Reckless Magus

The Story

Abraxas Spellchaser has been a student of magic under his father since his eleventh birthday. Since he began that training, over a decade has passed, and Abraxas, known as Abe to his family and friends, thinks he's ready to take the final test and prove himself to both his father and the magical community that he deserves the title of "Magician," the most skilled of all of those who possess the gift of magic.

His father gave him a simple test, walk between the worlds using his magic and return to their home in the Endless City. It's a magic Abe's known and practiced for almost five years. It should be simple.

Right up to the point where Abe attempts to open the door between worlds and is knocked out from a strange backlash as he attempts to use his magic. From there, he is drawn into a web of intrigue and a game centuries old as he tries to figure out what is going on and how he can get home.

The book can currently be found on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions. If you're curious, I've got a preview you can read below.


“Abraxas, are you keeping up?” My father’s voice came back towards me with an echoing and strange quality, the shifting and rippling landscape of the distortion of reality we were using to travel leaving only one thing clear; I was falling behind.

I turned my focus away from the sensations that rippled against my skin, the not-wind of the between that sought to undermine my steps and focused on the thread that linked me to my father, a spell that allowed me to follow his path between worlds without being carried entirely by his magics. I used that tether like a line to pull myself forward and shouted forward to Nerick, “Just barely! This is the longest we’ve held up one of these travel magics yet.”

“You wanted to be tested, my son. An eighteen hour dimension-hopping race should be a good test of your endurance. Not to mention that your side of this is quite a bit easier, I’m the one blazing this trail.” Yes, but he was also more experienced in this kind of travel, and several decades my senior in the use of magic. That’s also why I’m sure that my father was cheating, using some principle or technique that I didn’t know to make things easier for him in demonstration before teaching me what he had just done. It was one of his favorite ways to impart new lessons. “We’re almost at our destination.”

His voice was louder than it had been only a few minutes ago, letting me know that I had begun to close the gap between us; I turned my focus from my spell to look ahead of me and saw the faint outline of Dad’s blue-black cloak against the shifting colors of the between, something that I hadn’t seen in almost an hour. The sight inspired me to another surge of effort, bringing me even with my father for the first time in almost six hours. In spite of the focus I needed to use to keep pace with my father, I found the breath to ask him a question, “Haven’t we had enough of these tests? Five years, we’ve either been visiting old family friends or running me through one minor test after another. When are you going to put me to a Magician’s test?”

My father stopped his trailblazing and wheeled around to look at me, an amused gleam in his eyes, “You think you’re ready to graduate from being my apprentice, then?” My father had been training me since I was eleven, and the last five years had been one long training journey, all towards the purpose of a Magician's test, given from one of the strongest of all magic users to another for official admittance into their membership.

My father snapped his fingers, ending the magic he used to keep himself in the space between worlds; my spell guttered out, not having enough strength to hold me in the between without Nerick’s to build on. The twisting of the world around us began to slow, slowly taking solid shape as we left the between for the world we had been walking along the edge of. When the space around me solidified, I took stock of the where we found ourselves.

It was the private room of an inn or hotel of some sort, the two beds in the room having a rough quality to their finish and little space to move between them as they sat braced against opposite walls. A shuttered window was letting in a small amount of fading daylight and the sounds of a street market closing up for the night. “Very well. Spend the night here; your test begins in the morning. Now, if you’ll excuse me...” Nerick walked out of the door, presumably to go properly rent this room for the night.

For my part, I barely had time to drop my travel bag off on the floor before I collapsed onto the bed and fell asleep in exhaustion, letting my unaware mind drift off to the Dreamlands while my body recovered from the physical stress of the day. I presume I dreamt of the successful completion of this final test, but I can’t be certain; unlike the perfect lucid recall of many of the highly gifted in magic, I lacked the ability to remember anything of my dreams.

When I dragged myself out of bed in the morning, something was wrong; a typical morning started with my being hauled out of bed by my father. That morning I woke with the gradual increase in awareness that you get at the end of a full night’s sleep, fuzzily reaching consciousness until the strangeness of the experience struck me.

