Desert Curses (2008)

It had not been a grand week for Arglex the Wizard.

Thaumaturgy was, admittedly, a risky trade. A miscast fortune, a flawed charm — any number of botched, faked or even successful ventures could land a practitioner on the scything block or worse. Like any hustle, you accepted the risks — be it the worries of guilds, thieves and whores in the city or the myriad of dangers the life of a traveler and exile afforded.

The border town of Dapreon, however, really took the table.

Consider: to immediately brand a well-meaning and commercially viable sorcerer such as Arglex the Wizard a sower of discord? To judge him before he could so much as set up tent? Insanity! There was no other word for it.

One of my rare dark fantasy tales, “Desert Curses” concerns Arglex the Wizard (AKA Arglex the Freelancer) and a doomed encounter with ancient sorcery in the Desert of Makabren. It’s an early tale of mine and it made its way through a number of in-boxes before it finally published.  Along the way, the editors of “Weird Tales” told me that it had some fine sorcery in it — and now you can experience all that sorcery for yourself.

The complete tale is available online (and for free) over at The Harrow. Who knows? Maybe one of these days I’ll get to share some of Arglex’s other tales.

~rl

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