by Mercy Loomis
Copyright 2013 by Mercy Loomis
Cover design by Mercy Loomis. Cover art by tankist276 (iStockphoto).
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This is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead (or undead), is entirely coincidental.
Athens, 482 BC
I have no great interest in the dead, nor do I make a habit of lingering in cemeteries. The dead are of no use to me, and aggravating besides. But I was getting near to the city and the road I was following was now lined with mausoleums and shrines. As I made my silent way through the tombs, shadowing a couple of late travelers on the road, the sound of chanting came to my ears.
I have always been curious.
The tone was low and savage, spat out with a surprising amount of venom. Most professional sorcerers spoke with either reverent wonder or pompous arrogance. I drifted toward the sound until I could make out the words.