this ring if it isn’t really lost?”
“A good question,” said Thrang. “Albrek, the ring’s owner, is who we are really searching for. Well, the tomb of Albrek would be even more correct. You see, Albrek was a great dwarf lord. In fact, because of the Ring of Searching and its ability to find new mines, Albrek was one of the richest dwarf lords.”
“Find new mines?”
“Of course,” said Thrang with a grunting laugh. “You can only mine in one place for so long before the mine runs out of whatever is in it. Albrek’s ring was used to find new mines—the best mines. Albrek went looking for new mines about two thousand years ago and he hasn’t been seen since. Now the primary mines of Thraxon are beginning to dry up, and King Thorgood—the ruler of the dwarf realm of Thraxon—wants the ring to find new mines.”
“Surely your people can find mines without the ring,” said Alex.
“Of course we can,” said Thrang. “But it takes a lot of work and only about one in twenty mines found that way is a really good mine.”
“I see,” said Alex, considering everything Thrang had told him. “Do you have any idea where the tomb of Albrek might be?”
“Details are a bit sketchy, to be honest, but we know the three places that Albrek had planned to look for new mines. Of those three, we’ve narrowed it down to the best one. Of course, he may have looked somewhere else, but at least we have a starting point.”
“How many adventurers are going on this quest?”
“Seven,” Thrang answered. “Including our friend, Arconn. I’ve also talked King Osrik into letting young Thrain come with us. You’ve already met Kat, of course. And I believe you met Master Nellus on your last adventure.”
“It seems there is only one adventurer left for me to meet,” said Alex, laughing. “Though I don’t know Nellus very well, and I only just met Kat.”
“That may be,” laughed Thrang, “but I’m guessing you know more about her than most would even after so short a meeting.”
“Yes,” said Alex, remembering the magical aura he’d sensed around her. “Kat is a seer. I think she will be very helpful on your adventure.”
“You sound as if you’re not coming along,” said Thrang, worried.
“I haven’t decided yet. I haven’t heard about the agreement, yet, and Whalen advised me to think carefully before agreeing to anything.”
“Master Vankin is most wise,” said Thrang. “It was out of respect for him that I asked him to join our quest, but I am happy he passed the request on to you.”
“Then the agreement, if you please,” said Alex.
“Since you are a wizard and a warrior, I can offer you five shares in twenty-two,” said Thrang, sounding concerned that Alex might not agree. “The primary treasure for this quest is not set. King Thorgood has promised one-tenth of all profits from all new mines found with the ring within the first five years.”
“That could be a huge amount of treasure,” said Alex, stunned by the generous offer.
“Yes, it could,” said Thrang with a nod. “And there’s a good chance of secondary treasure as well. Anything we find along the way or in Albrek’s tomb is ours to keep. We will divide all secondary treasure equally between the company.”
“And how will the primary treasure be paid?” Alex questioned. “I mean, how will Thorgood deliver so much treasure over five years?”
“That is a bit of a problem,” Thrang admitted. “Thorgood has agreed to either deliver each member’s share to Telous on a yearly basis or to hold their shares in Thraxon for them. And, remember, the payment isn’t just for five years, it’s for a share of all the mines found in the first five years after the Ring of Searching is returned. The mines will likely produce for several hundred years, probably much longer than that, so the shares will be delivered to named heirs for as long as the mines remain active.”
Alex thought for a long time before speaking. The amount of treasure they were talking about was almost beyond reason. He didn’t really need any more treasure, but he did wonder about Thorgood’s arrangements. There was also something else about Thraxon he wanted to know, something to do with the secret adventure Mr. Clutter had mentioned, but he decided that now wasn’t the right time to ask, and the thought slipped to the back of his mind.
“Very well,” said Alex. “Before I agree, I must ask something of you.”
“If it is in my power, I will do whatever you ask,” said Thrang in a serious tone.
“I still carry five lost bags. One of the heirs lives in Thraxon, or so the bag maker told me. I would like to return the bag to the lost adventurer’s heir if I can.”
Thrang nodded solemnly. “We will make time for that noble deed. Do you know where the heir lives?”
“In the city of Kazad-Syn,” said Alex. “Do you know it?”
“I do,” said Thrang. “Kazad-Syn is one of the largest dwarf cities in Thraxon. We will almost certainly pass through it on our quest. You will easily be able to return the bag.”
“Then you had best show me where to sign,” said Alex. “Then we can go to Telous, and I can answer all your questions about my latest adventure.”
“Wonderful,” said Thrang. “I am pleased and proud that you’ll be coming with us.”
Alex signed the agreement. He was excited to be going on another adventure and happy that so many of his friends would be joining him. Thrang led Alex back to Mr. Clutter’s office, handed Mr. Clutter the signed agreement, and asked him to file it for him.
“Another adventure is under way, ” Mr. Clutter said happily.
“Which way, then?” Thrang asked, cutting off Mr. Clutter before he could get going.
“The back door, I think. Unless, of course, you’d rather use the wardrobe.”
“The back door will be fine,” Thrang said quickly. “The wardrobe always ruins my appetite.”
“Very well, then,” said Mr. Clutter, moving to the back of his shop to open the door for them. “I wish you the best of luck. I’m sure you will find success.”
“Thank you,” said Thrang with a bow as he stepped through the doorway.
Alex didn’t say anything, but simply smiled at Mr. Clutter before following Thrang. Almost instantly, he was standing in a green field just outside of Telous. He took a deep breath of fresh air and almost burst into laughter. It was time to start a new adventure.
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