A preview of the beginning of "Gates of Enchantment" ( completely unedited ) which contains the first of many, many Easter eggs for other stories, and ends on the beginning of another.
Feel free to point out the Easter Egg if you know it
Darkniciad stood outside what would soon be a school of magic for those of lesser means. He shook the hand of the wizard who had built it, after spending several days with him.
“I must thank you for your hospitality,” Darkni said.
The older man – about the same age as Darkniciad’s father – responded, “No. No. It is I who must thank you. The advice you have provided will do much to advance my dream.”
Darkni countered, “As the spells you have taught me have done much to advance my own studies.”
They both chuckled as they unclasped hands. The older man said, “It seems we are at a stalemate in this contest of gratitude.”
“Ah, but there must always be a victor. To that end...” Darkni reached into the satchel slung over his shoulder, and withdrew a silken pouch that clinked with the unmistakable sound of coin. He held it out to the other wizard.
“Please, I cannot accept such a generous gift,” the other wizard said.
“But you will,” Darkni said, pressing the pouch into the other man’s hand. “It will accomplish much more in your purse than in mine.”
Darkniciad waved his hand and said, “I will not take no for an answer. Use it well, that I may find your school thriving, when next I pass this way to share discoveries in the Art with you.”
The other wizard weighed the pouch in his hand and said, “I suspect that even were I to refuse, this pouch would somehow find its way here again.”
“Most astutely observed.” Darkni clapped his hands, and said, “And so, this contest is concluded.”
“Though which is the victor? The giver or the receiver?”
“A victory for us both, I would say. Fare thee well.”
“The gods speed you on your journey,” the elder wizard said.
“And you to your dream.”
With that, Darkniciad turned and took the first step on that renewed journey. He walked down the narrow, tree-lined road, enjoying the morning air and the songs of birds. It had taken a year, but finally, he had found and properly trained those who would take up his duties within his father’s business.
And so, he was free to pursue his study of the Art.
The discovery of the fledgling school and its master was but the latest taste of the welcoming nature this land had for one of his chosen path. His steps now carried him to Destindale, the heart of magical studies within the Protectorates of Armand.
Though he would enter light of purse, after the gift to the school, that should be easy to remedy. A city the size of Destindale would certainly have messengers who could deliver a letter requesting more coin from his account at home, and counting houses to make good on the returned letter of credit. There might even be one with magical means to expedite the process. What coin he retained would be sufficient to see him through a week, so long as he sought out reasonably priced accommodations.
Daydreams about what he would find in the city carried him through the miles. He had heard of two schools of magic, shops that catered to those who practiced the Art, and common folk who appreciated the benefits of magic, rather than fearing it.
He was so caught up in his musings that he nearly missed the sound that brought him up short – a feminine whimper, rapidly stifled.