“Uncle Anvar, what was that orange light that shot out of your hands during the fight at the tavern?”
Linvin and Rander were at a loss having not been conscious to see the pyrotechnics during the melee. They first looked at Bander to see if he looked confused. The big elf looked quite serious. Thus, attention focused on Anvar. The kindly uncle stirred the fire and did not speak. “What is he talking about?” Linvin asked. Anvar threw his stick in the fire and then brushed his hands clean on his pants.
“Good Bander,” Anvar began, “you were trading serious blows with that man with whom you were matched. In the fray, you must have seen a flash from one of the table lamps being knocked to the ground. The sudden light must assuredly have drawn your gaze for a brief moment.”
Bander shrunk his stature and looked away. “Yes, I did see that. It caught my eye all right.” He paused as though he was finished. Anvar was about to change the topic when Bander’s inner voice became audible. “Yep, that flash made me look over there. Right after that though, your hands looked like they were on fire or something. Some orange ray of light, sort of came flying from them and hit the man you were fighting like a club.” Bander looked at his brother and Linvin. “The fella flew backward like he was fallin’, only sideways. He crashed into the bar real hard. Don’t ya’ remember, Uncle Anvar? The fire didn’t hardly seem to even be bothering you, but that other guy…Whew. He gotta’ be feelin’ worse than Linvin today.”
Linvin and Rander knew Bander to have many traits and flaws. One he was not known for, however, was a tendency to lie. So it was, that Bander’s brother and cousin turned their attention again to their uncle, who poked the fire once again.
“Hands on fire?” Rander asked. “What is he talking about?”
“In the heat of battle,” Anvar began, “things are not always as they appear. Linvin, I am sure you have seen strange things in battles many times. Come, tell us of one.”
Linvin’s forehead wrinkled as he looked sternly at Anvar. “Do not change the subject Anvar,” Linvin said firmly. “You are implying that Bander is a liar or a fool. Is that your intent?”
Bander looked most sheepish and regretted beginning the conversation. He looked longingly at his uncle, hoping to avoid either title suggested.
Anvar sighed and hung his head in shame. Without raising his eyes, he answered Linvin. “Your cousin is neither a liar nor a fool. What he has recounted to you is genuine. He was talking about my magic.”
“Magic?” Linvin asked in disbelief. “Do you actually mean to say that you are a magician?”
Rander interjected before Anvar could answer. “That’s absurd! Magicians are tricksters. They are confidence men who prey upon the weak minded. There is no real magic. It’s all just a bunch of slight of hand.”
Anvar turned his head curiously to his brazen nephew. “And the Red Sapphire we seek, is not real magic?”