Salvatore, R.A. - Cleric Quintet 01 - Canticle
Book 1: "Canticle"
Aballister Bonaduce looked long and hard at the shimmering image in his mirror.
Mountains of wind-driven snow and ice lay endlessly before him, the most
forbidding place in all the Realms. All he had to do was step through the mirror,
onto the Great Glacier.
"Are you coming, Druzil?" the wizard said to his bat-winged imp.
Druzil folded his leathery wings around him as if to privately consider the question.
"I am not so fond of the cold," he said, obviously not wanting to partake of this
particular hunt. "Nor am I," Aballister said, slipping onto his finger an enchanted
ring that would protect him from the killing cold. "But only on the Great Glacier
does the yote grow." Aballister looked back to the scene in the magical mirror, one
final barrier to the completion of his quest and the beginning of his conquests. The
snowy region was quiet now, though dark clouds hung ominously overhead and
promised an impending storm that would delay the hunt, perhaps for many days.
"There we must go," Aballister continued, talking more to himself than to the imp.
His voice trailed away as he sank within his memories, to the turning point in his life
more than two years before, in the Time of Troubles. He had been powerful even
then, but directionless.
The avatar of the goddess Talona had shown him the way.
Aballister's grin became an open chuckle as he turned back to regard Druzil, the
imp who had delivered to him the method to best please the Lady of Poison. "Come,
dear Druzil," Aballister said. "You brought the recipe for the chaos curse. You must
come along and help to find its last ingredient."
The imp straightened and unfolded his wings at the mention of the chaos curse.
This time he offered no arguments. A lazy flap brought him to Aballister's shoulder
and together they walked through the magical mirror and into the blowing wind.
* * * * *
The hunched and hairy creature, resembling a more primitive form of human,
grunted and growled and threw its crude spear, though Aballister and Druzil were
surely far out of range. It howled again anyway, triumphantly, as though its throw
had served some symbolic victory, and scooted back to the large gathering of its
shaggy white kin.
"I believe they do not wish to bargain," Druzil said, shuffling about from clawed foot
to clawed foot on Aballister's shoulder.
The wizard understood his familiar's excitement. Druzil was a creature of the lower
planes, a creature of chaos, and he wanted desperately to see his wizard master
deal with the impudent fools-just an added pleasure to this long-awaited, victorious
"They are taer," Aballister explained, recognizing the tribe, "crude and fierce. You
are quite correct. They'll not bargain." Aballister's eyes flashed suddenly and Druzil