In this excerpt from The Reign of Dragons, Duchess Korinna is meeting with the mages, Omalia and Ameyron, after the recent research trip in The Voyage of the Miscreation. She can’t wait to find out what they’ve learned about the magical creatures of the region.
Korinna Waits for the Mages
Korinna missed the days when she could saddle up her marewing and fly wherever she wanted. Now, with the heavy responsibilities of overseeing the city without her husband and her growing belly, she had to wait for everyone else to come to her.
First, she had to wait while Tatiana went back to Fort Ropytos and reported to Commander Varranor. When the rider came back, she sadly explained that Varranor had already sent someone else to find Galenos on the road and they had to wait for the reply.
“Orivan is fast, so I’m sure it will only be a few days,” Tatiana said hopefully.
Korinna brightened up at the news. Orivan had become her friend during their early training days, and she trusted him to make sure Galenos understood the danger. “Oh, good. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Orivan. You two are some of the best riders I’ve met. I wish you all could come visit me more often.”
Tatiana’s pale skin flushed with the praise. “Actually, in the meantime, I’m posted here to be your personal messenger.”
She clapped her hands together in excitement. “Great, then you can come over to my house for dinner tonight! I’d love for you to meet my daughter.”
Tatiana’s presence was a good distraction, but what Korinna was really waiting for was news from the mages. Omalia kept promising that Ameyron would come report on his research voyage soon, yet more days passed without news. Finally, she sent Tatiana to check up on them, and the rider came back promising that they would arrive soon.
Korinna had only visited the Academy once before, when the government had first started funding Omalia’s expansion. She listened eagerly to Tatiana’s description of the changes had occurred over the past two years. Previously, the school was only a handful of buildings to house the researchers and the astronomers’ observatory, built on the highest point of the hill which had been cleared of tall trees to allow a full view of the night sky. Tatiana said that now construction dotted the landscape in seven separate areas, spreading out from the center like the spokes of a wheel. At the south end of the land were cultivated fields and grazing pastures for herds of cows and sheep. Judging by the amount of farm land, the Academy would be able to feed a population even larger than the town of Sacrimas which nestled in the valley below.
“I saw it easily from the air,” Tatiana said.
Korinna tried not to sigh in envy as she pictured being on a marewing in flight again.
“And then Omalia gave me a tour. The workers have been busy.” Tatiana sketched out a rough map to show her. “They’re growing their own food now.”
“Fascinating,” Korinna said, taking notes. “I didn’t expect that. Whoever heard of mages acting as farmers?”
When a ship finally arrived from the mage academy, Korinna was full of questions, almost before they’d had a chance to disembark.