(my dawg nev gets this one)

“You did say you wanted to know more about where you came from, right?” Jamie said easily, scratching the itchy spot on John’s back. He closed his eyes and shrugged back into her fingernails as the relief hit.

“Ah, better. I suppose I want to know what I didn’t learn from the family histories. People say the Cromwell line has giant blood and whatnot, but nobody ever knew for sure. You think he can tell me for sure?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know, but he seems to know what he’s talking about, at least that’s what I’ve heard. I’ll see you later, yeah?”

John looked up, surprised to see a dark wood rose embossed on a sign hanging just a bit into the road. Jamie was sweet on him, but far from dependent. He bent down to brush a kiss across her cheek. He smiled.


He watched her sway into the brothel. Well, I hate to see her go, but…

He let the thought trail off, returning his thoughts to a smaller sign a hundred paces down the road from the market street. He resumed his walk, at a faster pace now. With his height he sometimes had to slow his gait for the benefit of shorter folk. It was strange, but he wondered just how this ‘blood alchemist’ performed his magic. Would it be a cut on the hand? Would Nevin even need his blood at all? Not that he didn’t mind spilling his blood of course, but someone doing something with it made him the tiniest bit anxious.

Quickly he found himself in front of the door to the blood mage’s shop and opened the door, ducking his head to fit through the doorway. His eyes adjusted from the fading light of evening to an even more slightly lit interior, with space enough for shelves and a couple smaller cabinets mounted on the walls. The glass-topped counters held potions of many sizes, colors, and shapes in small felt indents. Small vials held clear and red liquids, and a couple behind the shopkeep glowed faintly with what John assumed was magical energy. A small alchemical workbench sat behind the keeper, who John recognized as his eyes adjusted.

“Nevin?” he asked incredulously, his eyebrows rising.