Three Months Later…
Quinn’s first semester at Rivergate University was drawing to a close, and he was enjoying his studies more than he ever thought possible. His awful day at The Vulture Tavern was fading into a distant memory.
History, chemistry, and ancient languages all came effortlessly to him. His favorite subject, however, was the Healing Arts – its why he came to study here in the first place.
After a semester of intense practice, he was finally casting a ‘soothe minor discomfort’ spell properly. Quinn felt like he was actually helping people, and that filled him with a sense of pride and accomplishment
When time permitted, Quinn joined his classmates for sports or an afternoon swim at the lake. He lusted after the human boys at school, watching them wrestle and swim in the afternoon sun; their effortless self confidence sent quivers of desire down his spine. There was one boy Quinn wanted badly to ask on a date, but he was afraid a romantic fling would interfere with his studies.
As the autumn semester drew to a close, the leaves turned a fiery orange, and a chill crept in to the air. Quinn earned high marks in all his classes, and was eager to return after the holiday recess. One afternoon, as he packed up his belongings for a visit home, an envelope appeared underneath his door.
Quinn picked it up and examined it – the words “Due Immediately” were written on the front in elegant calligraphy. He opened the envelope, and out tumbled a sheet of parchment as long as he was tall, listing every expense he had incurred as a student at Rivergate University.
Tuition, books, supplies, dormitory, meals, healing lab fees – – the list went on and on and on. At the bottom of the lengthy page was the total amount he owed – a whopping 5,237 gold coins. Quinn looked around his dormitory room in a panic. After rummaged through his belongings, he was able to scrounge up a measly 3 copper pieces.
He looked closer at the tiny print at the very bottom of the parchment. It read: “Students may not return for the Spring semester until they are in good financial standing.”
A wave of anxiety washed over Quinn as he envisioned his dream of becoming a healer unraveling. There was no way his family, with their modest farm in Sylvan, would be able to help him either. He began to panic.
he asked himself.
He flopped down on his bed, stared up at the ceiling, and tried to think of a solution.
Mage apprenticeships paid well, but they weren’t available for freshmen students. The library was always hiring, but that meager wage would barely cover his dormitory expenses.
He wracked his brain and suddenly he remembered his visit months earlier to that strange tavern on the edge of the city…
to be continued!