That fact alone provided a sudden burst of adrenaline, and I hauled myself fully awake and looked to the other bed, where I presumed my father spent the night. Aside from a small card sitting on the pillow of the bed, it looked freshly made. I snagged the card and opened it, reading the message my father had left for me.


Your Magician’s test will be a straightforward one: It begins as soon as you read this note, and it ends when you step through the front door of our home back in the Endless City. I have left a small amount of local currency to see to your needs while you deal with the first stage of this test though it may not be enough.

Good Luck, my son.
Nerick Spellchaser

P.S. Certain things will go easier if you travel under the name Abraham Xavier Chauser until you leave this world.

The test seemed easy enough: I would use my own magics to pull myself back to the Between. I knew I had the skill for such a trip as I had been tested on my ability to navigate at least once a week for over a year. I grabbed the small satchel that I had been living out of since we started this journey so many years ago and slung it over my back. I readied myself for the spell, closing my eyes and taking several deep breaths to calm my heart.

Once the excitement of the test no longer beat an over-quick rhythm in my chest, I started to draw magic in on each breath, readying as much power as I could collect for the hardest part of the spell, opening the way. Once I had pulled to me as much magic as I could I created the image of the door to the Between in my mind; seeing the door in my mind, I reached towards the handle and started to pour energy down the connection—

And screamed as my brains attempted to leave my skull through every pore in my head. The pain hit me hard and sharp and shattered my ability to hold onto the energy for the spell, and it tried to burn itself away from me as light bleeding from my skin. As the light began to fill my vision, the pain doubled and doubled again. I found new limits to the amount of pain I could suffer without dying. It was, however, more than enough pain to drive me from awareness, causing me to black out.


When I next woke up, I was being dragged awake, but not by my father: a skinny old man was kneeling over me, shaking me out of whatever had hit me when I tried my magic. “Son, you alright?”

The pain that echoed through my head made me feel as if I had decided to take on the hangovers for an entire bar, I certainly did not feel alright. “No, but I can fix it.”

I once again took in magic, not nearly as much as last time, just enough to power an easy hangover cure that most apprentices have cause to learn at some point in their training. The simplicity of the spell allowed it to be used even when the world was spinning around you. Magic gathered, pattern in mind, I attempted to apply one to the other...

And blacked out again as something hit my mind with a sledgehammer. When I came to again, the same old man was standing over me enunciating slowly to me as though I was incapable of complete thoughts, “Son, do you have a condition?”

I waved him back a little and brought myself into a sitting position with my back against one of the beds, “No. I just need some more rest. Where’s the other person I was rooming with?” I collected my thoughts and waited for his answer.

When it came, my stomach fell through the floor, “You weren’t rooming with nobody. You came in last night, dog-tired and asked for a double. You need another day’s rest? That’ll be...” I never actually heard the amount the old man asked for, I just reached into the bag my father left me and scooped out a small handful of coins and handed it to the old man; having his money, he seemed happy enough to leave me alone in the room.

I stayed on the floor for several minutes after he left, waiting and willing the pain to go away. After a minor eternity, I was no longer seeing double and pulled myself to my feet to try to identify what I had done wrong in my spells.

I took a deep breath, and felt the magical energy around me; there was energy in this world to tap and direct, I could feel it running over my fingertips as I started to open my mystic senses. I placed a hand against the wall, trying to feel if there was something in the building that was preventing my magic; I could feel no wards against power pulse against my hand. I attempted to reach out into the structure of the building to try to find a more subtle restraint. I felt the feedback coming mere moments before it hit me like a body blow against my mind, killing my concentration.

I’m not going to lie; what followed wasn’t pretty. I kept experimenting with my magic for the remainder of the day, trying to find some spell or technique I knew that didn’t create the massive feedback kick when I went to implement the spell; then recovering as the secondary kick of the power leaking away took my breath away. Every single thing I tried failed, blasting back upon me; I was in and out in my experiments until late in the afternoon, when I noticed that the sweat that I was wiping away from my brow had taken on a reddish-brown tint. That shock made me more aware of the deep ache in my body and broke me; I barely managed to crawl into bed before I dropped to sleep from utter exhaustion.

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