by Lee Braiden
originally published at 02:12PM on Wednesday, May 07, 2008

She looked Koth in the eye, forcing the words to penetrate. “For the few who do become adepts, there is a code to uphold, which you well know; for I have made certain of it. Those who prove themselves incapable of upholding that code before they are even tested will find themselves among the low-folk before the day is out.?

All eight of her students knew this was no idle threat. It was almost expected that students would fail to become technomages. For each one that did, justification was required of the tutor.

Koth shifted forward, sitting up more properly in his seat as the table fell silent once more. His insult against Rendel had become a biting reality for them all – any one of them might be a commoner again quite soon now. With such a threat on their minds, it was a long time before dinner was complete. Especially for Elhana and Arhan, who still had another awkwardness challenging everything that might be said.